In the Bible, Old and New Testaments we see many examples of men seeing Christ face to face. We know Adam did in the Garden, but there were more later.
The Lord appeared to Abraham (Genesis 12:7, 17:1, 18:1, Abraham 2:6-11), to Jacob, or Israel face to face (Genesis 32:30), Moses face to face (Exodus 33:11), as well as many other appearances in the Old Testament (See links and comprehensive list in the topical guide). In addition to all of the people seeing the Resurrected Christ during his postmortal ministry among the Jews, there is another example of the veil being rent in the new Testament. Stephen was also able to see Christ standing on the right hand of God before he (Stephen) was stoned for his testimony of Christ (More examples of the postmortal appearances of Christ here)
So here we see Biblical support, both Old and New Testament for people seeing the Face of God and living. So how does the scripture in Exodus 33:20 which says that No man can see God and live fit in? It is a good question.
Joseph Smith, through the gift and power of God, gives the inspired words that were supposed to be in Exodus 33:20 (below)
"And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time, and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time, that shall see my face and live."
So we see this inspired translation brings harmony to the many biblical accounts of people seeing Christ and living. We see that no one who is in sin can see God and live.
Is it so far-fetched that a young, pure minded boy in his fifteenth year would have God appear to us in our day and age? He sought forgiveness of his sins, one of the prerequisites to seeing God, and wanted to know what church was right. He followed what James says, to ask of God to gain wisdom, and to ask in Faith, nothing wavering.
And because of that, he saw God, the Eternal Father, and his Glorified, Resurrected Son, Jesus Christ. They told the young prophet that through him the fulness of the Gospel taught in New Testament times would be restored to the earth.
And Joseph Smith wasn't the only one to see God. He and Oliver Cowdery saw Christ, and there were others who did as well, and there are many modern-day apostles and prophets have seen him. More information on that can be found on other posts on this blog.
God in his heavens had waited patiently to restore all of the blessings of previous dispensations so this earth would be prepared for his second coming, so that the earth would not be smitten with a curse. What a wonderful flood of Christ-centered light!
I know that Jesus Christ lives, that he is the Savior and Redeemer of the World, and only through him may we be purified, and return to the presence of the Father. He is real, and as President Monson has said, he is in the details of our lives.
As we come to Christ, and discover his gospel, we will be lifted, strengthened, comforted, saved, and exalted as we follow him as he invites us to.
I love Christ with all of my heart, and am profoundly grateful for the blessings that have come to me with the restoration of his gospel again to the earth. I hope and pray that we all may come unto him, and in him find rest.
Do you love the Savior, his words in the Bible, and want to know more about him? Read the Promise of the Book of Mormon online, and pray about its truth at http://bit.ly/10t8QYm or get a free copy at http://bit.ly/11WKJ1G
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