The Resurrection

The Resurrection







When the resurrected Lord appeared to His Apostles, He helped them understand that He had a body of flesh and bones. He said, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). He also appeared to the Nephites after His Resurrection (see 3 Nephi 11:10-17).

John 20:27 "Thomas, reach hither thy finger... be not faithless, but believing."

John 20:27 “Thomas, reach hither thy finger… be not faithless, but believing.”

At the time of the resurrection, we will “be judged according to [our] works. … We shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt” (Alma 11:41, 43). The eternal glory we receive will depend on our faithfulness. Although all people will be resurrected, only those who have come unto Christ and partaken of the fulness of His gospel will inherit exaltation in the celestial kingdom.

All will be resurrected. Amulek stated:

Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the bands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.  The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt. Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. (Alma 11:42-44)

I have found that as the understanding that God has a body – that he is corporeal, has been lost, so has the knowledge of the resurrection. LDS apostles and authors have taught that we will indeed inhabit a material heaven after we are resurrected with actual literal material bodies. The apostle Paul clearly taught a literal resurrection as well. (see for example: 1 Corinthians 15:12-13; 19-23)

Resurrection – How the resurrection is to take place

Brigham Young tied keys to the resurrection:

Brigham YoungWhen the angel who holds the keys of the resurrection shall sound his trumpet, then the peculiar fundamental particles that organized our bodies here, if we do honor to them, though they be deposited in the depths of the sea, and though one particle is in the north, another in the south, another in the east, and another in the west, will be brought together again in the twinkling of an eye, and our spirits will take possession of them.  (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 372.)

In 1872 President Young stated his belief that there are some ordinances the Church does not currently practice, one being resurrection:

It is supposed by this people that we have all the ordinances in our possession for life and salvation, and exaltation, and that we are administering in these ordinances. This is not the case.  We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world. I know you would ask what they are.

I will mention one. 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 stage 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 cannot receive here, and there are many more. )Brigham Young, “Increase of Saints Since Joseph Smith’s Death, etc.”, Aug. 24, 1872, Journal of Discourses 15:137.)

Additionally, Wilford Woodruff’s journal contains the following:

Wilford WoodruffWho will resurrect Joseph’s Body? It will be Peter, James, John, Moroni, or someone who has or will receive the keys of the resurrection. It will probably be one of those who hold the keys of this dispensation and has delivered them to Joseph and you will see Jesus and he will eat peaches and apples with you. But the world will not see it or know it for wickedness will increase. Joseph and Jesus will be there. They will walk and talk with them at times and no man mistrusts who they are. Joseph will lead the Armies of Israel whether he is seen or no, whether visible or invisible as seemeth him good.

Joseph has got to receive the keys of the resurrection for you and I. After he is resurrected he will go and resurrect Brother Brigham, Brother Heber, and Brother Carlos, and when that is done then He will say, “now go Brother Brigham and resurrect your wives and children and gather them together. While this is done, the wicked will know nothing of it, though they will be in our midst and they will be struck with fear. This is the way the resurrection will be. All will not be raised at once but will continue in this way until all the righteous are resurrected.

After Joseph comes to us in his resurrected body, He will more fully instruct us concerning the baptism for the dead and the sealing ordinances. He will say, be baptized for this man and that man and that man be sealed to that such a man to such a man, and connect the Priesthood together. I tell you there will not be much of this done until Joseph comes…(Susan Staker, ed., Waiting for the World’s End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff, pp.168-169. See also Robert J. Matthews, Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews, chapter 44, The Doctrine of the Resurrection, p. 505-525.)

“Some might suppose that it would be a great blessing to be taken and carried directly into heaven and there set down, but in reality that would be no blessing to such persons; they could not reap a full reward, could not enjoy the glory of the kingdom, and could not comprehend and abide the light thereof, but it would be to them a hell intolerable and I suppose would consume them much quicker than would hell fire. It would be no blessing to you to be carried into the celestial kingdom, and obliged to stay therein, unless you were prepared to dwell there.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 95.)

Since all who have possessed a body in mortality will be resurrected, a time will ultimately come when the postmortal spirit world pertaining to this earth will cease to exist as the earth will become the celestial home for resurrected beings (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 762).

What will be the status of children in the Resurrection?

Joseph F. Smith

Joseph F. Smith

President Joseph F. Smith explained the Latter-day Saint belief: “Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’ There is restitution, there is growth, there is development, after the resurrection from death. I love this truth. It speaks volumes of happiness, of joy and gratitude to my soul. Thank the Lord he has revealed these principles to us.” (Gospel Doctrine, pp. 455-56.)

The time to fulfill the requirements for exaltation is now (see Alma 34:32-34). President Joseph Fielding Smith said, “In order to obtain the exaltation we must accept the gospel and all its covenants; and take upon us the obligations which the Lord has offered; and walk in the light and understanding of the truth; and ‘live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God’ ” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:43).

“Those who gain exaltation in the celestial kingdom are those who are members of the Church of the Firstborn; in other words, those who keep all the commandments of the Lord. . . .”The higher ordinances in the temple of God pertain to exaltation in the celestial kingdom In order to receive this blessing, one must keep the full law, must abide the law by which that kingdom is governed; for, ‘He who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.'” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:41-42.)

“I think it is of great importance to us as a people to know what we shall do. Are we content to aim for telestial glory? I never heard a prayer offered, especially in the family circle, in which the family does not beseech God to give them celestial glory. Telestial glory is not in their thoughts. Terrestrial glory may be all right for honorable Gentiles, who have not faith enough to believe the Gospel and who do right according to the best knowledge they have; but celestial glory is our aim–I perhaps should not say it is the aim, for sometimes it is not, but it is the hope. If into a family that had just offered prayer, and had asked God to lead them into the celestial kingdom, an angel should enter and should say to them that their prayers were useless and that they would never attain unto celestial glory, what a feeling would be produced in the breasts of that family! How sorrowful and afflicted they would feel! Yet, as I have said, while it is the aim of many, they do not act as if it were their true aim. They either misconceive the nature of the duties they have to perform to attain to celestial glory, or else they are very blind indeed.

“I ask again, what is your aim, or my aim? What do I desire? If I desire celestial glory, the highest law that God has revealed I will be willing to obey, and to observe every word that proceedeth from His mouth. I do not want to speak of myself, but if there is a law that God has revealed and it is necessary to be obeyed before celestial glory can be reached, I want to know it and obey it. All that I am on this earth for is to get celestial glory.” (George Q. Cannon, Conference Report, Apr. 1900, pp. 55-56.)

“Into the terrestrial kingdom will go all those who are honorable and who have lived clean virtuous lives, but who would not receive the Gospel, but in the spirit world repented and accepted it as far as it can be given unto them. Many of these have been blinded by tradition and the love of the world, and have not been able to see the beauties of the Gospel.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History & Modern Revelation, 1:287-88.)

This was adapted from Robert J. Matthews' book "Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews", p. 523

This was adapted from Robert J. Matthews’ book “Selected Writings of Robert J. Matthews”, p. 523

“After the Lord and the righteous who are caught up to meet him have descended upon the earth, there will come to pass another resurrection. This may be considered as a part of the first, although it comes later. In this resurrection will come forth those of the terrestrial order, who were not worthy to be caught up to meet him, but who are worthy to come forth to enjoy the millennial reign.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:296.)

“Those who enter into the telestial kingdom, where their glories differ as do the stars of heaven in their magnitude, and who are innumerable as the sands of the seashore, are the ungodly, the filthy who suffer the wrath of God on the earth, who are thrust down to hell where they will be required to pay the uttermost farthing before their redemption comes. These are they who receive not the gospel of Christ and consequently could not deny the Holy Spirit while living on the earth. “They have no part in the first resurrection and are not redeemed from the devil and his angels until the last resurrection, because of their wicked lives and their evil deeds. Nevertheless, even these are heirs of salvation, but before they are redeemed and enter into their kingdom, they must repent of their sins, and receive the gospel, and bow the knee, and acknowledge that Jesus is the Christ, the Redeemer of the world.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:22.)

“That glory granted the inhabitants of the lowest kingdom of glory is called telestial glory. In the infinite mercy of a beneficent Father it surpasses all mortal understanding, and yet it is in no way comparable to the glory of the terrestrial and celestial worlds. Telestial glory is typified by the stars of the firmament, and ‘as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world’ (D.&C. 76:81-112; 1 Cor. 15:41), meaning that all who inherit the telestial kingdom will not receive the same glory.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 778.)

“Even to hell there is an exit as well as an entrance; and when sentence has been served, commuted perhaps by repentance and its attendant works, the prison doors shall open and the penitent captive be afforded opportunity to comply with the law, which he aforetime violated. . .

“The inhabitants of the telestial world — the lowest of the kingdoms of glory prepared for resurrected souls, shall include those ‘who are thrust down to hell’ and ‘who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection.’ ([D&C] 76:82-85.) And though these may be delivered from hell and attain to a measure of glory with possibilities of progression, yet their lot shall be that of ‘servants of the Most High, but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.’ (v. 112.) Deliverance from hell is not admittance to heaven.” (James E. Talmage, The Vitality of Mormonism, pp. 255-56.)


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