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Immortality is defined as living forever. It is the gift that Christ gave universally to everyone through the resurrection and is the only gift that applies to everyone here on earth. It differs from the terms Salvation and Exaltation which refer to living forever with God.

The Lord expressed to His prophet:

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39).

The Apostle Paul understood the meaning and breadth of application of the Resurrection. To the Saints at Corinth, he wrote: “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). As the ancient Apostles came to understand, the Resurrection means that one of the gifts of the atonement of Jesus is that all humankind will rise from the dead, that immortality is given to all, that the bars and bands of death have been broken, and that the enemy called death is destroyed. Amulek declared, “The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time. Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous” (Alma 11:43–44).[1]

Elder Neal A. Maxwell clarified that all men and women who dwell on the earth are immortal beings because of the universal gift of the resurrection:

When striving disciples reflect deeply upon this mortal experience, it becomes clear that we are all immortal individuals whose ever-present challenge is to apply immortal principles to life’s constantly changing situations. With this perspective, we can improve our daily performances because we fix our gaze on eternity and its great realities.[2]

C.S. Lewis said,

“It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit” [3]
The command Be ye perfect is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He [Christ] is going to make us creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were ‘Gods’ and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what He said." [4]

Immortality does not just refer to life extending forward from mortal life on earth into the resurrection. Life for all beings also extended immortally into the past:

  • The promise of life beyond the grave also gives us a different perspective on the other boundary of our mortal existence: our birth (see Pre-Mortal Life). As we learn we are immortal creatures, we realize that life, which does not end with the grave, does not begin with the cradle either. We lived before we came to this earth. We come from afar, and if we are true and faithful, we may return to celestial halls to live again with the mighty God who is the Father of our spirits. God’s Holy Son, our Savior, whose glorious resurrection makes it all possible, will be there to encircle us “in the arms of [his] love” (see Doctrine and Covenants 6:20).
  • Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be (Doctrine and Covenants 93:29).
Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones (Abraham 3:22).
I [Christ] dwell in the midst of them all; I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen (Abraham 3:21).

Thus, men existed as intelligences before they were created (organized) as the spirit-children of God. Thus, they existed spiritually before they received corruptible bodies through birth into the world. Thus, they receive immortal, incorruptible bodies at the resurrection, because of Christ's atonement, hopefully to achieve exaltation in the kingdom of God.


  1. Alexander B. Morrison, “‘I Am the Resurrection and the Life’,” Ensign, Apr 1995, 36.
  2. Neal A. Maxwell, “The Pathway of Discipleship,” Ensign, Sep 1998, 7.
  3. C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, 1980, 19.
  4. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, London: Fount Paperbacks, 1977, p. 172.

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Immortality through the resurrection