Furthermore, Joseph Smith revealed that humanity existed before mortality as spirits and that we all accepted the ramifications of mortal life before being born. As such, Mormons typically view matters of life and death in terms of this sacred contract. While the Church views abortion as generally sinful (with several exceptions), it does not view it as murder or the sending of the unbaptized soul to hell. The Church proscribes euthanasia, but individuals may choose what and how much medical treatment to use. Modern medicine has improved and extended the quality of life; but it has also complicated the interaction of the living with death. Mormons believe that negotiation of that complicated interaction should be according to God's will.

Like their spiritual progenitors modern Mormons are counseled to seek miracles; but they are also reassured that if they do not prevail, they "have power to become my sons," an allusion to salvation. The good death in modern Mormonism is the culmination of a life of faith and is defined by the hope of resurrected life in the city of God with their kin.

1. Latter-day Saints rejected "Heroic" allopathic medicine in favor of the botanic cures popularized during the Second Great Awakening.  Though early Mormons did not employ traditional medical therapies, as soon as medicine became clinically viable, they converted to its use.  Brigham Young's support of men and women studying medicine in the East and the establishment of Deseret and LDS Hospitals are examples of this transition.

Jonathan Stapley has a doctorate from Purdue University and is an executive at a firm that is applying his graduate research to the industrial world. He is also an independent researcher in Mormon history, and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Mormon History.