Thursday, June 7, 2012
Total Eclipse of the Gospel
So I watched it happen and noticed other things happening at the same time. I noticed that as the moon got closer and closer to blocking the sun, clouds rolled in and began covering the sun. At the same time, as would be expected, it got darker and darker for us. I didn't think much of these things at the time and just kept enjoying the phenomenon that I was witnessing. I very much enjoyed getting to watch the eclipse and when it was over I went back to my usual missionary activities.
But it didn't end there. I kept thinking about it and I started thinking about how it could be symbolic and I had some very interesting thoughts. Christ often refers to Himself as the Light and Life of the world. I thought about that and how the sun provides light to us and also how it is the supplier of life. The sun provides nutrients to plants which provide food and sustenance for other organisms on earth. Without the sun, plants die and the rest of the biosphere would quickly follow. And not to mention, Christ is also the Son of God and there is only one letter difference between Son and sun. I have always thought of the sun as symbolic of Jesus Christ so that was no problem for me to see that symbolism. But what about the other events--the moon, the darkness, the clouds? What could those mean?
Before I get into my thoughts on the matter, I should explain something that is central to our beliefs as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When Christ came to the earth, He established and lead His Church which was established with the authority of God's priesthood. The priesthood is the power and authority that God has given to man to act in His name and to basically stand in His place. The priesthood was help by all of the prophets such as Adam, Moses, and Noah. It is what gave them the authority to be a prophet! And just like previous prophets, Jesus Christ also held this priesthood authority and lead His Church with it. After He was crucified and resurrected, He gave this prophetic authority to Peter who became the next prophet. Over the years as hatred grew for those who followed the teachings of Jesus Christ until they were all killed, including those who help this priesthood authority.
When they were killed it began a period known as the great apostasy, which is to say, a time when the priesthood authority to lead Christ's Church was no longer on the earth. During this time many of Christ's teachings were slowly distorted and changed. Churches rose up with parts of Christ's truth contained within them, just not all of it. This period lasted for hundreds of years until in 1820 the fullness of Christ's teachings were restored to the young, 14-year-old boy, Joseph Smith.
So there's the background information, now how does this relate to the eclipse? Well as I sat thinking about how the eclipse could be symbolic, all of these thoughts rushed through my mind and I realized that the eclipse is just like the great apostasy!
But the moon eventually got out of the way of the sun and the clouds quickly departed and light was once again on the face of the earth. Likewise, the powers of the devil were eventually overcome and through a humble boy, the spiritual darkness that had been on the earth gave way to the light of the fullness of Christ's restored gospel. I know that Christ organized His Church when He was on the earth and that, after being distorted, He restored it to its completion through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God and I invite anyone who doesn't know this for themselves to read the Book of Mormon and find out. The Book of Mormon is physical proof of the validity of Joseph Smith's divine calling and I promise that by reading the Book of Mormon and asking God through prayer if it is true that you can come to know these things for yourself! I testify of this in the name of Jesus Christ.