What did Jesus Christ look like?

For most people, the answer is, “No one knows.” Such an answer seems acceptable as there were no known portraits made of him in his lifetime and the photograph wasn’t invented, yet. Even for religious people, unless they’ve had a vision of Jesus (which does happen from time to time), most religionists just don’t know. Surely we’ll just have to wait until the Second Coming or Judgment day to find out, right?

Maybe not. Maybe we already have the image of Jesus Christ.

what4anarchy recently brought me a DVD entitled, The Fabric of Time. It was a documentary that presented the results of all the scientific studies done on the Shroud of Turin, a burial cloth that contains an image of a crucified man in the fibers of the cloth itself. No one knows how the image was created; it is not a painting. Despite intense scientific examination, scientists are still baffled. However, we do know the following:

  • It is not a painting
  • It is of an estimated 5′ 11″-6′ 2″ semitic man in his thirties, who weighed approximately 170 pounds
  • The man was crucified
  • The man was scourged in a manner exactly corresponding to Roman techniques
  • The man had long hair and a beard, part of which appears “plucked out”
  • There are head wounds consistent with the damage inflicted by a crown of thorns
  • There is a right side wound consistent with a spear thrust
  • Scrapes on the knees and shoulders are apparent
  • Bruises on the face are apparent
  • The wrists had wounds that are consistent with Roman crucifixion, i.e. as if nails had pierced them
  • The thumbs curled under, consistent with a wound inflicted by nail insertion at the wrists
  • Two coins were placed over the eyes, one on each eye and from their markings they can be traced to Jerusalem, being struck in 29 AD
  • The coins were of equal value to the widow’s mites
  • A plaque was placed over the neck in burial with four Hebrew letters written on it, which together mean, “Abba” or Father.
  • Images of flowers were also found on the cloth
  • The flowers were determined to be those found only in the Jerusalem area, only blooming during March and April, the time around the death of Christ
  • The cloth (the Shroud of Turin) is fourteen feet long, half covering the bottom of the body and the other half covering the top of the body
  • The image was transferred to both top and bottom parts of the cloth, so that half of the cloth shows the anterior of the body and the other half of the cloth shows the posterior
  • Both anterior and posterior images of the crucified man are perfect, meaning the image was impressed upon the cloth while the body was suspended in mid-air and while the cloth was pulled perfectly taut
  • 2-d photographic images taken of the cloth have recently been processed and converted into 3-d images, allowing the image of the man to be viewed in 3 dimensions
  • Testing is undergoing to determine whether the fibers of the cloth itself are actually holograms, which, if this proves true, will allow complete reconstruction of the entire image (parts of which were lost due to fire damage in the Middle Ages)
  • The few dissenting scientific opinions (concerning paint particles and Carbon-14 dating) have been scientifically disputed in peer-review journals, for very good reason
  • I’m still working my way through all the bonus features, but I could have sworn that expert, scientific testimony also stated that the body had no broken bones

All in all, the evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud of Turin contains an actual image of the full body and face of Jesus Christ, front and back, processed in some yet unknown way. The mystery of the anomalies of the cloth—for example, the apparent position of the body when the image was impressed upon the cloth (hovering or levitating over the stone slab, instead of resting upon it)—leads the more religious of the scientists to theorize that this image may have been created at the moment of Christ’s resurrection.

I invite other LDS to look into this for themselves. If you haven’t yet seen Jesus in vision, this may be the opportunity to do so. In addition to the above DVD documentary, you may want to visit The Shroud of Turin web site, which also contains the latest research.

Previous Jesus Christ article: How the atonement of Jesus Christ solves the “victim” problem

Complete List of Articles authored by LDS Anarchist


  1. Too cool. Whether or not it is real, seeing all the marks all over the body……I really don’t have any words to describe how that makes me feel.

    I haven’t seen Jesus in a vision but my friend claims he saw him when I took him to a missionary departing testimony meeting. He said that he saw a figure off in the corner, behind the pulpit to the right. The figure had a beard and was wearing a robe with a hood. He said this figure would move behind the person speaking whenever he wasn’t paying attention and was just looking around the room. The next day I brought my ward directory which has a picture of the savior in a white robe with a hood. I showed it to him and he confirmed that that was exactly what he saw. Does that mean he saw Jesus? I don’t know, but it is pretty compelling. My friend exaggerates often, but his behavior after the meeting and the next couple days tells me he indeed saw something. I should get him to check out that DVD.

  2. The DVD is pretty darn impressive in its assembly of the scientific studies that have been done on the cloth and the conclusion these scientists (including the one dissenting scientist) have come to.

    In 1978 an international scientific team (the Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc., or STURP) went to Turin and examined the heck out of the cloth for about 5 days (120) hours. These were specialists of every conceivable field that might have interest in this ancient artifact. (The Shroud of Turin web site that I linked above is, in fact, by one of these researchers: the Documenting Photographer of that project, Barrie M. Schwortz.) The facts they uncovered, in my estimation, point solely at Jesus Christ as being the man in the image. There is a veritable mountain of scientific evidence that the Shroud is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus and but two evidences to the contrary (the C14 dating and the paint particles found by one of the researchers.) But the C14 dating is most likely flawed due to various reasons and the existence of paint particles can only be explained logically and scientifically in ways that preclude the image being a painting.

    In addition to the Shroud of Turin, the DVD also talks about Sudarium of Oviedo, another ancient cloth artifact that is in the hands of the Spaniards. The Sudarium is a bloody cloth that appears to have been wrapped around the head of a bleeding man who then died upright, of asphyxiation (which is how crucified victims die), then the dead man laid down for an hour, face down, then was moved for 10 or so minutes and finally the cloth was removed from the head. This is according to the forensic research that has been done on this cloth. The Sudarium originally came out of Jerusalem around the 5th century and there are 3 intersecting evidences that link it to the Shroud. It may have originally been the sweat cloth wrapped around Jesus’ head during his crucifixion. Legend has it that Peter the Apostle took this cloth after Jesus’ death, hence its separation from the larger burial cloth.

    Should you or your friend see the DVD, please visit and post your reaction and thoughts. As yet, I only know my own reaction and that of what4anarchy, who also believes that it is probably Jesus. (Neither of us have talked about the Shroud with other LDS, though he has voiced the opinion to me that the LDS will just yawn and tune out since the information doesn’t come from Salt Lake.)

  3. Hahahaha….yawn….good times. As for carbon dating…I have plenty of skepticism of that. The problem I see with that is if carbon dating says that object X is umpteen thousands of years old, that only really tells us how old the matter itself is and not exactly when it was organized into its current state. I’ll be waiting with baited breath for the validity of carbon dating to be addressed by the first presidency.

  4. Pontious Pilate and Publius Lentullus, President of Judea, both wrote letters describing the physical appearance of Jesus. Copies of the Letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar describing Jesus are in the Congressional Library in Washington, D.C. Jesus was descibed as tall, well-built, attractive, looking like his mother except his hair was more golden. His hair was chestnut as was his beard, probably bleached by the sun. He had lighter skin and hair than his followers. He also had light eyes. Several accounts said grey and one account said soft blue. They might have been hazel. Anyway, he was easy to identify in a crowd. His hair was plain to his ears and wavy to his shoulders, parted in the center “in the manner of the Nazarenes.” This disputes the argument that since he was a Jew he had short hair. His being tall would make the longer face we see on the Shroud seem appropriate. Pilate said there was something “magnetic” about him. (Naturally occuring magnetic stones were used back then). I don’t feel anything magnetic or appealing about the confused looking creation that Popular Mechanics had depicting a peasant skull with clay on it. It would make sense for Jesus to appear different from most Jews to help them know he was something unique. It really doesn’t matter what color his skin or hair was, other than he was different enough to stand out among the general population. For the argument that when Jesus was arrested, he had to be pointed out because he could not be recognized from his desciples, he could have had clothing the same as the others, with possibly a cloak and hood. Or it could just mean that the soldiers did not know who in the crowd was Jesus, not that everyone in the crowd looked the same. It could be that any description of Jesus was left out of the Bible on purpose, for God’s or man’s reasons.

  5. You have forgotten a few things though. Yeshua ben Nazareth did not look ANY different from the rest of his disciples. Judas had to identify him to the guards. If he was this tall long haired fair skinned light eyed man, the guards would have picked him out from a mile away. A 1c peasant – because that is what he was – would have been approx 5’1″ 110 pounds, flat broad nose short nappy hair. That Shroud has been disproven to have been Yeshua’s burial cloth. According to Romam tradition, they would have broken his legs, to hasten death and according to scripture he died rather fast. This was the ‘norm’ at a crucifiction so they weren’t able to push themselves UP to gasp for air. The person would then have died of asphyxia IF they hadn’t already died from shock and trauma. The body was then thrown on a ‘garbage’ pile to be picked off by the scavenger birds. Also, dead people do not bleed. Yeshua was hung up – according to biblical accounts – to a pole with a cross member – which was the norm – and when stabbed in the chest blood came out. being up for minimum 6 hours arms stretched out and tied that way would cause the blood to go south. That is called gravity. Taking into consideration he was pretty well given a severe beating before he was hung up. he could have died from any number of factors. Heart attack, stroke, blood clot. Anyways, my point is this, that shroud could not have been the one that jesus was wrapped in. It doesn’t fit the description of a 1 c peasant. Take a read of Isaiah 53:2b, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”

  6. he will come again at the end of the world. the end of the world is when each one of us dies.

  7. Excerpts regarding Christ’s physical appearance:


  8. I would say maybe…5′ 10″, Blue eyes and who knows WHAT color hair ? Because his Father wasn’t a Jew…

    Being not “comely” means He’s probably better looking than the Hunch Back of Notra Dame but ugglier than Fabio.

    He probably parts His hair in the middle because that’s the way He looks in most of His Movies.

    I figure He has a pretty lean stature, as I’ve worked a lot of construction jobs and don’t ever recall seeing a Fat Carpenter. Most of them are pretty skinny like TYE on Home Makeover.

    He may have worn contacts but I don’t think glasses were invented at that time.

    He probably had pretty dry hands from trying to wash all that Fish Smell off, He was always coming in contact with.

    I think God prabably gave Him a fair sized nose even though His Father wasn’t Jewish, so that He would be Recognized as a Jew.

    He probably looked somewhat like Mary…We know what she looks like, right ? She was Very Fair. So He must have looked MORE like His Father.

    Some of the Gnostic Gospels speak of His appearance as ever shifting depending on His mood. But I guess you mean… what does He look like when He’s in a Good mood…

    Man, with all this composite information, He sounds like you really couldn’t pick His face out of a crowd Jewish Gods.

    It must have been His Majic that really set Him apart…

  9. One thing is for SURE….He doesn’t look as UGGULY as that Neandrothal that He was portrayed as looking like, on that Discovery Channel Special.

    I think Jesus is going to have a talk with the Producer of that show when Judgement Time comes !

    And the guy a few comments back, who said He had a Flat Face & Nappy Hair, better rethink his perceptions before he finds himself in line behind that TV Producer…

    I know I wouldn’t want MY Brothers down here, spreading any false rumors…

  10. The topic of the method of Jesus’ conception and the nature of heavenly Father’s paternity has come up at Wheat and Tares.

    I had asked the question [on another post there]:

    where do you suggest Jesus’ 23 autosomal plus his Y chromosomes came from?

    I asked, not to be smart-alike, but out of genuine interest in an answer. The only answer I received was:

    supernatural magic

    — which answer does not satisfy me.

    If the Word was indeed made flesh, then that tells me that Jesus’ genome contained 46 autosomal chromosomes [b/c Jesus was a human] and a pair of XY sex chromosomes [b/c Jesus was a male].

    I think of the pattern in John 1 or 1 Peter 1 — wherein the manner of our rebirth can be likened to the initial conception of Jesus [which the JST of John 1 does — comparing KJV to JST] provides a key for looking at the question.

    Or as in 1 Peter 1:

    Being born again, not of corruptible seed [or sperm], but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    I understand the Greek monogenes [which is translated “only begotten”] — to literally break-down to mean “of single/unique genome” —

    — but I’ve never received a satisfactory answer as to how God provided the complimentary half of Jesus’ genes [his monogenes or “unique genome”] — while at the same time preserving the virginity of Mary.

    My best thought I’ve come up with is that the Spirit can transmit genetic material in a similar manner as mortal men using sperm to transmit theirs. Does She have this ability?

    What are the other thoughts on how Jesus obtained the paternal half of this genetic code?

  11. If the Word was indeed made flesh, then that tells me that Jesus’ genome contained 46 autosomal chromosomes [b/c Jesus was a human]

    This reminds me of a scripture:

    For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. (Alma 34: 10)

  12. But were he to be inherently [genetically non-human] different from “his people“, then how could he truly be said to have “take[n] upon him their infirmities that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

    I feel like I’m less likely to be moved with compassionate empathy given a Savior who had “super-genes”.

  13. Okay, talking with my wife — I came up with this.

    There are two kinds of seed: (1) corruptible seed [the sperm of mortal men] and (2) incorruptible seed [Godly “genetic material” transmitted via the Holy Spirit].

    Most humans are conceived when a man climaxes in sexual intercourse with a woman — thereby implanting his corruptible seed into her reproductive organs.

    All humans are commanded to be born again, re-born, born of God, or spiritually begotten. This represents an implantation of the incorruptible seed of God — and is associated with the resurrection [when that person will be physically born again].

    Typically, this form of implantation takes place in the right-brain [heart] of humans. Its result is a re-birth, to be born again, becoming sons and daughters of God, becoming a new man/woman, receiving a new heart, spiritually begotten, etc. It is when a person receives the Holy Ghost.

    However, where the Spirit to make Her implantation into the reproductive organs of a women [instead of the right-brain] — an embryo would be fertilized, thus creating a son/daughter of God according to the flesh.

    Note: I reserve the right for this idea to be crazy. It just came to me in a flash of thought and may therefore be based on my own reason and understanding. However, I plan to look back at it in light of the scriptures, the Spirit, and any comments someone might make in response. Given what I come up with — I may work this into a future post.

  14. Let me add more crazy ideas.

    There were four people involved in Jesus’ conception: God the Father, the Holy Ghost, Jesus and Mary. Of the four, only Mary was a man (wo-man and hu-man). God the Father and Jesus are male Personages, whereas the Holy Ghost is a female Personage. So, two Males and two F/females were involved.

    Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost (Female Personage). See Alma 7: 10 and Matthew 1: 20. Conclusion: the Holy Ghost is the Mother of Jesus.

    Jesus was conceived by the power of God (the Father, a Male Personage). See Mosiah 15: 3 and Luke 1: 35. Conclusion: God the Father is the Father of Jesus.

    Mary was a virgin before and after Jesus was conceived, and after giving birth to Jesus. A virgin is “a woman who has had no sexual intercourse.” See Luke 1: 27, 34; Matthew 1: 25. Conclusion: Jesus’ conception was not a result of Mary having sex with anyone.

    Mary chose to bear Jesus. See Luke 1: 38. Conclusion: Mary was not raped. This was an agency choice on her part to become the vessel the Lord used to come to Earth.

    Mary was the mother of Jesus (the “chosen vessel” – Alma 7: 10), speaking after the manner of the flesh. See 1 Nephi 11: 18. Conclusion: Mary supplied the egg and bore Jesus to term, giving birth to Him, but did not supply human genetic material to Him. Vessels are hollow. Mary’s egg was hollow or emptied of its genetic material and replaced with genetic material from two People: God the Father and the Holy Ghost.

    When Jesus was born, He had a physical body of flesh and bone that outwardly appeared to be–in every way, shape and form–a man, yet He was neither a man, nor human, nor beast, nor fowl, nor any other type of creature found on this planet. See D&C 130: 22 and Alma 34: 10.

    Jesus was a new creature, something that never existed on this planet, nor ever since. Although He appeared to be human, everything about Him was super-human. If we could examine his DNA, we’d see something alien, not human or of any other terrestrial species. He was not mortal, or subject to death. He was not subject to illness, or injury, or pain, or anything that normal men are subject to. Yet, He had the capability of allowing Himself to die and feel pain and sickness and sadness, and to be cut open, and harmed and tempted and every other human condition known to man.

    He possessed not only the power of God, but was God. The angels did not go to Him with instructions for Him, instead they went to Him to receive instructions from Him. He had all power both in heaven and earth and with a word could do anything, for all elements would obey Him. He had power to live forever (immortality) and power to lay down His life (death) and power to take it again (quickening or resurrection). No one had any power over Him except as He allowed them to have.

    Jesus inherited from Mary a vessel of flesh, not her mortality and other weaknesses, nor her DNA. As God, He already had all power, including the power to die and feel pain, etc. He did not need these traits from Mary. All this He got from His Father. What He got from Mary was a vessel of flesh, and that’s it. Or, as the angel said to King Benjamin, a tabernacle of clay. That vessel of flesh tied Him to humanity. He was in the express image of his Father, not his mortal mother. And we, our physical bodies, are fashioned after the image of His body, both His physical body and His spirit body. But our physical bodies and His physical body, although they appear similar, are not the same species.

    Just as when you take a photograph of a person and capture the image of the person, yet the photograph is not the person nor can it do the things that an actual person can, it being just a two-dimensional representation of a person, so we, as mankind, are made in the image of God, and cannot do any of the things that a God actually can do. We are mere images of Him. He is the real deal. Our genetic code is different than His.

    Jesus was super-human in every way. See Mosiah 3: 5 -6. Not only in the miracles He did, but also His capacity for unlimited suffering. As the scriptures say, “And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.” This means that, whereas man has a limit to suffering, beyond which causes death, Jesus had no limit and could endure suffering that would cause death in men. In other words, He had the capacity of infinite suffering, which is why the scriptures call this an infinite sacrifice. Such suffering could not cause His death unless He willed it, for nothing could take His life from Him.

    Also, Jesus, although of a different genetic make-up, a superior one, could comprehend everything of a lower order (which was everything), be it man, animal, plant, etc. We do not have that capacity. We cannot comprehend what it is like to be a turtle, but Jesus could comprehend everything, because He wasn’t a limited human.

    Jesus, then, being the product of two Divine Beings (the Father and the Holy Ghost) and one chosen vessel of flesh, was fully divine (what the angel called “that holy thing”.) His “humanity” was in form only (the vessel of flesh.) The angel said that the wicked would mistake him for a man (“and after all this they shall consider him a man” – Mosiah 3: 9), but he was not a man. He was something different, something new, even a “new creature.”

    The gospel is designed to take mankind and turn them likewise into “new creatures,” patterned after Christ. See 2 Corinthians 5: 17; Mosiah 27: 26; Galatians 6: 15. This transformation is done first spiritually, when we are spiritually begotten, and second physically, in the resurrection, when our physical bodies become “new creatures” patterned after the resurrected body of Christ. All who inherit a kingdom of glory become bona fide children of God, according to the flesh, just as Jesus is the Child of God, their physical bodies matching that of Christ, in that now they will be the same species. No more will we be mere images of God, but real children.

    Okay, I think I’ve said enough craziness for one day. 😉

  15. I was working with the same scriptures you brought up in my attempt to re-look at what I had wrote in my previous comment — however, I find this view superior in that it addresses the term “vessel”, which my analysis had yet to.

    Does this view necessitate the Holy Spirit being heavenly Mother?

    Or would it be possible for the Spirit to be the method of transmission for the genetic material of Father and Mother in heaven? Meaning the maternal material that she supplied was not her own — but was heavenly Mother’s?

  16. I don’t believe this view requires that the Holy Ghost be our heavenly Mother or even Jesus’ heavenly Mother. We know that the Father of Jesus is our heavenly Father (“Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” – John 20: 17), but we haven’t been told anything about our heavenly Mother, nor Jesus’ heavenly Mother. It may be that His Mother and our Mother are different.

    I suspect, though, that they are the same Person and that heavenly Mother is the Holy Ghost. One reason is that the Holy Ghost is extremely active among the children of men, constantly striving to guide us to salvation. This reminds me of a mother’s care for her children. Also, this view of the body of Jesus gives three bodily stages of progression for man: 1st, mortal man; 2nd, Jesus’ state during His first coming; and 3rd, Jesus’ resurrected state. Mortal man is human, Jesus’ state was of flesh and blood in appearance of man, but not human or man, and the resurrected state is flesh but no blood (the state of incorruptibility). We go from mortal, fallen man to spiritually reborn by the Holy Ghost (sanctified in the spirit), which is the first stage of progression, and then we die and when we are resurrected we enter a state of incorruptibility, which is the third stage, in which we are quickened (reborn) by the Spirit (Holy Ghost), becoming like Jesus’ resurrected body. In both of these states or stages of progression, the Holy Ghost plays a part in making us literally children of God (according to the spirit in the first stage and according to the flesh in the last), which is why we can become joint-heirs with Christ, inheriting the kingdom of God. This leads me to believe that She is, indeed, our heavenly Mother.

    Obviously, though, if the Holy Ghost is not Jesus’ heavenly Mother, She still would have the power to transmit His Mother’s genetic code.

    One more thing, the middle state, the state in which Jesus was in when He was born, also is a stage in which man may pass. Some men, and perhaps also women, have achieved a bodily state we call translation. A translated body appears to correspond to the one Jesus had while on earth. Translated bodies are not subject to death, temptation, pain, sorrow, etc. Translated bodies are sanctified in the flesh (like Jesus), so that they are holy and the powers of the earth cannot hold them. Yet they are not equal to a resurrected body. This is pretty much a description of Jesus’ earthly body.

  17. Why is heavenly Father a resurrected personage — but our Mother is not?

    I don’t yet connect the two [the Spirit and Mother] b/c I understand the Mother to be the same as the Father [resurrected personages] — and the Spirit being un-embodied making her a child of Mother and Father, just like Jesus. The Godhead being Father+Mother, Son, and Daughter.

  18. My understanding is that the scriptures say nothing about a heavenly Mother. And so the concept of us having a heavenly Mother is based upon extrapolation and not revelation. I, personally, think that to extrapolate a heavenly Mother for us makes sense, and I have no problem with it, but to automatically make her exactly like heavenly Father (with a body of flesh and bones) is stretching it too much (at least for me.) The reason is because if both Father and Mother have bodies of flesh and bones, their begotten children would also, for things follow a natural order. It makes no sense that our spirit body birth was of spirit unless we came through the Mother, who is also Spirit, and this is an aspect of Her nature that was passed down to us. Unlike the birth of our physical bodies, which are created in the image of God, our spirit bodies were, as I understand it, not just created in His image, but we are indeed His spirit children. Our spirit bodies, then, must match the Father’s spirit body, being of the same “species” (unlike our physical bodies.) So, this makes me think that there must be a reason why we were born as spirits and not as flesh. Having a spirit Mother in heaven would clear up this mystery.

    Even taking this view, whether it is correct or not, I don’t see it as an automatic that such a spirit Mother in heaven (which really would not be a Mother in heaven, for if the Holy Ghost is She, the Holy Ghost seems to be working here on earth, among the children of men) is necessarily a spirit daughter of the Father. There is still a lot to be revealed and so our view of things may be off in many instances and most especially in those things which have not been revealed (such as the concept of a heavenly Mother.)

    One last thing. I am also fine with no concept of a heavenly Mother for us. There are species on earth which produce young without needing another. So…

    But for me, personally, I think we do have a heavenly Mother and I’m inclined to think, for the above reasons, that She may be the Holy Ghost. Beyond that, I, peronally, won’t speculate. The scriptures say that when the Lord comes He will reveal whether their is one God or many Gods, one Lord or many Lords, so I’m sure all of this will be cleared up soon enough.

    Again, I proceed from a strictly scriptural view, not taking into account what prophets and apostles have said outside of the canonized revelations, nor what others have speculated about. When a new revelation has been received, accepted by the people as revelation and canonized, then whatever new information is presented will obviously alter my views accordingly.

  19. Another thought: the body of Jesus was not, in reality, a “new creature” that had never existed on this planet. If we take a look at Adam and Even prior to the fall, their physical bodies were essentially the same as the body of Jesus. Adam’s body was capable of living forever, yet it wasn’t quite a resurrected body. It was superior to a mortal body and inferior to a resurrected body. Adam and Eve’s physical bodies, then, were, essentially, translated bodies. Translated bodies can receive a “greater change” and become resurrected bodies, but they can also receive a change to become mortal and die. Translated bodies, then, might be termed “transitional bodies” because of their ability to easily go up or down the evolutionary ladder. In the case of Adam and Eve, their bodies went down the ladder by partaking of the forbidden fruit. In the case of the bodies of all the living things that had been created prior to the fall, their bodies went down the ladder and became mortal because of Adam’s transgression. In the case of Jesus, his body started out translated, or transitional, and by His own volition, He caused the body to go down the evolutionary ladder and die (become subject to death, etc.). In the case of translated beings, which are mortals who receive a change that allows them to go up the evolutionary ladder, these translated bodies remain in their state until a future time when they are changed again and go up the evolutionary ladder to become resurrected bodies.

    So, stating that mortality is the normal state of life may not be entirely true. If we rewind things back to prior to the fall of Adam, we would find that this earth and all the life on it was originally created in a translated state and then the Fall caused everything to go down the evolutionary ladder and become mortal bodies. Jesus’ appearance marked a return of the translated state. He, essentially, was a new Adam, meaning that He came in an Adamic physical body. Although we would consider his body alien, in reality, with all the facts before us, the real aliens would be us mortals.

  20. Good call on the new Adam. I was reading the comment you wrote before this one with my wife last night — and we brought that up.

    Concerning a heavenly Mother — I’ve written on the Holy Ghost is a Woman post [albeit from speculation] that my understanding is that the woman’s womb forms a body that is comprised of the elements available in the environment [e.g. the air she breathes and the food she eats] not so much the elements of her own body.

    That is to say, the same process that makes women on earth produce earthly, fallen offspring and women in the celestial world produce spiritual children — is the environment the woman is in.

    Thus, a resurrected Mother begat spirit children when in the celestial world with Her resurrected Husband. Then when the heavenly couple traveled to the newly created earth, the same Mother [b/c now in a different environment] formed physical bodies, though not mortal [lacking blood] — for Adam and Eve.

    This is my speculation and I’m fine with it not being true.

    However, if the mother of my spirit children need be a female spirit personage [because the components of the woman’s body, not environment, determine the components of the offspring] — what do the resurrected Goddesses do? Would they give birth to resurrected children b/c things follow a natural order? Basically, my wife asked — what is her “continuation of seed” promised if it can’t be our spirit children?

  21. I’m just speculating, too. I’ve not confirmed any of this. I’m just thinking out loud, is all. So don’t take any of what I’ve written in these few comments as gospel. You just got me thinking about something I hadn’t ever really thought about and I’m just following the thought wherever it leads, as long as it makes some kind of sense to me. Okay, so here we go…

    Re: forming bodies of the elements available in the environment. Even if that is true, I still don’t see heavenly Parents of spirit, flesh and bone producing spirit-only offspring.

    My understanding is that the heavenly environment we came from was spirit+physical, not spirit-only. In other words, that when we entered the created Universe as spirits, what we beheld was a physical environment (spirits clothed in element), not a strictly spiritual environment. The Earth’s spirit, which was created prior to the creation of its physical body, and which is called by us the Spirit World, is not the celestial world we grew up on. This Earth life is the first time we have lived among physical things while clothed in physical element, but not the first time we have lived in a physical environment.

    So, if that understanding is true, I would think that the children of God which were begotten in the heavens would be born of both spirit and element, just like their parents, for they were surrounded with both of these things. But, as far as we know, we weren’t born as spirits clothed in element, we were born only as spirits-only. Which makes me believe that perhaps our heavenly Mother may be an un-embodied Spirit, etc.

    Re: our future posterity. My understanding is that if my wife and I become exalted, resurrected personages, the posterity we will have will be after our likeness, even spirits clothed in element.

    I realize that there are LDS that believe that when we become gods, we will have spirit-only children like heavenly Father and will re-enact the plan of salvation, requiring a new Christ, a new Lucifer, etc., repeating the plan of salvation over and over again, for as many times as new gods come into existence, but that also seems (to me) to be extrapolation.

    I believe the idea for this re-enactment of the plan of salvation by each god comes from the following scripture:

    Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth; these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5: 19)

    John also wrote:

    Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (John 8: 28)

    The interpretation of this scripture is that heavenly Father was/is a Christ; that everything Christ did/does is what He saw heavenly Father do at some time in the past, on some planet, even to sacrificing himself in a past atonement, and then resurrecting Himself and others, etc.

    Without making this comment a post on its own (too late!) and examining this scripture fully, I think there is more than one way to view this. For example, it could be that Jesus was shown in vision what He Himself would do while here on Earth. Jesus stated that He and the Father are one; that He is in the Father; that the Father is in Him; that whoever sees Jesus has seen the Father; and prophets have testified that Jesus is both the Father and the Son. So, I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to imagine that the way heavenly Father taught the Son what the Father does was by merely showing Him a vision of His own life (Jesus’ life) on Earth, what He would say and what He would do. Other prophets also had this vision, why not Christ?

    Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think there is any scripture that indicates that the plan of salvation is limited in any way. The atonement is called infinite. If the atonement was designed to save a finite number of souls—the number that heavenly Father has to send down to this earth, for example—then there is no need to make it infinite. (God is not wasteful, but does only what is expedient and necessary.) If, on the other hand, the atonement was meant to satisfy the demands of justice for all eternity, or infinitely into the future, no matter how many new souls are brought into existence, then it would need to be infinite. The question then becomes, when the scriptures speak of the atonement as infinite, does it mean literally infinite, or just a really large number? Is the atonement only good enough for the amount of souls that currently exist in the Universe, which would require a new atonement for souls brought into the Universe in the future, or is it sufficient for all souls of any future time? There seems to be in the church the thought that a new atonement and new Christ is needed for every new god created, so the thought is that “infinite” merely means a really large number beyond our scope of understanding. That may be. But it also may be that Christ’s atonement was literally infinite, capable of redeeming everyone prior to Him and everyone who came and who will come after Him, regardless of where they are on the time line.

    Taking that view (that the atonement is literally infinite) may change things substantially. So, I’m not so sure that we, as exalted beings, will need to be having spirit-only children, a new plan of salvation, a new Christ, a new devil, etc., exactly like heavenly Father has had. There are still a lot of things about our future (and past) that haven’t been cleared up, in my opinion.

  22. I agree that there needn’t be a new plan of salvation, a new Christ, a new devil, etc. — but I’ve just always assumed the spirit children thing.

    This conversation here has me re-thinking some of that.

  23. Also — how does the concept of a multihusband-multiwife marriage system among the Gods and Goddesses relate to tracking paternity/maternity in heaven?

    If any spirit child born to the tribal family of heaven would be raised by the tribal deities as though they were literally their seed — why is there a concept of this heavenly Father [or Mother] as opposed to that one?

    On the Holy Ghost is a Woman post — I thought up a “perhaps”:

    Thus perhaps “Heavenly Father” and “Heavenly Mother” are not the designations for the paternal parents of our spirits — rather they are the communal/tribal leaders, to whom we all honored as Father and Mother. Paternity was not monitored in heaven.

    I’m wondering if it applies to this conversation as well…

  24. Well, if all gods possess the same glorified body, looking exactly the same, like twins would, having the same set of genes, (which is what I believe may be the case), were we to run a paternity test on any of Their children, it would be impossible to determine whose children they were, for all the possible Fathers would match. Gods, of course, having all knowledge and power, would be able to know which beings they, in particular, brought into existence, but as they would all get the same genes, paternity may not matter that much in the heavens. Even here on earth, we find that paternity is still kind of a loose term as applied to heavenly beings. For example, the term Father (or Eternal Father) is used to designate both the Father (our heavenly Father) and also the Son (Jesus). The endowment speaks of a plurality of gods and of the time when “we shall enter the celestial kingdom and there hear and know the Gods of heaven.” But for now, we deal with only the one God. It may be done this way for our own benefit, because we are unable to comprehend large numbers. We are first given to know the One and then later, when that has been accomplished, we will be sufficiently mature to be able to know the All. The scriptures indicate a plurality of gods, but do not tell us anything about Them (see 1 Corinthians 8: 4-5 and D&C 121: 28.) LDS typically interpret these scriptures in a linear fashion (father, grandfather, great grandfather, great great grandfather, etc.) but the tribal model also fits these scriptures. (Even better, in my opinion.)

    The one God (“assigned” to us?) that we have may be one of our many Fathers, who didn’t directly bring us into existence, or He may be, in very deed, the Being that brought us into existence. As all gods depend upon all other gods–for, according to my understanding, if one god ceases to exist, they all cease to exist–in Their view, it may not matter who is doing the “bringing into existence” because They All see it as if each One has done it. I tend to believe that the One we deal with here on earth–even if it turns out that He was chosen by the body of Fathers to be our one God and Father–is literally the One that brought us into existence. But I’m okay with either scenario.

    It may also be that the creative act is not something that is done by one god or two male and female gods, but by all gods in a heavenly ordinance and ceremony, in which they all participate and the children that result are literally children of All, and not just figuratively, so that the principle of charity, in which children are all looked at alike is patterned after the heavenly principle in which children are literally alike and belong to all.

    One more thing, I don’t find the term “goddess” anywhere written in the scriptures or in the endowment. Exalted persons, both male and female, are all called gods.

  25. I have read several near death experiences which I find very enlightening. They can all be seen here http://www.near-death.com/

    One mentioned that all of creation was God experiencing Himself and others also saying we and all of creation are all connected in a very tangible way. Everything these people experience is custom made for their mind and heart to benefit them in their path to grow toward the truth. So some concepts are very individual. Yet the concepts like connectedness of all things can not be an individual thing as it applies universally to all. With our combination of western thought, Babylonian traditions and LDS theology we have a very literal view of concepts which can not be literalized. For example how can we understand the idea of standing next to God, or His wife being at His side when in that realm there are hundreds if not thousands of dimensions? This was spoken of by a person whom Dr Raymond Moody interiewed in one of his first two book on NDEs back in the 80’s (?).
    So the concepts of celestial creation of children can easily be a concept beyond our scope to fully understand.

  26. A few more thoughts.

    Without going into all the scriptures, it appears that in the Millennium everyone will possess translated bodies. Every corruptible (mortal) thing will be consumed before the Millennium begins and all things will become new (as in “new creatures”). The descriptions of bodies in the Millennium seem to match that of the Three Nephites, who were transfigured, becoming translated.

    Also, translation appears to be a higher (or perhaps the highest) manifestation of the gift of faith to be healed. Jesus was unique in that he began earth life with a translated body.

    This means that the restoration (or restitution) of all things must refer to the ushering in of the Millennium, in which all things are transfigured and revert back to the translated state that existed prior to the Fall. Temporal existence, then, must refer only to the mortal state. This is one of the reasons why there will be “time no longer” for a thousand years during the MIllennium. (There are other reason, too.) No one will have a temporal (mortal) body.

    Enoch and his people may actually be a pattern that Zion will follow. By that I mean that Zion, which is to be established prior to the Millennium, may follow the pattern of Enoch, in which all gain the gift of faith to be healed and become translated, just as Enoch and his city did, becoming a people truly prepared for the ushering in of the Millennium. Nevertheless, unlike Enoch and city, which did not remain upon earth, Zion will be here when the Millennium starts.

    I suppose I could take this further, but I’ll stop for now.

  27. (I blame Justin for starting me on this path, with his question, “What are the other thoughts on how Jesus obtained the paternal half of this genetic code?” This is what happens when someone asks me question I have never considered before. My mind won’t let go of it until it has exhausted itself in the effort. So, once again, here are some more thoughts…)

    The time after the Millennium is curious, in that only the righteous will have translated bodies that change “in the twinkling of an eye” into resurrected bodies. What about those who are not righteous? This leads me to believe that although translated bodies are sanctified in the flesh and Satan cannot tempt them, agency is not curtailed in any way–in reality it is increased–and so a translated person can choose to sin. If you are righteous and you sin, well, then you are no longer righteous, right? And if you are no longer righteous, then how can you be sanctified in the flesh? The conclusion my mind arrives at, then, is that translated people who choose to sin are transfigured by their sin, meaning that they devolve into mortal bodies which no longer are changed in the twinkling of an eye. (Adam and Eve’s transgression also resulted in devolution, so there is already a pattern in this.)

    This is why there will be a temporal existence after the 1000 years of the Millennium ends. It ends because men will become mortal again (all except those who remain righteous and thus translated), until the season is over. If obtaining a translated body is a manifestation of the gift of faith to be healed, this means that men will lose faith in that day, due to their unrighteousness, and will lose the gift, or, at least, they will lose this higher manifestation of the gift.

    In our day, plagues, pestilence, etc., are to go forth among the children of men. As we near the Millennial day, missionary work may require immunity from such diseases and plagues. In other words, the higher manifestation of the gift of faith to be healed (being transfirgured into a translated body) may be more than just a perk, but a real necessity to be able to go forth among the people and preach without contracting the scourges that will abound. Also, violence may make missionary work an impossibility unless the missionaries become immune from harm.

    So, if this view is correct and Zion will be built up and its people transfigured prior to the Millennium, this also will fulfill the scripture every whit when it says that “when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” As He is sanctified in the flesh, so shall we be sanctified in the flesh (or, at least those who build up Zion.)

    The practical application of this is that we all should be seeking transfiguration; that this is not a blessing meant for the few, but for all those who seek Zion, and is necessary that the prophecies be fulfilled. In other words, there is nothing selfish about seeking to be translated, for it is the desire of God that all of us be sanctified in the flesh, becoming His sons and daughters according to the flesh.

    This would be the counterpart to the doctrine of being spiritually born of God or receiving His image in one’s countenance or experiencing a mighty change of heart. This would be a doctrine of being physically born of God. The Lord, when He said that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” only had mortal flesh in mind. Transfigured or translated flesh is strong and matches the willing spirit, settling the conflict and allowing man to have total and complete peace in himself.

    Okay, I think I’m finally exhausted. Lol.

  28. Good Job. You dished out a lot of meat. It gives voice and coherence to some of the feelings and desires I have been having the last few years. It explains many scriptures which needed inclusion.
    Take a break you earned it.

  29. So, does Jesus being the new Adam — meaning that He came in an adamic physical body — have any relation to Luke 3:38 stating that Adam was the son of God?

    I’d hate to open up a new bag of worms, but considering that the physical bodies of the two were similar — does this scripture suggest similar paternity as well?

  30. I don’t believe it suggests paternity.

    Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God. (Luke 3: 38)

    Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, who was formed of God, and the first man upon the earth. (JST Luke 3: 45)

    And this is the genealogy of the sons of Adam, who was the son of God, with whom God, himself, conversed. (Moses 6: 22)

    Later, in the same chapter of Moses we read,

    And thus he [Adam] was baptized, and the Spirit of God descended upon him, and thus he was born of the Spirit, and became quickened in the inner man. (Moses 6: 65)

    After Adam’s fall, baptisms of water, fire and of the Holy Ghost, and priesthood ordination, he is now referred to as a son of God:

    Behold, thou art one in me, a son of God; and thus may all become my sons. Amen. (Moses 6: 68)

    Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God according to the flesh, so Adam cannot be a begotton son of God according to the flesh, otherwise, Jesus can’t be referred to as the Only Begotten.

    Adam’s physical body was formed of the dust of the earth, as a fully adult male body, not begotten like the rest of his posterity. Both the scriptures and the endowment teach this. His physical body was patterned after the spirit body of the Savior (see Ether 3: 15-16), so, it likely looked just as Jesus did in the flesh when He had reached adulthood.

    Paternity does not seem to apply to Adam’s body. His body was a fashioned copy, replica, or clone, of the physical body Jesus would have here on earth. As his body was in a translated state, and thus sanctified in the flesh, it may have possessed the genetic traits of the original body it was patterned after, but as Adam (and Eve) were adult in body but little children in maturity, they probably had no idea of how to use the powers inherent in their very special bodies. It was only when they partook of the forbidden fruit that their eyes were open, and by then it was too late, as their bodies had now become transfigured down to a mortal state.

  31. There is girl named Akiane Kramerik, a child prodigy you could say. Anyway when she was eight years old she claimed to have seen Jesus and painted a picture of Him entitled, “The Prince of Peace” The painting is so striking! You should look it up. Also, I read a book last year called ,”Heaven is for Real” about a little 4 year old boy who died and saw Jesus, then came back. He saw the Akiane painting and said that was definitely the Jesus he saw. And, I have also had a vision of Jesus. While listening to a hymn a few years ago the spirit became very strong and I had a vision of Him crouched down with His back to me. He may have been writing something, I’m not sure. What I was struck by was his size! His shoulders were quite broad and I had the impression that if He stood He would, like Nephi, be “very large in stature” he had on a simple wool robe with colored stripes and His hair was to his shoulders. I remember thinking ,”this man looks nothing like the pansy, feminine, skinny Jesus in all the paintings and statues!” Unfortunately I didn’t get to see His face but I sure hope to receive that great blessing someday.

  32. “I’ve been surprised at appearances. I’ve avoided making any effort to provide a description of the Lord’s appearance. In the early church there are passing references to the Lord’s “round face” from which I can affirm they saw Him. Most of the LDS artwork depicting “Jesus” are pretty good likenesses of Lucifer. I think there is wisdom in not making an image of the Lord because most of the images are quite misleading.”

    Denver Snuffer Mormon Stories Feb 2012

  33. I am currently going through “The Testimony of St. Luke,” which is the JST of the Gospel According to Luke, and re-arranging it to put online at the 1st Act Scriptures blog, and this is the first time I’ve actually read the inspired version of this book from front to back, so, I was surprised to find that the following verse:

    And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35, King James Version)

    was changed to read this way:

    and the angel answered | and said unto her |

    of the holy ghost | and the power of the highest | therefore | also | that holy child | that shall be born of thee | shall be called the son of god | (Inspired Version of the same verse)

    This answer was given to Mary’s question of, “How can this be?”, meaning, how it is possible that she will bare a child, since she had never had sexual relations. The JST wording of the answer pointed my mind, yet again, towards thinking that the Holy Ghost is heavenly Mother.

  34. As I make my way through The Testimony of Saint Luke, I’ve been struck by a passage that I don’t think I’ve ever heard used in a sermon. It is the following:

    and it came to pass | as he spake these things | a certain woman of the company | lifted up her voice | and said unto him |

    blessed is the womb | which bare thee | and the paps | which thou has sucked |

    and he said |

    yea | and blessed are all they | who hear the word of god | and keep it |

    It so perfectly illustrates how wise Jesus was, for He is the Word of God, therefore, His mother, Mary, kept and nourished the Word of God when He was in her womb and when He suckled on her breasts. In other words, the Word of God grew in her womb and also grew on her paps. In like manner, we are to hear the word of God, keep it in our hearts and nourish it by our faith, that it may grow into a tree of everlasting life.

  35. I put up DAC 121-123 on the 1st Act Scriptures blog and I found the voice of Joseph Smith, the voice of the Spirit (Holy Ghost) and the voice of the Lord in these sections. But the real discovery was that each time the words,”My son” was said to Joseph Smith (in D&C 121:7 and D&C 122:7) it is the voice of the Spirit, and not the Lord, that is speaking.

    So, if the Holy Ghost is a female Personage, would this not be yet more evidence that She is our heavenly Mother?

    Another thing that came out in the text of DAC 121-123, was that by moving the comma, there was a change in the meaning, from this:

    “The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth.”

    to this:

    “the holy ghost shall be thy constant companion and thy scepter | an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth |”

    In the latter text, the Holy Ghost is the scepter, a scepter being “a staff or baton borne by a sovereign as an emblem of authority” or “royal or imperial authority : sovereignty,” which reminds me of Nephi’s words, “and the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not..”

    Finally, I wasn’t sure how Joseph composed his paragraphs, since I don’t have the text of the actual letter these sections were extracted from. So, his words might need to be re-grouped. Also, I assumed that part of the text was given by the Spirit (D&C 121:45) and by the Lord (D&C 121:46 and D&C 122:1-4), but it might have just been Joseph’s words. The Spirit’s words actually begin at the end of verse 4 of D&C 122, but the beginning parts and those preceding are open to debate.

    To understand what I’m saying in this comment, just open up the DAC 121-123 page hyperlinked above and your own copy of the Doctrine and Covenants and compare versions.

  36. sometime last year, i was finding google if there is any lds viewpoint about the shroud of turin with slim success, i just discovered now that ldsa has a blog about it…what an awesome feeling i felt as i peruse some of it…anyway my speculation about the shroud is : if the carbon dating done in the 80s were valid to the entire cloth, then it would capture to the recesses of my mind-at least, that the cloth undergone some kind of partial translation, what modern term calls it a “time dilation” experience, whatever that means, it being a first hand witness to the resurrection, a form of time travel perhaps, whatever that means

  37. i have little to no faith in carbon dating, it assumes that there have beeen no changes to the molecular structure of carbon, and that there have been no significant blasts of radiation in history either. to me its like an ant standing up and talking about what happened 10,000 years ago.

  38. yes, jesus was magickal when he came to live on earth. some church prayer called it his luminous mysteries. his was magick of supreme and ultimate nature was displayed. it is rare privilege to be born and live during his days as some had told us. his paintings and the elegant christus today might be faintest depictions and reflection from his hidden image. yet it is his image that only a childlike heart and a child’s heart can tell as if his “picture” exudes power, majesty, calmness, humility and beauty or \i might fall short to describe in mortal words to think of his glory. a religionist from our country one time explained, on tv, that jesus was so smeared in blood, he was wounded, bruised, fatigued, spitted upon, he suffered so great a pain, he was despised and rejected by men as they also esteemed him stricken by god as pointed out by prophet isaiah, wherefore, “Who would have believed our report, and to whom was the arm of the Lord revealed? אמִי הֶאֱמִין לִשְׁמֻעָתֵנוּ וּזְרוֹעַ יְהֹוָה עַל מִי נִגְלָתָה:
    2And he came up like a sapling before it, and like a root from dry ground, he had neither form nor comeliness; and we saw him that he had no appearance. Now shall we desire him?”(the complete jewish bible).

  39. Mentioning the Complete Jewish Bible reminded me of a book I saw yesterday at the bookstore: The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It was published in 2001, I think, so I’m late to know about it, but as I thumbed through it, it seemed pretty freaking awesome to me.

  40. When I was still in the Church of Christ I saw copies of Strong’s concordance but I guess I never had access with it, brought by elder (older-physical age and mentally) missionaries who visit and meet the churches(congregations) in the Philippines. I’m just taking note of this because of some personal and special memory.

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