Just How Resurrected Will We Be Anyway?

An interesting spin-off from recent spirit birth dialogue is the nature of the resurrection.  This dialogue, along with my father’s recent death, has caused me to think about this important topic more than usual.

It seems to me that a belief in any level of resurrection, must be taken with a simple and child-like faith.  Science seems to be no help.  It seems to me that science must either be silent on the topic, or to flat-out deny even the possibility of a resurrection.

What we believe about the resurrection must be based on our own intuition, personal revelation, or from the scriptures.  Our intuition does not seem to be very valuable (what would it be based on anyway?).  Personal revelation is not something that carries much weight, and we should not really be talking about it very much anyway.  So if we do believe in a resurrection, it seems that the scriptures are the best source we can go to for what to believe about the resurrection.  So what do they say?

They say that the resurrection is universal.  Thus it is an unconditional gift of grace through the atonement of Christ.

They say that the resurrection is complete.  They say that not even a hair of our heads will be lost.  There were apparently no leftover parts when Jesus was resurrected.  And about the only exception in this is our blood – which does not appear to be part of the resurrection.

The scriptures also indicate that there will be some significant differences in what a resurrected body can do – like stand in the air, ascend into heaven, etc.

All of this seems to indicate a universal, literal, and complete resurrection, which will be accompanied by some abilities we do not currently possess.

What we believe about the resurrection has implications on what we believe about eternal gender, evolution, the nature of God, the nature of salvation/exaltation, etc.

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12 Responses to “Just How Resurrected Will We Be Anyway?”


  1. 1 Matt W. May 26, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I’m not so sure about the whole flesh and blood not inheriting the kingdom of heaven meaning no blood in a resurrected body bit. I know it is a typical aspect of Mormon Culture, etc. etc., but I am not sure where it came from. I think we really don’t know for certain.

    Also, re resurrected bodies having super powers, I think that God grants those powers to non-resurrected bodies many times in the scriptures as well…

    I think we do know that our resurrected bodies can be reformed from any state (burned to ash, kidney shared with another, eaten by worms, recycled carbon that is now part of another person) but I am not at all certain what the implications of that are. If I die now, and 2000 years from now, some of the carbon that was me has been recycled through other plants, animals, and people, do I get that Carbon? Or since it was probably recycled from another do they get it?

    Ultimately, I have to believe that my physical being is more than the sum of my components and leave such channels be.

    But once I do that, the implications on evolution, gender, the nature of god and exaltation/salvation have been muddied quite a bit.

    Good post.

  2. 2 Eric Nielson May 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Matt:

    The part about the blood is mentioned in scripture, and was elaborated by Brigham Young. I agree that it is kind of goofy. Young said something like that the blood is only necessary for martality. But what else may only be necessary for mortality?

    Also, the super powers. I often lean toward gaining knowledge to a level where these super powers are more the application of some higher knowledge than pure supernatural magic.

    Matt – I think you see (maybe better than I) the implications mentioned. That is why I currently prefer a literal, complete resurrection. I think it is necessary for common Mormon theology to hold together.

  3. 3 ff42 May 26, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Looking forward to getting my foreskin back.

  4. 4 Eric Nielson May 27, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Yea, that would be great.

  5. 5 larryco_ May 27, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    One of the more curious aspects of the Savior’s resurrection is that, as the several different accounts in the NT describe, the individuals who saw Him seldom recognize Him at first. I’m not totally sure what this means, but I find it intriguing. Possibly our physical features change to the point that the resurrected larryco_ resembles…oh, I don’t know…maybe the resurrected Brad Pitt?

  6. 6 Eric Nielson May 27, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    That is interesting. But if I remember right, they do eventually recognize Him.

    Good luck with the Brad Pitt thing, but I have never really understood the whole Brad Pitt thing.

  7. 7 W. V. Smith May 27, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    If you don’t need blood, you don’t need a spleen presumably (or a liver). The idea that something else is in the circulatory system is folklore. Neither the scriptures or Joseph Smith said that. The idea of no blood comes from 1 cor. 15. It was a large controversy among Protestants in Joseph Smith’s day. The controversy still continues among various Protestants. Just google “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom” for a sample if you want.

  8. 8 Eric Nielson May 28, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    WVS:

    Yes, so we have a scripture which says no flesh and blood, scriptures which say both God and Christ have bodies of flesh and bone – so that leaves the blood out, I guess. My take is that 1 Cor. 15 may be a bit hyperbolic perhaps.

  9. 9 W. V. Smith May 30, 2010 at 12:17 am

    Well, it’s good Jewish literature!

  10. 11 Ryan June 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    It seems that there is some confusion here about the issue of blood not being in resurrected bodies, with some even attributing that doctrine to folklore. A little bit of research would have easily uncovered the source of this doctrine: Joseph Smith the Prophet taught, “As concerning the resurrection, I will merely say that all men will come from the grave as they lie down…all will be raised by the power of God, having spirit in their bodies, and not blood”(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 199). The Prophet also taught, “Concerning resurrection, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, or the kingdom that God inherits or inhabits, but the flesh without the blood and the Spirit of God flowing in the veins instead of the blood, for blood is the part of the body that causes corruption. Therefore we must be changed in the twinkle of an eye or have to lay down these tabernacles and leave the blood vanish away. . . . Blood is the corruptible part of the tabernacles” (Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings, edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q.Cannon, p. 81).

    Anyone still want to refer to this part of the resurrection doctrine as folklore or an illegitimate aspect of Mormon culture?

  11. 12 Eric Nielson June 15, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Ryan:

    Excellent quotes, I came across these after the post. Yet, these quotes are not scripture (as the reference I made was). But, they do carry weight since there were made by Joseph Smith.

    These quotes do not really provide as much as they might appear. Why not blood? Does this mean that the heart and the lungs are not necessary? Are all of our organs included in the resurrection? I tend to lean toward the ‘yes’ side of these. Parley P. Pratt apparently did as well.

    Anyway, thanks for visiting here. You may want to come on a little less strong to help keep things civil though.


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