Will Happily Married Couples be Together in Heaven?

The first article in this series, “Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?” responded to a Spiritual Conundrum from a reader named Nita, in which she wrote:

Wedding Rings

Wedding Rings

I am widow and a believer in Jesus Christ. . . . I am so lonely without my husband of 38 years, we did everything together, even in the ministry. Will we be together in heaven? Jesus told the religious leaders that there will be no marriage in heaven. I miss my husband so much, my life without him has been turned upside down. Many tell me move on with my life and find someone else. He was my soulmate. Please help me understand! Thank you. I still trust God and love him.

Sincerely,

Very Sad Widow

As I said in that first article, contrary to popular belief Jesus did not say that there’s no marriage in heaven!

The second article, “Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning,” goes into much greater depth on Jesus’ teaching about marriage in the afterlife. If you want all the nitty-gritty details, or you’ve been told by your minister or priest that there’s no marriage in heaven and you’re skeptical of anyone who says otherwise, I invite you to read those two articles.

In this third and final article in the series, I’ll simply deliver the good and comforting news to this Very Sad Widow, and to every other widow and widower who dearly loved a partner in marriage—not to mention everyone who is happily married and is deeply troubled by the words in the traditional Christian wedding vows, “till death do us part.” That news is:

Your marriage will continue after death. You will live with your beloved husband or wife forever in heaven. The two of you will continue to grow together in love, understanding, happiness, and joy to all eternity. Death has no power over what God has joined together.

In his book Marriage Love, originally published in 1768, Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) provides a detailed description of what happens for married couples after death. In the rest of this article we’ll quote and expand upon a few key passages from that book about man, woman, and the afterlife, and what happens there for happily married couples.

We are still male and female after death

Traditional Christianity commonly presents angels, and humans after death, as sexless, ethereal beings who no longer engage in interpersonal relationships such as marriage, but instead spend eternity totally absorbed in never-ending rapturous praise and worship of God.

Not so, says Swedenborg:

People live on as people after death, and people are male and female. Maleness is one thing and femaleness another in such a way that one cannot change into the other. Therefore a man lives on as a male and a woman as a female after death, each a spiritual person. (Marriage Love #32)

In modern terms, we would say that our gender identity is a fundamental part of our identity as a person. Being male or female is not just an incidental add-on to our personality. It is central to who and what we are, and to how we think and feel about ourselves. If our gender identity were taken away and we became sexless beings, we would no longer be ourselves.

Swedenborg simply brings that reality to its logical conclusion: if God created us male and female, so that our maleness and femaleness is an essential part of who we are, then we will continue to be male and female after death.

This means that we will have all the same thoughts, feelings, desires, and ideals as we do as men and women here on earth—including the romantic and sexual ones.

Swedenborg goes on to say that the particular kind of love and character that makes us the unique person we are also continues on after death. We continue to be exactly the same person we were before, with the same loves, feelings, thoughts, and beliefs. Nothing about us changes except that instead of having a physical body equipped for life in this material world, we have a spiritual body equipped for life in the spiritual world.

And yet, our spiritual body is so much like the body we have here on this earth that we will hardly be able to tell the difference. It is every bit as solid, warm, alive, and huggable as our physical body. And it has all of the same parts and organs, both external and internal.

This means that men still have a fully male body, and women still have a fully female body. And in case that’s not clear and explicit enough for you, yes, men do still have male genitals and all the rest of the physical parts and organs of a human male, and women do still have female genitals and all the rest of the physical parts and organs of a human female.

In short, after death we remain fully male or female, both psychologically and physically.

Sexual love continues after death

This means that we also continue to feel romantic and sexual love.

Swedenborg writes:

Love for the other sex, especially, continues after death, and so does marriage love for people who come into heaven. These are the ones who become spiritual on earth. Love for the other sex remains with people after death because then men are still male and women are female, and masculinity in a male is masculine in all of him and in every part of him. The same goes for femininity in a female. And every particular—in fact, every little detail—of them offers union. This disposition to unite has been implanted from creation, so it is always there, and this means that the one yearns and longs to unite with the other.

After all, people were created male and female in this way so that the two of them could be like one person, or one flesh. And when they do become one, taken together they are a complete person. Without this union they are two, and each is like a divided or half person. Now, because this attraction hides deep within each particle of a male and each particle of a female, and because the ability and the drive to join together into one is in each particle, a mutual and reciprocal love for the other sex remains with people after death. (Marriage Love #37)

If after death we remain male and female as God created us, how could it be any different? What would be left of our maleness and our femaleness if we did not feel a love and desire to be united together in love?

And so once again, Swedenborg simply takes the reality of our gender identity as a core aspect of our self to its logical conclusion. If we continue to be male or female after death, we will continue to have all the sexual and marriage-related loves, drives, and desires that we feel here on earth.

Furthermore, the type of sexual or marriage love that we choose and grow into here on earth also continues in the afterlife.

If as adults we choose to live a promiscuous life of sleeping around with multiple partners, cheating on our husband or wife, and focusing mostly on our own physical gratification and pleasure when it comes to relationships and sex, we’ll continue to be the same sort of person after death—which means that we will never be in a real, spiritual, eternal marriage.

But if as adults we choose to value love, faithfulness, commitment, and oneness of mind and heart with our partner and soulmate, then our loves and feelings will continue in the same way after death, and we will live eternally in a happy marriage relationship with our soulmate.

If we are married to the wrong person here on earth, or have been married several times, that will all get sorted out so that we end out with the person who is truly one with us in spirit. For more on how this works, please see the article, “If You’ve been Married More than Once, Which One will you be With in the Afterlife?

True marriage never ends

For people who are happily married to their true spiritual partner here on earth, after death their relationship picks up right where it left off, and continues on to eternity. In fact, when one partner dies before the other, as usually happens, spiritually the relationship is not even interrupted. About such couples whose souls are united, Swedenborg writes:

The two of them are not even separated by the death of one, since the spirit of the deceased husband or wife continues to live with the husband or wife who is not yet deceased. This continues until the other one’s death, when they meet again, reunite, and love each other even more tenderly than before because they are in the spiritual world. (Marriage Love #321)

And so to very sad widows and widowers everywhere, who have lived in a deep, loving, and happy marriage with your partner, I can assure you that your husband or wife is still with you. If you feel his or her presence at times, that is not an illusion or a hallucination. He or she really is still living together with you in spirit.

And when it comes your time to move from this world to the next, you will rejoin your beloved soulmate. Then, as the classic fairy tales all say, the two of you will live happily ever after.

This article is a response to various comments and questions by readers here on the blog, and to a spiritual conundrum submitted by a reader.

For further reading:

About

Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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Posted in Sex Marriage Relationships, The Afterlife
98 comments on “Will Happily Married Couples be Together in Heaven?
  1. Ozcan Erdonmez says:

    Hi Lee, it’s been a long time since I visited your site. Why do you believe in an afterlife, perhaps this is all there is?

    Regards,

    Ozcan

    • Lee says:

      Hi Ozcan,

      Good to hear from you again. I hope life has been treating you well.

      About your question, here is the article for you: “Where is the Proof of the Afterlife?

    • David says:

      My father said to me as a boy , ” it’s better to believe in something rather than nothing ” . Of course I didn’t u feta tans at 10 what he meant . He said ” you can’t see the air you breathe but you can feel it ” . For me that’s the point – my soul connection to my wife in Heaven and God , the feeling inside . Plus of course the odd10 signs and smells she has sent me to say she’s ok !

  2. David says:

    The passing of my precious wife Anne brought me to spiritual matters and Swedenborg and your article is both wonderful and comforting .
    But how do we live meanwhile , without the physical presence of our loved one – what should our attitude and outlook be ? Should we seek companionship with another to get thru the lonely years ?
    I feel lost without her but have rediscovered God I know ..

    • Lee says:

      Hi David,

      I’m sorry to hear about the death of your beloved wife. That is one of the most difficult and painful things that can happen to anyone. I wish I had some magic words that could make your life better, but it’s just . . . hard.

      About seeking companionship after the death of a spouse, that is a very personal decision. Some people will do so, especially if their relationship with their wife or husband wasn’t so close. Others will have no particular desire to do so, especially if their relationship with their wife or husband was very close. And even some who did have a close and loving relationship will stare into the void of so many years of loneliness, and in time will seek and find another partner and companion. One such person I know whose beloved wife died far too early eventually came to the conclusion that his deceased wife would not want him to suffer through decades of loneliness for the rest of his life on earth. Life is messy. Our choices aren’t always easy ones.

      I am glad to hear that even the pain of losing your wife brought a certain blessing with it in bringing you closer to God and spirit. And I’m glad this article has been helpful to you as well.

      • John T Looney-Harness says:

        I lost my absolute soul mate since 1985,We were Married in Atlanta on Josephine St…anyway
        She “moved” on so to speak June 10th 2017 and 4:54 pm in Florida. I want to be with her so badly…I am 58 and am healthy to my knowledge…I moved here to Va and found out that my brother has stage 3 cancer and have been caring for him. My Wonderful Wife of Decades that I found so many writings from her has let me know things that she felt….when you see things in writing it has another meaning….the TRUTH. She Love me so much….her name is
        Tina Annette Looney Harness. The Most Wonderful Woman I have ever been near., Now I want spend my life with her in Heaven….I want to leave for Her NOW however I have learned that I would see her again if I ended it “all.” So I have not. In two weeks in Dunedin Fl I lost her,,Our Condo Modest to say the least and my Job selling wine in 42 Fresh Market Stores in the State of Fl. I moved here to Va…with my Brother and within and hour and a half found that he has STAGE 3 Colon cancer…..I am helping as best that I can. Tina and I are so special…
        The tears never stop….

        • Lee says:

          Hi John,

          I’m so sorry to hear about your wife’s death. That is one of the most painful things any human can experience. The grieving and tears are perfectly understandable, and necessary for our emotional health and recovery.

          I do hope that this article has given you some comfort and hope that even though you may have many years left on this earth, her death is not the end of your marriage. The two of you will have a joyful reunion when it comes your time to shuffle off this mortal coil.

          We cannot always know what God has in mind for us when things like this happen. But I do believe that as long as we’re still on this earth, even if we wish we weren’t, that means God still has work for us to do here. Not just selling wine, of course, but working on our soul. And I believe that people who outlive their beloved wives or husbands here on earth are growing in spirit and building the character that will make it possible for them to have an even closer and more loving marriage with their loved one in heaven.

          Of course, that’s a small comfort when one’s beloved is no longer present, and there is a hole in one’s heart where she (or he) should be. And yet, no one promised that life would be easy. We press on, we do our work, and we wait on the Lord for comfort and, in the end, a joy with our love beyond even what we experienced here on earth.

          Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. Okay, first of all, you can’t just quote a bunch of extrabiblical stuff and NOT post the ONE passage in the Bible that deal with this issue: Luke 20:35 says, “The resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage.” So you can just ignore what Jesus said about it and preach your own version of Heaven to comfort people on earth or you can preach the TRUTH and hope that people find comfort in the reality that marriage won’t matter in Heaven because He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Marriage will pass away. Maybe we will get glorified bodies that no longer crave sex. I don’t know. What I do know is that Jesus doesn’t lie. I believe our spouse on earth will be our friend in Heaven. Jesus is our husband in Heaven and we are not lonely with Him by our side. We won’t crave the companionship like we do here on earth because we will have PERFECT UNION with Christ and our fellow brothers and sisters.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Foundations of Sapphires,

      Thanks for your comment.

      The reason I didn’t quote any Bible passages in this article is that I already focused extensively on Luke 20:35 and other passages in the Bible about marriage in the first two articles in this series, which are linked at the beginning of this article:

      1. Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?
      2. Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning

      I would recommend that you read these two articles before drawing any more conclusions.

      The reality is that Jesus simply did not say that there is no marriage in heaven. He said that people don’t get married in heaven. There’s a huge difference!

      As is common in traditional Christianity, its leaders and teachers have paid attention to only one or two verses in the Bible, and have ignored many other passages, including other things that Jesus himself said about marriage. And they have completely misread and misunderstood those few passages that they do pay attention to. That is because, as Jesus said to the Sadducees, “They are in error because they do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (in the version of the “Marriage at the Resurrection” story found in Matthew 22:23–33).

      As quoted in the first article above, Jesus also said:

      At the beginning of creation God “made them male and female.” “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Mark 10:6–9)

      What God does is not temporary, but eternal:

      I know that everything God does will endure forever. (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

      So if God has joined two people together in marriage, that marriage is not temporary, but will endure forever. (Of course, many bad and mismatched marriages that humans, not God, make are temporary, and don’t even survive a few years on this earth.)

      In reality, traditional Christian leaders and teachers, by their complete misunderstanding of the Scriptures on this point, are doing exactly the same thing as the ancient Jewish religious leaders and teachers did. As Jesus said, “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others” (Matthew 23:4).

      In this case, these so-called “Christian” leaders have twisted Jesus’ words about marriage in the resurrection into something he simply did not say, ignored what he said elsewhere about genuine God-created marriage, and then laid a heavy burden on the shoulders of people who have a deep and loving marriage with their husband or wife, telling them that this God-given relationship will end at death, when the Bible says no such thing.

      It is terrible what these modern “Christian” scribes and Pharisees have done in twisting the Word of God into their own heavy, burdensome, human-invented doctrines.

      The real meaning of Jesus’ words is covered much more fully in the two articles linked above, which, once again, I recommend that you read.

      It is easy enough for people who haven’t experienced a deep, loving, and spiritual marriage to say that there is no marriage in heaven. But for those who have experienced that kind of God-given marriage, and have lived happily with their husband or wife for many years, forming a deep bond so that as Jesus said, they are no longer two, but one, the false teaching that their marriage is only “till death do us part” is a terrible blow and burden, and leads to vast amounts of completely unnecessary pain and suffering for many thousands of widows and widowers.

      • David says:

        I couldn’t agree more.
        I met my soulmate Anne and she showed me true God given love for 37 years on this Earth . The ONLY thing that has kept me focused and hopeful is that I will be with her again.
        Those who have not walked in these shoes of bereavement simply cannot comprehend the pain and despair of having your soul ripped in two . God would not have brought us together only to cruelly desperate us forever. I just cannot accept that . The more I study Swedenborg the more it makes sense .

        • You’re not going to be separated from her. If she’s in Heaven, then she’s in Heaven and you’ll see her when you get there. But more than hoping to see her when you get there I hope you’re even more excited to see God!

        • David says:

          Excited to see God !
          Wow – can I even compute that ? My Anne had brought me closer to God and I relate to Hom through her , whom I understand . But my quest now is to try to understand my spirituality and God of course . I need Him to help my loneliness ( for her ) . This is a wonderful site bringing much comfort .

      • “It is easy enough for people who haven’t experienced a deep, loving, and spiritual marriage to say that there is no marriage in heaven.”
        No. It’s really not easy. If there IS marriage in Heaven as you say, I don’t think it’s fair at all that some people will be married and other people will not be married. I, for one, long to be married more than anyone. But if I die tomorrow, I’ll be in Heaven with no husband. How is that even fair for other people to be in Heaven with their beloved spouse for all eternity but I don’t get to be married since I wasn’t married on earth? NOT FAIR AT ALL. Also, I know a woman who has been HAPPILY MARRIED to three different men. The first two passed away and her current husband is in his 80’s. I highly doubt all three men will want to share her in Heaven. Also, all three men had wives prior to her who also died. So are they all going to live in a polygamous relationship? NO. That’s why God said they will “neither marry nor be given in marriage.” The Greek word for marriage here in the verse I quoted is “gameō” which is the present tense, active voice, and indicative mood. The verse says we will be “like the angels,” therefore a higher form of existence, a glorified corporeality, and as the earthly conditions of life are eliminated, we have no need of human propagation because everyone who was meant to be alive is alive and lives forever. I don’t think we are sexless in Heaven, I believe we are still male and female but who knows? Maybe not. In any case, we have a spiritual body that is perfect and needs nothing. Why would be need to have sexual relations? Marriage was only an institution for this world, and since in Heaven we don’t need helpers and there isn’t any lust, and we don’t have children, why do we need marriage? We are all going to love each other deeply in a totally perfect way.

        • Lee says:

          Hi Foundations of Sapphires,

          It sounds like you have not yet read the first two articles in this series. Most of the issues and concerns you raise here are addressed in them. In particular, everyone who wants to be married is married in heaven, regardless of whether they found and married their true love here on earth. So you have nothing to fear.

          But I already covered that and much more in those two articles, so I won’t repeat it all here. For people from traditional Christian backgrounds who have been told by their preachers that there’s no marriage in heaven, this last article was meant to be read only after reading the other two articles, which deal directly and in detail with Jesus’ words about marriage and the resurrection. I do hope you will read them. I know they’re long. But I think and hope they will clear up many things for you.

          I have read a number of articles on your blog. I know that you long for a good and loving relationship with a man who will become your husband. I certainly don’t want to make light of that. Neither do I want you to finally find that man but have your marriage to him lessened by the continual thought that it is only a temporary relationship that will end with death.

          About people who have been married more than once, please see: “If You’ve been Married More than Once, Which One will you be With in the Afterlife?

  4. David says:

    Hi Lee – wonderful site , full of hope but what does God say about bereavement ? I am in my 4 th year without her and grieve as much , if not more , than ever for her . To the point where I feel apart from everyday life and things don’t have the same interest for me anymore . All I want is to be in that special place with her forever . My life now is an effort and every day I pray to God to ease my pain and give me solace – but it doesn’t seem to be happening ! I don’t want anyone else but get so lonly for her special love . I have friends and family but I hate to say even they cannot ease my grief . Why do we have to endure thus awful situation after being so very happy with each other ? I feel as if I’m losing my mind sometimes . When you consider that there are thousands like me , doesn’t it seem just cruel that life is like this ?

    • Lee says:

      Hi David,

      Yes, the pain of separation is very real and very deep. And that’s true even for those who have a solid faith that they will meet their partner on the other side. If your wife were to travel to some remote area of the world where there is no communication with the outside world, and stay there indefinitely, it would be the same feeling, even if you knew that she is still alive. The separation itself leaves a huge hole in your heart, mind, and life.

      The reality is that our life here on earth often is very harrowing and painful. And though it may sound harsh, that is part of what this physical universe, and our time in it, is designed for. Though we do also have many joys and pleasures here on earth, the pain, suffering, and grief that we experience here is part of the sifting and development of our soul that forges us into the person we will be in eternity. Although the easy, fun, and joyful times are absolutely necessary for our emotional well-being, it is the harrowing times of deep testing of the soul that cause our greatest spiritual growth and maturing if we take them as such, and throw the force of our mind and spirit against them to engage in the painful growth required to become a fully mature spiritual human being.

      That’s the abstract version. Now the concrete version. And I hope you don’t mind if I get a little more personal. Mind you, this is only my perception from the outside, so I could be way off the mark. Feel free to tell me I’ve got it completely wrong!

      In some of your previous comments here, you have related how your beloved (and now deceased) Anne brought you to God, showed you God and true love, and so on. That, of course, was a precious gift. However, one of the traits of character we are meant to develop here on this earth is the ability to stand on our own two feet, so that we can be a fully equal partner with our eternal wife or husband. In my pastoral career I have seen instances in which a married “pillar of the church” completely fell apart when his beloved wife died. And my sense was that he had depended upon her for his faith. (I have also seen it happen the other way around, in which the wife depended upon her husband’s faith.) And yet, our faith is supposed to depend upon God, and be in God, not in and dependent upon another human being.

      May I suggest that perhaps under God’s Providence, your wife was allowed to pass on before you because her faith was strong in itself, and she was ready for eternity, whereas yours depended upon her, and was not strong within your own self?

      You also mention that her passing brought you to Swedenborg, and by extension, to your own searches for spiritual understanding and faith. Perhaps this is why you are still here on earth, without your beloved Anne. Perhaps, instead of depending upon her faith and connection to God, you needed time to develop your own—which, unfortunately, you would not have done if she had outlived you. Perhaps this time without her, as painful and grief-filled as it is, is God giving you an opportunity to develop your own direct faith in and knowledge of God and spirit, so that when it comes your time to die, you and your beloved Anne will be truly a match for each other spiritually—which is the only kind of match and oneness that matters in the spiritual world.

      God knows that your life is one of struggle, sorrow, and void without your wife. And God does look upon you with compassion, and suffer with you during this very difficult time of your life. And yet, perhaps God, in his love and mercy, is allowing you to experience these years of struggle for spiritual meaning and for some faith in God within your own self, not dependent upon anyone else, precisely because God sees that this is what is necessary for you to be a true partner and match for Anne, so that the two of you can be together in eternity.

      • David says:

        Hi Lee

        Thank you for your quick and lengthy reply – I am grateful you have taken the time and thought in your reply and I really appreciate that .

        Yes I do understand the general thrust of what you say and interpreted in this way it makes the period of pain and loss a worthwhile sacrifice , if that is the right word , and I really do know that only God can get me through this . Initially I looked for diversion in keeping busy , buying material things and reaching out to others in the same position for a quick fix . I now understand that this is not the answer ( although I value and live my new friends ) .

        When Anne passed over , I desperately needed to know she was still alive somewhere else . The thought that she was just no more was too much too bear and that we would never be together again was inconceivable to me . In the first year I was lucky enough to have signs that she was around , about 10 in all , both lovely and pure . I just knew she was alive in another realm . Yet the being apart from her was unbearable , she is my perfect woman and so right for me and I gave and received such love and felt blessed . Yet even so , there is truth in the saying , you don’t know what you have until it’s gone , and I love her more now than ever . There is only one direction for me to go – towards God and that’s exactly what I am trying to do ( I can’t say it’s easy in many respects , for He is hard to understand and comprehend and it takes time ) . But He brought us together and I’m so glad He did !

        Anne was a ordinary person like most of us , and we conducted our lives in routine and happiness , raising two lovely children and thinking we would carry on forever – even when she was ill we never lost hope and I felt we could get through anything as long as we were together . Of course we can’t and life is brutal in taking those we love away at some point .
        She did in fact not express any great faith to me directly , but her compassion and godliness for others was often showed in her work at the hospital where she worked and if course to her beloved family . In fact she used to say she envied people that had a great faith . But I know she had Godliness in her without knowing it , so perhaps there is some truth in your view .

        I can live with the idea that God is giving me more time to develop my spirituality and I trust Him fully in believing he will bring us together again – forever … but it can be so hard to life in a world without her near me , so I must develop my inner strength to find some peace and look forward so much to the day we are reunited through Gods love .

        Thank you so much for your site and your caring thoughts .

        • Lee says:

          Hi David,

          You are very welcome. As you say, it’s still very hard. But having some sense that perhaps there is an ultimate purpose and good result to our struggles and pain here on earth can at least give us a reason to keep moving forward and doing the work—including the spiritual work—that’s in front of us.

          About Anne envying people who had great faith, I would make a distinction between people saying they have great faith and people actually having great faith. The two may be together. But it’s also common for people who make a big show of having oodles of faith and love for God to make that big show precisely because their faith really isn’t very strong, so they have to keep assuring themselves of it out loud. Other people make their living talking about God, faith, spirit, and so on—and that professional expression of faith may or may not express a true solid faith within themselves.

          And if I may say so, it is common for women, especially, who do have an inner abiding faith not to spend a lot of time talking about it, or even thinking about it in any intellectual way. They simply go about their day powered by something within them that sustains them and keeps them going, whether or not they can clearly identify what it is, and say, “That’s my faith.”

          And biblically, faith is not even a belief as Christians often use the word today. Rather, it is faithfulness to God and God’s commandments. For more on this, see my article, “Faith Alone Is Not Faith.” My sense is that even if your Anne may not have spoken of having great faith, she actually had great faith within her in the sense of a great faithfulness to Jesus’ commandment to love one another as he has loved us (John 15:12).

          At any rate, I’m glad the articles and these conversations are giving you some help and direction as you struggle on through a very difficult period of your life.

          About understanding God, there are a number of articles here that speak about the nature of God and our relationship with God. I could give you some links to a few of them if that would be helpful.

        • David says:

          Hi Lee

          I belong to an organization called WayUp ( Widowed and Young – plus is over 50 ) and we have been talking extensively about ” soul mates ” !

          I know this is a fairly new term to express the ” love of your life ” – the person you give all you uncondional love to who you want to be with forever .. but one lady has had 3 relationships ( 2 divorced and one bereavement ) and says she loved them all . How would she know if one of them was a soul mate , or all three at different times ?? She feels sad that she hasn’t found her soul mate for some reason .

          What is your take of this expression and its importance , if any , in our spiritual journey ?

          As always – thanks

        • Lee says:

          Hi David,

          I like the term “soulmates.” Yes, it’s a fairly recent term, and some people think of it as freaky and fruity. However, it captures and expresses very well the idea that real marriage is based on a connection of souls, meaning of minds and hearts. And I do believe that is the real basis for any lasting marriage—and certainly for any eternal marriage.

          About the woman who has had three relationships, it is possible, and quite common, for us to love someone who turns out not to be our soulmate.

          We humans are wired to love another person closely and dearly. And as the old Stephen Stills song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” That’s just how we humans work. Assuming there isn’t a serious disconnect or conflict, married partners (and even unmarried ones) will commonly love one another regardless of how deep (or shallow) the soul connection is, because that’s what we humans do. We love the one we’re with.

          This, I think, is part of God’s providence for us. If we were capable only of loving our true soulmate, where would we be if that person lives on another continent, or is married to someone else, or is already dead? We would be left high and dry, without the possibility of forming a good marriage here on earth. And more pragmatically, there would be a serious problem procreating and continuing the human race. So God provides that we are able to love someone who is a “near miss,” or even someone who is not a very good match for us at all spiritually, but with whom we can still form a marriage relationship here on earth, raise a family, and so on. This is quite common.

          And it’s not all for nothing even spiritually. Marriage is one of the most powerful forums for spiritual growth. Even being married to someone who is not the right mate for our soul still brings us into close, daily relationship with another person, and requires us to grow up spiritually, think of another person first, and become less selfish. That is, if we’re heaven-bound and not stubbornly heading for hell. So the ability to have a good marriage with someone who ultimately is not our soulmate is also given to us for our eternal wellbeing.

          One more point for now: As long as we are living here on earth, our character is still engaged in a formative process. Especially when we’re young, and for many people even when we’re old, we are moving from one place to another spiritually, and in our character. Many people go through major changes of character from their teens and twenties to their fifties and sixties. This may mean that someone who was a good partner for us at twenty or thirty may no longer be a match for us at fifty or sixty. Either we or they or both may have become a whole different person. That’s another reason, I believe, why some of us go through several partners here on earth, each of which we may love. We’re still growing and changing, and that may change who we find to be a match for our soul.

          Once we move on to the spiritual world, we no longer go through these sorts of major changes of character. We do still continue to grow spiritually, but we grow in the direction that we set here on earth. We no longer change direction in any major way. So at that point, there will be no further need to change partners. There will be one other person who has, through her or his life on earth, moved onto the same path we are traveling on. And that is the person we will stay with to eternity.

          For more on this, see the article, “If You’ve been Married More than Once, Which One will you be With in the Afterlife?

    • Fiona says:

      I had a heart attack & saw my best friends brother in heaven. He’d killed himself when 17 /asked a girl 2 marry him she said no. Pastor of our church told us he would rot in hell bcuz suicide but my mom said no he will be in heaven bcuz god never misjudged/knows ur heart. I was so glad 2 know he was ok! he was worried I’d hate him, I said what’s wrong? He said God told me u & me were supposed to be together! I said oh wow/was stunned! We talked lil bit more then god said to me its not your time yet & sent me back. I’m so grateful to have experienced all that but at the same time its so hard knowing we were supposed to be together but can’t be ..yet.. & my mom recently died now I’m totally alone. I know god didn’t send me back for no reason I’m just having trouble coping. Any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you.

      • Lee says:

        Hi Fiona,

        Thanks for stopping by, and for telling your story. I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s death, and about your other struggles. You might also find this article helpful:
        What Does it Mean When My Parents Die? Will I See Them Again?

        About suicide: The Bible does not say that people who commit suicide will go to hell. That is a human idea. And it’s not true. Though people who commit suicide may have some hard experiences on the other side because of the state of mind they were in that led them to kill themselves, they can go to heaven just like anyone else if they are good people at heart. Since your best friend’s brother was only 17 when he committed suicide, there wasn’t much chance he would go to hell anyway. He was probably too young to have taken full adult responsibility for his own life and choices. No one goes to hell unless they knowingly choose a selfish and evil life as a self-responsible adult. For more on suicide from a spiritual perspective, please see:
        Does Suicide Work?

        Yes, it’s hard to be alone. And though you may or may not want to hear it, I would suggest that even though this young man said God told him you and he were meant to be together, that you not cut yourself off from all possibility of a relationship with someone here on earth. Presumably you are still young and have a long life ahead of you. Would someone who loves you really want you to be alone and lonely for your whole life?

        Of course, if you never meet someone that you feel a connection with, that’s one thing. But if you meet someone whom you feel close to and want to be with, I don’t believe it’s wrong to get together with and marry that person. Things change, and people change. Perhaps that young man was meant to be with you. But his committing suicide changed everything. Actions have consequences. Since he did kill himself, and therefore isn’t here to be with you, it wouldn’t be right for him to hold you hostage and prevent you from finding love and happiness during your lifetime here on earth. If he truly cares about you, he won’t want you to have a lonely life because of his actions.

        Once again, you may or may not want to hear that, but it is my honest view, and I believe it’s better to speak honestly than to avoid difficult truths.

        Of course, you will have to make up your own mind what you think, and what you will do. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • angel pezzolla says:

      david, i feel your pain, i lost my husband of 58 years and feel as though i am losing my mind. i don’t care about anything, nothing brings me joy, i have 4 children with him but that is no comfort either. right now, i pray i will be with him in heaven so i am not taking care of myself hoping to get to him soon.

      • Lee says:

        Hi angel,

        Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about the death of your beloved husband. Our thoughts and prayers are with you until it comes time for you to rejoin him in heaven.

  5. David says:

    Hi Lee again

    Thank you fir your reply . I found it a little disconcerting that you only say ” perhaps” there is an ultimate purpose to our struggles etc – you don’t sound very assured that these things are real , or am I reading this wrong ?

    I also have seen another site from an online physic that dismisses the notion of soulmates which again is more than upsetting ..

    It is a little hard to discern the real truth of the afterlife sometimes and the conflicting interpretations that come our way .

    I have taken to trusting God and also I guess Swenenborg as I love the whole concepts stated and do believe in soulmates and special love ones whom we want to reunite and spend eternity with .

    Am I just being foolish and hanging onto a dream to be with my wife again or are we all alone in the ether waiting for a hideous reincarnation we don’t want ?

    • Lee says:

      Hi David,

      I personally am very much assured that these things are real. However, many other people struggling with these issues are not. My “perhaps” was not a reflection of my own level of conviction, but of the level of conviction of people (perhaps you?) who are still struggling with faith and assurance that these things are real. Many people operate on the hope that they are real without full assurance that they are real. That’s where that “perhaps” came from.

      About psychics, I would suggest not giving too great a weight to their pronouncements and opinions. People who gain their information from spiritual and psychic sources without proper grounding generally will have whatever notions they already had confirmed, whether or not those notions are actually true. For more on this, see: “What about Spiritualism? Is it a Good Idea to Contact Spirits?” And many psychics lean toward Eastern religious paradigms that include reincarnation.

      About reincarnation, please see: “The Bible, Emanuel Swedenborg, and Reincarnation.”

      Of course, ultimately you will have to make up your own mind about these issues. And ultimately, we’ll all know for sure once we pass over to the other life. But from my perspective, you’re on the right track trusting your inner intuition to trust God and trust what Swedenborg wrote on the eternity of true marriage. Unlike the psychics and mediums, Swedenborg spent nearly three decades visiting and traveling around in the spiritual world. This gave him a solid knowledge of what that world is like, and how things work there. For more on this, see: “Do the Teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg take Precedence over the Bible?

      Personally, I have no doubts at all that we will live with the one we love to eternity in heaven—assuming we make the choice here on earth for heaven rather than for hell. If you still have doubts, I would recommend continuing to move forward with positive doubt, believing that God truly is loving, and will provide what’s needed for our eternal happiness. And those of us who have experienced true marriage know that it is the greatest source of happiness among all of our human relationships. That is something a loving God would never cruelly rip away from us just when we are entering into the eternal reward for our labors here on earth.

  6. Darwin says:

    hi lee, I lost my wife on 04 October 2016 Meisa! at that time I felt that my life was empty and meaningless, this is very serious moment in my life! in me I hope to be with him all my life, I always try to find an article about the after life and I get Swedenborg, this is giving me hope that I will be reunited with my wife. My wife catholic, before I was not interested in religion now I believe in God, because God gives me the answer! when I’m sad and miss him, often his dream with not a lot to help me find the answer “I’ll be with her if I die?” one day I pray and ask, and I had a dream with him, where we hold hands together on the hill when it really feels happiness beyond measure, heartbreak was reunited and it was only a few seconds, but his feelings were really wow … I think it is God’s answer to my prayers, this is a dream that is different! God always has a plan that is best for us, his death made me closer to God

    • Lee says:

      Hi Darwin,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for telling your story. I am sorry to hear about the death of your wife. I’m glad the thoughts expressed in this article are giving you some help. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  7. Tina Burton says:

    Lee,

    Thank you for your wonderful articles. They have been a source of great comfort for me . I lost my father on Feb.26, 2017. He had been ill for a couple of years, but still his passing has it me very hard. He was not a regular churchgoer. Having said that I can count on one hand how many times I heard my father talk about or judge anyone. Do you have an article you can point me to or words of comfort for those who have lost a parent? Thank you again, Tina

  8. Jake says:

    Hi Lee,

    Does this verse also explain the marriage?

    Matthew 16:19

    19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[a] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[b] loosed in heaven.”

    • Lee says:

      Hi Jake,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question.

      In Matthew 16:19 I believe Jesus was speaking generally to all of his followers, and to all people, not just to his immediate disciples. And he was not giving some sort of apostolic authority over others to bind and loose heaven to them, as the Catholic Church very wrongly and blasphemously believes. Rather, he was saying that what each of us does here on earth binds or looses our eternal life in heaven accordingly. The keys to heaven are in our own hands—not to open or close it for others, but to open or close it for ourselves.

      The same principle applies to marriage. Whatever attitudes and practices relating to marriage we develop here on earth for ourselves, and with our spouses, will follow us into the spiritual world.

      If we disrespect marriage, sleep around, and generally engage in a promiscuous and self-indulgent life here on earth, that will not change in the spiritual world. There we will find ourselves eternally on the wrong side of the great gulf, where real marriage is nonexistent because everyone is focused only on his or her own pleasure, with no interest in or ability to love another person.

      But if we respect marriage and are faithful and loving in marriage—or in our attitudes and intentions toward marriage if we are not fortunate enough to be married here on earth—that also will not change in the spiritual world. There we will find ourselves happily married to our true love and spiritual partner eternally in heaven.

  9. Kristi Maki says:

    Are you ever in tune with absolutely everything I believe about marriage, sex and being male and female. All the other articles I looked up said the complete opposite. I truly believe God is married as well as Jesus and Angels. I have met my soulmate and we know with all our hearts that we will be together for eternity. Thanks for your uplifting and truthful article. Keep doing Gods work!

    • Lee says:

      Hi Kristi,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. I’m glad you found the article enjoyable and helpful. Annette and I wish the two of you all happiness together!

  10. Terri says:

    I am twice widowed. I was/am deeply in love with both of my deceased husbands. So where exactly does this leave me?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Terri,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question. We humans are, I think, wired to love the one we’re with, barring irreconcilable differences. It’s common for people of good heart who have been married more than once to love each one they’re married to.

      However, in the spiritual world it will become clear which one we are spiritually at one with, and that will be the one we remain with to eternity. How that will work out in your particular situation I can’t say. Only God knows.

      For more on this, please see: “If You’ve been Married More than Once, Which One will you be With in the Afterlife?

  11. Line Yahia says:

    Hello Lee 🙂
    What an amazing article. It really maked me happy and filled me with hope. But I still wonder, my husband and I have really found true love in each other. I have never felt such strong feelings before, that’s why I know it’s meant to be. But I am Christian and he is Muslim. Does that means that he will be punished? He believes in Jesus, just not as “God’s son” and as our savoir. He loves God and worship him so well and is so thankful for everything he got in life. Will we still be together? Will God accept our wishes to be together in heaven even our religions are different? I am so afraid that God will separate me from him when he dies.. What can you say about this? I really hope to hear from you soon.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Line,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question. And congratulations on finding love!

      I don’t believe God will separate the two of you after death just because you are different religions here on earth. Our religions on earth are adapted to our different cultures and backgrounds, and are designed by God to provide the teachings, the faith, and the practices that we need to be reborn as a new person who is faithful to God and loving to our neighbor. This can happen in any religion. And for those who do this spiritual work of becoming a good, loving, and faithful person, there is not punishment waiting in the afterlife, but blessedness.

      Further, then we will see things far more clearly than we do here. God and the angels will teach us what we need to know and believe for living in heaven—and those whose hearts are good will listen, learn, and accept spiritual truth that goes beyond even what the different religions here on earth can offer.

      So my belief is that if the two of you are united in heart, mind, and life, you will continue together in the spiritual world, and your respective religious beliefs here on earth will be raised to a whole new level there.

      Meanwhile, here are a few more articles that you might find helpful:

      If you have any questions as you read, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      And may God bless you as you move forward in life together.

      • Line Yahia says:

        Thank you so much for your answer it really maked me happy and hopeful:) I only got one last question for you, alot of people and even a big amount of Christians says that God can’t love both me and him because they think we believe in two different God’s. Is that true? Isn’t there only ONE God? And says he needs to believe that Jesus is our savoir else he will stay in hell.. the thought of that really makes me nervous. But is it really true? God said we must not believe in other gods.. But u thought it was like the Buddha and Ra from Buddhism and Egyptian religions. Muslims and Christians believe in the same God right? Just understands his words differently and have a focus on two different prophet’s? They call him Allah but that’s just the word for God in their language isn’t it? I am just so tired of listen to so many different thoughts. I hope you can clear this for me, doesn’t have to be long just so I know what’s true. Again thank you so much 🙂

        • Lee says:

          Hi Line,

          I’m glad my answer was helpful to you, and gave you hope.

          Of course, in the end you’ll have to decide for yourself what you believe is true. I’m happy to tell you what I believe. But as you’ve already discovered, other people will say I’m wrong. However, I think that as you consider these things in your heart, you’ll come to your own understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong.

          I’ve already written long answers to your questions in two of the four articles I linked above:

          1. If there’s One God, Why All the Different Religions?
          2. Is Jesus Christ the Only Way to Heaven?

          These articles will, I think, satisfy both your mind and your heart that what I am saying, and what you want to believe, is true—and that what those so-called “Christians” believe is false. If you want to understand and learn the truth, you will need to put a little time and effort into it. So I recommend that you spend some time reading these and other linked articles to educate yourself, compare what you read to other things you have heard, and satisfy yourself of the truth.

          And the truth is that there is only one God, and that one God is a God of pure love, who loves all the people God has created, regardless of their race, culture, or religion. We humans call God by many different names, and see God in many different ways, but it is all the same God. And God has provided a path to God and heaven for all people, everywhere, of every religion. See also my article, “God is Love . . . And That Makes All the Difference in the World.”

          And if you have any more questions as you read, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  12. Delphi Pro says:

    I’ve noticed something. Authors that explore the deeper meaning of Jesus’ words to the Sadducees and offer hope for people wishing to be with romantic love partners in the afterlife also provide a forum for discussion. They let people respond with their thoughts, opinions and reflection. That includes people who disagree also. On the other hand, authors who toe the church “party line” on no marriage in heaven also provide no forum for comments. Theirs is a closed discussion. That tells me that it is THEY, not you, who are exercising thought and mind control. If they really believe that their answer is so correct, then they should let people debate it and reason with them, instead of the conversation being all one way.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Delphi Pro,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your thoughts. Yes, it does seem that people and organizations that take hard-line positions are less likely to allow conversation and debate. However, that’s not a hard-and-fast rule. Some conservative Christians do run blogs where there is a place for discussion.

      Also, to be fair, I do delete a lot of comments from conservative Christians who come here only to say how wrong, wrong, wrong I am, and how I’m leading people astray and heading for hell myself. I will also usually delete comments before they appear if they are generally rude and insulting to me or to other commenters here. See my comments policy. Experience shows that engaging such people in discussion is a fool’s errand.

      However, if people come here and are reasonably respectful in disagreeing with me and saying why they disagree with me, I’ll approve and respond to their comments. Sometimes they do have a valid objection. But regardless of that, a healthy discussion of contrasting and opposing views helps everyone to clarify things in their own minds.

  13. Kunal says:

    Do deceased husband & wife live in the Afterlife like they have lived on earth
    before passing away like eating food & drinking water etc?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Kunal,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question.

      The answer to your question is yes!

      Even though we leave behind our physical body at death, because it is no longer of any use to us, we continue to live in our spiritual body, which is adapted to the spiritual world in which we live after our physical death. Our spiritual body is every bit as real, touchable, and huggable as our physical body, and it has all of the same parts, organs, and so on. So we continue to eat, drink, run, play, work, and all of the other things we do here.

      For more on this, see these articles here:

      And of course, if you have further questions as you read, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      Godspeed on your spiritual journey!

      • Kunal says:

        Dear Mr. Woofenden, Thanks for your reply. I am a HINDU by birth & what i have read about
        the Hindu view of spirits after death leaves a lot of questions in my mind for which I found logical answers in Mr. Swedenborg’s writings which is fully accepted by my mind. So I am now
        a Swedenborg follower & I found your replies very acceptable to me. By the way I might take this opportunity to recommend a book by a Hindu spiritualist called Swami Abhedananda
        named LIFE BEYOND DEATH, a critical study of spiritualism. I would very much like your
        opinion on his interpretation on the aspects common to Swedenborg & him.
        This book is published by RAMKRISHNA VEDANTA MATH AT 19A & B, Raja Rajkrisna Street, KOLKATA- 700 006, India.
        Website : http://www.ramakrishnavedantamath.org/.
        He was in America for many years delivering his lectures in many places there.
        I am searching for a common ground between Swedenborg’s writings & the Hindu idea
        not that it will alter my opinion about Swedenborg’s writings & your replies to my queries.
        Kind regards.
        Kunal

        • Lee says:

          Hi Kunal,

          Thanks for your reply, and for the link. I did fix the link, which wasn’t working, and removed the email address, since I don’t normally allow public posting of email addresses.

          I’m glad you are finding answers to your questions in Swedenborg’s writings and on our blog!

          I did find a digital copy of Swami Abhedananda’s book Life Beyond Death, and have read eight or nine of the lectures so far. Of course, there’s far more material than I could respond to in a comment here. However, here are some key comparisons between Abhedananda’s views and Swedenborg’s based on what I’ve read so far of the Swami’s views.

          First, some important points of agreement:

          1. Abhedananda emphasizes over and over again that thought and consciousness is non-material, that materialists are wrong to think that consciousness is a function of the brain, or occurs in the brain. He says that there is a distinct, spiritual part of a person where thought and consciousness occurs, which then is communicated to the body. On these views, he is in complete agreement with Swedenborg.

          2. Abhedananda also emphasizes that our life does not end with death, but continues on, since our spirit cannot die. He rejects the views of those who believe that evil people are snuffed out or “annihilated,” but says that everyone, without exception, continues to live eternally. On these views, also, he is in complete agreement with Swedenborg.

          3. Further, Adhedananda says that after we die, we do not lose our individuality, but continue to have all our memories, and bring our experiences and character with us. This is also in agreement with Swedenborg’s view.

          However, there are also some important points of disagreement between Abhedananda and Swedenborg:

          1. Abhedananda believes in and teaches reincarnation, and rejects what he calls the “one-birth theory”: that each person is born into this world only once, and then goes on to the spiritual world eternally after death. Abhedananda believes it is impossible for anything that has a beginning to continue forever. Swedenborg, however, rejects reincarnation, and agrees with general Christian doctrine that we are born once, and then live forever in the spiritual world after we die.

          2. Related to this, Abhedananda sees the “one-birth theory” as an example of “creation out of nothing,” which is a traditional Christian view of how God created the universe. Abhedananda rejects the “one-birth theory” on that basis, saying that nothing can be created from nothing. Swedenborg agrees with Abhedananda’s rejection of creation out of nothing. But instead of rejecting the “one-birth theory” on that basis, Swedenborg instead says that all things in the universe are ultimately created out of the substance of God, while becoming non-God through the act of creation. This is a somewhat complex doctrine, but the general idea is that our souls are not created out of nothing, but ultimately are created by and from God, and immediately from an offshoot of the soul of our parents.

          3. This means that another difference between Abhedananda’s views and Swedenborg’s is that Swedenborg does believe that each individual person is a new creation of God in time, and that our souls do have a beginning point, but no ending point. Abhedananda believes that our souls have neither beginning nor end.

          4. Abhedananda rejects the existence of both an eternal hell and an eternal heaven, saying that heaven and hell are only temporary way stations for souls in between successive births on this earth, based on what they had done, whether good or evil, in their most recent lifetime. Abhedananda believes that every soul will eventually, through a series of experiences and learning spread over many lifetimes, transcend both hell and heaven, and achieve a type of divine consciousness that is omniscient and omnipotent. Swedenborg, by contrast, accepts the general Christian view that we will each have only one lifetime, and that our action here will determine whether we spend eternity in heaven or hell. Swedenborg rejects the idea that we will ever become divine or have divine consciousness. But he does say that we continue to learn and grow spiritually to eternity if we have chosen heaven over hell.

          5. Abhedananda seems to think that Christian belief involves God ultimately choosing who will be in heaven and who will be in hell, either in a Calvinistic sense of God outright predestining some people for heaven and some for hell, or by God giving individual people a particular inborn character and environment that will cause them either to go to heaven or to hell. Though this does represent some Christian views (including Calvinism—which I believe is a horrible travesty of Christianity), it would be rejected by most Christians. It is specifically rejected by Swedenborg, who says that God protects our free will above all else, and that if anyone goes to hell, it is that person’s own free choice, and not anything that God or heredity or circumstances imposed upon that person.

          6. Abhedananda seems to hold to a fairly strict view of karma in which everything we have done here on earth will have a direct consequence either in the spiritual world or in our next life. For example, for those souls who go (temporarily) to heaven, they will reap the full measure of enjoyments that their good actions here on earth have brought about for them before reincarnating back in the material universe once again. Swedenborg rejects this general view of things, saying, instead, that it is the character we build here on earth that continues, whereas any particular actions we have done here remain in the past. In particular, Swedenborg specifically rejects the traditional Christian view (which, I think, would be consonant with Abhedananda’s view) that people in hell are punished for their evil actions here on earth. Swedenborg says that in fact, no evil spirit is punished for any evil thing he or she did here on earth, but only for the the evil things he or she continues to do in the spiritual world. Nor are angels rewarded for their good deeds on earth. Rather, they enjoy the good fruits of the good things they continue to do in the spiritual world.

          7. One more for now: My general sense so far of what Abhedananda is teaching is that the purpose of our life here is to learn through experience, and that we reach our ultimate divine state through a process of learning everything there is to learn. (This may not be how he would express it, but it is my sense of what he means.) Swedenborg, by contrast, while also stressing the importance of experience and learning, says that our ultimate purpose is to grow into a being who loves God and loves our fellow human beings, in accordance with the two Great Commandments given by Jesus Christ. So instead of seeing heaven as a place where we experience all kinds of pleasures as a reward for our good deeds on earth, Swedenborg sees heaven as a place where we experience joy and satisfaction from living a life of love and service to God and to other angels, spirits, and humans on earth. Short version: Abhedananda’s religious philosophy seems to put the most emphasis on learning and understanding, whereas Swedenborg’s religious philosophy puts the most emphasis on active love and service for others.

          These are some of the major points of agreement and disagreement between Abhedananda and Swedenborg that I’ve noticed so far in reading the Swami’s lectures. And though I agree with Swedenborg rather than with Abhedananda on the points of difference, I am still enjoying the Swami’s lectures, and find much that is good in them.

          I hope this is helpful to you. If there is anything specific you are wondering about that I haven’t covered here, or that you want to hear more about, please feel free to ask.

  14. Daniel L. Miller says:

    I believe you have misread Bible verses Jesus quoted : Matt 22:30 , Mark 12:25 , Luke 20:34-35 AND need to read again until one realize God is eternal and never changes —– God is consistent beginning to end AND in Matt 19:6 ; Mark 10:9, which HIS standard we are never to break or put asunder. This I take forever into eternity.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Daniel,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment. However, I’m not sure just what you mean to say. In what way do you think I’ve misread these verses? What is your view on eternal marriage?

  15. Cameron says:

    Hi lee I’m just curious in heaven do you belive it’s possible for us to have children in heaven or still have sex with your wife as you do on earth and other romantic things with your wife I’m new to this sort of thing so I’m not two sure as I belive it’s one the important things with your wife to bond along with communication?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Cameron,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question—which is a good one.

      I see that in the above article I do talk about sexual and romantic love continuing in heaven, but I don’t get too specific about sex itself. So yes, married couples do continue to have sex in heaven just as they do here, only it is even (or much) better, because they are now in the spiritual world, where no earthly concerns and barriers get in the way, and the whole relationship is much clearer and closer than it can be here on earth.

      As you say, sex is an important part of marriage. It is an expression of the closeness the two feel for each other, and a form of emotional communication that can’t take place in any other way. It is a physical expression of the spiritual reality that the two have become one.

      Old, traditional religious ideas would have it that sex is somehow dirty and unspiritual, and that being celibate is somehow more holy and spiritual than being married. In fact, the opposite is the case. A good and loving marriage is much more holy and spiritual than a celibate life.

      God created us from the beginning to be married. The very first commandment God gave to us humans at our first creation in Genesis 1:26–31 was to “be fruitful and multiply.” And it’s a little hard to be fruitful and multiply without having sex! Right from the beginning, God both created and blessed human sexuality. And this was just before God pronounced everything that he had made “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

      Traditional religious notions that sex is something tainted, and not worthy of heaven, are unbiblical and just plain wrong.

      If marriage continues after death, so does sex. For more on this, see the first two articles in this series:

      The second article, in particular, deals with the question of whether married couples in heaven have children. The answer is, “No, not in the usual sense.” New human beings must be born here on earth, and begin life in a physical body before moving on to heaven. So although many people in heaven do raise children who have died and gone to heaven, no new children are born in the spiritual world.

      However, that doesn’t mean marriages in heaven are barren. Instead of physical children, married couples there have spiritual “children” in the form of new births of love and understanding that are conceived grow out of the marriage relationship. For more on this, please see the second article linked above.

      • Kunal says:

        Hello Lee,
        Thanks for the detailed comparison between Swedenborg & Swami Abhedananda’s
        thoughts. I feel & prefer to fully agree with Swedenborg’s thoughts rather than Swami’s.
        I am still thinking deeply as my dear wife passed away about two years ago & I am waiting to see & live with her again.By the way what type of accommodation do spiritual bodies have in afterlife & on what food do they survive? May be the food is not necessary at all. Your
        comments will be highly appreciated.
        Regards.
        Kunal

        • Lee says:

          Hi Kunal,

          You are very welcome. I’m glad to help. And I enjoyed reading as much of Swami Abhedananda’s book as I did, even if I, too, prefer to fully agree with Swedenborg’s thoughts rather than the Swami’s.

          About your question, our spiritual bodies look and feel much the same as our physical bodies, except perhaps lighter and freer than our physical bodies. Also, whatever physical age we are when we die, we grow younger or older in body in the spiritual world until we have the body of a young adult in the prime of life. There, we are not only young in spirit, but young in body. For more on this, please see these articles:

          About what we will eat in the spiritual world, Swedenborg is not all that specific about that. I suspect there is as much variety in the diets of the various angels and spirits in the spiritual world as there is among people here on earth. Swedenborg himself was largely, but not entirely, vegetarian in his later life, and he speaks positively of a vegetarian diet in a few places in his writings, while not actually disallowing the eating of meat.

          Whatever the specific foods may be that people eat in heaven, they do eat and enjoy their food, but they are not focused on food and drink as many people are here on earth. As the current saying goes, they eat to live rather than living to eat. When they are eating their meals, they are more interested in the enjoyable company and conversation than in the food itself.

          I am, of course, very sorry about the loss of your wife. I can assure you, though, that once it comes your time to pass on from this world, you and she will once again be able to enjoy doing together all of the things that you enjoyed here. Only it will be even better, because you will be living together in heaven, where earthly and physical issues and concerns will not stand in the way of your relationship or your activities.

  16. Kunal says:

    Dear Mr Lee,
    Kunal again but with a silly question. While alive my dear wife always used to
    complain that I do not kiss very much & she was sad because of that. Will
    I be able to kiss her to her heart’s content in the afterlife?? That will make
    her very HAPPY.
    Regards.
    Kunal

    • Lee says:

      Hi Kunal,

      I doubt that your wife would think it’s a silly question! 🙂

      And yes, you will be able to kiss her to her heart’s content in the afterlife.

  17. Kunal says:

    Thank you very much. Kunal

  18. Monica Ryan says:

    Thank you So much Mr.Lee. I feel lighter after reading those beautiful Lines mentioned about meeting your spouses in heaven..I just lost my Husband Ryan about a month ago. Missing him so much, gone through so much of pain and now just living for my daughters.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Monica,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your husband. I’m glad this article has given you some hope, until the time comes for you to rejoin him in heaven.

  19. Debra Bergsma says:

    My husband passed last Monday after two kinds of cancer and kidney

    • Lee says:

      Hi Debra,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s death. I hope this article has given you some comfort as you grieve his passing.

  20. Sandra says:

    Mr. Lee
    I truly enjoyed your article. I lost my husband 2 years to an accidental overdose. He was an addict for years. His addiction put a huge strain on our marriage. We were married for 32 years. It was extremely difficult at times being married to him but I stuck it out because throughout all the pain he was still a very gentle and caring man. He just could not kick his habit 100%. When he died we were not on the best of terms. I had pushed him away because it was the only way I could survive. I just hope he knows that I did love him but I was very angry with him at his time of death. To this day I am grieving him, missing the man I fell in love with and married. I always assumed that if he died from his addiction I would feel like a burden had been lifted off of my shoulders and I will admit life is easier now but I think about him everyday. I hope that when my time is up we will be reunited to enjoy each other the way I had hoped it would have been when he was alive. I’m finding myself forgetting the bad and remembering all of the great times we had together making it difficult for me to move on.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Sandra,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for sharing your story and your thoughts. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and found it helpful! It sounds like you had, and still have, a complicated relationship with your husband. Then again life is complicated, mainly because people are complicated. I certainly do hope that in the clearer light and atmosphere of the spiritual world, your husband has been able to resolve and kick his addiction and deal with related issues so that the two of you can have the happy reunion you long for.

      About moving on, though it’s on a different topic about an entirely different type of relationship, you might also find this article helpful:
      What Does it Mean When My Parents Die? Will I See Them Again?

      Meanwhile, Godspeed on your spiritual journey.

  21. Isabella Martino says:

    Hello Lee,

    Here’s a question that has not been asked…
    What happens if you made a total disaster out of your first marriage – except for your 3 treasures – your children – and got remarried – not good – but then your first husband dies and he is all you can think about, and you pray to God you will be with him in heaven as husband and wife to make it RIGHT in eternity since you royally screwed up in time.
    Can this couple get a second chance?

    Thanks for your time!

    • Lee says:

      Hi Isabella,

      Thanks for stopping by, and for your comment and question.

      In the region of the spiritual world where people first go after they die, before finding their final home in either heaven or hell, there is the same freedom to look up old connections and acquaintances as there is here on earth. In fact, it is even easier to rekindle old connections there than here. Just thinking of someone causes you to be present with them, especially if they are also thinking of you.

      Because of this ease of reconnecting with people you’ve lost touch with, it is very common for people who have been married more than once to meet up with previous spouses (assuming there isn’t too much bad blood between them) and reconsider those relationships. Since there is nothing like our earthly legal marriage in the spiritual world, legal marriages that were not real marriages—based on an inner connection of mind and heart between the two people—are easily dissolved there, leaving the two individuals free to seek out a more compatible partner.

      As for whether the person you speak of (yourself?) would end out with that husband of the disastrous first marriage, that would all depend upon whether the two actually do have a real connection and oneness of thoughts, values, goals, and general outlook on life. The second chance is available. Whether it works out depends upon whether or not the two people are one in spirit.

  22. Isabella Martino says:

    Hi Lee,

    So if we are supposed to be one flesh after we marry does that mean we are one in spirit and soul also, and if one of us is gone from this world now, and my Catholic Church teaches ‘Til death do us part’ and so we’re free to remarry, what happened to the spirit and soul you were made ONE with. AND if we are Christian, in my case a Catholic Christian, we are never truly dead since we are eternal – eternally in heaven or hell. SO, what is the deal with this death do we part stuff if we are spiritually united with that other eternally? My spirit is united with that man that I had my 3 children with, and the one I live with now is – for a lack of a better way to say it – a house mate – separate bedrooms and so on… There was no annulment before I married him so in the eyes of my Church there is no sacramental marriage with him and we live together, but apart.
    I feel like a widow, and I mourn like a widow, and dream about him more than I don’t, and I miss him like crazy and want a do-over, and so does he – before he died he sent me a card saying that we would get it right next time, only problem is I’m here in time and he is not. It’s the whole spirit/soul union that is messing with my head and just how untied are we when one is here and the other there.

    Thanks for listening!

    • Lee says:

      Hi Isabella,

      The Catholic Church, along with most traditional Christian churches, teaches that marriage is temporary, not eternal, and that we will not be married in heaven. (That’s why traditional wedding vows include “till death do us part.”) This, in my view, is because traditional Christianity has misread and misunderstood Jesus’ words about marriage in the resurrection. For more on that, see the first article in this series:
      Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?

      The second article in the series, which is linked from the end of the first, goes into more detail about forming a spiritual marriage that will last to eternity.

      Obviously, as explained in these articles, I disagree with the Catholic Church about eternal marriage. Assuming you do have a real, inner connection and oneness with your first husband, I do believe that you will be with him, and fully married to him, in heaven. And yes, the time of separation when one dies before the other is hard. But couples who are united in spirit are never really separated by death. The spirit of one is still with the spirit of the other until the partner still living on earth dies and goes on to the spiritual world, where the two reunite and continue their marriage forever.

      One other article you might find helpful:
      How does Marriage Fit In with a Spiritual Life? Is There Marriage in Heaven?

      I hope this helps. Feel free to continue the conversation if you have more questions. But please do read the linked articles also. They go into much more detail on these questions than I can do in the comments.

  23. Isabella Martino says:

    St. Thomas Aquinas says in his Treatise on the Angels that there must be purely spiritual creatures. God produces creatures by his intellect and will. Therefore, “the perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures” (I.50.1, I.14.8, I.19.4). Since God is not material, the soul, with the power of intellect and will, is not material. The Angelic Doctor makes the distinction between corporeal (material) and incorporeal (spiritual) creatures in the hierarchy of creation. Animals are wholly corporeal. Humans are composite—both corporeal and spiritual. Logically, there must also be purely spiritual creatures.

    The imagination

    St. Thomas also says that angelic minds are higher than human minds because intellect is above sensory perception. Imagination aids our thought processes. We need images that correspond to the world we see and touch, whereas angelic thought, unencumbered by bodies, needs no such props.

    Their purely spiritual nature also means that angels are difficult for us to imagine. Art provides a model for us to appreciate angels, akin to the way chemists draw atoms as round spheres held together by sticks to show how chemical reactions proceed. But just as we know atoms do not actually look like balls, we know angels are not bright and flowing beautiful women who float in the air. Images can mislead, which brings me to the subject of light.

    The light of the Word

    Scripture refers to angels as light (2 Cor. 11:14). Art depicts them as glowing. It is, therefore, tempting to think of angels as pure energy. (Conversely, in quantum physics, photons and electrons with their mysterious wave-particle duality seem almost to transcend physics into a spiritual realm. But this is not so, and any scientist knows it.) But energy is a property transferred to objects to do work. Energy depends on matter; hence it belongs strictly to the physical realm.

    When theologians refer to angels as light, then, they do not use the word in the same sense as it is used in physics. This kind of light is not energy.

    In The City of God, St. Augustine interprets the first words in Genesis, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” to mean that two realms were created, two cities, first the one of heaven and then the one of the earth (XI, 7).

    The first three days of creation when the “earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep” passed without sunlight. The light that kindled the sun, and separates day and night, originated from beyond our senses. This light was first made by God’s command in the holy and eternal city, the City of God.

    Augustine calls this holy light the “unchangeable Wisdom of God,” by which all things are made, and whom we call the only-begotten Son of God. Augustine places the creation of the angels on the first day (XI, 9) because they had to be created before the earth was created, and they populated the City of God. The angels were illuminated by the true light that created them, the light that St. John speaks of in the beginning of his Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word,” the light that then created everything else, the same light that became man to redeem humanity.

    And it all fits together

    So, when God said, “Let there be light; and there was light,” there was a progression from the holy light of eternal wisdom that first shone upon the angels to the energy light in the universe. This is one of many areas where angelology gets exciting.

    Modern cosmology does not contradict Augustine’s interpretation of Genesis, but the connection is more than that. The creation of angels integrates with modern science in general. Empirical investigation requires that the universe be understood as Christianity describes it, as an ordered creation. The scientific method depends on repeatable, systematic laws of physics. Scientific theories are established on the confidence that in the beginning was the Word of God.

    The scientific method is also uniquely human. It relies on human intellect, the human person created in the image and likeness of God, an intelligent soul united with a sensory body. What is the first step of the scientific method? To observe. What do we do next? We design tests, analyze data, and form conclusions—all exercises that require us to take sensory input and process it abstractly in our minds.

    This is why apes do not publish scientific journals. This is why angels, unlike Heisenberg and the rest of humanity, may have no uncertainty whatsoever about the whereabouts of photons and electrons. But I digress. Perhaps you understand my excitement, though. A guardian angel can be a most valuable friend to a scientist if God wills specific knowledge of nature to be gained.

    For as surely as photons of light stream down from the beginning of time to provide the energy that sustains life on Earth, our guardian angels join us from all eternity to illuminate life’s journey with the light of Christ, past all danger to the City of God, if we but seek it.

    Praise the Lord from the heavens,
    praise him in the heights.

    Praise him, all his angels;
    praise him, all his hosts.

    Praise him, sun and moon;
    praise him, all you stars of light.

    Ps. 148:1-3

    Interesting how St Thomas A. can make the creation story make just as much sense, if not more, as Swedenborg.
    Jesus has a resurrected BODY that we will copy when He returns – our bodies just like His. That body of His bore the holes in his hands, and feet, and side, and was every bit as real and present and touchable as before He died – He was not a ghost, but a glorified BODY.

    I won’t bother you anymore.
    Thanks for your time.
    I know it is precious!

    • Lee says:

      Hi Isabella,

      It sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into this. And if it all makes sense to you, then of course you are free to believe as you wish, and to accept Catholic teachings on this subject.

      My own view is that the Catholic Church, and its theologians such as Augustine and Aquinas, went off track because they relied more on human tradition and human reason than they did on the Word of God.

      Their whole system of belief about angels that you describe sounds perfectly plausible. However, it has no real basis in the Bible. The Bible refers to angels as “men,” and attributes to them all of the body parts of human beings. There is no basis in the Bible for the idea that angels have some unknowable, unfathomable form. They are described very plainly, over and over again, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, as human beings, with human bodies.

      The Bible also attributes to human beings everything that is attributed to angels, including being shining beings of light. When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai, his face shone, such that he had to put a veil over his face to avoid frightening people. See Exodus 34:29–35.

      There is nothing that the Bible says about angels that it doesn’t also say about people, and vice versa. In the Bible, the word translated “angel,” which simply means “messenger,” is also used to refer to human messengers. The Bible makes no distinction between humans and angels. The distinctions that Augustine and Aquinas make between them are based on human reason, not on what the Bible says about angels. Once again, the Bible doesn’t even have a word for “angel.” The word it uses simply means “messenger.” The Bible says nothing at all about these messengers being from a separately created race of beings.

      This is all covered in the article I linked for you previously:
      What is the Biblical Basis for Humans becoming Angels after they Die?

      You are, of course, free to accept what Augustine and Aquinas taught about angels. I simply don’t see any basis in the Bible for it. Their ideas on angels are based on human logic and tradition, not on what God says in the Bible. Human reason is fine as far as it goes. But it is a poor tool for determining the nature of spiritual things.

      The people of Bible times experienced angels as people, and described them as people. The angels who visited Abraham and Sarah even ate a meal that Abraham, Sarah, and their servant prepared for them (see Genesis 18:1–8). There is no indication whatsoever that Abraham and Sarah thought of them as anything other than human beings, like any other honored guests who might visit, except that these human beings were messengers from God. Why would Abraham feed a meal of bread, milk, and veal to unfathomable beings of light? And how could unfathomable beings of light sit down and eat such a meal? And why would unfathomable beings of light need to wash their feet, as described in the same passage?

      In short, the Bible presents angels as completely human in every way. It never says anything about angels being a separately created race of beings, or of having some unfathomable, non-human form. These ideas are based purely on human traditions and human reasoning. They have nothing to do with what the Bible teaches about angels. So with all due respect to Augustine and Aquinas, I believe that they have misled Christians for many centuries on these subjects.

      I understand that the Catholic Church believes that it can promulgate teachings that have just as much authority as the Bible. I disagree with that. I believe that the Catholic Church is a human institution that can make mistakes just like any other human institution. And I do believe that many of its teachings are mistaken and unbiblical, including its teachings about angels.

      However, once again, if you wish to believe what the Catholic Church teaches about angels, you are certainly free to do so.

      Just please be clear in your own mind that this is what the Catholic Church teaches. Don’t say that it is what the Bible teaches about angels, because the Bible doesn’t teach anything of the sort.

  24. Isabella Martino says:

    False prophets will come at the end of times masquerading as angels of light. Let us be careful reading the books of these people “conversing” with Jesus or angels. They may not be the Lord or the angels of light they are conversing but the angels of darkness. Discerning them with the help of the Holy Spirit is necessary. BTW, they can also do bilocations, among others… They mimic the gifts of the holy Spirit in order to deceive souls.—Jesus and Paul reminding us of this…

    Everybody and their mother translates the Bible into whatever they want it to say…
    They see what they want, they hear what they want, and they twist it around to make it say whatever they want.
    You know how many leaders of people have ‘talked to Jesus’ and so they know and their way is THE way…
    At least in my Church we have the Magisterium guiding us so that we’re not all out there trying to figure everything out for ourselves because if that’s what we’re going to do then we would have as many Catholic denominations as the Protestants do. !0’s of thousands all trying to figure out what that Book is really saying.
    As far as the bible and angels – I don’t know what the bible is saying one way or the other about these spiritual beings, but I do know that I’ve seen angels and they don’t look like any man/woman to me. I’m going to study more on this because I do not know.

    Thanks.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Isabella,

      Yes, I would encourage you to read the Bible, and pay attention to what it says about angels without doctrinal preconceptions.

      This is just one of the reasons I think Swedenborg is not a false prophet. His description of angels fits in very closely with what the Bible describes when it describes angels. He says that they have a fully human form, and that is exactly how the Bible describes them.

      Yes, angels can also appear as beings of light, because the light of God’s divine truth shines through them. Moses also became a being of light when he received the truth from God on Mt. Sinai. His people were afraid when he came down from the mountain and his face shone. They probably thought he had become something non-human, just as traditional Christians commonly think of angels as something non-human. But he was still a human being. He was simply a human being filled with the light of God, just as angels are human beings in the spiritual world filled with the light of God.

      Meanwhile, the Catholic authors you mention make angels into something non-human, and completely different than human beings. There is simply no basis in the Bible for that idea. So yes, false prophets will come, and you can test them by determining whether they follow or contradict the Bible on many of these basic points about God, heaven, angels, and human beings.

      I understand that Catholics look to the Magisterium. But the Magisterium is made of human beings, not gods. They are just as subject to error as any other group of human beings. So although it can be comfortable to allow some group of human beings who are in authority to make our decisions for us about what to believe and what not to believe, that is ultimately a futile gesture because those human beings could also be wrong. That’s why we have the Bible to test human theologians against.

      Short version: Swedenborg passes that test. Augustine and Aquinas do not.

      The Bible isn’t really all that complicated when it comes to the basics of belief. Anyone can read it and know what to believe and what to do to go to heaven, without the need for human theologians to interpret it for them. On some of the more complex issues, yes, it may be necessary to turn to theologians for understanding. But on the basics of salvation and becoming angels, the Bible is very clear. You’re right that different sects of Christians try to make it say different things. But anyone reading it without those doctrinal preconceptions can see easily enough what it is saying. Especially if they read the words of Jesus in the Gospels, which are the heart of the Bible.

      So once again, I would encourage you to read the Bible for yourself. You will see that everywhere angels appear in the Bible, they are presented as fully human.

      Incidentally, I am not a Protestant, as you’ll see if you read some of the articles here refuting all of the key doctrines on which Protestantism distinguished itself from Catholicism.

      • Isabella Martino says:

        Have read the Bible many times and still do every day.

        How does an angel guard Eden and keep our first parents out after the FALL if they were the only humans created at the time? If angels are humans who have gone to their reward or punishment then where did that angel guarding Eden come from?

        • Lee says:

          Hi Isabella,

          The beings guarding the way of the tree of life (i.e., the entrance to the Garden of Eden) in Genesis 3:24 are not identified as angels, but as cherubim or cherubs.

          Traditionally, cherubim have been thought of as a type of angel. However, the Bible itself never calls them angels. Cherubim were mythical winged creatures, and they could have heads of other creatures besides humans. Angels in the Bible are never described as having wings, and they are always described as fully human.

          In short, despite traditional notions, there isn’t any basis in the Bible to think that the creatures guarding the way to the tree of life after the Fall were angels.

          Beyond that, those early chapters of Genesis were never meant to be taken literally. They are poetic, symbolical accounts of the origins of humanity from God, and of our initial turning away from God, intended to be interpreted metaphorically, not literally.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Isabella,

      I would also remind you that if the Catholic Church is right, you will never get your chance to have the re-do with your first husband that you so dearly long for. You will have missed your chance to have a good and loving marriage with him, because the Catholic Church teaches that there is no marriage in heaven.

      Consider very carefully what you will believe, and whether you will allow the Magisterium to do your thinking for you. If you do, you will have to give up any hope of ever again being with the man you love as husband and wife.

      Is that a hope you are prepared to give up for the sake of the Catholic Church and the Magisterium?

      Look into your heart, and decide for yourself whether you believe that what the Catholic Church is telling you on this subject is right, and you will never again be united in marriage with the man you love, or whether what I am telling you is right, and you will be have the joyful reunion with him that your heart longs for, and spend the rest of eternity happily married to him.

      What God has joined together, let no mere human beings put asunder.

      • Isabella Martino says:

        I know…
        This is the part that’s killing me because I want to have this but is it the TRUTH?!!!!

        • Lee says:

          Hi Isabella,

          You are going to have to make up your own mind about that. In considering this question, I would recommend that you read (or re-read) the first two articles in this series:

          1. Didn’t Jesus Say There’s No Marriage in Heaven?
          2. Marriage in the Resurrection: The Deeper Meaning

          I would add two things:

          First, it seems to me that the Catholic Church, in saying that marriage ends at death, is doing precisely what Jesus commanded us not to do: putting asunder what God has joined together. What God does is not temporary, but eternal (Ecclesiastes 3:14).

          Second, I do not believe God is so cruel as to give us a beautiful, deep, joyous, and satisfying relationship such as marriage, only to snatch it away from us just as we enter into the fullness of eternal life. Truth may sometimes be hard, but it is never cruel. I have had conversations with too many widows and widowers who are heartbroken and in great pain because they believe that they will never be married to their beloved husband or wife again. Teaching people that is just plain cruel. And the Bible simply never says that.

      • Isabella Martino says:

        So instead of taking the word – words – of the Catholic Church and all the thinkers through all the centuries which make up the Magisterium – past and present – and instead believe one man – Swedenborg? How does that make sense? With the Church at least there are many minds trying to figure things but with this guy it’s just him. How can you trust this one man?

        • Lee says:

          Hi Isabella,

          Short version: I trust Swedenborg because his teachings are in full accord with the Bible, whereas the teachings of the Magisterium are not.

        • Isabella Martino says:

          L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology….
          Swedenborg is reminding him.

          Also, you mentioned in another reply that Steve Ray probably did not follow Catholic doctrine on the marriage after death thing…
          Well, how can you MAKE anybody follow anything? In your heart of hearts your going to believe what your heart desires and if your heart desires to be with your husband for all eternity then who can stop that? The Church can’t force us to do or think anything, and trust this I’ve had my battles, but when it comes to yearnings of the heart, there is no thing THEY can do to stop that dream if it’s what you truly believe.
          So even if I’m Catholic, if my desire is to be with my husband when I die then I can only pray to God that this will be a dream come true for me, and if no such thing exists then so be it. Whether anybody believes this or not will not make it one way or another… however God has it all figured out is the way it’s going to be no matter what we wish, think, demand, hope…It’s God’s universe and His providential plan to unfold.

        • while caring for my husband, as he took his last breath, he put his arm around me and said, You Are My Guardian Angel😇 could that be possible?

        • Lee says:

          Hi Isabella,

          Yes, people can believe what they want regardless of what their church tells them. And on the subject of marriage in heaven, I would encourage you to listen to Mr. Ray and to your own heart rather than listening to the Catholic Church.

          And if being a Catholic is meaningful to you, who am I to say anything about that? As you say, we are all in God’s hands.

          As for a comparison between Swedenborg and L. Ron Hubbard, that could be made only by someone who knows very little about one or the other or both. You can look up Hubbard and Scientology for yourself. There is plenty of material out there about their strange beliefs and their cult-like organization and practices.

          By contrast, Swedenborg never made any attempt to gain followers or start a church. It was only fifteen years after his death that some Swedenborg readers in London, England, decided to start a church. And except for its teachings, what they set up was virtually indistinguishable from any other traditional Christian church.

          Perhaps that’s why the Swedenborgian Church is so little known. For the most part, the Swedenborgian Church’s organization, churches, and worship are so ordinary that very few people who aren’t interested in Swedenborg’s teachings pay any attention to it at all, despite the fact that it’s been around for well over two hundred years now.

      • Isabella Martino says:

        Marriage in Heaven? – Defenders of the Catholic Faith

        See if you can Google this article – Steve Ray – who is trying to reassure his mom about marriage after death…

        Just read it and tell me what you think about it if you can make the time.

        Thanks!

        • Lee says:

          Hi Isabella,

          Here’s a link to the article you mention:

          Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love Our Spouses in Heaven? by Steve Ray

          It’s a nice article. Thanks for the reference. I agree with most of what Mr. Ray says, and of course with his main points that Jesus did not say that there was no marriage in heaven, and that happily married spouses on earth will still be together in heaven. He has made many of the same points that I do in the first article in this series. Really, it’s just a matter of properly reading what the Bible actually says, and not attributing to it things that it doesn’t say.

          However, I don’t think he agrees with the official doctrine of the Catholic Church on these matters.

          One small correction: Levirate marriages (where a brother marries his deceased brother’s childless wife) were, in fact, considered marriages, and not just a matter of being a “kinsman redeemer.” And only the firstborn son born of this marriage would be considered the deceased brother’s son and heir. The rest would be sons of their biological father. See Deuteronomy 25:5–6.

    • Isabella Martino says:

      And not just Catholics…Angels…
      They know the things of nature as God knows them, perceiving the essential meaning of every created thing, and the holiness of it. Yet Angels cannot know the intensity of the world perceived through the senses: the blessing of coolness, the pleasure of summer smells, sea smells, fire smells, the satisfying flavors of food and drink. Nonetheless, their advantages are vast—“far richer they.” We, in our human form are in fact protected, guarded, by our senses, from the vast sphere they inhabit—“heavens too big to see”; we would die from exposure to that piercing glory, that “barb’d sublimity.” The divine beauty they live within would be like a fatal sword thrust: we could not endure it were that “dazzling edge of beauty” to be “unsheathed.” No, for us, living “within this tiny, charm’d interior” of our senses is enough for now. Yet in this homey space with our brains, our human consciousness, we have a point of connection with God himself that Angels cannot share. Because God became man and experienced our human, sense-bound existence, there is a secret that is “Forever ours, not theirs.” This private intimacy is something so wonderful, so absolutely unexpected that, as 1 Peter 1:12 tells us, angels long to understand it.

      Modern infatuation with angels is based on imagery that is far removed from Psalm 103’s depiction of angels as “mighty ones who do his bidding.” With the loss of knowledge and respect for scriptures has come a greatly demeaned understanding spiritual realities, especially those concerned with supernatural occurrences. And Lewis is more concerned about the danger of a wrong conception of angels than about obliviousness to them…

      [A] belief in angels, whether good or evil, does not mean a belief in either as they are represented in art and literature. . . . They are given wings . . . in order to suggest the swiftness of unimpeded intellectual energy. They are given human form because man is the only rational creature we know. Creatures higher in the natural order than ourselves, either incorporeal or animating bodies of a sort we cannot experience, must be represented symbolically if they are to be represented at all. . . .

      In the plastic arts these symbols have steadily degenerated. Fra Angelico’s angels carry in their face and gesture the peace and authority of heaven. Later come the chubby infantile nudes of Raphael; finally the soft, slim, girlish and consolatory angels of nineteenth-century art. . . They are a pernicious symbol. In Scripture the visitation of an angel is always alarming; it has to begin by saying “Fear not.” The Victorian angel looks as if it were going to say “There, there.”—C.S.Lewis

      • Lee says:

        Hi Isabella,

        These are charming, but mostly human, ideas about angels.

        Yes, the angels longed to see the salvation brought by Jesus Christ. That doesn’t mean they can’t see it. Only that they waited anxiously for the day it would come.

        Interesting thoughts about the human depictions of angels over the centuries. I will say, though, that the angels depicted as naked infants are meant to portray the innocence of angels. Christ said that unless we become like a little child, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. So yes, depicting angels as powerful, fearsome beings is right and good. But depicting them as innocent babes is also right and good. There are different types of angels just as there are different types of people.

        Swedenborg described the highest, heavenly angels as looking like infants or young children playing together from a distance, but when he got close to them they appeared like resplendent adults, and very powerful. Their appearance as infants or children from a distance was due to their great innocence, meaning both an unwillingness to do any harm and a complete trust in God to lead them and care for them.

  25. can i be a guardian angel?

    • Lee says:

      Hi angel,

      Yes, you can certainly be a guardian angel.

      I believe that angels are all people who have chosen to live from love for God and the neighbor, as Jesus taught, and who then go on to live in heaven. And even while we’re living on earth, we can be angels to one another.

  26. Isabella Martino says:

    Thanks for all your patience with me with all my questions. It’s been enlightening and I will keep all of this in mind, and maybe someday when we’re both – hopefully – in heaven, I’ll run into you and then we’ll finally know how it all ends up, huh?
    God’s speed, Lee!

    Christine—aka Isabella
    PS – I tell you my name now so you’ll know me in heaven!

    • Lee says:

      Hi Christine,

      I’ve enjoyed our conversations as well. I’ll look forward to that meeting in the Great Hereafter . . . but not too soon! 🙂

  27. SOUMYA GUPTA says:

    I lost my beloved wife on 11th May 2018. It was too early for her to leave this world- which was me and our 10 year old daughter. She died of a very rare ovarian cancer where none of the medicines worked. I am devastated as she was a very caring and loving wife . Though I am not Christian I found solace in the above discussion and look forward to unite with her in heaven.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Soumya,

      I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your wife. I’m glad this article gave you some solace. God loves Christians and non-Christians alike, and will reunite you with your wife when it comes your time to leave this world for the other. Meanwhile, you have a daughter to care for and love, and a life to live here even if it will be a greater struggle without your wife’s physical presence. But she is still with you in spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughter.

  28. Hi Lee, I enjoy reading your articles it gives me hope and faith here is my story and my Dad’s I lost my husband on June 12th, 2016 he had Congestive Heart Failure and Diabetes, also my Dad lost the 3 Siblings he had left he lost a brother in 1984 someone murdered him and the other 3 his other 2 brothers and 1 sister he lost in 2016 it was a sad year for our family and my in-laws family too also for my son also he will be 23 this month my in-laws raised him my husband had a disability and we moved around quite a bit our son needed stability. Anyway, when me and my husband were together we didn’t go to church that much like I wanted to part of the reason I had to work on Sundays it was hard to go, but before my husband passed away he wanted me to go to church, when I moved in with my a little over 2 years ago we would try to go every Sunday but now my Dad is almost 95 it is hard for him to go he has a drop foot he doesn’t drive very much anymore I could drive us but it is sometimes hard for my Dad to sit on their hard benches for a few hours, we do believe in God and talk about Spiritual things all the time we have some things happen at my Dad’s house I think my husband John came to me in July of 2016 it was almost time for our Anniversary we would of been married for then 22 years I felt someone touch me on my right shoulder and I saw the lights flickering kind of startled me at that time kind of figured out later on it might have been my husband John maybe trying to comfort me not to scare me, anyway I have been watching videos of Swendenborg I find it very interesting. I also just wanted to let you know I have enjoyed reading the different stories and people’s expierences on here sorry if my spelling is not good I hope you will know who I am talking avout on here. Thank you for reading this and may God bless you. Sincerely, Lisa C.

  29. Sorry Lee, I missed saying I moved in with my dad a little over 2 years ago.

  30. Justin says:

    Hello Lee and Annette, thank you so much for these conforting words,95% of those of us wants to reunion with our spouses have discovered your site those that haven’t still think all is a joke, am a Zambian and living in Zambia. I lost my beloved wife Mildred on 12th August 2018, I feel like my life is cut off and I don’t wish to leave too long on earth all I want is to reunion with her again. Her death was one way so cruel, she was Raped and Murdered, people that did that are still on loose. I’m not strong in religious neither she is, Am stepping in church now onwards just see my Wife again, so does this mean her passing away is it one way of bring me closer to God or what, because ealier in your blog you mentioned this**”May I suggest that perhaps under God’s Providence, your wife was allowed to pass on before you because her faith was strong in itself, and she was ready for eternity, whereas yours depended upon her, and was not strong within your own self?* what I want is to belive that my wife is on the safe side where I can meet her again, if God has granted her a special place where she is waiting for me, I don’t think if I will ever enjoy a companionship with any other woman even if am to remarry, she was my almost every happiness I ever lived for on earth since knowing her eventually got married, we’ve been in marriage for more than 15 years, she has died at 28yrs and I’m 34yrs left alone. In your other articles you mentioned of Stages after life, which stage is hell and which one is eternity. My worry is I loved my Wife so much such that if is refered to hell what happens please help me understand here, May God grant her special place where she can wait for happily. Since she’s in spirit form now can she see my pain and suffering am going through, and how much I love her? In the other articles you mentioned that if we go in spirit form we will be able to see through how much we love each other, so can she see through me how much Love I have for her that she never saw while on earth in her human form?

    • Lee says:

      Hi Justin,

      I am so sorry to hear about your wife’s death, especially under such terrible circumstances. I do hope that the criminals who attacked her are found and brought to justice.

      For her, though, the pain and suffering is over. She is in the care of loving angels who will give her love and comfort, and take care of every want and need she may have until she is recovered and ready to begin her new life in the spiritual world. And yes, God has a place for her to live until it comes your time to rejoin her.

      Please don’t be concerned about hell. The fact that you love her and care for her so much tells me that she is a good person. And God does not allow any good person to end out in hell. She may live in the world of spirits until you arrive, or she may find her home in heaven and wait for you there.

      And yes, her spirit is with you, and she can feel both your pain at losing her and your great love for her. As the article says, death has no power to separate the spirits of those who are one in spirit. Though it is hard to be physically separated, that separation is only temporary, even if it may feel very long for us when we are the one left on earth.

      Also, please understand that it was not God’s will for your wife to be raped and murdered. Those are terribly evil acts, and God brings only good, not evil, even if it sometimes appears to us that God does evil things. What God does do is bring whatever good is possible out of evil events. So God is working in your heart to bring you closer to God and heaven through this terribly evil thing that happened to your wife that took her away from you on this earth.

      I am glad that the articles here have brought you some comfort in your pain and suffering. Annette and I pray that God and the angels will continue to help and comfort your heart, and that you will be able to find some peace and meaning as you move forward without the physical presence of your beloved wife. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask, and we will do whatever we can to help you through this.

      • Dave Harvey says:

        Yes most comforting indeed to read this and you have previously helped me , but I am concerned that the Bible says “ the dead know nothing “ until the Resurrection and they will inhabit the Earth again , as Paradise as it was intended , and only God and angels exist in Heaven . Confused now !

        • Lee says:

          Hi Dave,

          The saying in Ecclesiastes 9:5 that “the dead know nothing” is based on the common belief among the ancient Israelites that there is no afterlife, but that God rewards the good in this life, and punishes the evil in this life. Jesus corrected that wrong belief in the Gospels, especially when he said to one of the thieves on the cross, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).

          The Bible has to speak to human beings according to many existing beliefs, because otherwise people would not understand it and would reject the Bible altogether. And for people who are very physical-minded, as the ancient Israelites were, and as many people still are today, if they didn’t believe in a future resurrection on this earth, they wouldn’t believe in any afterlife at all. That’s because they cannot conceive of any reality other than physical reality. That’s why the Bible talks in various places about a future resurrection.

          However, the Bible never says that only God and angels exist in heaven. It also never says that angels are a separately created race of beings. If they were, their creation would have been mentioned in the Creation stories in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Everywhere angels are mentioned in the Bible, they are described as human beings. The most reasonable conclusion based on the Bible’s description of them is that angels are human beings who have gone on to live in heaven. For more on this, see:
          What is the Biblical Basis for Humans becoming Angels after they Die?

          In the New Testament, Jesus also commonly had to speak to his listeners according to many of their existing beliefs, such as the belief that there would be a future resurrection in which everyone would come out of their graves and resume their lives on this earth. Most of the people of his times were still too physical-minded to accept the idea of a spiritual world where we will live to eternity. But his main purpose when he spoke of the resurrection was to teach and motivate people to repent from their sins and live a good life of love and service instead, based on their belief in a future resurrection.

          However, there are a number of places where he taught the real truth about immediate resurrection into the spiritual world, and the dead living there already, such as in his words to the thief on the cross quoted above, and his parable about the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19–31. Also, when the Sadducees, who believed there is no resurrection or afterlife, challenged him about the afterlife, he said:

          And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive. (Luke 20:37–38)

          If Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are not dead, but alive, this means that they cannot still be dead in the grave, but must have already been resurrected to life in the spiritual world.

          Even today many Christians are so physical-minded that they believe, like the ancient Israelites, that we will be raised from the grave physically and will live in our physical bodies here on a renewed physical earth. So when they read passages such as these, it goes in one ear and out the other. They instead pay attention to all of the passages that speak according to physical-minded human beliefs in a future physical resurrection.

          But the real truth is what Jesus taught in the Gospels: that we are raised from death immediately, and live in the spiritual world, in either heaven or hell, to eternity.

  31. Vicky says:

    Hi Lee I lost my husband on 24 February 2017 he passed from pneumonia and my life stopped we were together for 33 years married for 29 years and 8 months. i am a real mess i just cant believe he has gone. I found your site accidently and im so glad i did i believe in god. Andy didnt believe but i feel so much better knowing we will be together again in heaven he was my soulmate and my best friend i find life so hard if it wasnt for our 4 sons i may of done something stupid to be with Andy. Thank you again for making me have hope that i will see Andrew again some day.

    • Lee says:

      Hi Vicky,

      I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s death. When your life is bound up with another person’s life, losing them is like losing a part of yourself. But as I say in the article, I don’t believe that’s permanent. God is good and loving, and wants us to be happy in heaven. And for people who have a close and loving relationship, it is the source of much of life’s happiness. God would not take that away from us forever. I’m glad you found our website and this article, and that it has given you some comfort and hope. Meanwhile, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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Lee & Annette Woofenden

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