(October 16, 2014)
I suppose it is common to think about what the hereafter will be like, and I have my own opinions, of course. Considering the lack of entropy that I expect in the hereafter, and the expectation that I have of infinite space (otherwise, there could be no infinite progression as eventually there would be no place for anyone), I somewhat envision the hereafter as giving each and every person what they want. And then they will receive the blessings or suffer the consequences of their choices according to natural law.
If I were to design my hereafter right now, it would likely include a fair amount of video games, reading, and maybe even (if I am honest) time for some vices that I haven’t parted with yet. Were I to receive what I want at this point, I would likely be thrilled but, in the long run, likely become very unhappy. The Lord’s pattern for eternal happiness is service, family, and work.
If I had all power, would that be the way I would structure and spend my eternity? Not now…not yet. That, I think, is the applicability of
Alma’s teachings that
those who desire evil will be rewarded with evil. If someone desires evil, they will be given the
capacity to receive what they want and it will shrink their soul and bring
about their eternal suffering. On the
contrary side of things, if we seek out good and righteousness, we will be
given the capacity to bring about good and righteousness over an eternity.
I don’t presume to know how everything will work out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something akin to what I describe took place. It is a bit frightening (I don’t know that I would choose the right thing if the choice was presented to me right now), but it is also comforting because as time goes on and I see changes in myself, I realize that who I am becoming is someone more likely to make the right choice if, in the end, the choice comes down to me (also consistent with Alma’s statement that they would be their own judges).