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What Happens After We Die?

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.

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What Happens When I Die?
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What happens when we die?

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 from earthly cares and sorrow.

Learn about God’s plan for us

Where did I come from?

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 presented His plan to us

God wanted us to come to the 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. 

Jesus was chosen as our Savior

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. 

What is my purpose in life?

Here on earth, we don’t remember living with God. We must have faith, rely on Jesus, and learn to choose between right and wrong. Life isn’t easy, but hard times let us appreciate happiness and peace.

Jesus’s sacrifice

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. 

Where do we go after we die?

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

The spirit world is not a final destination or judgment. Because God is so loving and fair, those in the spirit world who never knew about Jesus are taught His gospel and given the opportunity to accept Him as their Savior.

We will all live again

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. 

Judgment

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. 

The Celestial Kingdom

Our Heavenly Father and Jesus live in the celestial kingdom. If you follow Jesus’s teachings and accept His saving grace, you will live in God’s presence and have lasting joy. You will also be able to live with your family forever.

The Terrestrial Kingdom

People who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who live otherwise honorable lives will receive a place in the terrestrial kingdom. 

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The Telestial Kingdom

Those who continue in their sins and do not repent will receive a place in the telestial kingdom. 

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 judgement 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” (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.

Learn more about what happens after we die

What happens after the resurrection?

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).

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. 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.

Who goes to the celestial kingdom?

Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ reside in the celestial kingdom. If you live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ and are cleansed by His great sacrifice (the Atonement), you will live in God’s presence and know complete joy (see Doctrine and Covenants 76:50–70).

Who goes to the terrestrial kingdom?

People who refuse to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ but who live honorable lives will receive a place in the terrestrial kingdom (see Doctrine and Covenants 76:71–80).

Who goes to the telestial kingdom?

Those who continue in their sins and do not repent will receive a place in the telestial kingdom (see Doctrine and Covenants 76:81–86, 98–107).

Salvation is possible because of Jesus Christ

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.

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Because of Him
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“It was unthinkable, impossible, unfathomable, unprecedented; a single act that changed history.”

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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