Animal Resurrection

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Animal Resurrection

Post by DRLehrer »

Many believers in the doctrine of resurrection, including many Mormons, assume that only human beings will be resurrected. That does not seem to be the belief of these Mormon prophets and apostles.

Prophet Joseph Smith:
"John [Rev 4:6] learned that God glorified himself by saving all that his hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and he will glorify himself with them." - HC 5:343-44

Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith:
" Animals do have spirits and that through the redemption made by our Savior they will come forth in the resurrection, to enjoy the blessing of immortal life." - "Answers to Gospel Questions" Volume 2, Page 48

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie:
"Nothing is more absolutely universal than the resurrection. Every living thing and being will be resurrected. "As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22.)" - Mormon Doctrine 1st ed 573-578, 2nd ed 642-643

The First Presidency (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund):
"... the whole animal creation will be perfected and perpetuated in the Hereafter, each class in its 'distinct order or sphere,' and will enjoy 'eternal felicity.' That fact has been made plain in this dispensation (D&C 77:3)". - Church First Presidency Message, Christmas greetings, Dec. 18, 1909

Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith (later President):
"The Lord intends to save, not only the earth and the heavens, not only man who dwells upon the earth, but all things which he has created. The animals, the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, as well as man, are to be re-created, or renewed, through the resurrection, for they too are living souls." - General Conference, October 1928

Church Friend
"Usually, when we talk about the resurrection, we think of people. But the scriptures teach us that man, the earth, and all the life upon it will be resurrected, mentioning especially the beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea. The Savior gave His life so that everything would rise from the dead, even lizards and robins." - "Will Robins Go to Heaven?" - , Apr. 1982, p. 39

A number of questions immediately arise, of course.

If all animal life will be resurrected, then heaven will be populated not only with our pet dogs, our ponies, and the robins whose song we enjoy, but also the flies, the gnats, the bats, the rats, the tapeworms, the sharks, the amoebas, even the bacteria - all the millions of species, each with its millions of individuals that have existed since the beginning of life on earth. Does that really sound like a heaven where one would want to be?

Will the many chickens, hogs, steers, and trout whose parts have nourished me by passing through my digestive system receive "new bodies," or will their resurrected life be in a body reconstituted from that body which I and my table-mates partly utilized as energy and partly sent to the sewer system as waste?

Predatory animals by their very nature prey upon other animals. For them, "eternal felicity" would be to be able to continue their predation. But what about the "eternal felicity" of their prey? A shark is an efficient hunter and eater of flesh, as are most predatory animals. The alleged "Intelligent Designer" did a good job in designing a killing machine. Can a shark (or a lion, or an alligator) be a happy eater of foliage or as a non-eater?

Of course I would perhaps like to have my beloved dogs in heaven with me, but over the years I have had quite a few. I wouldn't want that many dogs living with me here on earth - why would I want so many in heaven?

What about the dinosaurs, the wooly mammoths, which are very large? Will there be enough room in heaven for the billions of creatures that have wandered the earth during the millions of years since life began here (every thing that ever lived!)?

Which kingdom of heaven will the animals be assigned to (the celestial, terrestrial, or telestial)? One would assume that pets will go with their former owner, wherever the owner ends up. But is that fair to the pets, to base their eternal placement on the actions of their owner? And what about non-domestic animals? Of course in the top kingdoms we would like pleasant animals such as songbirds. Will cockroaches all be sent to the lowest kingdom?

Like most theological ideas that at first glance seem nice, but end up with absurd consequences, the idea of animal resurrection does not bear up under scrutiny.

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Re: Animal Resurrection

Post by Gunnar »

Why limit the resurrection to animals? Plants are every bit as alive as animals. Are there no trees and flowers in heaven? What is more majestic and awe inspiring than a mighty oak tree, a giant sequoia or coast redwood?
No precept or claim is more likely to be false than one that can only be supported by invoking the claim of Divine authority for it--no matter who or what claims such authority.

“If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; but if you really make them think, they'll hate you.”
― Harlan Ellison

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Re: Animal Resurrection

Post by moksha »

Wonder if perhaps due to lack of valiancy in the existence, Mesoamerican horses were resurrected as tapirs?
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace

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