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What Does It Mean to "Come Forth in the Morning of the First Resurrection"?

Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote, “Nothing is more absolutely universal than the Resurrection.”[1] Though all people will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:22), not all will be resurrected at the same time. Technically speaking, there are four resurrections.

The Morning of the First Resurrection: This resurrection began with Christ’s Resurrection and will continue in and through the Millennium. This resurrection is reserved for those who have lived righteously. It is reserved for those who are destined to be heirs of the celestial kingdom.

The Afternoon of the First Resurrection: This resurrection starts once the Millennium has begun and will carry on throughout the thousand years of the Millennium. It is reserved for those who have lived good lives but were not necessarily valiant. This resurrection is reserved for those who are destined to inherit the terrestrial kingdom.

The Morning of the Second Resurrection: This resurrection begins at the end of the Millennium. It is reserved for those who have lived sinful lives, for those who have lived contrary to the dictates for their conscience and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Those who come forth in this resurrection will inherit the telestial kingdom, the lowest of the three degrees of glory. Those who inherit this glory will not spend eternity in the presence of Satan and his minions. However, they will be eternally shut out of the presence of God and Christ.

The Afternoon of the Second Resurrection: This resurrection will take place after all others have been resurrected. It is reserved for the sons and daughters[2] of perdition, for those who will spend eternity with the devil and his angels because, in mortality, they did the work of the devil and his angels. It is the only one of the four resurrections that provides its recipients with no glory whatsoever. Hence, the eternal abode for those who come forth in this resurrection is known as “outer darkness” (Alma 40:13), where God’s light never shines (D&C 88:6–13).

Thus, what does it mean if your patriarchal blessing promises you that you will “come forth in the morning of the First Resurrection”? One stake patriarch I am acquainted with suggested that it means you will be resurrected “at the first opportunity you are able to be.” It certainly means that if you are true to your covenants, you will be exalted. It is the promise that, through your faithfulness and through Christ’s Atonement, you are going to make it to the celestial kingdom, where you will preside over your posterity for eternity, doing what God does, because you will have become what He is. Could there be any greater promise that God could make to any of His children?

Lead image from Wikimedia Commons


Notes

John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, vol. 1 (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1943), 74–75.

Lester J. Petersen, Your Patriarchal Blessing and the Extraordinary You (Rexburg, ID: Self-published, 1997), 16.

See Petersen, Your Patriarchal Blessing and the Extraordinary You, 38.

Garry H. Boyle, A Loving Letter from God: Your Patriarchal Blessing (Springville, UT: Cedar Fort, 2015), 10.



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