To be brought back into the presence of God. Ether 1:13 confirms: When he had said these words, behold, the Lord shewed himself unto him and said, Because thou knowest these things, ye are redeemed from the Fall. Therefore, ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I shew myself unto you. This is the gospel of Christ. Eternal life requires all to know Him. Ether affirms the brother of Jared was redeemed when Christ came to him. Christ redeemed him from the Fall: Because thou knowest these things, ye are redeemed from the Fall (ibid.). Christ defines redemption. Reconciliation comes through Christ, with Christ, and by Christ. He has the power to redeem all.1 “The monetary metaphor is by far the commonest [one for redemption or reconciliation], being the simplest and easiest to understand. Frequently the word redemption literally means to buy back, that is, to reacquire something you owned previously. Redemption, or atonement, restores one to a former, happier condition…. By redemption, someone has paid a price to get you off.”2 It is impossible to become altogether clean in this fallen world. Man can do his best, but in the end, he’s going to find he is lacking. The scriptures admit this. The proposition is so fundamentally understood among most saints that it goes without saying: All are in need of redemption from an outside power, someone with greater virtue and power than man has, who can lift mankind from their fallen condition into something higher, cleaner, and more godly. This is the role of Christ. His atoning sacrifice equipped Him to accomplish this.3As explained by Alma, the redemption which comes from faith in Christ is what empowers one’s repentance, so that he or she can take advantage of His atonement by forsaking their sins (see Alma 16:34). This is a difficult process, involving constant attention to His mercy, which redeems all mankind (see Alma 16:35).4How humble it is for the Lord to be willing to accept the reluctant, tardy, and slow to repent. Nevertheless, He is willing to accept even them. He suffered for all and will redeem as many as will come to Him. Ultimately, the outcome will depend upon how committed they are to the process of repentance, for to repent is to come to Him. They decide if His open arms will be where they finally embrace Him.5
The God of the Telestial Kingdom (in which man is presently situated) is the holy ghost. The God of the Terrestrial Kingdom (which the Millennium will reflect) is Jesus Christ. The God of the Celestial Kingdom is God the Father (see T&C 69). The holy ghost brings man to Christ; Christ brings man to the Father, and the Father extends the promise of exaltation by making one a son or daughter of God. The plan of redemption brings men and women from their current, fallen state back to a state of awareness of their condition, and then by cleansing them, elevates them in light and truth. The primary God with whom men and women interact here in this world is the holy ghost. However, the association with Christ is promised by Him in John 9. Joseph Smith explained that when the promise given by Christ (in that chapter of John) is realized, then the Father and Son will visit with the person from time to time.6 In a universal sense, modern revelation confirms that all will be “redeemed,” except the sons of Perdition (see T&C 69:7,24). And by Adam came the Fall of man. And because of the Fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man. And because of the redemption of man which came by Jesus Christ, they are brought back into the presence of the Lord. Yea, this is wherein all men are redeemed, because the death of Christ bringeth to pass the resurrection, which bringeth to pass a redemption from an endless sleep, from which sleep all men shall be awoke by the power of God when the trump shall sound; and they shall come forth, both small and great, and all shall stand before his bar, being redeemed and loosed from this eternal band of death, which death is a temporal death (Mormon 4:7). The plan of salvation provides blessings and benefits for all of mankind, with the hope that all will be added upon here. Therefore, redemption reflects the adding of celestial, terrestrial, and telestial estates available through the atonement.7 The holy ghost is the instrumentality by which redemption itself comes. The spirit is the guide which will lead back to the Lord’s presence. Without the guide, the doctrine of Christ is incomplete.8 The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, authentic, and holds the means for redeeming mankind.9
Redemption causes the redeemed to work for the salvation of others. The reason some obtain the kind of redemption Nephi obtained (see 2 Nephi 15:2) is because they are of a character to work for the redemption of others. There is no reason to withhold the promise of eternal life from them, because others will be redeemed as a result of their redemption. They will labor, preach, teach, intercede, seek, pray, and work tirelessly to bring others to the tree of life. They become fellow-servants with Christ and labor alongside Him in the work of redeeming others. This is one of the reasons for the parable of “The Busy Young Man”10 in Ten Parables.11See also ATONEMENT.
1 Preserving the Restoration, 343.
2 Hugh Nibley, Approaching Zion, 556, 557.
3 “Forsake, come, call, obey, keep, see, and know,” July 12, 2011, blog post.
4 “Mosiah 3:7, continued,” May 29, 2012, blog post.
5 “2 Nephi 28:16–17,” July 31, 2010, blog post.
6 “Current State of Things,” April 12, 2010, blog post.
7 Email to Scripture Committee, Dec. 30, 2018.
8 “2 Nephi 31:8–9,” Aug. 24, 2010, blog post.
9 “I Am a Mormon, Part 5,” May 15, 2012, blog post.
10 Ten Parables, 1.
11 “2 Nephi 33:11–12,” Sept. 8, 2010, blog post.