The Savior said this about our future happiness or sorrow following death. “And it shall come to pass that those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them; And they that die not in me, wo unto them, for their death is bitter.” (Doctrine & Covenants 42: 46-47). “those that die in me” refers to the sons and daughters of God that try hard to keep His commandments while living on earth and repent when they fall short. Would it not be wonderful to have our death be “sweet” filled with joy and happiness and not sorrow!
At Death our Eternal Spirits Enter the Spirit World to Await Resurrection and Judgment
From the scriptures we learn that at death as each spirit leaves the physical body there is a partial judgment by the Lord that separates the righteous from the wicked. The righteous spirits go to “Paradise” (section in the spirit world) and the wicked go to “Spirit Prison” (a spiritual prison caused by sins not repented of and a lack of Gospel knowledge and understanding) to prepare for the final Judgment. The Savior said to the person on a cross by him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23: 43 in the Bible). The Savior was not referring to Heaven because on Sunday (two days later) he said to Mary, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20: 17 in the Bible)
Gospel of Jesus Christ Taught in the Spirit World
The marvelous plan of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ allows us as sons and daughters of God to continue our progression in gaining spiritual knowledge, repenting of sins and living the commandments of God while we live in the spirit world. We will have our agency to make choices there as we do here on earth.
The Savior opened the doors to teaching His gospel to the spirits in spiritual prison as the apostle Peter explained, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3: 18-20 in the Bible)
“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 in the Bible)
Our Eternal Spirit Remembers Our Earthly Experiences
After death our spirit continues to remember our experiences on earth and the people with whom we associated. An ancient prophet gave these details of our memory after death, “Wherefore, we shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness, and our nakedness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness…” (2 Nephi 9: 14 p. 73 in the Book of Mormon)
When the Savior Jesus Christ returns to the earth to reign, this ushers in the millennial period, a thousand years under His direction.
The prophet Moses recorded, “And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the space of a thousand years;”
(Moses 7: 65 p. 25 in the Pearl of Great Price)
When the Millennium period begins, the resurrection of the righteous known as the first resurrection begins. The apostle John records in the Book of Revelation, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20: 6 in the Bible)
How to Use This Knowledge
I encourage all of us to think about where we are now in controlling our carnal selfish nature and empowering our eternal spirit’s divine nature so when the time comes, we may pass into the spirit world to a joyful reunion with our loved ones and benefit from the Lord’s great plan of happiness and continued progression.