As we are celebrating Memorial Day here in the United States, a day that we honor those who gave their lives in defense of our country and freedom, a quote from Joseph Smith resonated with me. During the “Last Charge” meeting, Joseph Smith told those present the following, which was meant to be encouraging:
“Brethren, you have many storms to pass through and many sore trials await you; you will know what it is to be bound with chains and with fetters for this cause’s sake. God knows I pity you and feel for you. But if you are called to lay down your lives, die like men of God and pass immediately beyond the reach of your enemies. After they have killed you they can harm you no more. Should you have to walk right into danger and the jaws of death, fear no evil – Jesus Christ has died before you.” (As cited by Truman Madsen).
We all die. Whether we die old or young, in sickness or in battle, we still die. What is important is the manner in which we have lived our lives and the manner in which we face our deaths. I hope that we can all, when the time comes, die like men and women of God – faithful. If so, when we are dead we are beyond the reach of all our enemies. Jesus Christ died that we might live. All will live again; I hope that all who will might live again as Christ lives – in celestial glory.