Here is my logic for believing that the FINAL JUDGMENT has to be before the FINAL RESURRECTION!

First let me ask you some questions:

1. Do you agree that when we are resurrected that we
receive our FINAL eternal IMMORTAL body of flesh and bone (but
not blood)?

2. Do you agree that the body we receive when we are
resurrected is consistent with the type kingdom we
will go to (i.e. Celestial, Terrestrial or Telestial)?

3. If we are going to be resurrected with a body from
that kingdom, how would God know which type of body to
give us in that resurrection if we have not already been

4. If you have already been resurrected with a
Terrestrial body, what would be the point of a final
judgment to see if you are worthy to go to the
Celestial Kingdom or not when you already have a
Terrestrial eternal immortal body?

See the point?

I know that 99% of all plan of salvation charts
published BY THE CHURCH MEMBERS show the Resurrection
first (I HAVE NO IDEA WHY) Even the new missionary
lesson book had it that way until I pointed this out
to them, then they changed it (or rather took that
chart out).

After many years of searching, I finally found a chart PUBLISHED
BY THE CHURCH which shows it the correct way. 

You can see the Ensign article on the Internet at$fn=default.htm

If you do not have that Ensign (Sept 2001) I place a picture of the chart below
from the article so you could see it. The church web page
does not print the graphics (I have no idea why)

The article is:
Teaching Our Children the Plan of Salvation
By Robert England Lee
Parents can present Heavenly Father’s “great plan of
happiness” in simple yet powerful ways.
Robert England Lee, “Teaching Our Children the Plan of
Salvation,” Ensign, Sept. 2001, 32-37


I would very much welcome your thoughts on the matter
and why you feel that the resurrection is before the
final judgment.

Cordell Vail
Seattle, Wa


19 Nov 2006

Brother, we will be resurrected before we are judged.

John Knowlton


13 Jan 2007


Thank you for your response. I do see your logic, however, there are a few references I would submit for your consideration.

2 Nephi 9:15-16 - Jacob points that after we have become immortal (resurrection), we will appear before God for the final judgment.

Alma 11:44 - Amulek teaches that after the resurrection comes the final judgment.

In the Bible Dictionary under the topic "Degrees of Glory" it states, " Latter-day revelation confirms the teaching of the Bible on these matters and verifies that there are three general categories or glories to which the members of the human family will be assigned in the judgment following their resurrection from the grave."

In Mormon Doctrine under the heading "Judgment" Item #4, McConkie clearly states, "After all men have been resurrected the day of the great final judgment will come."

We know that the first resurrection began right when Christ was resurrected, and will continue until all of the righteous are resurrected sometime after the millennium. After the final judgment, we will be assigned a kingdom where we will dwell eternally. The celestial kingdom doesn't yet exist, since the earth will become the celestial kingdom after it has been renewed and received it's paradiscal glory. Since we know the resurrection has begun, and we know the final judgment hasn't yet occurred because those who will inherit the celestial kingdom have nowhere to go yet, I conclude that the resurrection will come before the final judgment.

There are many judgments, as you point out. Perhaps there is a preliminary judgment before the resurrection. McConkie teaches that it is by our daily acts, our obedience or disobedience, that we develop celestial, terrestrial or Telestial bodies which will be restored to us in the resurrection. In that sense, we are our own judges.

I know you reference an article from the Ensign, but I will trust the scriptures, the bible dictionary and the words of one of the Lord's chosen apostles. I feel good about the conclusions I have come to, but in the end, maybe it doesn't matter the timeline of things to come as much as it matters how we live in this life so we are prepared for that final judgment when it does come.

Thank you again for your response. It gave me a good chance to research this topic, and provided some great discussions with my family. Good luck to you in your quest for gospel knowledge.

Renae Shurtz


Feb 13, 2013
Brother and Sister Vail,
I was on your website this morning planning for a lesson and I found your plan of salvation charts. I think they're great! However, I think that you have the final judgment and resurrection portion in the wrong order. I believe that we are resurrected first and then comes the final judgment. Thanks for your awesome work!

- Nathan Siebach

My answer to Nathan:


You would be amazed how many people notice that and write to me. I have quite a discussion on that in my book on patriarchal priesthood that is on my web page. But here are just some things for you to think about before you make your final decision (and also check out the chart on my web page that was printed in the 2003 ensign ... I attached it so you dont have to go hunt for it)... When we are resurrected we are resurrected with a body belonging to a certain kingdom. Our body is reunited with our spirit into an immortal and eternal being. So if we are going to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom we would be resurrected with that type body (or could we even say "CLASS" of immortal eternal body). RIGHT? OK. We have our body that will allow us to go to the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. NOW...... we are then sent through the final judgment to see what kingdom we are worth to be sent to depending on the life we lived. Wait a minute...hold it. Isn't that a little backwards in the progression of things?

I can just hear Michael the Arch Angle calling out to you..... Woops... come back here you. That was a mistake. You should have and a 2nd degree not a 3rd degree body. Sorry we have to "RE-RESURRECT YOU NOW YOU FAILED THE FINAL JUDGMENT FOR THAT KINGDOM". Have you ever thought of that? How could we be resurrected with a body belonging to a kingdom before we have been judged to determine our worthiness? Who would decide that? Wouldn't that be the final judgment? So obviously the question then arises what is the purpose of the final judgment.

I wish the answer to this question was just that simple.

But if you do some research you will find several general authorities saying the resurrection is first and others saying it is after. It is both ways in the scriptures. So it appears we actually do not know which is first and which is second (according to scripture and general authorities giving their opinion). I have quit an extensive research paper now where I gathered all those conflicting quotes and scriptures that I have been able to find and it is not just a few.


I tend to not allow that discussion in my Sunday school classes because it just ends up in a shouting match between those who have read what the scripture say and those who have read what appears to be something different in a General Conference talk. It appears that the terms "Final Judgment" and "Resurrection" are some times used as a reference to a process not a specific event, thus being used as synonyms some times. You will have to decide that. I like my logic of the purpose of the judgment being to determine worthiness. The word judgment sort of implies that. 

We have already been through several "Final Judgments". When Satan presented his plan in the Pre-Earth life we were judged and 1/3 of the spirits lost the privilege of mortality for eternity. For them that was a pretty "Final Judgment". When we die, we either go to the spirit prison or the spirit paradise. That is a judgment determined by worthiness (and we won’t get into the subject here of only those baptized by priesthood authority being allowed into paradise... that is why we do baptisms for the dead... you would be surprised how often people challenge me on that too)... Then when we leave that spirit world we are judged/resurrected in a final resurrection and assigned to a kingdom... (On my Epistles web page in the chart section, I have a chart created by Beth Cordy showing all of those judgments).

OK.. another little twist to give you spiritual nightmares tonight just thinking about this......... (just kidding)

If that is the case that we get a final resurrected body....... then how could Joseph Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, President Faust, and several others promise us that if we are married in the temple and keep the commandments, then we will be able to eventually save our way ward children in the celestial kingdom in the next life? Are they going to be RE-RESURRECTED?

I hope you will not bring that up in Sunday school class...

So my point that I am trying to help you understand here (and it is of course just my opinion) is that the teachings of the church are filled with things that are either speculation, policies, or doctrines. Doctrines don't change. God has a body of flesh and bones. We know that is a doctrine. However it is often difficult to tell which is which (the whole focus of my life study of the church). Speculations are things like African Americans not holding the priesthood which Joseph Fielding Smith openly taught as a doctrine. But we found out it was not a doctrine but rather just his opinion (speculation) and in fact was just a policy that President Kimball changed. Another example is where Joseph Smith that it is the order of Heaven that 70's are not to be high priests . When some of the fist presidents of 70 (i.e. Zebeede Coltrin) were also ordained High Priests by Brigham Young, Joseph Smith released them and ordained other 70's in their place. That being in the Scriptures, people thought that was a doctrine. And that was the case clear up until the time of David O. McKay. Then as the church grew and the 7 presidents of the 70 (like S. Dillworth Young) who were general authorities but only 70's not High Priests like the Assistant Apostles, had a problem. When they went out to stake conferences, THEY COULD NOT SET APART A NEW STAKE PRESIDENT IF HE WAS NOT ALREADY A HIGH PRIEST BECAUSE HE HAD TO BE ORDAINED A HIGH PRIEST AND A SEVENTY CANT ORDAIN A HIGH PRIEST.... The church got so big they needed the Presidents of the 70's quorum to be able to do ordain High Priests when they were already in Africa or England. So President McKay changed that policy that Joseph Smith called "THE ORDER OF HEAVEN" (see Joseph Smith, TPJS p. 111 and D&C 107:93) and he ordained all the general authorities who were 70s to also be High Priests. Now do you want one more twist from those of us who use to be 70 as members of the church. When they changed from having Regional Representatives (who were all High Priests) and we started having Area Authority Seventies who were also all High Priests, President Hinckley called them all in to the Assembly room of the Salt Lake Temple and told them that even thought they were all High Priests they still needed to be ordained 70's too so they would have that special witness. And that is what he did and they continue to do to this day. One day in a Stake Conference 4 p.m. leadership session years ago we had a general authority there and he volunteered to answer questions like they often do. So I asked him if a High Priest was called as a general authority today to serve in the Quorums of the Seventy and he had already been ordained a 70 as a normal member of the church when they used to do that, would he have to be re-ordained a 70 again? He said no. Once a 70 always a 70. I already knew that because when S. Dillworth Young ordained me a 70 I received that special witness like fire. That is why I knew what President Hinckley was talking about when he announced it ( and I assume so did every other 70 who was formerly ordained). And that witness is still bringing within my soul to this present day and one of my greatest treasures. But there are still some 70's in the church today who are not general authorities. They are the ones who were ordained 70's before the change and have never been ordained High Priests. We have 2 in our ward. AND THEY STILL CANNOT ORDAIN A HIGH PRIEST. Is that a doctrine? 

YIKES... I did not intend to get off on another EPISTLE... I guess that is why my children named my web page I have a tendency to go on and on when someone gets me started Studying the gospel and its doctrines is the joy of my life and my main hobby. Others go fishing or hunting. Oh I go fishing and hunting too... but not for fish or deer... for conference quotes that tell if the resurrection came before the final judgment or not.... OR I spend time creating a web page like that appears to have had 1000's of readers and pleases me to no end to know that each one of us, even common members of the church like me can actually literally fulfill Ammon's promise in Alma 22:26 where he promises us that we can convert 1000's. How could over 50,000 people have read my testimony without the Internet? As you can guess I get a lot of letters telling me how much my web pages have helped convert them. How blessed we are. What a marvelous day we live in. I will quit now. I hope I have not offended you with my answer to your question by trying to help you see the bigger picture of the doctrine of resurrection and judgment. Sorry to be so long winded but I love to discuss gospel topics with friends who don't like to argue.

Your influence as a Sunday school teacher will be felt for generations to come. You never know how much influence you have on some people. But it is there and it carries of from them to others.

Blessings upon you.

Cordell Vail
Minter Creek Ward
Gig Harbor WA Stake


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