The Law of Restoration and the Resurrection

Alma 41

    2  I say unto thee, my son, that the plan of restoration is requisite with the justice of God; for it is requisite that all things should be restored to their proper order. Behold, it is requisite and just, according to the power and resurrection of Christ, that the soul of man should be restored to its body, and that every part of the body should be restored to itself.

    3 And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good.

    4 And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame--mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption--raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other--

    5 The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.

    6 And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness.

   10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

   12 And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing of a natural state and place it in an unnatural state, or to place it in a state opposite to its nature?

   13 O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish--good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.

   15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.  (Emphasis added)

Dallin H. Oaks

Alma also taught that in the resurrection "all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame" (Alma 40:23).

Many living witnesses can testify to the literal fulfillment of these scriptural assurances of the resurrection. Many, including some in my own extended family, have seen a departed loved one in vision or personal appearance and have witnessed their restoration in "proper and perfect frame" in the prime of life. Whether these were manifestations of persons already resurrected or of righteous spirits awaiting an assured resurrection, the reality and nature of the resurrection of mortals is evident. What a comfort to know that all who have been disadvantaged in life from birth defects, from mortal injuries, from disease, or from the natural deterioration of old age will be resurrected in "proper and perfect frame."  ...

The "lively hope" we are given by the resurrection 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 and immortality affects how we look on the physical challenges of mortality, how we live our mortal lives, and how we relate to those around us.

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. We know from the Book of Mormon that the resurrection is a restoration that brings back "carnal for carnal" and "good for that which is good" (Alma 41:13; see also Alma 41:2-4 and Hel. 14:31). 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). As a result, when persons leave this life and go on to the next, "they who are righteous shall be righteous still" (2 Ne. 9:16), and "whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life … will rise with us in the resurrection" (D&C 130:18).

The principle of restoration also means that persons who are not righteous in mortal life will not rise up righteous in the resurrection (see 2 Ne. 9:16; 1 Cor. 15:35-44; D&C 88:27-32). Moreover, unless our mortal sins have been cleansed and blotted out by repentance and forgiveness (see Alma 5:21; 2 Ne. 9:45-46; D&C 58:42), we will be resurrected with a "bright recollection" (Alma 11:43) and a "perfect knowledge of all of our guilt, and our uncleanness" (2 Ne. 9:14; see also Alma 5:18). The seriousness of that reality is emphasized by the many scriptures suggesting that the resurrection is followed immediately by the Final Judgment (see 2 Ne. 9:15, 22; Mosiah 26:25; Alma 11:43-44; Alma 42:23; Morm. 7:6; Morm. 9:13-14). Truly, "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32).   ["Resurrection," Ensign, May 2000, pp. 14-16; emphasis added]

Spencer W. Kimball

When we take precautions to protect ourselves from hazards, accidents, death, we are thinking not only of saving ourselves from suffering, from pain, from expense, but to preserve our bodies for their eternal destiny.

The body goes through many changes. Cells divide and growth follows. We grow from pudgy infancy, through fast-growing childhood, through gangling youth to full maturity, and finally into the shrinking, furrowing, stiffening old age.

A soul can continue to develop mentally and spiritually through these changes, but the body reaches a summit from which it traverses a declining path. The body resurrected will be neither the unbalanced body of immature youth, nor the creaking, wrinkling one of many years, but when it is restored and resurrected it will undoubtedly return in the bloom of its greatest mortal perfection.

Some sectarian peoples minimize the body and look forward to freedom from it. Some flail and beat and torture the body, but the gospel of Jesus Christ magnifies the importance of the body and the dignity of man. This body will come forth in the resurrection. It will be free from all imperfections and scars and infirmities which came to it in mortality which were not self-inflicted. Would we have a right to expect a perfect body if we carelessly or intentionally damaged it?

We shall have our resurrected, perfected bodies through the eternities. They were given to us -- we had little to do with getting them.

It then becomes our duty to protect them from hazards, from mutilation or disfigurement. We should treat them well, building them with proper foods, proper rest, proper exercise and keep them strong, robust, beautiful, and undamaged and live on and on till called home by our Lord. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 36-37; emphasis added)