Purpose of Death

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Continuing my study in 2 Nephi, chapter nine this morning, I was pondering the sixth verse.

For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.

The part I contemplated the most was how exactly death fulfils God’s plan. Here’s what I came up with.

  1. Death offers an opportunity for the spirits of those who have not accepted the gospel a chance to hear it and accept it
  2. It tests our faith. Some of us might question the existence of an afterlife as we get closer to death.
  3. It provides a trial for the loved ones of the deceased that may not have been possible in the pre-mortal existence.

Are there others?

7 thoughts on “Purpose of Death

  1. It ensures that there is an end to this miserable fallen existence and establishes a period of probation.

    It allows us to get rid of a fallen body in exchange for a way better one.

  2. If you buy Heidegger’s argument in Being and Time death is what enables us to understand finitude, something which presumably we couldn’t prior to this life.

  3. Grasshopper,

    I understand where you are coming from, but why does there have to be death? Why can we not be transformed from mortal to immortal? Presumably, it happened the other way around for Adam & Eve. I am not sure death itself ensures an end to the fallen existence any more than simply becoming immortal instantly would.

  4. Here’s my odd two cents worth. I think that we have provisional bodies beacuse our sins mess them up. We have to shed them because we need to start over. In the eternities, we will have proven exactly how much freedom we can have and still use our bodies without messing them up. that way God can give us the freedom we deserve in the ressurection without fearing that we will messup our eternal bodies and the joy that comes from body and spirit inseparably connected.
    I have absolutely no particular reason to believe this other than it makes sense to me, so don’t take it on my say so.

  5. It’s interesting as we look at this on a longer continuum.
    We go from intelligence to spirit (some will disagree with this), and from spirit to mortal without a death occuriing. Then we leave mortality back to spirit and lay the mortal body down.
    There must be some other factors (ordinances?)involved or performed before our mortal bodies can be resurrected and be capable of existing in another dimension.

  6. This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Russell M. Nelson:

    “Even though our Creator endowed us with this incredible power, He consigned a counterbalancing gift to our bodies. It is the blessing of aging, with visible reminders that we are mortal beings destined one day to leave this “frail existence.” Our bodies change every day. As we grow older, our broad chests and narrow waists have a tendency to trade places. We get wrinkles, lose color in our hair—even the hair itself—to remind us that we are mortal children of God, with a ‘manufacturer’s guarantee’ that we shall not be stranded upon the earth forever.” (“The Atonement,” General Conference, November 1996.)

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