My grandfather, and last remaining grandparent, passed away not too long ago in the beginning of January. My mission president had called me up and informed me of the news. Admittedly, I was a bit taken back. The previous Sunday, my family and I had been fasting for him. He had been suffering from dementia and physical limitations for quite some time and we had decided that it was simply his time to go.
The surprise was due more to the fact that his passing had happened so soon; not even a week had gone by. Instinctively, I was saddened, but ultimately I was grateful. I knew that my grandfather’s pain and suffering had been done away with. I knew he finally was in a place where he could rest and find peace, and be reunited with my grandmother who had passed away when I was only a baby.
We learn from the Book of Mormon what exists between the event of death and the resurrection of the body. Alma the Younger’s son, Corianton, was concerned about this topic. In Alma chapter 40, verses 11 and 12, his father explains it to him as thus,
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.
The words of Alma assure me that my grandfather is in a state of happiness and that, likewise, all the righteous souls of this Earth that pass away are received into the same state. This knowledge is a comfort and a strength to me, and I am grateful to be blessed with such an understanding.