If it is inherent within the terms of Jehovah’s covenants with his people Israel and with individuals to deliver them from any mortal threat, then such a threat must include death itself—humanity’s ultimate mortal threat. From the Book of Genesis we learn that death came into the world as a result of Adam and Eve’s transgression in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1–19; cf. Romans 5:14; 2 Nephi 9:6). While that event occurred long before Jehovah had covenanted with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their descendants to be their God and they his people (Exodus 6:7), Isaiah predicts that Jehovah will “abolish death forever” under the terms of his covenants with his people Israel at the time of their restoration: “In this mountain [Jehovah] will destroy the veil that veils all peoples, the shroud that shrouds all nations, by abolishing death forever. My Lord Jehovah will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the reproach of his people from throughout the earth. Jehovah has spoken it (Isaiah 25:7–8).
Under the terms of his covenants with his people Israel, therefore, and with individuals within Israel—not with any other people—has Jehovah bound himself to do away with death in the earth when his people keep his covenants’ terms. Eliminating death, however, constitutes but one, albeit a foundational part of the great reversal of covenant curses Israel’s God implements for his people: “Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then shall the lame leap like deer, and the tongue of the dumb shout for joy. Water shall break forth in the wilderness and streams [flow] in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5–6); “Your sun shall set no more, nor your moon wane: to you Jehovah shall be an endless light when your days of mourning are fulfilled” (Isaiah 60:20). But through what process does Jehovah realize these glorious divine promises that thus impact the entire earth and its inhabitants? By waving a wand without regard for divine law, permitting mercy to overrule justice?
Instead, he who gives the law himself abides by the law. And he requires those with whom he covenants also to abide by the law in order to bring to pass his covenants’ blessings in those with whom he covenants. Isaiah’s Seven-Part Structure delineates the process through which Jehovah brings these blessings to pass. While Part III of the structure (Isaiah 9–12; 41–46) deals mostly with his people’s temporal salvation, Part V (Isaiah 24–27; 48–54)—its chiastic counterpart—deals with their spiritual salvation. (Literary Message of Isaiah, 71–144, 183–240.) Although this spiritual aspect of salvation follows the pattern of the temporal, it is where Jehovah’s role as his people’s Messiah emerges in all its sublime majesty. Sparing not himself, as noted, Israel’s God executes a plan of salvation conceived from before the foundation of the world so that man’s Fall in the Garden of Eden—and humanity’s subsequent mortal state—was not a big mistake but an integral part of God’s design for humanity’s happiness.
That divinely envisioned plan through which God’s children may ascend to higher states of blessedness, however, could not be fulfilled without their corresponding descent into trials of faith and tests of loyalty. In that way does humanity’s mortal condition provide the optimum descent through which it may ultimately ascend to godhood (cf. Psalm 82:6; 2 Peter 1:4). Wading through life’s vicissitudes and temptations, which tend to pull man off the path his Maker has prescribed, becomes a proving ground calculated to facilitate spiritual growth by those who choose the good. Or, to damn those who choose evil, relegating them to a category of adversaries who provide opposition to persons who walk the path of righteousness. Still, as God’s design for his children is at all times based on voluntary choice and not on compulsion, all who descend into mortality must choose to do so. Not just that, they also must choose the trials they undergo that God knows will serve them best on their earthly journey.
(From Endtime Prophecy: A Judeo-Mormon Analysis, pp 281–283)