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Question #89267 posted on 04/20/2017 6:44 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why does Lehi say this:

"That ye may not be cursed with a sore cursing; and also, that ye may not incur the displeasure of a just God upon you, unto the destruction, yea, the eternal destruction of both soul and body." 2 Ne. 1:22

Is he saying being sent to a lower kingdom is like destruction? How is the body, spirit, or soul eternally destroyed by damnation and forfeiting exaltation?

-Michael

A:

Dear Michael,

To me this seems like a scripture that, had other later prophets elaborated on, some more specific answers and theology might have arisen to take it into account. But it's sort of a hanging statement that we can do some hand waving to fit it into some other general explanations we have about the (still poorly understood) aspects of resurrection and kingdoms of glory. Certainly none of these are definitive, or are necessarily things I think are accurate, but they could fit into typical narratives: 

  • Anything not with God the Father in the highest kingdom of the Celestial kingdom does not result in progress. Lack of progress is damnation. Stagnancy is the same as cessation which is a form of destruction (the thing can't be what it was supposed to be).
  • Anything not with God the Father in the highest kingdom of the Celestial kingdom does not result in eternal offspring. If this, Eternal Life with God and propagation of new progeny, has to do with something to do with the state of our bodies, so your body is different than it could've been.
What I actually think is happening? The concept of eternal life, judgment, kingdoms etc. is something we don't have as many details as we think we do. It's no wonder most of Christianity for most of history has a clear-cut "heaven or hell" mentality - that's simply how a lot of prophets/writers saw things. I think it's fine to cut Lehi some slack for implying something, the annihilation of soul and body, that later didn't hold up.
 
- Rating Pending (who was always surprised that of all their many better songs, Death Cab for Cutie's song "Where Soul Meets Body" was one of their first big singles)