The concept of an afterlife terrifies me, and for a member of the LDS Church, that's pretty unusual, I think. LDS doctrine states that members who have striven to follow Christ in their lives will be rewarded with exaltation - essentially, assuming godlike powers and having the opportunity to create worlds of one's own. Sounds like a pretty good deal, right?
For some reason that I cannot for the life of me figure out, it terrifies me. I lie awake in bed at nights, breaking out in cold sweats and having panic attacks. The notion that I will endure forever - absolutely, unequivocally, irreversibly forever - scares the daylights out of me. The trouble is that the converse scares me just as much. I cannot fathom nonexistence. If possible, that scares me even more than living forever. There aren't any other possibilities - one can only exist or not exist - so I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here. I've tried everything I can think of to solve the problem, but nothing's working. I've prayed, fasted, studied the scriptures, all without improvement. Then, a few nights ago, something amazing happened. I was worrying about what I would do for a job in the fall, when I had an image of myself flying back, back, back from the Earth. I could see the timeline of my life, and I was struck by how small and insignificant (eternally) events here on Earth were. It disappeared quite as quickly as it came, but it did wonders for my perspective.
Everything looks different out here.