Resurrected Bodies

Dewey - He Lives.jpg

Question: How are resurrected bodies different from mortal bodies, and what types of resurrected beings will there be?

Answer: Mortal bodies are subject to death, and our resurrected bodies will never be subject to deterioration again. Paul contrasted the “natural body” that is buried at death and the “spiritual body” that is raised up in the Resurrection. He used the words corruption, dishonor, and weakness to describe “natural” or mortal bodies and the words incorruption, glory, and power to describe “spiritual” or resurrected bodies.

Resurrected bodies will shine in glory in varying degrees, just as the sun, moon, and stars differ in brightness.

* * * * *

1 Corinthians 15:35-42

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come (what kind of a body will they have when they are resurrected)?

36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest (what you plant in the ground) is not quickened (does not grow and become a new plant), except it die (unless you bury it in the ground, just as our bodies are buried when we die): Note: There are examples of “death” and “resurrection” all around you in the daily world of agriculture.)

37 And that which thou sowest (and when you plant a seed), thou sowest not that body that shall be (you are not planting the plant itself), but bare grain (but just the seed), it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain (whether it is wheat or any other type of grain):

38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

40 There are also celestial bodies (the bodies of those who are resurrected and go to celestial glory), and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another (there is a difference between the bodies of celestials and bodies of terrestrials).

Jesus shows his wounds.jpg

(JST “Also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial, and bodies telestial; but the glory of the celestial, one; and the terrestrial, another; and the telestial, another.”)

41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption (our mortal bodies will be buried and will decompose); it is raised in incorruption (when we are resurrected, our resurrected bodies will never be subject to deterioration again):

* * * * *

Concerning the nature of resurrected bodies, Paul noted that there are differences between “celestial” bodies and “terrestrial” bodies, just as there are contrasts between the bodies of human beings and those of various kinds of animals. He also explained that in their glory and splendor, heavenly bodies differ from earthly bodies just as the sun, moon, and stars differ in glory.

In February 1832 the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon received a vision in which they saw those who receive each of the three degrees of glory, beginning with those who receive a celestial reward:

“These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all. …

“And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun. …

“And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon” (D&C 76:50, 70–71, 81).

Joseph Fielding Smith.jpg

President Joseph Fielding Smith explained that there will be great differences in the glory found among resurrected bodies:

“In the resurrection there will be different kinds of bodies; they will not all be alike. The body a man receives will determine his place hereafter. There will be celestial bodies, terrestrial bodies, and telestial bodies, and these bodies will differ as distinctly as do bodies here. …

“… 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 [see Revelation 1:12–18]. 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” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:286–87).

* * * * *

Sources: Come, Follow Me–For Individuals and Families, p. 140; The New Testament Made Easier, Part 2, Volume 3, by David J. Ridges, 182; Excerpts from New Testament Student Manual, Chapter 40.