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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

A friend says when we die we lose the physical addictions we had in mortality. Hence, if you are a compulsive eater who eats from stress/depression/etc. you automatically lose that addiction when your body dies. But doesn’t that fall under one of the weaknesses we are given that we need to depend on the Lord to overcome. Any thoughts?

Kathy

 

Answer

 

Dear Kathy,

Seems to me that you have a bit of doubt about what your friend told you. Congratulations! Much could be said about the subject, but let me just recount a couple of incidences from the book “Return from Tomorrow,” by George Ritchie, printed in 1978. In this book Dr. Ritchie recounts an out-of-body experience he had when about 20 years old. He is reported to have died on an operating table, and returned to life nine minutes later. During this experience the Savior showed him a number of things related to mortality and its consequences. As part of this experience, the Savior gives him a tour of four different dimensions in the afterlife.

Two accounts bear directly on your question. In one account, they both fly toward a large city on earth where they notice a group of assembly-line workers on the job. He witnesses the spirit of a woman trying desperately to obtain a cigarette from the workers who are oblivious to her presence. This woman died severely addicted to cigarettes.

In the other Jesus shows George a bar filled with sailors who are heavily drinking. The spirits try desperately and in vain to get a drink or to control the sailors’ alcoholic behavior. These spirits are from humans who die severely alcoholic. He is horrified as he observes a drunken sailor pass out and an alcoholic spirit jump into the body of the sailor.

Dr. Ritchie’s account varies sharply with what your friend had to say about losing our physical appetites when we die. In a word, death is like taking off a coat–the coat being our body. When we “take off our body” we are the same person we were before. The mind does not die. However, at death, the loss of memory we experience in mortality no longer exists. We will be able to recall all the things that we ever did or ever thought. In the words of Alma the Younger in a general epistle to his people—

I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?

 

Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say–Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth–and that he will save you?

 

Or otherwise, can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God? (Alma 5:16-18)

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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