Question: As we move past Easter and Christians around the world complete the celebration of the Resurrection, what does your faith tradition teach about death and the afterlife?
Benn Mac Stiofan - Druid
Benn Mac Stiofan is a practicing Druid who speaks Irish and has deep respect for the spiritual, ethical, and mystical teachings rife in Celtic myth and legend.
Death is the center of a long life. It is a place we return to again and again to remember that there is absolutely nothing to fear. But, also, it is a profoundly important threshold that shakes loose truths we’ve been hiding in ourselves. One expression in Irish to say that someone has died is “Tá sé in áit na fírinne anois.” Meaning “He is in the place of truth now.” The more we ally ourselves with truth in this life the easier our transition into our next life. To Druids, death is the great benefactor of life, and its closest friend. Companions who rely on one another like two sides of one heartbeat. Death draws in, life expands out.
Eric Sandras - Christian
Eric Sandras, Ph.D.— Author of four books, “Dr. E” leads The Sanctuary Church in the heart of Old Colorado City and teaches graduate courses in human sexuality, counseling and psychology.
I was singing with Bon Jovi in my truck the other day, “Woah, we’re halfway there. Woah, livin’ on a prayer. Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear...” Yep, I’m stuck in the ’80s and no he wasn’t actually in the truck with me but sounded like it. Then I received your question. Coincidence? I think not. According to the Christian faith, if you’re living, you are halfway there. To what? Eternity. Christ offers the opportunity to make death a doorway not a roadblock. A chance to step into everlasting peace we only taste and long for here on earth. Christ promises we’ll make it he swears. Without him we might just crash and burn. Now back to my song…
Sarah Bender - Buddhist
Sarah Bender is a Roshi (senior teacher) in the Koan Zen Buddhist tradition. She is a resident teacher for Springs Mountain Sangha, a Zen community in Colorado Springs (smszen.org).
Buddhist traditions differ about what happens to “you-ness” after death, but agree that being born, living and dying are happening constantly, within and around my human body. Something ends for good, and something continues: What ends for good, what continues? We can’t see clearly what the continuity looks like, but our relationship to it matters. This human life is short and will end, and how I live it affects everyone now and after. My fears or hopes about what might happen to me after death will focus my attention on my separateness; my intimacy with the mystery of it focuses my attention on my belonging to life, my connectedness and my ability to contribute. Not a hard choice, but the practice of a lifetime!
Ray Hendershot - Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints
Ray has served on a mission to England, has been a bishop, and has held other key leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Currently, he works with other faiths to provide service to our community.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that because of Jesus Christ’s atonement and resurrection all mankind will be resurrected following death and be eligible to return to the presence of God and live with Him based upon their life and habits on the earth. We believe that God called prophets to be his spokespersons as demonstrated in the Bible. It is our belief that God has restored a Prophet to lead our Church today. Our Prophet teaches us what we need to do to be happy in this life and to return to the presence of God. Our Church also teaches that after death we may be restored to our family and live together forever.
Join the conversation at InGoodFaith.org.