Life After Death
and reward them a place in His kingdom.
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Mormons believe that death is not the end of our existence. Rather it is a new beginning—another step forward in God’s plan for His children. Someday our physical body will die; but our spirit does not die. In the afterlife, our spirit continues to learn and progress.
We Will Live Again
Just like birth, death is a necessary step in our progression. Sometime after death, the spirit and body will be reunited—never to be separated again. This is called the resurrection. Jesus Christ was the first person to be resurrected. Through the grace of Christ, all of God’s children will be resurrected (see 1 Corinthians 15:20-22).
Mormons believe in the afterlife we can go to heaven, and live in the presence of God with our families. God will judge us fairly and reward each person with a place within His kingdom. Mormons consider eternal life to be a condition of progression and development as we learn to become more and more like our Father in Heaven.
Mormons do not believe in hell as a physical place of punishment and torment. We do not believe that a just God would inflict physical pain and torture on His children. Rather, hell is a mental state in the next life where those who have knowingly rejected Jesus Christ and lived lives of selfishness and wickedness will have a perfect recollection of their guilt. Only when they have paid the appropriate price will they be given a due place in God’s kingdom.
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Mormons believe that God is eternal--He lived forever in the past, and will live forever in the future. As His children, we are also eternal (to use a science analogy, matter cannot be created or destroyed; its state changes, depending on circumstances, but it cannot be formed out of "nothing" or be destroyed to "nothing").
We believe that we lived with Him before this life, as spirits, and learned all the basic lessons needed to prepare us for this life, on earth, with a physical body. While here on earth, we need to develop certain qualities--faith, love, integrity, etc--in a situation where Heavenly Father isn't looking over our shoulder all the time.
He wants us to grow up, to prove to ourselves as well as Him, that we are good, reliable, capable people, even if we're free to do anything. For those of us who do learn to choose right and avoid evil, God has wonderful blessings for us in the afterlife. ...those who don't listen, don't care, or don't follow His instructions, will not be prepared for the more advanced lessons that are waiting. These people will suffer disappointment, regret, and sorrow because of their failure, and they will lose out on opportunities for further growth and development in the afterlife.
Marybeth Adell answered...
I love this question because my mother is in Paradise right now. When I used to talk to a friend every day prior to my mom's passing away, I would speak about how sad I knew I would be because I would miss my mom but the one comfort I had was that I knew where she was going and I knew she would be with family members she loved.
I knew my mom was excited to see her parents and grandparents again. She was excited to see her aunt and her mother-in-law and father-in-law, too. My mom would have been happy to live longer on this earth because she had grandchildren she wanted to enjoy but she would say it was ok if she were to pass away because she knew we will see each other again. She said to think of her as only being away--not gone completely--and someday we'll look back and think the time passed quickly before we saw each other...We also believe in the resurrection. That will be a wonderful time! I look forward to seeing people who suffered in this life with physical limitations who will be resurrected with whole, healthy bodies.
Austin Smith answered...
We believe that a person's spirit lives on after death, and everyone will eventually be resurrected, which means that their spirit will be reunited with their body. After this bodily reunion, however, our bodies will be immortal--unable to die again--and perfected. This truth gives me hope that I will be able to see my loved ones again even after death. Death is not the end.
Mormons believe that in the afterlife, people will be judged according to their heart, deeds, and thoughts. Rather than a simple heaven/hell dichotomy, Mormons believe that there are many different gradations of heaven that people can go to after they die. This makes sense to me, since an either/or choice is just too stark and unforgiving to categorize the variety of lives humans lead here on Earth.
In the afterlife, we believe that we can continue to learn and grow to become more like God--eternal progression. A very comforting truth we believe is that families can be together forever, even after death.