Monday, October 01, 2012

Clothed with glory, immortality, and eternal lives

The above title is not quoted from temple ritual, although that is its origin. It is quoted from a First Presidency Message written by James E. Faust (see below). It describes the exalted condition of those who come forth in the First Resurrection.

In our premortal home, we observed a difference between us and Our Heavenly Father. "We were spirits. He was a spirit clothed with a glorious body—an immortal body.... We noted the difference, and naturally wanted to become like him." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:66-67.)

It has been revealed that Heavenly Father convened a grand council in heaven and presented a plan to his spirit children. They would be given the opportunity to become like Him. "We needed to leave our premortal home to be tested and to gain experience. Our spirits needed to be clothed with physical bodies." (Gospel Principles, p.10.)

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has emphasized that "a paramount purpose of marriage is to clothe spirit children of our Father in Heaven with earthly bodies." (Ensign, June 2002.)

Joseph Fielding Smith adds: "If an infant dies, it has obtained its body. The body does not grow in the grave, but the spirit returns to await the resurrection. Following the resurrection the infant will grow to the full stature of its spirit." (Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:59.)

“The spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15). Note, however, that "the spirit, not the body, is the active, responsible component of the soul. Without the spirit, the body is dead (see James 2:26). It is the spirit, therefore, that chooses good or evil and will be held accountable for both the positive and negative attributes it possesses at the final judgment (see Alma 41:3–7)." (Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, Nov. 1998.)

In the greatest event in all human history, Jesus Christ once more became our example. "After the Savior was crucified and His body had lain in the tomb for three days, the spirit again entered. The stone was rolled away, and the resurrected Redeemer walked forth, clothed with an immortal body of flesh and bones." (Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 2012.)

Being clothed with such an immortal body awaits each of us if we are worthy. James E. Faust has shared with us a vision of the blessings that are ours through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel:

"We can see in vision the countless couples in their youth and beauty coming to be married. We see clearly the unspeakable joy on their countenances as they are sealed together and as there is sealed upon them, through their faithfulness, the blessing of the holy Resurrection, with power to come forth in the morning of the First Resurrection clothed with glory, immortality, and eternal lives." (Ensign, Aug. 2001.)

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