Adam fell that men might be; and men are , that they might have joy. 2 Nephi 2:25 Is this scripture a joke? How can we look at this life as a time for joy when we are going to die? Where’s the irony between the two? What is the purpose of our lives anyway? Why did Adam and Eve partake of the fruit in the first place? Isn’t this all their fault? Why do the sins of the parents have to fall upon the heads of the children? When will this madness end?
I was able to say good-bye on his 56th birthday, just 23 days before he was tragically killed. Luckily, my Mother was keen enough to ask each of us to go around the room and tell my Father something meaningful about our relationship with him. That was the last time I saw my Father in mortality, and although I was able to express my deep love and gratitude to him, little did I realize, I was saying good-bye.
I’ll never forget that beautiful autumn day living in Murray, Utah with the view of Wasatch Mountain from my house. When I received the phone call, I stepped out my door to speak to the social worker calling from the hospital. She informed me of the news that my father was involved in an industrial accident. I was in the middle of working on a hair client and eight months pregnant with my second daughter. I still remember the feeling that day when they told me there was still a faint heartbeat: My heart felt faint as I knew he was gone. My heart was broken that day.
I worried about my pregnancy with all the stress and emotions I was experiencing. There were so many demands with his two funerals while traveling back and forth from Ogden to Southern Utah. My Mother and youngest sister were alone and in need of comfort, and although I don’t remember how much time I stayed with my Mom, she often refers to the three weeks when I saved her life as I never left her side.
All of these things really worried me about my baby. Just a month and one week later, my beautiful baby girl was born and we named her after my Father’s Mother, Eleanor. This daughter was born with an added measure of empathy, love and charity for others, but especially the downtrodden. I link this characteristic to her being in my womb when tragedy struck. There have been many instances in her life and mine that have proven this quality; with just a particular look, I know that she KNOWS my soul and my feelings. and that began when she was just a baby. Later, her first-grade teacher informed me how she befriended a down-syndrome boy ridiculed by all the other classmates. Currently, her best friend is a beautiful gal with Turner’s syndrome whom she met in the fourth grade To top it off, she chose to serve a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Guatemala.
Yes, a door was closed as I lost my father, but another door was opened as I gained a daughter. This sad experience taught me that although my father died young, I could choose to be happy because of the new life inside of me. No, I would never see him again in this life, but the new life of my daughter allowed him to live on thru me and her. We will all face death, but through birth, new life brings joy and happiness.
Adam and Eve faced one of the first closed doors: Cherubim and a flaming sword were placed to keep them from the tree of life. (SeeMoses 4:31.) Why? Didn’t God want them to live forever? Didn’t he want them to be happy? Of course he did, and that is precisely why the “door” to the fruit of the tree of life had to be closed.
What does cheribum and a flaming sword mean? Kerub is the Hebrew name for Cherib or Cheribum and are identified as angelic beings who guard the tree of life east of Eden. The flaming sword is believed to be the justice of God. Why is Cherubim stationed to the east of Eden? To guard the way to the tree of life (Genesis 3:24). What is the tree of life? God’s love or his throne. Why does the tree of life need to be guarded? To allow the seed of Adam and Eve allotted time necessary, away from His presence, to repent and not live forever in their sins.
The flaming sword is believed to be the justice of God. Jesus Christ was sent to earth to atone for the sins of all mankind thus providing justice (and hope) from the original sin. However, there is another death far worse than physical death and that is spiritual death. As children of Adam and Eve, we are all sinners and are in a fallen state. Many people choose to close their door to God by separating themselves from him and His Son, Jesus Christ when they choose the world’s way and sin. The flaming sword provides us with the light and power to overcome Satan and sin.
I believe when the words cheribum and a flaming sword come together, they mean= A PROBATIONARY TIME. Hence, we are born to die but have a period of time set forth to prepare us for our death and re-entry into the presence of God by and through His son Jesus Christ, the great mediator. Alma 34: 32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.
33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
Cheribum and a flaming sword may keep us from living forever in our sins and away from God’s presence, but it can’t keep us away from HIS pure love. This “madness” is our probationary period….and let’s face it, who likes tests? It truly can be reduced once we choose to repent and be happy. True joy can be felt in this lifetime. I know it can because I have felt it all week as my Eleanor returned home from serving as a disciple of Jesus Christ for 18 months in Guatemala. The feeling that enveloped my soul was that of pure love; then, it felt as if she had never been gone. Time is an illusive phenomenon but should be considered sacred. There is no time to waste in our preparation for the doors to be opened when the four-faced Cheribums are gathered in from each corner of the earth and the flaming sword will not only dash Satan to pieces but judge each person. Time will change and all the earth will be wrapped up like a scroll. At that great time we will live in the presence our Heavenly Father and all our family members forever.