The Gift of Life

31 03 2013

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As a writer, I try very hard to make my characters “real.” They need to jump off the page, to breathe, to react, and to be believable. Often I’ve read books that make me feel that way–that I’m reading about a real person, and, if I’m lucky, maybe I’ll meet them on the street someday.

I love those realistic characters. But not only that–I am also intrigued by those stories of robots who somehow become sentient beings, or an actual person being made by spare body parts and being brought to life by lightning, or rocks or cars or mustaches that actually come alive! It’s thrilling and fun and I love reading books like that.

However, pondering Easter this week I was struck forcibly with the thought that the only Being with power over life and death is God.

I read over that and a little voice in my head said, “Duh. That’s so obvious.” But apparently it wasn’t, or it wouldn’t have given me pause.

Doctors do not have power over life and death. They can treat it for illnesses or set broken bones or put in artificial organs, but they cannot make it live.

Robots can do all sorts of things–and often with precision beyond human capabilities–but they are not alive. They are only machines.

Man can plant seeds and ensure the environment is friendly to their sprouting, but man cannot create seeds.

Man can love animals and raise animals, but man cannot create animals.

How amazing and how great and how truly awesome is the gift of life?

When God created the world, he “breathed into [Adam’s] nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

That “breath of life,” our own unique, individual spirit, will be reunited again with our body after we die. On Easter, as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ–and, subsequently, the gift of our own resurrection someday–I can’t help but think that this should be the happiest day of the year.

“The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

“Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

“Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption” (Alma 11:43-45).

Today, that fills my soul with hope and joy. He is risen!

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