Monday, April 13, 2009

Victory over Death

"This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" Moses 1:39

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most glorious event in all of human history! I was privileged this past week to attend the funeral for a friend’s husband who passed away a few months before their 50th anniversary. While there, I sat next to another friend whose five-year-old son died last year. I thought a lot about life and death and how grateful I am for what I know about what happens when this life is through. LDS funerals are so peaceful. There are tears, of course, but no extreme grieving. The separation from a loved one is always hard and none is harder, I think, than the separation which comes with death, yet because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I know that death is not the end of our lives any more than birth is the beginning.

We lived with God before we were born. It was his plan for us to come to Earth. Because of the fall of Adam, man became subject to mortality and death—physical death (the separation of the body and spirit) and spiritual death (separation from God). The Atonement of Jesus Christ overcomes the effects of both physical death and spiritual death. His salvation is available to all who ever have or ever will live upon the earth.

I believe that Christ’s resurrection was literal. His spirit and body were permanently reunited and because of his victory over death, all mankind will also be physically resurrected. The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. Alma 40:23 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous… Alma 11:44 As the fall of Adam brought death to all, so Christ’s atonement brings life to all mankind.

Eternal life
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 Sin separates us from God, for no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. The Atonement of Christ provides us a way to overcome the effects of sin, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow Isaiah 1:18 The cleansing effects of the atonement are available to every accountable person who accepts his gift. (…all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent…Moroni 8:22) Salvation from death is free to all, salvation from sin comes only to those request it by means of repentance, who have faith in Jesus Christ and a determination to follow him. God respects our right to choose and because sin is a choice, so cleansing must be a choice. And he shall come into the world to redeem his people; and he shall take upon him the transgressions of those who believe on his name; and these are they that shall have eternal life, and salvation cometh to none else. Alma 11:40

What happens when we die?
The spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life. Alma 40:11 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Eccl 2:7

When the spirit leaves the body at death, we anticipate a joyful reunion in the spirit world with loved ones who have already died. The spirits of the righteous are received into paradise and the spirits of the wicked to prison. We remember our lives on earth and continue to assist God in the work of saving his children. Those who did not have the opportunity to accept Christ in this life, will have the opportunity to learn of him and accept him there. We remain in the spirit world until the time of resurrection and judgment, when those who have been obedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ, return, with their families, to live with Heavenly Father.


  1. I do not believe that we were with God before we were born. Life begins at conception. I do however believe in the resurrection and that death is not the end of life. The blood of Jesus Christ is the atonement for our sins and His resurrection is proof that we will one day be resurrected. My belief is that salvation is faith based. (Romans 1:16-17)Of course we must ask for forgiveness when we sin, but there is no "work" that we can do to earn salvation. We do not deserve this precious gift that God has freely given to all those who have faith in Him and repent of their sins. We could never be good enough to deserve salvation. Of course we must do the best we can to live a life that is holy and acceptable to God. For we will be judged according to how we lived. The thing is, not one person on earth can live a life that is holy enough or acceptable enough. (Romans 3-4) Therefore, salvation is a gift from God to all those who believe and repent when they do mess up. Repentance wipes out those things that are not Godly and washes us clean. We must repent daily. I do not believe that salvation is based on a religion. It is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. When you speak of the righteous and the wicked, do you mean that the righteous are all those who are Mormons (faithful of course) and the wicked are those who deny the truthfulness of your church. When you talk about those who follow the 'Gospel of Jesus Christ' you mean Mormonism - right. When I speak of those who follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I speak of anyone who has confessed that Jesus Christ is their savior and has repented for their sins. This is the Gospel in its purist form!

  2. I believe that faith in Jesus Christ is the most essential principle of the gospel.

    I believe that God wants to save all of his children, "...and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." 2 Ne. 26:33

    "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
    12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
    13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil." Alma 40:11