By Brent M.
I feel a need to talk about life and death. I am 72 years old. I am a prostate cancer survivor. I take pills for atrial fibrillation, blood pressure, high cholesterol, reflux and diabetes. My mother died at the age of 62 from leukemia and my father at 70 from prostate cancer. In spite of the challenges I am relatively fit. I walk miles most days, keep my weight at about 160, get adequate rest and try to reduce stress in my doings. Still at my age, I am intrigued with this stage of life.
In the summer of 1982, my father sat next to my mother lying on her death bed. Her earthly time was slipping away. She was unconscious and unaware what was happening. Suddenly she sat up and reached out for someone. She uttered something like “mother.” Minutes later she was gone. Two years later my father was gone as well.
In today’s world with a longer life expectancy, I feel their departure was too soon! They missed seeing their grandchildren grow up and do the many marvelous things young adults do. My parents never got to meet their great grandchildren and participate in all their fascinating activities. At times I think they were short changed.
I miss them; I often wonder where they are and what they are doing. I would like to think they have some knowledge of us, their children, their five grand-children and thirteen great grand-children. I look forward to a grand reunion as we all pass over.
So with my abbreviated bio done, I want to share some thoughts and beliefs about this life, death and the life we will have after we pass over.
I have a strong belief that there is great purpose in this life. I believe there are things that we should try to complete while we live here in this earthly existence. What are those things? Who can give us direction and guidance? What should I be doing? Are there answers to my questions? I say yes! Those questions do have answers and they can be found by anyone.
At the end of this life, we supposedly die, but do we? Is that the end of life or is there another chapter? Does our existence continue? If so, where do we go? My belief is that life never ends! Multiple books have been written on this subject; movies have been produced about near death experiences and after life theories. One of my favorite explanations was given by a modern day religious leader who compared the progression of our lives to a rope that extends on both ends and continues forever. If you were to tie a thread somewhere on that rope, that small thread would represent our mortal existence. His illustration would indicate there was an infinite pre-life and a never ending after life. Our earthly life would be a very tiny part of our eternal existence. I very much like his comparison.
As my article indicates, I am very interested about relationships with loved ones after this life. Do they exist? If so, are families still families on the other side? Is there such a thing as “Eternal Families”? Will Mom still be Mom? Will I still be a dad to my children? And most importantly to me, will my spouse continue to be my wife in the hereafter? If those relationships can be everlasting, do I have to do something in this life to assure that we can become eternally bound together? I again believe that the answer to these questions is ”Yes!” The answers to these questions do exist. I am confident that families can be forever. To me, the truth is that love and relationships exist beyond the grave. I have the assurance that our loved ones who have passed over still care for us and are aware of our doings here on earth. I believe they are cheering for us and are looking forward to a great reunion with us on the other side.
M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993) 77.