2 Nephi 2:10- Jacob used the phrase “awful monster” to describe a
condition we all face and the eternal harm that could result from it.
This awful monster has two elements:1. Death of the body2. Death of the spirit
when he used the word hell he referred to “the death of the spirit” which is a person’s separation from the presence of God. In the scriptures, this separation is often referred to as “spiritual death”.
As a result of The Fall of Adam and Eve, all people are cut off from the presence of God and all people will eventually die physically.
Jacob tells us in 2 Nephi 9:7-9 what would happen to us if there were no Atonement and the effects of the Fall remained forever.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,
“If our separation from God and our physical death were permanent, moral agency would mean nothing. Yes, we would be free to make choices, but what would be the point? The end result would always be the same no matter what our actions: death with no hope ofresurrection and no hope of heaven. As good or as bad as we might choose to be, we would all end up ‘angels to a devil.’ [2 Nephi 9:9.]” (“Moral Agency,” Ensign, June 2009, 50).