Sunday, November 18, 2018

Families can be together forever

I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormons. When possible on Sundays, I discuss some things related to my faith and what I believe. With respect to your own beliefs, I hope this gives you a chance to get to know me and my religion a little better. For previous installments, click here.

I believe that this mortal life is not all there is. I believe that we lived in a spiritual form before we were born and that we will live in a spiritual form again after we die until the resurrection when our spirit and body will be reunited in a perfect form forever. I believe that we have opportunities to live and grow and learn in this life and that we will have to chance to continue and progress beyond this life as well.

I believe because of those beliefs about life before and after this one that the relationships we have now may have existed in the existence before this and have the potential to continue after this one as well, especially marriages and families that are solemnized in temples for time and all eternity.

This belief is one of the great comforts of the gospel - that we will see those who pass on before us again and that death is only a temporary separation. That's not to say it's easy to lose those we love or that we can't be sad or grieve their loss, but that it can give some additional perspective to that loss and help, eventually, ease its pain. While some deaths can be a relief, such as the end of long and/or painful illness, others are still incredibly difficult, particularly anyone who dies before it is expected.

Of course, the closer we are to someone, the harder it can be to lose them, no matter the circumstances. Two of my friends (and their families) are going through one of the most challenging losses I anticipate anyone having to go through - the loss of a parent, particularly in a quick and unexpected way. These friends are close to my age and the parents close to the age of mine. One lost their mother, the other their father, and both due to sudden and relatively short illness. While it's not a loss I fully understand yet, and hope I don't anytime soon, I am still very sad for them and their families and their surviving spouses. And I'm sad for myself, because I know these parents that my friends have lost too, and they will be missed.

My friends believe as I do, but I know that they are hurting anyway and are sad not just for themselves, but for their young children who have lost a grandparent. Even when we believe we will see them again, we are sad for the lost potential of what could have been if we'd had more time here.

There is a lot more to Heavenly Father's plan for us than I can ever adequately explain here. You can learn more at this site, but I'm also happy to answer any questions anyone might have. I am grateful for the peace and perspective it gives me in all aspects of life and, in this particular case, look forward to seeing my loved ones again.

Grandpa P, who passed away in 2016. Shortly after I moved to Japan later that year, I realized he wasn't around anymore and didn't know we got to live in Japan. Immediately, I thought, "He knows." And I believe that's true - that he knows, loves me, and is proud of me and Blake and our little family.

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