What Mormons Believe About Pets in the Afterlife

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Our pets are such a large part of what brings us joy in this life. Most of us cannot imagine being happy without them. This is often felt most keenly when they die and leave us for a time.

Their unconditional love for us is often the most poignant example of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's unconditional love for us. This is true even when we know we are not particularly lovable.

The old saying that heaven is the place where all the dogs you have ever loved come to greet you rings true for us all.

What We Know From Scripture About Animals

Every living thing was created spiritually before it was placed on this earth. When Heavenly Father created the other living things and placed them here, He declared them to be good. John the Revelator, saw all living things, including animals, in the afterlife.

Adam and Eve were given dominion over animals. However, this dominion was followed with instructions. From the Joseph Smith translation of Genesis, we know that animals are only to be killed when necessry.

The law of Moses contains instructions for not mistreating animals. For example, animals must be allowed to rest on the Sabbath. Also, they must be treated with kindness even if they belonged to an enemy. Some animals were addressed specifically such as not muzzling the oz when it was used for threshing.

Both Isaiah and Hosea write of the Millennium when all living things will coexist peacefully.

Joseph Smith's Early Teachings

Animals were seen by John in the afterlife. This is most explicit in the answers Heavenly Father gave to Joseph Smith's questions concerning the book of Revelations:

Q. What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse?
A. They are 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.

From the Doctrine and Covenants we know that Joseph Smith was instructed to teach that the Shaker's belief of vegetarianism was not correct. We are permitted to eat meat and use animals for our clothing. However, our use should be based on need. Wanton killing is not sanctioned.

All Living Things Will Be Resurrected

There is no ambiguity in either scripture or in teachings by living prophets. All living things, including our pets, will be resurrected.

In a General Conference address in 1928, former President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:

The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be re-created, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls.

Communication With Pets in the Afterlife

What is intriguing is that we may be able to communicate with our pets in the afterlife. John heard and understood beasts in his revelation. Joseph Smith taught this. This knowledge comes from the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith on pages 291-292:

John heard the words of the beasts giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them. The four beasts were four of the most noble animals that had filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect; they were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God.

So, besides seeing and being with our pets in the next life, it seems certain that we will be able to communicate with them as well.

The teachings we have firmly establish that our pets will exist in the afterlife and be resurrected. The quotes and references above are definitive.

Indirect stories and references also support these views. For example, Joseph Smith is reputed to have said that he expected to see his favorite horse in eternity after the animal died.

Pets are important now and will be important in the eternities!

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Cook, Krista. "What Mormons Believe About Pets in the Afterlife." Learn Religions, Aug. 26, 2020, learnreligions.com/pets-will-be-resurrected-3577545. Cook, Krista. (2020, August 26). What Mormons Believe About Pets in the Afterlife. Retrieved from https://www.learnreligions.com/pets-will-be-resurrected-3577545 Cook, Krista. "What Mormons Believe About Pets in the Afterlife." Learn Religions. https://www.learnreligions.com/pets-will-be-resurrected-3577545 (accessed June 5, 2023).