This morning I received the news that my mother passed away. Here is the talk I gave on Easter which is fitting for today's events.
Last month Topdad and I had an adventure! Which in our family means getting lost while driving. We were in Des Moines and decided to drive around for a while looking at the old homes and the first signs of spring. We didn’t know exactly where we were but we knew we could find our way home eventually. Suddenly we recognized where we were as we passed the cemetery where Topdad’s mother, grandparents and great-grandparents are buried. Topdad turned the car around and we entered the cemetery. We had another adventure trying to find the site of the graves, having been there only once before. We finally found it and pulled up to the curb. We sat in the car, holding hands, thinking of those who had already completed their mortal lives. I remembered interviewing Grandma Bonnie and gathering family history. About five years after Topdad’s mother died I put together the necessary information and we took our two oldest children to the temple to perform baptisms. In subsequent years we went again and again to complete all the temple ordinances for Topdad’s parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Sitting there in the cemetery I got teary anticipating the reunion we’ll have in the future, both in the spirit world and after the resurrection. I have never seen a resurrected being, but I have read the testimonies of trustworthy witnesses who have, so I know the resurrection is real.
Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son and said that their “brightness and glory defy all description.” (JSH 1:17)
At another time Joseph Smith described the resurrected Savior in this way:
His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow, his countenance shone about the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, . . .” (D&C 110:3)
Joseph Smith also described the appearance of the resurrected Moroni:
While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor.
He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked, and his arms also, a little above the wrist; so, also, were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom.
Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning.
(JSH 1: 30-32)
The process of resurrection, or how it is accomplished, is not recorded in the scriptures. We are told the result. Alma, the Younger taught:
The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. (Alma 40:23)
From Amulek we learn about the resurrection and what happens afterward:
The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt.
Now this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.
I am so grateful for the clarity of the Book of Mormon.
I know that Jesus Christ was literally resurrected. His spirit and body were joined together, never to be separated again. He was first seen by a woman, Mary Magdalene, then by the Apostles, including, a week later, the one now called Doubting Thomas. The Lord then appeared to about 2,500 Nephites and Lamanites in the Western Hemisphere. (3 Nephi 11)
Back in Jerusalem, as Stephen was martyred he testified that he saw the heavens open and “the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7:55)
Saul of Tarsus encountered the risen Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, and later wrote to the Corinthians:
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas (Peter), then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James, then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
(I Corinthians 15:3-8)
In this dispensation Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon proclaimed:
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— (D&C 76:22,23)
I myself have never seen Jesus Christ, my Savior, but I know through the power of the Holy Ghost that He Lives! I know he is the Living Head of this, His church and kingdom on earth. I add my testimony to Job’s:
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
I know that I will see my mother again; she has graduated from this boarding school and is with her parents, both Heavenly and earthly. I will miss her terribly, and had hoped to have her around to see at least one of my grandchildren. But maybe she'll help with their final preparations for coming to the earth in these last days. I know she loved babies and I suppose she will watch over my grands, as I have felt her mother watching over hers (my children).