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Although Lazarus was a close, personal friend, Jesus delayed going to him when He heard he was sick. When Jesus finally did arrive in Bethany, four days later, one of Lazarus' sisters, Martha, said to Him: Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died." (John 11:21.)

Writing of the death of Lazarus and the Savior calling him forth from the tomb, President Joseph Fielding Smith noted:"Christ declared Himself to be the One sent by the Father to bring to pass the redemption from the grave to all men.

"To Martha's pleading at the tomb of Lazarus, the Lord said: `I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.' (John 11:25-26.)

"Here are two thoughts expressed which have appeared confusing to many, yet His meaning is plain," President Smith continued. "As the resurrection and the life, He had power to bring forth from their graves all the children of Adam.

"In giving to those who believed on Him the power that they should never die, He had no reference to the mortal or physical dissolution, but to the second death, which is banishment from the presence of God. This second death, from which the righteous are freed, is the condemnation of those who are consigned to immortality outside the kingdom of God." (Doctrines of Salvation 1:266.)