From an earthly perspective, physical death may seem like an end, but really it is a beginning, a step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan. At death, your spirit will leave your body and go to the spirit world, which is a place of learning and preparation. In the spirit world, your memories of this life will remain with you.
Death will not change your personality or your desire for good or evil. If you choose to follow Christ during your life on earth, you will be at peace in the spirit world and will rest from your cares. Those who choose not to follow Jesus Christ and do not repent will be unhappy.
Heavenly Father knew that many of His children would never have an opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ during their lives and that others would choose not to follow Him. Because He loves His children, God provided a way for those in the spirit world to learn about His plan, have faith in Jesus Christ, and repent. Those who accept and follow Jesus Christ will have peace and rest.
One of the great gifts of God to all who come to earth is the resurrection, which is made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, His spirit went to the spirit world. Three days later, His spirit was reunited with His glorified, perfected body that could no longer die. This reuniting of body and spirit is called resurrection. Everyone who is born on earth will be resurrected.
After you are resurrected, you will go before God to be judged according to your works and the desires of your heart.
After you are judged, you will live in a state of glory. Because everyone’s works and desires vary, heaven includes different kingdoms, or degrees of glory.
Celestial kingdom. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reside in the celestial kingdom. If you live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ and are cleansed from sin by the Atonement, you will receive a place in this, the highest kingdom. You will live in God’s presence and know complete joy.
Terrestrial kingdom. People who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who live honorable lives will receive a place in the terrestrial kingdom.
Telestial kingdom. Those who continue in their sins and do not repent will receive a place in the telestial kingdom.