Death is one of those universal laws that all mankind is subject to, yet it remains a mystery to almost everyone and considered part of the “Great Unknown”.  Death is the separation of our eternal spirit from our physical body until the universal resurrection takes place where the spirit and body are re-united again.   The apostle Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”  (1 Corinthians 15: 19 in the Bible). My interpretation of this scripture is that our Heavenly Father and Savior have a marvelous Plan of Salvation for the sons and daughter of God that cover the period of our existence in heaven before birth, our earthly birth gaining a physical body and experience, life after death in the spirit world, the rejoining of our spirits with our physical bodies in the resurrection and our assignment to degrees of glory after judgement.

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” (part of the spirit world) and the wicked go to “Spirit Prison” (a spiritual prison caused by sins not repented of and a lack of spiritual knowledge and understanding) to prepare for the resurrection and final Judgment.  The Savior said to the person on a cross by him, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”  (Luke 23: 43 p. 1321in the New Testament)

The apostle Paul said about himself, “And I knew such a man…How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words…”  (2 Corinthians 12: 2-3 in the Bible)

Gospel of Jesus Christ Taught in the Spirit World

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 we associated with.  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)

Millennium Period

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 starts.  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)

In Summary

As we learn more about the marvelous “Plan of Salvation” that Heavenly Father has for His sons and daughters that keep the Savior’s commandments, we begin in a small way to understand what the Lord meant by the following: “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”  (1 Corinthians 2: 9 in the Bible)