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What Happens in Heaven after This Life?

By Mormon.org

What happens when I die? What is heaven like? Many people are anxious about these questions. Death isn’t something to fear, though. Mormons believe there is life after death and that once you die, your spirit lives on and awaits the time when you will be resurrected and judged.

No Fast Track to Heaven

Once you die, your spirit and your body are separated. Your body is buried, but your spirit continues to live on. You will go to what is called the spirit world. There you will enter into either paradise or spirit prison, based on how you have lived your life. These are not the same as heaven and hell because you will be here only temporarily.    

Spirit paradise is a place of rest and peace where the spirits of those who were obedient and followed Christ can rest from their troubles and sorrow. It is a place you will be more familiar with and will seem more natural to you than you may think. You will see family and friends and be able to associate with them.

In spirit prison are people who have not been obedient or followed Christ, but they have the opportunity to still learn about Jesus and His gospel, grow and become better people before receiving the judgment of God.

Peter spoke about this spirit prison in a sermon found in the New Testament. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient” (1 Peter 3:18–20).

Everyone will be resurrected and judged

After spending time in the spirit world, we will all be resurrected. Our spirit and body will be reunited and as the scriptures teach us we will then stand before the Lord to be judged, “for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” (Romans 14:10). He will judge you after spending time in the spirit world.

Unlike other religions that believe the afterlife is two places — heaven or hell— Mormons believe that we inherit one of three kingdoms. In a letter from Paul to Christians in Corinth, he compared each of these kingdoms to the brightness of the sun, the moon and the stars.

The Lord’s judgment is just, and you will inherit a kingdom based on your obedience to the gospel of Jesus and your acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus. 

What is heaven like?

Those people who were obedient to God’s commandments and completed the ordinances required to return (such as baptism), will be able to live with God again in the kingdom that Paul describes as glorious as the sun. This is considered heaven, because it is the place where God and Jesus live. It is not a state of being, but rather an actual location where you can live with God forever.

The people who reside in the other two kingdoms will not be able to enjoy God’s presence.

Heaven is the ultimate reward that you can receive in the afterlife and is determined by the choices you make in this life. Mormons believe that in heaven family relationships continue for eternity and we will live with God and Jesus. This is what heaven will be and why Mormons believe that it is a place of true joy.