With heavy breaths, her dad softly muttered, “I’m scared.” Chona’s father has been battling cancer for nine months and with his health declining at a very fast rate, he knew that he would soon pass beyond this mortal life.
Holding his hand gently, Chona reminded her dad of his parents and siblings who have passed on before him, that they will welcome him as he reunites with them again. “Don’t be scared, dad. Our separation will be temporary. We will see you again, that’s for sure,” she added with a firm belief of the promise of the Plan of Salvation.
Her dad smiled and went back to sleep.
We all have fears. They come in many forms and degrees in our lives. But the most common and perhaps the fear that terrifies us the most is death.
What happens after we die?
One of the most common reasons why many of us fear death is not knowing what happens next. Fortunately, the Plan of Salvation can give us a clear picture of what happens after we die.
Every one of us will pass beyond this life and cross into the strange territory called death – a state when our body and our spirit separate. When that happens, our physical bodies die but our spirits live on. Our spirits then go to what we call the spirit world. This is where we will get to reunite with our families and friends who have passed on before us.
Are we going to stay in the spirit world forever?
Fortunately, this is not the end of the story. Someday, our bodies and spirits will be reunited again. We will shake off the sleep of death, and we will live again. We’ll look the same, but our bodies will be perfect. Every pain, sickness, and imperfection will be gone. Our bodies will become immortal and will never die again. This is called the Resurrection and it’s made possible by the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made 2000 years ago. His atonement and resurrection overcame death. Because of Him, every one of us will be resurrected too. No one is exempt. All of us will live again. All of us who have been and will be born will be resurrected, regardless of the choices that we make.
At the time of resurrection, Jesus, our Savior will judge us individually. This final judgment will be based on our desires, actions, and choices. Only Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know our hearts. They know our individual circumstances and the challenges we face in life. So only They can judge us perfectly. When it’s time for the final judgment, it will be one of mercy, healing, and love. Because of His great love for each of us, God’s ultimate goal is to help all of us return to our heavenly home – the Celestial kingdom.
Whether we will live with God or not depends largely on the choices that we make here on Earth. He has provided commandments as a guide to help us live righteous lives and we have the power to make those choices. We won’t always make the right choices, we will make mistakes sometimes, but through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can repent and be renewed from sins.
The Plan of Salvation can give us hope and change the way we look at death
Knowing about the Plan of Salvation and Resurrection can give us hope and strength to face the challenges we experience here on Earth. Our knowledge of these things can change the way we look at our trials like physical, mental, and emotional deficiencies, disappointments, and loss, even death. We can find comfort that our challenges are temporary, and we can look forward to that glorious day when our bodies will be resurrected and perfected. And if we live righteously, we get the opportunity to live and dwell with God and with our loved ones forever.
With these profound truths, Chona’s dad passed on peacefully. But even with these truths, it was still hard for her and her family. Her grief and sadness were still immeasurable, but her knowledge of God’s plan helped her understand why death is inevitable. It gave her a firm hope of someday reuniting with her father again.
To live again, to be reunited with those who died before us, and to be free from earthly pain – isn’t this wonderful blessing and plan an undeniable evidence of God’s unimaginable love for us?