Alma 42:6-11 (#259)
Why is death essential and, in many ways, a blessing? In what ways can it be a joyful gateway?
6 But behold, it was appointed unto man to die—therefore, as they were cut off from the tree of life they should be cut off from the face of the earth—and man became lost forever, yea, they became fallen man.
7 And now, ye see by this that our first parents were cut off both temporally and spiritually from the presence of the Lord; and thus we see they became subjects to follow after their own will.
8 Now behold, it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.
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.
11 And now remember, my son, if it were not for the plan of redemption, (laying it aside) as soon as they were dead their souls were miserable, being cut off from the presence of the Lord.
If the body’s capacity for normal function, defense, repair, regulation, and regeneration were to prevail without limit, life here would continue in perpetuity. Yes, we would be stranded here on earth! Mercifully for us, our Creator provided for aging and other processes that would ultimately result in our physical death. Death, like birth, is part of life. Scripture teaches that “it was not expedient that man should be reclaimed from this temporal death, for that would destroy the great plan of happiness.” To return to God through the gateway we call death is a joy for those who love Him and are prepared to meet Him.
Elder Russell M. Nelson