Have you ever touched a dead person?
I have. Once.
Before my Mormon father's funeral I touched his hands as his body lay in the open casket. Dad died several days before, and that touch was silent but physical testimony that he was gone. Cold. Waxy. Dead. Not sophisticated adjectives, but in this case, momentous.
What I touched at that moment, what I saw in that casket was only the shell of my father. The living part of him, his spirit, had departed that physical body which now lay lifeless before me. The physical proof provided by that touch startled me.
In an instant, my appreciation for the doctrine of the Resurrection leaped from the realm of a bystander's gratitude into deep, personal, experiential thanksgiving for our Savior Jesus Christ and His central role in Heavenly Father's plan for our happiness.
While Heavenly Father will grant exaltation only to those who choose it (see March 9 blog), the gift of a universal resurrection is free to every single person ever born into this world. Even the most God-hating human will receive that most-graciously given gift.
Following each of our resurrections, you will be you; I will be me; my dad will be my dad; all of us in our own--but perfected--bodies. As the Book of Mormon prophet Alma testified, "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body . . . all things restored to their proper and perfect frame."
One day, I will again be encircled in the warm, living, loving arms of my resurrected dad. All because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives: I know that my Redeemer lives."