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Animals and the Afterlife: Do All Dogs Go To Heaven?

As dog owners that might be a little too obsessed with our dog, Jake, I really enjoyed this article from LDSLiving. I dread the day that Jake decides to go lick faces in heaven. In the meantime, I’ll let him lick my face here on earth.

I remember the first time I went to put a dog down. Her name was Maggie. She was a beautiful, black Great Dane with a love for life and eating socks. But she was only 4 (barely middle-aged) when Wobbler syndrome necessitated we take her to the vet.

And not come home.
I remember how the vet explained it wouldn’t be painful, that she’d just drift off and “go to sleep,” like so many people say. I remember petting her softly, whispering her name, and wondering, after she was “gone,” how she was still warm and then, how long it would take for her to turn cold.

Maggie didn’t get to come back to our home that day; I had never before hoped so desperately that she had gone to another, more glorious home.

Do all dogs go to heaven?

You’ve doubtless heard someone in the church say it before: all dogs—in fact, all animals—go to heaven. It’s a comforting idea that can help a pet owner, grieving the loss of a beloved companion. But is it based in doctrine? Here’s what we know:

From the Scriptures

We learn a few things about the nature of animal life from the scriptures. For instance, we know that animals have “living souls” from God, who “breathed into them the breath of life” (see Moses 3:19).
We also learn that “not one hair, neither mote, shall be lost” from the plants and animals God has created (see Doctrine and Covenants 29:23-25). God has also promised he “will make them to lie down safely” in the last days (Hosea 2:18).

Perhaps most moving, though, is found in Jesus’s teachings of the sparrows: “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12:5). If the sparrows are not forgotten, why would God forget any other animal?

Continue reading this article on LDSLiving.

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