My daughter recently passed away. She had been baptized in the church at age 8, but by the time she was a teenager she had become an atheist. What can I expect for her now that she has passed on? Is there any hope of her gaining eternal life at this point?
When we have faith in Christ there is always hope. Christ loves your daughter more then you can possibly imagine. In the D&C Section 88, we are given a glimpse of what is to come and it talks about the Kingdoms of Glory. While doing this, verse 32 has an interesting statement:
32 And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received.
It seems very clear that Christ is willing to bless us with everything we are willing to get.
Of course you are rightly concerned that she didn’t seem all that willing to accept very much in this life. But her chances to have a change of heart did not end just because she died. Her chances only end when Christ renders final judgement, and only He knows when that will happen.
We have tons of stories of people who went bad and opposed God for a while, but then later converted and had a big change of heart. Stories like Alma and the Sons of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, Saul who became Paul in the New Testament, even the parable of the Prodigal Son by the Savior himself.
Now you might be saying to yourself, but all those stories are of people that had a change of heart while still alive, what hope do the dead have? And if so I would invite you to read and ponder the 138th Section of the D&C. Ponder the idea that the Lord set up missionary work among those that were dead. Even for the “disobedient … in the days of Noah” (D&C 138:28)! Why would He do that unless it was totally possible for someone to have a change of heart, and convert and come unto Christ after they had died?
So Sad Mom, have hope and have faith that the Lord knows all of His sheep… even the ones that seemed quite lost in this life.