Resurrection

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(This is an excerpt from the book Doctrine & Covenants Encyclopedia (Revised Edition) by Hoyt W. Brewster, Jr.)

The gift of God for which no man pays a price is the universal resurrection. This doctrine is spoken of throughout the Doctrine and Covenants, especially in sections 76, 88, 132, and 138. This is the process whereby spirits will be reunited with their physical bodies, never again to be separated (Alma 11:44-45). This gift of immortality is the result of freewill offering of the Savior, who voluntarily suffered His life to be taken in order that all men might be redeemed from death (2 Ne. 9:6-11).

Of the Savior’s freewill sacrifice, President Joseph Fielding Smith has said: “Of all who have dwelt upon this earth, the Son of God stands out alone as the only one who possessed life in himself and power over death inherently. Christ was never subject unto death, even on the cross, but death was ever subject unto him. ‘As the Father hath life in himself,’ the Savior said, ‘so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself’ (John 5:26). Again, he said: ‘Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father’ [John 10:17-18]” (DS, 1:31).

The Prophet Joseph taught that every man will rise in the resurrection just as he had been laid down. That is, a child will be resurrected as a child and will then grow to the full stature that it would have received had it been permitted to tarry during mortality (TPJS, 199-20; DS, 2:54; AGQ, 4:185).

These resurrected bodies will reflect the glory of that kingdom which they will inhabit throughout the eternities (D&C 88:28-32; 1 Cor. 15-20-23). The nature of this glorious resurrected body is indescribable, for, said the Prophet, “No man can describe it to you—no man can write it” (TPJS, 368).

Commenting on the process and miracle of resurrection, Elder Russell M. Nelson said: “Our bodies undergo constant rebuilding according to genetic recipes that are uniquely ours. Each time we take a bath, we lose not only dirt, but cells dead and dying, as they are replaced by a newer crop. This process of regeneration and renewal is but prelude to the promised phenomenon and future fact of our resurrection” (ENS, May 1987, 10).

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