BYU Studies Quarterly

BYU Studies Quarterly

Article Title

Six Afterlives


Scott Hales


poems, Hemingway, temples, Mormon Afterlives


These poems belong to a series called “Famous White Men in Mormon Afterlives.” They are thought experiments about eternal life and progression. I wrote them (and several others) in May 2018 after reading Mary V. Dearborn’s Ernest Hemingway: A Biography (New York: Knopf, 2017). Reading about Hemingway’s life reminded me of a presentation I attended several years ago on the many times proxy ordinances had been performed for Hemingway and his four wives in Latter-day Saint temples. Latter-day Saints perform these ordinances because we believe that life continues after death, and that the experience of life after death is virtually the same as what we experience in mortality—except that it is “coupled with eternal glory” (D&C 130:2). Hemingway’s life, then, did not end by suicide in 1961. It continues to this day in the spirit world. Hemingway still inhabits space and adapts to his new surroundings, much the same way we do when we move houses or change jobs.