There are 3 thoughts on ““The Messenger of Salvation”: The Messenger-Message Christology of D&C 93:8 and Its Implications for Latter-day Saint Missionary Work and Temple Worship”.

  1. Thank you for this fine article and the insights into the obligation to become clean from the blood of this generation. It seems to me that there are three categories of sins from which we can become clean: our own sins, the sins of our children, and the sins of those to whom we can preach the gospel. We become clean from our own sins through repentance and through the ordinance of baptism for the remission of sins. Regarding the second category of sins, parents become clean from the sins of their children by teaching them the first principles and ordinances of the gospel. If they fail to do so, “the sin be upon the heads of the parents” (D&C 68:25). We become clean from the blood of this generation—meaning everyone else—by preaching the gospel. Regarding that category of sins, Jacob could tell the people that the shaking of his garments symbolically “did witness that I shook your iniquities from my soul” and that he was “rid of your blood” (2 Ne. 9:44). You summarized this teaching very well: “A failure to discharge this duty meant that missionaries still bore some culpability for the sins of those they might otherwise have helped.”

    Just as baptism is an ordinance that symbolically represents the cleansing of our own sins, the washing of the feet is the ordinance that represents our becoming “clean from the blood of this generation” (D&C 88:138-39). “Missionary service is a priesthood duty,” as President Monson taught (Oct. 2010 general conference). Because it is a priesthood duty, only priesthood holders need become clean from the blood and sins of this generation. You summarized this very well, stating that D&C 88 “specifies that missionary work and ritual washing of the feet as a means of becoming, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, ‘clean from the blood of this generation’” (citing D&C 88:75, 85, 138). I appreciated the way you connected missionary work with the work of the Savior—as the messenger of the covenant—and with the work of the divine council.

  2. Thank you for your insights. If we understand the obligations and opportunities of parents to teach their children of Jesus Christ as part of the covenantal obligation to proclaim Him and His Gospel, the import of what you write here seems to increase even more so, yes? Again thank you for a wonderful article.

    • Aloha Brett,

      That’s a great point! In fact, D&C 93:39-50, part of the same revelation as one of the primary texts under discussion here, contains the Lord’s correction and instruction to early church leaders regarding those parental opportunities to teach their children and bring them up in light and truth. That is certainly the most important “work” as “messengers” that we will ever do in mortality.

      Mahalo nui!

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