Nature of Resurrected Bodies

No Deformities in Resurrection

Joseph Fielding Smith

There is no reason for any person to be concerned as to the appearance of individuals in the resurrection. Death is a purifying process as far as the body is concerned. We have reason to believe that the appearance of old age will disappear and the body will be restored with the full vigor of manhood and womanhood. Children will arise as children, for there is no growth in the grave. Children will continue to grow until they reach the full stature of their spirits. Anything contrary to this would be inconsistent. When our bodies are restored, they will appear to be in the full vigor of manhood and womanhood, for the condition of physical weakness will all be left behind in the grave. . . .

President Joseph F. Smith when speaking at the funeral of Sister Rachel Grant the mother of President Heber J. Grant had the following to say in relation to deformities in the resurrection:

"Deformity will be removed; defects will be eliminated, and men and women shall again to the perfection of their spirits, to the perfection that God designed in the beginning. It is his purpose that men and women, his children, born to become heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ shall be made perfect, physically as well as spiritually through obedience to the law by which he has provided the means that perfection shall come to all his children. Therefore, I look for the time to come when our dear Brother William C. Staines, whom we all knew so well, and with whom we were familiar for years--I was familiar with him all my life, just as I was familiar with Aunt Rachel here all my life, and do not remember the time when I did not know her--I look for the time when Brother Staines will be restored. He will not remain the crippled and deformed William C. Staines that we knew, but he will be restored to his perfect frame--every limb, every joint, every part of his physical being will be restored to its perfect frame. This is the law and the word of God to us, as it is contained in the revelations that have come to us through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The point in my mind which I desire to speak of particularly is this: When we shall have the privilege to meet our mother, our aunt, our sister, this noble woman whose mortal remains lie here now, but whose immortal spirit has ascended to God from whence she came, when that spirit shall return to take up this tabernacle again, here will be Aunt Rachel in her perfection. . . . Under the law of restoration that God has provided, she will regain her perfection, the perfection of her youth, the perfection of her glory and of her being, until her resurrected body shall assume the exact stature of the spirit that possessed it here in its perfection, and thus we shall see the glorified, redeemed, exalted, perfected Aunt Rachel, mother, sister, saint and daughter of the living God, her identity being unchanged, as a child may grow to manhood or womanhood and still be the same being." (Gospel Doctrine, p. 23-24).

Salvation would be incomplete if individuals should arise in the resurrection with all the deformities, weaknesses, and imperfections that are found in so many of the human family in this moral existence. We have every reason to believe that the spirits of mankind and all other creatures were in a perfect form in the spirit world. It would be an awful stretch of the imagination to think that the imperfections found so frequently in mortality were defects which were designed in the creation. Moreover, as the Lord made it dear in relation to the man who was born blind, it was not an immortal condition.

By the great power and faith of the Son of God, he was able to correct deformity, blindness, and give to the deaf the gift of speech, by the word of his power. The question has frequently been asked when a child has been born with some physical defect or deformity, was this a punishment or a condition which was his before he was born? No! All of these ills are ills of the flesh or defects that are due to mortal conditions which may have come upon the body even before birth, but we may be assured that these defects were not conditions which existed in the world of spirits.

It is the will of the Lord that in the restoration of all things there shall come perfection. The physical defects, some of which may have resulted before birth, are defects which are due to some physical and mortal condition and not an inheritance from the spirit world. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:185-189)

Resurrected Bodies are Spiritual Bodies

Joseph Fielding Smith

In the resurrection from the dead, the bodies which were laid down natural bodies shall come forth spiritual bodies. That is to say, in mortality the life of the body is in the blood, but the body when raised to immortality shall be quickened by the spirit and not the blood. Hence, it becomes spiritual, but it will be composed of flesh and bones, just as the body of Jesus was, who is the prototype.

These modern blind teachers of the blind who deny the literal resurrection have a very false understanding of what is meant by a spiritual body. They have based their conclusion on the statement that Paul makes that the body is raised a spiritual body and that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. They cannot conceive in their minds of a body raised from the dead, being composed of flesh and bones, quickened by spirit and not by blood.

When Paul spoke of the spiritual body, he had no reference at all to the spirit body, and there they have made their mistake. They have confused the spiritual body, or, in other words, the body quickened by the spirit, with the body of the spirit alone. They think that those who believe in the resurrection of the literal body believe that it shall be raised again, quickened by blood, which is not the case….

After the resurrection from the dead our bodies will be spiritual bodies, but they will be bodies that are tangible, bodies that have been purified, but they will nevertheless be bodies of flesh and bones. They will not be blood bodies. They will no longer be quickened by blood but quickened by the spirit which is eternal, and they shall become immortal and shall never die.

Now if our good friends understood this, they would not fall into this error of thinking that Paul's doctrine was in conflict with that of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, when Paul declared that the body that would be raised would be a spiritual body. You read in the Book of Genesis, where the Lord said to Noah after the flood, that the blood was the life of the body; the blood is the life thereof, he says. Therefore, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed," because blood is the life of the mortal body.

But with the body brought forth in the resurrection, which is the immortal body, that is not the case. In it blood does not exist, but the spirit is the life giving power. Hence, they are no longer bodies quickened by blood but bodies quickened by spirit, and hence they are spiritual bodies, but tangible bodies of flesh and bones, just as was the body of the Son of God. Now this is the doctrine of the Lord and Savior of the world. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:.285-286) 


Celestial Resurrected Body

Brigham Young

I think it has been taught by some that as we lay our bodies down, they will so rise again in the resurrection with all the impediments and imperfections that they had here; and that if a wife does not love her husband in this state she cannot love him in the next. This is not so. Those who attain to the blessing of the first or celestial resurrection will be pure and holy, and perfect in body. Every man and woman that reaches to this unspeakable attainment will be as beautiful as the angels that surround the throne of God. If you can, by faithfulness in this life, obtain the right to come up in the morning of the resurrection, you need entertain no fears that the wife will be dissatisfied with her husband, or the husband with the wife; for those of the first resurrection will be free from sin and from the consequences and power of sin. This body "is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body." "And, as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." (Journal of Discourses, 10:24)


The Beauty of Resurrected Being

Lorenzo Snow

We know that in the future, after we have passed through this life, we will then have our wives and our children with us. We will have our bodies glorified, made free from every sickness and distress, and rendered most beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful to look upon than a resurrected man or woman. There is nothing grander that I can imagine that a man can possess than a resurrected body. There is no Latter-day Saint within the sound of my voice but that certainly has this prospect of coming forth in the morning of the First Resurrection and being glorified, exalted in the presence of God, having the privilege of talking with our Father as we talk with our earthly father. (5 October 1900, CR, p. 4.) [Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.99]

Brigham Young

We bear the image of our earthly parents in their fallen state, but by obedience to the Gospel of salvation and the renovating influences of the Holy Ghost, and the holy resurrection, we shall put on the image of the heavenly, in beauty, glory, power and goodness. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p.374)

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)


Only Celestial Bodies Have Power to Procreate

Joseph F. Smith

Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for he is one of them. He is the Son, as they are sons or daughters of Elohim. So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several stages or estates by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation. (First Presidency Statement: "The Father and the Son," Messages of the First Presidency, 5:34; also Gospel Doctrine, p.69)

Joseph Fielding Smith

Some will gain celestial bodies with all the powers of exaltation and eternal increase. These bodies will shine like the sun as our Savior's does, as described by John. Those who enter the terrestrial kingdom will have terrestrial bodies, and they will not shine like the sun, but they will be more glorious than the bodies of those who receive the telestial glory.

In both of these kingdoms there will be changes in the bodies and limitations. They will not have the power of increase, neither the power or nature to live as husbands and wives, for this will be denied them and they cannot increase.

Those who receive the exaltation in the celestial kingdom will have the "continuation of the seeds forever." They will live in the family relationship. In the terrestrial and in the telestial kingdoms there will be no marriage. Those who enter there will remain "separately and singly" forever.

Some of the functions in the celestial body will not appear in the terrestrial body, neither in the telestial body, and the power of procreation will be removed. I take it that men and women will, in these kingdoms, be just what the so-called Christian world expects us all to be—neither man nor woman, merely immortal beings having received the resurrection.  (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:288-289)