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Dearly Departed Ones

Updated on November 12, 2019
Rodric29 profile image

Missionary work is the bedrock of Rodric's Faith. Read about these stories of faith and hope while in the service of God.

I often contemplate what my dearly departed family members are doing on the other side of the veil of life. Lost to the world physically, they remain in memorial images, stories, and videos. No new memories will they create, other than the connections they foster through those still in life who contemplate together their memories. God revealed that they yet exist! What are they doing? I sit pondering, what do they get to see? Is the veil thin enough from their side that get to see me in this life? Are they praying for me or helping me in some manner I am not permitted to know at this time?

These questions are built on a hope and belief, not knowledge, but something that I believe is possible.

Departed in the Faith

Source

Jesus did not sound like one who damns people for not knowing. And He is not one who damns for not knowing!

Eternal Gospel

One of the questions that plagued me for years as a Christian is:

What happens to the billions of people who never heard of Jesus Christ. Will they all go to hell?

A few ministers attempted to answer my questions with the words congealing in my mind to come to this point:

"Yes. They go to hell. God has already ordained who will go to heaven and who will go to hell. It is His will to create the damned and the saints."

I could not accept it. That did not sound like the God mentioned in the New Testament. Jesus did not sound like one who damns people for not knowing. And He is not one who damns for not knowing!

How could God be no respecter of persons yet when it comes to missionary work, there be no way to save those who never had the chance to accept His words? How is that just? How is that Not cruel?

God IS just and is Not cruel. He had a plan from the very beginning to save all of His children. All of us.


In Section 138:30-34 of the Doctrine and Covenants is written,

But behold, from among the righteous, He [Jesus Christ] organized His forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.

And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.

Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,

And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

These verses reverberate with the same Plan of Salvation for the dead who never had the chance to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ that the Savior taught while in this mortal realm. All of my ancestors, my beloved dead who knew not the Lord in their mortal existence are being taught the acceptable day of the Lord.

Because of His sinless state, Jesus was able to create, suffer and die for, and apply His atonement to all humans born before Him and after and for all eternity.

Acceptable Day of the Lord

What is that day? The day He suffered for the sins of humankind in Gethsemane, died for the wages of sin, and rose from death so that all of humanity also will rise from the dead as a free gift.

Christians say it so often that people are starting to tune it out. The truth of the matter is that Jesus Christ is the author of salvation. How is He the author? Jesus, under the direction of God the Father and before His mortal birth created the world. He, therefore, suffered and died for the world once He was born into it. He took up His life again so that all those in the world may also take up life again. That is the whole Gospel. Everything else is how to apply the gift that Jesus Christ gave.

Because of His sinless state, Jesus was able to create, suffer and die for, and apply His atonement to all humans born before Him and after and for all eternity.

In his communication to Titus,"Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began" wrote including in his introduction many of the truths of the eternal nature of Jesus Christ and his promises for salvation because it seemed to be common knowledge among the early Saints.

Testifying of his ministry as a servant of God Paul declared that Jesus Christ, "hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.. Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. [Titus 1:1-4]

What was manifested unto Paul? The acceptable day of the Lord which quickens both the living and the dead. He did not at this letter explicitly state that the dead have salvation, but he did not exclude it either.

President Russell M. Nelson, the prophet to the world and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the first prophet that I know of who during General Conference addressed the Church on both sides of the veil.

This indicates that there is a real connection between the righteous dead (whom Jesus organized during His short stint in the world of spirits before His resurrection) and the righteous living as we perform our work to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ as Savior and Healer of the world.

Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.

Poem: Preached to the Dead

Dearly departed, sitting hear keeping your memorial, I wonder, what are you doing?
Are you doing the work Jesus Started during His mortal ministry?
Teachings, ministering, are those the labors you're pursuing?

Jesus rose to the open arms of welcome to the realm of resting spirits.
The righteous dead wept upon His neck and wet His feet with tears, He organized.
Because of Him, the Gospel message, the dead did hear it.

Mother, father, daughter, aunt, cousin, friend and stranger.
God cares for one person the same as another according to Scripture.
Hellfire? Devils? Oh, God, because of Christ, none of you are in eternal danger.

Jesus taught the gospel to those who are physically and spiritually dead.
He set up His Church among the souls of all humanity departed or alive.
For all who die without the Gospel in this life, there is hope for salvation ahead.

What is Being Taught?

Those who have passed on are still busy in the Lord as our we. They teach the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It brings me comfort to know that the Gospel does not end at death and the work continues.

The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel Are

  1. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  2. Repentance for the Remission of Sins
  3. Baptism by immersion by one who holds priesthood authority
  4. Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by one who holds priesthood authority.

© 2019 Rodric Anthony

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    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      19 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Thanks, manatita. I am well enough off.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      19 months ago from london

      Good. Ours is not to push, but to accept and try. Grace does all the work. We just need to keep our curtains open and be ready for the sun. No pressure. Watch and pray. You seem to be doing well. Peace.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      19 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      manatita, you are correct. I have many problems, which are increasing each day. However, I find joy in knowing that through the example of Jesus Christ that I have found what I must do to conquer my situation by humbling my self and conquering my pride.

      Jesus begged Heavenly Father to take away the suffering He experienced in Gethsemene because He knew that God has all power and could find another way for Christ to manifest the Atonement. However, though Jesus did not want to suffer as He did, He submitted to the Lord, willingly to suffer whatever trial He placed upon Christ.

      God did not remove it. He allowed Christ to endure the suffering, the beatings, then the flogging, and then the Cross. His reward for submitting was to make it possible for us to repent of our sins and gain entry into God's rest by following His example of submission.

      I have faith that if I humble myself to be willing to suffer my trials with a glad heart, that God will help me endure. Though my body slowly falls out of my control, I will sue for the hope that God is wiser than I am. I am praying to be as submissive as Jesus was for His trials.

      I am far from there, but I do try to trust God's wisdom and listen for any help He gives me to endure the challenge until it ends if it ever will in this life.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      19 months ago from london

      Don't look for evidence, that is the paradox. Your Heart should feel like it exists only to love and serve without expectations. Suffice it to know by faith what the Christ and all the prophets have said. Since their lives were examples or benchmarks, then they cannot all be wrong.

      Still, this is still reasoning. The mind asks if the water is warm, but Love jumps in.

      Now Bro, I seem to remember you had some problems. Are you better? Please accept my tiny prayer for your continued good health. Peace this Sunday

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      19 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Ruby, I understand some of your loss and am saddened by it. I lost my little girl in 2010 and I think about her every day still. Your faith that God is taking care of him is so true! I don't have the words to express how glad I am that God will be fair and impartial when He reviews our lives.

      No Church can save us. The Church is only a vehicle. Christ is the power behind the Church. He saves us as we keep His commandments.

      I am so happy that you go to church. There is safety in numbers and the apostles always have the Saints meet together for the edification of the Church. We help each other become more like Christ, hopefully.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      19 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      manatita, thanks for reading and posting. Hope is the only thing to keep so many of us going--the hope for a better day, the hope for family, the hope for love, the hope for peace, etc.

      To believe in something that is true but not verified to us personally takes a lot of faith. We hope for a better world through our faith, though there is no evidence right now that the world will be peace. I still hope for it.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      19 months ago from london

      Hope is good. What will we be without it? Carry on hoping and having faith. This soothes the soul. Much Love.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      19 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Since losing my son Jackie last December, I have thought about him in heaven and what he's doing, I ask God to take good care of him until I get there. I know I don't have to do that, but it makes me feel better. I believe no church will get one in heaven, although I attend one regularly. We must love one another and believe. Thank you for sharing your faith. God's Blessing.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      19 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Eric, it is fortunate for me that you mentioned LOVE as the force behind life in its true form--behind faith in God. I spoke in church on Sunday about it, starting my talk (other Christians call it sermon) off with the things that I wrote in this article. I ended in the love God has for each of us and how we must also have that for one another.

      You wrote, "Those who know and practice love have accepted Christ within."

      I love that. I support that. I have a testimony of the truthfulness of that statement. I don't even believe you have to be a Christain to match that statement. Jesus was the ultimate example of pure love on this planet as described by the disciples in the New Testament. No one matches in reach or content of character with Jesus; so, He is the standard by which all love to our fellowmen is judged.

      In the Book of Mormon, a prophet named Moroni testifies, "Charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

      "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen." [Moroni 7:47-48]

      Pure love is something that we can receive as a gift from God to become like Christ. I seek to obtain that place to fully accept Jesus.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      19 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Bill, I also have contemplated my life and what comes next. I am going to be 43 this month, but my health is such that I think often of the end of life and my ancestors and recent family who have passed.

      I have faith that your family and friends get to look down on you and watch your progress in life cheering your successes and weeping at your failures. Again, I don't know this, but I believe.

      I believe it for myself and every other person on the earth in our many circumstances of life. I feel the honor of having this association with you, how small it is. I thank God for each little connection in life. You don't realize how important some of your comments have been to the turning of a horrible time into a prayer of gratitude. One day, I will be able to articulate in words all that is in my soul. Today, I say, Thank You!

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      19 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Pamela, thank you for sharing your faith. I also believe that your mother is in heaven. I don't know what is happening on the other side, but I believe with all my heart the good people of this world are still doing good and working for the glory of Jesus Christ.

      The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches me that God is the same today as He was yesterday and works for the salvation of all of His children. I have a hope in Jesus that what I believe is true. It is comforting to know that through Christ I have hope. If we keep His laws, He will keep His promises with us. I was reading in Hebrews today, and the way Paul wrote to the Saints of Jews heritage let me know that faith in God will gain us the promised reward (Hebrews 7-13).

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      19 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      An interesting place and space to go to. Hell on earth? Hell after earth?

      I tend to go with the notion of bits of hell. We go to hell right here on earth. If we repent and do our best to reverse wrongful course we are out of hell. Jesus says two things really clearly. That the path of heaven is through him and that he is love. Those who know love know God. Therefor it is abundantly clear that those who know love have accepted Jesus Christ in their hearts. What, are ministers suggesting we call Jesus only in Hebrew or English or something. Those who know and practice love have accepted Christ within. It is a no brainer. Know love and know the Trinity accept and practice love is the acceptance into one's being. Otherwise you just go to church and say some words. And then you get into heaven and not sent to hell? That is cray cray.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      19 months ago from Olympia, WA

      At 71 I spend a lot of time thinking about those who passed on before me....as in everyone in my family, most of my friends....I sure hope they are looking down and smiling.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      19 months ago from Sunny Florida

      Your excellent article addresses what I think most of us think about after a loved one passes. My mother just passed away in June, and not a day does by that I don't think of her. I feel like she somehow is still with us. I am a Christian and so was she, so I know she is in heaven. I sure don't know what she is doing. This is a very interesting article, Rodric.

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