Thoughts on the Resurrection
By Ken K. Gourdin
On Sic et non at Patheos, BYU Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies Dan Peterson talks about life after death and includes a picture of the above sculpture. Brother Peterson’s post can be found here (last accessed May 28, 2020): https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2020/05/once-you-have-died-you-will-know-it-anyway.html. Matthew Robison was born blind, deaf, and confined to a wheelchair*. While, undoubtedly, the loss of his son was tragic, the elder Robison used it, along with his talents as a sculptor, to teach a powerful lesson on the resurrection.
The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Holy Bible, and is part of the canon of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Just as the Holy Bible is a record of God’s dealings with His people in the Old World, the Book of Mormon is a record of His dealings with His people in the New.
A Book of Mormon prophet, Alma, testified:
42 Now, there is a death which is called a temporal death; and the death of Christ shall loose the abands of this temporal death, that all shall be raised from this temporal death.
43 The spirit and the body shall be areunited again in its bperfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time . . .
I love it for everything it represents: restored (or newly-bestowed) physical capacity; resurrection; continuation of life; the pure joy of being able to test that suddenly-expanded physical capacity; limits removed; flight, as though, suddenly, one has been invited to play with juvenile angels (or, perhaps, even with adult ones!).
Yes, the atheists are right: We do have to make the best we can of whatever capacity we have and whatever opportunities we get while we are here, but it is a manifest injustice (one that only a God can remedy) to suggest, through a pure quirk of fate, through the caprice of biology or of genetics or of sheer chance, that some people won that lottery while, alas!, others lost it, so it is only the first group who will be given the opportunity to have a physical existence that is unfettered by the limitations to which I allude in my opening paragraph (and others).
Surely, there is no comparison between the limitations the young Brother Robison endured in his short life and those I have endured in my comparatively-longer one. But I hope I can be forgiven for thinking that I empathize with him in those struggles and that I share his anticipation that, through the Atonement and Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, one day, I, too, will be able to transcend my own struggles, just as the young Brother Robison has.
Thank you to the Brethren Robison, both old and young, for the sermon that sculpture imparts to those who see it, a sermon that so completely transcends words that, rightly, it leaves those who see it speechless.
*My preference is to refer to ambulatory devices as something one uses, not something to which one is confined. It seems, however, during the young Mr. Robison’s too-short mortal life, that in his case, such a description is apt. Happily, such confinement, long since, has ceased to be a problem.