A vision given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on October 3, 1918. In his opening address at the 89th 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, President Smith 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.
1 On the third of October, in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, I sat in my room a over the scriptures;
2 And a upon the great b c that was made by the Son of God, for the d of the world;
3 And the great and wonderful a made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the b into the world;
4 That through his a, and by b to the principles of the gospel, mankind might be saved.
5 While I was thus engaged, my mind reverted to the writings of the apostle Peter, to the a scattered abroad throughout b, Galatia, Cappadocia, and other parts of Asia, where the gospel had been c after the crucifixion of the Lord.
6 I opened the Bible and read the a and fourth chapters of the first epistle of Peter, and as I read I was greatly b, more than I had ever been before, with the following passages:
7 “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:
8 “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in a;
9 “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering 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.)
10 “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.)
11 As I a over these things which are b, the c of my d were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord e upon me, and I saw the hosts of the f, both small and great.
12 And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the a, who had been b in the c of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
13 And who had offered a in the b of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered c in their Redeemer’s d.
14 All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the a of a glorious b, through the c of God the d and his e, Jesus Christ.
15 I beheld that they were filled with a and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their b was at hand.
16 They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the a, to declare their b from the c of death.
17 Their sleeping a was to be b unto its c frame, d to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the e and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of f.
18 While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their a from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring b to the c who had been faithful;
19 And there he a to them the everlasting b, the doctrine of the c and the redemption of mankind from the d, and from individual sins on conditions of e.
20 But unto the a he did not go, and among the ungodly and the unrepentant who had b themselves while in the flesh, his voice was not raised;
21 Neither did the a who rejected the b and the warnings of the ancient c behold his d, nor look upon his face.
22 Where these were, a reigned, but among the righteous there was b;
23 And the saints rejoiced in their a, and bowed the b and acknowledged the Son of God as their Redeemer and Deliverer from death and the c of d.
24 Their countenances a, and the b from the presence of the Lord rested upon them, and they c praises unto his holy name.
25 I marveled, for I understood that the Savior spent about three years in his a among the Jews and those of the house of Israel, endeavoring to b them the everlasting gospel and call them unto repentance;
26 And yet, notwithstanding his mighty works, and miracles, and proclamation of the truth, in great a and authority, there were but b who hearkened to his voice, and rejoiced in his presence, and received salvation at his hands.
27 But his ministry among those who were dead was limited to the a time intervening between the crucifixion and his resurrection;
28 And I wondered at the words of Peter—wherein he said that the Son of God preached unto the a 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.
29 And as I wondered, my eyes were opened, and my understanding a, and I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the b and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;
30 But behold, from among the righteous, he a his forces and appointed b, c with power and authority, and d them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in e, even to f the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
31 And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the a day of the Lord and proclaim b to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would c of their sins and receive the gospel.
32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had a in their sins, without a b of the truth, or in c, having d the prophets.
33 These were taught a in God, repentance from sin, b for the c of sins, the d of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be a according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
35 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 a of the Son of God upon the b.
36 Thus was it made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of a, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the b who had testified of him in the flesh;
37 That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their a and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.
38 Among the great and a ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were Father b, the c and father of all,
39 And our glorious a b, with many of her faithful c who had lived through the ages and worshiped the true and living God.
40 a, the first b, was there, and his brother c, one of the mighty ones, who was in the express d of his father, Adam.
41 a, who gave warning of the flood; b, the great c; d, the father of the faithful; e, f, and Moses, the great g of Israel;
42 And a, who declared by prophecy that the Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the b, and the opening of the c to them that were bound, were also there.
43 Moreover, Ezekiel, who was shown in vision the great valley of a, which were to be b upon with flesh, to come forth again in the resurrection of the dead, living souls;
44 Daniel, who foresaw and foretold the establishment of the a of God in the latter days, never again to be destroyed nor given to other people;
45 a, who was with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration;
46 And a, the prophet who testified of the coming of b—of whom also Moroni spake to the Prophet Joseph Smith, declaring that he should come before the ushering in of the great and dreadful c of the Lord—were also there.
47 The Prophet Elijah was to plant in the a of the children the promises made to their fathers,
48 Foreshadowing the great work to be done in the a of the Lord in the b of the fulness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the c of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming.
49 All these and many more, even the a who dwelt among the Nephites and b of the coming of the Son of God, mingled in the vast assembly and waited for their deliverance,
50 For the a had looked upon the long absence of their b from their bodies as a c.
51 These the Lord taught, and gave them a to come forth, after his resurrection from the dead, to enter into his Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with b and eternal life,
52 And continue thenceforth their labor as had been promised by the Lord, and be partakers of all a which were held in reserve for them that love him.
53 The Prophet Joseph Smith, and my father, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice a who were b to come forth in the c of times to take part in laying the d of the great latter-day work,
54 Including the building of the a and the performance of ordinances therein for the redemption of the b, were also in the spirit world.
55 I observed that they were also among the a and great ones who were b in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.
56 Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first a in the world of spirits and were b to come forth in the due c of the Lord to labor in his d for the salvation of the souls of men.
57 I beheld that the faithful a of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the b of the c 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 d of the dead.
58 The dead who a will be redeemed, through obedience to the b of the house of God,
59 And after they have paid the a of their transgressions, and are b clean, shall receive a c according to their d, for they are heirs of salvation.
60 Thus was the a of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this b is c, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen.