The Words of the Weber Family
This is a hypothetical discussion between a parent and a child. How many of you have had such conversations. I hope that you enjoy this story.
Questions. He is full of questions. Like all children his age, my son seems to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
"Daddy, why is the sky blue? Why couldn't it be green or purple?
Yes, he's full of questions, and he's constantly reaching out, seeking, and discovering. Yet he's also being influenced by many things like television, movies, and books. His viewpoint is constantly being affected by these things. And because of this, sometimes even more questions are raised in his mind. It is sometimes difficult being a parent in today's world. Yet, a parent still has to answer some of those basic questions of life, such as "Daddy, where do I come from?"
Yes, I remember that question, and it was a difficult one to answer. Yet, one day he asked me an even more difficult one than that, and it took me a bit by surprise.
"Daddy, what happens to me when I die" Is there a life after death, or do I just stop?"
I could tell that he had been thinking deeply about the question before asking about it. So I was careful about how I answered him. He had been hearing many things about life and whether or not our world exists eternally. It school, science had taught him that things are constantly going through periods of birth, growth, and decay and that once something is born it must eventually grow old and die. In church, however, he had been taught that there is a life beyond this physical world of ours, and that once you die you go on to an afterlife where you live eternally with God. Then there were people who told him that this is false. They told him that nothing exists beyond what you can see, hear, taste, touch, or smell, and that "once you're dead you're dead!" If this wasn't enough, we even have in our tradition a "celebration of death!" Once every year we celebrate the resurrection of passed-away spirits, demons, and goblins known as Halloween! It is no wonder that my son now wondered if the physical world is the beginning and end of life, or if there is an eternal life after death.
"When I die, I don't just stop… do I!"
"No son, you don't just stop."
"Then what happens?"
"Well, son, every being is made up of two parts: the physical body which you can see, touch, and feel, and also an inner nature, things that make up his thoughts, emotions, and personality. We call this his spirit. Now, our physical bodies have an environment to move around in and live in. That's what this physical world is. There is also an environment for our inner nature or our spirit which we move around in and live in. This is called the spirit world."
"But, Davy's daddy says that anything we can't see or touch doesn't exist."
"Well then, Davy's daddy hasn't heard of things like electricity, high frequency sound waves, infrared light, or x-rays. We know that all of these things exist even though we can't sense them with our five physical senses. We have made machines that run on electricity, others that can pick up high frequency sound waves, and it's possible to see the effects of infrared light and x-rays in special types of pictures."
"Can you take a picture of my spirit then?"
"Well, there's a bit of a difference between physical things and spiritual things. We're able to do things in the physical world whenever we want, and other people can observe us doing these things. Yet, it's not possible for us to do things in the spirit world by using a physical method. We can't physically guide or direct something spiritual. Also, things occurring in the spirit world can be seen by only a few people. This is because man can control his physical environment. But in the same way as your spirit guides and directs what you do physically, so the spirit world guides and directs what happens in the physical world. This is why we can't control the spirit world with physical things. So, it might be a bit difficult to take a picture of your spirit with a camera."
"Are my spirit and body alike in any way?"
"Yes they are. If you look at your body and the physical world, you see that they are made up of the same things. For this reason, as a physical being, you can be subject of the physical world if you are fully mature. Following the same pattern, your spirit is made up of the same things as the spirit world. So, if you are spiritually mature, you can also be subject over the spirit world.
"Then why can't I see the spirit world?"
"Well, we should be able to see the spirit world, son. But for several thousand years we have been separated from God, and because of this we have never grown to full maturity spiritually."
"But, why do I have both a spirit and body anyway?"
"When you are born, your spirit is like a seed. A seed needs to be planted in soil before it can grow into a plant and bear fruit. Like a seed, your spirit needs to be planted in a physical body in order to grow to maturity and become an adult. Now, both your body and your spirit need things in order to live and grow. Your body needs things from its environment such as heat, light, air and food. Your spirit also needs things in order to live and grow, things that come from its spiritual environment, and from God, like love, truth , and a rich spiritual atmosphere.
"But, your spirit and body do not exist separated from each other. There is a constant flow of energy between the two. Your spirit is the source of life, inspiration, and creative ideas. These are what your spirit gives to your body. If you get an idea to do something and you actually carry out your idea physically, this gives you a great deal of happiness, and this returns energy to your spirit. This energy is like food for your spirit and it helps your spirit grow and become mature. So, there is a complete cycle of energy flowing between your spirit and body. Energy from your spirit is given to your body and used in your physical life. The energy is then returned to your spirit and this molds and shapes your spirit. The type of life that you lead on earth will determine how healthy your spirit is.
"We are meant to become fully mature both spiritually and physically during our lives here on the earth. You can't have a mature spirit if you don't live a good life on the earth. Unlike what some people believe, God does not determine whether we go to Heaven or Hell. Where we go after we die is determined by how mature we become while alive on earth."
"But, what happens if I die or if I'm killed before I become mature? Do I have to come back and live another life on earth so I can do a better job? Or do I wander around haunting houses like a ghost?"
"Well, son, before you were born, when your mother was still carrying you, your spirit was taking form at the same time that your body was. Whenever a new baby is born, and new spirit is born also. Old spirits can't return to a mother's womb and be born again with a new body. Many people believe that they can, however. These are people who believe in reincarnation, a belief that people live may lives on the earth. This is because many people die before they become mature, and they have to return to earth as spirits and cooperate with people who are still alive on the earth.
"But, there are many ways for spirits to work with people on earth. You see, God is trying to bring mankind back to Him and restore the world to goodness. So, He has given certain people missions to fulfill. When a person dies without fulfilling his mission, it is given to someone else who is a similar type of person. The mission is passed on from person to person until it is fulfilled."
"That's a big responsibility isn't it?"
"Yes it is, son. You have all of your ancestors working with you now. But, remember one thing. You are not just a descendant of past generations, you are an ancestor of the future. Many great people have made the world what it is today. Now you have the responsibility for the future."
"Gee daddy! Thank you!"
"You're welcome son. Good night."
"Good night, daddy."