Monday, April 21, 2008

Immortality - Eternal life

Post by Ammon

I am going to make a lot of assumptions as to your understanding and knowledge so that I don't have to do a lot of explaining. I apologize if you are not able to follow this and get lost. If yo uhave questions ask and then I'll explain.

As I read through Russell M. Nelson's talk, Salvation and Exaltation, from this past general conference I came across the following two paragraphs.

Resurrection, or immortality comes to every man and every woman as an unconditional gift.

Eternal life, or celestial glory or exaltation, is a conditional gift. …eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

This makes a clear distinction between immortality and eternal life. I would have to say that most of the time these are used together and rarely compared to one another. Did you know there was a difference? Do you know what that difference is? This got me thinking as after some brief research I have found a few interesting tidbits.

Immortality, to my understanding, is to basically not end. If you are immortal you don't end. To contrast this, eternal life is to continue. I'm sure this made things clear as mud. The thing you have to keep in mind is the "life" part. "Eternal life" describes what is going to continue. The example I got in my head to be able to grasp this mind puzzling phenomenon is this:

A rock cannot die, it is immortal. This does not mean that the rock has life. Those that only receive immortality only will not die; this does not mean they have continuing life. Life constitutes growth, adaptation, and most importantly reproduction. Those that meet the conditions to obtain this "greatest of all gifts" are those that will get to have continuing life, without beginning or end, eternal life.

1 friends stopped by:

Joni Dew said...

I think one more distinction needs to be made. Eternal life not only means we continue to have life but it explains where that life will take place. Christ said he is "the way, the true, and the life" So he is life. Eternal life is eternally with that which is life, Christ.
I learned this in a great talk by Jack R. Christianson called the Mortal Christ. (Mom has a copy of it and I recommend it)

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