My daughter died from the result of a vehicle accident. I’m so sad. Some people say that it was her time, or the Lord needed her now. How can this be? She was only 18. Can you give me some words of wisdom?
It seems so tragic when people are taken from mortality into the next compartment at an early age. We have had such an experience in our own family. And sadness at the parting of a loved one is appropriate and proper. The Lord has said,
Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection (D&C 42:45).
But the question is, how about those that DO have hope of a glorious resurrection? Our problem is that we are surrounded by mortality in a telestial world, and often think more of our own situations than of the glorious environment into which have passed our loved ones. If your daughter were going on an extended vacation to Hawaii, would you be happy or sad? I imagine that you would be happy for her in anticipation of all the beautiful things that she would see and experience, but you would also feel sad that she would be gone from your home for awhile.
Death is no different. Where do our loved ones go? This is what Brigham Young said about the spirit world-
I can say with regard to parting with our friends, and going ourselves, that I have been near enough to understand eternity so that I have had to exercise a great deal more faith to desire to live than I ever exercised in my whole life to live. The brightness and glory of the next apartment is inexpressible. It is not encumbered so that when we advance in years we have to be stubbing along and be careful lest we fall down. We see our youth, even, frequently stubbing their toes and falling down. But yonder, how different! They move with ease and like lightning. If we want to visit Jerusalem, or this, that, or the other place–and I presume we will be permitted if we desire–there we are, looking at its streets. If we want to behold Jerusalem as it was in the days of the Savior; or if we want to see the Garden of Eden as it was when created, there we are, and we see it as it existed spiritually, for it was created first spiritually and then temporally, and spiritually it still remains. And when there we may behold the earth as at the dawn of creation, or we may visit any city we please that exists upon its surface. If we wish to understand how they are living here on these western islands, or in China, we are there; in fact, we are like the light of the morning (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.380).
We don’t need to worry about those who have passed on. We only need to worry that we will continue to live in such a manner that we will be worthy to associate with them when it is our turn to go. My personal feeling is that there are no accidental births or deaths. People may be born under peculiar and often difficult circumstances, and they leave this world at all stages of life, from the moment of birth to old age. Mortality is just one very short, but very critical phase in our eternal progression. It is infinitely more important that we live well than that we live long. “The brightness and glory of the next apartment is inexpressible.” Let’s be happy for those who have preceded us, and live in the hope that we will enjoy their company again. And if we qualify by obedience to the principles of the gospel, we may seal our children to ourselves for all eternity.