Wherefore, it came to pass that the devil tempted Adam, and he partook of the forbidden fruit and transgressed the commandment, wherein he became subject to the will of the devil, because he yielded unto temptation. 41 Wherefore, I, the Lord God, caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Eden, from my presence, because of his transgression, wherein he became spiritually dead, which is the first death, even that same death which is the last death, which is spiritual, which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say: Depart, ye cursed.
Some interesting things pop as as I read this scripture. Namely vs 41 that says it's possible to be mortally alive, as in your physiology functioning actively, and being coherent (to one degree or another), yet be spiritually dead at the same time. So a person can be "dead" yet "alive". Or "alive", and yet "dead".
This is from the Guide to the Scriptures on LDS.org: "Spiritual death was introduced into the world by the fall of Adam (Moses 6:48). Mortals with evil thoughts, words, and works are spiritually dead while still alive on earth (1 Tim. 5:6). Through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by obedience to the principles and ordinances of the gospel, men and women can become clean from sin and overcome spiritual death." -end quote.
Is it possible there is spiritual death all around? Are we asleep? Is it pride that withholds the realizations of our state? A doctor may call someone alive, but from a different point of view, that may not be the full picture.
This concept goes back to the Garden of Eden. Where Adam fell. This of course has a striking connection to each of us individually, but I'm not going to go into that. The point is when Adam fell, he became spiritually dead, D&C 29:40–41, 44. We all now live in a fallen world. All of us need to address this spiritual reality at some point in our own mortality. According to the scripture, God sends angels declaring repentance and redemption so the dead may become reanimated.
All of us need repentance and redemption. So according to the scripture all of us need to be ministered to at some point by (an) Angel(s) who declare such things. Mosiah 2:40 speaks to all who have transgressed, young and old, and invites an "awaking". So apparently we're asleep. Repentance then has to do with waking up (Alma 5:7). But we're not compelled (Alma 42:27). Everyone gets to choose.
We are each invited to be reborn, and become alive again through Christ Jesus and the Atonement. To then be both alive, and alive, so to speak. Until that time, it would make sense that a person is has a body that functions yet is "asleep", to use a scriptural term. Hence all the scriptures teachings to "awaken" and "arise". Two separate things. I don't think they are talking about getting out of bed in the morning. Although that's probably one interesting way to think about it. It's kinda interesting that waking up from a deep sleep when you don't want to be woken up can be unpleasant for all parties involved. No one likes that. What in interesting correlation. Food for thought.
As I'm writing this I got to thinking about last post about how a "living" prophet is more important to us than a "dead" prophet. Now this is could get really interesting in the context of this post. But again, topic for another day.
This is from the Gospel of Philip (from The Nag Hammadi Library): "A gentile does not die, never having been alive so as to die. One who has believed in truth is alive, but this person is at risk of dying just by being alive."
So how do you tell if a person is spiritually dead or alive? How do you tell if YOU are spiritually dead or alive? Personal evaluation is what deserves first priority. How does one awaken to a reality one may not be aware of? If you're awake you probably know the answer to that question. But can someone wake up if they are convinced they are not asleep? Ether 8:24 speaks of awakening to our "awful situation". This I think was meant for us.
Well...... now I may have probed way too deep down the rabbit hole for most readers but.... what an interesting direction this Gospel of Jesus Christ can offer us. "Awake and arise" indeed.