Tradition tends to paint a picture of the huge triumph of Christ at the resurrection, but the triumph went unnoticed, even by those who considered themselves Israel. The two men on the road to Emmaus didn’t even recognize Christ, in disguise, walking with them. They told the stranger (Christ) of the prophet who was crucified, but knew little about the resurrection, and knew nothing of the redemption of Israel. Even after the apostles see the resurrected Christ, they went back to their daily labors. The triumph happened before their very eyes, and the disciples could not see it. We sing the hymns on Sunday’s, so …of course he redeemed Israel, right? But, if those who were closest to Christ, in his earthly ministry, could not see it, …DID CHRIST REDEEM ISRAEL? The answer is YES, Christ did redeem Israel!
The point is, if those who were closest to Christ, in his earthly ministry, didn’t notice how fragile, easily wrecked, and lost, Christ’s invitation was for them to be redeemed, …then why do we so quickly claim that we are redeemed for simply doing some ordinances or belonging to some institution? Are we redeemed Israel because we took out our endowments, yet don’t even know what it means to be endowed? Are we redeemed Israel because we have a congregation who bears testimony that we are the only true church, and yet reject the seeking of the truth of all things by hiding our mistakes? Are we redeemed Israel because we have apostles and claim priesthood authority, and yet we confess that we have not distributed power in the priesthood? Or must we produce fruits that are viewed as acceptable offerings? Must we become the ordinances? The invitation to be redeemed is offered, but it is as easily broken as a spider’s web.
Redeemed: Christ defined what it meant to be redeemed in the experience of the brother of Jared. It was when he touched the stones, and the Lord’s finger was revealed. The brother of Jared asked to see, and then saw, all of Christ, in the flesh, long before Christ’s earthly ministry. He was in the same form as when he came to the Nephites. Christ tells us what it means to be redeemed this way:
“13. And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.”
Since the fall is defined as leaving the presence of Christ, being redeemed from the fall is exactly the opposite, it’s returning into the presence of Christ, when Christ shows himself to you. And it is because the brother of Jared knew “these things” that he was redeemed. We too must know Christ, this way, to be redeemed.
History: The popularity of Christianity did not get the attention of the masses, until over one hundred years after Christ had left, and the apostles were all gone. What grew Christianity wasn’t the idea of being redeemed. It was the power over the masses of people and their offerings that grew ancient christian churches, and they did it all in the name of Christ. Unrighteous dominion and abuse of power was the foundation of the Nicene creed, where christianity became thoroughly redefined, to match what’s acceptable and approved of by the masses.
Our history has redefined the presence of Christ as unnecessary, even undesirable. We are satisfied to follow the prophet, to not look beyond them, to place a veil between us and our deity so that we don’t overstep our bounds and trust in other men, considering them called of God if they were sustained in the manner prescribed by our church policies. And in this manner, we can never be led astray. We have gone so far as changing the scriptures to replace the idea of the second comforter defined by Joseph Smith as the presence of Christ, to being the Holy Ghost instead.
Knowledge: You cannot repent in ignorance. What will you repent of if you are ignorant of what it is you ought to be? As our LDS definitions of the second comforter has changed since November 2013, we too have become confused of what it is we ought to become, and therefore have lost the need to repent to enter into the presence of Christ.
When we feel some warm fuzzy feelings that we associate with the Holy Ghost, we can falsely tell ourselves that “We have been in the presence of Christ!” I have heard it multiple times within my own ward, and wards in which I have visited. The confusion is outrageous.
Conclusion: Was Israel redeemed? Yes, Israel was redeemed. Redemption from the fall is to be brought back into his presence in the flesh. When we are ignorant of the necessity of being redeemed, we belong to the population of the masses who have no need to repent, prior to entering into the presence of Christ. We must repent.
Those who are Israel must recognize the truth, despite the source that voices it. It is because they love the savior that they recognize all truth, even when spoken from a blog like this one, or from a son or brother as lesser as me. You know my mistakes and my follies, but it doesn’t excuse you from recognizing truth when it is presented.