Sunday, August 10, 2008

Life After Death

Camille Kathleen Waite 6 days before she drowned.

I am a firm believer in life after death. 

When the energy of our spirits leave our mortal bodies, we do not cease to exist. I know this because every bit of my being tells me this is Truth. I know this because, at times, I can feel my daughter's presence right next to me, though her body is miles away decaying in a coffin. 

Some Truths are so vital for our happiness here on Earth that our loving Heavenly Father seems to have implanted in our souls a detector to recognize them when we are presented with them.

This detector lets us know when we are reading, hearing, speaking, thinking or feeling Truth. It gives us a warm peaceful sure feeling as we ponder Truths. 

In the last two months, I have been presented with many versions of what life after death is like. In sifting through all this information, I have come to know some great Truths. The Truths about life after death that I have come to know are closely tied to other Truths previously established in my belief system. I have listed these foundational Truths below.

Some Foundational Truths I know for sure:
God lives.
Jesus Christ is His Son.
We are all the spirit children of God. 
God loves us as a Father.
God wants us His children to know of Him.
God loves us in this age as much as he loved his children in the times of the Bible
God speaks to prophets like Moses and Noah to teach His children more about Him.
After the death of Jesus Christ the apostles were killed.
In 1820, in answer to a young boy's prayer, God and Jesus Christ appeared.
This young boy, Joseph Smith, grew up and became a great prophet.
He had many, many revelations to help him restore Christ's original church on the earth.
God and Jesus Christ speak to a prophet today.

I came to know these foundational Truths because I have followed the counsel in James 1:5, just as Joseph did. I have asked God in faith and that detector of truth, the Holy Ghost, has witnessed to my spirit that these things are indeed true. 

Now on to the Truths I have found about life after death.

Many of the prophet Joseph Smith's visions dealt with life after death. The truths he taught about what happens to us after we die resonate with truth throughout my entire being. He taught that families can be sealed together by the same power to bind in heaven what is bound on Earth that the Savior gave to Peter. See Matt 16:19. So while earthly marriages are until death do we part, the Lord wants us to be married by one who holds that divine sealing power that transcends the bonds of death and binds you to your spouse through the eternities. When a couple is sealed together by that divine binding power of God, their children are also bound to them in the eternities. Those family relationships go with us beyond the grave.

I know now more than ever that heaven -- life after death -- is all about family. It is enjoying perfected versions of the familial relationships we had here on earth. It is about remembering our place in the great family of our God.

We all have the ability to follow that invitation in James 1:5 and ask God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not. We all can find our own answers to our own questions. We can learn what a dream meant or if we can be with our family forever. All we need to do is seek to find answers, gather information, and ask which answer is Truth. God loves us. He will let us know.

My knowledge of these Truths, given to me through personal witnesses of the Spirit, gives me peace. In this peace there is, for me, a way to enjoy my life after her death.  My life after her death revolves around one thing--Family.

I am a firm believer in life after death.

Sabrina took this photo of Lauren and I today

22 comments:

Marleen said...

Those Truths pointed out truly resonate in my being. I love how you share your thoughts and testimony. Your words have touched my soul and made it full. Thank you.

Also, your new haircut looks great!

The Morris Fam said...

As we read scriptures together tonight, Justin, my 4 year old was asking about this very topic...He is so very interested in where Jesus lives and was wondering about the Holy Ghost...Then was wondering about our spirits. I taught him that spirits can be right here on the earth, even though the bodies are in the ground. It was so nice to be able to share with him that in your family, Camille's spirit is near you, in your home and that she can be "with" you. He also gets very excited to know we will be resurrected,just like Jesus was. I loved sharing this Truth w/ Justin. What a comforting thing to understand...especially for you and those that are in a similar situation. Absolutely beautiful!

celestialdragonfly13 said...

I was sent a link to your site by a friend and am speechless to say the least. I wish that I didn't understand what you are going through but do. I will return to read more of your post soon. I too lost a daughter. She was my oldest and I was six months pregnant with our last when the accident happened. KayCee was on her way home from her first youth conference when the accident happened that took her life a couple of days later. I am amazed at where you are mentally and spirritually. It's been a long journey in the past 5 years, but I can add my testimony of Heavenly Fathers tender mercies through all of this. The one thing I am grateful for is the knowledge of what "Hell" is. I feel that this is a taste of what it could be like and take comfort in knowing what is at stake. Either with my death or the resurrection this pain will end as long as I live up to the covenants that Robb and I have made in the sacred temple. I also know that the pain I feel is much the same that Heavenly Father feels with us here, not knowing if we will choose the path that leads back to Him....How tough it was for our Heavenly Father to let us go. I don't want to invade your blog but thanks for your sweet example and sharing your dream. My husband told me once those same things about KayCee being with us more, and helping out more....I've not been as fortunate to have any dreams as you but others have and I'm grateful that they've shared what they have....I have a book I would love to send you called The Message by Lance Richardson it has been one of the best books I've read since losing KayCee. The other one is called Grieving the Pain and the Promise by Deanna Edwards...anyway....sorry for taking up so much space. My prayers are with you and your sweet family. I had 4 girls too, followed by my 2 boys. KayCee would of graduated this year.

Marylin and Jimmy said...

Love this post! Thank you :)

Natalie said...

Like so many others, I don't know you and found your blog through friends of friends, etc. I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to share the feelings of your heart with the world. I had to teach the Relief Society lesson today on Hope after Death and know that finding your blog was an answer to my prayers. You are a shining example of living what the Prophet Joseph Smith taught. Hang in there. You have won the hearts of people all over the world and we are all praying for you and your family.

Brittany Osborn said...

Beautifully written. I know all those things are true by the spirit too!

Mindy said...

It is so amazing how the Spirit will continue to confirm and manifest those truths time and time again. How refreshing to be able to take a moment to reflect on those, thank you! P.s. I adore all the candid photos you have on your blog. Sometimes they say so much more than words ever could.

cmhl said...

I love the doxology we sing at our church, "world without end, amen. amen."

Ashley K. said...

Stephanie,
Thank you for your comment on my blog.I have wanted to comment on yours, but have felt like a stalker/lurker. You are such an inspiration to me and I am a better person for having come across your blog. I struggle with a liver disease and although things are well at this juncture, I am often reminded that it is still here and there is always the possibility of getting worse. I have felt your blog was inspired reading for me because it has given me a new perspective to be better and be more present with my children. Thank you...
-Ashley

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about you yesterday during my Relief Society lesson. It was Teachings of President Joseph Smith Lesson 14. It was about death and it has a section that specifically talks about children. If you haven't read it, I would encourage you to. It was a beautiful lesson and it strengthen my testimony as I gained a clearer understanding about life after death.

www.adorn-jewelry.blogspot.com said...

Love your new haircut! You look like your mom so much:)

Hollyween said...

Just wanted to let you know that I linked you on my blog in the hopes that you'll touch others as much as you've touched me.

I am continually thinking about your story even though I don't know you. It really gave me a new perspective on many things. Thank-You.

Liz's Blog said...

I admire your faith, conviction and testimony of the Gospel and the principles we are taught. Thank you.

Jodie said...

Stephanie...

I just wanted to tell you how cute your hair looks...I love it!

Christie K said...

I am also one who has found your blog through various other blogs. I am grateful to anyone who helps me become a better mother. Your words and testimony have touch my heart and have me on my knees praying to be a better mom to my kiddos. It also has me longing to live near someone who has cool parties to celebrate SYTYCD. You truly are amazing and I just wanted you to know that someone in Pennsylvania now has you and your family in her prayers. I also did a blog about you yesterday so that everyone I know would be able to appreciate the wonderful inspiation you are.

Julie said...

Stephanie, I am very encouraged today by your words.

My family is really struggling right now and I needed that.

TRUTH is the only way my life makes sense...

Thank you so much....

Julie
Sacramento

Natalie said...

Stephanie,
You have been on my mind a lot this weekend. My husband and I attended a session in the temple and I couldn't help but think of you and Camille. I also had to give the lesson yesterday on death in Relief Society. I debated whether to share your story. I ended up sharing and could barely get through my sobs. I wanted to share with the women how you have held onto these gospel Truths and my prayer for all of us, if we were to ever be faced with such a loss, would be that we would find the same strength as YOU have shown and turn to the Lord in that dark hour.
I am also grateful for these gospel Truths and know without a shadow of a doubt that they are true. Oh great will be the day when all of us are reunited with our families in the eternities. I would love to be a fly on the wall when you meet Camille again *tears welling again*

Heidi said...

"... at times, I can feel my daughter's presence right next to me, though her body is miles away decaying in a coffin."

Really? I've heard others talk of this, but never experienced it myself. It must be a feeling beyond description.

LKHarris-Kolp said...

I have had that feeling too, since the death of my close friend. I was trying to help her through a spiritual program and we got very close. She confided to me things that nobody knows and now I am dealing with a lot of grief. She committed suicide, and since her death I have felt her presence with me at night when I say my prayers. I have been going through some difficult times this summer b/c my husband had neck surgery and we have three small children. Thank you for your comforting words.

Jenny M said...

I heard the book, "The Message" by Lance Richardson mentioned in earlier comments. I have read this over again since I lost my son 3 years ago. It was a huge comfort for me. I highly recommend this book as well. You MUST read this book!

AmandaScraps said...

I teach Relief Society and yesterday's lesson was Chapter 14: Hope and Consolation in times of Death. I thought of you and mentioned you throughout my lesson and the inspiration you have been to me and so many others. I printed out your tips to help a friend who a suffered a loss and passed it on to all the sisters. I received so many thank you's for giving that out. I think it really helped many of them.

Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration.

Randi said...

Thank you for sharing your testimony, your life, your pain, and your lessons learned. I randomly stumbled upon your page and now as tears run down my cheeks, I can't stop reading. You have now found a spot in my prayers and in my heart. Your children are beautiful and I am so sorry for your loss. My little boy is the same age as little Camille and I can't even imagine. I'm so sorry.
God bless!!