?Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other ? Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon? (D&C 133:7, 14). This counsel has particular application to the Saints in our day. There is much in our world that partakes of the pride, the lust, the materialism, and the sins of Babylon. There is much that seeks to replace God in our hearts?the endless quest for wealth, the near-worship of sports and entertainment ?stars,? the deep desire of most people to seek and reach their own goals rather than God?s. Babylon is alive and well in our times?but, as prophesied, Babylon will fall.
Clearly, for those who have a full opportunity to receive and apply the gospel during mortality, this life is the ?time and the day of your salvation?; it is ?the time for men to prepare to meet God ... the day for men to perform their labors? ? We must remember, however, that God?s eternal plan allows for repentance in the spirit world for those who did not have a full opportunity to receive the gospel in mortality (and only God can judge when that full opportunity has been given).
How grateful we are for the glorious truth, as revealed to Joseph Smith, that ?all little children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.? ? The gospel gives us at least one additional glorious doctrine concerning the death of little children. Our latter-day prophets have taught that when a righteous mother is ?deprived of the pleasure and joy? of rearing her child to adulthood because of premature death, that mother will have that privilege ?renewed to her? in the resurrection. But the circumstances will be much more favorable?parents will then be able to rear their children without sickness, sin, teenage rebellion, negative societal influences, and so forth.
The Gulf Between Righteous and Wicked ? there was ?a great gulf fixed? between the righteous and the wicked in the spirit world (see 2 Nephi 9:12?13). The wicked could not go where the righteous were and the righteous could not go where the wicked were, even though they both dwelled in the same world. Latter-day prophets have made it clear that this gulf was bridged by Christ when he visited the spirit world ? The gulf represented some kind of barrier that prevented those who wanted to go back and forth between paradise and the spirit prison from doing so. Jesus? visit to the spirit world made it possible for those in paradise to visit those in prison to teach them the gospel, and it enabled the repentant in the spirit prison, who received the gospel ordinances, to leave the prison.
Death in the Millennium will have three major differences from how we know it now. First, there will be no premature death, either among children or adults. All will live to ?the age of man.? Second, when people die, their bodies will not be laid in the ground to decay and await the resurrection. Instead, they will be changed from a mortal to a resurrected state in an instant, ?in the twinkling of an eye.? As a result of these circumstances, those on earth will no longer experience any sorrow at the ?death? of loved ones (D&C 101:29). The third difference is a logical consequence of the second: no longer will people go to the spirit world when they die, but as the Lord said in this dispensation, ?when he dies he shall not sleep, that is to say in the earth, but shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and shall be caught up, and his rest shall be glorious? (D&C 101:30?31).
Our nightly sleep is a type and a shadow for death, and awakening in the morning symbolizes the resurrection. (See also the parallels listed under ?Morning? below.) Daniel used the word sleep to refer to death and awake to refer to the resurrection. ?And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt? (Daniel 12:2). Other prophets have used similar language.