Comments about ‘Defending the Faith: If heavenly reunions are true, then what else matters?’

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Published: Thursday, March 29 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Full-on double rainbow
Bluffdale, UT

Im sorry for your loss Mr. Peterson.

Madison, AL

We don't appreciate what we have sometimes until we lose it, then we also gain an understanding of the purpose of eternity in God's love. My heart goes out to you, I too lost an older brother to death, who was a cheerleader of my accomplishments when he was 15 and I a year younger, back over 40 years. The gospel plan provides the hope that makes our orphaness bearable because our loving Savior suffered much more than we do to make our eventual reunion possible.

Huntsville, UT

"If heavenly reunions are true, then what else matters?"


What if they aren't true though? What then?

I hope you get your reunion with your brother, I really do. I have loved ones lost that I'd give anything to see again, but what if all of these beliefs are just a way to help us cope with the loss we are all bound to experience? What about living our lives today, in the here-and-now, instead of putting off experience in favor of something that may or may not ever happen? If it doesn't exist, then everything, everything, matters now because it's all you may have.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

There is a moral danger to this kind of thinking, insofar as it often cheapens and dilutes the importance of now, leading many into being cavalier and casual about relationships in this life, based on the idea that "it will all be made up in the next life".

The history of religion, including recent fundamentalisms, is littered with abuses and injuries inflicted based on the faith that "God will sort it out in the next life", or that some destruction and blood-letting now will bring a reward in the hereafter. Other abuses and indignities to the living, and to their sacred memories of their lost loved ones, are justified by religious doctrines that try to perform "saving ordinances" on behalf of deceased persons, strongly implying that those deceased persons perished in the name of a false faith, and therefore, their entire lives were lived in error.

The over concern with the hereafter, at the expense of the here and now, is the common thread running through this problematic and dangerous mindset that leads people to engage in questionable, unethical, and often downright horrific actions toward their fellow sojourners in life.

Phoenix, AZ

"If heavenly reunions are true, then what else matters?"

It is a lovely thought; but, the down side is that it is the "pie in the sky" manipulated hope that has kept the masses suppressed, disadvantaged and controlled by the powerful elite few who use religion and superstition to conquer and govern. There is no other product more mis-labeled than religion and the charlatans behind it.

Gilbert, AZ

"If heavenly reunions are true, then what else matters?"
What if they aren't true though? What then?
For those that believe, this life is a joy, and they look forward to the life hereafter with joy. And if it is true they will continue in joy after death. For those that do not believe, life is full of sadness for the loss of love ones and if it is true they are very sad in death not being prepared for the life here after. If it is not true, no one will every know.

Ventura, CA

Now after reading above comments ...I am confused and totally beside myself....now it is said I will see love ones when I die....now I hear it just a ploy from leaders of the church to keep me under control and submissive to their needs.....the more I listen to man , the more I get lost...I must remain in constant communication with the Holy Spirit,it has never made me frighten....but listening to man and their "Educational" rational just leaves me in the dark and afraid....just what Satan has planned.......I must stay with the only truth that has given me comfort and contentment and most of all peace of mind.....God will not let me down, Satan all ways will..even now Satan delights in knowing this shakes me up and will without a doubt flood me with worldly doubts to shake my faith, so I ask this up front ....Satan get behind me...my Savior Jesus Christ I put my trust and my salvation in you and your love will protect me from the "Dark" one and give me the peace all Gods children deserve.....

Buena Vista, VA

To Br. Peterson, My heartfelt condolences and thanks for sharing this. To skeptic: I have been religious all my life, and all my adult life by choice, and I have carefully weighed the pros and cons. I have not been "suppressed, disadvantaged, and controlled." Some religions may do these things; but do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Some of us have received personal revelation that lets us know our beliefs are not just a pie in the sky. To A Scientist: I am also a scientist. I am also a Believer, and they are not inconsistent. And I know of very few Christians who have engaged in questionable, unethical, or horrific actions because of belief in the afterlife. Mulim suicide bombers, maybe. Most Christians behave better, because of what may await in the afterlife.

Canada, 00

"Heavenly reunions are true and it all matters"

Mr Peterson, thank you for your beautiful article and I'm so sorry for your loss.

Nothing about this beautiful article pointed towards not living ones life to the fullest today and cherishing every precious moment or any suggestion of lives lived in error. Please do not group Mr Peterson with those who would try to conquer and govern in the name of religion. I did not see anything here to suggest he or his brother tried to do that. He is a peaceable follower of Christ as are many of us here. This is what is true along with "Heavenly Reunions"

City, Ut

To Full-on double rainbow--
As religious articles are sometimes hard for you to take, I applaud your putting that aside, and thank you for your caring comment to the author.

To RanchHand, A Scientist, skeptic, and Mavin--and others who feel the way you do--

I will give you the answer I gave the atheist in my life: There is only ONE chance that I will get what my heart yearns for and wants more than anything else after all those I love and I are dead. I am putting all my eggs in one basket, and going with that. If I am wrong, no other option or plan will be able to give me what I want, so I am going with the one that promises to. If I am wrong, so be it. But I know I have NO hope and NO chance and NO remote possibility with atheism and science.

Glendora, CA

There are way too many rational people who can testify of an afterlife.
Skeptics can bark all they want .

Hightstown, NJ

If Mormonism taught that this life doesn't matter, that would be one thing. But note that Mr. Peterson doesn't talk about regrets of what could have been a great relationship with his brother but of how the knowledge that this life isn't the end lessens the sting of the loss of a relationship that was fully developed and strengthened during the time they had. We believe in a restoration of things to their proper state in the eternities, not to a state that they never were in mortality.

Roanoke, VA

Some of these comments are astounding, and downright cruel.

There is nothing - not one thing - about the concept of an afterlife that diminishes the importance of this life. Indeed, quite the reverse: such a concept elevates the importance of the 'here and now', as we aren't going to enjoy such delightful reunions if we dismiss as irrelevant our present existence. Only poor thinking holds that the religious don't care about this life.

"...it is the "pie in the sky" manipulated hope that has kept the masses suppressed, disadvantaged and controlled..." This is funny.

Of course some people abuse religion. This should not be a surprise. But when Darwin's theories were misapplied into the concept of 'Social Darwinism' was he discredited? Certainly not. A person's abuse of the concept of the hereafter indicts the person, not the concept. If I explain Krebs Cycle in a false way, does this mean there is really no photosynthesis?

Or does it mean I should become more familiar with the subject I am talking about?

Huntsville, UT


Whatever makes you think we're always sad? Yes, we mourn for our lost ones but so do the faithful.


And here's my answer for you, not as an "atheist", but as one who doesn't "have all the answers". I'm going to live my life today as if it's the only one I'll ever have. That way, if there is an afterlife, I'll have no regrets for having lived a good life, if there isn't it won't matter and I'll have had no regrets in this life for having lived a good life. If there is an afterlife all the better, if not, nothing lost.

Salt Lake City, UT

One way or another, we are going to personally find out whether there is life after physical death or not. That knowledge will come sooner than we think. As for me, I have nothing to lose in this life or the next, by living my current life to the fullest and at the same time preparing myself through religion for the unknown possibilities of the future.

Certainly, by the end of our 80 year life span, we will know the exact answer, no hurry for me. But if you’re lucky, you might get an earlier answer tomorrow (too bad you won’t be able to share that knowledge with anyone else).

Mesa, AZ

It could all end tomorrow where would I be
Does life go on or will it be the end of me
Seems a bit unfair to think that all I've learned and done
Belongs to no one

Why should I cherish living if there's no so called plan
Why, I would have no future if it were left to man
I can't believe that we just happened and don't know what for
There must be more

layton, UT

If heavenly reunions are true, then what else matters?
Biblical authorities on heaven:
(David) But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall Go To Him[in heaven], but he shall not return to me.(2 Sam 12:23)

(Jesus) to the thief on the cross, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43)
(Paul) alludes to his vision of the third heaven and also to paradise; 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. In Revelation 2:7,which describes the righteous who partake of the tree of life in the midst of God's paradise.

(Paul)And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.(Romans 8:28-29).
I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;(Phil 1:23)

Somewhere in Time, UT

Those who have chosen to reject God are always trying to drag others down. How sad.

Mount Laurel, NJ

The same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there coupled with eternal glory. Space-time fabric and its ensemble of probabilities when impressed, embossed, disturbed by intelligent agents, can be read, addressed, archived and reassembled into new inorganic sentient beings. Quantum computing was just the beginning, super-string computation the next. These memories, actions, hopes and dreams of those we cherish are not lost unto the Lord. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Mount Laurel, NJ

BY in 1871 said, The brightness and glory of the next apartment is inexpressible. It is not encumbered with this clog of dirt we are carrying around here . . . But yonder, how different! They move with ease and like lightning. If we want to visit Jerusalem, or the other place—and I presume we will be permitted if we desire—there we are, looking at its streets. If we want to behold Jerusalem as it was in the days of the Savior; or if we want to see the Garden of Eden as it was when created, there we are, and we see it as it existed spiritually, for it was created first spiritually and then temporally, and spiritually it still remains. And when there we may behold the earth as at the dawn of creation, or we may visit any city we please that exists upon its surface. If we wish to understand how they are living here on these western islands, or in China, we are there; in fact, we are like the light of the morning, or, I will not say the electric fluid, but its operations on the wires.

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