Thoughts on Death and Life after Death

What is death? Or, rather, what happens when we die? Is there really life after death in a different form? Do heaven and hell really exist? Or is it just the end of our being completely? What is the purpose of the life we are living now? If we knew what was waiting for us after we die, would the purpose of our lives change? Would we live differently?


Death is something each and every one of us has in common. We are all mortal, and we are all going to die at some point. No one can escape death. So why is it something we seldom think about until we are near death or we have a loved one pass away? If we all die, why does it hurt so badly when someone we love dies?


If there is life after death, then we know we will see our loved ones again. When my husband and I were dating, we both left on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and wouldn’t see each other for two years. I cried my eyes out when he left even though I knew I would see him just two years later. When we love someone, we want to be near them. Death separates us for an amount of time, and we long to still see and be with that person. What would we be willing to do to make sure we lived with our loved ones after we die?


On the other hand, if dying really is the end of our being completely, then what are we living for? Just to learn, work, build relationships, have a good time, accumulate as much as we possibly can just to lose it all at the end of life? Basically living for nothing. Why would we care how we treated others or what we did with our time? There would be no reason to know right from wrong.


We do, however, know that there is right and wrong, good and bad, but who decides what is good vs. bad? Why is it so important to us to treat everyone with kindness and to help others that might need it? What makes good good and bad bad? If there is a heaven and a hell, where is the line drawn between the two? If heaven and hell exist then God exists and so does the devil. God sets the guidelines or commandments on how to live(good), and the devil tries to get us to do the opposite(bad). 


How do we find out what those guidelines and commandments are? Did God put us here to figure it out ourselves or does He give us help? A few of the ways I have found answers to these questions are prayer, studying scriptures(The Book of Mormon, the Bible, etc.), and from living prophets. If God gave His children prophets in the past to help and guide them, why would he not do the same for us in our time?


So if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do differently today? Would you mend a broken relationship? Ask for forgiveness Give forgiveness? Would you worry about work, money, the latest trends, how many followers you have, how nice your car is or how big your house is? Would you treat strangers differently? Who would you want to spend your last moments with? Or who would you want to reach out to? Would you be happy with the way you’ve lived your life and spent your time? Would you be afraid or would you be ready?