What the Book of Mormon Says about Resurrection

By Gale

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live (John 1:25).


In 1 Corinthians 15 it says,

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruitsof them that slept.  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.   For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (vs 20 – 22).

A painting depicting the resurrected Christ appearing to Mary in the garden.Resurrection is the reuniting of the body and spirit after death, and this reunion is permanent and incorruptible.  A person who has been resurrected will never die again, but enjoy a perfect body joined with spirit that is not subject to disease or injury.  In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ has given us immortality.  This gift will come to every living thing on earth, regardless of worthiness or belief.

Jesus Christ was the first person to be resurrected on this earth (Acts 26:23; Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5).  The New Testament gives ample evidence that Jesus rose with his physical body: his tomb was empty, he ate fish and honey, he had a body of flesh and bones, people touched him, and the angels said he had risen (Mark 16:1–6; Luke 24:1–12, 36–43; John 20:1–18). Latter-day revelation confirms the reality of the resurrection of Christ and of all mankind (Alma 11:40–45; 40; 3 Ne. 11:1–17; D&C 76; Moses 7:62) (LDS Guide to the Scriptures).

Jesus Christ visited the Book of Mormon peoples after His crucifixion and resurrection, and their written witness seconds the testimony of the Bible that Christ had indeed risen from the dead and taken upon Himself a perfect body of flesh and bone:

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.  And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:

Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.  And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet (3 Nephi 11:12-15).

When Christ visited the Book of Mormon peoples, He had the disciples bring Him their scriptural record.  The prophets had failed to record all of the prophecies of Samuel the Lamanite, who preached some years before Christ’s birth.  Jesus had the disciples add Samuel’s prophecy that many would rise at the time of Christ’s resurrection:

Verily I say unto you, I commanded my servant Samuel, the Lamanite, that he should testify unto this people, that at the day that the Father should glorify his name in me that there were many saints who should arise from the dead, and should appear unto many, and should minister unto them. And he said unto them: Was it not so?

And it came to pass that Jesus commanded that it should be written; therefore it was written according as he commanded (3 Nephi 23:9, 13).

A photo of a copy of The Book of Mormon.In the Book of Mormon a prophet named Alma taught what he knew about the resurrection.  Alma spoke these words around 82 B.C., so before the coming of Christ.  In Alma 11:42-45 we read,

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.

Now, behold, I have spoken unto you concerning the death of the mortal body, and also concerning the resurrection of the mortal body. I say unto you that this mortal body is raised to an immortal body, that is from death, even from the first death unto life, that they can die no more; their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.

The Bible teaches that “…many Saints were resurrected after Christ’s resurrection (Matt. 27:52). The righteous will be resurrected before the wicked and will come forth in the first resurrection (1 Thes. 4:16); the unrepentant sinners will come forth in the last resurrection (Rev. 20:5–13; D&C 76:85) (Guide to the Scriptures).”   This last resurrection will occur after the millennium at the end of the earth.

Mormons believe that resurrection is the perfect unity of body and spirit, and that only as resurrected beings can we experience a fulness of joy ( Doctrine and Covenants 93:33).  Resurrected beings, however, once judged, will not all inherit the same glory.  Those who accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and enter into the highest realm of heaven, which Mormons call “eternal life,” “exaltation,” and “celestial glory,” will become co-heirs with Christ.  The fulness of joy experienced in that exalted condition enables us to enjoy the same life that God the Father and Jesus Christ enjoy.  They are glorious and eternal resurrected beings.  Christ will also return in glory to save the righteous and destroy the wicked.  As He departed, so shall he return, as a glorious, resurrected man.

Read more about the resurrection:

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