“And the Spirit and the Body Is Restored to Itself Again”

D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner

God’s plan is great, as evidenced by the body and spirit being reunited or restored and made incorruptible and immortal. Every individual, whether good or bad, who has lived on this earth will rise from physical death, “this first death,” unto life. All death is reversed to life (Revelation 21:4). This is incomparable power! All will rise in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:21–22), and all will have a perfect knowledge of guilt, uncleanness, and nakedness; that is, unless one has repented, his sins will be exposed and he will stand naked before God. The righteous, on the other hand, will be “clothed with purity,” wearing the “robe of righteousness,” having been covered by the Savior’s atonement. The Hebrew concept of atonement, kippur, means “to cover over” or “hide,” so the righteous will rise with no guilt, uncleanness, or nakedness exposed, being fully clothed and endowed with virtue and goodness.

On the great day of judgment, “we shall be brought to stand before God … and have a bright recollection of all our guilt” (Alma 11:43). “Can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God,” Alma asked, “with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness?” (Alma 5:18).

The Prophet Joseph Smith described the scene: “The great misery of departed spirits in the world of spirits, where they go after death, is to know that they come short of the glory that others enjoy and that they might have enjoyed themselves, and they are their own accusers.” 18

The Prophet declared further: “A man is his own tormenter and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone.” 19 On fire and brimstone, see commentary at Mosiah 3:27.

Everything we have ever thought, done, or said is all recorded in our brain. Most humans have a problem being able to instantly recall what has been stored there, but as Jacob and Alma teach us, when the veil is removed and our minds are quickened, we will have a perfect knowledge, a bright recollection, a perfect remembrance of all mortal experience.

President Joseph F. Smith elaborated on this phenomenon: “In reality a man cannot forget anything. He may have a lapse of memory; he may not be able to recall at the moment a thing that he knows or words that he has spoken; he may not have the power at his will to call up these events and words; but let God Almighty touch the mainspring of the memory and awaken recollection, and you will find then that you have not even forgotten a single idle word that you have spoken! I believe the word of God to be true, and, therefore, I warn the youth of Zion, as well as those who are advanced in years, to beware of saying wicked things, of speaking evil and taking in vain the name of sacred things and sacred beings. Guard your words, that you may not offend even man, much less offend God.” 20

Verse by Verse: The Book of Mormon: Vol. 1