Quotes on Death
See also: D&C 74:7; Alma 27:28
. . . I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; . . . In the earlier ages of the world a righteous man, and a man of God and of intelligence, had a better chance to do good, to be believed and received than at the present day; but in these days such a man is much opposed and persecuted by most of the inhabitants of the earth, and he has much sorrow to pass through here. The Lord takes many away even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 196-97
Just as there are parents to greet a newborn on earth, the scriptures teach that caring family members greet the spirits in paradise and assist them in the adjustments to a new life (see Gen. 25:8, 35:29; 49:33). — Elder Merrill J. Bateman, Ensign, May 1995, p. 13
There is no cause to fear death; it is but an incident in life. — President David O. McKay, 1964
At the funeral of Elder Richard L. Evans, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “No righteous man is ever taken before his time.” — Ensign, December 1971, p. 10
By the war’s end, [World War II], the number of Latter-day Saints in military service approached one hundred thousand. This was about one out of every ten Church members. While some appeared to be miraculously protected, the lives of all were not spared. Elder Harold B. Lee sought to comfort those who lost a loved one in the war. He said, “It is my conviction that the present devastating scourge of war in which hundreds of thousands are being slain, many of whom are no more responsible for the causes of the war than are our own boys, is making necessary an increase of missionary activity in the spirit world and that many of our boys who bear the Holy Priesthood and are worthy to do so will be called to that missionary service after they have departed this life.” — Church History in the Fullness of Times, p. 531
Lucy’s sons, Joseph and Hyrum, ultimately sealed their testimonies with their blood. As the grieving mother looked upon their lifeless remains, she cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken this family!” As a kind blessing to a faithful mother, the Lord softened her grief and granted to her the peace that only God can bestow. A voice spoke to her soul: “I have taken them to myself, that they might have rest.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, p. 324.) — M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, November 1991, p. 6-7
“Are you afraid of dying?”
“No more afraid than I was to be born.”
We knew before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience and that we would have joys and sorrows, ease and pain, comforts and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments, and we knew also that after a period of life we would die. We accepted all these eventualities with a glad heart, eager to accept both the favorable and unfavorable. We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward even though it might be for only a day or a year. Perhaps we were not so much concerned whether we should die of disease, of accident, or of senility. We were willing to take life as it came and as we might organize and control it, and this without murmur, complaint, or unreasonable demands. (Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 106) — Book of Mormon Student Manual, p. 22
The death of any old person is like the burning of a library. — Alex Haley
I once attended a funeral service with Elder M. Russell Ballard. A statement he made there has remained with me to this day. He said, “Life isn’t over for a Latter-day Saint until he or she is safely dead, with their testimony still burning brightly.” “Safely dead” – what a challenging concept. — F. Burton Howard, Ensign, May 1996, p. 28
I have felt of late as if our brethren on the other side of the veil had held a council and that they had said to this one, and that one, “Cease thy work on earth, come hence, we need help,” and they have called this man and that man. It has appeared so to me in seeing the many men who have been called from our midst lately. Perhaps I may be permitted to relate a circumstance with which I am acquainted in relation to Bishop Roskelley, of Smithfield, Cache County. On one occasion he was suddenly taken very sick, near to death’s door. While he lay in this condition, President Peter Maughan, who was dead, came to him and said: “Brother Roskelley, we held a council on the other side of the veil. I have had a great deal to do, and I have the privilege of coming here to appoint one man to come and help. I have had three names given to me in council, and you are one of them. I want to inquire into your circumstances.” The Bishop told him what he had to do, and they conversed together as one man would converse with another. President Maughan then said to him: “I think I will not call you. I think you are wanted here more than perhaps one of the others.” Bishop Roskelley got well from that hour. Very soon after, the second man was taken sick, but not being able to exercise sufficient faith, Brother Roskelley did not go to him. By and by this man recovered, and on meeting Brother Roskelley he said: “Brother Maughan came to me the other night and told me he was sent to call one man from the ward,” and he named two men as had been done to Brother Roskelley. A few days afterwards the third man was taken sick and died. Now, I name this to show a principle. They have work on the other side of the veil; and they want men, and they call them. And that was my view in regard to Brother George A. Smith. When he was almost at death’s door, Brother Cannon administered to him, and in thirty minutes he was up and ate breakfast with his family. We labored with him in this way, but ultimately, as you know, he died. But it taught me a lesson. I felt that man was wanted behind the veil. We labored also with Brother Pratt; he, too, was wanted behind the veil. — Wilford Woodruff, “Council Meetings Held Behind the Veil,” excerpts of Discourse delivered in Salt Lake City, October 8, 1881
On the other side of the veil there are perhaps 70 billion people. They need the same gospel, and releases occur here to aid the Lord’s work there. Though we miss the departed righteous so much here, hundreds may feel their touch there. One day, those hundreds will thank the bereaved for gracefully foregoing the extended association with choice individuals here in order that they could help hundreds there. In God’s ecology, talent and love are never wasted. — Told by Cory Maxwell at his father Neal A. Maxwell’s funeral, Church News, July 31, 2004, p. 4
We treasure life, we love life, we cling to life, and we should. Life is a gift of God . . . and it matters not whether we die young or old, for we shall go on living. Death will not be the end. We will step across the threshold into a new phase of life. But as this has been a phase, so that also will be a phase. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Payson Utah Regional Conference, September 16, 2001 [shortly after the tragic 9/11 terrorist attack in New York City]
President David O. McKay took occasion to relate an experience in the life of Bishop John Wells, formerly a member of the Presiding Bishopric. A son of Bishop Wells was killed in Emigration Canyon on a railroad track. . . . His boy was run over by a freight train. Sister Wells was inconsolable. She mourned during the three days prior to the funeral, received no comfort at the funeral, and was in a rather serious state of mind. One day soon after the funeral services, while she was lying on her bed relaxed, still mourning, she claims that her son appeared to her and said, “Mother, do not mourn. Do not cry. I am all right.” He told her that she did not understand how the accident happened. He explained that he had given a signal to the engineer to move on and then made the usual effort to catch the railings on the freight train, but as he attempted to do so his foot caught in a root and he failed to catch the hand rail and his body fell under the train. It was clearly an accident. He said that as soon as he realized that he was in another environment he tried to see his father but he could not reach him. His father was so busy with the duties in the office that he could not respond to his call; therefore, he had come to his mother and he said to her, “You tell Father that all is well with me. I want you to not mourn anymore.”
Then President McKay said that the point he had in mind was that when we are relaxed in a private room we are more susceptible to those things, that so far as he was concerned his best thoughts come after he gets up in the morning and is relaxed and thinking about the duties of the day, that impressions come as clearly as if he were to hear a voice and those impressions are right. If we are worried about something and upset in our feelings the inspiration does not come. — Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Harold B. Lee, p. 182-83
Please know that grief is the natural by-product of love. One cannot selflessly love another person and not grieve at his suffering or eventual death. The only way to avoid the grief would be to not experience the love; and it is love that gives life its richness and meaning. Hence, what a grieving parent can expect to receive from the Lord in response to earnest supplication may not necessarily be an elimination of grief so much as a sweet reassurance that, whatever his or her circumstances, one’s child is in the tender care of a loving Heavenly Father. — Elder Lance B. Wickman, “But If Not,” Ensign, November 2002, p. 30
But the Lord has not left us comfortless or without any answers. As to the healing of the sick, He has clearly said: “And again, it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed” (D&C 42:48). All too often we overlook the qualifying phrase “and is not appointed unto death” (“or,” we might add, “unto sickness or handicap.”) — Elder Lance B. Wickman, “But If Not,” Ensign, November 2002, p. 30
Where does the spirit go after death? I will tell you. Will I locate them? Yes, if you wish me to. They do not pass out of the organization of this earth on which we live. You read in the Bible that when the spirit leaves the body it goes to God who gave it. Now tell me where God is not, if you please; you cannot. How far would you have to go in order to go to God, if your spirits were unclothed? Would you have to go out of this bowery to find God, if you were in the spirit? . . . It reads that the spirit goes to God who gave it. Let me render this Scripture a little plainer; when the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God, they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things. But where is the spirit world? It is incorporated within this celestial system. Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No. Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies, as did the servant of Elijah. [Elisha. See 2 Kings 6:17.] If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 3:368
The great misery of departed spirits in the world of spirits, where they go after death, is to know that they come short of the glory that others enjoy and that they might have enjoyed themselves, and they are their own accusers. — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 311
President Harold B. Lee comforted the saints after World War II who had lost husbands and sons to the ravages of war. He explained why faithful saints were dying. Many, many men and women were losing their lives and there was a great need for missionary work on the other side. — President Harold B. Lee, October 1942 General Conference address
Now, this little boy (4½-year-old son of Heber J. Grant) has not lived through the years that others have, and that he might have lived, provided, as I think, that it was in the providence of God. Well, he goes back there, having been cut short of living as long as the usual time of people. He will receive as much honor and as much glory and be welcomed there as having accomplished that for which he came into the world, and for which he was willing to come into the world. That is all that could be required, and wherein could there possibly be any loss? I can see none, and I am just as positive that in time to come or in eternity this little fellow will not be cut short in its powers. It may require a great many years, it may go into the thousands, but you will see that little fellow growing up and becoming enlarged, his capacity increasing as opportunities are furnished him, and he will start a kingdom, and that kingdom will increase. His posterity will increase, and become as numerous as the sands on the seashore, or as the stars in the firmament, and he will rule over them, and give them instructions, as the Lord now governs and controls us, His offspring, so he will govern and control his offspring. I am sure of these things. — President Lorenzo Snow, Millennial Star 57:387, June 20, 1895
Neal Maxwell was reviewing his handwritten notes just prior to speaking at Dr. Reed Merrill’s funeral. He said of these notes: “. . . they included words of gratitude for what I called, even back them, ‘the intersections of our lives’ – Reed’s and mine. The most important thing to be said about Reed Merrill when he departed from this life was that he exited ‘in spiritual crescendo.’ Such things bring joy!” — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Brim with Joy,” BYU Devotional, January 23, 1996
In the days of Job it was said, “All that a man hath will he give for his life.” (Job 2:4.) For a very wise purpose, God has implanted in every [CR, 64] human heart a great natural desire for continued existence. We cling to life with every ounce of our strength. Even in severe sickness or oppressive trouble, we will still go to almost any length to prolong life even for a week or a month, though the period gained may be one of pain or hopelessness. But we will suffer almost any inconvenience or endure almost any hardship just to live. — Elder Sterling W. Sill, in Conference Report, October 1956, pp. 63-4; or Improvement Era, December 1956, p. 942
My wife Lucy was very sick for nearly three years prior to her death. At one time I was in the hospital with her for six months. When she was dying, I called my children into the bedroom and told them their mamma was dying. My daughter Lutie said she did not want her mamma to die and insisted that I lay hands upon her and heal her, saying that she had often seen her mother, when sick in the hospital in San Francisco, suffering intensely, go to sleep immediately and have a peaceful night’s rest when I had blessed her. I explained to my children that we all had to die some time, and that I felt that their mamma’s time had come. The children went out of the room, and I knelt down by the bed of my dying wife and told the Lord that I acknowledged his hand in life or in death, in joy or in sorrow, in prosperity or adversity; that I did not complain because my wife was dying, but that I lacked the strength to see my wife die and have her death affect the faith of my children in the ordinances of the gospel. I therefore pleaded with him to give to my daughter Lutie a testimony that it was his will that her mother should die. Within a few short hours, my wife breathed her last. Then I called the children into the bedroom and announced that their mamma was dead. My little boy Heber commenced weeping bitterly, and Lutie put her arms around him and kissed him, and told him not to cry, that the voice of the Lord had said to her, “In the death of your mamma the will of the Lord will be.” Lutie knew nothing of my prayers, and this manifestation to her was a direct answer to my supplication to the Lord, and for it I have never ceased to be grateful. — President Heber J. Grant, “When Great Sorrows Are Our Portion,” Improvement Era, p. 15, [June 1912]
I would like to say to you, my friends and brethren, if we could see things as they are, and as we shall see and understand them, this dark shadow and valley is so trifling that we shall turn round and look about upon it and think, when we have crossed it, why this is the greatest advantage of my whole existence, for I have passed from a state of sorrow, grief, mourning, woe, misery, pain, anguish and disappointment into a state of existence, where I can enjoy life to the fullest extent as far as that can be done without a body. My spirit is set free, I thirst no more, I want to sleep no more, I hunger no more, I tire no more, I run, I walk, I labor, I go, I come, I do this, I do that, whatever is required of me, nothing like pain or weariness, I am full of life, full of vigor, and I enjoy the presence of my Heavenly Father, by the power of his Spirit. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 17, pp. 142-43
Removal from this earth by the hand of the Lord must come at one time or another and can be a blessing to an individual, brought about for his best interest at whatever time the Lord sees it to be optimum. — Old Testament Student Manual, p. 290
This world is a very wicked world; and it . . . grows more wicked and corrupt. . . . The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.
The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope.
A question may be asked – “Will mothers have their children in eternity?” Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid.
Children . . . must rise just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory – the same loveliness in the celestial glory.
President Joseph F. Smith, the sixth President of the Church, reported: “Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’” [Note: See additional text on this subject under “Smith, Joseph.”] — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, pp. 176-78
When we realize that death is only one of the steps that the children of God shall take throughout eternity, and that it is according to his plan, it robs death of its sting and brings us face to face with the reality of eternal life. Many families have been called upon to say good-bye temporarily to those they love. When such passings occur, they disturb us, if we will let them, and thus bring great sorrow into our lives. But if our spiritual eyes could be opened and we could see, we would be comforted, I am sure, with what our vision would behold. The Lord has not left us without hope. On the contrary he has given us every assurance of eternal happiness, if we will accept his advice and counsel while here in mortality.
This is not an idle dream. These are facts. — Teachings: George Albert Smith, pp. 76-77; Ted Barnes, “He Lived as He Taught,” Ensign, January 2012, p. 56
We do not control what I call the great transfer board in the sky. The inconveniences that are sometimes associated with release from our labors here are necessary in order to accelerate the work there. Heavenly Father can’t do His work with ten times more people than we have on this planet, except He will on occasion take some of the very best sisters and brothers. The conditions of termination here, painful though they are, are a part of the conditions of acceleration there. Thus we are back to faith in the timing of God, and to be able to say Thy timing be done, even when we do not fully understand it. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Glorify Christ,” Address to CES Religious Educators, Salt Lake Tabernacle, February 2, 2001
The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life. — Elder Russell M. Nelson, “Doors of Death,” Ensign, May 1992, p. 72
At funerals our tears are genuine, but not because of termination – rather because of interruption. Though just as wet, our tears are not of despair but are of appreciation and anticipation. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “All Hell Is Moved,” 1977 Devotional Speeches of the Year, p. 181
We are not going to die. We are deathless beings. We lived before we came into this world, and we shall live after we go out of it. What we call death is not worthy the name. There is no death for the righteous. Christ died to destroy death. The change called death is but a temporary separation of the spirit from the body. . . .
None of our dear departed ones are dead. They have but gone before. This so-called death, when properly understood, is simply a going back home. — Elder Orson F. Whitney, Improvement Era, May 1916, pp. 608-9
There is no cause to fear death; it is but an incident in life. It is as natural as birth. Why should we fear it? Some fear it because they think it is the end of life, and life often is the dearest thing we have. Eternal life is man’s greatest blessing.
If only men would “do his will” [see John 7:17], instead of looking hopelessly at the dark and gloomy tomb, they would turn their eyes heavenward and know that Christ is risen! . . .
With all my soul I know that death is conquered by Jesus Christ.” — President David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1966, pp. 58-59
The death of no man of God is ever untimely. Our Father sets the time. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Harold Bingham Lee: Humility, Benevolence, Loyalty,” Ensign, Feb. 1974, p. 90
When severe illness strikes, Church members should exercise faith in the Lord and seek competent medical assistance. However, when dying becomes inevitable, it should be looked upon as a blessing and a purposeful part of eternal existence. Members should not feel obligated to extend mortal life by means that are unreasonable. These judgments are best made by family members after receiving wise and competent medical advice and seeking divine guidance through fasting and prayer. — General Handbook of Instructions, 1989, 11-6
President [George Albert] Smith testified of these truths at the funeral services of Hyrum G. Smith, Patriarch to the Church, who had passed away at a relatively young age, leaving behind his wife and eight children:
“I have felt, since I was asked to speak at this funeral, that perhaps I would not be able to do so. My emotions have been stirred, and I have found myself incapable of controlling them, but since I came into this building a beautiful, sweet influence of peace has come into my soul. . . .
“Instead of mourning I feel to thank our Father in heaven for the Gospel of His Beloved Son that has been revealed anew in our day. . . . To know that life is eternal is a wonderful blessing, to know that throughout eternity the blessings that this good man has lived for will be his. His mortal life has been terminated but this is only part of eternal life. He has laid the foundation deep and secure upon which he has built and will continue to build throughout eternity. The joy that he has experienced here upon earth will be added upon. . . .
“As I think of the experiences of people in the world, on occasions of this kind, I marvel how we have been blessed. I have no more doubt about eternal life and the immortality of the soul than I have that the sun shines at midday. . . . It is a sad thing to part with our dear ones, even temporarily. We send them upon missions, or they go to other parts of the world to live and we miss them. When an occasion like this occurs it seems that they are more distant, but as a matter of fact they are not, if we but understood. . . . Instead of extending the condolence that sometimes might go to those who are bereaved, I feel more like rejoicing this day that I know that this is not the end. . . .
“So today, as I stand in your presence, when perhaps tears should be flowing, my soul is filled with comfort and satisfaction. I pray that that comfort may be in the lives of each of those who are bereaved.” (In Deseret News, Feb. 13, 1932, Church section, 5, 7.) — Teachings of Presidents of the Church, George Albert Smith, Ch. 7, “The Immortality of the Soul”
And it has been said that the most important event in life is death. We live to die and then we die to live. Death is a kind of graduation day for life. It is our only means of entrance to our eternal lives. And it seems to me to be a very helpful procedure to spend a little time pre-living our death. That is, what kind of person would you like to be when the last hour of your life arrives? — Elder Sterling W. Sill, “To Die Well,” Ensign, November 1976, p. 46
One of the greatest evidences to me of the divinity of this work is that it teaches there is eternal life on the other side, and that there will be a reunion there of the loved ones who have known each other here. . . . The few years that we live here may be regarded as a time in which we become acquainted, but, when we mingle in the other life, we will know each other better than we have here. — President George Albert Smith, “Conference Report,” October 1905, p. 30
From [the] majestic world of spirits we enter the grand stage of life to prove ourselves obedient to all things commanded of God. During mortality we grow from helpless infancy to inquiring childhood and then to reflective maturity. We experience joy and sorrow, fulfillment and disappointment, success and failure. We taste the sweet, yet sample the bitter. This is mortality.
Then to each life comes the experience known as death. None is exempt. All must pass its portals.
To most, there is something sinister and mysterious about this unwelcome visitor called death. Perhaps it is a fear of the unknown which causes many to dread its coming. . . . [The Savior’s] words to the grieving Martha and to His disciples today bring comfort to us: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” — President Thomas S. Monson, “Mrs. Patton – the Story Continues,” Ensign, November 2007, pp. 22-23
The person we are when we depart this life is the person we will be as we enter the next. Thankfully, we do have Today. . . . We really are immortal in the sense that Christ’s Atonement conquers death, both physical and spiritual. And provided we have so lived Today that we have claim on the Atonement’s cleansing grace, we will live forever with God. This life is not so much a time for getting and accumulating as it is a time for giving and becoming. Mortality is the battlefield upon which justice and mercy meet. But they need not meet as adversaries, for they are reconciled in the Atonement of Jesus Christ for all who wisely use Today. — Elder Lance B. Wickman, “Today,” Ensign, May 2008, p. 105
Brigham Young’s words concerning his own death and burial are worth noting. After giving instructions concerning where he should be buried, he said, “There let my earthly house or tabernacle rest in peace, and have a good sleep, until the morning of the first resurrection; no crying or mourning with anyone as I have done my work faithfully and in good faith.” (Cited in Preston Nibley, Brigham Young: The Man and His Work, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1936, p. 537.)
As we reflect on those who have gone before us, and as we consider our present labors for the good of ourselves and others, would that we all might say each day, “I am doing my work faithfully and in good faith.” — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Faith of the Pioneers,” Ensign, July 1984, p. 6
I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it is a proverb that the “world grows weaker and wiser;” if that is the case, the world grows more wicked and corrupt. In the earlier ages of the world a righteous man, and a man of God and of intelligence, had a better chance to do good, to be believed and received than at the present day: but in these days such a man is much opposed and persecuted by most of the inhabitants of the earth, and he has much sorrow to pass through here.
The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again. — Joseph Smith, Doctrinal History of the Church 4:553
It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our own time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
When shall we die? Never. Says our Savior, “Whosoever believeth in me shall never die.” Shall we put on this mortality? Yes, we will lay down these bodies in the grave. What for? That the dust, our mother earth, that composes the house of the spirit, may be purified by passing through this ordeal, and be prepared to be called up and united with the intelligent heavenly body that God has prepared. This is nothing but a change. It is not the dissolution of the creature; it is merely putting off the flesh that pertains to this world. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:43
We are naturally inclined to cling to our mother earth; our bodies love to live here, to see, to hear, to breathe, and to enjoy themselves, because we are of the earth, earthy. But probably, in most cases, the change from mortal to immortality is no greater, comparatively speaking, than when a child emerges into this world. We shall suffer no more in putting off this flesh and leaving the spirit houseless than the child, in its capacity, does in its first efforts to breathe the breath of this mortal life. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:28
No person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ has a right to spend a day, an hour, or a minute of his life or her life in a manner unbecoming the profession of a Saint; they should be ready to depart this life any moment. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17:140
To me life is increase, death is the opposite . . . if mankind will choose the opposite to life held out in the Gospel, it will lead them to dissolution, to decomposition, to death . . . but to simply take the path pointed out in the Gospel, by those who have given us the plan of salvation, is to take the path that leads to life, to eternal increase; it is to pursue that course where we shall never, never lose what we obtain, but continue to collect, to gather together, to increase, to spread abroad and extend to an endless duration. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:350
Those who have honored their calling and Priesthood to the end die in the Lord, and their works do follow them. . . . It is a matter of rejoicing more than the day of birth . . . it is true it is grievous to part with our friends. We are creatures of passion, of sympathy, of love, and it is painful for us to part with our friends . . . But we have joy in the dissolution of the body . . . That silent day is consigned to rest, and the spirit is free – gone to God who gave it. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 13:75-76
I do know that the trying day will soon come to you and to me; and ere long we will have to lay down these tabernacles and go into the spirit world. And I do know that as we lie down, so judgment will find us, and that is scriptural; “as the tree falls so it shall lie,” or, in other words, as death leaves us so judgment will find us. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:52
When I was about fourteen years of age, I read the fortieth chapter of Alma in the Book of Mormon in our Sunday School class. It made an impression on my mind that has been helpful when death has taken loved ones away. . . . It is one place in the scriptures that tells us where our spirits go when they leave this body [see verses 11-14], and I have wanted to go to that place called paradise ever since.
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.
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.
14 Now 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 estate, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, p. 103
The thought of meeting my children who have preceded me beyond the veil, and of meeting my kindred and my friends, what happiness it affords! For I know that I shall meet them there. God has shown me that this is true. He has made it clear to me, in answer to my prayer and devotion, as he has made it clear to the understanding of all men who have sought diligently to know him. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 134
Yes, we will lay down these bodies in the grave. What for? That the dust, our mother earth, that composes the house of the spirit, may be purified by passing through this ordeal, and be prepared to be called up and united with the intelligent heavenly body that God has prepared. This is nothing but a change. It is not the dissolution of the creature; it is merely putting off the flesh that pertains to this world. — Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 373