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and this befell him in the very day of his transgression, as he had been warned it would. Bodily death, though an unescapable result, was nevertheless secondary, and was deferred until Adam had reached the age of 930 years.
As eternal life consists in knowing God and His Son Jesus Christ (John 17:3; Doctrine and Covenants 132:24), so eternal condemnation or spiritual death is essentially banishment from the Divine presence, with corresponding forfeiture of glory and power appertaining to exaltation. The word of latter-day revelation, relating to Adam's spiritual death, and to the final or as we call it, the second death, which is reserved for the ungodly, runs as follows: "Wherefore I the Lord God caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually dead, which is the first death, even that same death, which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say, Depart, ye cursed." (Doctrine and Covenants 29:41.)
The Lamanite prophet, Samuel, had a clear understanding of the matter, as thus expressed: "But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord. Yea, and it bringeth to pass the condition of repentance, that whosoever repenteth, the same is not hewn down and cast into the fire; but whosoever repenteth not, is hewn down and cast into the fire, and there cometh upon them again a spiritual death, yea, a second death, for they are cut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness." (Book of Mormon, Helaman 14:17-18.)
We are assured that all who win place and part in the first resurrection-distinctively the resurrection of the just -shall be exempt from the second death, and shall find
their way open to exaltation in the presence of God.
There is a place or condition of punishment even deeper than hell. This is prepared for those who have sinned most grievously, who have received the testimony of Christ and afterward wilfully and with consciousness of what they were doing, have surrendered themselves to the power and service of Satan. "They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born. . . . These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels, and the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power." (Doctrine and Covenants 76:32-37.)
As Old as Adam
HE old Anglo-Saxon words "god" and "spel," from which our Anglicized term Gospel is a lineal descendant, signified in combination "the good news of God." In a theological sense, and indeed according to common usage, "The Gospel" is thus defined: "Good news or tidings, espe cially the announcement of the salvation of men through the atoning death of Jesus Christ." (Stand. Dict.)
It is noteworthy that the word does not occur in the Old Testament, which is usually regarded as the record, in part, of the Semitic peoples, and of God's dealings with them through the medium of the Mosaic Law. The definite distinction between this Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is strikingly illustrated by the segregation of the Holy Bible into Old and New Testaments.
The teachings of Christ and later those of the Apostles emphasized the superiority of the Gospel over the Law, which latter was likened by Paul to a schoolmaster whose function was to discipline, train and instruct, in preparation for the greater revelation of the Gospel. See Gal. 3:23-29. These and other kindred facts have led to the erroneous assumption that the Gospel was first revealed to mankind when Christ came in the flesh.
Nevertheless, the Gospel, comprising not alone precepts but the accompanying authority of the Holy Priesthood to administer ordinances, was preached to men in the earliest period of human history. The necessity of (1) faith in the then unembodied but chosen and ordained Savior of mankind, (2) the indispensability of repentance as a means leading to remission of sins, (3) the Divine requirement of baptism by immersion in water, and (4) spiritual baptism through the power of the Holy Ghost-which constitute the fundamental principles and ordinances of the Gospel-was preached and administered to Adam, the patriarch of the race, and by him to his posterity. Through a revelation to Moses this is recorded of Adam, following the Fall: "And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam saying. Thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son for evermore. And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the Father and the Son, saying: I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning, henceforth and for ever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed, and all mankind, even as many as will." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 20.)
As wickedness increased among men "God cursed the earth with a sore curse and was angry with the wicked, with all
the sons of men whom He had made. For they would not hearken unto His voice, nor believe on His Only Begotten Son, even Him whom He declared should come in the meridian of time, who was prepared from before the foundation of the world. And thus the Gospel began to be preached, from the beginning, being declared by holy angels sent forth from the presence of God, and by His own voice, and by the gift of the Holy Ghost." (p. 26.)
The prophet Enoch testified further: "But God hath made known unto our fathers that all men must repent. And He called upon our father Adam by His own voice, saying: . . If thou wilt turn unto me, and hearken unto my voice, and believe, and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized, even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven whereby salvation shall come unto the chidren of men, ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (p. 33).
Enoch taught the same Gospel and administered baptism to repentant believers, and Noah, duly ordained, labored in similar ministry: "And it came to pass that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying: Hearken, and give heed unto my words. Believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; and if ye do not this, the floods will come in upon you; nevertheless they hearkened not." (p. 48).
So, from Adam to the Deluge, which came because of the unbelief and apostasy of the race, the ordinances of the Gospel were known and administered. Reverting to Biblical Scripture we read that the Gospel was preached unto Abraham, with the assurance that all who would abide therein
should be accounted as Abraham's children. See Gal. 3:618. Through the prophet Joseph Smith a fuller account of Jehovah's promise to Abraham is given us, the Lord saying: "I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father"; and the particularity of the blessing wherein all families of the earth might share through the lineage of Abraham was to be "the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal." (Pearl of Great Price, p. 58).
As Abraham's posterity became sinful, the lesser law, which when codified came to be known as the Law of Moses, was prescribed instead of the Gospel, which had been preached aforetime and which was later taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. Following the apostolic administration apostasy again darkened the world; and now, in the current or last dispensation, the Gospel has been restored anew with all its ancient authority, power, and blessings. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims these glad tidings to the world. This Gospel is new only in the fact of its restoration to earth according to prophecy. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which was preached to and by Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and a host of other men of God who ministered anciently; it is the Gospel that was taught by the Savior Himself and by His Apostles; it is the Eternal Gospel brought again to earth in preparation for the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ.