Scriptural Analysis- Genesis 40:20-23

20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.

21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh’s hand:

22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.

23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.

Just as Joseph foretold, three days later the fate of the chief butler and the chief baker were forever changed. It happened to be Pharaoh’s birthday, a time for refreshing, and the ruler turned to the cases of these two men and brought each to their final conclusion. One was elevated back to Pharaoh’s good graces, the other consigned to death.

This idea of judgment and dichotomy is a powerful image in our society. It immediately calls to mind the great judgment that awaits us all after we die, on the one hand to the justifying and redeeming of the innocent, and on the other to condemning and damning of the guilty.

As for Joseph, though, he remains in purgatory, forgotten in prison and still awaiting his own judgment. He knows that in the day of evaluation that he will be worthy, but that time has not yet arrived. After all the other virtues he had already displayed, he still must exercise the one of patience.

The Need for Law- Romans 8:2-4

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

COMMENTARY

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
Yesterday we considered how God gave us His Law, which took us from the destiny of the grave, and split that into two paths, one towards salvation and one towards damnation. The problem, though, was that each of us breaks God’s Law, which consigns us to the path of damnation, an even worse situation that what we were in before.
But God’s plan did not end here. In addition to putting His Law upon us He provided a Savior as well. In a previous study we examined how Christ is able to pay for the demands and punishments of every law. Yes, each of us breaks God’s Law, but now it is Christ who is consigned to our damnation, having taken that burden upon himself as part of his atoning sacrifice.
Thus, as Paul suggests, we are free at last from both the law of death (required by mortal law) and the law of sin (required by divine law).

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.
It is important for us to acknowledge and appreciate the doom of mortality’s law and the strictness of divine law, but now we do not have to regard them or their condemnations as our own. Now, if we will allow it, we can subscribe to the law which Paul called “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ.” And if we satisfy the demands of this third law (and this one, thankfully, we can satisfy the terms of!), then we avoid the two terrible destinations of death and hell, and may instead access the third destination, the one that we desire.
It took the quite process to get here, but at last we have the option to obtain resurrection, forgiveness, and salvation with God.

The Need for Law- Alma 41:3-4, 2 Nephi 2:5

And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.
And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other.

And men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil. And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.

COMMENTARY

Men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good, that they should be restored unto that which is good. And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil.
Raised to endless happiness or to endless misery, the one on one hand, the other on the other
Previously we observed that the natural order of the world is entropy and extinction. Eventually all of us will go quiet, cease all existence, and that would be the end of it. It is a silent and bleak destiny, devoid of anything whatsoever. To be fair, there is no pain or suffering in it, but that comes at the expense of there being no other things as well.
However, as we saw, this somber ending is given an escape in the form of God’s law. God interrupts our path and introduces an afterlife as a new final destiny for us. This afterlife is split in two, though. Instead of having just one destination, there is a division. One of the potential destinations is one of joy, the other is of misery.
This is blessing and the curse of God’s law. It is a medium, like water, by which those that are validated ascend to the surface, and those that are invalidated are sunk to the bottom. By it we have the greatest potential, but also the greatest of danger.

And the law is given unto men. And by the law no flesh is justified.
And here we find the big catch to all this plan: none of us can keep God’s law. It offers everlasting joy…but only to those that keep its strictures perfectly, which none of us will. It is good to have a law of righteousness to guide us, it is good to be given a choice in life, it is good to have the potential for exaltation…but all that good won’t actually do us any good when we inevitably break the law.
And remember, this isn’t just a law, it is a Law, capital L. It is eternal and irrefutable. We aren’t going to be able to just vote it away, it must be enacted universally, and must be compensated for entirely. God’s Law would take the surety of dead nothingness, and effectively replace it with the surety of damnation instead. Not really a better situation for us!
But…with that law came a plan. It turns out that there actually is a way for us to get the benefits at the positive endpoint of God’s Law, and avoid the detriments at the other endpoint. To accomplish that, though, requires some sort of mediator to bridge the gap.