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ELDER CURTIS - We are teaching some one who wants to know where the spirit world is. We havent been able to find the answer. Maybe you could send me some references, I have heard that it is here on this Earth But i dont have any references to show her. Her husband Just died and wants to know if he is other world or here on this earth. Some one told her the spirit world was here on Earth and has doubts.

JOEL - As far as we know the Spirit World probably somehow exists with us on the face of this earth. There are no scriptures that directly address this principle but President Brigham Young once said:

"When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world…Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes they do…. Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not…. Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No. Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies" [Discourses of Brigham Young, ed. John A. Widtsoe, pp. 376-81. Salt Lake City, 1946.].

Elder Parley P. Pratt said of the Spirit World:

"As to its location, it is here on the very planet where we were born; or, in other words, the earth and other planets of a like sphere, have their inward or spiritual spheres, as well as their outward, or temporal. The one is peopled by temporal tabernacles, and the other by spirits. A veil is drawn between the one sphere and the other, whereby all the objects in the spiritual sphere are rendered invisible to those in the temporal."(JD 3:368-69; KT, 132-33).

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, regarding the spirits of the righteous, not only are they "not far from us" but they "know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 326).

Besides those opinions quoted above, there are not many statements from church leaders about the exact location of the spirit world, so we probably can't say that this is "official" church doctrine, although it may be true doctrine.
Regardless of how close they are, it is obvious that those in the spirit world are at least aware of what we do here on earth; otherwise they would not know that their baptisms or endowments have been performed for them in the temples.

Brigham Young said:

"Through our efforts in their behalf their chains of bondage will fall from them, and the darkness surrounding them will clear away, that light may shine upon them and they shall hear in the spirit world of the work that has been done for them by their children here and will rejoice with you in your performance of these duties. (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 12:163-164)

We do have the personal opinions of church leaders and others about how much those in the spirit world can see.

President Joseph F. Smith said:

"For I believe that those who have been chosen in this dispensation and in former dispensations, to lay the foundation of God's work in the midst of the children of men, for their salvation and exaltation, will not be deprived in the spirit world from looking down upon the results of their own labors, efforts and mission assigned them by the wisdom and purpose of God, to help to redeem and to reclaim the children of the Father from their sins. So I feel quite confident that the eye of Joseph, the prophet, and of the martyrs of this dispensation, and of Brigham, and John, and Wilford, and those faithful men who were associated with them in their ministry upon the earth, are carefully guarding the interests of the kingdom of God in which they labored and for which they strove during their mortal lives. I believe they are as deeply interested in our welfare today, if not with greater capacity, with far more interest, behind the veil, than they were in the flesh. " (Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Joseph F. Smith)

President Spencer W. Kimball said:

"I am sure that the veil is thin. My grandfather, being one of a family, searched all his life to get together his genealogical records; and when he died, in 1868, he had been unsuccessful in establishing his line back more than the second generation beyond him. I am sure that most of my family members feel the same as I do-that there was a thin veil between him and the earth, after he had gone to the other side, and that which he was unable to do as a mortal he perhaps was able to do after he had gone into eternity. After he passed away, the spirit of research took hold of men-his family in the West and two distant relatives, not members of the Church, in the East. For seven years these two men-Morrison and Sharples-unknown to each other, and unknown to the members of the family in the West, were gathering genealogy. After seven years, they happened to meet and then for three years they worked together. The family feels definitely that the spirit of Elijah was at work on the other side and that our grandfather had been able to inspire men on this side to search out these records; and as a result, two large volumes are in our possession with about seventeen thousand names." (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball)

There are numerous personal stories(like the ones above) of those who have done genealogy or temple work for their ancestors, who have received some kind of vision, inspiration, saw a spirit, heard a voice, or had some kind of spiritual communication from the dead, comfirming that they accepted what was done for them.

If a thin veil is the only thing that separates us from those in the spirit world; they must indeed be close by. Knowing the answer to this question has no bearing on our salvation but it can be comforting to those who have lost loved ones.

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