Chapter 36: Eternal Life

"Chapter 36: Eternal Life," Part Ten: Life after Death, ()


Where will we go to live after the Final Judgment?

We Will Each Go to the Place for Which We Have Been Prepared

Jesus taught that our Father in Heaven has prepared many places for us to live. Each of us will be assigned to one of four places, according to how faithful to Jesus Christ we were. We will go to the kingdom we have prepared for by the choices we have made. These four places are the celestial kingdom, the terrestrial kingdom, the telestial kingdom, and outer darkness.

The Celestial Kingdom

This is the place where our Father in Heaven and Jesus live. It is a place where people will be happy, and it will be more beautiful than we can imagine. The people who will live in this kingdom will love our Father in Heaven and Jesus and will choose to obey Them. They must have repented of all their sins and must have accepted Jesus as their Savior. They must have been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. They must have a testimony from the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Savior.

To live in the highest part of the celestial kingdom is called exaltation* or eternal life. To be able to live in this part of the celestial kingdom, people must have been married in the temple and must have kept the sacred promises they made in the temple. They will receive everything our Father in Heaven has and will become like Him. They will even be able to have spirit children and make new worlds for them to live on, and do all the things our Father in Heaven has done. People who are not married in the temple may live in other parts of the celestial kingdom, but they will not be exalted.

The Terrestrial Kingdom

This kingdom is not as wonderful as the celestial kingdom. Even though Jesus will visit the terrestrial kingdom, those who live there will not live with our Father in Heaven, and they will not have all He has. Those who go to the terrestrial kingdom will be honorable people. Some of them will be members of the Church, and others will not. They will be those who did not accept Jesus on earth but later accepted Him in the spirit world. The people who will live there will not be part of an eternal family but will live separately, without families. Our Father in Heaven will give these people the happiness they are prepared to receive.

The Telestial Kingdom

This kingdom is not as wonderful as the celestial kingdom or the terrestrial kingdom. Neither our Father in Heaven nor Jesus will visit those who live here. Angels will visit these people, and they will have the influence of the Holy Ghost. The people who live in the telestial kingdom are those who did not accept either the gospel or a testimony of Jesus, either on earth or in the spirit world. They will suffer for their own sins in spirit prison until after the Millennium. Then they will finally be resurrected.

While on this earth, they were liars, thieves, murderers, false prophets, adulterers, and those who ridiculed sacred things. They were the people who accepted the beliefs of the world rather than the teachings of Jesus. Many people will live in this kingdom. Our Father in Heaven will give these people the happiness they are prepared to receive.

Outer Darkness

Outer darkness is where Satan and those who have followed him will live. These people will be those who chose to live with Satan. They will not be forgiven. These people will live forever in darkness, sorrow, and suffering with Satan and the spirits who followed him.

Discussion

  • Which kingdom must we be prepared for in order to become like our Father in Heaven?

  • What are some of the things we must do here on earth to be worthy to live like our Father in Heaven?

Our Father in Heaven Has Given Us the Gospel to Prepare Us for Eternal Life in the Celestial Kingdom

Our Father in Heaven gives every one of us a chance to have eternal life with Him. Eternal life is the kind of life our Father in Heaven and Jesus live. Our Father in Heaven is perfect. He knows all things. He has power over all things. He rules all things. He lives according to eternal truths and laws.

Jesus obeyed our Father in Heaven, and therefore He lives with our Father in Heaven. If we do the things that Jesus taught us to do, we will be able to live as He and our Father in Heaven live. To have eternal life with our Father in Heaven is the greatest gift He can give to us. It will bring us more happiness than anything else.

The gospel tells us all we need to know and all we need to do to receive eternal life. It helps us to know our Father in Heaven and Jesus. It teaches us how to live as They live. By praying and studying the scriptures we can know Them better. When we know and love Them, we will want to obey Their words. As we obey, we will be able to be like Them and become worthy to live with Them forever.

Discussion

  • What is eternal life? Who will receive it?

  • How does the gospel help to prepare us for eternal life?

Our Father in Heaven Will Help Us When We Choose to Obey the Gospel

Our Father in Heaven knows it is possible for all of us to live the gospel and receive eternal life. Since we are His children, we have the power to become like Him. He knows the weaknesses each of us has and what things will tempt us. He has allowed us to come to earth at a time and in a place that will give us opportunities to do good things and to learn.

Now is the time to do all we need to do to receive eternal life. Our Father in Heaven loves us and wants us to succeed. He has done all He can for us. He has provided an earth where we can learn and grow. He has sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Savior and teach us the gospel. He has invited us to pray to Him. He has made it possible for the Holy Ghost to be our guide. Now we need to do the right things. If we choose to have faith in Jesus Christ and obey Him, He will help us and give us strength to overcome the temptations and other problems that come into our lives.

Our Father in Heaven has asked us to accept the gospel. To do this we must first have faith in Jesus Christ. Then we must repent of our sins so that we can be baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When we are confirmed, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost from one who has the priesthood. The Holy Ghost tells each of us what Jesus wants us to do, and to receive eternal life we must spend the rest of our lives obeying and serving Him.

Jesus requires all of us to obey commandments to help us prepare to return to live with our Father in Heaven. These include obeying the law of chastity, paying tithing and giving offerings, obeying the Word of Wisdom, being honest at all times, and keeping the Sabbath day holy.

In order to become like our Father in Heaven we must also receive ordinances given in the temple, known as the endowment.* We need to be sealed there so we will be together with our families for eternity. We should then search for names and information concerning our dead relatives and give what we find to the Church, in order to have the necessary ordinances done for them in the temple.

Jesus has commanded us to do many things. These include telling others about the gospel, loving and helping them, and being a good example to them.

We should also keep all the promises we make to our Father in Heaven, attend our Church meetings regularly, teach our family the gospel by studying the scriptures daily, and pray alone and with our family every day.

If we have faith in Jesus Christ and try to obey all His commandments, we will receive eternal life and become like our Father in Heaven.

Becoming like our Father in Heaven is like climbing a ladder. We must start at the bottom and climb each step until we reach the top. The Prophet Joseph Smith said that if we want to become like our Father in Heaven we must learn how He feels, thinks, and acts. When we understand these things about Him, we can then learn all other things about Him, until we know how to become as He is.

It will help us to remember that our Father in Heaven was once a man who lived on an earth, the same as we do. He became our Father in Heaven by overcoming problems, just as we have to do on this earth. However, the Prophet Joseph Smith said we will not learn everything we need to learn while in this world. It will take us a long time after we complete this life to know all the things we need to know in order to become like our Father in Heaven.

When we do learn to keep all of our Father in Heaven’s commandments, think how happy we will be as we return to Him and He tells us He is happy with the life we lived and we will become like Him and live with Him forever.

Discussion

  • Why is it possible for every one of us to become like our Father in Heaven?

  • What things must we do to have the kind of life our Father in Heaven has?

  • How does our Father in Heaven help us to become like Him?

  • Describe how you might feel to hear our Father in Heaven tell you that you have done well and He loves you.

References

We Will Each Go to the Place for Which We Have Been Prepared

  • John 14:2 (Jesus has prepared a place for us in His Father’s house.)

Our Father in Heaven Has Given Us the Gospel to Prepare Us for Eternal Life in the Celestial Kingdom

  • Mosiah 4:26–27 (We are told the things we must do to inherit eternal life.)

  • Alma 34:32–34 (Now is the time to prepare to live with our Father in Heaven.)

Our Father in Heaven Will Help Us When We Choose to Obey the Gospel

  • Matthew 25:23 (Our Father in Heaven will make those who are faithful rulers over many things.)