After giving a talk in Church a couple of weeks ago I got asked to give the lesson in Relief Society this week. I took that as a sign that my talk had been good.
So today I taught the lesson on Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the World.
I won't repeat the whole lesson, but I want to share the main thing that I learned.
I have always known the story of Cain and Able, but have never understood why Able's sacrifice was accepted by God and Cain's wasn't.
This is what I came to understand:
Able sacrificed the first of his flock, being a blood sacrifice.
Cain sacrificed the fruit of the field, not a blood sacrifice.
If they had just been paying tithes either would have been acceptable, but they were commanded to give sacrifice in similitude of the sacrifice Christ would give.
Even at the beginning of the world God taught the people that Christ would come and give his life so they could be saved. They were commanded to give sacrifices to remind them to look forward in faith to the life, death and resurrection of Christ.
So because Cain's sacrifice was not a blood sacrifice it was not was not representative of Christ's sacrifice for us.
Cain knew that, and knew what he was supposed to do, and was actually mocking God by giving a sacrifice that was not a shedding of blood.
But he still got all mad when his sacrifice wasn't accepted so he hauled off and killed his brother.
Does that explain anything?
I learned something anyway.