CARLTON - We know through revelation that spiritual death or separation from the Father occurred due to the fall of Adam. The Father now only speaks to introduce His Son. Correct? Will you please shed some light on His interaction with Mary and the whole spiritual death separation thing? To be clear, I know that Christ is the Only Begotten. This is NOT a "physical" question. The term, "Only Begotten" speaks for itself. My question only revolves around the spiritual death principle, and this sacred moment.
JOEL - There are two different forms of spiritual death:
1. That which resulted from the Fall of Adam causing a Separation of man from God
2. Our own disobedience which causes us to die spiritually inside our souls
Adam and Eve suffered both types of spiritual death as a result of the Fall; meaing that they were both physically and spiritually removed form the presence of God as a result of their disobedience. As the offspring of Adam we also are separated from direct access to God and suffer spiritually as soon as we reach the moment of accountability and begin to commit sin. We remain spiritually dead at least until we have been baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. Redemption from this spiritual death is made possible through the atoning sacrifice of Christ.
President Joseph F. Smith said:
"Adam was taught faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, who should come in the meridian of time and take away the sins of the world, and was thus given a chance to be redeemed from the spiritual death before he should die the temporal death.
"Now, all the world today, I am sorry to say, with the exception of a handful of people who have obeyed the new and everlasting covenant, are suffering this spiritual death. They are cast out from the presence of God. They are without God, without gospel truth, and without the power of redemption; for they know not God nor his gospel. In order that they may be redeemed and saved from the spiritual death which has spread over the world like a pall, they must repent of their sins, and be baptized by one having authority, for the remission of their sins, that they may be born of God." (Conference Report 1899 Oct:72)
Joseph Fielding Smith said:
"Those who have suffered the first spiritual death or departure, which is a shutting out from the presence of God, have the privilege of being redeemed from this death through obedience to the principles of the gospel. Through baptism and confirmation they are born again and thus come back into spiritual life, and through their continued obedience to the end, they shall be made partakers of the blessings of eternal life in the celestial kingdom of God." (Doctrines of Salvation)
So according to both of these prophets this spiritual death is not a permanent condition with man. Like Adam man can be saved from it during this mortal life through repentence, baptism, and righteous living. Righteous living will also close the physical gap between God and man (John 6: 46). God the Father has appeared to a few others in this life besides Mary; Stephen (Acts 7: 56) and Joseph Smith (JSH) are a couple who come to mind.
All faithful saints will finally overcome the physical separation from the Father when we are finally resurrected and join Him in the Celestial Kingdom.
At the time Heavenly Father visited Mary and carried her away in the spirit and in some way unknown to us placed his seed within her womb, we can obviously conclude that she was not suffering from either form of spiritual death (1 Ne. 11:18-19.) . Mary's favored status came as a direct result of her righteousness and forordination in the premortal world and the holy way in which she conducted herself here in this second estate. Her righteousness and the presence of the Holy Ghost made it possible for her to overcome both the physical and spiritual separation from God the Father making it possible to be with Him when Jesus was conceived.
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