Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify one another
~ Romans 14:19 ~
All of us have to deal with death at one time or another, but to have in one’s heart a solid conviction concerning the reality of eternal life is to bring a sense of peace in an hour of tragedy and loss that can come from no other source under the heavens.
~ Gordon B. Hinckley – Stand a Little Taller Counsel and Inspiration for Each Day of the Year ~
The most difficult aspect of our mortality is experiencing loss. And it is most difficult in times when we are experiencing a sense of profound loss. With grief comes the sense of hopelessness, anxiety, anger, shame and guilt, resentment, bitterness, exhaustion and fatigue, and difficulty in managing other such distressing emotions. When we experience grief, we are experiencing a physical and emotional response to loss.
A common occurrence is when we find ourselves questioning our Heavenly Father. Specifically when we are experiencing an overwhelming emotional and physical pain. This may lead to one from seeing the gracious help our Lord extends toward each one of us. Yet scripture is reassuring that our Lord has surely … borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows (see, Isaiah 53:4).
Because grief may be powerful and overwhelming, many of us have attempted to avoid experiencing it. This may come when we experience a sense that our faith is lacking in God. However, our Savior understands the depths of our own sorrows. It is the cost of our love toward other people. And it is sadly unfortunate that our society today teaches that we need to get over the loss and move on. One simply does not get over or move on after a significant loss of someone they love.
The blessings of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we all will face death. This is inevitable. As we live with an eternal perspective and mindset, we come to understand that our life does not end at death. We transition toward what awaits us beyond mortality. Here are the words of Parley P. Pratt. Words he spoke concerning Spiritual Communication on April 7, 1853:
Where then does the spirit go, on its departure from its earthly tabernacle? It passes to the next sphere of human existence, called the world of spirits, a vail being drawn between us in the flesh, and that world of spirits. Well, says one, is there no more than one place in the spirit world? Yes, there are many places and degrees in that world, as in this. Jesus Christ, when absent from his flesh, did not ascend to the Father, to be crowned, and enthroned in power. Why? Because he had not yet a resurrected body, and had therefore a mission to perform in another sphere. Where then did he go? To the world of spirits, to wicked, sinful spirits, who died in their sins, being swept off by the flood of Noah. The thief on the cross, who died at the same time, also went to the same world, and to the same particular place in the same world, for he was a sinner, and would of course go to the prison of the condemned, there to await the ministry of that Gospel which had failed to reach his case while on the earth.
A Sermon Delivered by Elder P. P. Pratt, before the Conference
at Great Salt Lake City, April 7, 1853 – Journal of Discourses, Volume 1, p.6
Because of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we may grieve the loss of loved one’s in this life – yet are assured through our Heavenly Father that we may be reunited with loved ones in the life to come. This is the blessing of Temple work. The blessing of Genealogy. To do the work for those who live beyond the veil of mortality. Those awaiting for the blessed assurances and promises that they may not have had in this life.
Today’s mindset is upon different things. The atheist denies eternal life and believes that this is the only life that matters. Once we lay down our mortal bodies, there is no other existence. Our sense of being becomes annihilated in death. The Christian perceives that upon death a person is judged and sentenced to Hell. Those who have confessed Christ as their Lord and Savior are immune and brought into Heaven. The Calvinist further teaches that only those of the Elect are redeemed and brought into Heavenly Glory whilst those who are of the non-elect perish and are annihilated. Then there is the Roman Catholic who hold to the idea that a spirit may reside in purgatory – a spiritual limbo.
For us Latter-day Saints, the Restored Gospel has brought unto us the truth of our mortal and everlasting life. The Plan of Salvation for all to hear and embrace. These spiritual truths brings peace to our sorrow laden hearts. As we work through our grief we also are comforted. We are to comfort and mourn with those who mourn (see Romans 12:15 and Mosiah 18:9). This is how we edify one another and bring peace to one another.
How have you experienced overwhelming loss in your life? How have you struggled with grief and deep sorrow? How has the Gospel of Jesus Christ blessed you during times of sorrow and grief? What are you struggling with regarding eternal and everlasting life?
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Thank you – Mormon Apologia