Several years ago, I lost my dear and faithful companion Riley (my sweet dog) in a freak farm accident. The accident was my fault. It was devastating to me, and I had a very difficult time getting over it. In fact, even today, I’m still saddened at his loss …I still grieve and cringe a little when I think of his untimely and tragic death.
Riley was my “Pal,” at my side constantly, we were inseparable. He was an important and loving part of my daily life. Then, in an instant, he was gone. I broke down and was emotionally grief-stricken. For days, I was inconsolable. I blamed myself and could find no comfort nor relief in my sorrow. Eventually, time passed and I began to recover. But the sadness and sense of guilt still remained in my mind.
So, why do I share this sad and tragic tale? Well, …because I found something! “A lifeline.” Much has been written about losing a pet, but I found a short article that has truly helped ease my pain and sorrow. And, perhaps it will bring peace to someone else who reads this blog who has also suffered a similar loss. The article was published in LDSLiving Magazine. Here it is:
“It is always devastating when a pet dies. But thanks to modern revelation, we know they will be with us in the eternities. In his October 1928 conference address, President Joseph Fielding Smith said, ‘The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be recreated, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls.’ He also wrote in Answers to Gospel Questions that ‘Animals do have spirits and will come forth in the resurrection to enjoy the blessing of immortal life.’
“Additionally, in the August 1927 edition of the Improvement Era, Elder Orson F. Whitney stated, ‘The affirmative of the question ‘Do Animals Have Souls?’ is amply sustained by divine revelation.’ Speaking of the Prophet Joseph, he added, ‘Joseph Smith so believed, or he would not have said …concerning his favorite horse, when it died, that he expected to have it in Eternity.’
“So, rest assured pet lovers — we will be reunited with our faithful companions. After all, it wouldn’t be heaven without them!”
LDSLiving Magazine, January/February 2016, page 11.
Also, please compare and consider the following from the Prophet Joseph Smith recorded in Doctrine & Covenants 77:2.
Question: What are we to understand by the four beasts, (spoken of in John 4:6)?
Answer: They are a figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.
(For additional insight concerning our sacred and eternal relationship with animals, please see: “The Gospel and Animals,” by Gerald E. Jones, Ensign Magazine, August 1972.)
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