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And What of Death?
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 • Posted March 28, 2013 4:30 PM

Theodore Tilton penned a poem entitled, “Even This Shall Pass Away”: Once in Persia reigned a king Who upon his signet ring Graved a maxim true and wise, Which, if held before his eyes Gave him counsel at a glance, Fit for every change and chance. Solemn words, and these are they: “Even this shall pass away.”

Trains of camels through the sand Brought his gems from Samarcand; Fleets of galleys through the seas Brought him pearls to match with these. But he counted not his gain Treasures of the mine or main; “What is wealth?” the king would say; “Even this shall pass away.”

In the revels of his court At the zenith of the sport, When the palms of all his guests Burned with clapping at his jests; He amid his figs and wine, Cried: “Oh living friends of mine, Pleasure comes but not to stay; Even this shall pass away.”

Fighting with a furious fiend, Once a javelin pierced his shield; Soldiers with a loud lament Bore him bleeding to his tent; Groaning from his tortured side, “Pain is hard to bear,” he cried, “But with patience, day by day Even this shall pass away.”

Towering on the public square, Twenty cubits in the air, Rose his statue, carved in stone, Then, the king, disguised, unknown Stood before his sculptured name Musing meekly, “What is fame? Fame is but a slow decay—Even this shall pass away.”

Struck with palsy, sere and old, Waiting at the gates of gold, Said he with his dying breath; “Life is done, but what is death?” Then in answer to the king, Fell a sunbeam on his ring, Showing by a heavenly ray, “Even this shall pass away.”

“We believe that we are immortal beings,” said Joseph F. Smith. “We believe in the resurrection of the dead, and that as Jesus came forth from the grave to everlasting life, his spirit and body uniting again never more to be separated, so has opened the way for every son and daughter of Adam, whether living or dead, to come forth from the grave to a newness of life, to become immortal souls, body and spirit united, never to be severed any more.”

“The most significant event in all human history,” said David O. McKay, “was the discovery of the empty tomb on that memorable first day of the week, when the answer to the eternal yearning of millions of souls was given in the immortal testimony: “Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: He is risen: he is not here; behold the place where they laid him.”

Harold B. Lee related that in 1956 a guide in the Holy Land led the late Adam S. Bennion to the tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathaea in the days when Jesus lived and in which Jesus was entombed after the crucifixion. As the guide stood there he said, “There are many tombs of great men to be found all over the earth, but this one is different from any of the others—this one is empty!”


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