God’s Plan for Us
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 that 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 1 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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When Latter-day Saints get married, they understand that marriage is meant to last forever. Marriage ceremonies in temples contain the words “for time and all eternity,” not “until death do you part.” But it’s not the words that make eternal marriage possible—it’s the power of God. Children born to couples married in temples are automatically “sealed” to their parents. Families who join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints later in life can also go to the temple to be sealed together.
Learn about God’s plan for us
Before you were born, you lived with God, your Heavenly Father. He knew you, loved you, and taught you about the choices that would lead to lasting happiness. This period is called the premortal life.
God wanted us to come to earth to gain a physical body. Here, we face challenges and situations that help us learn and grow so we can become more like Him.
God knew that we would make mistakes, so He chose Jesus to come to earth and suffer for our sins. Jesus’s sacrifice allows us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins so we can live with God again someday.
Here on earth, we don’t remember living with God. As a result, we must have faith and learn to choose between right and wrong. Life isn’t easy, but hard times let us appreciate happiness and peace.
Jesus suffered and died for our sins. But that doesn’t take our responsibility away—we must choose to accept Jesus by repenting when we make mistakes, being baptized, and keeping His commandments.
When we die, our spirit and body separate. Our spirit goes to the spirit world. It is a place of rest and happiness for those who have made good choices and a state of hell for those who have made bad ones.
The spirit world is not a final destination or judgment. In fact, because God is so loving and fair, those people in hell who never knew about Jesus are taught His gospel and given the opportunity to accept Him.
Jesus overcame death so we can all live again. This is called the resurrection. When we are resurrected, our spirits and bodies reunite. Our bodies will be perfect and will never die again.
Jesus will judge us according to our actions and the desires of our hearts. He will be as merciful as He can. Because our actions and desires vary, heaven includes different kingdoms or degrees of glory.
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus reside in the celestial kingdom. If you live by Jesus’s teachings and are cleansed from sin by His sacrifice, you will go there. You will live in God’s presence and experience lasting joy.
People who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who live otherwise honorable lives will receive a place in the terrestrial kingdom.
Those who continue in their sins and do not repent will receive a place in the telestial kingdom.