Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Daniel Tyler on the Resurrection

The following is taken from Daniel Tyler, "The Gospel Principles: The Resurrection", Juvenile Instructor 13/23 (1 December 1878): 269.
"But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?" (1st Cor., xv., 35).

Some professed Christians answer the above question by saying that the body goes down into the grave and the spirit ascends to God, after which, if the party was righteous, it remains on the right hand of God to all eternity, singing praises to Him, ceasing only long enough on the great day of judgment to hear the plaudits of welcome. While, on the other hand, the wicked, including all except religious folks, no matter how moral, honorable, benevolent or good, must, as soon as the spirit leaves the body, be cast into a lake burning with fire and brimstone, there to remain eternally, except during a period just long enough to hear the awful sentence to return to the same dreadful lake, and be perpetually burning, but never consumed. While others believe that when Christ comes to reign on the earth a thousand years, the spirits of the righteous will receive bodies similar to our mortal bodies - out of the same kind of material, but not the same bodies.

Were we to tell you all the different conflicting views of this wicked, perverse generation of pretended Christians we should have no room or time to tell you the facts in the case.

Well, then, "With what body do they come?" Joseph Smith said they would come with the same body they had here, in all of its parts except the blood. To all Latter-day Saints, that should settle the question, once for all. But as there are some who read the Juvenile Instructor who are not Latter-day Saints, and that our youth may be prepared to answer those not of our faith, I will quote a few passages from the old scriptures, which are also corroborated in the new.

St. Paul, in the same chapter from which we have quoted, comparing the spirit to the germ of grain, says, "God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body." In other words, each spirit, no matter whether of man, of beasts, of fowls or of fishes, will receive its own body in the resurrection. The different elements comprising the different kinds of flesh will not be amalgamated. It will be observed that although the Apostle mentions the body, he no where mentions the blood; in fact, no part of the scriptures indicate that blood, which is the life of the mortal body, will be restored in the resurrection. But they do say that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." It is no where written that neither flesh nor blood can enter into that kingdom. That is to say, flesh with the blood cannot enter. They must be separated. Jesus, who is the type of the resurrection, had His blood shed for the sins of the world, yet He arose with every component part of His body except blood, as He said to His disciples, "handle me, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." The prints of the nails will still be visible in His hands and feet when he appears on Mount Olivet to deliver the Jews in the last days. In answer to their inquiry, He will say, "These are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." Perhaps some will say all that might be, as His body never decayed or saw corruption. If Jesus was a pattern of the resurrection, as we have indicated, this would make no difference. To show that the same rule holds good with decomposed bodies, we will refer you to the 37th chapter of Ezekiel. Ezekiel saw in a certain valley a great quantity of bones which he says were very dry. How long they had been bleaching we are not told, but the flesh and sinews were gone from off them. After informing us that he had been commanded to prophesy unto them, and promise them life, the prophet says: "So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them." Why is the qualifying adjective the so oftenly repeated - the bones, the sinews, the flesh, the skin? The answer is plain. It is that there may be no mistake as to whether the bones, sinews, flesh and skin were the same that the individuals had before they were slain or died a natural death. This is doubtless done to remove the last doubt from the minds of those who believe in the revelations of God to man.

Should there be any who still doubt, the Lord tells them in the same chapter that when He brings them out of their graves and places them in their own lands, they shall know that He spoke it, and performed it. He says He will put His spirit in them and they shall live. Thus, you see, instead of having blood in their bodies they will be filled with spirit.

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