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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 do you feel will be helpful to the young women you teach?

1 Corinthians 15:22 (The resurrection is a gift from Christ to all mankind)

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

Mosiah 18:8–10 (We 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, 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”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

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

  • Share an experience of your own, or one from someone else, about finding peace after the death of a loved one. Invite the young women to share their experiences.
  • Invite the young women to share any experiences they have had with losing a loved one. How did their knowledge of the Atonement and plan of salvation help them find comfort?

Learn together

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

  • Invite the young women to write down their questions, thoughts, or fears about death and then 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 learn. 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 women to share their impressions. Ask the young women to imagine how the world would be different if everyone knew what the young man in the video found out. How does this knowledge affect our everyday lives? Invite a young woman to share her testimony about life after death and what gives her hope.
  • 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 women how they would respond to the question Mrs. Patton asked young Thomas Monson. As a class, read Mosiah 18:8–10. Discuss the responsibility we all have to provide comfort, assistance, and other service to families who lose loved ones. Consider inviting a member of the Relief Society presidency to participate in this discussion.
  • Invite half of the class 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 women 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 women to discuss in their groups what these scriptures teach about what happens after we die. Then, as a class, 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 women 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 helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Ask the young women how they can show compassion to someone who has lost a loved one. Are there widows or others in the ward or community who could use some support?

Encourage the young women to attend the temple as often as possible to participate in baptisms and confirmations for the dead. They could research their family history and prepare names of ancestors for temple ordinances (see Youth and Family History website).