“Of all the victories in human history, none is so great, none so universal in its effect, none so everlasting in its consequences as the victory of the crucified Lord who came forth in the resurrection that first Easter morning.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, December 1992, pg. 2)

Resurrection Defined

(Hebrews 6:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:51; Alma 40:3)

“There will be no more mystery in the resurrection from the dead to life and everlasting light, than there is in the birth of man into the world, when we understand the truth, as we will some day, as the Lord of glory instituted it.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, pg. 216)

The greatest events of history are those which affect the greatest number for the longest periods. By this standard, no event could be more important to individuals or nations than the resurrection of the Master. The eventual resurrection of every soul who has lived and died on earth is a scriptural certainty. And surely there is no event for which one should make more careful preparation.” (Ezra Taft Benson, TETB, pg.16)

The doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead & Eternal Judgment are necessary to preach among the first principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Joseph Smith; Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, Words of Joseph Smith, pg. 4)

“We believe  in the doctrine of faith, and of repentance, and of baptism for the remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” (Joseph Smith; Dean C. Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, pg. 421)

“The term resurrection comes from two words: the prefix re-, meaning “to repeat’ or ‘do again’, and surgere, meaning ‘to rise’, as with a strong impulse or surge. A resurrection is to be brought back to life; to have a resurge of life or power.” (Robert J. Matthews, Gospel Scholars Series: Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews, pg. 505-506)

The resurrection from the dead may also, with propriety, be called a birth.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 374)

The only true riches in existence are for you and me to secure for ourselves a holy resurrection.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 372)

“So plain was the vision, that I actually saw men, before they had ascended from the tomb, as though they were getting up slowly. They took each other by the hand and said to each other, ‘My father, my son, my mother, my daughter, my brother, my sister.’ And when the voice calls for the dead to arise, suppose I am laid by the side of my father, what would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my father, my mother, my brother, my sister; and when they are by my side, I embrace them and they me.

It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind.

All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful. By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 295-296)

Resurrection - When

(D&C 76:17; D&C 88:94-102; 1Corinthians 15:36-42)

“Two great resurrections await the inhabitants of the earth: one is the first resurrection, the resurrection of life, the resurrection of the just; the other is the second resurrection, the resurrection of damnation, the resurrection of the unjust But even within these two separate resurrections, there is an order in which the dead will come forth. Those being resurrected with celestial bodies, whose destiny is to inherit a celestial kingdom, will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection. Their graves shall be opened and they shall be caught up to meet the Lord at his Second Coming. They are Christ's, the firstfruits, and they shall descend with him to reign as kings and priests during the millennial era.

And after this another angel shall sound, which is the second trump; and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ's at his coming; who have received their part in that prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh. This is the afternoon of the first resurrection; it takes place after our Lord has ushered in the millennium. Those coming forth at that time do so with terrestrial bodies and are thus destined to inherit a terrestrial glory in eternity.” (Bruce R. McConkie, MD, pg. 640)

There are three general resurrections revealed to man on the earth; one of these is past, and the other two are future.

The first general resurrection took place in connection with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This included the Saints and Prophets of both hemispheres, from Adam down to John the Baptist; or, in other words, those who died in Christ before his resurrection. [Included Translated Beings- Bruce R. McConkie, MD, pg. 807-808)]

The second will take place in a few years from the present time, and will be immediately succeeded by the coming of Jesus Christ, in power and great glory, with all his Saints and Angels. This resurrection will include the Former and Latter-day Saints -- all those who have received the Gospel since the former resurrection.

The third and last resurrection will take place more than a thousand years afterwards, and will embrace all the human family not included in the former resurrections or translations.

After man is raised from the dead he will be judged according to his works, and will receive the reward, and be consigned to the sphere, exactly corresponding to his former deeds, and the preparations or qualifications which he possesses.” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, pp.135-136)

Resurrection - Who

(1Corintians 15:20-22; Alma 11:44; 3 Nephi 28:38-40)

Death came upon us without the exercise of our agency; we had no hand in bringing it originally upon ourselves; it came because of the transgression of our first parents. Therefore, man, who had no hand in bringing death upon himself, shall have no hand in bringing again life unto himself; for as he dies in consequence of the sin of Adam, so shall he live again, whether he will or not, by the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and the power of his resurrection.” (Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era, March 1908, pg. 385)

Resurrection - How

(D&C 29:26; Ezekiel 37:1-10)

“Michael who is Adam came. The keys he brought are not named. But we know he was the presiding high priest over all the earth and that he held the keys of creation and participated in the creation of this earth. We suppose these are the rights and powers he restored. The holy priesthood will be used in eternity as well as in time. It is not only the power and authority to save men here and now; it is also the power by which the worlds were made and by which all things are. It also could well be that Adam, who brought mortality and death into the world, was also permitted to restore the power that brings immortality and life to his descendants. Christ, of course, in the ultimate sense holds the keys of the resurrection and of raising souls in immortality, but, as we also know, it is his practice to operate through his servants, and righteous persons will, in due course, participate in calling their loved ones forth in the resurrection.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Millennial Messiah, pg. 119)

“We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection. They will be given to those who have passed off this state of action and have received their bodies again, as many have already done and many more will. They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints, just as we receive the ordinance of baptism, then the keys of authority to baptize others for the remission of their sins. This is one of the ordinances we can not receive here, and there are many more....

If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is—Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them when they shall have been officiated for, and bring them up.” (Brigham Young, JD, 15:137-139, Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1977, pg. 49)

Some person holding the keys of the resurrection, having previously passed through that ordeal, will be delegated to resurrect our bodies...” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 373)

Every man who overcomes all things and is thereby to all things, receives power to bring up his wife to join him in the possession and enjoyment thereof.” (Charles W. Penrose, Contributor, Vol 2,  No. 11, August, 1881, pg 339)

Characteristics of a Resurrected Body

Course of Change - (Alma 40:2, 23; 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; Alma 11:45; D&C 88:27-28)

“And when the resurrection and exaltation of man shall be consummated, although more pure, refined and glorious, yet will he still be in the same image, and have the same likeness, without variation or change in any of his parts or faculties, except the substitution of spirit for blood.” (John Taylor, Mediation and Atonement, pg. 165-166)

The blood he spilled upon Mount Calvary he did not receive again into his veins. That was poured out, and when he was resurrected, another element took the place of the blood. It will be so with every person who receives a resurrection; the blood will not be resurrected with the body, being designed only to sustain the life of the present organization. When that is dissolved, and we again obtain our bodies by the power of the resurrection, that which we now call the life of the body, and which is formed from the food we eat and the water we drink will be supplanted by another element; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, pg. 374)

“Now what is a spiritual body? It is one that is quickened by spirit and not by blood. Our Father in heaven and our Savior and all those who have passed through the resurrection have physical bodies of flesh and bones, but their bodies are quickened by spirit and not by blood, hence they are spiritual bodies and not blood bodies. The immortal body is quickened by spirit, but the mortal body is quickened by blood. The Lord said to Noah, that blood is the life of the body in this mortal sphere. In latter-day revelation we have the following: ‘For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body. They who are of a celestial spirit shall receive the same body which was a natural body [i.e, a mortal body]; even ye shall receive your bodies, and your glory shall be that glory by which your bodies are quickened.’ From this we have the Lord's endorsement of a spiritual body being the body which has ceased to be a blood body. Now when Adam was in the Garden of Eden, he was not subject to death. There was no blood in his body and he could have remained there forever. This is true of all the other creations. This statement may not be very pleasing to our evolutionists, but it is true.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 1:77)

As concerning the resurrection, I will merely say that all men will come from the grave as they lie down, whether old or young; there will not be ‘added unto their stature one cubit,’ neither taken from it; all will be raised by the power of God, having spirit in their bodies, and not blood.” (Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg.199)

“We will meet the same identical being that we associated with here in the flesh—not some other soul, some other being, or the same being in some other form, but the same identity and the same form and likeness, the same person we knew and were associated with in our mortal existence, even to the wounds in the flesh. Not that a person will always be marred by scars, wounds, deformities, defects or infirmities, for these will be removed in their course, in their proper time, according to the merciful providence of God. Deformity will be removed; defects will be eliminated, and men and women shall attain to the perfection of their spirits, to the perfection that God designed in the beginning.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, pg. 23)

President Smith never intended to convey the thought that it would require weeks or months of time in order for the defects to be removed. These changes will come naturally, of course, but almost instantly, We cannot look upon it in any other way. For instance, a man who has lost a leg in childhood will have his leg restored. It does not grow in the grave, but will be restored naturally, but with the power of the Almighty it will not take extended time for this to be accomplished.

RESTORATION TO PERFECTION ALMOST INSTANTANEOUS. When President Smith declares that ‘the body will come forth as it is laid to rest, for there is no growth in the grave,’ he has in mind this: Infants and children do not grow in the grave, but when they come forth, they will come forth with the same body and in the same size in which the body was when it was laid away. After the resurrection the body will grow until it has reached the full stature of manhood or womanhood. He did not intend to teach that the adult who loses a leg will come forth without that leg until it can be grafted on after the resurrection. Rather, his body will come forth complete in every part. Deformities and the like will be corrected, if not immediately at the time of the uniting of the spirit and body, so soon thereafter that it will make no difference. We may be sure that every man will receive his body in its perfect frame in the resurrection.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 2:294)

Change for Children -

CHILDREN IN THE RESURRECTION. “When a baby dies, it goes back into the spirit world, and the spirit assumes its natural form as an adult, for we were all adults before we were born. When a child is raised in the resurrection, the spirit will enter the body and the body will be the same size as it was when the child died. It will then grow after the resurrection to full maturity to conform to the size of the spirit. If parents are righteous, they will have their children after the resurrection. Little children who die, whose parents are not worthy of an exaltation, will be adopted into the families of those who are worthy.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 2:56)

Limitations of Change - (D&C 131:1-4)

“The body goes through many changes. Cells divide and growth follows. We grow from pudgy infancy, through fast-growing childhood, through gangling youth to full maturity, and finally into the shrinking, furrowing, stiffening old age.

A soul can continue to develop mentally and spiritually through these changes, but the body reaches a summit from which it traverses a declining path. The body resurrected will be neither the unbalanced body of immature youth, nor the creaking, wrinkling one of many years, but when it is restored and resurrected it will undoubtedly return in the bloom of its greatest mortal perfection.

Some sectarian peoples minimize the body and look forward to freedom from it. Some flail and beat and torture the body, but the gospel of Jesus Christ magnifies the importance of the body and the dignity of man. This body will come forth in the resurrection. It will be free from all imperfections and scars and infirmities which came to it in mortality which were not self-inflicted. Would we have a right to expect a perfect body if we carelessly or intentionally damaged it?” (Spencer W. Kimball, TSWK, pg. 36)

“In the resurrection there will be different kinds of bodies; they will not all be alike. The body a man receives will determine his place hereafter…There will be several classes of resurrected bodies; some celestial, some terrestrial, some telestial, and some sons of perdition. Each of these classes will differ from the others by prominent and marked distinctions; …celestial bodies…will shine like the sun as our Savior’s does,…terrestrial bodies will not shine like the sun, but they will be more glorious than the bodies of those who receive the telestial glory. In both of these kingdoms [terrestrial and telestial] there will be changes in the bodies and limitations. They will not have the power of increase, neither the power or nature to live as husbands and wives, for this will be denied them and they cannot increase. Those who receive the exaltation in the celestial kingdom will have the ‘continuation of the seeds forever’ (D&C 132:19). They will live in the family relationship. In the terrestrial and in the telestial kingdom there will be no marriage.  Those who enter there will remain ‘separately and singly’ forever.

Some of the functions in the celestial body will not appear in the terrestrial body, neither in the telestial body, and the power of procreation will be removed. I take it that men and women will, in these kingdoms, be just what the so-called Christian world expects us all to be—neither man nor woman, merely immortal beings having received the resurrection.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 2:286-288)

Composing the Change -

There is no fundamental principle belonging to a human system that ever goes into another in this world or in the world to come; I care not what the theories of men are. We have the testimony that God will raise us up, and he has the power to do it. If any one supposes that any part of our bodies, that is, the fundamental parts thereof, ever goes into another body, he is mistaken.” (Joseph Smith, HC, 5:339)

The question may be asked, Do not the particles that compose man's body, when returned to mother earth, go to make or compose other bodies? No, they do not. Some philosophers have asserted that human body changes every seven or ten years. This is not correct, for it never changes; that is, the substances of which it is composed do not pass off and other particles of matter come and take their place. Neither can the particles which have comprised the bodies of men become parts of the bodies of other men, or of beasts, fowls, fish, insects or vegetables. They are governed by a divine law, and though they may pass from the knowledge of the scientific world, that divine law still holds and governs and control them. Man's body may be buried in the ocean, it may be eaten by wild beasts, or it may be burned to ashes, and be scattered to the four winds, yet the particles of is composed will not be incorporated into any form of vegetable or animal life, to become a component part of their structure. Are they gross, tangible, and, in their organized capacity, subject to decay and change? Yes, and if buried in the earth, they undergo decomposition and return to mother earth; but it is no matter how minute the particles are, they are watched over and will be preserved until the resurrection and at the sound of the trumpet of God every particle of our physical structures necessary to make our tabernacles perfect will be assembled, to be rejoined with the spirit, every man in his order. Not one particle will be lost. (Brigham Young, Deseret News Weekly, October 13, 1875, pg. 581-584)

It is true that the mortal body in due time returns to the earth as the Lord predicted that it should. Much of the cremated body is carried off into the air and only a small portion of ash remains. However it is impossible to destroy a body. It makes no difference whether a body is consumed by fire, buried in the depths of the sea, or placed in the tomb, the time will come when every essential particle will be called back again to its own place, and the individual whose body was laid away, or scattered to the winds, will be reassembled with every essential part restored.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:100)

Christ and His Resurrection

(John 20:6-8; John 20:15-17; Alma 19:12-13; 3 Nephi 11:14-15; D&C 6:37)

“Any doctrine or ordinance as fundamental to man's eternal salvation as the resurrection of the dead is of necessity regulated and performed by the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is also part of the patriarchal order of the family. So far as the celestial kingdom is concerned, the resurrection is a family event. We would at first naturally suppose that Jesus would resurrect himself, but perhaps he did not. Jesus did not baptize himself. The clear rendering of Acts 2:22-24, 32; 3:12; 5:30 represents Peter saying on three separate occasions that God raised up Jesus from the dead. If we read those passages literally and combine that concept with the teachings of President Young and Elder Snow, that only a resurrected being can perform a resurrection, we may gain an insight into the resurrection process as a patriarchal family order in which a righteous resurrected father would resurrect his son, and so forth.” (Robert J. Matthews, Behold the Messiah, pg. 282)

In fact, in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, our Lord of this sacrament table has chosen to retain for the benefit of his disciples the wounds in his hands and his feet and his side—signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and perfect. Signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn’t love you. It is the wounded Christ who is the captain of our soul—he who yet bears the scars of sacrifice, the lesions of love and humility and forgiveness.

Those wounds are what he invites young and old, then and now, to step forward and see and feel.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, November 1995, pg. 69)

WHY CHRIST RETAINED MARKS OF WOUNDS IN HIS BODY. We must not judge the resurrection of others by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is true that he appeared to his disciples and invited them to examine the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet, and the spear wound in his side, but this was a special manifestation to them. We should know that the disciples had failed to understand that he was to rise again, and this manifestation was for their benefit....

CHRIST'S WOUNDS A WITNESS AT SECOND COMING. When the Savior comes to the Jews in the hour of their distress, as recorded in theDoctrine and Covenants, 45:51-53, he will show them the wounds in his hands and in his feet....

It is true that he also showed these wounds to the Nephites when he visited with them with the same purpose in view, to convince them of his identity, and give to them a witness of his suffering. It can hardly be accepted as a fact that these wounds have remained in his hands, side, and feet all through the centuries from the time of his crucifixion and will remain until his Second Coming, But they will appear to the Jews as a witness against their fathers and their stubbornness in following the teachings of their fathers.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, DS, 2:291-292)

“In the old familiar voice [Mary] knew so well, [Jesus] spoke her name, ‘Mary! Startled she exclaimed ‘Rabboni!’ and would have taken him in her arms, whereup he forbade her to touch him for he had not yet ascended to his Father, for whom he had reserved first physical contact with his resurrected, glorified body.” (B.H. Roberts, Deseret News, Easter Morning-March 26, 1932, pg. 6)

Inspired Version suggests ‘embrace’ or possibly ‘detain’. (Robert J. Matthews, BYU Studies, Vol. 9, Num. 1, pg. 12)

“In old times, and it is common in this day, the women, even as Sarah, called their husbands Lord; the word Lord is tantamount to husband in some languages, master, lord, husband, are about synonymous. In England we frequently hear the wife say, ‘Where is my master?’ She does not mean a tyrant, but as Sarah called her husband Lord, she designates hers by the word master. When Mary of old came to the sepulchre on the first day of the week, instead of finding Jesus she saw two angels in white, ‘And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She said unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord,’ or husband, ‘and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.’ Is there not here manifested the affections of a wife. These words speak the kindred ties and sympathies that are common to that relation of husband and wife.” (Orson Hyde, JD, 2: 81-82)

Resurrection - Rejoice In

“We know that in the future, after we have passed through this life, we will then have our wives and our children with us. We will have our bodies glorified, made free from every sickness and distress, and rendered most beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful to look upon than a resurrected man or woman. There is nothing grander that I can imagine that a man can possess than a resurrected body. There is no Latter-day Saint within the sound of my voice but that certainly has this prospect of coming forth in the morning of the First Resurrection and being glorified, exalted in the presence of God, having the privilege of talking with our Father as we talk with our earthly father.” (Lorenzo Snow, CR, October 1900, pg. 4)

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