Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jesus Preached to the Dead

Today I read 1 Peter 3 which is fairly famous among the Latter-day Saints. But I want to first talk about a couple of verses from the beginning of the chapter. Peter talks about how husbands should be won over by their chaste conduct. I often wonder how a husband who has a wife who does not act chaste can feel comfortable at all. I know I would be extremely unhappy if my wife went around wearing immodest clothing and acting like a woman of the world. I purposely sought out a woman who DIDN'T act that way, so why would I want her to act like that? Every worthy Priesthood holder should desire his wife to act in a chase and virtuous manner. Jacob in the Book of Mormon tells us that God delights in the chastity of women, so why should we not also delight in the chastity of women?

But the more famous part of this scripture by far is Peter's lesson at the end of the chapter where he teaches us that Jesus Christ went to the Spirits in Prison and preached unto them. It is always interesting to me how the scriptures will just mention things in passing which makes me believe that it was common knowledge among the Saints of old back in the day. Things like baptisms for the dead, or Peter's statement of Jesus preaching to the dead. I just think it's pretty neat.

Peter's statements let us know a couple of things about the time between when Jesus was crucified and when He was resurrected. For starters, we know that He did not see God right away, which we could have known from His statement to Mary in the garden that He had not yet ascended to His Father. But before Peter's writings we were left to wonder, if He did not go back home to God, where was He for those 3 days and what was He doing? Peter lets us know that He was organizing those among the Spirit world to bring salvation to those who did not have it.

We also learn from Peter's statements that there had in fact, been no resurrection prior to Jesus Christ, at least as far back as Noah and that Ark. Peter tells us that some of those that heard Christ's voice were those among the time of Noah who did not believe that the flood was coming. We can infer that if there was no resurrection from Noah to Christ, there most likely was not any resurrection before Noah either. Can you imagine, having tasted mortality and then being denied a body for thousands of years? That would be very hard on those who were used to sins of the flesh or over indulgences of any kind. On a side note I often wonder what those who spent their whole life focusing on money or other pursuits that have no place in the world to come think or feel when they find out they wasted their entire lives? We probably will never know.

These verses to me though have always signified the mercy of God. He gives us so many chances to repent and come back to Him. Even after we are dead we have the opportunity to choose righteousness and accept Him. It makes me want to sing the song I Stand All Amazed because it so beautifully typifies this principle and how I feel about Jesus Christ and His mercy. I can't say enough good things about it. But it is wonderful that He did all of this just for me, and for you, and for everyone! Until tomorrow.

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