Should people of afraid of death. I have always wondered what happens to us after we die. Can my question be answered. Devoted
I think it is pretty universal to be afraid of death, or if not death itself maybe the pain that may lead up to that final breath. I also think it is much a matter of being afraid of the unknown.
I do know that there are now accounts of hundreds or more like thousands who have had what is called “near death experience”, where the heart and brain activity stops for a short period and the individual finds themselves out of their body. There are a myriad of descriptions of these “out of body” experiences causing some to conclude that even though there are many commonalities reported it seems that each has a unique experience awaiting them, one suited to them. It is widely reported that the feelings of peace, love and acceptance experienced there results in a total lack of fear by those who have had such an experience and have been revived. The Bible is not all that clear on life after death. Yes, the Lord told the thief beside him:
“To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
In another passage Peter teaches that Jesus, while his body lie in the tomb for those couple of days and while in the spirit
“By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (1Peter 3:19) For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Peter 4:6)
I think that often, individuals mistake these passages speaking of paradise and prison after this life as our final destination and refer to it as heaven or hell but I tell you that these two designations only refer to the status of the spirits of those who die and who there await the resurrection and final judgement. The Bible does leave the impression that these are final rewards, but there are suggestions in the scriptures of a more equitable eternity where the spectrum of human souls who have come to this earth will be judged by how they live their lives and rewarded based upon their degree of righteous.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Revelations 20:12)
The thought that all will be consigned to either heaven or a burning hell is a misunderstanding. The Apostle Paul, for instance, mentions three degrees of glory at the resurrection: 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: (1 Corinthians 15:40-42) Paul later also made reference to the three degrees of glory when he mentions a third heaven: 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. (2 Corinthians 12:2)
The Book of Mormon, which we believe to be a record of scripture written by Ancient American prophets, makes a more clear explanation of the world of spirits. A prophet named Alma wrote:
“11 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. 13And 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. 14Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.”
Again, it is at and after the resurrection, that the final judgment will occur. At the resurrection, we will rise with a body representing one of the three degrees of glory mentioned by Paul above. At the final judgment, there will be not much question as to which of the tree degrees of glory we will inherit as we will be resurrected with a body in appearance corresponding to the celestial glory compared to the sun in glory, the terrestrial glory compared to the moon or the telestial glory compared to the stars which greatly vary in glory. Those who are true followers of Christ will inherit the celestial kingdom, those who are good people of the earth, but not true followers will inherit the terrestrial kingdom and the wicked will inherit the telestial kingdom. All of these kingdoms, though varying greatly in glory, will actually be kingdoms of glory and all but the few who are called “sons of perdition” will live eternally in a glory far beyond our present comprehension. Sons of perdition will be banished to follow Satan and will be cast out.
My goal, personally, is to live so that I can be with my family forever is the Celestial Kingdom where God and Christ dwell.