Former President Jimmy Carter said he was “at ease with death” while speaking in front of a crowd during a Sunday school service this weekend. The lifelong Baptist appeared in church less than two weeks after being hospitalized for fracturing his pelvis in a fall.
The 95-year-old was teaching Sunday school at the Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, centered around the concept of life after death in the Christian faith. As documented in the church’s Facebook Live video, he explained that as a child and later while in the Navy, he didn’t completely believe in the concept, but it was brought to his “full awareness” as an adult.
Carter also addressed his health in the Sunday school lesson. He cut an election observation visit in Guyana short in May 2015, after he “got very ill.” The former president announced he had cancer in August of the same year. He explained that after learning the cancer spread to his brain, he “assumed, naturally, that I was going to die very quickly.”
“I, obviously, prayed about it. I didn’t ask God to let me live, but I just asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death. It didn’t really matter to me whether I died or lived,” Mr. Carter said. “I have, since that time, been absolutely confident that my Christian faith includes complete confidence in life after death. So, I’m going to live again after I die — Don’t know what form I’ll take, or anything.”
The Democrat announced in March 2016 — less seven months after revealing he had been diagnosed with melanoma that spread to his brain — that he no longer needed treatment for cancer.
The former president also veered into political territory during his sermon, posing questions pertaining to issues plaguing the U.S.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the United States of America could be a superpower in maintaining peace?” he asked in the video. “Suppose the United States was a superpower in environmental quality. Suppose the United States was a superpower in treating people equally. See, that’s the kind of superpower I would like to have.”
Mr. Carter was hospitalized with a fractured pelvis after falling in his Georgia home in late October, a spokesperson said in a statement at the time. It was his second fall in just one month at his home in Plains.
He surpassed George H.W. Bush as the longest-lived U.S. president in history this spring. Mr. Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter recently became the longest married presidential couple, surpassing George and Barbara Bush, with more than 73 years of marriage.