The Reality of a Physical Resurrection

Luke 24 makes it so clear that the Resurrection was physical: the tomb was empty, the body was gone, and then Christ appeared to His disciples and let them touch him to see that He was not just a spirit, but had flesh and bones. To drive the point home, to leave no doubt about His tangible resurrected state, He asked for food, and then ate fish and honeycomb in front of the group. The Resurrection was real, and Christ, in whose image we were created, and the very likeness of the Father, continues to dwell with His perfected and glorious body. There is no scriptural basis for the idea that He abandoned it or no longer has flesh and bone as He showed His disciples.

Another valuable passage on the meaning of the Resurrection for us is Philippians 3:20-21, which teaches that Christ will change our mortal body into a glorious one like the one He has. Such a body provides great powers, for Paul says that it is “according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” The Resurrection is one of the great outpourings of grace through which the Father works to help us become more like Jesus – and this more like Him.

Happy Easter, everybody!


Author: Jeff Lindsay

17 thoughts on “The Reality of a Physical Resurrection

  1. It’s always seemed strange to me that he ate fish in his resurrected state. After all, won’t we all be strict vegetarians during the millenium? (I’d very much like the answer to be “no,” but I don’t think it is.)

    Of course, it wasn’t during the millenium, but it seems odd to me nonetheless.

  2. Roy: As far as I know, we will not be strict vegetarians or even vegans during the millenium. I guess we wont know until we get there, but if animals were given to men for their sustenance, why would this no longer be the case? Also for those who say it will be so because we wont kill things, that answer in itself doesn’t support a vegetarian alternative as we’d still be ending the life of the vegitable or fruit we consume. I guess there is no real solid answer either way, but I think there is less scriptural basis for the vegetarianism.

  3. A great talk on this subject was given by Daniel H. Ludlow during Education Week (1999) called “The Resurrection.” I can’t find a printed copy, but one can view it at the following link: Enter “The Resurrection” and do a search. It should show up on the second page.

    The talk is in ‘answer-question’ format and covers many topics that usually cause arguments in Priesthood Meeting and Sunday School. Probably, the biggest question that everyone asks is: “what will I look like after I’m resurrected? If I’m ugly in mortality am I doomed to be ugly throughout eternity.” One not very well understood principle (myself included) is the power of our spirit to control our resurrected body.


  4. My wife and I have agreed that I want to come back looking like Gregory Peck and she wants to come back looking like Teri Hatcher. 🙂

  5. I don’t think I really can recall a comic addressing this issue- y’know how some show angels and stuff strumming along on their harps, but you never see any of them eating, “McHolyburgers,” or anything along those lines.

  6. The sister who gave the lesson last Relief Society said we’d come back with our own bodies, fat and all. I don’t agree with that. I don’t think anybody likes that concept.

  7. Schulyer,

    I read once that a man asked Joseph Smith whether his “somewhat plain” wife would stay that way for all of their eternal marriage, and the reply was that he couldn’t even comprehend how beautiful she would be as a resurrected being.

    I also picked up from somewhere (maybe a Brigham Young quote?) that we would be resurrected with the same body we died with
    — children will finish growing up during the Millenium
    — our body and its scars will be a part of the judgement (think nail prints here)
    — Some time after that every body will be completely perfected in every way. How/why/when, who knows?

  8. Ryan,

    A lot of people focus on statements that say we will rise and look the same as when we died. I believe this is true; however, our spirits will direct the further growth an development of our resurrected body. I tend to believe we will then look like our spirit personage that was created by perfected Heavenly Parents.

    Some people say their spirit has the same appearance as their physical body. That doesn’t make sense to me. My parent’s DNA determined what my physical body looks like. I’m not sure if there is ‘spirit DNA’, but it does raise some interesting questions.

    Along that line, I’ve always wondered if one can ‘damage’ a resurrected body. Would bullets bounce off like superman or go right through? Since spirit instead of blood sustains the resurrected body one thought is the damaged physical body would immediately be healed by the spirit. More likely its something beyond what I can understand.

  9. With regard to killing animals: it is curious that Adam and Eve were given “coats of skins” after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

  10. I don’t find it curious: This happened after the Fall. The world, being in a fallen state, was a world where animals are slain. In fact, Adam was commanded to kill animals and sacrifice them on altars.

  11. Annegb, there is no scriptural support for the resurrection of unnecessary lipids in our body. In fact, Alma 11:43-44 makes it clear that it will be in its perfect form.

    I just hope that doesn’t mean I will look like Fabio.

  12. Mormanity, you’re begging the questions of what’s “unnecessary” and what “perfect” means.

    Having a veil of ignorance lifted from our minds, and being able to see things as they truly are, we may have a very, very different idea of what a “perfect” body is.

    For example, right now, the prevailing attitudes about what makes a female body “perfect” or attractive are all linked to characteristics of fertility.

  13. Well, I have a comment regarding this subject…My mother and I always had a good sense of the spirit, and she, like myself knows truth when it is told to either of us (call it a sixth sense?) when it comes to the matters of the church, with that being said, yes, I am an active member of the church with what I would call a perfect testimony or something as close to it as one can get.

    NOW for my comment lol….I feel that when we are eventually resurrected, our appearance will be likened to when we where in the prime of our lives, about a young “30ish” looking..not the older, naturally degenerated physical state most of us die in, ie: balding, white hair, wrinkled skin, age spots, missing teeth etc, (or of those died as children or teenagers, not quite fully grown etc). Remember Joseph Smith’s description of the Moroni when he was visited by him…

  14. OH and I forgot to mention another thing as well, if we have any genetic defects that leave us looking “apart from the norm” etc, those “defects” will be missing from our immortal bodies and regarding the power of our spirit over our immortal body, it will not be a problem as it is now in our mortal state, as our ability to be tempted by the adversary will be lifted, and the veil over our eyes will be lifted, as the memories we had before we were born will be restored as well, with memories such as walking with our Savior in the pre-existence in spirit form etc. OK I’m done! lol

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