LDS Question 9: Where do we go after this life?
If you are sincerely interested in the truth, then have a prayer before you read any of my writings in answers to these questions . . . ask your Heavenly Father to let you know if what you are reading is true; because only God knows all truth. And, should you feel that it is . . . then, find the missionaries near you, or call or stop by your local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; or write to me, and I'll send missionaries to you.
So, each of us are born into this life to receive a body of flesh and bones, to fulfill our Spiritual Missions and to prove ourselves worthy to enter the next life.
What happens in the next life? First of all---I've mentioned this once before---think for a moment . . . can you think of any human, or animal or species of any kind that is born of parents of some sort that do not have the potential to become—in looks and character—just like their parents? Indeed not. So, you see . . . we have the same potential to become like our Heavenly Parents in every way; and to have all that they have [with them], and be a part of all that they are [with them]; but to do so, we have to be like them—in strength of character—in every way.
And, would you give the oversight of the lives of your precious children to someone who has proven themselves irresponsible over and over again for a lifetime? I think not. Likewise, when we as children of our Heavenly Parents have consistently proven to them that we will choose the right, and listen to their teachings, and be obedient to the full extent of our human understanding, we then show them that we can become like them . . . and be trusted . . . and be honorable. And can be given what they have . . . because they know that we will care for it . . . because time after time we have proven it by our actions and choices.
BEFORE THE FINAL JUDGEMENT:
So, when we die, we—then having returned our Spiritual body form---continue to see and feel and know of our circumstances as we leave our mortal bodies. Our bodies then are vacant of Spirit . . . and of life. But, our Spiritual being continues to feel, see, hear and experience and learn just like we did while living here; only, there is no more pain or death. The remains of our physical bodies are placed in the ground or cremated, etc. to await the resurrection when the Spirit and body will again be reunited to never more be apart. But the Spirit then goes one of two places; if we have chosen poorly, and have lived sinful lives without following any teachings of our Heavenly Parents and our Lord Jesus Christ, our Spiritual beings go to a place called “Spirit Prison.”
Spirit Prison is a place where we continue to exist and learn in our Spirit life but without a memory of what we experienced before our birth . . . we don’t remember because, how can we accept the Gospel by faith, if we were to remember our lives with our Heavenly Parents in our pre-existant state? While in Spirit Prison, those who haven’t heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ are, there, taught the same Gospel as is being taught in the mortal realm. We then have choice to either accept it . . . or reject it. Those who accept it will provide for themselves a place of Celestial Glory [to dwell with and be with our Heavenly Parents] . . . and exist as families with our Heavenly Parents . . . while those who reject the Gospel will receive their reward according to their choices.
The second place for spirits to go after death of the body is one called “Paradise.” This is the same "paradise" that was referred to by Jesus Christ himself as he was hanging upon the cross at his crucifixion . . . when he said to the repentant thief on the other cross near him, “. . . Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Like 23:43)
Paradise is a place for all those who were good and well intending people; those who tried to live a moral life and make good choices, but did not have the Gospel truth revealed unto them. Also, it is the place for those who accepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ when it was taught to them and were baptized; and then, thereafter tried their best to keep the commandments. It is a place of rest and peace from this world.
You can see from what the Lord said to the thief on the cross, that when the thief felt sorrow and asked the Savior to remember him when they got to his Kingdom in the next life, the Lord did, indeed, bless him and forgave him so that he could say unto the thief what he did.
AT THE FINAL JUDGEMENT:
Before our birth, we lived in what was called the FIRST ESTATE. We were then born into mortality upon this earth, which is called the SECOND ESTATE (or, I will say, “the deciding estate” . . . for it is here—in what we choose to do —that we decide where we will spend the rest of all eternity).
Our life, then, after the final judgment will be what is called our THIRD ESTATE. After the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, when all humanity will be judged according to their faith and deeds done while in their Second Estate, we will all be assigned to one of four realms or kingdoms. As all people live their lives in many different ways; so also are there different kingdoms and/or rewards for their choices.
THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM:
The Celestial Kingdom is the highest kingdom of all; it is divided into three levels. The highest level, is the kingdom in which our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother will dwell with us . . . and all their righteous sons and daughters and their families . . . generation after generation. The highest level is the only kingdom of “families” . . . where *sealed husbands and wives will have their sealed children to be with them, and be able to have children continually throughout the eternities; meaning that if any person does not attain this ighest level of a kingdom of glory, they will not have a spouse and children in continuation. This highest level also requires a Celestial Marriage for all time and eternity, as performed in the temples. All of Heavenly Father's children who choose the right way and keep the commandments WILL be given a companion to be married in this way . . . whether it be in this life or the life to come, since they have kept the law and lived by right choices, they WILL receive the highest glory . . . if they wished to be married in their heart, but the circumstance did not arrise in this life.
The two lower levels of the Celestial Kingdom are positions of glory and great joy and peace and happiness . . . a place for some who were righteous in their lives but never chose---or wanted---to marry or be married or have a family. There will be many righteous who will be servants to those who chose to have a family and a continuation of heirs.
In brightness . . . this higher Kingdom is described in the scriptures, as the brightness of the sun in eternal glory.
THE TERRESTRIAL KINGDOM:
The Terrestrial Kingdom will be the dwelling place of those who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ while alive, but afterwards received it. These will know the presence of the Son (Jesus Christ) in the eternities, but not the presence and Glory of the Father. The physical being of the this level of glory will be changed, so that there will be no husbands and wives, as in the highest level of the Celestial Glory. But will remain single entities.
In brightness . . . in the scriptures, this kingdom is described as the brightness of the moon . . . compared to the sun in brightness in eternal glory.
THE TELESTIAL KINGDOM:
The Telestial Kingdom is a place for those who were thieves, murderers, liars, adulterers and, as the scriptures describe, those thrust down to hell until the resurrection and final judgement.
In brightness . . . in the scriptures, this kingdom is described as the brightness of the stars . . . in comparison to the sun and the moon in glory.
And THAT is where we go after this life.
* "Sealed" means to be married for all time and eternity---and have your children also sealed to you---in a temple of the Lord. A sealing is a Priesthood Odinance performed by one called to that authority in the LDS temples. You see, in this life, men and women are married until death do them part . . . but in the temple, marriages are performed to be for all time and eternity.