We Are Lost But Found!

A few years ago I found myself in a serious conversation with a good friend. In the mist of our discussion, which centered on the purpose of this life, I mentioned that every hundred years or so, the Lord cleanses the earth of all the people. I told him that the houses in this neighborhood may well be standing but that each home would have a new inhabitant. He seemed to be taken back by my statement. While the statement is obviously true, and really very elementary in thought, it still seemed to cause him to pause. The look on his face seemed to communicate that he had never thought of life in that light. That life really is very “temporary,” and that we live for a relatively short time on this earth. In fact, my own childhood home has survived two of my siblings and my mother. It will probably survive my entire family. When looked upon in that light, it is easy to see the importance of understanding the plan of salvation. Without it, we are all lost…forever! Recently I was reading a talk given by Thomas S. Monson way back in 1971. In it, he spoke of a famous World War a tale now known as the story of “The Lost Battalion.”

“As a boy, I enjoyed reading the account of the “lost battalion.” The “lost battalion” was a unit of the 77th Infantry Division in World War I. During the Meuse-Argonne offensive, a major led this battalion through a gap in the enemy lines, but the troops on the flanks were unable to advance. An entire battalion was surrounded. Food and water were short; casualties could not be evacuated. Hurled back were repeated attacks. Ignored were notes from the enemy requesting the battalion to surrender. Newspapers heralded the battalion’s tenacity. Men of vision pondered its fate. After a brief but desperate period of total isolation, other units of the 77th Division advanced and relieved the “lost battalion.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Lost Battalions”, Ensign, June 1971).
I once viewed a film that was based on this event. It was heart-rending to see the valor and price paid by those who rescued the desperate battalion as portrayed by the movie. President Monson used this real life story to illustrate how all of mankind is lost, or in a fallen state. It is only through the sacrifice of another, the Savior, that all that are lost can be saved.
I quote Thomas Monson-
“Arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper, deserted by his disciples, spat upon, tried, and humiliated, Jesus staggered under his great cross toward Calvary. He progressed from triumph—to betrayal—to torture—to death on the cross. “For us our Heavenly Father gave his Son. For us our Elder Brother gave his life. At the last moment the Master could have turned back. But he did not. He passed beneath all things that he might save all things—the human race, the earth, and all the life that ever inhabited it.No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary as they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord: “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.” (Luke 24:5-6) With this pronouncement, the “lost battalion” of mankind—those who have lived and died, those who now live and one day will die, and those yet to be born and yet to die—this battalion of humanity lost had just been rescued…” (Thomas S. Monson, “Lost Battalions”).
And so, despite the fact that our earthly bodies will not stand as long as most of the houses, we can be assured through the atonement and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that our bodies will come forth in the resurrection to reunite with our souls and we will become eternal. As all of us will be “lost”, all too will be “found.”

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