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.