My oldest son recently had to learn a sad lesson when a school friend died in an accident. I remember when a friend of mine died in high school. I was now finding myself on the other side, trying to find words to comfort and explain. Death is never easy for those left behind. It does not discriminate, and it’s sting is felt by all, regardless of personal spiritual beliefs.
However, the Gospel of Christ brings deeper meaning and provides insight that is comforting in times like this. It’s brought hope and built my faith as I’ve dealt with the death of loved ones. Because of the atonement of and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all who have ever lived on the earth will be redeemed from death. The Savior taught that all who die will be resurrected (meaning the person’s spirit will be reunited with a perfected physical body — “restored to their proper and perfect frame” and no longer subject to death (Alma 40:23; see also Alma 11:44-45). We had the opportunity to remind our son of that fact.
Perhaps even greater comfort for me comes from knowing that the Lord’s plan is for families to be together beyond this life. We are all children of a loving Father in Heaven. When my kids go out to play, I look forward to them coming home (even if it means having to clean up a mess). God is no different; he wants us all to return. He sent us here to gain a physical body, learn through obedience to commandments and experiences, and return to him after this life.