In Mormon 7:5 it says that Christ is the son of God and that he was slain by the Jews. By the power of the Father he has risen again. What does it mean by risen again?
“Rise again” is an idiom in the English language meaning “to come back to life” (see for example the Merriam-Webster dictionary entry). This becomes more clear in the single scriptural instance where this phrase is not used in reference to Christ (emphasis mine):
Luke 9:7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
8 And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.
9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.
Per verse 8, some people thought Christ was one of the old prophets come back to life. In fact, in some translations of the Bible, “was risen again” is translated as “had come back to life” or with similar phrases (you can see several translations of Luke 9:8 here).
Otherwise, we find the phrase in scripture six times, and in all instances, it refers to Christ’s resurrection:
- In Matthew 17:9, Christ tells Peter, James, and John to tell no one about the vision on the Mount of Transfiguration “until the Son of man be risen again from the dead”.
- In Matthew 26:32, Christ tells the apostles he will go to Galilee “after I am risen again”.
- And in the following verses, others testify that Christ is “risen again” – in other words, resurrected: Acts 17:3, Romans 8:34, Mormon 7:5, and Doctrine and Covenants 18:12.
While the inclusion of “again” might make it sound like Christ was resurrected more than once, I can assure you this isn’t the case. The phrase is just one of the strange ways language evolves – like using “kicked the bucket” to say “died” – perhaps it made sense to someone somewhere, but to the rest of us, we just accept its meaning because the phrase is widely used, even though the vast majority of people don’t kick buckets upon their death, or die from kicking buckets…
I hope this clarifies the phrase for you, Lee, and that you will be able to add your testimony to the many others that Christ is indeed risen again!