Death is not the end!

Indeed, it's just the beginning.

December 28, 2022

We truly are all children of heavenly parents! Just like loving earthly parents, they attend all our soccer games, we just don't hear their cheers. They are with us during all our hard times, but we can't see their tears. This life requires that we operate on Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in our Heavenly Father's perfect plan of happiness.

President Nelson gave a wonderful talk in April 1992 General Conference in which he spoke of "Doors of Death". I share some of his words:

Death separates “the spirit and the body [which] are the soul of man.” (D&C 88:15) That separation evokes pangs of sorrow and shock among those left behind. The hurt is real. Only its intensity varies. Some doors are heavier than others... Even when the elderly or infirm have been afforded merciful relief, their loved ones are rarely ready to let go. The only length of life that seems to satisfy the longings of the human heart is life everlasting.

Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment: “Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.” (D&C 42:45.)

Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.

Our limited perspective would be enlarged if we could witness the reunion on the other side of the veil, when doors of death open to those returning home. Such was the vision of the psalmist who wrote, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Ps. 116:15.)

The Book of Mormon includes the writings of the prophet Alma, who wrote:

Concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me...that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body...are taken home to that God who gave them life... The spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace. (Alma 40:11–12.)

Jacob, another prophet whose writings are found in The Book of Mormon, speaking of the "infinite Atonement" of Jesus Christ, which includes a universal resurrection, wrote that the “paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls.” (2 Ne. 9:13.)

Perhaps the most comforting thing to consider at such a time as this is President Nelson's promise that:

Loving relationships continue beyond the doors of death and judgment. Family ties endure because of [sealing ordinances performed] in the temple. Their importance cannot be overstated.

Such sealing ordinances bring with them the possibility of eternal life in the celestial realm of our Heavenly Father. The terms of qualifying for eternal life are simple, but not easy. After following the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized of water and of the spirit, we are to:

2 Nephi 31:20 forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

For most of us, it's the enduring-to-the-end that is the challenge of a lifetime. Though we all have struggles, we can minister to others along our way, using the gifts and talents God has bestowed on us to bless others. Death is not the end! Elder Neal A. Maxwell probably said it best:

"In Gospel grammar, death is not an exclamation point, merely a comma."

I testify that Jesus is the Living Christ, that he did come to earth as a baby, just like we did, and that he was baptized and did all things to show us the way back home to God. He took our sins and our hardships upon himself, making it possible for us to repent and be resurrected one day. I share this testimony with you in His name, even the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Michael Whatcott