Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) believe in the biblical account of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Latter-day Saints believe that Christ’s divinity meant that He could not be killed, but had to freely give up His life for us, but that His humanity enabled Him to suffer and die.
The Lord provided many witnesses to His death and resurrection. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon witness that the righteous dead arose and appeared unto many. (See Matthew 27:52, 53; Helaman 14:25.)
In Matthew 28:1–15; Luke 24:1–12; and John 20:1–10, we read that Mary Magdalene and other women come to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty. Angels announced that Jesus had been resurrected. Peter and John came to see the empty tomb. The risen Lord appeared to the women.
In Luke 24:13–35 we read that the resurrected Lord walked and talked with two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. They failed to recognize Him, until their spiritual eyes were opened and they realized they were speaking and communing with Christ. During His walk with them, He expounded on how all the ancient prophets had prophesied of Him.
In Matthew 28:16–20; Luke 24:33–53; and John 20:19–31, we see Jesus appearing to His apostles to prove His nature as a resurrected being of flesh and bone. He commands them to take the gospel to all nations and to witness of His atonement and resurrection. He proves Himself to “Doubting Thomas.”
Late Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinckley said the following:
“Have you not heard others speak as Thomas spoke? ‘Give us,’ they say, ‘the empirical evidence. Prove before our very eyes, and our ears, and our hands, else we will not believe.’ This is the language of the time in which we live. Thomas the Doubter has become the example of men in all ages who refuse to accept other than that which they can physically prove and explain—as if they could prove love, or faith, or even such physical phenomena as electricity. …
“To all within the sound of my voice who may have doubts, I repeat the words given Thomas as he felt the wounded hands of the Lord: ‘Be not faithless, but believing’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, 90; or Ensign, May 1978, 59).
In John 21, we read that Christ appeared to some of His apostles in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. He commanded Peter to feed His sheep.
Late Mormon prophet Howard W. Hunter said the following:
…the words “He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:6) “contain all the hope, assurance, and belief necessary to sustain us in our challenging and sometimes grief-filled lives” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1986, 18; or Ensign, May 1986, 15–16).
That Jesus Christ was the first fruits of the resurrection is one of our greatest blessings. It means that all of us will be resurrected, also, no matter whether we are wicked or righteous. In the resurrection, we can experience a fullness of joy. Our bodies will be perfectly connected to our spirits, and we will not experience illness, nor death. We will be perfect and immortal.
The following references contain information about resurrection:
- Jesus was the first to be resurrected (2 Nephi 2:8), and because of his Resurrection, all people will be resurrected (2 Nephi 9:22; Alma 11:42, 44).
- After Jesus Christ, those who receive a celestial glory will be resurrected first, followed by those who receive a terrestrial glory, those who receive a telestial glory, and finally the sons of perdition (D&C 88:96–102).
- When we are resurrected, our spirits are reunited with our perfected bodies, never to be separated again (Alma 11:43, 45).
- The knowledge and intelligence we gain on earth “will rise with us in the resurrection” (D&C 130:18–19).
- The spirits of the dead look upon the separation from the body as bondage; resurrection enables us to experience a fulness of joy (D&C 138:12–17, 50).
There were many other witnesses of the resurrected Christ:
- More than 500 brethren (1 Corinthians 15:6)
- The Apostle James (1 Corinthians 15:7)
- The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:8)
- 2,500 Saints in the ancient Americas (3 Nephi 11:8–15; 17:25)
- The Prophet Joseph Smith (Joseph Smith—History 1:17; D&C 76:22–24)
- Sidney Rigdon (D&C 76:22–24)
The following is the witness of Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, who saw the risen Lord in vision:
And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father— That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.