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How can I find comfort when someone I care about dies?

Death is an essential part of the plan of salvation. In order to become like our Heavenly Father, we must experience death and receive perfect, resurrected bodies. When we understand that death is part of Heavenly Father’s plan, and that Jesus Christ overcame death through His Atonement, we can receive hope and peace when a loved one dies.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What impressions do you receive as you study?

Mosiah 16:7–8 (The Resurrection of Jesus Christ takes away the sting of death)

Mosiah 18:8–10; D&C 81:5 (We are to comfort those who need comfort)

Alma 11:42–45 (We will have our bodies again because of the Savior’s Resurrection)

Alma 28:12; D&C 42:45–46 (We mourn for those who die, but death is sweet to those who die in the Lord)

Alma 40:11–14 (Our spirits will keep living after we die)

D&C 137:5–10 (Joseph Smith sees his brother Alvin, little children, and others in the celestial kingdom)

D&C 138 (President Joseph F. Smith’s vision of the spirit world)

Thomas S. Monson, “Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 21–24; see also the video “Until We Meet Again”

Russell M. Nelson, “Doors of Death,” Ensign or Liahona,, May 1992, 72–74

Shayne M. Bowen, “Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 15–17

Videos: “We’re Still a Family,” “He Will Give You Help”

Let the young men lead

A member of the quorum presidency (or an assistant to the bishop in the priests quorum) conducts the quorum meeting. He leads the young men in counseling together about quorum business, teaches them their priesthood duties (from the scriptures and the Duty to God book), encourages them to share their experiences fulfilling their duty to God, and invites an adviser or other quorum member to teach a gospel lesson. He could prepare by filling out a quorum meeting agenda during a presidency meeting.

Begin the learning experience

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to review last week’s lesson and introduce this week’s lesson:

  • What have the young men been invited to do as a result of what they have been learning? Invite them to share how acting on what they learned has affected their lives and the lives of their families and friends.
  • Share an experience of your own, or one from someone else, about finding peace after the death of a loved one. Invite the young men to share their experiences.

Learn together

Each of the activities below will help quorum members learn about life after death. Following the inspiration of the Spirit, select one or more that will work best for your quorum:

  • Invite the young men to write down their questions, thoughts, or fears about death, and then have them search for answers in the scriptures suggested in this outline or in Elder Russell M. Nelson’s talk “Doors of Death.” Encourage them to note in particular scriptures or statements that highlight the Savior’s role in helping us overcome death. Ask them to share what they find. Invite them to share their feelings about what the Savior has done for us.
  • Show the video “He Will Give You Help,” and invite the young men to share what impresses them. After the video, discuss how the world would be different if everyone knew what the young man in the video found out.
  • Share the story about Mrs. Patton from President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Mrs. Patton—the Story Continues,” or show the video “Until We Meet Again.” Ask the young men how they would respond to the question Mrs. Patton asked young Thomas Monson. As a quorum, read Mosiah 18:8–10 and Doctrine and Covenants 81:5. Discuss the responsibility priesthood holders have to provide comfort, assistance, and other priesthood service to families who lose loved ones. You may invite a member of the bishopric to participate in this discussion.
  • Invite half of the quorum to read the story about Sister Ramirez in Elder Shayne M. Bowen’s talk “Because I Live, Ye Shall Live Also,” and invite the other half to read the story about Elder Bowen’s son Tyson. Ask them to share what they learn about how to find comfort when someone they love dies and how to comfort others. Invite the young men to share any experiences they have had in which they lost a loved one. How did their knowledge of the Atonement and plan of salvation help them find comfort? If appropriate, share an experience of your own.
  • Divide the class into two groups. Have one group read Doctrine and Covenants 137:5–10 and the other group read Doctrine and Covenants 138:57–58. Invite the young men to discuss in their groups what these scriptures teach about what happens after we die. Then, as a quorum, discuss how this knowledge can help someone who has lost a loved one. How does this knowledge relate to our responsibility to do family history and temple work?

Ask the young men to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to find comfort when someone they care about dies? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this doctrine?

Invite to act

The young man who is conducting concludes the meeting. He could:

  • Lead a discussion about what quorum members could do to provide service for someone who recently lost a loved one. Are there widows or others in the ward or community who could use some help?
  • Encourage the quorum to attend the temple as often as possible to participate in baptisms and confirmations for the dead. Quorum members could research their family history and prepare names of ancestors for temple ordinances (see Youth and Family History website).