Saturday, January 24, 2009

Preach My Gospel and no death before the fall

The missionary guide, Preach My Gospel, sets forth doctrines that LDS missionaries are expected to study and teach. Twenty eight times, missionaries are directed by Preach My Gospel to read and become familiar with ideas found in the LDS Bible Dictionary. [1]

The Scripture Study section on page 52 asks missionaries to study the Bible Dictionary entry for "Death" which states explicitly: "Latter-day revelation teaches that there was no death on this earth for any forms of life before the fall of Adam. Indeed, death entered the world as a direct result of the fall (2 Ne. 2:22; Moses 6:48)."

Preach My Gospel also directs missionaries 10 times to read and become familiar with ideas found in True to the Faith. [2]

Three passages in True to the Faith that teach no death before the fall were discussed in an article posted on this blog May 15, 2005.

Origin of Preach My Gospel

"Intensive effort on the part of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, other General Authorities, and most capable teams of devoted, experienced staff members produced Preach My Gospel and its planning tools. Those who participated in its development are witnesses of the inspired direction of the Lord through the Holy Ghost in the conception, framing, and finalization of the materials in Preach My Gospel.

"After extensive testing in 14 missions, Preach My Gospel was adjusted. That result was reviewed, modified, and approved by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve." (Richard G. Scott, "The Power of Preach My Gospel," Ensign, May 2005, p.30.)

Scripture Study


[1] Three times on page 14, twice on page 23, twice on page 42, twice on page 52, and twice on page 90. See also pages 21, 24, 25, 34, 62, 63, 66, 73, 91, 92, 93, 95, 106, 117, 118, 119, and 182.

[2] See pages viii, 21, 35, 92, 117, 165, 171, 182, 221, and 228.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

No death during the millennium

The LDS Church defines physical death in its Guide to the Scriptures as "the separation of the body and the spirit." The First Presidency, in its "doctrinal guidebook" (indentified as such in Ensign, Apr. 2004, p.79), elaborates:

"When the physical body dies, the spirit continues to live....

"Because of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, physical death is only temporary: 'As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive' (1 Cor. 5:22). Everyone will be resurrected, meaning that every person's spirit will be reunited with his or her body—'restored to their proper and perfect frame' and no longer subject to death (Alma 40:23; see also Alma 11:44–45)." (True to the Faith, pp.46-47.)

Being "changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality" (3 Ne 28:8) is not death as described above. For example, during that change the body "shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye." (D&C 101:31.) Thus this change involves both death and resurrection. In fact, it is a transition directly through death to resurrection. This change, therefore, is not the death spoken of in D&C 101:29 which says that during the Millennium "there shall be no sorrow because there is no death."

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