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Will we eat and sleep in the next life? And will physical relationships between a husband and wife be the same there as here?

Robyn, from New Jersey

Dear Robyn,

Interesting questions about the projections into eternity of the necessities for continued existence in mortality. Without food or periodic rest in mortality we, of course, could not survive. We would die and pass into eternity. In eternity we will first live as unembodied spirits, and then at the resurrection our spirits will be clothed with the physical bodies we had in mortality, with the modification that the bodies will now be immortal-not subject to death. Instead of blood flowing in the veins, there will flow a spiritual material that I imagine will sustain the body in eternity in somewhat the same manner as the blood gives life to the body in mortality. The immmortal bodies, as tabernacles of the eternal spirit, will continue to exist forever, without end.

Brigham Young had something to say about how the spirits may live after mortality.

“We shall turn round and look upon it [the valley of death] 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, I 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” (Funeral sermon 14th Ward, July 1874, JD17:142).

Apparently we will have no need for food- “I thirst no more, I hunger no more,” nor for sleep- “I want to sleep no more, I tire no more.” It will be marvelous to learn, when we get there, of the wonderful abilities of the spirit in the spirit world. Here is another interesting quotation from Brigham Young that explains some of the other abilities of the spirit,

“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).

I would imagine that after the resurrection, if we live to enjoy the presence of our Father in Heaven, the abilities of the spirit will not be diminished by being housed in a glorified, eternal, immortal body. However, if we have not followed the course of righteousness and have not “lived by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God” there will undoubtedly be severe limitations on our freedom and our abilities.

Concerning the family in eternity, there is only one place in all eternity where family relations will exist. The relationships contracted in mortality, unless sanctioned by the authority of the holy priesthood, are not projected into the next life. We read in the Doctrine and Covenants, 132:15-17,

Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world.Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.

The only family relationships that will continue into eternity are those that have been solemnized in the holy temples by requisite priesthood authority. Then those who have thus been sealed together will have to honor and live by all the commitments of faithfulness to each other and to compliance with all the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ that in the temple they made covenants to observe. Those who thus overcome the world and live by “every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God” will continue in eternity as husbands and wives, with their children at their side, and will be able to bear, nurture and train them as their eternal parents thoughout eternity. See Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-21.


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