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Kirby: Dead man stalking? Resurrection may not live up to expectations

First Published      Last Updated Apr 15 2017 08:37 pm

One of my ancestors is buried in a peaceful Utah cemetery. Ironically, Great-great-great-grandpa Korihor Kirby rests just a few yards from the person he hated most in life, not counting Brigham Young.

According to family legend, Grandpa Korihor had a running feud with a neighbor named Harold Bair, who Korihor believed was paying undue attention to Grandpa's third (and most attractive) wife.

Such was the strength of Great-grandpa's suspicion that one day he encountered Harry Bair buying some hair ribbon in Zions Co-op and shot him six times.

Along with his dignity and the ability to stand fully upright again, Harry lost some fingers, part of an ear and most of his lower lip. He sued, and Grandpa K lost half his farm. The two hated each other into their respective graves years later. Or so the story goes.




I told you that to tell you this. If it's true that the dead rise from their graves during the resurrection, I'd like to be buried near Korihor to see what a couple of centuries of being dead does to a grudge like that. It might be entertaining.

Or not. According to what I've heard in church, the resurrection is supposed to fix everything. Harry will get his parts back, and Grandpa will no longer look like the rabid pug he does in old family photos.

The resurrection is the one thing about "church" I find promising enough to pique my interest. I like the idea of becoming undead with an upgraded body. All the better to get even with people I might still hate.

Getting even without the risk of being badly injured or killed has its merits. But there's a downside. Being sent to hell with a body that can't be tormented to death is a little scary. Who wants to get pitchforked in the butt for eternity?

The resurrection sounds like a good deal if you haven't considered all the possibilities. Where I go to church, it's said that we'll get resurrected in our original bodies but in their perfected states.

"Not one hair shall be lost" goes the doctrine. That may be a relief to bald guys, but who's to say what perfect really means? And what age? Perfect at 25? 47? 80?

Assuming we're freed from the ridiculous earthly expectations about our appearances, will looking the way we do right now — but "perfect" — really do it for us?

What about short people? Eternity is a long time to be perfectly looking everyone else in the belly button. What about all the other picky little things that bother us now, like freckles, hair color, noses, chins, feet?

If we all end up in a perfect unibody, how will we be able to tell one another apart? I rather like the way my wife looks.

Worse would be God allowing us to choose for ourselves what our perfect bodies will look like. After all, there's nothing in the plan that says we'll be resurrected smarter.

Given how badly we've screwed up our looks here, that could easily turn into an eternal damnation of its own.

Then again, like my ancestor and his neighbor, we'll have more important things to think about.

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.

 

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