Monday, July 29, 2013

Life After Death (Tribute to Diana Jex)

I just found out about the passing of a good friend of mine. We were sixth cousins actually. When I was new to the area, everyone would ask me if I was Diana's sister (Jex isn't a very common last name). It didn't take long before I was introduced to Diana, found out we were 6th cousins, and I was proud to be related to such a great person. She was kind to everyone and her home was always open. She was about my age and healthy, so her passing in her sleep came as a complete surprise.

I know Diana is in a good place, a happy place. It is hard for us here, but it isn't the end. I love the way one of my friends put it, "To all those who know her, be glad you got to meet her. To those who don't, she is one of the sweetest, most loving, loyal, joyful people and you should totally make a point to get to know her in the afterlife."

At times like this, it can be easy to ask "Why?" Why would God take such a wonderful, beautiful young woman at the prime of her life? Why couldn't she stay to get married and have a family? Why can't she stay and continue being a friend to everyone and contributing so much to her family and the community?

I don't expect to get answers to all of those questions in this life, but I know that God has his purposes. She always went about doing good. I'm sure she is still going about doing good, and even more of it because she won't have the limits of mortality to hold her back. 

In "Tragedy or Destiny?" by Spencer W. Kimball, we are taught that there is no tragedy in death, only in sin. I saw Diana described accurately as a person without guile, so no worries there! Through the teachings of Christ and His restored Gospel, we know that death is not the end of life. If we looked upon mortality as the whole of our existence, then death would be a tragedy indeed, but we existed before we came to earth, and we will continue to exist after death. There is much more to life than what happens between birth and death.

The prophet Alma teaches:
Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
Alma 40:11-12

I've been reading a very fascinating book: Life Everlasting. I started reading it because I could get it at a good deal from a local used bookstore, but I'm very grateful for the things I have learned when faced with things like this. For anyone that is looking for answers or has ever faced the death of a loved one, I highly recommend it.

Through reading accounts of those that have seen the Spirit World or talked to those that have (it includes scriptures, near death experiences, accounts of visits from family members and friends that have passed on, dreams, visions and more), I am able to form a much clearer picture of where my friend is going. There is a lot of work to do and valiant saints are needed.

Diana didn't serve a full time mission for the church in this life, but last weekend she was called to serve a mission to the Spirit World. She was a great blessing to her friends and family in mortality, and I know she will continue to bless the eternal lives of her friends and family on both sides of the veil.

I know that the next time I see Diana, we will still be friends, and still be cousins. She won't just be some random spirit or angel. She will be herself in all her awesomeness, even more so. She will be greatly missed in the mean time, but I know God has a plan and this is part of it.

"And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy." D&C 130:2

I know that there are some people who don't believe in religion or life after death. They think it is a crutch that is used to find answers to questions or to help us feel better in sad times. But I know that truth is true regardless of whether I am going through good times or bad. I know that God lives, He loves us. We are His children and He is very mindful of us. He has a plan for each and everyone of us, even if we don't understand it. I don't know what His plan is for Diana, but I know He wouldn't have taken such a wonderful person from this life unless He had a wise purpose. I know she was needed more on the other side and has been welcomed there. I know I will see her again and we will still be friends and cousins. Not just because it sounds nice, but because it is true.

We will miss you Diana! Until we meet again!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments below. I look forward to hearing what you have to think!