This finishes my study of chapter 3 of Jesus the Christ. All quote come from this book unless otherwise noted.
John 5:19, 30
1 Corinthians 15:20
2 Nephi 9:6, 12, 13, 21, 22
Romans 3:9, 23
1 John 1:8
Although Jesus could die by inheritance of His mortal mother, he had power to put off death by inheritance of His immortal Father. Jesus could have saved Himself from captivity, scourging, and the cross, but He suffered these things by submitting to the will of the Father.
"The effect of the atonement may be conveniently considered as twofold:
1—The universal redemption of the human race from death invoked by the fall of our first parents; and,
2—Salvation, whereby means of relief from the results of individual sin are provided."
Everyone will be resurrected although not everyone will be glad about it. Those who accept and obey Jesus, building up His kingdom with good works, will dwell eternally with God. Those that reject and disobey Jesus, engage in evil works, and seek to tear down His kingdom, will dwell eternally with Satan. What about those who never had the opportunity to choose because they never heard of Jesus?
"And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them," Doctrine and Covenants 45:54.
It is folly to believe the commandments are optional and that the only requirement is to declare belief in Jesus Christ. True, this is one step, but God, The Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ put for the plan of happiness in the scriptures to test our obedience, to build character in Christians, and to provide a pattern for joy upon Earth. Yes, we are all sinners and need the atoning blood of the Savior to wash us clean, but we cannot be washed clean of sins we don't of which we don't acknowledge and repent and humbly accept grace.
"The mortal probation is provided as an opportunity for advancement; but so great are the difficulties and the dangers, so strong is the influence of evil in the world, and so weak is man in resistance thereto, that without the aid of a power above that of humanity no soul would find its way back to God from whom it came...For the advancement of man from his present fallen and relatively degenerate state to the higher condition of spiritual life, a power above his own must cooperate [the atonement and grace of Jesus Christ]. Through the operation of the laws obtaining in the higher kingdom man may be reached and lifted; himself he cannot save by his own unaided effort. A Redeemer and Savior of mankind is beyond all question essential to the realization of the plan of the Eternal Father, "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man"; and that Redeemer and Savior is Jesus the Christ, beside whom there is and can be none other."
My testimony is that we were not sent here to bask in earthly mediocrity but to accept grace and use the atonement and follow the commandments to progress into something and someone better than when we got here. If I am wrong, it won't hurt me to strive to improve my character, to do my perceived duty, and to serve others. Acting thusly, I improve my little corner of the earth and my allotted time in mortality. That can only be good. Plus, I'm a lot happier, when I'm anxiously engaged in a good cause and improving myself. The plan of happiness is just that.