Illustrations by Michael T. Malm
Coping with the loss of a loved one is not easy, but through the gospel of
Jesus Christ we can be comforted. Here, three Latter-day Saints share how the hymns gave them solace as they faced the death of family members.
Darkness of Death Dispelled
“The darkness of death can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth. ‘I am the
resurrection, and the life,’ spoke the Master. ‘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].”
President Thomas S. Monson, “Finding Peace,”
Ensign, Mar. 2004, 7.
Death Is the Passage Home
“Eternal perspective provides peace ‘which passeth all understanding.’ (
Philip. 4:7.) In speaking at a funeral of a loved one, the Prophet Joseph Smith offered this admonition: ‘When we lose a near and dear friend, upon whom we have set our hearts, it should be a caution unto us. … Our affections should be placed upon God and His work, more intensely than upon our fellow beings.’ ( Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 216.)“
Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body. Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. ‘This life [was to become] a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God.’ (
Alma 12:24.) But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long-awaited trip, just as we do now. Before embarking on any journey, we like to have some assurance of a round-trip ticket. Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Cor. 6:9.) As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.”
Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Doors of Death,” Ensign, May 1992, 72.