We’ve all had countless Sunday School lessons or participated in missionary discussions about The Plan of Salvation. We’re all familiar with that oh-so-mysterious step in the Plan called The Resurrection. That glorious time when death holds no power and body will reunited with spirit once again. That’s all true, but it gets a bit more complicated. Modern revelation teaches us that there are multiple resurrections.
This article explores the chronological order of those resurrections and the known details surrounding each resurrection period.
Here’s a handy, though not very visually appealing, diagram to help you visualize the timeline of the resurrections:
The Morning of the First Resurrection (Part 1)
Technically, this resurrection period has already begun. It began when Christ was resurrected, along with/followed by a select few others, like Moroni.
The Morning of the First Resurrection (Part 2)
Part two is really the only part we need to concern ourselves with. This resurrection takes place at Christ’s Second Coming, the beginning of the Millennium.
According to Elder Bruce R. McConkie,
Those being resurrected with celestial bodies, whose destiny is to inherit a celestial kingdom, will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection. Their graves shall be opened and they shall be caught up to meet the Lord at his Second Coming. They are Christ’s, the firstfruits, and they shall descend with him to reign as kings and priests during the millennial era.
This is the group we want to be included in.
The Afternoon of the First Resurrection
Doctrine and Covenants 88:99 says that the Morning of the First Resurrection is only the beginning.
And after this another angel shall sound, which is the second trump; and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ’s at his coming; who have received their part in that prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh.
Translation: The Afternoon of the First Resurrection occurs after the Millennium has already begun (but has not yet ended). McConkie instructs that those meant to inherit a terrestrial glory will be resurrected at this time.
Preach My Gospel says these are people who do not completely accept the gospel, “but live honorable lives.”
The Resurrection at the Conclusion of the Millennium
In the New Testament, John talks about two resurrection periods. One for “they that have done good” and one for “they that have done evil.” The resurrections we have explored thus far comprise the period allotted to those “that have done good.”
The resurrection at the conclusion of the Millennium marks the period allotted to “they that have done evil.” First, those who are to inherit a telestial glory will be resurrected.
According to Preach My Gospel, these are people who “continued in their sins and did not repent in this life.”
The Resurrection of the Sons of Perdition
The very last group to be resurrected will be those “who were permitted to be born to this world with physical bodies but then served Satan and turned utterly against God. Those in this … group will be resurrected from the dead but will not be redeemed from the second (spiritual) death and cannot dwell in a kingdom of glory (D&C 88:32, 35).”
How does this more detailed knowledge about these resurrections affect your perception of Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation?
Let us know in the comments section or share your thoughts with your family during your next Family Home Evening.