Christ's victory allows all to live again

PROVO, Utah — Everything that has a premortal spirit and a physical mortal body, and that dies, will at some time be resurrected, said Robert J. Matthews, former dean of BYU Religious Education.

"The scriptures teach that death came into the world by way of the fall of Adam, and that it was by great personal suffering and exertion Jesus Christ atoned for the fall of Adam and also for man's individual sins on condition of repentance, and thus He conquered both spiritual and physical death," said Brother Matthews. "If just one person or one animal were not raised, Christ's victory over death would not be complete."

During his remarks, part of the "Christ, Savior, Son of God" symposium, Brother Matthews gave other facts about the resurrection. Some of those include:

Resurrection is necessary for eternal joy. "We need the body for the greatest happiness," said Brother Matthews. "The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that the spirit and the body constitute the soul, and that the resurrection of the dead is the redemption of the soul. (D&C 88:15-16.) The Lord further explained that the spirit and the body cannot have a fulness of joy until that spirit and body are inseparably connected. That condition comes only with resurrection."

God's love is demonstrated by the Resurrection. "Without the fulness of the gospel, humans do not know about the purposes of God or the destiny of mankind and do not realize what Jesus has done for them," he said. "When those persons get into the spirit world after death, they will sooner or later become dissatisfied with the lack of understanding they had as mortals and will come to realize that God and Jesus knew the whole course of events from the beginning and in their love for mankind made provision for all to receive their bodies in a resurrection."

Resurrection provides salvation for all living things. Brother Matthews said latter-day revelation teaches that not only is man a living soul, but so also are animals and plants. (Moses 3:7, 9, 19.)

"How are the dead raised up?" He explained that because of the law of restoration, each person will receive a body commensurate with the law he or she chose to follow in mortality — one's lifestyle. "Thus we largely determine the quality and glory of our resurrected body, and whether we will rise in the first or in the last resurrection."

Resurrection is a priesthood ordinance. "As to how the dead are raised, we know that it is by the power of Jesus Christ because He holds the keys of death, hell, and resurrection," said Brother Matthews. ". . . President Brigham Young and Elder Erastus Snow taught that the resurrection will be conducted much as other things are done in the kingdom, by those in authority and by delegation."

Resurrection is certain. Quoting 1 Cor. 15:55, 57, Brother Matthews said, "O death, where is thy sting? . . . Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

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