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Your Questions & Answers

Following the example set by the question-and-answer columns in the early Journals, when Mary Baker Eddy was Editor, this column will respond to general queries from Journal readers with responses from Journal readers. You’ll find information at the end of the column about how to submit questions. Readers are also encouraged to go to Chapter III of Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, by Mary Baker Eddy — “Questions and Answers.”

If a man’s body is completely destroyed in a fire, is he still ashes immediately after death?

From the June 2012 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Q: Mary Baker Eddy states that Jesus demonstrated that the body was “. . . no more perfect because of death and no less material until the ascension . . .” (Science and Health, p. 314).  She also states, “As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change” (Science and Health, p. 291).  Wouldn’t this imply that if one’s body is completely destroyed in a fire, he is still ashes immediately after death, “until probation and growth shall effect the needed change”?
—A reader in Idaho, US

A: “Mom, is it true, as the Bible says, that man came from dust and returns to dust?” Her mom agreed, and her daughter replied, “Well, there is someone coming or going under my bed!” 

Unlike this little story, which my dad told me years ago, the fact is that man is not made up of matter, dust, or ashes. Man is spiritual. However, the Bible tells us, “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Each of us is spiritual, but to prove this, our thoughts, including our concept of “body,” need to be spiritualized. 

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