Life after Death

Life-After-Death

The Recent death of a co-worker from a sudden and unexpected illness has brought the family of people I work with together in a way that I never expected. Garth the friend and co-worker who died was not an active member of the church but his family is very active in the church. He was a good friend of many of us here at work.

There have been many questions concerning the circumstances of his death. It seems that I have now been the one friends and co workers have turned to in there grief and mourning of the loss of our friend. I have been asked many questions concerning the LDS faith which is family actively was involved with. Many of the questions I have been asked have been concerning weather they being non members could attend his funeral at the LDS chapel it would be held at. This has lead to other questions about the church, its practices such as tithing and what the difference is between temples and regular church buildings.

My co workers apparent concern over whether they would be welcome at Garth’s funeral or not was very real. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to calm there fears and discuss more about the church at this time of tragedy. Garth was young, only in his early 30’s and had so much more life ahead of him.

There is one message however that I would like to send to my friends here at work however. It is one of hope, love compassion and that of the eternity’s that await them. It is the message of eternal life and life after death.

Our lives do not end with death. We do simply cease to exist, but rather continue in our eternal progress towards the ultimate goal of eternal exaltation. The blessing of the gospel are blessing of eternal family’s. When we are married in God’s temple we are married for eternity and all children born to us are part of our family’s for eternity. Because there is a life after this world, I would like to reassure my friends here at work that there will be an opportunity to see our friend again. He has not ceased to exist but rather has moved onto the next stage of his existence.

Christ died on the cross and was resurrected. Christ overcame death so that we too could live again. This is the great blessing of having a loving father in heaven. Because of this great blessing we will see all our friends and family again in the flesh and in the spirit world after death. Death cannot stop the eternal round of our existence.

I don’t know what our friend Garth is doing right now. Where this spirit world is or what it is like. But I do know that he is not suffering now. He lives, though not on this earth he is still alive and well in the spirit world. Waiting patiently for that day he will be reunited with his family and friends. He is waiting patiently for that day he will be reunited with his body which will be restored to its proper and perfect frame.

I am sure that those of his family that have since passed on were standing there waiting to welcome him back to his home. Garth was a good friend to many and he lives on.

Franklin D Richards once said “He who has given us life has assured us of life hereafter. Which is more difficult, to be born or to rise again? That we should live forever is no greater miracle than that we should live at all.”

John 10:17-18 says

“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

“No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father”

Christ has the power over death. Because of that power our friend will live again. Christ has provided a way for this blessing to be realized. Everyone will be resurrected regardless of the final judgement. This is a free gift to all.  Perhaps the gospel fundamentals manual chapter 35 teaches this concept best when it says

“Eventually all those in the spirit world will be resurrected. In the resurrection, the spirit and the body will be joined together again. Even though the body has decayed and become dust while it was in the grave, it will become an immortal and perfect body. The scriptures say that not even a hair of our heads will be lost and that all things will be restored to their proper and perfect frame.

In the resurrection the body and the spirit will be joined, never to be separated again. Through His love and His great atoning sacrifice for us, Jesus gave this wonderful gift of the resurrection to every person who ever lives on this earth.”

To all my friends here at work, Know that Garth will not be separated from us for long. We will be reunited with him. And to his family take comfort in the doctrine of eternal family’s

Garth our friend you were loved here and you will be missed.

By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals

The Plan of Salvation

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In the beginning before the world was our heavenly father knew that in the pre mortal world we could not progress to become like him in the state we were living in at that time. Out father in heaven knew that he did not become as he is while in the spirit form. A council of the gods was convened in The heavens to devise a plan to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man for this is God’s work and glory (moses 1:39).

There were 2 plans presented in this grand council of the Gods. The first plan was the plan of the devil. He wanted to have all power and glory, he promised salvation for every soul. ” And I, the aLord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That bSatan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the cbeginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will dredeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely eI will do it; wherefore fgive me thine honor.” This was his plan. A second plan was brought forth “But, behold, my Beloved aSon, which was my Beloved and bChosen from the beginning, said unto me—cFather, thy dwill be done, and the eglory be thine forever.” This was the plan of our savior Jesus christ. (moses chapter 4)

Those of us here today agreed to this great plan that was designed by our father in heaven. Though there were many who did not accept this plan and followed the devils plan “Wherefore, because that aSatan brebelled against me, and sought to destroy the cagency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also, that I should give unto him mine own power; by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be dcast down;And he became aSatan, yea, even the bdevil, the father of all clies, to ddeceive and to blind men, and to lead them ecaptive at his will, even as many as would not fhearken unto my voice.”

The Plan of salvation has much to it and I Do not belive I could effectivley explain it all but I hope I Can at least cover the basics of the plan.

After it was decided to go with Christ’s plan a world was needed for our use in mortality. This world now known as the earth was created for that purpose. This is what is referred to as the creation which we read about in the bible. The heavens and the earth are created in 6 creative periods commonly referred to as days.

The first part of this plan is the premortal existance where we were all begotten sons and daugthers of God. Jeremiah 1:5 illustraits this doctrine “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” Jeremiah learns in this scripture that we were created before our earth life and lived with God before we lived on earth. This is an Important part of the plan and important to unerstand. We are all like Jeremiah, We were all created as spirit sons and daughters before we came to earth for mortality. In the premortal existance we learned of the plan and were told that we would not remember our pre earth life.

The second stage was the Veil of forgetfullness. This was important. In order for the plan to work we could have no memory of the place which we came from orginally. This veil of forgetfullness is on our minds and spirits now. The purpose of our time on earth was to be tested and tried to see if we will follow God. Abraham 3:25 says “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;” If we had a memory of what and where we came from before, there would be no real test of our ability to abide by God’s Law. This was vital so that we could have the conditions to truly try our faith.

Once we passed through the veil to earth via birth we would be tried and tested in all manner of things pertaining to righteousness. God would send prophets and apostles to teach us the things of the gospel wich we would be required to take on faith because of the veil of forgetfullness place on our minds and spirit. Amos chapter 3:7 “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, abut he brevealeth his csecret unto his servants the dprophets.” God knew that we would not always follow his commandments. He knew that we would sin and thus not be worthy of his celestial law. We read in D and C 1:31 “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;”. If God cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance and we would all sin then the how could we obtain celestial glory and eternal salavation.

As part of our earthly plan a way was needed to be provided so that the price of sin could be paid while at the same time forgiveness could be obtained. How was this to happen. There is a story that is told of a man who signed and agreed to a contract for a loan of a substancial amount of money. The terms were agreed to and signed. The man was very happy with this arrangment and he spent the money on the things that he wanted and enjoyed. The day the debt would come due was yet a far way off. The man had no worries about paying it back and forgot all about it. The creditor however did not. he came to the mans house on the day the debt was due and demanded payment in full. The man who now realized that he must pay back the loan, had no money left to pay the creditor. The creditor exercised his rights, and had the man thrown in jail and arrested despite the mans pleas for mercy.

His creditor told him “you agreed to these terms when you signed the loan agreement.”

The man asked “is there no room for mercy.”

The creditor responded “If I show you mercy then I will be left unpaid. Do you believe in justice.”

The man responded “I did when it was in my favor”

The creditor responded “mercy cannot rob justice.”

The mans friend had heard about his trouble. He was a wealthy man and offerd to be the mediator between the creditor and the debtor who was his friend. He said to the creditor “I will agree to pay this mans debt, thus you will have been paid, you can then let the man go and he will have mercy, both mercy and justice will be sastified. Is that acceptable to you.” The creditor agreed to these terms. He then turned to the debtor and said “If I agree to pay your debt will you agree to accept me as your creditor, I will set the terms of repayment and you will adhere to them. it will not be easy but it will be possible. Do you agree to these terms.” The debtor agreed and was ever thankfull for having both justice and mercy being sastified.

Christ is our mediator and we are the debtors. He atoned for our sins and died for us, suffering pain and torment to atone for our sins. Christ agreed to pay the debt for us if we would accept him as our creditor. Because of this justice and mercy can be sastified making it possible to return to God if we repent of our sins.

After we die our spirits go on to the spirit world to await the final judgement. Here we continue our learning of the gospel however. Gospel instruction does not end with death. In the spirit world we await the ressurection. The Ressurection is a free gift to all from our loving Father in Heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” Becuse Christ was ressurected we all will be as well.

The scriptures teach that there will be 2 ressurections. One of the just and one of the unjust. John 5:28-29 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the agraves shall bhear his voice,

  And shall acome forth; bthey that have done good, unto the cresurrection of life; and they that have done devil, unto the resurrection of edamnation.”

After the Ressurection comes the final judgment for our lives on earth. This final judgement will determine what degree of glory we are to recived based on the adherence to the law that we lived here on earth.

It is after the final judgment that we recieve all that we have worked for in this life. There are different degrees of glory or kingdoms which we may be judged worthy of. The Celestial, Terrestial, and Telestial glory and outer darkness and eternal damnation. 1 Corinthians 15:40-42 “aThere are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the bcelestial is one, and the glory of the cterrestrial is another.

There is one glory of the asun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the bstars: for one star cdiffereth from another star in dglory.

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in acorruption; it is raised in incorruption:

We are ressurection and judged to different degrees of glory based on what we have earned and achieved in this life.

The Plan of salvation is the true gospel. Because of it we can repent of our wrong doings and come clean through the atonement of Christ so that we can once again live with God in the eternitys. Because of this plan we have free agency to choose and control our own destinys. We can choose to follow God’s law and obtain the eternal glorys that await us, or we can choose the devils plan and be slowly lead down to captivity and misery.

For all of us I pray that we will choose God’s plan and live with him in the eternitys.

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By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals

My New Years Goals

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As new years is approaching many of us are thinking of what we want to change or improve upon in the up coming year. These things may be deeply personal and things we don’t share with others. Some are things we will freely share. We all have things we need to work on and change. None of us is like Calvin here who is apparently perfect. Or At least he seems to think so. Over the next week weight loss commercials will be running rampant over all forms of media. Messages of your not good enough unless you do this to buy that for new years will be the norm as it does every year.

At this time of year of renewed hope and optimism for the future there is one goal that I hope we will all have in mind. One that is is one of my goals this year. I hope to be more Christ like in my thoughts, words and actions. I hope to think more of others and try to focus more on those things that are of importance and spend less time of things of no importance. I hope to spend more time with my children and less time with the TV

One of the aspect of becoming more Christ like is patients. A virtue that I admit I am sorely lacking in. There are many scriptures which I hope can help me with this aspect of my self.

2nd Timothy 2:24: And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

Romans 12:12:Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Doctrine and Covenants 6:19: Admonish him in his faults, and also receive admonition of him. Be patient; be sober; be temperate; have patience, faith, hope and charity.

Ecclesiastes 7:8:Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

1 Thessalonians 5:14:Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feeble minded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

Doctrine and Covenants 31:9:Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast.

I think you get the point. Patients is something that the lord as admonished us to be. We must be patients towards others.

Another area that I would like to improve upon this year is not getting angry when children rebel or refuse to obey. This is an area that I struggle with as my impatient nature can escalate to anger very quickly at times. While I’m sure that every parent has yelled at there kids at some point, I feel that it happens to often and that is one area I need to improve upon my self. It’s OK to be upset with your kids and it will happen from time to time but It’s in how we respond to those feelings that make it good or bad. Children need to feel our love for them even when we are angry or upset with them. A hymn of the church is one I wish to emulate more effectively in my own life.

School thy feelings, O my brother;
Train thy warm, impulsive soul.
Do not its emotions smother,
But let wisdom’s voice control.
School thy feelings; there is power
In the cool, collected mind.
Passion shatters reason’s tower,
Makes the clearest vision blind

School thy feelings; condemnation
Never pass on friend or foe,
Though the tide of accusation
Like a flood of truth may flow.
Hear defense before deciding,
And a ray of light may gleam,
Showing thee what filth is hiding
Underneath the shallow stream.

Should affliction’s acrid vial
Burst o’er thy unsheltered head,
School thy feelings to the trial;
Half its bitterness hath fled.
Art thou falsely, basely, slandered?
Does the world begin to frown?
Gauge thy wrath by wisdom’s standard;
Keep thy rising anger down.

Rest thyself on this assurance:
Time’s a friend to innocence,
And the patient, calm endurance
Wins respect and aids defense.
Noblest minds have finest feelings;
Quiv’ring strings a breath can move;
And the gospel’s sweet revealings
Tune them with the key of love.

Hearts so sensitively molded
Strongly fortified should be,
Trained to firmness and enfolded
In a calm tranquility.
Wound not willfully another;
Conquer haste with reason’s might;
School thy feelings, sister, brother;
Train them in the path of right.

I hope to make this hymn my anthem when I feel frustrated and angry over things that bother or anger me.

There are many things we can improve upon. And with God’s help we can succeed where we otherwise would of failed on our own. God is the father of us all and has infinite patients and love for all his children.  These are my New Years resolutions, Its not a large list but an important one. Let me know what your new years goals are.

I wish you and your family and happy new year and to have more of the spirit of Christ in your lives for the upcoming and all other years and God Bless.

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By Andrew McLean Posted in Orginals