4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free
There is a lot to say about 2 Nephi 2, so I’m probably going to take a few days blogging through it.
Right at the start of Lehi’s sermon, be expresses a doctrine that is one of the innovative truths revealed in the Book of Mormon in several places. Later day revelation such as the Book of Moses also powerfully reveal this truth. Namely, that those who lived before the coming of Christ were redeemed through Christ’s atonement long before his coming.
This doctrine resolves much theological doubt and debate about the eternal status of those who came before Christ. It makes clear that because Christ’s atonement was “prepared from the fall” those who believe have always had access to its power.
It is startlingly to think that an event hundreds or thousands of years in the future could provide power and healing as if it had already occurred. But because Christ’s atonement was at the center of God’s Plan of Salvation, it has always been accessible.
Of course, there are certain gifts that only became available after Christ’s coming. For instance, no being was resurrected before Christ conquered death.(see D&C 138). Nevertheless, the saving and enabling power of the Atonement was available to the ancient patriarchs as well as to those in the Book of Mormon.
I love the comfort of knowing that God’s plan and power has stretched back to the dawn of time and that all who come unto him can be healed and blessed by his atonement.