“Animals do have spirits and will come forth in the resurrection to enjoy the blessing of immortal life.” President Joseph Fielding Smith
A few years ago, I lost my dear and faithful companion Riley (my sweet little dog). His life was taken in a freak farm accident. 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 relief or comfort 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 message 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.
(For more insight concerning our sacred and eternal relationship with animals, please see: “The Gospel and Animals,” by Gerald E. Jones, Ensign Magazine, August 1972.)