Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
“What happens when we’re dead?
We shouldn’t think that far ahead”
What of this carefree attitude that we should not think of tomorrow, or the afterlife? Nephi taught us that in the last days
“there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
“And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
“Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines” (2 Nephi 28:7-9).
“And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
“Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world” (Alma 34:33-34).
Surely, what we do in this life will directly impacts what happens in the life to come. Is it wise to ignore that when there is a clear end to this probationary state?
Now, some will say, “I just don’t know. I won’t make any choice.” What of that?
William James, in his excellent essay “The Will to Believe”, ended with a quote by Fitz James Stephen. Stephen said,
“What do you think of yourself? What do you think of the world? Are you a mere machine, and is your consciousness, as has been said, a mere resultant? Is the world a mere fact suggesting nothing beyond itself worth thinking about? These are questions with which all must deal as it seems good to them. They are riddles of the Sphinx, and in some way or other we must deal with them. If we decide to leave them unanswered, that is a choice. If we waver in our answer, that too is a choice; but whatever choice we make, we make it at our peril.
“If a man chooses to turn his back altogether on God and the future, no one can prevent him. No one can show beyond all reasonable doubt that he is mistaken. If a man thinks otherwise, and acts as he thinks, I do not see how anyone can prove that he is mistaken. Each must act as he thinks best, and if he is wrong so much the worse for him. We stand on a mountain pass in the midst of whirling snow and blinding mist, through which we get glimpses now and then of paths which may be deceptive. If we stand still, we shall be frozen to death. If we take the wrong road, we shall be dashed to pieces. We do not certainly know whether there is any right one. What must we do? “Be strong and of a good courage.” Act for the best, hope for the best, and take what comes…. If death ends all, we cannot meet it better.”
We cannot avoid the choice by not making a choice, for not to make a choice is a choice in itself. It would be like freezing to death after refusing to choose whether to take the left fork or right fork.