To come forth in the morning of the first resurrection

Frank M. Keele

I recently received an email from a sister, sixty two years old who’s patriarchal blessing stated that she would come forth in the morning of the first resurrection. She said that she felt as I do, that the Lord’s coming is very near and was wondering if this meant that she would pass away before the Lord comes.

Feeling sure that there are more than a few folks out there who have similar questions, I’ve decided to post a blog addressing the sequence and timing of the last day’s resurrections. Resurrections, as in plural resurrections? Answer: Yes!

To begin with, I’m going to say that coming forth in the morning of the first resurrection is to come forth in the resurrection of the just or the righteous and because there will two times of resurrection after the Lord comes as the Bridegroom, we should not fear that having this statement in a patriarchal blessing means that our death will precede the Lords Coming.

We need to keep in mind that the Second Coming is a process, not a singular event. Ezra Taft Benson described it this way:

“His first appearance will be to the righteous Saints who have gathered to the New Jerusalem. In this place of refuge they will be safe from the wrath of the Lord, which will be poured out without measure on all nations. . . .

The second appearance of the Lord will be to the Jews. To these beleaguered sons of Judah, surrounded by hostile Gentile armies, who again threaten to overrun Jerusalem, the Savior-their Messiah-will appear and set His feet on the Mount of Olives, “and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens shall also shake. (D&C 45:48)
The Lord Himself will then rout the Gentile armies, decimating their forces (see Ezek.38,39). Judah will be spared, no longer to be persecuted and scattered. . . .

The third appearance of Christ will be to the rest of the world. . . . All nations will see Him “in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels. . (Ezra Taft Benson, New Era, Dec. 1980, pp. 49-50)

As it turns out, each of these three events has it’s own time of resurrection or specific resurrection associated with it. Let us take a minute and go through the three times of resurrection via scripture, always a good place to start, right? We first go the D&C 133 and read:

56 And the graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever.

So we see above the obvious reference to “the saints”, “Mount Zion” and “the holy city, the New Jerusalem” which we know is to be established here in America. I’m going to say that this will take place when the Lord appears at Adam Ondi Ahman. Next, we go to D&C 45 where we get the account of the Lord’s appearance to the Jews as their Messiah, we read:

42 And before the day of the Lord shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood, and the stars fall from heaven.

43 And the remnant shall be gathered unto this place;

44 And then they shall look for me, and, behold, I will come; and they shall see me in the clouds of heaven, clothed with power and great glory; with all the holy angels; and he that watches not for me shall be cut off.

45 But before the arm of the Lord shall fall, an angel shall sound his trump, and the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud.

46 Wherefore, if ye have slept in peace blessed are you; for as you now behold me and know that I am, even so shall ye come unto me and your souls shall live, and your redemption shall be perfected; and the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the earth.

47 Then shall the arm of the Lord fall upon the nations.

48 And then shall the Lord set his foot upon this mount, and it shall cleave in twain, and the earth shall tremble, and reel to and fro, and the heavens also shall shake.

49 And the Lord shall utter his voice, and all the ends of the earth shall hear it; and the nations of the earth shall mourn, and they that have laughed shall see their folly.

50 And calamity shall cover the mocker, and the scorner shall be consumed; and they that have watched for iniquity shall be hewn down and cast into the fire.

51 And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet?

52 Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God.

53 And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.

It’s worth noting that there will have been a passage of some seven years between these first two times of resurrection and that man, still being mortal, will continue to pass away as they did before the Lord came as the Bridegroom or the Messiah. This becomes more clear as we read what scripture has to say about the Lord’s third appearance and the attending resurrection, we go to D&C 88, where we read:

95 And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after shall the curtain of heaven be unfolded, as a scroll is unfolded after it is rolled up, and the face of the Lord shall be unveiled;

96 And the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him.

97 And they who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven.

98 They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.

There is a big difference between this time of resurrection and the two that preceded it and it is that these events occur at the end of the half hour of silence. We should also note that the first appearance of the Lord to his saints was also the opening of the seventh seal, the beginning of the Millennium and the beginning of the half hour of silence. So some 21 years shall have passed in the interim.

Note that “the saints that are upon the earth, who are alive, shall be quickened and be caught up to meet him”. In other words, they shall be changed from telestial to terrestrial and be “caught up to meet him”, because the earth is also about to undergo a change and receive its paradisiacal glory, after which they shall be set down again on its surface.

Verses 97-98 make it perfectly clear that the normal processes of mortality, death being one of them, shall continue until the end of the half hour of silence. However, from this time forward, the earth and all that dwell upon it, will have undergone a great change, we read, ‘And he that liveth in righteousness shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and the earth shall pass away so as by fire.” (D&C 43:32) Additionally, in D&C 63:51 we read:

“Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye.”

So the bottom line is that being told in a patriarchal blessing that you shall come forth in the morning of the first resurrection is nothing to worry about. You could die and come forth when the Lord comes to his saints as the Bridegroom but you could also live to come forth in either of the other two resurrections and you could even live to be “quickened and be caught up to meet him” and at some later date be “twinkled”. It’s all good! What great blessings the Lord has in store for those who sever Him in righteousness and are “the children of light, and the children of the day”… “that that day should (not) overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:4-5)

It is hoped that you have found this blog to be edifying and uplifting. Please accept the invitation to download your free pdf copy of The Bridegroom Cometh if you haven’t already. Just click on the image of the book below. May God bless and be with you until next time!