After many years of health challenges, my wife's dear Mother recently passed on. I had the opportunity to speak at her memorial service. In the process of researching my remarks, I found so many inspiring quotes. Below are 25 of my favourites.
For anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one, I hope these can bring some comfort, peace and hope.
(1) “If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.”
(2) “Death of a loved one is the most severe test that you will ever face, and if you can rise above your griefs and if you will trust in God, then you will be able to surmount any other difficulty with which you may be faced.”
(3) “I can say in regards to the parting of our friends… that I have been near enough to understand eternity so that I have to exercise a great deal more faith to desire to live than I have ever exercised in my whole life. The brightness and glory of the next apartment is inexpressible. It is not encumbered so that when we advance in years so we have to be stubbing along and be careful lest we fall down … Here we are continually troubled with ills and ailments of various kinds. In the spirit world we are free from all this and enjoy life, glory and intelligence.”
(4) “May I say for the consolation of those who mourn, and for the comfort and guidance of all of us, that no righteous man is ever taken before his time. In the case of the faithful Saints, they are simply transferred to other fields of labor. The Lord’s work goes on in this life, in the world of spirits, and in the kingdoms of glory where men go after their resurrection.”
(5) “...to you who have lost loved ones, to you who know the pangs of loneliness, some of us have also gone through the fire and understand what it means. We say to you that in the faith that lifts you beyond the sordid trials of the day and points you to the glorious tomorrow that can be yours, you too, like the prophet Job, can say, 'I know that my Redeemer lives'”
(6) “The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.”
(7) “…suffering might indeed be unfair if everything ended at death, but it doesn’t. Life is not like a one-act play. It has three acts. We had a past act, when we were in the premortal existence; and now we have a present act, which is mortality; and we will have a future act, when we return to God.”
(8) “I have a father, brothers, children, and friends who have gone to a world of spirits. They are only absent for a moment. They are in the spirit, and we shall soon meet again. The time will soon arrive when the trumpet shall sound. When we depart, we shall hail our mothers, fathers, friends, and all whom we love, who have fallen asleep in Jesus. There will be no fear of mobs, persecutions, or malicious lawsuits and arrests; but it will be an eternity of felicity.”
(9) “I think of how dark that Friday was when Christ was lifted up on the cross. … I think that of all the days since the beginning of this world’s history, [that] Friday was the darkest. But the doom of that day did not endure. The despair did not linger because on Sunday, the resurrected Lord burst the bonds of death. … Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays. But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come. No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.”
(10) “…at funerals, our tears are genuine, but not because of termination—rather because of interruption. Though just as wet, our tears are not of despair but are of appreciation and anticipation. Yes, for disciples, the closing of a grave is but the closing of a door which later will be flung open with rejoicing.”
(11) “To be sure, life’s bitter winters may find us walking alone. During these cold and dark seasons of solitude, we wrap ourselves in the protective clothing of faith—which faith brings a grand and glorious perspective—and we are warmed by precious memories. Thus we move on, seeking always to view things as God views them.”
“Life Beyond Death” by Robert L. Millet
(12) “In each case their passing has brought sorrow over the separation of friends. But in every case there have also been comfort and reassurance and certainty that death, though bitter to observe, is not the end, but is, rather, only another graduation from which we go on to a better life.”
(13) “As a special witness of Jesus Christ, I testify that He lives! I also testify that the veil of death is very thin. I know by experiences too sacred to relate that those who have gone before are not strangers ... our loved ones may be just as close as the next room—separated only by the doors of death.”
(14) “Don’t vex your mind by trying to explain the suffering you have to endure in this life. Don’t think that God is punishing you or disciplining you or that he has rejected you. Even in the midst of your suffering, you are in his kingdom. You are always his child, and he has his protecting arms around you. Does a child understand everything his father does? No, but he can confidently nestle in his father’s arms and feel perfect happiness, even while tears glisten in his eyes, because he is his father’s child.”
Harold B. Lee quoting Dr. Albert Schweitzer
(15) “Every one of us has wept at a death, grieved through a funeral, or stood in pain at a graveside. I am surely one who has. We should all praise God for the assured resurrection that makes our mortal separations temporary and gives us the hope and strength to carry on.”
(16) “…death is not final. Though it seems so when its dark shroud overshadows mortal life, to those who accept the Christ and His eternal mission there is light and comfort, there is assurance, there is certainty.”
(17) “Irrespective of age, we mourn for those loved and lost. Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment: “Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.” (D&C 42:45) Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.”
(18) “One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father.”
In speaking of loved ones who have finished their work in mortality, Joseph F. Smith explained that...
(19) “…we live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; . . . They see the temptations and the evils that beset us in life . . . hence their solicitude for us, and their love for us, and their e for our well being, must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.”
(20) “There are people over there who are pulling for us—people who have faith in us and who have great hopes for us, who are hoping and praying that we will measure up—our loved ones (parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, and friends) who have passed on.”
(21) “…the most important event in life is death. We live to die and then we die to live. Death is a kind of graduation day for life. It is our only means of entrance to our eternal lives.”
(22) “This is what the gospel gives us—not immunity from death, but victory over it through the hope we have in a glorious resurrection.”
(23) “Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. (See 2 Cor. 6:9) As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven.”
(24) “The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job’s question, “If a man die, shall he live again?” To all within the sound of my voice, I declare, If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth.”
What is this thing that men call death, This quiet passing in the night? ’Tis not the end, but genesis Of better worlds and greater light.
O God, touch Thou my aching heart, And calm my troubled, haunting fears. Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure, Give strength and peace beyond my tears.
There is no death, but only change With recompense for victory won; The gift of Him who loved all men, The Son of God, the Holy One.