Many of us wonder what happens after we die. We lived before we came to earth, and we will continue to live after we die. Knowing this plan can provide comfort and peace about death. 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. 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.
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.
It is at the time of resurrection that 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).
God’s ultimate goal is to help all His children return to live with Him in the celestial kingdom. Yet, it is our choices here and now that 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 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.
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