(December 4, 2015)
I love 3 Nephi 21:10, for its simplicity in establishing an eternal perspective (and subverting a mortal one). The Lord bluntly says three things that are inherently contradictory from a mortal perspective. Premise one – they won’t hurt him. Premise two – he will be marred. Premise three – Christ will heal him.
Each are, in a mortal sense, exclusive. If he won’t be hurt (1), he won’t be marred and won’t need healing. If he is marred (2), he is hurt and being marred is permanent (thus, no healing). If he is healed (3), he must have been hurt, and couldn’t have been marred (because, again, he was healed).
But this incoherence (temporally) is clear spiritually. His spirit will not be hurt, though his body will be marred. And whatever damage that is caused (emotional, pain, sin) will be healed. I take this as a reminder that we really are not mortal creatures, nor are we intended for mortality. We are, instead, immortal creatures with a spiritual nature. It is important to maintain that perspective in order to understand the world in which we live.