Chapter 32: The Resurrection and the Judgment

Doctrines of the Gospel Teacher Manual, (2011), 115–17


Introduction

Give the students the following true-false pretest about the resurrection and the Judgment. You may correct the test in class and discuss all the answers with the students immediately, or you may use the test as a framework for the class discussion.

Pretest Questions

  1. _____ 1.

    Every mortal being will be resurrected.

  2. _____ 2.

    All parts of the body will be restored in the resurrection.

  3. _____ 3.

    No one was resurrected before Jesus Christ was resurrected.

  4. _____ 4.

    There are two resurrections.

  5. _____ 5.

    All will appear before the Great Judge, Jesus the Christ.

  6. _____ 6.

    God knows even the thoughts and intents of our hearts.

Pretest Answers

  1. 1.

    True. See Doctrinal Outline A 1 and Supporting Statements A on pages 87 and 88 of the student manual (see also Joseph F. Smith, in Millennial Star, 12 Mar. 1896, p. 162).

  2. 2.

    True. See Doctrinal Outline A 5 and Supporting Statements A on pages 87 and 88 of the student manual (see also Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:339).

  3. 3.

    True. See Doctrinal Outline B 1 and Supporting Statements B on pages 87 and 88 of the student manual (see also Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:260).

  4. 4.

    True. See Doctrinal Outline B 2 and Supporting Statements B on pages 87 and 88–89 of the student manual (see also Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 640).

  5. 5.

    True. See Doctrinal Outline C 1 and Supporting Statements C on pages 87 and 89 of the student manual (see also Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:190, 192, 195; John Taylor, The Mediation and Atonement, p. 162).

  6. 6.

    True. See Doctrinal Outline C 2 and Supporting Statements C on pages 87 and 89 of the student manual (see also John Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 16:301–2; Joseph F. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 24:78).

Ideas for Teaching

  1. A.

    As part of his eternal plan, God has provided a resurrection for everyone.

    1. Ask the students to define the word resurrection (see Doctrinal Outline A 2 on p. 87 of the student manual). Simply stated, resurrection means the reuniting of the body and the spirit after death. Ask the students to contemplate how miraculous resurrection actually is. No mortal power can restore life to a body that has lain dead for only a brief time, let alone reunite the parts of a body after it has crumbled to dust. Yet that is what occurs in resurrection, and there will be a resurrection that includes all mortals (see the word all in 1 Corinthians 15:22 and the emphasis upon “yea, even all” in D&C 29:26). If no mortal power can accomplish resurrection, by what power is resurrection brought about? The scriptures say it is accomplished by the power of the “Holy One of Israel,” or Jesus Christ. (See 2 Nephi 9:12; see also Supporting Statements A on pp. 87–88 of the student manual; or Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:128.)

    2. How complete will the resurrection be? Read the testimonies of Amulek and Alma in Alma 11:43–44; 40:23; 41:2 and of President Joseph F. Smith in Supporting Statements A on page 88 of the student manual (see Gospel Doctrine, p. 23).

    3. In 1918 President Joseph F. Smith was privileged to behold a vision of the world of departed spirits (see headnote to D&C 138). What is the attitude of the spirits in the spirit world toward their physical bodies? Read Doctrine and Covenants 138:50; 45:17; 93:33–34; 138:51–52. All of these passages describe the joy that accompanies the resurrection of the righteous. Ask the students why the Lord has revealed as much as he has about the nature of the resurrection. He undoubtedly wants to offer us hope for the reuniting of our body and our spirit and for a glorious reunion with our loved ones.

  2. B.

    There is order to the resurrection.

    1. What did the Apostle Paul mean when he said, “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept”? (1 Corinthians 15:20). He was the first person to be resurrected. He was the only one who ever came into mortality with the power to be resurrected on his own. (See 2 Nephi 2:8.) It was Christ who provided the opportunity for all to be resurrected (see Alma 40:2–3; 1 Corinthians 15:21–23).

      We should be forever grateful for the many things our Savior has made possible for us, not the least of which is the gift of resurrection. As we consider the resurrection, we should feel to exclaim, as did the Apostle Paul, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? … thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:54–55, 57.)

    2. Read John 5:28–29. Christ taught that there will be two resurrections, one for the just and one for the unjust. But what constitutes the resurrection of the just? When did it begin? How long will it last? The Lord revealed much about the order of the two resurrections in Doctrine and Covenants 88:96–102. This revelation is summarized and explained by Elder McConkie in Supporting Statements B on page 88 of the student manual (see Mormon Doctrine, p. 640). Refer to Chalkboard 1 as you discuss this summary.

    3. What is meant by the phrase “morning of the first resurrection”? One of the blessings pronounced upon those who are sealed in the temple for time and all eternity is the power to come forth “in the morning of the first resurrection.” Elder McConkie explained: “Those being resurrected with celestial bodies, whose destiny is to inherit a celestial kingdom, will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection. Their graves shall be opened and they shall be caught up to meet the Lord at his Second Coming. They are Christ’s, the firstfruits, and they shall descend with him to reign as kings and priests during the millennial era.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 640.)

      Later another trump will sound (see D&C 88:99): “This is the afternoon of the first resurrection; it takes place after our Lord has ushered in the millennium. Those coming forth at that time do so with terrestrial bodies and are thus destined to inherit a terrestrial glory in eternity.” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 640.)

    4. Is there a difference in the quality of bodies received in the resurrection? Will those resurrected to a celestial glory receive a more glorified body than those resurrected to terrestrial or telestial glories? Discuss 1 Corinthians 15:40–42; Doctrine and Covenants 76:96–98; 88:22–31.

    5. Can we take anything we accumulate in this mortal life to our resurrected state? Can we take any money or material possessions? Will our lands and gold be of any value to us in the resurrection? Read Doctrine and Covenants 130:18–19; what things should we emphasize acquiring in this life that will be of value in the resurrection?

  3. C.

    Everyone will appear before the Lord to be judged.

    1. Write on the chalkboard the word judgment. Ask the students to list several judgments that occur in our lives as we move toward the final judgment. The list might include crises, or turning points, when we are called upon to make significant decisions or choices; grades on our academic work; and interviews with priesthood leaders for baptism, priesthood advancement, temple recommends, missions, and temple marriage.

    2. Alma 11:43–44 pertains to the last great judgment, which will occur after our resurrection. What will be in our memory as we stand before the judgment bar? (A bright recollection of all our guilt.) What a motivation for us to labor to repent all the days of our lives, so that we can stand guiltless at the judgment bar!

    3. According to Alma 11:44, who will be the Great Judge at the last judgment? Help the students understand that the Father has committed the keys of judgment to the Son. (See Doctrinal Outline C on p. 87 of the student manual.) Have a class member read 2 Nephi 9:41. The Savior wants to receive us “with open arms” (Mormon 6:17). Rather than being a time of terror, the Judgment will be one of the greatest events in all of our existence if we pay the price of proper preparation and repentance.

    4. According to Alma 11:44, on what basis will our judgment be rendered? Works refer to more than actual deeds: we will also be judged according to our words and thoughts (see Alma 12:14). Perhaps the most succinct statement about our judgment is found in Doctrine and Covenants 137:9: “For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.” We should work now to turn our hearts to the Lord and seek always to do his will rather than centering our thoughts and intentions on evil or material things, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

    5. How can we be sure that our great judgment will be just? The Lord loves all of us, and as a perfect being he would not render judgment out of mere vengeance. We will receive what we deserve according to the law of restoration (see Alma 41:10–13). We will all exclaim at our judgment, “Holy, holy are thy judgments, O Lord God Almighty” (2 Nephi 9:46; see also 2 Nephi 9:47–48). It is because of the reality of the Judgment that Jacob warned us of the consequence of our sins and invited us to repent.

Conclusion

Discuss the warning by President Taylor in Supporting Statements C on page 89 of the student manual (see Journal of Discourses, 16:301–2). Urge your students to humble themselves in prayer before God to ask for forgiveness of their sins and to seek his help in overcoming their weaknesses. Stress that now is the time to prepare for the resurrection and the Judgment.