I was wondering what happens to your spirit when you die? Where does it go? Does your spirit go to judgment after you die?
Connie, from Zephyrhills, Florida
The process of death is very much like taking off a coat. The body is the housing of the spirit; when the body dies, the spirit continues to live in the same form that it was while in the body. We will look on the process of death, when we have passed through it, with about the same emotion as associated with taking off a cumbersome coat.
Where will we go? Not far. The spirits assigned to this earth will remain on this earth after their period of mortality is ended. Society is organized in the spirit world much as it is in the physical world. We will find and be associated with those persons or those groups with which we were most comfortable on earth; and we will continue to think, to learn and to do as we did in mortality. President Ezra Taft Benson is quoted as saying—
“The spirit world is not far away. Sometimes the veil between this life and the life beyond becomes very thin. Our loved ones who have passed on are not far from us. One great spiritual leader asked, But where is the spirit world? and then answered his own question. It is here. Do [spirits] go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity. When the spirits leave their bodies they are in the presence of our Father and God; they are prepared then to see, hear and understand spiritual things. If the Lord would permit it, and it was His will that it should be done, you could see the spirits that have departed from this world, as plainly as you now see bodies with your natural eyes. (Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, pp. 367-69.) (Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Life Is Eternal, Ensign (CR), June 1971, p.32)
Another interesting quote on this subject by Brigham Young is as follows—
“When we contemplate the condition of man here upon the earth and understand that we are brought forth for the express purpose of preparing ourselves through our faithfulness to merit eternal life, we ask ourselves where we are going, what will be our condition, what will be the nature of our pursuits in a state of being in which we shall possess more vigor and a higher degree of intelligence than we possess here? Shall we have labor? Shall we have enjoyment in our labor? Shall we have any object of pursuit, or shall we sit and sing ourselves away to everlasting bliss? These are questions that arise in the minds of people, and they many times feel anxious to know something about the hereafter. . . . I would like to say to you, my friends and brethren, if we could see things as they are, and as we shall see and understand them, this dark shadow and valley is so trifling that we shall turn around and look upon it and think, when we have crossed it, why this is the greatest advantage of my whole existence, for I have passed from a state of sorrow, grief, mourning, woe, misery, pain, anguish and disappointment into a state of existence where I can enjoy life to the fullest extent as far as that can be done without a body. My spirit is set free, I thirst no more, I want to sleep no more, I hunger no more, I tire no more, I run, I walk, I labor, I go, I come, I do this, do that, whatever is required of me, nothing like pain or weariness, I am full of life, full of vigor, and I enjoy the presence of my Heavenly Father, by the power of His Spirit” (Journal of Discourses 17:14.).