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Christ's Blood & The Book of Mormon

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The Come Follow Me reading for the week is rather short.  So, it was easier to slow down and really take it in.

I was struck by D&C 38:4


I am the same which have taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom; and verily, I say, even as many as have believed in my name, for I am Christ, and in mine own name, by the virtue of the blood which I have spilt, have I pleaded before the Father for them.

I remembered how the so called charismatic Christians us the phrase "plead the blood of Christ" to describe their acceptance / utilization of the Atonement of Christ to cleanse their sins.  We tend to use a different phraseology "apply the blood of the Atonement".  I tend to believe these roughly translate to the same thing.  But the fact that all of these include the central point of the "blood of Christ" said something to me today.

I am reminded of just how many cultures talk of blood oaths in some way, shape, or form.  But for some reason, we've lost the meaning of blood debts in our culture (John Wick notwithstanding :)).

I wonder how much of our desensitization to the meaning of blood is because we see fake blood so often in movies/TV.  How can we think blood means anything when it's always fake?

We also keep hearing about deaths all the time on the news.  It either seems very distant or very politicized or both.  We keep telling ourselves, "it doesn't concern us."  We feel the seriousness of the death, but there's nothing we can do.  We're not related to them.  We have no sense of sympathy or empathy.  Maybe it isn't "we".  Maybe it is just me.

But there has to be a way to make a distant and unrelated death become more real to us.  Christ's Blood was spilt and we owe him a blood debt.  But in our daily lives, do we feel it?  How about when we partake of the Sacrament?  At least then?

I try to focus on the Savior.  And I feel an impression of the Spirit tell me that he suffered for me.  He was bruised for our iniquities... with his stripes we are healed... He is my Savior.  Yet, when I compare that thought to what I believe I'd feel if I learned my wife went through that... the feelings, the reality, the impression... the seriousness of Christ's suffering simply aren't at the same level as that of my wife.

Then I consider the Book of Mormon.  I'm told that it mentions the Savior and/or the Atonement about 3 times per page (on average).  I've never done an analysis to count that.  But I do recognize that it is quite frequent.  I wonder if we're supposed to always read the BoM.  I believe that by reading it so often, it tends to put the thoughts of the Savior in the front of our minds so often that it is like we're really getting to know Him personally.  The Atonement becomes a reality, not something we merely read about or give speeches about.  it is real.  It is immediate.  It is part of our lives.  It is part of US.

Is it any wonder that the Book of Mormon was written "... to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations"  ?

As I read it again and again, it is impossible for me to forget the Savior and His sacrifice for me.

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In a sense, the Bible is more foundational than the Book of Mormon. But the Book of Mormon is truly and literally the word of God to our generation. I suspect that will be the case throughout this dispensation of the gospel, or at least until we have more historical revelation given to us to flesh out the books that should have been in the Bible but never made it for one reason or another.

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