Chapter 35: Life after Death

"Chapter 35: Life after Death," Part Ten: Life after Death, ()


How can we prepare for the next life?

Our Spirits Live After We Die

We are the spirit children of our Father in Heaven. While we lived with Him in heaven as spirits, we did not have physical bodies. It was part of His plan for us to be born on this earth and for our spirits to receive bodies of flesh and bones. Our spirits are what gives life to our physical bodies while we live on the earth.

Just as to be born was a part of our Father in Heaven’s plan for us, another part of His plan is for us to die. When we die, our spirits leave our bodies. Without the spirit, the body has no life and is placed in a grave.

But our spirits lived before our birth, and they will continue to live after death. When we die, our spirits will go to the spirit world to wait for the resurrection, while the body remains in the grave.

In the spirit world our spirits will have the same form as when we lived on the earth with bodies of flesh and bones. We will look as we do here. We will think the same way and believe the same things as we did here. Those who are righteous in this life will still be righteous. Those who were unrighteous will still be unrighteous. We will have the same desires after we die as we had while on this earth.

Discussion

  • Where did our spirit bodies come from?

  • What happens to them when we die?

  • What are spirit bodies like?

The Spirit World Is a Place for Working, Learning, and Waiting

Our Father in Heaven’s prophets have told us many things about the spirit world. One place is called paradise. When a person dies who has accepted the gospel and been a faithful follower of Jesus, that person’s spirit goes to paradise. This is a place where people are happy and peaceful. Here they are free from trouble, sorrow, and pain. They can do many worthwhile things, such as teach others about the gospel or learn more about it themselves.

The other place is called spirit prison. Three kinds of people will be there. There will be those who were wicked in this life, those who lived good lives but did not accept the gospel, and those who never had the opportunity to hear the gospel.

Our Father in Heaven’s prophets have told us that missionaries will be sent from among the righteous in the spirit world to teach the gospel to all the spirits of the dead people. Many will accept the gospel and repent. Necessary saving ordinances will be done for them by living persons in our Father in Heaven’s temples. Relatives or other members of the Church do these ordinances for them. Then they will be able to leave the spirit prison. In this way, our Father in Heaven provides opportunity for all His children to receive the blessings of the gospel no matter when they lived on the earth.

Eventually all those in the spirit world will be resurrected. In the resurrection, the spirit and the body will be joined together again. Even though the body has decayed and become dust while it was in the grave, it will become an immortal and perfect body. The scriptures say that not even a hair of our heads will be lost and that all things will be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

In the resurrection the body and the spirit will be joined, never to be separated again. Through His love and His great atoning sacrifice for us, Jesus gave this wonderful gift of the resurrection to every person who ever lives on this earth.

Discussion

  • What two divisions are there in the spirit world?

  • Who will be in paradise? What do the spirits in paradise do?

  • Who will be in spirit prison? What happens there?

We Will All Be Judged at the Final Judgment

We are judged many times during our eternal lives. We were judged while we still lived with our Father in Heaven to see if we were worthy to come to this earth and obtain bodies. We are judged while here to see if we are worthy to be baptized. Men are judged to see if they are worthy to be given the priesthood. We are judged to see if we are worthy to enter the temple to receive special blessings. After we die, we are judged, and the reward we receive will depend on how we lived on earth.

After we are resurrected, we will be brought before our Father in Heaven to be judged for the last time. This is called the Last Judgment. This last judgment will decide where we will go to live forever. We will be judged by the things we said and did and thought in this life. We will be judged by how well we followed Jesus’ teachings. We will be judged by records that have been kept both on this earth and in heaven. Our Father in Heaven will have Jesus judge us.

Jesus loves us very much, but He is a just judge and must judge us by the kind of lives we lived. All we have thought or said or done is recorded, both in our minds and in records that have been kept. Jesus knows all of our deeds, and when we stand before Him we will remember them, too.

Discussion

  • Name some times when we are judged.

  • What are some of the things that we will be judged for?

We Decide by Our Daily Actions What Will Happen to Us After We Die

If we do what is right during our lives, we will prepare ourselves to live forever with our Father in Heaven and the good people of the earth. If we have not followed our Father in Heaven’s commandments, we will feel very bad when we stand before Jesus to be judged.

Prophets have said that our words, our thoughts, and all our works will condemn us if they have been bad. They have said that the wicked will stand before Jesus with shame and awful guilt and wish to hide from His presence.

For each person who has lived on this earth, then, the day of the Last Judgment will be either a wonderful day or a sad day. We should prepare for this future moment so ours will be a happy day. We want to be able to stand before our Father in Heaven without shame and hear Him say He approves of what we did during our lives.

We should think about this last judgment. We should be faithful to Jesus Christ and repent of our sins to the end of our lives so we will be ready for it. That is the only way we can be free from all sin when that time comes. If we have faith in Jesus Christ and repent of all our sins, our Father in Heaven will forgive us for our sins and help us become completely without sin. If we are faithful to Jesus Christ, we will spend our lives doing good things, thinking good thoughts, and speaking good words. We will avoid people, books, and places that would cause us to think bad thoughts or be unrighteous in any way.

Our Father in Heaven loves each of us and wants us to live to be worthy to return to His presence. If we desire to live with Him and the good people we love, we must have faith in Jesus Christ and do the things He commands us to do. We must also help our families to live good lives. Our Father in Heaven will help us. He has given us the gospel to show us the way and has told us we can always pray to Him for His help.

Discussion

  • Why are our daily thoughts and actions so important?

  • What can you do to improve your thoughts, words, and actions?

  • Why do we need our Father in Heaven’s help to become perfect?

  • Why is it that only through faith in Jesus Christ we can be judged worthy to live with our Father in Heaven?

References

Our Spirits Live After We Die

  • Luke 23:43 (Jesus promised the thief on the cross that they would soon be together in paradise.)

  • Alma 40:11 (Our spirits return to our Father in Heaven after we die.)

The Spirit World Is a Place for Working, Learning, and Waiting

  • 1 Peter 3:18–20 (The gospel was preached to the spirits in prison.)

  • Alma 40:12–14 (The righteous will be happy in paradise, while the wicked will have great sorrow in prison.)

We Will All Be Judged at the Final Judgment

We Decide by Our Daily Actions What Will Happen to Us After We Die

  • Matthew 25:31–46 (Jesus Christ will judge us by our acts.)

  • 2 Nephi 29:11 (We will be judged by the scriptures.)

  • 2 Nephi 31:19–20 (We must continue to be faithful to Jesus Christ to the end of our life, repenting of all our sins, to obtain eternal life.)

  • Jacob 6:9 (We will stand with shame and awful guilt if we have not repented.)

  • Alma 12:14 (Our words, thoughts, and actions will condemn us if they are bad.)