President Nelson's Hopeful Teachings About Death and the Nearness of Lost Loved Ones: "We Die to Live"

Throughout his service in the Church, President Nelson has provided profound insight into death, loss, and the life awaiting us in eternity. Here is a small portion of those insights, excerpted from the new book Teachings of Russell M. Nelson.

This is part of an ongoing series where we highlight the teachings of our prophet weekly.

Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. . . . .We were born to die, and we die to live (see 2 Corinthians 6:9). As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven. (“Doors of Death,” Ensign, May 1992)

The Nearness of Those Who've Passed On

Our limited perspective would be enlarged if we could witness the reunion on the other side of the veil, when doors of death open to those returning home. Such was the vision of the psalmist who wrote, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints” (Psalm 116:15). (“Doors of Death,” Ensign,May 1992)

As a special witness of Jesus Christ, I testify that He lives! I also testify that the veil of death is very thin. I know by experiences too sacred to relate that those who have gone before are not strangers to leaders of this Church. To us and to you, our loved ones may be just as close as the next room—separated only by the doors of death.

With that assurance, brothers and sisters, love life! Cherish each moment as a blessing from God (see Mosiah 2:21). Live it well—even to your loftiest potential. Then the anticipation of death shall not hold you hostage. (“Doors of Death,” Ensign, May 1992)

Death as a Mercy and a Gift

Death is a necessary component of our eternal existence. No one knows when it will come, but it is essential to God’s great plan of happiness. Thanks to the Atonement of the Lord, eventual resurrection is a reality and eternal life is a possibility for all humankind. That possibility becomes a reality as we obey God’s law. He said, “Except ye shall keep my commandments, . . . ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (3 Nephi 12:20). One day we will be judged by the Lord and go to our own mansion prepared in our Father’s heavenly house. Celestial glory awaits those who have been faithful to God’s gentle commands.

Brothers and sisters, we live to die and we die to live—in another realm. If we are well prepared, death brings no terror. (“Now Is the Time to Prepare,” Ensign, May 2005)

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