pam

Repentance after death

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So this is a subject I have a really hard time understanding.  Mainly because I keep seeing so many conflicting opinions on the subject.

So I have always learned that this life is the time to repent and get our lives in order and on the right path.  Yet many say that after death we have the chance to repent so that we can progress.

I understand those that have never had the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ or of the gospel.  I totally get that.  But what of those who didn't do that who did have the opportunity.  Members who chose their own path instead of following the commandments and gospel teachings and principles. 

I guess I just don't get why anyone who chose NOT to repent would get another chance in the next life.  What would be the purpose of our journey and testing in this life?

I realize that this is all between the individual and God but I still get confused over the conflicting opinions.

 

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11 minutes ago, pam said:

I guess I just don't get why anyone who chose NOT to repent would get another chance in the next life.

They may not.  I think the reason you hear people talking about repenting in the spirit world, or having hope for them, is because people don't want to express the sort of final judgement required to say, "Nope, too late for him.  If he's lucky, he might qualify for terrestrial glory.  Too bad, really."  We're not supposed to do that, so instead we say we're not sure, don't know his heart and mind, his understanding, who knows, maybe there's a chance for him.

At least, that's my assumption.  It's probably worth 2 cents less than you paid for it.

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We continue to have the same personality, and temperament in the next life.  If you are resistant to repentance now, you will be in the next life, and so we will be free to chose but I think people who have chosen in this life will not be suddenly persuaded, just because they are spirits. 

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21 minutes ago, pam said:

So this is a subject I have a really hard time understanding.  Mainly because I keep seeing so many conflicting opinions on the subject.

So I have always learned that this life is the time to repent and get our lives in order and on the right path.  Yet many say that after death we have the chance to repent so that we can progress.

I understand those that have never had the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ or of the gospel.  I totally get that.  But what of those who didn't do that who did have the opportunity.  Members who chose their own path instead of following the commandments and gospel teachings and principles. 

I guess I just don't get why anyone who chose NOT to repent would get another chance in the next life.  What would be the purpose of our journey and testing in this life?

I realize that this is all between the individual and God but I still get confused over the conflicting opinions.

 

Short answer, there are opinions worth listening to and opinions not worth listening to. 

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2005/04/now-is-the-time-to-prepare?lang=eng

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Just now, The Folk Prophet said:

Short answer, there are opinions worth listening to and opinions not worth listening to. 

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2005/04/now-is-the-time-to-prepare?lang=eng

That's exactly the talk I had in mind.  So it doesn't change my opinion or thoughts on the matter.  I just wonder if sometimes I belong to the same church as others.  :)

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We do know “that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.” And, I’ve heard it will be very difficult to change once we’re on the other side. But, I also believe that repentance would need to be available to everyone, even after we die.  None of us are perfect.  When we die we most likely will have sins that we committed that we didn’t get a chance to repent from. For example, we could have lost our temper at our kids and spouse and said something we shouldn’t have, and then dropped dead from a heart attack before having a chance to say you’re sorry and repent of your mistake. “No unclean thing can dwell with God”.  So, in my opinion there must be a means for all of us to somehow repent of our sins that we didn’t get a chance to resolve before our death.  And, that ties back to whatever spirit possesses us at the time we die.  If we have a repentant spirit, and believe in Christ and his atonement, and would have repented if we had the chance while on earth, then I believe that is how we will be after we die. If we have an unrepentant spirit, then that is most likely how we will still be after death.

In my opinion, I don’t believe after we die that we will remember everything from our premortal existence. Missionaries are still needed on the other side of the veil (D&C 138). If we all remembered our premortal life, there wouldn’t be any need for the gospel to be taught. Everyone would know it. So, in my opinion, we will probably still be walking in faith on the other side of the veil.  Those who are in Paradise will have more knowledge of the Savior, perhaps for some, firsthand knowledge. Those who are in Spirit Prison may need the missionaries and family members to help them on their road to knowing and accepting their Savior. If they then see the error of their ways, then I would be hopeful that repentance plays a part for them. And I assume we will rejoice just as the father did in the parable of the Prodigal Son when his son saw the error of his ways and returned home.

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We often think that the reason we (and others) don't straighten up and fly right is because we don't know that we're deathless beings. If only people realized that existence continues after death, so the thinking goes, they would not sin as they do.

This is untrue. It presupposes that people act in a morally logical manner. They do not. People act rationally, but not necessarily logically. And what people in general -- those who are carnal and sensual, the majority of mankind -- what this general population wants is not the presence of God, but the lusts of the flesh. They want power, and physical experience, and sex, and notoriety, and ease, and pleasure.

Decent, Godly people also want these things; after all, what is being a parent if it is not having power over precious children, power to help them to become strong and happy? What is the marital experience, if not (in part, at least) a breathtaking physical experience, sexual and otherwise? What is being loved by family and friends if not notoriety of a sort? Ease, pleasure -- you would be a fool not to want some measure of these things in your life. But the Godly put their heavenly Father above all such things. Most people don't.

Certainly, having God standing in front of us, or even knowing for sure that he was watching and that we would account to him for our actions, would cause us to act somewhat differently. That is why the veil is in place. But this life is our time to prepare to meet God. Whether that includes our post-mortal time in the so-called "spirit world", I don't know. I suppose it probably does. But I don't think it's as much of a second chance as many think.

Consider the atheist who prides himself on cool rationality. (Uh-huh.) He disbelieves in the very existence of God, because he is a positivist -- nothing is real that cannot be experienced by him, here and now. (So there are no rocks on the moon, apparently, but don't even bother to show him his logical inconsistency, because he'll laugh it off. Cool rationality, indeed.) And since he cannot experience God here and now, therefore God doesn't exist, or at least you have the onus of demonstrating God. Any argument that he can experience God if he allows himself to do what must be done to experience God is shrugged off as wishful thinking.

Now suppose that atheist dies and finds that his thought continues. Do you think he says, "Oh, wow, look. I'm still alive, at least in some spiritual sense. Therefore God exists." Not likely. People, you see, are energy beings, and their electroware gets downloaded into the brain's wetware at or before  birth. It's all so obvious now! No need for a God to explain anything.

I might be wrong, but I have yet to hear a convincing argument that the experience of death makes believers out of non-believers. On the contrary, once they realize that their worst nightmare -- non-existence -- is not a worry, they might well double down on their vices of choice. Oh, yes, there is an eventual reckoning, and I can only imagine that the unspeakably diseased spirits who followed the liar in the beginning have full reign over such people. A thousand years of that kind of hell will probably make even the most recalcitrant bend the knee and confess their filth. But death will not magically give them eyes to see and ears to hear. Christ's sheep hear his voice, and the goats don't magically become sheep simply by dying.

Vort's Views.®

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Christ is merciful beyond our ability to comprehend. Even the vilest sinners in this life may, through His Grace and obedience to His commandments, be cleansed and made into a new man or woman. But the scriptures and prophets are clear, we must change in this life. Alma 34:32

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."

Continuing on Alma explains exactly how important it is for us to repent now, and not wait, by illustrating the sad consequences of those who do wait. Alma 34:33-36.

            "33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
            34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
            35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked."

Now there are certainly things to be done in the Spirit World, see Wilford Woodruff's vision of Joseph Smith, and I'm sure we will continue to grow and progress there, but that description of "the night of darkness wherein no labor can be performed" in Alma 32:33 both terrifies and motivates me. It scares me to think of ending up in that eternal darkness, but at the same time it motivates me to put my trust in Christ now rather than trying to enjoy wickedness for a season, and hoping I will decide to repent later. 

 

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3 hours ago, pam said:

So this is a subject I have a really hard time understanding.  Mainly because I keep seeing so many conflicting opinions on the subject.

So I have always learned that this life is the time to repent and get our lives in order and on the right path.  Yet many say that after death we have the chance to repent so that we can progress.

I understand those that have never had the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ or of the gospel.  I totally get that.  But what of those who didn't do that who did have the opportunity.  Members who chose their own path instead of following the commandments and gospel teachings and principles. 

I guess I just don't get why anyone who chose NOT to repent would get another chance in the next life.  What would be the purpose of our journey and testing in this life?

I realize that this is all between the individual and God but I still get confused over the conflicting opinions.

 

Since none of us mortals have ever been completely holy, perfect and without sin at death then repentance must be granted after death. The important part is that we continue to progress and make less errors and sin in this life. We arent judged for an eternal destination at death. In fact its just the start of yet another chapter in our continued progression in overcoming all things of which include sin and all our desires for sin. One thing the Book of Mormon prophets didnt have was the knowledege of the great world of the spirits and the missiobary work there to redeem souls from hell. Section 138 makes it everlastingly clear that the gospel is preached to both the sinner who did so in ignorance and tjose sinners in transgression gaving already rejected the prophets. They are all taught the same gospel, the same ordinances and covenants of the holy temple that they must enter in to be saved from the eternal hell.

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8 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

Since none of us mortals have ever been completely holy, perfect and without sin at death then repentance must be granted after death. The important part is that we continue to progress and make less errors and sin in this life. We arent judged for an eternal destination at death. In fact its just the start of yet another chapter in our continued progression in overcoming all things of which include sin and all our desires for sin. One thing the Book of Mormon prophets didnt have was the knowledege of the great world of the spirits and the missiobary work there to redeem souls from hell. Section 138 makes it everlastingly clear that the gospel is preached to both the sinner who did so in ignorance and tjose sinners in transgression gaving already rejected the prophets. They are all taught the same gospel, the same ordinances and covenants of the holy temple that they must enter in to be saved from the eternal hell.

And that's the thing.  What about those people who have absolutely no intention of repenting before death?  So do you think they should get the option to do so after death?

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14 minutes ago, pam said:

And that's the thing.  What about those people who have absolutely no intention of repenting before death?  So do you think they should get the option to do so after death?

Repentance after death would not necessarily mean salvation in the Celestial Kingdom is the result of the repentance.

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34 minutes ago, pam said:

And that's the thing.  What about those people who have absolutely no intention of repenting before death?  So do you think they should get the option to do so after death?

Yes, they should. The suffering of the lake of fire and brimstone is hurrendously great. Heavenly Father doesnt want to have to cast any there so he does everything possible to save their souls and bring them back into the fold of Christ.

Edited by Rob Osborn

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1 minute ago, Rob Osborn said:

Yes, they should. The suffering of the lake of fire and brimstone is hurrendously great. Heavenly Father doednt wsnt to have to cast any there so he does everything possible to save their souls and bring them back into the fold of Christ.

So do you think they should be able to obtain the Celestial Kingdom not wanting to repent during mortal life?  

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5 minutes ago, pam said:

So do you think they should be able to obtain the Celestial Kingdom not wanting to repent during mortal life?  

Sure. If one repents and becomes born again unto righteousness they have the same godly heart as Christ with no more desire to do evil but to do works of righteousness.

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15 minutes ago, Rob Osborn said:

Sure. If one repents and becomes born again unto righteousness they have the same godly heart as Christ with no more desire to do evil but to do works of righteousness.

So how would you explain the scripture that Midwest LDS posted above?

 

Quote

 

Christ is merciful beyond our ability to comprehend. Even the vilest sinners in this life may, through His Grace and obedience to His commandments, be cleansed and made into a new man or woman. But the scriptures and prophets are clear, we must change in this life. Alma 34:32

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."

Continuing on Alma explains exactly how important it is for us to repent now, and not wait, by illustrating the sad consequences of those who do wait. Alma 34:33-36.

Quote

            "33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
            34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
            35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked."


 

 

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11 minutes ago, pam said:

So how would you explain the scripture that Midwest LDS posted above?

 

 

They obviously didnt have a knowledge of the missionary work amongst the dead wherein "works" are possible after death. This was also given before Christ was born and thus the bridge from paradise over to the spirit prison was not opened. Section 138 clarifies that the spirits who did evil in mortality can repent and accept vicarious ordinances performed in temples in their behalf and be judged as if they had  repented and accepted in mortality.

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8 hours ago, pam said:

And that's the thing.  What about those people who have absolutely no intention of repenting before death?  So do you think they should get the option to do so after death?

A) I don't want to be the one to deny them anything.  I've had hell enough in my life not to wish it on my worst enemy.  I dread testifying against others more than being judged myself and that's not because I think I'll fare well in that judgement (I don't).

B) All indications are that Christ wants us always to come unto him and bring and invite others, and never to send anyone away from him.

C) Have you not considered:

Quote

D&C 19:15 Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

And that maybe their repentance doesn't earn them a higher kingdom, but that it earns them less suffering before entering the kingdom they merit?

Personally, regardless of how it benefits them or whether it benefits them at all (none of which we will know, I think, as this is the Lord's jurisdiction), it seems more than worth it, for them and for us (an overlooked part of this equation?), to preach the gospel and to have and offer hope.

Edited by zil

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Thanks zil. My original understanding and knowledge hasn't changed at all. Some of my questions are more directed for discussion purposes.  :)

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I'm not sure what my position on this topic is but my off the top of my head thought is that to say that there are categories of people in the next life to whom repentance is not available seems to be placing limits on the atonement, and that's a thought I'm not comfortable with. It just seems to be to be a little odd to say that you and you and you can have access to repentance, but you over there can't. 

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This scripture also seems relevant here, but I've never been sure how to interpret the bit in bold (and D&C 138 doesn't help me).  It may well mean that we'll be judged exclusively on what was done in mortality, even if we live faithfully in the spirit world.  (It might also mean something else as I have a hard time believing behavior in the spirit world won't be judged.  Maybe "according to" means "the same as" or "just like" - I'm just not sure.)

Quote

1 Peter 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

FWIW.

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And what happens to those who sin after they die? Given that, as @classylady reminded us,  “that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world” there is no reason to suppose that the end of our mortal life means the end of our sinning.  

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6 minutes ago, zil said:

This scripture also seems relevant here, but I've never been sure how to interpret the bit in bold (and D&C 138 doesn't help me).  It may well mean that we'll be judged exclusively on what was done in mortality, even if we live faithfully in the spirit world.  (It might also mean something else as I have a hard time believing behavior in the spirit world won't be judged.  Maybe "according to" means "the same as" or "just like" - I'm just not sure.)

FWIW.

It means that they will be judged as if they had accepted the gospel while in mortality.

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11 hours ago, pam said:

I understand those that have never had the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ or of the gospel.  I totally get that.  But what of those who didn't do that who did have the opportunity.  Members who chose their own path instead of following the commandments and gospel teachings and principles. 

I guess I just don't get why anyone who chose NOT to repent would get another chance in the next life.  What would be the purpose of our journey and testing in this life?

Question #1: Since we're all sinners, and chances are that we'll all be sinners on the day we die, how can we inherit Celestial Glory?

Answer #1:

Quote

But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven. (Moroni 6:8)

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost... (2 Ne 31:13)

And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.

 Notice the difference between Moroni and Nephi.  Repented is past tense.  Nephi is progressive mood.  The progressive indicates something that is still in process.  But the past tense is ambiguous.  If it is past perfect, then it is completed.  But if it is past imperfect, it is still in process.

I tend to think that most repentance is the progressive mood.  i.e. it is a process instead of an event.  And as long as we're in the process of repentance, that is what is required to "endure to the end."

Question #2:Those who don't repent today, but repent after this life.  What's up with that?

Answer #2: I don't believe this will be possible.  We're not allowed to procrastinate.  The confusion comes with conflating repentance with "belief" rather than faith.

Quote

Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.  These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. (D&C 76:74-75)

The D&C scripture refers more to belief than faith (IMO) not repentance, intent, and behavior.  If you are one who can be "blinded by the craftiness of men" then you are the type of person who does not have the ability to see with the eye of faith.  You are guided more by your sense of right and wrong given by men, rather than the faith provided by your Heavenly Father.

If you accept the gospel AFTER this life, are you doing it because you would have accepted if given the chance?  Or are you accepting it because, "Oh, now that an angel is telling me this, I guess I was wrong."?  That's the difference between faith vs. belief.  If you're believing it because of your senses rather than because your spirit is truly accepting of the truth, the result will be different.

When we talk about being prepared to meet God, what are we really saying here?

Quote

20 Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest.

21 And without the ordinances thereof, and the authorityof the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh;

22 For without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live.

D&C 84:20-22

It is often misread to mean that we can't have visions while on earth without the priesthood (Uhmm, Joseph Smith had the first vision without holding the priesthood). That's not what this seciton is talking about.  It is about accepting the power of godliness in our lives.  As we learn to accept the power of godliness in our earthly lives, we will be prepared to receive the power of godliness (read: Celestial Glory) in the world to come.

Now take a look at how that lines up with Section 88.  I use the following equivalency: "abide the law" = "accepting the power ... while on earth".

Quote

For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.

23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrialkingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory.

24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.

Those who accept the power of godliness in this life are able to withstand the Celestial Glory.

Those who would not accept the power of godliness in this life, but would recognize it in the next are able to withstand a Terrestrial Glory.

Those who would not accept the power of godliness in this life, but would admit it when forced to do so in the next are able to withstand the Telestial Glory.

Those who would not accept it here and will not there are cast into outer darkness.

It is about who we are and will be.  Not what we know or will know.

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