LDS Beliefs on Death and the Afterlife

Heaven and Hell in Mormonism

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Virtually all religions in the world have beliefs about what happens to a person after they die, and the Latter-Day Saints (LDS) church is no different. Generally, like other faiths, Mormonism teaches about the continuation of the soul after the body is physically dead. The religion also adheres to actual locations in the afterlife - i.e. heaven and hell - one of which is the destinations for every deceased person.

The founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, is the primary source for the afterlife in LDS thought. His teachings are found in the Book of Mormon, which serves as a starting point for all Mormon theology. Salvation, according to LDS teaching, is rooted in proper belief, which is summarized in the 13 Articles of Faith, as well as right practices.

Below the reader will find more details about what happens at death as well as more detailed information about heaven and hell in Mormon belief.

Mormon theology: resurrection, heaven, and hell

Like with other LDS beliefs, Mormonism has similarities and differences with orthodox Christianity. The reason for this is that the LDS church teaches that it is the true restoration of New Testament Christianity. It is, therefore, important to understand the differences between Mormon and Christian theology (click to see coma prison chart).


Mormons believe that all humans who die will live eternally, yet there is a process before one enters their final state of being. Upon physical death, the soul will go to the spirit world, where they will undergo instruction and preparation because when a person leaves this world they aren't ready to enter heaven immediately. Then, "after a time," there will be the resurrection, at which time the spirits will be reunited with their bodies forever. [1]

Heaven in Mormonism

Mormons believe in heaven, which is defined as "the place where God lives and the future home of those who follow Him." Faithful Mormons and their families will live in the presence of God and be rewarded in accordance with what they have done during their lives. [2] Joseph Smith also taught that families can live together forever in heaven if they are "sealed" through special temple ceremonies. [3]

What about non-Mormons? Do they go to heaven, too? According to the LDS church, "Those who choose not to follow our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will receive a reward according to what they have done in this life, but they will not enjoy the glory of living in the presence of God." [4] Also see heaven in Christian theology.

Hell in Mormonism

Mormons believe in hell. Those who did not repent while on Earth will experience a temporary hell after death (during the time that all spirits go to the spirit world before the resurrection), but will have an opportunity to repent afterwards and avoid the eternal hell. Hell as an eternal place of misery it is inhabited only by Satan and those who explicitly reject "the Heavenly Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost" even after the period of instruction after death. [5] Also see hell in Christian theology.

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  1. "Death is another beginning."
  2. "What is heaven like?" See also "Death is another beginning" at
  3. "What happens to families after death?"
  4. "What is heaven like?" See also "Death is another beginning" at
  5. "What does the Church teach about hell?"

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