622IN THE REALM OF DISEMBODIED SPIRITS
622Jesus the Christ died in the literal sense in which all men die. He underwent a physical dissolution by
which His immortal spirit was separated from His body of flesh and bones, and that body was actually
dead. While the corpse lay in Joseph's rock-hewn tomb, the living Christ existed as a disembodied Spirit.
We are justified in inquiring where He was and what were His activities during the interval between His
death on the cross and His emergence from the sepulchre with spirit and body reunited, a resurrected
Soul. The assumption that most naturally suggests itself is that He went where the spirits of the dead
ordinarily go; and that, in the sense in which while in the flesh He had been a Man among men, He was,
in the disembodied state a Spirit among spirits. This conception is confirmed as a fact by scriptural
622As heretofore shown
Jesus Christ was the chosen and ordained Redeemer and Savior of mankind; to
this exalted mission He had been set apart in the beginning, even before the earth was prepared as the
abode of mankind. Unnumbered hosts who had never heard the gospel, lived and died upon the earth
before the birth of Jesus. Of those departed myriads many had passed their mortal probation with varying
degrees of righteous observance of the law of God so far as it had been made known unto them, but had
died in unblamable ignorance of the gospel; while other multitudes had lived and died as transgressors
even against such moiety of God's law to man as they had learned and such as they had professed to obey.
Death had claimed as its own all of these, both just and unjust. To them went the Christ, bearing the
transcendently glorious tidings of redemption from the bondage of death, and of possible salvation from
the effects of individual sin. This labor was part of the Savior's foreappointed and unique service to the
human family. The shout of divine exultation from the cross, "It is finished," signified the consummation
of the Lord's mission in mortality; yet there remained to Him other ministry to be rendered prior to His
return to the Father.
622To the penitent transgressor crucified by His side, who reverently craved remembrance when the Lord
should come into His kingdom,
Christ had given the comforting assurance: "Verily I say unto thee,
Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." The spirit of Jesus and the spirit of the repentant thief left their
crucified bodies and went to the same place in the realm of the departed.
On the third day following,
Jesus, then a resurrected Being, positively stated to the weeping Magdalene: "I am not yet ascended to my
Father." He had gone to paradise but not to the place where God dwells. Paradise, therefore, is not
Heaven, if by the latter term we understand the abode of the Eternal Father and His celestialized children.