A Spiritual Death – Alma 42:9-10

9 Therefore, as the soul could never die, and the fall had brought upon all mankind a spiritual death as well as a temporal, that is, they were cut off from the presence of the Lord, it was expedient that mankind should be reclaimed from this spiritual death.
10 Therefore, as they had become carnal, sensual, and devilish, by nature, this probationary state became a state for them to prepare; it became a preparatory state.

What is spiritual death? As Alma explains above, it means being separated from God. The Fall separated us from God in at least two ways:

  1. We don’t live in God’s presence as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden (D&C 29:41). Our contact with Him is primarily through the Holy Ghost.
  2. Because of our sins, we are unworthy to live in His presence eternally. “No unclean thing can dwell with God” (1 Nephi 10:21).

We will all overcome spiritual death in one sense: because of the Atonement, we will all be brought back into the presence of God to be judged (Alma 42:23). However, because of our sins, we may not yet be prepared to overcome spiritual death permanently. We need time to prepare. That’s why God placed “cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the tree of life” (Alma 42:2). He wanted to prevent Adam and Eve from being restored immediately to His presence, before they were ready. This mortal life became both a test (a probationary state) and a time to mature and grow (a preparatory state). If we use this time wisely, if we choose to repent and to “partake of the waters of life” (Alma 42:27), then our restoration to the presence of God will result in our overcoming spiritual death permanently, and we will be able to dwell in His presence forever.
Today, I will use my time of preparation wisely. I will ask Heavenly Father to help me know what I need to do differently. I will repent and improve. I will reach out to Him and seek to lessen my separation from Him, so that when I am restored to His presence, I will be able to stay.

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