The Resurrection


A couple of years ago I went to give blood with a friend of mine from work who is a very active member of a local Methodist church. When we got to the location of the blood drive we found there was quite a line. We ended up sitting next to the local Lutheran minister, who obviously knew my friend quite well.

The two of them talked about someone they both knew who had recently died. The Lutheran minister talked with my friend about the resurrection at some length. I was quite impressed, the minister did a great job of discussing the basics of the resurrection. I told him that I appreciated his words, and that my beliefs were very similar to his on this topic. He asked what church I went to, and I told him. He nodded politely. He then asked my friend what he thought about the resurrection. My friend shrugged and said that it really didn’t matter because all you had to do is accept Jesus, and nothing else really mattered. I was much more impressed with the Lutheran minister.

Do members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sometimes take a belief in the resurrection for granted? I suppose in a way the resurrection is granted. It is universal. But a belief in the resurrection is a special thing.

With Easter coming up fast, my thoughts have turned to the resurrection. It is in a way a unique topic of the gospel as discussed on the bloggernacle. We might discuss whether or not there was a literal spirit birth. We may debate over creation doctrine and evolution theories. We may speculate about a symbolic garden of Eden, or an allegorical flood. But when it comes to the basic idea of the resurrection things appear to be different.

Those of us who believe in a resurrection seem to just simply believe. And it doesn’t matter what the scientists, or the philosophers, or the skeptics may say. It doesn’t matter that it seems impossible. We believe because it is what the scriptures promise. We believe because it is what the prophets testify of. What peace a belief in the resurrection brings!

For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, bring a fullness of joy. (D&C 93:33)

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… (Alma 11:43)

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. (Matt 25:5-7)

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thought arise in your hearts? 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. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. (Luke 24:38-43)

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (Job 19:25-26)

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Cor 15:55)

I wish that I had the voice of an angel, and that I was not weak in my writing. It is difficult to imagine that feelings like this can be properly expressed, but HE LIVES! And while He lives I’LL SING! I know that my redeemer lives, and am very grateful for this knowledge and the comfort that it gives.

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12 Responses to “The Resurrection”


  1. 1 Wade April 10, 2006 at 5:46 pm

    Very nice Eric, Thank You!

    Our priesthood lesson yesterday surrounded the atonement – in anticipation of Easter. It was remarkable. Our instructor very simply discussed what Christ went through. But dispite the simplicity of his words, the testimony again came to me with power. I too know Christ lives. I believe it!

    As for what scientists et. al. say, it doesn’t matter to me. If there is one thing I’ve learned so far in my life it is that the vast majority of men and women of great learning and sophistication actually know very little about what really matters. These people dismiss many things because they don’t see the “logic” in it. But in there efforts to find logic, they can’t comprehend that they are beginning with a flawed premise: because we don’t have perfect knowledge, what seems logical to us, really may not be logical at all. This is why faith is so important – not blind faith, but reasoned and believing faith.

    Also, I’ve often wondered about the literalness of the resurrection. The passages referring to hair of our heads being lost are interesting to me. I shed hair every day. If I was to actually receive every hair back, I would be one hairy guy. But as I think about this more, it seems like our DNA that produces our hair, etc., is the structure that won’t be lost and we’ll have everything back in its perfect state.

    Again, thanks for the post.

  2. 2 Wade April 10, 2006 at 5:48 pm

    Ryan:

    We need to collaborate about utilizing the syndication feature. (this is not meant to be a thread-jack, just a reminder to Ryan and myself – sorry Eric).

  3. 3 Eric April 11, 2006 at 5:42 am

    Glad you liked it.

  4. 4 Anonymous April 11, 2006 at 9:51 am

    Nice post Eric.

    While I was living in Hawaii, I explored the temple grounds up in Laie. I came to find graves right on the temple grounds. I was thinking WOW, that would be cool to be buried on temple grounds.

    On a stretch of this topic Why do you think the church discourages Cremation? Your body will be restored no matter what state it’s in. It just decomposes into the earth anyway. There are cost factors for some. Is this just a Mormon Dogma if you will or do you theberschrift {
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  5. 5 Wade April 11, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Anonymous:

    Regarding cremation: I think it may be out of respect for the tabernacle of diety that the Church discourages it; but this is just my own presumption.

    How official is the discouragment anyway, just out of curiosity?

  6. 6 Naiah Earhart April 11, 2006 at 10:48 am

    Yes, He does! I know what you mean about it being hard to express. It is so profound and so profoundly simple that it escapes the capabilities of sophistry and such to express it. The soaring joy to know that we have been redeemed. It’s huge! And yet, being such a simple fact requiresd little explanation or narration. (Small & simple, baby. Sometimes that’s the most powerful.)

    I actually get a little tweaked by Christians of the brand of your Methodist friend, who see nothing more in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice than a balancing of the scales, a wiping clean of their own record, a safety net that allows them to continue in their own ways, rather than truly become one with Him and change. Post forthcoming, of course. ūüėõ

  7. 7 Eric April 11, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Anonymous:

    As far as cremation goes, I don’t even know what the church counsel is on it. Perosnlly I feel like it would be no big deal. But I can see how our looking forward to a literal resurrection would in general make us less likely to consider cremation. But you’ll be resurrected either way.

    Naiah:

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I look forward to your post as well. And I share your feelings about many protestant types. But, if I did not ‘know’ what I ‘know’ it would be difficult for me to take religion seriously.

  8. 8 Eric April 11, 2006 at 1:36 pm

    In the church handbook of instruction for branch president and bishops (why I read this book is another story) is were I read that the church is to discourage the cremation process. maybe that was the 1988 version and not the newer 1999 version I think it is but at any rate that were i saw it originally.

  9. 9 Eric April 11, 2006 at 1:37 pm

    BTW I was Anonymous… troubles with internet connection…

  10. 10 Wade April 11, 2006 at 1:48 pm

    Eric R.:

    Well if you actually believe, as scripture says, that our bodies are temples of God, then I think the Church’s stance makes a lot of sense.

    Of course, it is not feasible for many members of the Church, especially those living in countries where burial is not available. Like Eric said, I don’t think it matters too much in the long run because we all will be resurrected anyway.

    So, I don’t think resurrection has anything to do with the cremation policy; rather the policy stems from reverence for the body.

  11. 11 Ian April 11, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    This post has been removed by the author.

  12. 12 Jettboy April 16, 2006 at 8:06 am

    In some ways, I think people’s views, LDS or not, comes from our taming of Jesus’ life and atonement (see my Easter thoughts on the subject). How easily is forgotten the pain and sacrifice associated with the Resurrection.

    We often discount what we don’t understand, as if our own ignorance makes the subject less important. The only thing worse is rampant speculation that turns into false doctrine. Hopefully, we don’t take the Resurrection for granted because its so hard for nearsighted mortality to grasp.


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