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.
1–10, President Joseph F. Smith ponders upon the writings of Peter and our Lord’s visit to the spirit world; 11–24, President Smith sees the righteous dead assembled in paradise and Christ’s ministry among them; 25–37, He sees how the preaching of the gospel was organized among the spirits; 38–52, He 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.
1 On the third of October, in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, I sat in my room apondering over the scriptures;
5 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.
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 aprison;
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.)
17 Their sleeping adust was to be brestored unto its cperfect frame, dbone 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.
18 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;
25 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;
26 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.
27 But his ministry among those who were dead was limited to the abrief 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 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.
29 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;
30 But behold, from among the righteous, he aorganized his forces and appointed bmessengers, cclothed 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.
31 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.
34 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.
36 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;
37 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.
42 And aIsaiah, 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.
44 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;
45 aElias, who was with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration;
46 And aMalachi, 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.
47 The Prophet Elijah was to plant in the ahearts of the children the promises made to their fathers,
48 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.
52 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.
53 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,
56 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.
57 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.
60 Thus was the avision of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this brecord is ctrue, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen.