Ye Shall Never Endure the Pains of Death Butshall Be Changed in the Twinkling of an Eye

Bryan Richards

Bruce R. McConkie

“Will translated beings ever die?…note that Jesus promises the Three Nephites, not that they shall not die, but that they ‘shall never taste of death’ and shall not ’endure the pains of death.’ Again it is an enigmatic declaration with a hidden meaning. There is a distinction between death as we know it and tasting of death or enduring the pains of death. As a matter of doctrine, death is universal; every mortal thing, whether plant or animal or man, shall surely die. Jacob said: ’Death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator.’ (2 Ne. 9:6.) There are no exceptions, not even among translated beings. Paul said: ’As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ (1 Cor. 15:22.) Again the dominion of death over all is acclaimed. But the Lord says of all his saints, not that they will not die, but that ’those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them; And they that die not in me, wo unto them, for their death is bitter.’ (D&C 42:46-47.) The distinction is between dying as such and tasting of death itself. Again the Lord says: ’He that liveth when the Lord shall come, and hath kept the faith, blessed is he; nevertheless, it is appointed to him to die at the age of man. Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye.’ (D&C 63:50-51.) Thus, this change from mortality to immortality, though almost instantaneous, is both a death and a resurrection. Thus, translated beings do not suffer death as we normally define it, meaning the separation of body and spirit; nor do they receive a resurrection as we ordinarily describe it, meaning that the body rises from the dust and the spirit enters again into its fleshly home. But they do pass through death and are changed from mortality to immortality, in the eternal sense, and they thus both die and are resurrected in the eternal sense. This, we might add, is why Paul wrote: ’Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.’ (1 Cor. 15:51-52.)” (The Mortal Messiah, book 4, p. 389)