I should like to tell you an experience I had while laboring as a missionary in New Bedford, Massachusetts, some years ago. We were approaching the Easter Sunday, and I had a discussion with a minister of the gospel about the mission of the Redeemer of the world. I had him explain to me the God in whom he believed. Naturally, in keeping with the ordinary orthodox Christian view, he explained how God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost were one God, and then he went on to indicate their works and said, in substance, that they were so large that they filled the whole universe, and so small that they could dwell in our hearts; that they were the life of the plants and flowers and everything around us.
I said, “Just what do you mean by the resurrection of Christ?” Then I led him to explain. I said, “You mean that the stone was actually rolled away and that when the women came to the tomb the angels proclaimed that he was not there, that he was arisen, that the very body that was taken down from the cross and laid in that tomb had arisen?” And he admitted that that was true.
And I said that in that body he appeared to his disciples and when doubting Thomas questioned the fact that he was actually the Redeemer whom they had known, he asked Thomas to put his hand in the wound in Jesus’ side and feel the prints in his hands, and see that “I am the same,” for, said he, “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (See Luke 24:39.) And to indicate further the fact that he had that same body that was laid away in the tomb, he took fish and honeycomb and ate with them. I said, “Now that was the same body that laid away in the tomb, wasn’t it?” And he agreed that it was.
And then I led him on through the experience of the Savior in ministering among his disciples for forty days until in the presence of five hundred of the brethren he was carried away in the clouds of heaven, and two men dressed in white apparel stood and said, as the brethren gazed into heaven to watch him ascend, “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11.) And he agreed that that actually happened.
And then I said, “My friend, where is the body that Jesus took out of the tomb, if he and the father are one, and an essence everywhere present in the world? Would you say that Jesus died a second death and laid his body down again?” And he thought for a few minutes. He said, “I am afraid I can’t answer that. I have never thought of it before in that way.”
Elder LeGrand Richards, Conference Report, April 1953, p. 71.