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"Cut Off from the Presence of the Lord," 2 Nephi 9:4-9

2 Nephi 9:4-9

In these verses, salvation is defined as a return to the presence of God in our bodies. Verse 4 reads, "Our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God." Job echos a very similar sentiment in the Old Testament, "And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God," (Job 19:26).

Jacob is covering a great deal of information in these verses. In explaining the importance or need for an infinite (all-encompassing) atonement, Jacob illustrates the effects of the fall.

(This is something that I don't think I've ever fully comprehended in part because I've never fully experienced it. That is, throughout my life in some form or other, I have known the goodness of God to pad the effects of the fall. I suspect that so it is with most people. Perhaps then the only way to fully comprehend the effects of a separation from God's presence is through prophetic utterance. )

Jacob explains that without an atonement, the effects of the fall must have continued indefinitely. What's more, if death were a permanent state of being after this life, where the body and spirit remained separated out of the presence of God, then we are no better off than the devil himself, a disembodied spirit who will never return back to the presence of God. So in other words, separated from the presence of God, once we die, we become spirits left in darkness.