Dear Boys and Girls,
I have lived eighty-one years on this earth, and during that time I have seen some very close friends die. Some of these friends have shared with me the greatest labor in the world as special witnesses for Jesus Christ.
Through the resurrection of our Lord and by revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith and other modern prophets, we know that life does not end at death when our bodies are buried in the earth. But our spirits, which give life to our bodies, continue to live in the spirit world, where we may associate again with family and friends.
In the world of spirits the gospel is preached to millions of people who never had an opportunity to hear it while on the earth. The preaching of the gospel there is a more intense activity than it is here, and the ministers of the Lord number in the tens of thousands.
If we live good lives on earth and keep the commandments of the Lord, life on the other side of the veil will be glorious. The Lord described it as paradise—a place where there is much joy and happiness instead of worries and heartaches. But as beautiful as the spirit world is for those who are righteous, life does not endlessly continue there. In time, our spirits must be joined again to our bodies to obtain complete joy. This is called the resurrection.
Three days after Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb, He took His body up again. By doing so He overcame death for every other individual so that we, too, will live after this life. This is what He meant when He said that “because I live, ye shall live also.” (John 14:19.)
Even though death may come to our loved ones and friends, we know that in the spirit world they are happy, removed from the sorrows and tears of mortal life. They now understand much more clearly the purpose of our Heavenly Father’s plan and that they will live eternally. Someday we will know them again, for we all will come forth as Jesus did with perfected bodies.
I want to bear my testimony to you, my young brothers and sisters, that I know that because Jesus lives today with a perfected body of flesh and bones we too will live the same way. He is our Savior and our Redeemer—He redeemed us from death. He was born a baby and grew to manhood. He lived a perfect life. He was later crucified on Calvary. His body was laid in a borrowed tomb. On the third day there was a great earthquake, and the stone was rolled back from the door of the tomb. Some of the women among the devoted of His followers came to the place with spices “and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.” (Luke 24:3.) Angels then appeared and said simply, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen. …” (Luke 24:5, 6.) The reason His body was not there is that He had been resurrected. Because of that, we too will live forever!
The most wonderful announcement in all history was this: “He is not here, but is risen,” and of this I testify to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
Ezra Taft Benson