What Does the Book of Mormon Add to Our Understanding of the Resurrection?

References to the resurrection appear only a couple of times in the Old Testament:

  • Job testifies to his friends, “Though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:26).
  • Ezekiel describes a vision in which dry bones (representing the house of Israel) are miraculously covered with sinews, then flesh, then skin, and finally begin to live and breathe again. He delivers a promise from the Lord: “I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:1-14).

The New Testament provides a lot more information about the resurrection:

  • Jesus prophesied early in His ministry that He would rise from the dead: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” He said, speaking of “the temple of his body” (John 2:19, 21).
  • When Martha affirmed that she knew her brother, who had died, would live again, Jesus answered, “I am the resurrection. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:24-25).
  • After His death and resurrection, the Savior made it clear to His disciples that He was physically alive again: “Handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39). He ate fish and a honeycomb to further prove the point (Luke 24:42-43). However, He also made it clear that this body was different from His mortal body. He entered a room with no open doors (John 20:19). He walked with two disciples without being recognized (Luke 24:16). He ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9-10).
  • The apostle Paul taught that we will all be resurrected because Jesus was resurrected: “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

What does the Book of Mormon add to our understanding of this important doctrine?

  • Our resurrected bodies will look like us, except they will be perfect. “The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form…. There shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame” (Alma 11:42-45). (See also Alma 40:23.)
  • A resurrected body is immortal and incorruptible, no longer subject to illness, injury, or death. “The spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal” (2 Nephi 9:13). (See also Mosiah 16:10, Alma 11:45Alma 41:4, Mormon 6:21.
  • The resurrection not only reunites our spirit with our body (overcoming physical death) but also reunites us with God (overcoming spiritual death, at least temporarily). “The resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works” (Alma 42:23). (See also Helaman 14:15-17, Mormon 7:5-6, Mormon 9:13.)
  • When we are resurrected, our cognitive limitations will also end. “Our knowledge shall be perfect” (2 Nephi 9:13). We will have “a bright recollection of all our guilt” (Alma 11:43), and of our “righteousness” (2 Nephi 9:14).

Today, I will be grateful for the gift of the resurrection. I will remember that, because of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected—our spirits will be reunited with an immortal, incorruptible version of our current bodies. I will also remember that, when my spirit and my body are reunited, I will also be restored to God’s presence, where I will be judged. My deliverance from physical death will coincide with my ultimate deliverance from spiritual death.

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