No event in all history compares in importance to the resurrection of Christ, for because of it all will come forth, each in his own order.
On the day Christ was raised, many events occurred that bear witness to the reality of the resurrection.
Jesus appeared to many.
Many others arose and appeared to many.
The resurrection of our Lord was a triumph over death that will be enjoyed by all mankind.
The fact that the resurrection is a reunion of spirit and physical body can be known by all who will search the record and seek the Spirit in righteousness.
Jesus made a point of showing he was tangible.
Our resurrection will be patterned after his.
A literal rendition of the scriptures allows no other interpretation of resurrection.
New Testament Reading Assignment
Chapter 27, “He Is Risen!”
2 Nephi 9:4-15. What would have been the fate of all mankind if Christ were not resurrected?
1 Corinthians 15:1-58. Why would all hope die if the resurrection were not real and permanent?
Mosiah 15:20-26. Who will have a part in the first resurrection?
Alma 11:41-46. Does anyone ever lose his body once it is resurrected?
Alma 40:1-5. Who knows the times of each person’s resurrection?
D&C 88:97-102. A definitive statement on the future events of the resurrection.
Alma 41:2-5. What is restored to a person in addition to his body?
Helaman 14:17. In what way is the resurrection a redemption?
Ezekiel 37:1-14. How does this allegory prove the resurrection is physical?
Acts 24:14, 15. Was the doctrine of the resurrection new with Jesus?
Job 19:23-27. In what state of existence did Job hope to see God?
Teachings, p. 367. How is a resurrected body different from a mortal body?
Jesus the Christ, pp. 682-99. The resurrection of Christ.
Gos. Doc, p. 435. How well is our identity preserved in the resurrection?
Gos. Doc, p.23. Will we keep deformities?
Gos. Doc, p. 449. When does perfection of the body occur?
Discourses, pp. 374-75. How is resurrection a birth?
DS, 1:31-33. What powers were added to Christ by the resurrection?
DS, 1:62, 124, 128. How extensive is the power of the resurrection?
DS, 1:294. What is the best way to know the reality of the resurrection?
David O. McKay in CR, Apr. 1944, p. 122. A strong evidence for the resurrection was the dramatic change that occurred in the apostles.
Wilford Woodruff, “Obtain the Spirit of God,” Millennial Star 67:612 (1905). Wilford Woodruffs description of the resurrection.
Filmstrip, The Witnesses (9:29)
Some Suggestions for Presentation
The Need for the Resurrection (A Discussion)
Studies have shown consistently that many ministers or leaders of other churches, including most Christian churches, do not believe in a literal resurrection—the actual reuniting of spirit and tangible body in a permanent form. To most of them, resurrection is a figurative concept, and it means something like the spirit rising to a heaven or something that is the equivalent of heaven. Quite generally they teach a judgment at death, with punishments or rewards at that time. They do not teach that there was a premortal existence.
With that information as a background, a teacher can show how much more consistent the LDS theology is, with the many Bible passages which foretell the end of the world, a final judgment, and a universal resurrection. One way to illustrate this is to draw two simple charts, one outlining the LDS plan of salvation and another showing the position common to most of the world.
Keep the chart simple and concentrate on the place of a resurrection and final judgment. A very simple illustration would suffice for the position taken by other Christian churches. It might be a simple line going indefinitely into the future with the words heaven and hell printed above and below the line. It could be explained that the judgment occurs at death and there was no life before birth.
With illustrations on the chalkboard, the teacher could generate discussion by asking such questions as the following:
At what point do other religions provide for a judgment?
How does a premortal spirit life make a final judgment more reasonable and fair?
How does a postmortal spirit world concept make a judgment more reasonable and fair?
A Resurrection Timeline
Many questions about the times of the resurrection come up in any discussion on the power and reality of the resurrection. One way to clarify this is to draw a timeline showing the 7,000 years of the earth’s temporal existence. (See D&C 77:6, 7.) Then mark on this timeline the known events of the resurrection. The teacher should use D&C 88:97-102 as his main source for future events. The following illustration may be useful:
The resurrection of our Savior
Great resurrection at beginning of the Millennium (see D&C 88:97-102).
Continued resurrection throughout the Millennium
Final resurrection events
(Caution: Certain questions dealing with this topic should be avoided. If they should arise, the teacher should exercise judgment in how he deals with them. Avoid questions dealing with the resurrection of other than those who are known to have been resurrected since the time of Jesus in both Jerusalem and America.