"A question will Mothers have their children in Eternity yes, yes, you will have the children But as it falls so it will rise, It will never grow, It will be in its precise form as it fell in its mothers arms. Eternity is full of thrones upon which dwell thousands of children reigning on thrones of glory not one cubit added to their stature." (Joseph Smith, Words of Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, Wilford Woodruff Diary)
"As concerning the resurrection, I will merely say that all men will come from the grave as they lie down, whether old or young; there will not be 'added unto their stature one cubit,' neither taken from it; all will be raised by the power of God, having spirit in their bodies, and not blood. Children will be enthroned in the presence of God and the Lamb with bodies of the same stature that they had on earth, having been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; they will there enjoy the fullness of that light, glory and intelligence, which is prepared in the celestial kingdom. 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them.'" (Joseph Smith, HC 4:32)
"The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again....All children are redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the moment that children leave this world, they are taken to the bosom of Abraham. The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world."(Joseph Smith, HC 4:32)
"They [our children] must rise just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory—the same loveliness in the celestial glory, where they all enjoy alike." (Joseph Smith, HC 6:17)
"There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin, which hath no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." (Joseph Smith, HC v. 4 ch. 25. p. 425)
"We moved to a town 20 miles from Nauvoo called Macedonia. Here we located and soon all our friends. Father was a carpenter, and we soon gathered things around us and were comfortable. We lived there about a year and a half. These were the happiest days of our lives. Then my mother was taken sick and died, leaving her five children, three girls and two boys, the baby one and a half years old, with my father heartbroken, and her children not knowing how to manage. Father took mother's body to Nauvoo to be buried. She was quite young when she died, not 33 years old, but her nervous system was broken. Joseph Smith said she had lived her life so fast. (He and Heber C. Kimball both spoke at her funeral services.) He said her salvation was sure, that if she had lived until she was one hundred years old, she could not have done any more." (The Life of Mary A. Phelps Rich (1829-1912), Autobiography)
"The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire; Also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son. I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold. I saw Father Adam and Abraham; and my father and my mother; my brother Alvin, that has long since slept; And marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins. Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom; For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts. And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven." (D&C 137)
"when men are prepared, they are better off to go home." (Joseph Smith Diary)
"all your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection provided you continue faithful, by the vision of the almighty I have seen it." (Joseph Smith, Diary, 16 April 1843)
"Joseph read Bro Pratts 2 letters to the Editors of "T. & Seasons" concerning the death of Lorenzo Barns. 4 & remarked he read it because it was so appropriate to all who had died in the faith.—Almost all who have fallen in these last days, in the church, have fallen in a strange land, this is a strange land, to those who have come from a distance, we should cultivate sympathy for the afflicted among us. If there is a place on earth, where men should cultivate this Spirit & pour in the oil & wine in the bosom of the afflicted it is this place, and this spirit is manifest here, and although he is a stranger & afflicted when he arrives, h[e] finds a brother & friend ready to administer to his necessities." (Joseph Smith, Diary 16 April 1843)
Today my mom has been gone from me for 25 years now... I miss her so much, and can't wait to see her again... I wrote this 21 years ago.
ONE LAST GIFT......
I sit in the rocking chair I’ve had since my son (who heads to high school this year) stirred inside of me. I’m thinking about the similarity between the moments of birth and the moments of death.
Since the early eighties my work as a midwife has blessed me with being in the presents of over 175 different births, all unique in their own way, all individual experiences, and stories, all never before, never again little human beings entering into our world. Yet I’ve noticed, in all there differences they share a common thread. One I’ve heard hundreds and hundreds of times from other people who have been at a birth with a loved one, one which at times can be so powerful my body shakes trying to vent what my mind and soul are trying to comprehend. I can only describe that thread as being in the presence of pure love, the presence of God. At everybirth I’ve ever had the privilege to be at, that energy was there.
From birth to death, HUH ? If a question on a test asked for the opposite of birth, I would write death, wouldn’t you ? How can opposites have anything in common?
Four years ago I sat beside my mom as she lay on her death bed. I knew it would only be a matter of days before she would be leaving me. I spent what time I had left with her as productive as I could think of, I talked to her constantly, I recalled our life together, how she took such great care of me when I fractured my back at age 12, how much I love her and was so thankful that she was my mom, what a great cook she was, how we took care of each other when dad had a massive stroke, and how much I was going to miss her in my life. Even though she never spoke to me I know she heard me and was happy I was there. At 3:15 am her breathing slowed to 2 breaths a minute, and I knew she was dying. I was beside her, the room was dark and still, she opened her eyes (something she hadn’t done in days) I asked her “mom can you see a light?” she shook her head yes, “does the light feel good?” yes! I asked her to close her eyes and go be with the light, and then BANG!!!! I realized that I recognized this energy in the room, my mom didn’t take another breath, she was gone from me, and I was left with this energy I clearly knew as the entity that I’ve felt at all those births.
My mind, soul and heart struggled to absorb the beauty in the knowledge of this, birth and death are the same, not opposites. An entrance of a totally unique individual, into a new existence. Accompanied, guided by, and very important to our Lord.
What a beautiful and soul resting discovery, what a great last gift from my mom , to have been the mother that she was, allowed me to deeply love her, thus allowing me to feel totally her transition from earth to the presence of God.
I sit here now wondering if my mom knows of the last great blessing she has bestowed on me, and somehow my soul smiles and assures me she does.
Lisa C., CPM