By Chris Layton
January 21, 2020
I’ve learned this one from my youth in the LDS church time and again which is that we came here to earth to get a body but where does this idea come from and is it accurate in the way it was presented?
It comes from the teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith who said the following:
“We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the Celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine’s body to having none.” (TPJS p.181)
“We came to this earth that we (plural, meaning many) might have a (singular) body and present it pure before God in the Celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists of having a body…”
There are two ways to interpret this:
- Meaning that many people came to earth to have each to ourselves an individual physical body.
- Meaning that many people came to earth to create a family organization consisting of many parts, the hand, the foot, the head, the mouth and so on representing each part that individuals play as part of their divine gift. I believe that the Apostle Paul alluded to each of us being part of a whole body of Christ when He said:
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?” (1 Corinthians 12:12-16)
In the context that the revelation is given, I believe that the 2nd interpretation is more accurate in light of the subsequent parts of this revelation from Joseph:
“The devil (identified as “Legion” meaning “Many”) has no body (organized members which consists of hands and feet and eyes as Paul described to the Corinthians), and herein is his punishment. He is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of (many) swine, showing that he ( with the countless spirits that Jesus cast out of the man) would prefer a swine’s body to having none.”
If the devil (Lucifer now known as Satan) has no body, what does this mean? If you take the first definition from what is mentioned above, you would be lead to believe that he does not have a body of flesh and bones and was never born to a woman on any world as we have been and that is not true.
We learn from the scriptures that Lucifer was an angel in the presence of God:
“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)
“And this we saw also and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of the Father and the Son, And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him- he was Lucifer, a son of the morning. (D&C 76:25-26)
Angels Have Bodies
“There are two kinds of beings in heaven, namely: Angels, who are resurrected personages having bodies of flesh and bones.” (D&C 129:1)
Those with bodies have the ability to have offspring which Jesus identified when He said to the Jews who did not believe on Him:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father will ye do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
From the beginning of Genesis there would be two family lines on this earth who would be at war one with another which God declared:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; and he shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (JST Genesis 3:21)
“And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.” (1 Sam 17:54)
And so David took the head of the giant Goliath and buried it outside the city walls of Jerusalem where Jesus was nailed to the cross being pierced in his hands and heels in fulfilment of His Father’s prophecy. The body which Joseph revealed would be presented pure before the Father in the Celestial kingdom must be the gathered body of the Saints which is the Church of the Firstborn. As for the devil Legion which we learned was not just one entity but many, he can’t have a body and why? Because his members are neither pure, nor will they gather but instead are scattered into the sea of perdition and lost. Therefore in the end, he can never have a tabernacle or in other words, a gathered body (dominion).