DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS
OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS
A vision, given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 3, 1918. In his opening address at the eighty-ninth Semiannual General Conference of the Church, on October 4, 1918, President Smith declared that he had received several divine communications during the previous months. One of these, concerning the Savior’s visit to the spirits of the dead while his body was in the tomb, he had received the previous day. It was written immediately following the close of the conference; on October 31, 1918, it was submitted to the counselors in the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Patriarch, and it was unanimously accepted by them.
, President Joseph F. Smith ponders upon the writings of Peter and our Lord’s visit to the spirit world; 11–24
, He sees the righteous dead assembled in paradise and Christ’s ministry among them; 25–37
, How the preaching of the gospel was organized among the spirits; 38–52
, President Smith sees Adam, Eve, and many of the holy prophets in the spirit world who considered their spirit state before their resurrection as a bondage; 53–60
, The righteous dead of this day continue their labors in the world of spirits.
the third of October, in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, I sat in my room apondering
over the scriptures;
And the great and wonderful alove
made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the bRedeemer
into the world;
That through his aatonement
, and by bobedience
to the principles of the gospel, mankind might be saved.
While I was thus engaged, my mind reverted to the writings of the apostle Peter, to the aprimitive
saints scattered abroad throughout bPontus
, Galatia, Cappadocia, and other parts of Asia, where the gospel had been cpreached
after the crucifixion of the Lord.
I opened the Bible and read the third and fourth chapters of the first epistle of aPeter
, and as I read I was greatly bimpressed
, more than I had ever been before, with the following passages:
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
“By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in aprison
“Which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3:18—20
“For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6
And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the ajust
, who had been bfaithful
in the ctestimony
of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the ahope
of a glorious bresurrection
, through the cgrace
of God the dFather
and his eOnly
Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
I beheld that they were filled with ajoy
and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their bdeliverance
was at hand.
They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the aspirit
world, to declare their bredemption
from the cbands
Their sleeping adust
was to be brestored
unto its cperfect
to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the espirit
and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of fjoy
While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their adeliverance
from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring bliberty
to the ccaptives
who had been faithful;
But unto the awicked
he did not go, and among the ungodly and the unrepentant who had bdefiled
themselves while in the flesh, his voice was not raised;
Where these were, adarkness
reigned, but among the righteous there was bpeace
And the saints rejoiced in their aredemption
, and bowed the bknee
and acknowledged the Son of God as their Redeemer and Deliverer from death and the cchains
Their countenances ashone
, and the bradiance
from the presence of the Lord rested upon them, and they csang
praises unto his holy name.
I marveled, for I understood that the Savior spent about three years in his aministry
among the Jews and those of the house of Israel, endeavoring to bteach
them the everlasting gospel and call them unto repentance;
And yet, notwithstanding his mighty works, and miracles, and proclamation of the truth, in great apower
and authority, there were but bfew
who hearkened to his voice, and rejoiced in his presence, and received salvation at his hands.
But his ministry among those who were dead was limited to the abrief
time intervening between the crucifixion and his resurrection;
And I wondered at the words of Peter—wherein he said that the Son of God preached unto the aspirits
in prison, who sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah—and how it was possible for him to preach to those spirits and perform the necessary labor among them in so short a time.
And as I wondered, my eyes were opened, and my understanding aquickened
, and I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the bwicked
and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;
But behold, from among the righteous, he aorganized
his forces and appointed bmessengers
with power and authority, and dcommissioned
them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in edarkness
, even to fall
the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the aacceptable
day of the Lord and proclaim bliberty
to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would crepent
of their sins and receive the gospel.
These were taught afaith
in God, repentance from sin, bvicarious
baptism for the cremission
of sins, the dgift
of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be ajudged
according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the asacrifice
of the Son of God upon the bcross
Thus was it made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of aspirits
, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the bprophets
who had testified of him in the flesh;
That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their arebellion
and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.
Among the great and amighty
ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were Father bAdam
, the cAncient
of Days and father of all,
And our glorious aMother bEve
, with many of her faithful cdaughters
who had lived through the ages and worshiped the true and living God.
, the first bmartyr
, was there, and his brother cSeth
, one of the mighty ones, who was in the express dimage
of his father, Adam.
, who gave warning of the flood; bShem
, the great chigh
, the father of the faithful; eIsaac
, and Moses, the great glaw
-giver of Israel;
, who declared by prophecy that the Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the bcaptives
, and the opening of the cprison
to them that were bound, were also there.
Moreover, Ezekiel, who was shown in vision the great valley of adry
bones, which were to be bclothed
upon with flesh, to come forth again in the resurrection of the dead, living souls;
Daniel, who foresaw and foretold the establishment of the akingdom
of God in the latter days, never again to be destroyed nor given to other people;
, who was with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration;
, the prophet who testified of the coming of bElijah
—of whom also Moroni spake to the Prophet Joseph Smith, declaring that he should come before the ushering in of the great and dreadful cday
of the Lord—were also there.
The Prophet Elijah was to plant in the ahearts
of the children the promises made to their fathers,
Foreshadowing the great work to be done in the atemples
of the Lord in the bdispensation
of the fulness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the csealing
of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming.
All these and many more, even the aprophets
who dwelt among the Nephites and btestified
of the coming of the Son of God, mingled in the vast assembly and waited for their deliverance,
For the adead
had looked upon the long absence of their bspirits
from their bodies as a cbondage
These the Lord taught, and gave them apower
to come forth, after his resurrection from the dead, to enter into his Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with bimmortality
and eternal life,
And continue thenceforth their labor as had been promised by the Lord, and be partakers of all ablessings
which were held in reserve for them that love him.
The Prophet Joseph Smith, and my father, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice aspirits
who were breserved
to come forth in the cfulness
of times to take part in laying the dfoundations
of the great latter-day work,
Including the building of the atemples
and the performance of ordinances therein for the redemption of the bdead
, were also in the spirit world.
I observed that they were also among the anoble
and great ones who were bchosen
in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.
Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first alessons
in the world of spirits and were bprepared
to come forth in the due ctime
of the Lord to labor in his dvineyard
for the salvation of the souls of men.
I beheld that the faithful aelders
of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the bpreaching
of the cgospel
of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the dspirits
of the dead.
The dead who arepent
will be redeemed, through obedience to the bordinances
of the house of God,
And after they have paid the apenalty
of their transgressions, and are bwashed
clean, shall receive a creward
according to their dworks
, for they are heirs of salvation.
Thus was the avision
of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this brecord
, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen.