Questions about the Resurrection
This is a question that has occupied my attention for several weeks, upon which, I have yet to come to an understanding. I have not been blessed with an answer, but I have been blessed with the ability to refine my questions.
If the Father is a "personage of spirit, glory and power"1 and the Son is a "personage of tabernacle"1 and,
If a tabernacle is something, that in Moses' day was temporarily set up and taken down again, is that what a tabernacle is? Not something that is intended to be permanent, but only temporary, for a probationary period?
If a being that abides a celestial law dies, and their tabernacle lies in the dust, what is the difference between the state of their personage at death, and the state of their personage at the resurrection? Likewise a being that abides a telestial or terrestrial law?
Spirit is matter, but more refined and pure. If a spirit has all parts of a tabernacle including flesh and bone, but is "more fine or pure,"2 is that the state we should desire to be in?
If there are degrees and qualities of resurrection, as well as time frames (first, later), what is the difference between a resurrection of life and damnation? What is a "better resurrection" and what is a lesser one?3
A soul is defined as a spirit and body inseparably connected4 and if it is only "in patience" that we "possess our souls,"5 and possessing them is dependent on beholding the face of God then,
Does "seek the face of the Lord always" mean more than once? Does it mean many times? Does it mean "in patience" receiving grace to grace and "attaining unto the resurrection of the dead"?6
Male and female are incomplete, in their "separate and single"7 state, they are not the image of God.8 Does "possessing our souls" have to do with being inseparably connected with our counterpart? Is that why it is impossible to be celestial without the sealing of the Holy Spirit of Promise?9 What is a counterpart?
If "Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses"10 then is the resurrection as simplistic as we have made it out to be, or are there more glorious truths waiting to be unlocked?
The following is a recollection from Zebedee Coltrin in the School of the Prophets sometime after 1833 in Kirtland. During this experience, the Father and Son appeared to the school. Consider whether the description of the partial translation of Reynolds Cahoon can shed light on this topic:
This appearance occurred about two or three weeks after the opening of the school. After the Father had passed through, Joseph told us to again take our positions in prayer. We did so, and in a very short time he drew our attention and said to us that Brother Reynolds Cahoon was about to leave us, and told us to look at him. He (Brother Cahoon) was on his knees and his arms were extended, his hands and wrists, head, face and neck down to his shoulders were as a piece of amber, clear and transparent, his blood having apparently left his veins. Upon the attention of the brethren being thus called to Brother Cahoon, the change seemed to pass away and Joseph said that in a few minutes more, Brother Cahoon would have left us, but he came to himself again." ("Statement of Zebedee Coltrin," Minutes, 3 October 1883, Salt Lake School of Prophets, LDS Church Archives, Salt Lake City, Utah, 56-58; see also Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 1981), 187-88)
2. "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes; We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter." (D&C 131:7-8)
3. "Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:" (Hebrews 11:35)
"If they be good, to the resurrection of everlasting life; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of damnation; being on a parallel, the one on the one hand and the other on the other hand, according to the mercy, and the justice, and the holiness which is in Christ, who was before the world began." (3 Nephi 26:5)
"If they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation—" (Mosiah 16:12)
"And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." (Acts 24:15)
4. "And the spirit and the body are the soul of man. And the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul." (D&C 88:15-16)
"For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy." (D&C 93:33-34)
5. "And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life." (D&C 101:38)
6. "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." (Philippians 3:11)
7. "For these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever." (D&C 132:17)
8. "In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created and became living souls in the land upon the footstool of God." (Moses 6:8-9)
9. "And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead." (D&C 132:7)
10. "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee." (Jude 1:9)