"AN EARLY RESURRECTION**: Life in Christ Before You Die," by Adam S. Miller, Deseret Book, $11.99, 144 pages (nf)**
In the New Testament, there is a conversation recorded between Jesus and Nicodemus, an apparent believing Jewish leader. During their discussion, Jesus teaches the honest seeker that “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Thinking literally, Nicodemus becomes confused and asks, “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3:4).
Jesus’ teaching of this truth serves as a backdrop to Adam Miller’s interesting and thought-provoking book “An Early Resurrection: Life in Christ Before You Die.”
When Jesus invites his followers to be “born again,” he is asking them to seek for a change in the way they live and act in this mortal realm. Miller posits that this process of change can be greatly enhanced and advanced by recognizing the immediate power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in the life of the individual.
In effect, Miller is suggesting that those who diligently seek for the blessings of the Atonement need to, in some degree, "die" as to their mortal experience and allow the blessings of the Resurrection/Atonement become a part of their mortality. Or as the prophet Jarom taught in the Book of Mormon, believers need “to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was” (Jarom 1:11).
Miller’s work will challenge readers to think deeper about their personal efforts to apply the atoning sacrifice of Christ in their "current" lives and not wait for blessings that will come at some future time. The main gist of this treatise is to invite all who believe in Christ to not “put off” applying the gifts and blessings (ordinances and covenants) of the Savior’s work for mankind but to act as if they have already been deemed worthy to receive all the joys that will come with a righteous resurrection.
Miller is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a professor of philosophy at Collin College in Texas.