We can live with our loved ones again in heaven.
Many of us wonder what happens after we die. Some believe that we cease to exist, while others believe in a heaven and a hell. The scriptures tell us that we lived before we came to the earth and that because Jesus overcame death, we will continue to live after we die.
Knowing God’s plan, and that death is part of it, can help us feel comfort and peace. While we mourn for those loved ones we’ve lost, there is hope—death is not the end.
When we die, our spirit and body separate. Even though our body dies, our spirit—which is the essence of who we are—lives on. Our spirit goes to the spirit world, which is divided into spirit paradise and spirit prison. For those spirits who lived good lives, paradise is a place of rest. Family members who passed on before us will be there waiting for us.
While the righteous rest, those who were unrighteous in life will live in spirit prison (often referred to as “hell”). Spirit prison is not a final judgment or eternal punishment. Because God is loving and fair, those in prison will be taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and given the opportunity to accept the Savior, which can “make [them] free” (see John 8:32).
The spirit world is a waiting period until we receive the gift of resurrection, when our spirits will reunite with our bodies. Our future resurrected body cannot die and will be perfect—free from pain, sickness, and imperfections. It is because of the infinite love of Jesus Christ that everyone will be resurrected.
When we are resurrected, each of us will be judged individually by Jesus, our Savior. This Final Judgment will be based on our desires, actions, and choices.
Only God and Jesus know our hearts and our life circumstances perfectly, so only they can judge us perfectly. This Judgment will be one of mercy, healing, and love (see Revelation 21:4).
Because our works and desires vary, heaven has different kingdoms or degrees of glory. The highest kingdom, where God lives, is called the celestial kingdom, followed by the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms. The Bible compares our eternal reward in one of these three kingdoms to the glory of the sun, moon, and stars. But each surpasses any form of happiness that we could possibly experience here on earth.
God's ultimate goal is to help all His children return to live with Him in the celestial kingdom with our families. Yet our choices here and now will shape where we spend eternity. We must believe in Jesus Christ, repent of our sins, be baptized in His name, and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. We also need to keep the commandments throughout the rest of our lives—and repent when we fall short.
Neither the Resurrection nor salvation from our sins would be possible without Jesus Christ. He suffered for our sins so that when we pray for forgiveness and try to change, we can be clean. He also died on the cross and rose from the dead. Jesus’s power over death means everyone will also be resurrected, whether they believe in Him or not. Because of Jesus, death is not the end.
The Book of Mormon gives additional insight and teaches about the role of Jesus Christ in Heavenly Father’s plan for us. By reading the Book of Mormon and praying to God, you can know about the reality of God’s plan.
People have a lot of questions about “Mormons,” or more respectfully, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Click here to see the full list.
For us, heaven is living in the presence of God and Jesus forever. The scriptures give us some insight into what it will be like. Jesus declared, “In my Father's house are many mansions” (John 14:2). One of the greatest joys of heaven is that if we are righteous, we can live with our families forever and become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). Of course, we don’t know every detail of what heaven will be like, but ultimately, we believe that it is a place of “never-ending happiness” (Mosiah 2:41), which sounds pretty nice.
We have a different view of hell than the images of lava, fire, and pitchforks portrayed in movies. For those who choose not to follow God in life, their spirit will go to a temporary hell when they die. In this case, “hell” refers more to a state of mind than an actual place. Pain will come from regret and sorrow—not from fire and brimstone.
But God and Jesus are infinitely just and merciful. We believe those people who did not have a chance to know Jesus and accept Him in life will have the opportunity after they die. They will be taught His gospel, and if they turn to God, they will have a place in heaven after the Final Judgment.
The final judgment happens after Jesus returns to the earth and we are resurrected. Based on our actions and the desires of our hearts, we will experience different “degrees of glory” as described in Corinthians 15:41–42: “There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.” Because of the perfect love and understanding of the Savior, everyone will still have a better life than they had on earth, but only those who followed God will be able to live directly in His presence.
It’s okay to be sad. You can be sad and still have faith that God loves you and that things will be okay in the end.
Don’t be afraid to talk to someone about your feelings, such as a grief counselor, a family member, a trusted friend, or a religious leader. Allow them to comfort you, even if they can’t fully understand what you’re going through.
You can also find peace in the gospel of Jesus Christ. God is there and He cares about you and is aware of you. Jesus took upon Himself all suffering so He would know how to help you overcome yours. You can be with loved ones again after death. These teachings don’t take away all of the pain, but they can provide hope and understanding.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
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