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CHAPTER 36 622IN THE REALM OF DISEMBODIED SPIRITS 622Jesus the Christ died in the literal sense in which all men die. He underwent a physical dissolution by which His immortal spirit was separated from His body of flesh and bones, and that body was actually dead. While the corpse lay in Joseph's rock-hewn tomb, the living Christ existed as a disembodied Spirit. We are justified in inquiring where He was and what were His activities during the interval between His death on the cross and His emergence from the sepulchre with spirit and body reunited, a resurrected Soul. The assumption that most naturally suggests itself is that He went where the spirits of the dead ordinarily go; and that, in the sense in which while in the flesh He had been a Man among men, He was, in the disembodied state a Spirit among spirits. This conception is confirmed as a fact by scriptural attestation. 622As heretofore shown 1 Jesus Christ was the chosen and ordained Redeemer and Savior of mankind; to this exalted mission He had been set apart in the beginning, even before the earth was prepared as the abode of mankind. Unnumbered hosts who had never heard the gospel, lived and died upon the earth before the birth of Jesus. Of those departed myriads many had passed their mortal probation with varying degrees of righteous observance of the law of God so far as it had been made known unto them, but had died in unblamable ignorance of the gospel; while other multitudes had lived and died as transgressors even against such moiety of God's law to man as they had learned and such as they had professed to obey. Death had claimed as its own all of these, both just and unjust. To them went the Christ, bearing the transcendently glorious tidings of redemption from the bondage of death, and of possible salvation from the effects of individual sin. This labor was part of the Savior's foreappointed and unique service to the human family. The shout of divine exultation from the cross, "It is finished," signified the consummation of the Lord's mission in mortality; yet there remained to Him other ministry to be rendered prior to His return to the Father. 622To the penitent transgressor crucified by His side, who reverently craved remembrance when the Lord should come into His kingdom, 2 Christ had given the comforting assurance: "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." The spirit of Jesus and the spirit of the repentant thief left their crucified bodies and went to the same place in the realm of the departed. 3 On the third day following, Jesus, then a resurrected Being, positively stated to the weeping Magdalene: "I am not yet ascended to my Father." He had gone to paradise but not to the place where God dwells. Paradise, therefore, is not Heaven, if by the latter term we understand the abode of the Eternal Father and His celestialized children. 4
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2011 for the course REL C 211 taught by Professor Keithwilson during the Winter '11 term at BYU.

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