“Death . . . Important in the Welfare of Man”
2 Nephi 9:4–6
4 For I know that ye have searched much, many of you, to know of things to come; wherefore I know that ye know that our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God.
5 Yea, I know that ye know that in the body he shall show himself unto those at Jerusalem, from whence we came; for it is expedient that it should be among them; for it behooveth the great Creator that he suffereth himself to become subject unto man in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.
6 For as death hath passed upon all men, to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator, there must needs be a power of resurrection, and the resurrection must needs come unto man by reason of the fall; and the fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
President Joseph Fielding Smith said:
“Death is just as important in the welfare of man as is birth. There is no greater blessing that can come than the blessing of birth. One third of the hosts of heaven, because of rebellion, were denied that privilege, and hence they have no bodies of flesh and bones, that great gift of God.
“But who would like to live forever in this mundane world, filled with pain, decay, sorrow, and tribulation, and grow old and infirm and yet have to remain with all the vicissitudes of mortality? I think all of us would come to the conclusion, if that proposition were placed before us, that we would not like to have it. We would reject it. We would not want life of that nature. Life here in this world is short of necessity, and yet all that is required may be accomplished, but death is just as important in the plan of salvation as birth is. We have to die—it is essential—and death comes into the world ‘to fulfil the merciful plan of the great Creator’ [2 Nephi 9:6].”
(Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 1:116.)