A First Resurrection Has Already Occurred


A First Resurrection

Abinadi said the following:

And behold, I say unto you, this is not all.

For O how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that is the founder of peace, yea, even the Lord, who has redeemed his people; yea, him who has granted salvation unto his people; for were it not for the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished.  But behold, the bands of death shall be broken, and the Son reigneth, and hath power over the dead; therefore, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead.  And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ—for so shall he be called.

And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection.  They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has broken the bands of death.  And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord.  And little children also have eternal life.

But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection.  (Mosiah 15:19-26)

Alma said the following, paraphrasing and expanding upon the teaching of Abinadi:

Now, there are some that have understood that this state of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection, the raising of the spirit or the soul and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken.

And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a first resurrection, a resurrection of all those who have been, or who are, or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Now, we do not suppose that this first resurrection, which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls and their consignation to happiness or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth.

Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but it meaneth the reuniting of the soul with the body, of those from the days of Adam down to the resurrection of Christ.

Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ.

Now, my son, I do not say that their resurrection cometh at the resurrection of Christ; but behold, I give it as my opinion, that the souls and the bodies are reunited, of the righteous, at the resurrection of Christ, and his ascension into heaven.

But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works. (Alma 40:15-21)

Notice, in particular, these words of Alma:

Now, whether the souls and the bodies of those of whom has been spoken shall all be reunited at once, the wicked as well as the righteous, I do not say; let it suffice, that I say that they all come forth; or in other words, their resurrection cometh to pass before the resurrection of those who die after the resurrection of Christ.  (Alma 40:19)

So, all those who died before the resurrection of Christ, both the righteous and the wicked, get resurrected before all those who die after the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of those who die before Jesus’s resurrection, then, is termed a first resurrection.  (And within this first resurrection, the resurrection of the just is called the first resurrection.)  The resurrection of those who die after Jesus’s resurrection, then, might be termed a second resurrection.  (And within this second resurrection, the resurrection of the just is still called the first resurrection.)

21 September 1823

Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, Jun., on 21 September 1823, as a resurrected personage.  As Moroni died after the resurrection of Christ and was now resurrected, this means that every single person who died before the resurrection of Christ, both the righteous as well as the wicked, had already been resurrected.  So, all those dead souls that lived during that approximately 4000 years were alive by that date.

After resurrection comes judgment

Alma taught that there is a “time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works.”  After you get resurrected, then, you get brought to stand before God and you get judged.  As far as I can recall, there is no indication in any scripture that there is a space of time or waiting period between the resurrection and your judgment.

So far we know from this that between the resurrection of Christ and 21 September 1823, all the people who lived and died in the first 4000 or so years must have come forth and, if the logic follows, must have been subsequently judged by God.  But they didn’t necessarily come forth at the same moment during this span of 1,823 years.  Alma also said:

Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead.  Behold, I say unto you, that there is no resurrection—or, I would say, in other words, that this mortal does not put on immortality, this corruption does not put on incorruption—until after the coming of Christ.  Behold, he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead. But behold, my son, the resurrection is not yet.

Now, I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know—that is concerning the resurrection.  Behold, there is a time appointed that all shall come forth from the dead. Now when this time cometh no one knows; but God knoweth the time which is appointed.  Now, whether there shall be one time, or a second time, or a third time, that men shall come forth from the dead, it mattereth not; for God knoweth all these things; and it sufficeth me to know that this is the case—that there is a time appointed that all shall rise from the dead.

Now whether there is more than one time appointed for men to rise it mattereth not; for all do not die at once, and this mattereth not; all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men. (Alma 40:1-5,8)

The First Resurrection

We obviously know that the righteous (Celestial and Terrestrial souls) came forth first, inheriting the first resurrection, whereas the Telestial souls and the sons of perdition were resurrected afterward.  So, the scriptures that speak of the many saints rising at the resurrection of Christ in the land of Jerusalem and also among the Nephites were those of the first resurrection.  This may have been only a part of those of the first resurrection, for some righteous souls needed to remain in Paradise to perform the missionary labors in the spirit world until more saints died after the resurrection of Christ, who could then take over these labors for them, allowing those who died before the resurrection of Christ to now leave Paradise without the missionary work suffering.  As to the resurrection of all the rest among this group, we have no information about when this occurred, except that it was finished by 21 September 1823.

Judged by the books

Here’s where it gets particularly interesting, for we learn from Joseph Smith that the dead must be judged out of the records which have been kept concerning the dead, and in particular the records of the ordinances which they have received, whether these were done while they were yet alive or done vicariously by someone else:

And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared, as you will find recorded in Revelation 20:12—

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place—that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.

Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?  (D&C 128:6-9)

Now surely many of the righteous saints of this 4000 year period had their ordinances done while alive, and these records were kept somewhere, and thus there was no lag time needed for their resurrection and judgment, for the records already existed, but what of the others of the same period, who had not had their ordinance work done, yet?  If they got resurrected, there could be no subsequent judgment, for judgment must be “out of the books.”  If, then, judgment does, indeed, immediately follow resurrection, then none of these could be resurrected until the ordinance work was done for them, for none of them could be judged.

We know that the Jewish church performed baptisms for the dead in the land of Jerusalem after Christ was resurrected, and we can assume the same with all the other sheep of the fold, but the Jewish church didn’t last long.  Could they do all the ordinances that needed to be done during that time?  Maybe the lost tribes church had more time.  We don’t have this information.

What we do know, though, is that the Nephites had a sort of Millennium experience after Christ visited them, and they got the whole thing, the entire revelation of the brother of Jared, which revealed all things.  It is possible, then, that it was the Nephites, those ultra diligent, miracle-working people of the Lord, that performed these labors, doing all the ordinance work and writing all the records, recording and doing everything and completing the work for all those of the first 4000 years.  As they had all the information, and they lasted for quite some time, and they were super diligent, more so than any other branch of Israel, they might have finished this enormous task in record time.  But we don’t yet know if this was the case.

Setting in order the house of God

This leads to an even more bizarre scenario.  If the resurrection of the dead must wait for the ordinance work to be done, and we have a resurrection coming up, even the first resurrection, which will happen at the Second Coming of Christ, and this resurrection will be for all those Celestial and Terrestrial souls who died after the resurrection of Christ, which is a period of about 2000 years, then that would mean that all these ordinances for the dead must be done before Christ comes back, not during the Millennium.

Our common LDS belief is that the work for the dead will be an ongoing task of the Millennium.  This is not a scriptural understanding, but was put forth by Brigham Young, I believe.  Doctrine and Covenants section 85, though, is curious, because it says, “I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong…to set in order the house of God,” which I have interpreted to mean putting the temple and other church records in perfect order.  As this will be done by the miraculous power of God working in this servant, the apparent impossibility of doing all the vicarious work for the dead and making the records complete before the Second Coming of Christ is not an issue.  In other words, just because there ain’t enough time or even enough people to get all the work done and all the records filled out and perfected before Christ comes doesn’t matter.  This servant will be able to do it, anyway.  If, in fact, these ordinances and records need to be done before the first resurrection (which takes place at the Second Coming)—otherwise all these people can’t be resurrected—then it makes sense that God must send someone endowed with seemingly unlimited power to accomplish the feat.

I am not saying that this is the case.  I am just saying that if this is the case, then we’ve got things wrong concerning the Millennium and the vicarious work for the dead and the resurrection and judgment.  And I am also saying that if this turns out to be true, then this servant is going to have the biggest work load (impossibly big) of anyone who ever lived and he will have to accomplish it all in an impossibly small amount of time, which is getting smaller all the time (since he apparently hasn’t even started working, yet.)

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THE DAMNATION OF INACTIVITY


What does it mean to be inactive?

The word ‘inactive’ can be used to mean dormant. When someone or something is sleeping we say they are inactive because we do not detect much activity on their part. In more scientific terms, ‘inactive’ can mean inert. In these cases it is often used to talk about dead matter with no inherent power of motion. Inactive can also mean lazy or slothful. In LDS jargon, being inactive means that you are not attending church at all or your attendance is very sporadic.

In order to understand inactivity it is useful to analyze its opposite. Opposites are merely special relationships; so special that we can really only come to understand one side by understanding the other.

Church Activity

Active LDS regularly attend a minimum of 1-3 hours of church meetings a week. The vast majority are involved in far more activities beyond the minimal Sunday services.

Active LDS:
1. Attend various meetings throughout the week.
2. Are assigned monthly visitations among the membership.
3. Plan and execute cultural and community activities on an ongoing basis.
4. Perform certain rituals in temples which serve as dedicated space for these ceremonies.

Sounds pretty active, indeed LDS are generally very busy people. Not all are necessarily physically active in the sense of getting plenty of exercise, but they keep themselves busy. So what are the specifics of their activity? What exactly do they do? It may be useful to employ a recent trend in social commentary to dissect this subject.

WHAT ACTIVE LDS THINK THEY DO vs. WHAT ACTIVE LDS ACTUALLY DO

Active LDS think they show devotion to God by attending a myriad of meetings.

In these meetings one can expect to find pretty much what you would find at any meeting in modern society. That is, lectures, books, notes, reports, a few people talking, a lot of folks listening and some sleeping while many more are daydreaming, thinking about being somewhere other than where they are in that moment.

The active LDS think they are loving their neighbor when they make assigned monthly visits (or phone calls if busy schedules do not permit an in-person visit) to other LDS people in their vicinity.

What actually happens is that two adult men or two adult women will drop by a particular residence to engage in a bit of ‘friendly banter’, after which the visitors read a message dictated from the Saltican City and end with a short prayer. At any point in this visit the assigned Home Teachers or Visiting Teachers, as they are called, will insert a key question. This question may be worded in any number of ways but what is always inferred is “Is there anything you need?” or “Is there anything we can do for you?” The customary response is “Oh no, nothing I can think of right now, but thank you.”

In familiar scenes such as this the action of the active LDS is revealed to be mere acting, in the sense of Hollywood actors. This is the sad truth behind such action because, as Justin has written in The Written Records post

“ethics only teach us how to live as though you were one with your neighbor. You learn the modes of ACTION that imply a compassionate relationship with another person. It offers you incentive to ACT in a certain way – but it cannot generate the genuine feeling of it.”

Active LDS think that they serve people through their constant cultural and community events.

In reality LDS people serve the interests of corporations. Whether it be a cultural activity as small as a Singles Ward dance or a local Christmas Pageant, or a huge community effort like Mormon Helping Hands preparing the giant metropolis of Rio De Janeiro for the Olympics or a Historic Vaccine Rollout in Africa. It all serves to reinforce Babylonian deathstyles masquerading as righteous lifestyles.

Corporation is a word that comes from the Latin word for body. The corporations that are served by the LDS people are only the vehicles through which Satan, or the conglomerate of souls who followed Lucifer and denied themselves the opportunity to inhabit tabernacles of flesh , work to force the ways of the World onto the Earth. Corporations according to today’s laws are granted more rights than humans and this was done so that the angels to a devil who take these legal fictions on as their personas can feel themselves superior to man even though they know that cooperation between spirit and matter will always remain the highest ideal in the universe. Incorporation is the act or process of combining of substances; absorption of light or moisture. This should be noteworthy to believers who seek to better understand how a spirit, can either possess or become one with a temporal body –the former being an action of evil spirits and the latter the glorious work of good spirits. In more recent times ‘incorporation’ has been used to mean: The act of uniting several persons into one fiction called a corporation. In 1885, Ambrose Bierce said:

“A, B and C are a corporation. A robs, B steals and C (it is necessary that there be one gentleman in the concern) cheats. It is a plundering, thieving, swindling corporation. But A, B and C, who have jointly determined and severally executed every crime of the corporation, are blameless.”

In this way the definition of a corporation matches that of a Secret Combination as we read in the Book of Mormon.

Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—(Hel 7:5)

Active LDS think they are doing the Lord’s Work when they perform rituals in their temples.

These actions in the modern day church have not received the Lord’s seal of approval and are in fact meaningless in many cases. Of course the rituals can be effective on a case by case basis. But alas the Holy Places have become corrupted by the money changers who charge a 10 percent entrance fee in exchange for what they claim are “saving ordinances”. Some churchgoers who gain entrance to the Celestial Room in one of these LDS temples believe that they are then guaranteed entrance into the Celestial Kingdom of God. But even worse than the mind state of those who assume they have obtained some kind of golden ticket, is the awful state of the millions more who believe they have to “keep working at it.”

The first category is comprised of the blind who will end up being leaders within the ranks of the Church and World. The second category is made up of the blind followers who are led by the blind. Both are necessary components of Satan’s gory work. Jesus tells us that both will end up in the ditch. While willfully ignorant Mormons perform vicarious work for the dead they never once suppose that they are the dead. Their awful situation is reflected by Malcolm, the main character in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense. In their pride these individuals fail to see that they are performing dead works in a whited sepulcher. The active member is told that he/she has obtained the highest honor by simply being in the temple. And thus the Devil cheateth their souls. In this way the temples which have now been streamlined and dot the land, function as factories for the continuance of Secret Combinations. Their secretive dispensing of esoteric handshakes and whatnot lay the foundations for the murdering kind of bands that later form using the self same set of symbols. We know this to be the case because this scenario has already played out in every dispensation and is repeating once again. Man-made or should we say Mason-made temples are only stone structures after all. There is a stone that the builders always seem to refuse. As highfaluting symbols of the body, these temples are equally, nay, more susceptible to becoming training grounds for apprenticeship under the Fallen.

Hugh Nibley pointed out the ancient meaning of temples as universities and universities as temples. As a university professor he was thus a temple worker. He also pointed out to active LDS the dangerous route they were actively pursuing. Working hand in hand to bring about the awful state of affairs spoken of by Moroni, The Nazis and The Niceys, The future fools alongside the Gadianton Robbers of tomorrow don cap and gown and graduate. Neither group is fully aware of the fact that they collectively form that combination which is most secret of all, even hidden from its own members.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who remain active as such, do so at a terrible risk. But then again so do Americans, Mexicans, Canadians and basically all people across the planet who consider themselves actively engaged in modern society. Inactivity, meaning infrequent or terminated church attendance, may very well be a part of the solution for you and your family right now, as it will most certainly be an eventual step for all humble followers of Christ in the eternal perspective, but it obviously is not THE answer. We are eternal spirit children of eternal Heavenly Parents, so ‘inactivity’ is never an option for eternal beings. It is rather a question of how and where our eternal flame of activity is directed. As we can see, activity in the church is not what it seems. Activity according to Saltican City is inactivity, slothfulness, trapped potential and misdirected energy according to the Spirit of Truth. What was once a lively body of saints is essentially being rapidly reduced to a Combination of pride and busy-work. The apostasy/atrophy is spreading and the Spirit is quickly vacating. We stand witness along with Moroni of old, to the death and decay. Know this. The LDS church will not recover. Know This, That Every Soul Is Free. Take the good, leave the bad and Press Forward Saints!

ACTIVATE GOD’S POWER WITHIN YOU

Jesus said plainly, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” But that leaves us with a very good question. How in the Hell can we let the Heaven out? Well, questions and answers are opposites. As stated previously, opposites are special relationships; two things so close that they are intimately linked. And ironically we find that the best and truly the only way to learn about one half is to learn from or through the other. So let’s look at two principles which we will term ACTIVE & PASSIVE. There is a much more comprehensive list touching on both of these principles in LDSA’s Split Brain Model of the Gospel post. These correspond to your Left and Right brain so I would strongly suggest reading that entire post. Here I will only list a few key operations.

PASSIVE                        ACTIVE
Reading                          Writing
Listening                        Speaking
Exhaling                          Inhaling
Feeling                            Thinking
Mudra                             Mantra
Love                                Will

It may become increasingly difficult to mentally separate these two states, the more deeply one examines their relationship to each other. This is as it should be, all in one. But God does not want us to be confused so we must learn to combine and utilize both in unison. Our confusion comes only in comprehending these two as separate states. And our insistence that ‘never the twain shall meet’ cuts us off from God. Justin has written a post called “The Tree of This and That,” which is a must read for anyone who is serious in their devotion to God and wishes to overcome this division. If and whenever we find ourselves feeling far from our Heavenly Parents we have to locate some kind of starting point to go from cut off to connected. So we start by making that compartmentalized view which we hold into a positive teaching tool to reverse the effects of having eaten the forbidden fruit. If, as we say in Mormonism, we are to find our way home to God and return with honor, we must stop seeing the passive and active, internal and external aspects of ourselves as existing APART from each other and instead see them as A PART of each other. This looking at the mark is the only way for us to set ourselves apart from the waning world and make ourselves a part of God’s Eternal Work and Glory.

So to gain our bearing once having admitted and let go of our misguided ways, we should begin to see our turning away from the institutionalized church not as inactivity, but a glorious opportunity for inner activity. This would be a good saying to keep in mind and use when people come to try and question or pressure us into returning to the ways of the church-world. Tell them, “My inactivity is inner activity. Dispute not because you see not.” Proper understanding of the passive side of life, will come through breathing exercises, scripture study, meditation and prayer. And this understanding will bring personal revelation. No one can tell you exactly what to do. But when the Holy Spirit brings suggestions and solutions to your heart and mind, you must then apply them actively in your life. For that reason it was given. The inspiration will come as it is sought. IF PERSONAL REVELATION IS NOT SOUGHT OR NOT PUT INTO ACTION WHEN RECEIVED THEN DAMNATION AND DEATH WILL FOLLOW.

I know this is not what we like to hear, but it is true. There are really only two things in the universe. Those two things are things to act and things to be acted upon, energy and matter, father and mother. In this way life has been and will continue for ever more. Eternal life is happening right now. It is granted unto men to choose or reject it according to their wills.

Think about this. For the last 2000 or so years of the Piscean Dispensation humanity has been evolving with the Revelation expressed by the Christ that God is Love…for the next 2000 or so years of the incoming Aquarian Dispensation, humanity’s contribution to the plan will be to realize the next imminent Revelation by the Christ which is the Will aspect of God and this time Jesus will come in power and great glory. The Soul itself is pure electricity arising from the Father Spirit connecting with Mother Matter and all in creation, seen and unseen, exists because of this. We as souls are self conscious electricity and our energy follows thought. In the years approaching the Millennium we will see with more and more clarity that we are not the field of knowledge, nor the knowledge, but the Knower; that we are the Thinker (not the thought). Even Einstien’s great equation is the equation of Spirit in Matter. That is all there is to it. Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother want naturally to be together to cleave to one another. They are eternally sealed. If we will accept this simple fact we too may be sealed for time and all eternity with them as their offspring.

Love and will, can only be understood together. Aligning our will with His will does not mean doing something we don’t particularly want to do just because we think it is what God would like us to do. This is in fact the way of the Devil and should alert us to the truth about so much so called service performed vainly in Jesus’ name. Aligning our wills necessitates knowing. We will only come to know God’s will when we know our own will and this can not happen while following rules set by anyone else. Much of our experience within the church was backwards. So we simply need to flip it around to realize the great purpose of life. Life is to be given and shared in love. Life without love serves no purpose and love without life is nothing.

In Sunday School, Seminary or Gospel Doctrine we have all heard it taught that we have spirit bodies. But only now are some of us awakening to the fact that our eyes, ears, mouths and noses; as the primary song goes, are not without their spiritual counterparts. The five physical senses are only the tip of an iceberg of pre-seeding spiritual faculties. As members of the corporate church we wandered around thinking of ourselves as human beings trying to have ‘spiritual experiences’. But when we stop partaking of the Kool-Aid just long enough to start waking up, we REMEMBER THAT WE ARE SPIRITUAL BEINGS TRYING TO HAVE HUMAN EXPERIENCES. I realize that this is a popular and perhaps cliché phrase these days but think about the word ‘trying’ and how it implies that THIS LIFE IS what our spirits aspire to not some next life. Eternal life starts for you when you say it does. The eternal union, the mystic marriage of flesh and spirit is what it’s all about. There are many paths but they all lead to this. Many of them are much more exciting than Church Activity ever was or could be. This is an exciting time for you and your loved ones as paths that were formally forbidden open up you can feel the Spirit of Christ Triumphant, the tingling of the Holy Spirit. And if at this point you can not be sure whether that sensation is of God or of the Devil well then you have two options before you. Either press forward with faith in God or GO BACKwards TO the CHURCH Wards.