We spend our whole lives preparing to die. If you’re a believer in the Plan of Salvation, this is not as morbid as it first sounds. Unfortunately, we don’t know how prepared we really are until we get there, and the finality of the act of death itself guarantees no “do-overs,” so we better get it right.
The first fifteen years of the reign of the judges over the people of Nephi in the Book of Mormon did not go well. It brought to pass the “destruction of many thousand lives; yea, it has brought to pass an awful scene of bloodshed.” This destruction and bloodshed precipitated immense amounts of two types of mourning.
“…many thousands are mourning for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo.”
“While many thousands of others truly mourn for the loss of their kindred, yet they rejoice and exult in the hope, and even know, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are raised to dwell at the right hand of God, in a state of never-ending happiness.”
A cherished brother-in-law lived a good but short life as a righteous husband, father, and priesthood holder in Zion. He was prepared; we know this because he told us so just before he died. His funeral was a celebration that did not require immense amounts of mourning. My mother is now attempting to walk a similar path. As she approaches death in a hospice, she slowly but confidently explains that she has been visited by her husband who passed away almost 20 years ago, and looks forward to being with him again. I only hope I am prepared to let her go to a “state of never-ending happiness.”