What Joseph Taught: Comfort at the Time of Death


The Prophet Joseph Smith knew that the plan of salvation can console us when a loved one dies.

Comfort at the Time of Death

During his life Joseph Smith suffered the loss of many close relatives and friends, including his father, six children, and three brothers. Yet he also gained great comfort from the many revelations he received regarding life after death. Here are some of his teachings on this topic.

Death Is a Temporary Separation

“When I talk to these mourners, what have they lost? Their relatives and friends are only separated from their bodies for a short season: their spirits which existed with God have left the tabernacle of clay only for a little moment, as it were; and they now exist in a place where they converse together the same as we do on the earth.”

“The expectation of seeing my friends in the morning of the resurrection cheers my soul and makes me bear up against the evils of life.”

The Death of Small Children

“I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us. … The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.”

“Children … must rise just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory—the same loveliness in the celestial glory.”

Trust in God

“It has been hard for me to live on earth and see … young men … taken from us in the midst of their youth. Yes, it has been hard to be reconciled to these things. … Yet I know we ought to be still and know it is of God, and be reconciled to His will; all is right.”

From Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 174–78.

Photo illustration by Robert Casey