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Spirit Bodies


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I am working through Gospel Principles and came across this intriguing description of spirit beings:

"Spirit beings have the same bodily form as mortals except that the spirit body is in perfect form (see Ether 3:16). Spirits carry with them from earth their attitudes of devotion or antagonism toward things of righteousness (see Alma 34:34). They have the same appetites and desires that they had when they lived on earth" (Gospel Principles, 2009 ed., 242).

In context, the above statements focus specifically on the nature of our spirit beings in the postmortem spirit world. The previous page states that when our mortal bodies die, "our spirits will go to the spirit world," and "will live there until we are ready for the resurrection," when "our mortal bodies will once more unite with our spirits" (241).

I have some questions about the above statements. I don't know any way to ask these questions that does not sound challenging or critical. I mean no disrespect with these questions. I do think they raise some problems that are worthy of consideration, but I am primarily interested in any clarifications those knowledgeable about LDS doctrine may be able to offer. I would especially appreciate references to LDS publications or reliable articles of relevance. Of course, explanations that clear up the apparent difficulties that this line of questioning raises are also welcome.

  1. When we are resurrected, will we have two bodies--a spirit body and a physical body? Do we have two such bodies now? This seems to be entailed in the statement that when we are resurrected our mortal bodies will be reunited with our spirits.
  2. Is it correct to say that a spirit body occupies space? This seems to be entailed in the statement that spirit beings have a "spirit body" that has "the same bodily form as mortals."
  3. If a spirit body occupies space, and if we have now and/or will have after the resurrection both a spirit body and a physical body, will they occupy the same space at the same time?
  4. If the spirit body is in perfect form, why will the physical body need to be resurrected at all? Doesn't the word "perfect" mean that it lacks nothing?
  5. To what extent does a spirit body "have the same bodily form" as a physical body? Does it have two eyes, two ears, a mouth, a nose, five fingers, and five toes? Does it have hair?
  6. If a spirit body is anatomically similar to a physical body, and if we have both a spirit body and a physical body (now and/or in the resurrection), does this mean we have or will have four eyes, four ears, two mouths, and so forth?
  7. What are the purposes of spirit eyes, spirit ears, or a spirit nose in the spirit world, if spirit beings have such bodily parts? For example, are there sound waves in heaven that convey sounds to spirit ears? If so, is there air in heaven (through which the sound waves propagate)? Are there odors or smells in heaven, and again, does this mean there are chemical compounds propagated by microscopic particles through moving air in heaven?
  8. If we will have the same appetites and desires in the spirit world that we have in mortality, does this mean we will be hungry and thirsty? May we infer, if the answer is yes, that we will have stomachs and a digestive system to go with them?
  9. Will we have sexual desires, and if so, does this mean our spirit bodies are or will be anatomically comparable to physical bodies in that regard as well? If so, does that mean that spirit bodies can unite to perform reproductive functions--and are designed or formed to do so?
  10. If spirit bodies are indeed male and female and have the same appetites and desires as physical bodies, including desires oriented toward reproduction, wouldn't this mean that spirit beings should be able to reproduce in the same way (or at least in a very similar way) as physical human beings reproduce? Is there any precedent for this in LDS doctrine?

I hope I have expressed these questions with sufficient sensitivity and circumspection. It is not my intention to ridicule or caricature. Thank you for any light you can shed on these questions.

Edited by Rob Bowman
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Rob, great questions, and great problems.

The Pratt Brothers were the earliest expounders of these questions, and much of their material logic still sits unchallenged and permeates LDS thought - Orson Pratt even speculated upon Spirit Vegetables that were eaten by spirits, etc.

I am of the thought that we take our expressions of the likeness of the spirit to the body to extremes. If the spirit is in the exact likeness of the body (before and after mortality) it suggests a strong degree of genetic predestination (the right parents would need to reproduce to create genetic offspring that look like the spirits designs to inherit it, etc). While there may be degrees of 'physical conformity' as life goes on in the symbiotic relationship, there's only really speculation on the matter - and there is a lot of it.

While I do believe there is a material 'spirit' that is distinct from our mortal bodies, I don't think the appearance and functional ratio is as 1:1 as some of the the scriptural and prophetic rhetoric have expressed. FWIW.

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  1. When we are resurrected, will we have two bodies--a spirit body and a physical body? Do we have two such bodies now? This seems to be entailed in the statement that when we are resurrected our mortal bodies will be reunited with our spirits.
    LDS believe that when we are resurrected, our spirits and our bodies are united, perfected, and will never be separated. We don't know, in reality, if that involves the melding of our spirits and our bodies to create a new 'singular' body, or what. At this point in our understanding, it's pretty much symantics.
  2. Is it correct to say that a spirit body occupies space? This seems to be entailed in the statement that spirit beings have a "spirit body" that has "the same bodily form as mortals."
I believe it was JS who taught that spirit bodies are made out of matter (or elements? I can't remember the exact phrase he used) but that it is more refined than earthly matter.
So, though i know no doctrine on the subject, i would answer that yes, spirit bodies, being real, take up 'space'.
If a spirit body occupies space, and if we have now and/or will have after the resurrection both a spirit body and a physical body, will they occupy the same space at the same time?
Yes, They apparantly occupy the same space right now, and will continue to do so after resurrection, in some way.
If the spirit body is in perfect form, why will the physical body need to be resurrected at all Doesn't the word "perfect" mean that it lacks nothing?
The spirit body being in perfect form seems to be speaking about it's lack of 'mortality' with all the ails, sicknesses, dying, and such that accompany being mortal. If you read the verse given to support the principle, it doesn't speak of being perfect in the sense of lacking nothing.
To what extent does a spirit body "have the same bodily form" as a physical body? Does it have two eyes, two ears, a mouth, a nose, five fingers, and five toes? Does it have hair?
Yes, the book is saying that spirit bodies look the same as physical bodies.
If a spirit body is anatomically similar to a physical body, and if we have both a spirit body and a physical body (now and/or in the resurrection), does this mean we have or will have four eyes, four ears, two mouths, and so forth?
It means we will have spirit eyes and physical eyes (for example) inseparably connected, functioning as a perfected whole in the resurrection and that right now we have spiritual eyes and physical eyes functioning as a whole but in an unperfected, unresurrected state.
What are the purposes of spirit eyes, spirit ears, or a spirit nose in the spirit world, if spirit beings have such bodily parts? For example, are there sound waves in heaven that convey sounds to spirit ears? If so, is there air in heaven (through which the sound waves propagate)? Are there odors or smells in heaven, and again, does this mean there are chemical compounds propagated by microscopic particles through moving air in heaven?
The basic idea is that our earth is similiar to the heaven and that God created it as a pattern of the heavenly world we come from and return to. In that way, i'm guessing that our spirit bodies function in similar, though better (since they are not mortal or 'fallen') way that our physical body functions. Exactly how or why or how sound ways work in heaven is not something that's been revealed.
If we will have the same appetites and desires in the spirit world that we have in mortality, does this mean we will be hungry and thirsty? May we infer, if the answer is yes, that we will have stomachs and a digestive system to go with them?
It could mean that, but usually what is meant but those words is that if we loved playing the harp on earth that we'll still love doing it in heaven. That if we were addicted to ciggarettes on earth, that we will still crave them in heaven. That if we were small-minded, or a racist on earth, that we will come to heaven with the same personality and same flaws.
The belief is that we will be the same people and not suddenly become someone different, just because we died and were separated from our physical bodies.
Will we have sexual desires, and if so, does this mean our spirit bodies are or will be anatomically comparable to physical bodies in that regard as well? If so, does that mean that spirit bodies can unite to perform reproductive functions--and are designed or formed to do so?
I would imagine we will still have sexual desire, but how that all works in regards to reproduction is completely conjecture.
If spirit bodies are indeed male and female and have the same appetites and desires as physical bodies, including desires oriented toward reproduction, wouldn't this mean that spirit beings should be able to reproduce in the same way (or at least in a very similar way) as physical human beings reproduce?
Not necessarily. Having sexual desire does not automatically equal being able to sexually reproduce. Sexual desire can and often does come long before sexual maturity, for example.
Again though, how it all works has not been revealed so it's anyone's guess.
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When we are resurrected, will we have two bodies--a spirit body and a physical body?

Yes, although at that point we can consider them both to be one and the same since it will no longer be possible for our spirit (body) to separate from our (other) physical body.

Do we have two such bodies now?

Yes, our spirit (body) which coexists in our (other) physical body, the spirit being immortal while the (other) physical body is mortal and subject to decay.

This seems to be entailed in the statement that when we are resurrected our mortal bodies will be reunited with our spirits.

Correct.

Is it correct to say that a spirit body occupies space?

Yes, otherwise it would not exist.

This seems to be entailed in the statement that spirit beings have a "spirit body" that has "the same bodily form as mortals."

Correct.

If a spirit body occupies space, and if we have now and/or will have after the resurrection both a spirit body and a physical body, will they occupy the same space at the same time?

Yes, otherwise we would not exist.

If the spirit body is in perfect form, why will the physical body need to be resurrected at all? Doesn't the word "perfect" mean that it lacks nothing?

This hasn't been clarified in the scriptures, to my knowledge, but God has said something to the effect that our spirit bodies are not enough in themselves to enable us to be all that he is and that only with our (other) physical body, perfected, can we be like he is.

To what extent does a spirit body "have the same bodily form" as a physical body? Does it have two eyes, two ears, a mouth, a nose, five fingers, and five toes? Does it have hair?

Yes, but you wouldn't be able to touch them or feel them as you can those on a physical body.

For example, if a spirit appeared to you... without a physical body... you wouldn't be able to shake his hand or otherwise touch a part of his body, although you would see that he (or she) appeared in form as you do.

If a spirit body is anatomically similar to a physical body, and if we have both a spirit body and a physical body (now and/or in the resurrection), does this mean we have or will have four eyes, four ears, two mouths, and so forth?

Heh, yes, I suppose you could say that, although the 2 eyes of your spirit sees through your 2 eyes of your (other) physical body so it appears as if you have only 2.

What are the purposes of spirit eyes, spirit ears, or a spirit nose in the spirit world, if spirit beings have such bodily parts? For example, are there sound waves in heaven that convey sounds to spirit ears? If so, is there air in heaven (through which the sound waves propagate)? Are there odors or smells in heaven, and again, does this mean there are chemical compounds propagated by microscopic particles through moving air in heaven?

Yes, your'e on the right track.

I've got to go now. Maybe I'll post more about this later.

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I believe it was JS who taught that spirit bodies are made out of matter (or elements? I can't remember the exact phrase he used) but that it is more refined than earthly matter.

D&C 131:7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;

8 We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter.

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bluebell,

Thanks so much for your comments on my questions.

You wrote:

LDS believe that when we are resurrected, our spirits and our bodies are united, perfected, and will never be separated. We don't know, in reality, if that involves the melding of our spirits and our bodies to create a new 'singular' body, or what. At this point in our understanding, it's pretty much symantics.

That's an interesting idea; I'm curious to know if anyone endorses the idea of a melding of the spirit body and physical body to become one body. From what I see in Gospel Principles, this isn't the idea, but I await further comments on the question. It's not merely a semantic issue, though, because the idea of two simultaneously existing bodies creates a number of conceptual difficulties.

You wrote:

The spirit body being in perfect form seems to be speaking about it's lack of 'mortality' with all the ails, sicknesses, dying, and such that accompany being mortal. If you read the verse given to support the principle, it doesn't speak of being perfect in the sense of lacking nothing.

Well, Ether 3:16 doesn't say anything about the spirit body being "perfect," though one would assume Christ's would be. Since that is the context, I don't know why being perfect would not mean lacking nothing; presumably Christ's body lacks nothing.

Regarding our spirit bodies having the same appetites and desires that we have in our mortal bodies, you wrote:

It could mean that, but usually what is meant but those words is that if we loved playing the harp on earth that we'll still love doing it in heaven. That if we were addicted to ciggarettes on earth, that we will still crave them in heaven.

I don't know how a spirit body could crave cigarettes, since the craving is in essence a physical addiction to specific chemical substances in cigarettes.

You wrote:

I would imagine we will still have sexual desire, but how that all works in regards to reproduction is completely conjecture.... Having sexual desire does not automatically equal being able to sexually reproduce. Sexual desire can and often does come long before sexual maturity, for example.

But Gospel Principles specifically states that we will be adults in the spirit world, so the analogy of prepubescent children is not relevant here. If we are going to be adults with anatomically comparable bodies of spirit and will feel the same sexual desires we feel in mortality, this would seem to presuppose that we will possess a comparable reproductive system. I don't want to go into details (which would violate forum rules), but sexual desire arises from chemical activities oriented biologically in terms of function toward reproduction (even though it is possible to engage in sexual activity in ways that circumvent reproduction). This would seem to be the LDS Church's official teaching about sexuality as well, since in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, sexual functionality is described as "the sacred powers of procreation."

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Hello Ron Bowman...

Interesting questions... I always think of Christ's example after he was resurrected, when he came and spent time with his apostles, teaching them... before he ascended into "heaven" but promised to leave the Comforter.

He showed his wounds to his apostles, and ate with them, spoke with them... yet he could suddenly appear in the room. (I believe the reason he still had his wounds was to identify himself beyond question, such as to the doubting Thomas... "Thrust your hand into my side" etc. And, scripture tells us that he one day will show his wounds to the Jews and they will confess that he was indeed the Messiah).

I believe our bodies will be "perfect" in the sense that those who have lost limbs will have them restored... the blind will see... the lame shall walk... all things in their perfect order.

I agree our spirit bodies are much more refined than our mortal bodies... I agree that our personality traits will be about the same... but I don't think I'd carry it to the degree that if we crave cigarettes here, we will there. What would be the point... I don't believe alcoholics here will crave alcohol in the spirit world. We could not be at peace and experience full joy if we had these worldly cravings that vexed us here. That would not be "rest" or peace for us.

And as for sex... I don't think we will have the same sexual desires that we have as part of this sphere and subsequent reproduction process. It is my personal opinion that "sex" per se is a part of this world, and "creation" of spirit children is on a much higher plane than this telestial world. IMO the example of the creation of Adam from the elements of the earth is an insight into the manner of creating worlds, and their future inhabitants, without end... it is also my opinion that that will be part of our "work"... to assist God in His creation of world's without end, to his glory.

This earthly sphere is telestial... the beauty and perfection of the celestial is IMO beyond our dreams...

from the beach on a fall morning... leaves falling from the trees more each day...

GG

Edited by Garden Girl
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thesometimesaint,

You wrote:

Standard LDS Theology is that the Ressurection is the inseparable combining of our Spirit and our Mortal Body, never to die again.

I understand that. But will they then be two bodies (a spirit body and a physical body) united inseparably, or will they become one body? It would seem they are two bodies now, because they can be separated now (at death).

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I think it's significant in that in a plain reading of the accounts of the Resurrection in John, Jesus wasn't initially recognized by even those who should have recognized him until he presented specific signs that it was him - a tender word to Mary, the tokens of his hands and feet to the disciples. Those disciples on the road to Emmaus in the Luke account didn't even understand it was Jesus until after he had left. It was a significant jump - a leap of faith - to recognize in the one standing before them the Christ they had known.

It wasn't his standard physical appearance that announced who he was - it's never pointed out that he looked like Jesus, only the contrary! - it was his actions, and specific tokens of his mission that were given as signs of who he was. I don't think any particular extra-spiritual 'veil' was going on in those moments

Edited by nackhadlow
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nackhadlow,

You wrote:

I think it's significant in that in a plain reading of the accounts of the Resurrection in John, Jesus wasn't initially recognized by even those who should have recognized him until he presented specific signs that it was him - a tender word to Mary, the tokens of his hands and feet to the disciples. Those disciples on the road to Emmaus in the Luke account didn't even understand it was Jesus until after he had left. It was a significant jump - a leap of faith - to recognize in the one standing before them the Christ they had known.

It wasn't his standard physical appearance that announced who he was - it was his actions, and specific signs of his mission. I don't think any particular extra-spiritual 'veil' was going on in those moments. There would be no reason for it.

Each of the pericopes you mention here provides specific details that explain why Jesus wasn't initially recognized. Mary's eyes were filled with tears, it was early in the morning, and she wasn't even looking directly at Jesus when she mistook him for the gardener (John 20:1, 11, 14-16). Luke tells us quite explicitly that the eyes of the two men on the Emmaus road "were kept from recognizing him" and then "opened" to recognize Jesus just before he disappeared (Luke 24:16, 31). In some cases the witnesses immediately recognized Jesus but had trouble believing their own eyes. Thus, the reason why the men in the upper room thought Jesus was a ghost (Luke 24:37) was that the person they saw looked like Jesus; that's why he invited them to examine and touch his hands and side (v. 39).

It is plausible to think that having one's body become immortal and glorified would affect its appearance; after all, a facelift will do that! So Jesus may have looked somewhat differently for that reason. But it was still Jesus, the same man whom they had known, with the same body, now risen in a glorious state of immortality, incorruptibility, and power.

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I am working through Gospel Principles and came across this intriguing description of spirit beings:

1. The spirit and the tabernacle (element, body) will be “reunited in its perfect form” and “inseparably connected” – D&C 93:33-35, Alma 11:43.

2. As the spirit is a form of matter, it seems to me it must occupy a form of space – D&C 131:7.

3. The spirit and body are “reunited” and “inseparably connected”, which seems to convey that they do not each simultaneously occupy the exact quality or quantity of space (although I have seen studies that demonstrate that certain small objects under certain conditions can occupy two places at one time).

4. Two things can be perfect and still be “reunited” and “inseparably connected.” Think of "the perfect couple."

5. I am of the opinion that a human spirit is discernibly human in form—D& 77:2.

6. From one perspective, yes, but being “reunited” and “inseparably connected” the "two bodies" function as one entity, as (or better than) they do now.

7. They provide the spiritual aspect (experience, meaning, glory to God) to their physical counterpart to bear record of the Father—Moses 6:63. Together they provide a fullness of joy, the term "fullness" meaning whatever degree of joy the person can receive (D&C 88:32).

8. We will retain whatever spiritual appreciation or spiritual dependency we have acquired for the physical senses and sensations we enjoyed in mortality—D&C 138:50. There is joy in the patience of righteous anticipation and hope; misery in longing for the carnal, sensual and devilish. One bears record of the Father, one does not. For example, Paul rejoiced in prison, knowing his bondage was to God's glory.

9. We will retain the spiritual aspect of sexual desire, whether that is in the form of appreciation or dependency.

10. Reproduction is not a mechanical function alone, but requires keys governed only by God. These keys are not introduced until after a spirit gains a physical body, and even then only under certain conditions as demonstrated by Adam and Eve or those in exaltation.

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Your questions indicate that you have not connected post-mortality with pre-mortality.

The spirits we will be in the post-mortal world will be the same spirits we were in premortality. The difference between the two is our mortal life: what we will have made ourselves by our choices and thoughts, our acts and our desires.

When we are resurrected, will we have two bodies--a spirit body and a physical body? Do we have two such bodies now? This seems to be entailed in the statement that when we are resurrected our mortal bodies will be reunited with our spirits.

On death, we do, indeed, have two bodies, but one of them is, well, dead. The physical body goes to the tomb, or a shark's belly, but it no longer is "you". On resurrection, which everyone will undergo, the spirit (which is "you") body is given a new body, in exactly the same form as the one you had when you died: old, young, infantile; ill, blind, hale; addicted to drugs; whatever. However (I assume), a very fast process (in all but Christ, Who retains the marks of His crucifixion for some time—perhaps permanently) causes the physical body to attain perfection, physically.

Children will grow into their "adult" stature; mothers will raise their dead infants to maturity. Limbs will regrow, eyesight will return, etc.

This rejoining is what actually constitutes resurrection. But, note, there is no change to the spiritual "you" who is now integrated with this new, perfected, body.

This, however, occurs following the period required in the Spirit World. It is there that any change to one's spirit takes place, and these changes are harder than they would have been had they been undertaken in mortality, with the physical body, which will lie "mouldering in the grave".

Is it correct to say that a spirit body occupies space? This seems to be entailed in the statement that spirit beings have a "spirit body" that has "the same bodily form as mortals."

Exactly.

We know this from at least three scriptural sources: In Ether, Mohonri Moriancumr saw the spiritual body of Jesus Christ 18± centuries before His birth. It looked like the one He'd have at maturity in Galilee. The same thing happened to Nephi the night before His birth. My third example is when Joseph told us that there are three types of "angels": One premortal spirits; two, resurrected men; and three, unresurrected men. There is but one way to tell them apart, and their physical appearance was not that way.

If a spirit body occupies space, and if we have now and/or will have after the resurrection both a spirit body and a physical body, will they occupy the same space at the same time?

Yes, but there is a lot of room between the atoms of any "solid" object. As spiritual matter is "more pure", or, in other words "more refined" than common matter (as we think of it)—this is not a transgression of physics.

If the spirit body is in perfect form, why will the physical body need to be resurrected at all? Doesn't the word "perfect" mean that it lacks nothing?

"Perfect form" refers to "shape", not "function".

To what extent does a spirit body "have the same bodily form" as a physical body? Does it have two eyes, two ears, a mouth, a nose, five fingers, and five toes? Does it have hair?

See above, in re: Jesus' premortal appearances to the Brother of Jared and to Nephi.

If a spirit body is anatomically similar to a physical body, and if we have both a spirit body and a physical body (now and/or in the resurrection), does this mean we have or will have four eyes, four ears, two mouths, and so forth?

Why not?

See above.

What are the purposes of spirit eyes, spirit ears, or a spirit nose in the spirit world, if spirit beings have such bodily parts? For example, are there sound waves in heaven that convey sounds to spirit ears? If so, is there air in heaven (through which the sound waves propagate)? Are there odors or smells in heaven, and again, does this mean there are chemical compounds propagated by microscopic particles through moving air in heaven?

We can only conjecture. As far as I know, there is no definitive information on this trivial subject.

However, we will be able to talk, hear, read, and so on. Our spirits will be able to reason, to decide and to act (within the limits of spiritual existence (which limits we do not comprehend because we have no significant data on which to make a determination).

If we will have the same appetites and desires in the spirit world that we have in mortality, does this mean we will be hungry and thirsty? May we infer, if the answer is yes, that we will have stomachs and a digestive system to go with them?

Unknown. However, as there is every good thing in heaven, I propose that there will be chocolate cake.

Will we have sexual desires, and if so, does this mean our spirit bodies are or will be anatomically comparable to physical bodies in that regard as well? If so, does that mean that spirit bodies can unite to perform reproductive functions--and are designed or formed to do so?

Spirits do not reproduce by themselves.

If spirit bodies are indeed male and female and have the same appetites and desires as physical bodies, including desires oriented toward reproduction, wouldn't this mean that spirit beings should be able to reproduce in the same way (or at least in a very similar way) as physical human beings reproduce? Is there any precedent for this in LDS doctrine?

The appetites we will have there are the remnants of our physical bodies, left as memories from those bodies. They (our spirits) will not be able to act on these urges, but they will still exist. This is one reason that the long absence of our bodies will be a torment to us, and why those who were evil here, in their lifetimes, and who will not be resurrected until long after the First Resurrection, will be suffering: it's at least partially because they will be wholly unable to slake those thirsts, nor assuage those hungers.

Lehi

P.S.: I suggest you read Doc&Cov 138, and 137. There is much to consider in these two scriptures. LS

Edited by LeSellers
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I was just now reading a book by Victor Ludlow where he discusses the subject of what takes place after death in regard to our condition after death... He has a perspective more in line with the spirit remaining in bondage to cravings of the flesh, which cannot be satisfied in the spirit world. Thus, consigning them to a spirit torment...

"Although we shed our physical body at death, the memories of the flesh remain with us to the extent that we have allowed them power over our spirit. If we have successfully conquered the attractions and appetites of the flesh, our disciplined spirits are freed from the temptations and pains of earth life and enter into spiritual bliss, a tranquil heaven... Spirit beings are influenced by the yearnings of the physical world even though they are no longer a part of it... their relative tranquility OR torment depends upon how independent their spirit was of the flesh before death separated the body and spirit.

This seems to coincide with what bluebell was saying about the same desires a person has here following them into the spirit world. But, I have to believe that as these spirits are taught the gospel beyond the veil, and their temple work performed on their behalf, that they can conquer the attitudes and desires and overcome them so that they will be liberated to find peace and joy.

GG

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Regarding our spirit bodies having the same appetites and desires that we have in our mortal bodies, you wrote:

I don't know how a spirit body could crave cigarettes, since the craving is in essence a physical addiction to specific chemical substances in cigarettes.

I've never smoked, but from what i understand about addiction, it is not only the chemical substances that cause it.

As i understand it, it takes about 7 days (could be wrong on that but that's what i'm remembering) for the nicotene to leave someone's system, yet many people still have cravings for ciggarettes for weeks or months after stopping. If cravings were only chemical, then that wouldn't be the case, but it is.

Think of it in terms of alcohol addiction, for example. An acoholic remains such, and often has a craving for alcohol years after drinking his last drink. The addiction and craving remains despite there being no real chemical addiction in his body creating it.

All this would seem to counter the idea that we can't crave something we aren't chemically addicted to.

But Gospel Principles specifically states that we will be adults in the spirit world, so the analogy of prepubescent children is not relevant here.

My analogy to prepubescent children was not meant to compare spirit bodies to children's bodies but to give an example (one of many i could have used) which shows that our mortal sexual desires are not dependant upon physical capabilities and so why should our spiritual sexual desires be.

There could be many reasons why a person, an adult person, would have sexual desire and not be able to reproduce. Likewise, there could be many reasons why a spiritual adult body would have sexual desires and not be able to reproduce. What those reasons could be, i have no idea and don't pretend to. I'm not trying to teach any doctrine on spirits and sexuality.

I only mean to suggest that your statement from before ("If spirit bodies are indeed male and female and have the same appetites and desires as physical bodies, including desires oriented toward reproduction, wouldn't this mean that spirit beings should be able to reproduce in the same way (or at least in a very similar way) as physical human beings reproduce") was short sighted and failed to acknowledge that sexual desire is not an accurate indicator of whether or not reproduction will be possible.

Edited by bluebell
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nackhadlow,

You wrote:

Each of the pericopes you mention here provides specific details that explain why Jesus wasn't initially recognized. Mary's eyes were filled with tears, it was early in the morning, and she wasn't even looking directly at Jesus when she mistook him for the gardener (John 20:1, 11, 14-16). Luke tells us quite explicitly that the eyes of the two men on the Emmaus road "were kept from recognizing him" and then "opened" to recognize Jesus just before he disappeared (Luke 24:16, 31). In some cases the witnesses immediately recognized Jesus but had trouble believing their own eyes. Thus, the reason why the men in the upper room thought Jesus was a ghost (Luke 24:37) was that the person they saw looked like Jesus; that's why he invited them to examine and touch his hands and side (v. 39).

It is plausible to think that having one's body become immortal and glorified would affect its appearance; after all, a facelift will do that! So Jesus may have looked somewhat differently for that reason. But it was still Jesus, the same man whom they had known, with the same body, now risen in a glorious state of immortality, incorruptibility, and power.

It is interesting that none of the accounts note any 'glory' or radiance, yet they do note the body still has physical wounds/scars. In all seriousness, I'm curious: What is the theory of Resurrection that accounts for a definition of "incorruptible" or "perfected" and "immortal" body that looks the same - in all ways - as a mortal human body, and even maintains physical wounds acquired in mortality?

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  1. When we are resurrected, will we have two bodies--a spirit body and a physical body? Do we have two such bodies now? This seems to be entailed in the statement that when we are resurrected our mortal bodies will be reunited with our spirits.
  2. Is it correct to say that a spirit body occupies space? This seems to be entailed in the statement that spirit beings have a "spirit body" that has "the same bodily form as mortals."
  3. If a spirit body occupies space, and if we have now and/or will have after the resurrection both a spirit body and a physical body, will they occupy the same space at the same time?
  4. If the spirit body is in perfect form, why will the physical body need to be resurrected at all? Doesn't the word "perfect" mean that it lacks nothing?
  5. To what extent does a spirit body "have the same bodily form" as a physical body? Does it have two eyes, two ears, a mouth, a nose, five fingers, and five toes? Does it have hair?
  6. If a spirit body is anatomically similar to a physical body, and if we have both a spirit body and a physical body (now and/or in the resurrection), does this mean we have or will have four eyes, four ears, two mouths, and so forth?
  7. What are the purposes of spirit eyes, spirit ears, or a spirit nose in the spirit world, if spirit beings have such bodily parts? For example, are there sound waves in heaven that convey sounds to spirit ears? If so, is there air in heaven (through which the sound waves propagate)? Are there odors or smells in heaven, and again, does this mean there are chemical compounds propagated by microscopic particles through moving air in heaven?
  8. If we will have the same appetites and desires in the spirit world that we have in mortality, does this mean we will be hungry and thirsty? May we infer, if the answer is yes, that we will have stomachs and a digestive system to go with them?
  9. Will we have sexual desires, and if so, does this mean our spirit bodies are or will be anatomically comparable to physical bodies in that regard as well? If so, does that mean that spirit bodies can unite to perform reproductive functions--and are designed or formed to do so?
  10. If spirit bodies are indeed male and female and have the same appetites and desires as physical bodies, including desires oriented toward reproduction, wouldn't this mean that spirit beings should be able to reproduce in the same way (or at least in a very similar way) as physical human beings reproduce? Is there any precedent for this in LDS doctrine?

I hope I have expressed these questions with sufficient sensitivity and circumspection. It is not my intention to ridicule or caricature. Thank you for any light you can shed on these questions.

This is a subject of some interest to me. I won't bother with all the questions as others have already put forth opinions that are similar to what mine would be. But rather I present a response that in some sense generalizes the approach. For example, we might pose the question, "Why have a spirit body at all?"

My answer to that question is that the universe has two basic kinds of matter in it: physical matter (same stuff approximated by The Standard Model) and spirit matter. We have no model at all how spirit matter works -- its interactions and behavior. It must have some degree of comparable complexity to the standard model if spirit matter is to also assemble complex anthropomorphic forms. However, it does not appear to readily interact with physical matter (though it must, at some level). So, why have a spirit body? If we only had a physical body, then we would essentially be blind to "half" the universe (as we are in mortality). If we only had a spirit body we would essentially be blind to "half" the universe. Only with a spirit and physical body can we have full sensory experience of the universe. Anyway, that's my take.

The next question which generalizes a number of the questions you asked is "How does spirit matter 'work'?" Since we mortals, with the veil present over us, are essentially blind to most spirit matter interactions, we have developed no functional model of how spirit matter interacts. Parley P. Pratt in The Key to the Science of Theology proposed a model. It's a great starting point but I can also demonstrate that his model is at best incomplete and most probably outright wrong. But we do have some clues as to how spirit matter must function. Among them are:

  • The spirit world is co-local with our physical world
  • Spirit bodies are full adult humans even when they enter a physical infant
  • Memories of the physical world carry over, for all practical purposes, instantaneously to the spirit body upon death or already present with the spirit body
  • Upon death, the spirit body seems to have form already
  • The spirit world is at least as full of environmental complexity as the physical world (color, diversity, buildings, etc.)
  • etc.

Each of these tidbits put some degree of constraint on a model of spirit matter. For example, the idea of memories contained in the physical body also being present in the spirit body is interesting. My physical brain seems to store memories fairly holistically. They aren't constrained to a singular point in the brain. Nonetheless, localized disruption to the physical brain can impair memory. Yet presumably, upon death, those memories, which may have been disrupted in the physical brain, are retained. While spirit matter and physical matter don't readily interact, there must nonetheless, be a pretty constant stream of information flowing from the physical mind to the spirit mind -- an interaction between the two realms. If there is an interaction it is, in theory, observable. That would be nice. Still, the point being is that there has to be some level of interaction between the spirit body and the physical body and it is effectively continuous and not just a one shot thing. This is just from the idea of memory. Each of the other points yield further clues.

While I perhaps haven't directly addressed your questions, hopefully my post gives you some flavor as to some of the challenges poised by the doctrinal demand of a substance dualism in the universe. I personally find the subject fascinating. I approach the topic from a framework of reductive materialism, but depending on the philosophical foundations one is disposed to, their approach may be significantly different.

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It is plausible to think that having one's body become immortal and glorified would affect its appearance; after all, a facelift will do that! So Jesus may have looked somewhat differently for that reason. But it was still Jesus, the same man whom they had known, with the same body, now risen in a glorious state of immortality, incorruptibility, and power.

So in Evangelical belief- what is it precisely which survives death? How do Evangelicals solve the "problems" you have raised? Do you believe we "sleep" until the resurrection?

Edited by mfbukowski
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In Primary, we teach that the physical body is to the spiritual body like a glove is to a hand. I don't see this as necessary literal, but I think it is a good analogy. I tend to think of our spirit bodies as our 'real' body, with our mortal shells (this might even be literal in a sense) providing appropriate clothing that may change for us when our 'environment' changes. When we are resurrected our 'real' body will be the melded intelligence, spirit and physical bodies.

It is interesting that in the case of Jesus who was actually resurrected that there wasn't immediate recognition but when there are NDE or visions of departed loved ones they are recognizable. I personally think this is because the visions are for the benefit of those living and so we see them as we remember them. My husband's grandmother's husband had died in his late twenties while she lived into her eighties (and was somewhat senile). She was terrified of dying and probably fought hard not to die even though she was in misery because of health because she was frightened her husband wouldn't recognize her as the old woman she was then. Her son gave her a blessing that all would be well and that night she had a vision/dream that her husband came to her and reassured her that he knew her. He appeared as he was when they were first married. She lost her fear, was much happier and at peace and looking forward to moving on, she died in a few days after that. If it was her husband who visited her, it would have given her no peace if he recognized her if she didn't recognize him.

Brigham Young said something about when we die, we are resurrected in the state that we were in at the time of our death and our physical bodies change and are perfected as our spirits are purified and progress in knowledge and God's glory through the Atonement (It's somewhere in the teachings of the presidents manuals). I am so hoping he was speculating because I really don't want to be in this state for one more minute than I have to. It's definitely not going to be heaven if I still have rls and can't sit down and enjoy people's company, etc.

As far as teaching what our spirits are like, I think this link pretty much covers everything we have....which is very little....doesn't stop people speculating on it though. :)

http://lds.org/scrip...spirit?lang=eng (see also http://lds.org/study...spirit?lang=eng )

<h2></h2>

That part of a living being which exists before mortal birth, which dwells in the physical body during mortality, and which exists after death as a separate being until the resurrection. All living things—mankind, animals, and plants—were spirits before any form of life existed upon the earth (Gen. 2:4–5; Moses 3:4–7). The spirit body looks like the physical body (1 Ne. 11:11; Ether 3:15–16; D&C 77:2; D&C 129). Spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure than mortal element or matter (D&C 131:7).

Every person is literally a son or a daughter of God, having been born as a spirit to Heavenly Parents before being born to mortal parents on the earth (Heb. 12:9). Each person on earth has an immortal spirit body in addition to a body of flesh and bone. As sometimes defined in scripture, the spirit and the physical body together constitute the soul (Gen. 2:7; D&C 88:15; Moses 3:7, 9, 19; Abr. 5:7). A spirit can live without a physical body, but the physical body cannot live without the spirit (James 2:26). Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. In the resurrection, the spirit is reunited with the same physical body of flesh and bone it possessed as a mortal, with two major differences: they will never be separated again, and the physical body will be immortal and perfected (Alma 11:45; D&C 138:16–17).

  • A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have, Luke 24:39
  • The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God, Rom. 8:16
  • Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, 1 Cor. 6:20
  • This body is the body of my spirit, Ether 3:16
  • Man is spirit, D&C 93:33
  • Christ ministered to the righteous spirits in paradise, D&C 138:28–30 (1 Pet. 3:18–19).
  • Ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit, Moses 6:59
  • He stood among those that were spirits, Abr. 3:23

Primary lesson: http://lds.org/manua...eng&query=glove

Edited by calmoriah
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Mr. Bukowski,

You asked:

So in Evangelical belief- what is it precisely which survives death? How do Evangelicals solve the "problems" you have raised? Do you believe we "sleep" until the resurrection?

In evangelical theology, the soul or spirit is incorporeal. This means that there is no problem in evangelical theology as to how people can have two bodies coexisting at the same time, occupying the same space, etc. The soul or spirit continues to exist after the body's death, awaiting the future resurrection and final judgment/salvation. We do not hold to "soul sleep"; the Bible's use of sleep as a metaphor for death refers to the inactivity of the body, not to the soul.

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If a spirit body occupies space, and if we have now and/or will have after the resurrection both a spirit body and a physical body, will they occupy the same space at the same time?

How can this be a problem? Jesus, with His physical body of flesh and bones was able to pass through physical barriers (doors? walls?).

John 20:19 ¶ Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

• • •

26 ¶ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

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In evangelical theology, the soul or spirit is incorporeal. This means that there is no problem in evangelical theology as to how people can have two bodies coexisting at the same time, occupying the same space, etc.

Instead, they can worry about questions like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. :diablo:

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How can this be a problem? Jesus, with His physical body of flesh and bones was able to pass through physical barriers (doors? walls?).

John 20:19 ¶ Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

• • •

26 ¶ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

Indeed, the question isn't one of spatial extension but of interaction. The atoms that make up our body are almost entirely empty space. Electrons have a size consistent with 0. If a substance does not interact with our physical atoms, it will have no problem occupying the same "space".

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Indeed, the question isn't one of spatial extension but of interaction. The atoms that make up our body are almost entirely empty space. Electrons have a size consistent with 0. If a substance does not interact with our physical atoms, it will have no problem occupying the same "space".

What I said.

but there is a lot of room between the atoms of any "solid" object. As spiritual matter is "more pure", or, in other words "more refined" than common matter (as we think of it)—this is not a transgression of physics.

Maybe if he sees it twice, he'll understand what we're talking about.

Lehi

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