“Swallowed Up in Christ” – Mosiah 16:8

I’ve been thinking today about Abinadi’s testimony that “the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ” (Mosiah 16:8).

Abinadi was likely familiar with Isaiah’s prophecy that the Lord would one day “swallow up death in victory” (Isaiah 25:8). He knew that this passage referred to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of His resurrection, we will all one day rise again. His victory over death was our victory over death as well. (See also 1 Corinthians 15:54-55.)

Many years later, one of the sons of King Mosiah, Aaron, would teach the same concept to the king of the Lamanites. “[Christ] breaketh the bands of death,” he said, “that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory” (Alma 22:14).

The Lamanites who he taught internalized this principle. They buried their weapons and were willing to die rather than take their enemy’s life. According to Mormon, “They never did look upon death with any degree of terror, for their hope and views of Christ and the resurrection; therefore, death was swallowed up to them by the victory of Christ over it” (Alma 27:28).

Mormon reiterated this principle in his final words:

Believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God, and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.
(Mormon 7:5)

And as Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf has reminded us, the Savior’s triumph over death has personal significance for each of us as well:

Yes, this life is passing swiftly; our days seem to fade quickly; and death appears frightening at times. Nevertheless, our spirit will continue to live and will one day be united with our resurrected body to receive immortal glory. I bear solemn witness that because of the merciful Christ, we will all live again and forever. Because of our Savior and Redeemer, one day we will truly understand and rejoice in the meaning of the words “the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.”
(“Of Regrets and Resolutions,” General Conference, October 2012)

Today, I will remember that Jesus Christ overcame death for all of us. Because He “swallowed up death in victory,” we need not be afraid. And we can be sure that the pain and sorrow we feel as a result of death will one day be swallowed up in the joy of the resurrection.

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