Spiritual Infancy


After King Benjamin’s people made the covenant of obedience, and after they had experienced the “mighty change” so that they no longer desired evil, King Benjamin proclaimed “ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold this day he hath spiritually begotten you . . .therefore ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.” (Mosiah 5:7)

The term “begotten” refers to fathering a child, which is the first and earliest event of life. It is to begin a life. King Benjamin’s statement implies that becoming Christ’s Sons and Daughters is the first great step as spiritual offspring of God. The whole metaphor of being “Born Again” is that of spiritual birth and infancy, not of spiritual maturity.

We were born of natural man and natural woman into a natural body, of our mother’s blood, the water of birth and our own immortal spirit, and thus became a natural man, an infant beginning the journey of a mortal lifetime. King Benjamin taught that we “put off the natural man” which is the worldly influence and spiritual captivity inherent in the mortal body by yielding to “the enticings of the Holy Spirit”. (Mosiah 3:19) We become the infant offspring of Christ by the precious blood which He shed on the cross, by the water of baptism in promise of His atoning gifts, and by the spirit of Christ which He became by descending below all things. (D&C 88:3)

This is why we are His spiritual offspring, because He alone wrought out our salvation. Our mortal parents didn’t do it. We are incapable of doing it. Christ alone is our spiritual father. The reason he cried out “Father! Why hast thou forsaken me?” as he hung on the cross, was because he alone wrought out the atonement by the shedding of His own blood. Even the Father withdrew so that His sacrifice might be “perfect”.

“That by reason of transgression cometh the fall, which fall bringeth death, and inasmuch as ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, which I have made, and so became of dust a living soul, even so ye must be born again into the kingdom of heaven, of water, and of the Spirit, and be cleansed by blood, even the blood of mine Only Begotten; that ye might be sanctified from all sin, and enjoy the words of eternal life in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, even immortal glory; For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified.” (Moses 6:59-60)

After we are reborn in Christ we become a “new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17)  We are “changed from [our] carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters. And thus [we] become new creatures.” (Mosiah 27:26-26) We become “newborn babes” in Christ, (1 Peter 2:2). which works a “mighty change” in our hearts, places His “Image in your countenance” and gives us spiritual eyes to “look forward with an eye of faith” to the great day of judgment. (Alma 5:13-15)

Of great importance to our latter-day mission, it makes us one of the wise virgins, those who have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide and who “shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day (of Christ’s coming). And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation. For the Lord shall be in their midst, and his glory shall be upon them, and he will be their king and their lawgiver.  (D&C 45:56-59)

And – this is the beginning – the promises of spiritual infancy.

Brother John

© April 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About Terri Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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10 Responses to Spiritual Infancy

  1. JohnD says:

    John, in regards to the mighty change, I would like your thoughts, as well as others on an issue I’ve had in my life these last few years.
    I have lost my passion for my business pursuits! Things of this world including even hobbies just don’t have the same position in my heart, even conversations with people are empty or don’t happen if I’m not discussing the gospel! Just wanted to make sure I’m not alone on this. I am doing better, but it’s a constant struggle, fortunately I have my own business, but the drive I once had for business is certainly not what it once was!

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    • I have experienced a loss of joy in the world as the fullness of the Gospel unfolds. I didn’t experience it as a total lack of interest, but rather as a refocus of joy on spiritual things. The world seemed important, but not compelling and a source of meaning in my life.

      Brother John

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  2. Rand says:

    John, you commented, “We become the infant offspring of Christ by the precious blood which He shed on the cross, by the water of baptism….”, this is part of the power of the water in the Sacrament. Could I ask you to blog some time on the power of the bread in the Sacrament?

    And on a totally unrelated topic, but while I am asking, have you ever had insights as to the meaning of Christ referring to people as various types of animals: pigs, goats, wolves, dogs and sheep. What is the meaning of the animal types, other than sheep, which seems readily apparent?

    Thanks for the insights you share.

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    • Hi Rand,

      Wow, I’ve never thought about animal types, so I’m not going to be of much use to you there. I will look through previous blogs about the Sacrament and revive a couple of them, or write something fresh. I love the part the Sacrament plays in our lives and would be glad to UnBlog about it.

      Thanks for the comment,

      JMP

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  3. heansweredme says:

    In my view this was a very profound post. I love how you keep on topic, but find yet another facet from which to view it. Those verses from Moses 6 are sacred to me, and I rejoiced in seeing you make the same connections I have made. Truth is delicious.

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  4. Donald says:

    Lance…. I was was focused on something similar as I sat through an endowment session yesterday. The “knocking.” My mind focused on the instruction we were given as we approached a certain place in the temple. I wondered about it more this time than in the past….it’s not easy for me being a slow learning…. I keep working on it….and striving to understand.

    John, I’m sorry to ask such a rudimentary question….sometime, if possible, can you help me understand the difference between salvation and exaltation?

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  5. darrell brashear says:

    Dear Lance, I just wanted to add a little something that has helped me with the seeking, asking, and knocking that’s not too deep to discuss. It seems that asking and knocking are closely related, but knocking seems to imply humility and need.

    Luke, chapter 11, verses 5-9 gives a good description of this. Notice the time that the friend knocks at his friend’s door. This scripture involves more than desire, it describes need and humility. Desire seems to be the attribute that is connected with seeking, faith with asking, and humility with knocking.
    I hope this helps. Brother D.

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  6. Lance says:

    John,
    Could you address the concept of “asking, seeking, and knocking?” As I have talked about this with others, there seems to be some confusion as to what is meant by “knocking” and I guess I don’t know how knocking is distinguishable from asking in prayer.
    In 2 Nephi 32: 4, Nephi teaches: “Wherefore, now after I have spoken these words, if ye cannot understand them it will be because ye ask not, neither do ye knock; wherefore, ye are not brought into the light, but must perish in the dark.” This scripture indicates that asking and knocking are two different things, but I can’t recall ever being taught the difference between the two concepts.
    Thanks so much for your inspirational posts.
    Lance

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    • Dear Lance,

      It is likely that “Ask, seek, knock” have layers of meaning. However, their greater meaning is temple related. I can’t discuss the temple on the UnBlog, so I will have to leave it to you to prayerfully discern. Those who have eyes to see . . .

      JMP

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  7. kenh says:

    Thank you John for such a wonderful, beautiful post on the essence of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As life takes us through so many changes, it is such a great blessing that we can start over spiritually speaking through the mercy and grace of our Savior. We can put the non-spiritual behind us and look forward to each new day through a new perspective that only Christ can give us. Truly He is the Way, the Life, and the Author and Finisher of our faith. Fear and doubt has been replaced with faith, hope, charity and knowledge that lifts and blesses beyond this lone and dreary world. Praise be His holy name forevermore!

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