I believe that Jesus Christ is my savior. Lately I have come to better understand what that really means — “Savior.” I began to look at the role of a savior in general terms. Perhaps it is easier to grasp if you have acted as a savior for someone else, where you have had to experience some suffering. I believe that many of us came to this earth to learn about the proxy savior role. And as you come to understand this you suddenly understand how and why Christ suffered for your sins.
You will see this savior-role in the vassal-king covenant relationships of the Bible. It’s an overwhelming concept. But I think we get a taste of what it is when we suffer; especially when we willingly suffer for someone else. Women understand this concept, as they are willing to bring souls into this life through difficulty and pain (yet this brings unaccountable joy and happiness.) Many parents would willingly agree to suffer for their child in sickness, were it possible. It’s about a type of love called charity, which involves doing something for someone who cannot do it for himself.
The Savior Jesus Christ is the King of kings — meaning that he is the King over subservient kings that receive their protection from Him. There is a hierarchy to the vassal-king relationship — the king provides protection to those in his kingdom. It’s not about power to rule over those in his kingdom — it’s about suffering for them — suffering for their sins and iniquities. When the king takes responsibility for his people through suffering, the King of kings provides protection and saves them through the power of a covenant relationship.
Joseph Smith taught this principle and Orson Hyde wrote about it in an editorial (Orson Hyde, “A Diagram of the Kingdom of God”, Millennial Star 9, January 15, 1847, p 23-24) See the diagram at the end of this post. Once understood, you will see the vassal-king relationship throughout history, and even in the micro-lives of people around us. To a great degree, the vassal-king relationship is one of the plain and precious truths that has been lost from our scriptures.
I was watching “The Crown” — specifically the part where the Priest of the Church of England anoints Elizabeth “Queen” — a sacred part of the crowning ceremony. When Elizabeth is being anointed Queen, a canopy is over her head to veil the sacredness of the ordinance — while being televised, in fact, the screen went black during that part of the ceremony. The brother of the previous king explains that this is too sacred for mortal eyes:
Footage from the actual Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953: