When we get to heaven, will we still have our thoughts and memories from our physical lives?

From Issue: Discovery 3/1/2017

Dear Digger Doug,

When we get to heaven, will we still have our thoughts and memories from our physical lives?
Hannah Welch­—Jeffersonville, IN

Dear Hannah,

That is a great question that many people have wondered about. Jesus once told a story that gives us a good answer to it. In Luke 16:19-31 we read the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Laz-arus was a poor beggar who sat at the rich man’s gate every day. Lazarus just wanted to be fed with the crumbs from the rich man’s table. The rich man ate delicious food everyday, but it looks like he ignored Lazarus’ needs. Both of the men died. Lazarus went to Paradise to be with Abraham, but the rich man was sent to torments. When the rich man saw where he was, he cried out to Abraham. Abraham responded to him and said, “Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are torment-ed” (Luke 16:25). The rich man went on to talk to Abraham about his five brothers that were wick-ed. He wanted to go back to the Earth and warn them to live right.

We see several important things from this story. First, all three people in the story had their same personalities. Lazarus was still himself, Abraham was himself, and the rich man, although we are not told his name, was still himself. Also, we see that the rich man was able to recognize Lazarus and Abraham and call them both by their correct names. And we learn that the rich man could “remember” things about his life on Earth and his brothers. So, the answer to your question is, yes, we will have our own personalities and will be able to remember things about our lives.

We don’t know exactly how much we will remember. There may be things that were very painful to us on Earth. It might be that in heaven we will not remember things that would be painful to us, since in heaven there will be no more sorrow (Revelation 21:4). Thanks for reading Discovery.


A copied sheet of paper

REPRODUCTION & DISCLAIMERS: We are happy to grant permission for this article to be reproduced in part or in its entirety, as long as our stipulations are observed.

Reproduction Stipulations→