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Dof g ch30

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Dof g ch30

  1. 1. Death and the Postmortal Chapter 30Spirit WorldIntroduction Supporting Statements “All men know that they must die. And it is A. Physical death is a universal condition and isimportant that we should understand the reasons part of the plan of salvation.and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life ■ “Every man born into the world will die. Itand of death, and the designs and purposes of God matters not who he is, nor where he is, whetherin our coming into the world, our sufferings here, his birth be among the rich and the noble, orand our departure hence. What is the object of our among the lowly and poor in the world, his dayscoming into existence, then dying and falling away, are numbered with the Lord, and in due time heto be here no more? It is but reasonable to suppose will reach the end” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospelthat God would reveal something in reference to the Doctrine, 428).matter, and it is a subject we ought to study more ■ “Death is merely a change from one status orthan any other. We ought to study it day and night, sphere of existence to another. . . .for the world is ignorant in reference to their true “. . . This death consists in the separation of thecondition and relation. If we have any claim on our eternal spirit from the mortal body so that the bodyHeavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge is left to go back to the dust or element from whichon this important subject” (Joseph Smith, History of it was created (meaning organized), and the spirit isthe Church, 6:50). left to sojourn in a world of waiting spirits until the day of the resurrection. (Rev. 20:13; 2 Ne. 9:10–15.)”Doctrinal Outline (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 184–85). ■ “There was no death in the earth before the fallA. Physical death is a universal condition and is of Adam. . . .part of the plan of salvation. “The gospel teaches us that if Adam and Eve1. Everyone must eventually die (see Romans 5:12; had not partaken of that fruit of the tree of the Alma 12:24, 27; 2 Nephi 9:6). knowledge of good and evil, they would have2. At death the body and the spirit separate for a remained in the Garden of Eden in that same time (see James 2:26; Ecclesiastes 12:7). condition prevailing before the fall. . . . In regard3. The Fall of Adam brought death onto this earth to the pre-mortal condition of Adam and the (see 2 Nephi 2:22–25; Moses 6:48; 1 Corinthians entire earth, Lehi has stated the following: 15:21–22). “‘And now, behold, if Adam had not4. Through the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus transgressed he would not have fallen, but he Christ, we will eventually overcome death (see would have remained in the garden of Eden. And Alma 7:10–12; 11:42; 2 Nephi 9:6, 11; 2 Timothy all things which were created must have remained 1:10; Mormon 9:13). in the same state in which they were after they5. We need not fear death (see Alma 27:28; D&C were created; and they must have remained 42:46; 101:36). forever, and had no end’ [2 Nephi 2:22]” (JosephB. At death our spirits enter the world of spirits to Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:108–9). ■ “We shall turn round and look upon [the valleyawait the Resurrection. of death] and think, when we have crossed it, why1. At death the spirit returns to a spiritual realm (see this is the greatest advantage of my whole Alma 40:11; Ecclesiastes 12:7; 2 Nephi 9:38). existence, for I have passed from a state of sorrow,2. The spirits of the righteous enter a state of paradise grief, mourning, woe, misery, pain, anguish and (see Alma 40:12, 14; 4 Nephi 1:14; Moroni 10:34; disappointment into a state of existence, where I 2 Nephi 9:13). can enjoy life to the fullest extent as far as that can3. The spirits of the wicked enter a state of be done without a body. My spirit is set free, I unhappiness, or misery (see Alma 40:13–14; thirst no more, I want to sleep no more, I hunger 1 Nephi 15:29; D&C 76:103–6). no more, I tire no more, I run, I walk, I labor, I go,4. In the postmortal spirit world the gospel is I come, I do this, I do that, whatever is required of preached to “all the spirits of men” (D&C 138:30; me, nothing like pain or weariness, I am full of see also 1 Peter 3:18–21; 4:6; D&C 138:28–37). life, full of vigor, and I enjoy the presence of my heavenly Father” (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 17:142). 83
  2. 2. Chapter 30■ “All fear of this death has been removed from death and resurrection, these souls of the wickedthe Latter-day Saints. They have no dread of the are cast out into outer darkness, into the gloomytemporal death, because they know that as death depression of sheol, into the hades of waitingcame upon them by the transgression of Adam, wicked spirits, into hell. There they suffer theso by the righteousness of Jesus Christ shall life torments of the damned; there they welter in thecome unto them, and though they die, they shall vengeance of eternal fire; there is found weepinglive again. Possessing this knowledge, they have and wailing and gnashing of teeth; there the fieryjoy even in death, for they know that they shall indignation of the wrath of God is poured outrise again and shall meet again beyond the grave. upon the wicked. (Alma 40:11–14; D. & C.They know that the spirit dies not at all; that it 76:103–106.)” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 349).passes through no change, except the change from ■ “In the justice of the Father, he is going to giveimprisonment in this mortal clay to freedom and to every man the privilege of hearing the gospel.to the sphere in which it acted before it came to Not one soul shall be overlooked or forgotten. Thisthis earth” (Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 428). being true, what about the countless thousands “If we say that early death is a calamity, disaster who have died and never heard of Christ, neveror a tragedy, would it not be saying that mortality had an opportunity of repentance and remissionis preferable to earlier entrance into the spirit of their sins, never met an elder of the Churchworld and to eventual salvation and exaltation? If holding the authority? Some of our good Christianmortality be the perfect state, then death would be neighbors will tell you they are lost forever, thata frustration but the Gospel teaches us there is no they cannot believe in the grave, for there is notragedy in death, but only in sin” (Spencer W. hope beyond.Kimball, Tragedy or Destiny, Brigham Young “Would that be fair? Would it be just? No! TheUniversity Speeches of the Year [6 Dec. 1955], 3). Lord is going to give to every man the opportunityB. At death our spirits enter the world of spirits to to hear and to receive eternal life, or a place in hisawait the Resurrection. kingdom. We are very fortunate because we have■ “The spirits of all men, as soon as they depart had that privilege here and have passed fromfrom this mortal body, whether they are good or death into life.evil, we are told in the Book of Mormon, are taken “The Lord has so arranged his plan ofhome to that God who gave them life, where there redemption that all who have died without thisis a separation, a partial judgment, and the spirits opportunity shall be given it in the spirit world.of those who are righteous are received into a state There the elders of the Church who have died areof happiness which is called paradise, a state of rest, proclaiming the gospel to the dead. All those whoa state of peace, where they expand in wisdom, did not have an opportunity here to receive it,where they have respite from all their troubles, and who there repent and receive the gospel, shall bewhere care and sorrow do not annoy. The wicked, heirs of the celestial kingdom of God” (Smith,on the contrary, have no part nor portion in the Doctrines of Salvation, 2:132).Spirit of the Lord, and they are cast into outerdarkness, being led captive, because of their owniniquity, by the evil one. And in this space betweendeath and the resurrection of the body, the twoclasses of souls remain, in happiness or in misery,until the time which is appointed of God that thedead shall come forth and be reunited both spiritand body, and be brought to stand before God, andbe judged according to their works. This is the finaljudgment” (Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 448).■ “Paradise—the abode of righteous spirits, as theyawait the day of their resurrection; paradise—aplace of peace and rest where the sorrows and trialsof his life have been shuffled off, and where thesaints continue to prepare for a celestial heaven;paradise—not the Lord’s eternal kingdom, but away station along the course leading to eternal life,a place where the final preparation is made for thatfulness of joy which comes only when body andspirit are inseparably connected in immortal glory!”(Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 4:222).■ “That part of the spirit world inhabited bywicked spirits who are awaiting the eventual dayof their resurrection is called hell. Between their84

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