I would like to continue to discuss the topic of deliverance, but this time we will focus more on our deliverance from death. Through His Atonement and the resurrection, Christ broke the chains of death by becoming “the firstfruits of them that slept” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Imagine what it truly would be like to die and find out that it was the end of our story. Some individuals don’t know about what Christ did for us and live their lives in that mindset. The knowledge of the resurrection gives us hope: hope that we will see our loved ones again one day, and hope that we will rise up in our perfected bodies to continue our journey.
The prophet Ezekiel had a wonderful vision that describes the resurrection in more detail. The Vision of the Valley of Bones is found in Ezekiel 37:1-14:
1 The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,
2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.
3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.
4 Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.
5 Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:
6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.
8 And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
11 ¶ Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.
Jesus Christ holds special priesthood keys that allowed Him to take death upon Himself and power to rise again from the grave. We will briefly touch upon the keys of hell and death and the keys of the resurrection.
18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
2 Nephi 9:10-13
10 O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell, which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
11 And because of the way of deliverance of our God, the Holy One of Israel, this death, of which I have spoken, which is the temporal, shall deliver up its dead; which death is the grave.
12 And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
13 O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.
“[Jesus Christ,] holding the keys of the resurrection, having previously passed through that ordeal, will be delegated to resurrect our bodies, and our spirits will be there and prepared to enter into [our] bodies.”1
Yes, how great is the plan of our God! Our bodies and our spirits will be joined together and delivered from both a temporal and a spiritual death. We can rejoice in the promise of the resurrection! We will be made whole! Our Redeemer holds the keys to deliver us from hell and death. He also holds the keys of the resurrection which makes it all possible!
Let’s go back to Ezekiel’s vision. Ezekiel was shown how through the power of the priesthood bones, sinews, flesh, and spirits came together to form an army, which was referred to as the house of Israel. All of those individuals were resurrected. Lauren Daigle has another amazing song, “Come Alive (Dry Bones),” which is very fitting for our discussion. If you would like to read more about Lauren, click here. Follow this link to listen to the song. You can also read the lyrics here. I love the image that Lauren paints throughout the song. Yes, we are wayward sons and daughters that can be led astray by Satan’s lies. Jesus Christ rescues us as we repent and become new creatures. He breathes into us new life and makes our dead hearts become alive.
We are God’s army. As we share the message of the gospel to those that have strayed and those that do not know about the Savior, we are helping bring others unto Christ so that He can also breathe into them new life. And although right now this is symbolic for our spirits, one day the resurrection will be as real as the vision that Ezekiel had. Our dry bones will be carefully placed together again. Our cartilage, tendons, muscles, organs, and all that makes us who we are will be placed in their proper order. We will come alive! And what great joy we will experience when our spirits and bodies will be joined together, and we will be able to embrace our loved ones! I look forward to the day when I’ll be able to meet my maternal grandfather, whom I never got the privilege of meeting because he passed away before I was born. I cannot wait to see my other grandparents and uncles who passed away when I was younger. I want to meet all those ancestors I never got a chance to get to know. And the list for dear friends can go on and on. I am so thankful that our Savior died for us and will deliver us from death when the time comes for us to be resurrected. What are your thoughts on this subject? Please share by commenting below!
Young, Brigham. Discourses of Brigham Young. Selected by John A. Widtsoe. 1941.
The Atonement Series
Jesus Christ: A Man of Sorrows
Jesus Christ in the Garden
Forgive All Men
The Power of Christ’s Living Water
How to Heal a Broken Heart
Deliverance from Our Fiery Furnace