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Spirit Bodies


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Jesus appeared suddenly in a room with locked doors. No doubt this was done in some supernatural way. ....The best explanation for this phenomenon is that Christ was able to "move" in ways that transcended our three "normal" spatial dimensions. It also means that at no time are we required to conclude that part of Jesus' body and part of a wall occupied the same space at the same time.

Thank you.

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If Jesus' body was truly physical, as you and I both affirm, then it doesn't make sense to say that his physical body passed through a physical wall.

Really? I think you a failing, in a big way, to understand what others have been saying here. At the atomic level the distance between the electrons and nucleus is, on a relative scale similar to the distance between the sun and the earth. LOT'S of empty space there.

This doesn't mean that he stood up and walked through the wall; it means that his body simply vanished from the room. The best explanation for this phenomenon is that Christ was able to "move" in ways that transcended our three "normal" spatial dimensions.

Really? That is the "best" explanation?

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If Jesus' body was truly physical, as you and I both affirm, then it doesn't make sense to say that his physical body passed through a physical wall. Such an explanation also assumes a rather Newtonian or even Euclidean framework that would limit the movements of Jesus' body to three spatial dimensions.

So, basically, you are saying that it is beyond the power of God for Jesus to walk through a wall?

Have you told Him this?

Edited by Vance
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We know that Jesus can manipulate the physical nature of things in that he was able to walk on water. This may have been due to increasing the water tension by adjusting the strength of the atomic bonds (I've forgotten the actual term and no, I am not going to look it up today). If so, then it would make sense to me that if he can strengthen the bonds, he could weaken them including the repulsive nature allowing the atomic particles to pass by each other without disturbing their physical structure.

But I am not going to be able to find how to do that in a physics textbook, let alone the Bible. :)

Edited by calmoriah
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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.

We often see the metaphor of "putting on flesh" in the scriptures- in John, indeed in Greek the famous scripture about the "Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us" - the word "dwell" actually connotes entering a "tent" or temporary tabernacle in which to dwell.

There are others like that speak of "putting on" incorruption


  • 1 Corinthians 15:53
    53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:54
    54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

  • Mosiah 16:10
    10 Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of him according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil—

  • Alma 40:2
    2 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.

  • 2 Nephi 9:7
    7 Wherefore, it must needs be an infinite atonement—save it should be an infinite atonement this corruption could not put on incorruption. Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more.

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I will be adjourning from the discussion, the driver just called, he got lost a few blocks north, he's here now.:tribal:

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Mr. Bukowski,

You asked:

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.

Ah yes, a Platonic Form-

Pagan Greek philosophy. I suppose I should have known.

We don't believe in such things, we believe in the Bible and other revelations from God. Can you find the word "incorporeal spirit" in the Bible?

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forget it

Edited by mfbukowski
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forgetaboutit. its not worth the waste of time to discuss

Edited by mfbukowski
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Yet another way to look at the spirit and the body occupying the same space:

Helium and latex in a balloon occupy the same “floating balloon” space.

The rum and the cake in a tiramisu occupy the same “tiramisu space”.

Some 65B solar neutrinos per second pass through and temporarily share every square centimeter of the earth facing the sun, even if they are only passing through space within a solid.

Bodies of the relatively same kind of material seemingly cannot occupy the same space at the same time, but bodies of different kinds can. They can also be united or connected in such a way that the resulting entity permits both components occupy the same space. And then the space of one thing may only be the sum of its components' spaces. So spirit and the element can occupy the same space as their resulting life form.

:good:

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Yet another way to look at the spirit and the body occupying the same space:

Helium and latex in a balloon occupy the same “floating balloon” space.

The rum and the cake in a tiramisu occupy the same “tiramisu space”.

Some 65B solar neutrinos per second pass through and temporarily share every square centimeter of the earth facing the sun, even if they are only passing through space within a solid.

Bodies of the relatively same kind of material seemingly cannot occupy the same space at the same time, but bodies of different kinds can. They can also be united or connected in such a way that the resulting entity permits both components occupy the same space. And then the space of one thing may only be the sum of its components' spaces. So spirit and the element can occupy the same space as their resulting life form.

:good:

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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.

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.

Before answering the specifics, first some scriptural references regarding the nature of the distinction between spirits and bodies. The clearest one is probably the following:

D&C 77:2
:

Q. What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse [John 4:6]?

A. They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things, and of the fowls of the air;
that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.

That is the main scripture I can think of that teaches that the human spirit is in the likeness of his person, meaning his natural appearance. It goes further in fact, and teaches that beasts also have spirits are in the likeness of their natural bodies, not just men.

Another good scripture that teaches a spiritual creation that is separate from a natural one is Genesis and the Book of Moses; except that in Genesis the distinction between the two creations are obscured, but in the Book of Mormon that is made clear with the addition of these verses:

Moses 3
:

5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken,
spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth
. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God,
had created all the children of men;
and not yet a man to till the ground; for
in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth,
neither in the water, neither in the air;

6 But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

7 And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless,
all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made
according to my word.

Another interesting example comes from the Book of Mormon. After the pre-mortal Jesus showed Himself to the Brother of Jared He said:

Ether 3
:

16 Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the
body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit;
and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.

In the New Testament too there are hints and references, though not as explicit. For example when Jesus appeared to the Apostles after His resurrection, they did not believe that He had been physically resurrected, but thought that it might be His spirit; but He replied:

Luke 24:

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Notice that Jesus does not “correct” them, that He could not have been a “spirit” appearing in perfect human form; but only explains to them that if He had been a spirit, He couldn’t have had the characteristics that He displayed. That is for the scriptural references you had asked for; now to the specific questions:

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.

The answer to both those questions is yes; or more accurately, our spirits will have a spirit body, and our natural persons will have (and now has) a physical body.

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."

It occupies space in the spiritual realm, which is not identical to the natural realm. The “spaces” are not identical. Each exists in its own distinct sphere.

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?

No, because the spheres of existence are different. The “spaces” are not identical. There is a “correspondence” relationship between them, rather than a spatial one. The spirit body does not fit into the natural body like a hand in a glove.

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?

I presume what they meant by “perfect form” is that they will be freed from the deformities and imperfections that are incidental to mortality. If someone is born with Down’s syndrome for example, it does not mean that his spirit has a Down’s syndrome.

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?

The answer is yes, it is identical in appearance to the natural body.

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?

No, it means that our spirits will have (and has) two eyes etc., and our natural persons also will have (and has) two eyes etc. There is a distinction between that and what you are saying.

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?

Spirits exist in the spirit world in an environment that in every detail parallels the environment of the natural world, so when you die and go to the spirit world, you will hardly know that you are dead! The actual physics and chemistry of how things happen in the spirit world is not necessarily identical to that of the natural world; but they don’t have to be identical for that correspondence relationship between them to exist. The physics and chemistry of the two spheres may be very different from each other without compromising the correspondence relationship that exists between them.

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?

Again, just as the physics and chemistry of the two spheres may not be identical, their anatomical structures need not be identical either, for that correspondence relationship between them to exist.

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?

Their anatomies will be the same so as to enable them to have sexual relations, but not necessarily to “reproduce”. Sex need not lead to reproduction.

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?

My understanding is that they can have sexual relations but without reproduction.

Edited by zerinus
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Vance,

You wrote:

Here is the CFR: "CFR that this or any other biblical passage says anything about Jesus' physical body passing through physical barriers."

The CFR is a call for a biblical reference.

LOL

CFR for "incorporeal"! Biblical, of course!!

  • Upvote 1
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Sorry, Grandma didn't make that.

Mr. Bowman, I would very much appreciate an answer to my question on how you interpret the passage where Jesus appears though the doors were shut.

Honestly I am getting a little impatient...probably because I am waiting as well for a truck to arrive to pump out our septic tank so we can use our toilets again. You can understand why that might make me kind of antsy and it would be kind of you to relieve any such feelings I might be experiencing at the moment. Thank you in advance.

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Vance,

No, a request for "this or any other biblical passage" means a request for a biblical passage!

Your "biblical references" say nothing about how Jesus got into the room. They don't say or imply that his body passed through a wall. Therefore, the CFR has not been answered.

Jesus appeared suddenly in a room with locked doors. No doubt this was done in some supernatural way. However, the text does not describe how this occurred. If Jesus' body was truly physical, as you and I both affirm, then it doesn't make sense to say that his physical body passed through a physical wall. Such an explanation also assumes a rather Newtonian or even Euclidean framework that would limit the movements of Jesus' body to three spatial dimensions. The evidence of the Gospel narratives suggest this is a mistake. For example, Jesus was sitting with the two men on their journey to Emmaus when he suddenly disappeared (Luke 16:31). This doesn't mean that he stood up and walked through the wall; it means that his body simply vanished from the room. The best explanation for this phenomenon is that Christ was able to "move" in ways that transcended our three "normal" spatial dimensions. It also means that at no time are we required to conclude that part of Jesus' body and part of a wall occupied the same space at the same time.

oh gosh! are you kidding me????

why waste time here? unbelievable!!!

The big bad wolf is a bag of hot air. Huff and puff to your heart's content.

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Vance,

You wrote:

At the atomic level the distance between the electrons and nucleus is, on a relative scale similar to the distance between the sun and the earth. LOT'S of empty space there.

This argument, though quite common, rests on a misunderstanding of the physics of atoms and subatomic particles. It is true that electrons and the nucleus, viewed as static particles, would occupy only a very small percentage of the total space occupied by the atom as a whole. But this in no way permits the notion of one solid object passing undisturbed through another solid object (which is the issue here). The error is twofold, involving both the atomic and macro levels.

For the atomic level, I will start by giving you an analogy. An old-style propeller on a small airplane occupies only a small fraction of the total space through which the propeller moves as it spins. However, a physical object moving through the space controlled by the spinning propeller will collide with it, causing damage to one or both objects. The spinning propeller actually "occupies" a larger space than the propeller viewed as a static object. The same is true of atoms: an atom is not a collection of static subatomic particles but a dynamic system of moving parts, constantly pulsing with invisible forces, that as a system occupies a space larger than the subatomic particles themselves.

For the macro level, we have the same problem but on a much larger scale. A brick wall is not a porous mesh of atoms or molecules statically lined up with large spaces left open between them, like a hundred human beings lined up between Los Angeles and New York. From the "openness" of the material on a molecular or atomic level, it does not follow that the material is "open" at the macroscopic level. There is a reason why you can "swoosh" your hand through the air but not through a brick wall. The density of the molecules relative to one another in a brick wall is much greater than in a gaseous cloud or a roomful of ordinary air. If Jesus' body in its resurrected state is still a physical body, which you and I agree that it is, then this principle applies just as much to his body as it does to ours. If it didn't, then people would not have been physically able to touch Jesus' hands and side and determine that he was flesh and bones: their hands would have failed to make solid contact with his body just as you suggest the wall failed to do so minutes earlier when Jesus supposedly "walked through" it.

Now you could suggest that Jesus performed a miracle to permit him to walk through the wall. I agree that Jesus could have performed a miracle; in fact, I agree that his appearance in the room was supernatural. But that is precisely why the appeal to subatomic physics is irrelevant. Jesus' appearance in the room is a supernatural act, not a physically natural one.

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oh gosh! are you kidding me????

why waste time here? unbelievable!!!

The big bad wolf is a bag of hot air. Huff and puff to your heart's content.

Make your point without personal attacks.

Skylla

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Make your point without personal attacks.

Skylla

Better yet, I won't make them at all.

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Rob,

Do you believe each of our souls or spirits are omnipresent, or do they occupy a limited amount of space?

Do you believe each of our souls or spirits are comprised of substance?

Do you consider each of our souls or spirits to be "persons"?

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund
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A brick wall is not a porous mesh of atoms or molecules statically lined up with large spaces left open between them, like a hundred human beings lined up between Los Angeles and New York. From the "openness" of the material on a molecular or atomic level,

Ever hear of radon gas?

Are you aware that it is material, and can pass through brick and cement walls.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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For the atomic level, I will start by giving you an analogy. An old-style propeller on a small airplane occupies only a small fraction of the total space through which the propeller moves as it spins. However, a physical object moving through the space controlled by the spinning propeller will collide with it, causing damage to one or both objects.

So, it is your contention that each molecule of "air" that passes through "the spinning propeller collides with it, causing damage"?

Your analogy actually supports my position more than yours. Thanks for bringing it up.

Now you could suggest that Jesus performed a miracle to permit him to walk through the wall.

Yeah, that would be "supernatural".

I agree that Jesus could have performed a miracle; in fact, I agree that his appearance in the room was supernatural.

Right, but now you are attempting to declare exactly how He didn't do it. As if you really know.

But that is precisely why the appeal to subatomic physics is irrelevant.

It is a perfectly reasonable explanation. Even your own analogy supports it.

Jesus' appearance in the room is a supernatural act, not a physically natural one.

As if you would actually know how He did or didn't do it.

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Wade,

You asked:

Do you believe each of our souls or spirits are omnipresent, or do they occupy a limited amount of space?

Neither. A human soul or spirit is not omnipresent, but neither does it occupy a specific region of space. It is not a spatial object at all. It is incorporeal. When united with a physical body, the soul or spirit functions or operates within the limited physical parameters of the body, but it is not itself a spatial object.

Do you believe each of our souls or spirits are comprised of substance?

In a physical sense, no. But I am comfortable using the term substance in reference to the nature of non-physical entities.

Do you consider each of our souls or spirits to be "persons"?

Yes.

Ever hear of radon gas? Are you aware that it is material, and can pass through brick and cement walls.

Yes. But Jesus' resurrection state is solid, not gaseous. He has a risen body.

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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.

There will be no "melding" of spirits and bodies.

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.

The spirit can be defiled by the transgressions of the flesh. Unnatural addictions acquired in this life, and not repented of, will have their consequences in the next, though it may not be identical in operation to the addiction that led to it in this life.

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).

They will continue to be "two bodies," though they can no longer be separated.

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.

You need to explain what "incorporeal" means. Whatever a spirit is, it has to be something in order to avoid being nothing. And if it is something, then whatever it is made of constitutes its "corporate" entity. If the spirit is indeed "incorporeal," then it is nothing.

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Vance,

All you seem to have done in your most recent post is to question whether I know how Jesus appeared in the locked room. You have not offered a better explanation.

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