Resurrected Christ, by RobertT. Barrett
I wonder if we fully appreciate the enormous significance of our belief in a literal, universal resurrection. The Prophet Joseph Smith declared:
The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it [Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 49].
Of all things in that glorious ministry, why did the Prophet Joseph Smith use the testimony of the Saviors death, burial, and Resurrection as the fundamental principle of our religion? The answer is found in the fact that the Saviors Resurrection is central to what the prophets have called the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death (2Nephi 11:5).
In our eternal journey, the resurrection is the mighty milepost that signifies the end of mortality and the beginning of immortality. We also know, from modern revelation, that without the reuniting of our spirits and our bodies in the resurrection we could not receive a fulness of joy (D&C 93:3334).
The lively hope we are given by the resurrection [see 1Peter 1:3] is our conviction that death is not the conclusion of our identity but merely a necessary step in the destined transition from mortality to immortality. This hope changes the whole perspective of mortal life.
The assurance of resurrection gives us the strength and perspective to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and by those we love, such things as the physical, mental, or emotional deficiencies we bring with us at birth or acquire during mortal life. Because of the resurrection, we know that these mortal deficiencies are only temporary!
The assurance of resurrection also gives us a powerful incentive to keep the commandments of God during our mortal lives. Resurrection is much more than merely reuniting a spirit to a body held captive by the grave. The prophet Amulek taught, That same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world (Alma 34:34).
The assurance that the resurrection will include an opportunity to be with our family membershusband, wife, parents, brothers and sisters, children, and grandchildrenis a powerful encouragement for us to fulfill our family responsibilities in mortality. It helps us live together in love in this life in anticipation of joyful reunions and associations in the next.
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Resurrectionthe Beginning of Immortality - ensign
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