The only true riches in existence are for you and me to secure for ourselves a holy resurrection. (Brigham Young. JD 1:272)








The scriptural term resurrection has a variety of definitions and meanings to the different Christian religions of today. Some say that Christ was resurrected only temporarily; others claim that the resurrection provides a spiritual rather than a physical body; and still others believe that all will be resurrected with the same kind of body and will dwell in the same place.

It is surprising that these and other interpretations of the doctrine of resurrection can all be derived from the pages of one book–The Bible. How blessed we as Latter-day Saints should feel to have further information on this important principle given by the Lord through revelation to Joseph Smith. It is through these latter-day scriptures that we obtain a much clearer and comprehensive understanding of man’s resurrection, and look forward to the fulfillment of this wonderful promise.

Contained in this volume are a small representative portion of the numerous sermons and writings of men whose understanding and testimony of this principle of resurrection were founded upon study, discernment and inspiration. With a greater appreciation of this important promise from God, we can look forward to a life everlasting without the fear of death.

This compilation is the third and last of a three-volume set: “The Pre-Existence,” “Paradise,” and “The Resurrection.” By understanding these realms and their conditions, one gains a knowledge and appreciation of the whole plan of salvation. It is hoped that the reader will enjoy these messages as much as the author did while compiling them.



[3]                               Chapter 1



The term resurrection denotes a “rising from the dead” or “coming back to life”. It is more than raising a deceased person to mortal life again–such as Christ did with Lazarus who had been dead four days (John 1:44), with the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:42), or with the widow’s son (Luke 7:15). It is, rather, restoring and raising a person’s temporal body to a spiritual, and everlasting life instead of a mortal one.

This gift of resurrection is given to all mankind because of the resurrection and atonement of Jesus Christ. His mission was to come to earth and pay a ransom that would destroy the works of the devil, who claimed the power of death (Heb. 2:14). Jesus will raise and restore every man to a resurrection, and reward them according to what they have done with their body in mortality.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according go that <which> he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (II Cor. 5:10)

This blessing and promise of resurrection to all is one of the greatest messages of Christianity. Christ’s resurrection is the foundation of Christianity and is extremely important both as an historical fact and a distinguishing doctrine among other religions. After Paul had become a witness to the resurrected Christ, that subject became the foremost doctrine of his writings and preaching.


[4]           The resurrection of Christ is one of the most glorious events in the history of the world. It was a miracle prophesied about for many centuries; it was witnessed by hundreds of people; it placed a stamp of truth upon the scriptures. Not only did it sweep away the theory of evolution and its hopelessness of death, but it established a divine faith in the plan of salvation.

The disciples of Christ were slow in believing or even understanding Christ’s message of the resurrection; but when they actually became witnesses of His personal resurrection, it filled them with such enthusiasm that they went up and down the Roman roads telling the glorious story. The fact that Jesus had come forth from the grave with a resurrection body, showing them the marks in His hands, feet and side, caused everything else to be secondary.

An amazing and concrete testimonial of the resurrected Christ is the fact that 25 years afterwards, Paul said that most of the 500 people who were witnesses of that remarkable event were still alive and could testify to it.

From the Book of Mormon comes another eye and ear witness of Christ’s resurrection–a “great multitude” of people both saw and heard Him! These spiritual events were necessarily meant to become facts of history so that everyone would have the faith and hope of a glorious resurrection.

There was new hope given to all who lived at that time, as well as to all who have dwelt on the earth before and since.

Among all the blessings which God has promised to fallen man, there are none greater than that of the resurrection of the body to eternal life and happiness. (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 273)


[5]           The message of the resurrection of Christ became the central theme of Christianity and should be the same today.



[6]                               Chapter 2



To believe in Christ, one must of necessity believe in the resurrection. So important is the resurrection that if we do not believe in it, we may as well adopt the motto Paul said was used by some, “… let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.” (I Cor. 15:32) But Paul taught that, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” (I Cor. 15:19)

To believe in Christ’s triumph over death is to have hope and faith in things beyond this world. It provides an objective to our existence and gives a true perspective to life and death.

This chapter gives general information and evidence of a resurrection, opening the door to a greater understanding of the plan of salvation and eternal life.


The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible: (5:71)

Paganism was and is without the resurrection hope (Eph. 2:12; I Thes. 4:13). Greek philosophy taught the “immortality of the soul,” the soul being considered divine; of the body, being matter and therefore considered evil, there was no hope. Paul’s proclamation of the resurrection was ridiculed in Greece (Acts 17:32). Liberal theology, denying the infallibility of the Bible, generally reduces the resurrection hope to a modern version of the immortality of the soul; i.e., man’s true “self” continues to exist in an immaterial, ghost-like spirit body. * * *


[7]           In the Old Testament account three persons were raised from the dead: the widow’s son at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17 ff.), the son of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:32 ff.), and the man whose dead body was cast into Elisha’s grave (2 Kings 13:21). The claim that the widow’s son had not died cannot be sufficiently substantiated. Although these resurrections meant only a temporal restoration to earthly life, they undoubtedly strengthened Israel’s faith in the almighty power of Yahweh, as the God who was able even to raise the dead.

* * * * *


Times and Seasons: (4:220-221)

The Jews, as a body–those that were considered orthodox, at least–always believed in the resurrection, as the scriptures abundantly testify. There was a sect in our Savior’s day, that did not believe in the resurrection, nor in angels or spirits; but they were very inconsiderable. Their doctrines were considered unpopular and false, and Paul in his day had nothing to do but to proclaim himself a believer in the resurrection, to obtain a temporary protection from the Pharisees, at least in the time of his difficulty. * * *

Every Jew is commanded to rehearse the thirteen articles of faith daily. The last of the thirteen is: “I believe, with a perfect faith, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, at the time when it shall please the Creator, blessed and exalted be his name forever.”

* * * * *


The Illustrated Bible Dictionary: (Tyndale House Publishers Vol. 3, p. 1330)

The most startling characteristic of the first Christian preaching is its emphasis on the resurrection. The first preachers were sure that Christ had risen, and sure, in consequence, that believers would in due course [8] rise also. This set them off from all the other teachers of the ancient world. * * * Clearly the resurrection is of the very first importance for the Christian faith.

The Christian idea of resurrection is to be distinguished from both Greek and Jewish ideas. The Greeks thought of the body as a hindrance to true life and they looked for the time when the soul would be free from its shackles. They conceived of life after death in terms of the immortality of the soul, but they firmly rejected all ideas of resurrection (cf. the mockery of Paul’s preaching in Acts 17:32). The Jews were firmly persuaded of the values of the body, and thought these would not be lost. They thus looked for the body to be raised. But they thought it would be exactly the same body (Apocalypse of Baruch 1:2). The Christians thought of the body as being raised, but also transformed so as to be a suitable vehicle for the very different life of the age to come (1 Cor. 15:42 ff.). The Christian idea is thus distinctive.

* * * * *


Halley’s Bible Handbook: (p. 550)

The fact that some of the Corinthian church leaders were already denying the resurrection, is an indication of the extent to which false teaching, of the very worst kind, had crept into the church.

Paul insists, in the strongest language of which he is capable, that except for the hope of resurrection there is no excuse for the existence of Christianity.

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead was the one unvarying refrain of the Apostles. This 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is the fullest discussion of it in the New Testament. In the meaning it gives to human life, it is the most significant and grandest single chapter in the Bible.

* * * * *


[9] Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 1:143)

But the Theistic evolutionist is a weak-kneed and unbelieving religionist, who is constantly apologizing for the miracles of the scriptures, and who does not believe in the divine mission of Jesus Christ.

Again, I repeat, no man can consistently accept the doctrine of the evolutionist and also believe in the divine mission of our Redeemer. The two thoughts are in absolute conflict. You cannot harmonize them and serve both masters.

If life began on the earth, as advocated by Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel (who has been caught openhanded perpetrating a fraud), and others of this school, whether by chance or by some designing hand, then the doctrines of the Church are false. Then there was no Garden of Eden, no Adam and Eve, and no fall. If there was no fall; if death did not come into the world as the scriptures declared that it did–and to be consistent, if you are an evolutionist, this view you must assume–then there was no need for a redemption, and Jesus Christ is not the Son of God, and he did not die for the transgression of Adam, nor for the sins of the world. Then there has been no resurrection from the dead! Consistently, logically, there is no other view, no alternative that can be taken. Now, my brethren and sisters, are you prepared to take this view?

The modern world is fulfilling the scriptures which say that in the last days men would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Tim. 3:7) Today the world has discarded the great truth concerning the Fatherhood of God and has turned to fables. It has adopted and is promulgating in textbooks and schools the debasing doctrine that man is not the offspring of God, but a natural development through countless ages from the lowest forms of physical life to his present form and intelligence.

* * * * *


[10] Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:266)

In the Old Testament, as well as in the New, the doctrine of the literal resurrection is emphatically declared. Many have tried to spiritualize those scriptures. The Lord taught Ezekiel in vision how the literal resurrection would be brought to pass. “Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves.” (Ezek. 37:12-13)

Daniel, also, saw the vision of the resurrection and declared: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the death shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

* * * * *



For I know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. (Job 19:25-27)

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. (Psalms 16:10)

Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (Isaiah 26:19)

I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death; O death. I will be thy plagues; O grave I will be thy destruction; repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. (Hosea 13:14)


[11]         The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to pass by them round about; and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest. Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinew upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to

his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. (Ezekiel 37:1-10)

The spirit and the body shall be reunited again in its perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame, even as we now are at this time; and we shall be brought to stand before God, knowing even as we know now, and have a bright recollection of all our guilt. Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; . . . (Alma 11:43-44)

Verily I say unto you. There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold. … (Mark 10:29-30)

* * * * *


[12] Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 296)

All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection, provided you continue faithful. By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it. * * *

The expectation of seeing my friends in the morning of the resurrection cheers my soul and makes me bear up against the evils of life. It is like their taking a long journey, and on their return we meet them with increased joy.

God has revealed His Son from the heavens and the doctrine of the resurrection also; and we have a knowledge that those we bury here God will bring up again, clothed upon and quickened by the Spirit of the great God; and what mattereth it whether we lay them down, or we lay down with them when we can keep them no longer? Let these truths sink down in our hearts, that we may even here begin to enjoy that which shall be in full hereafter.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 8:43)

Yes, we will lay down these bodies in the grave. What for? That the dust, our mother earth, that composes the house of the spirit, may be purified by passing through this ordeal, and be prepared to be called up and united with the intelligent heavenly body that God has prepared. This is nothing but a change. It is not the dissolution of the creature; it is merely putting off the flesh that pertains to this world. The particles of this earth that now compose this body will be re-arranged and the spirit will be clothed with an immortal tabernacle.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 9:139)

After the body and spirit are separated by death, what, pertaining to this earth, shall we receive first? The body; that is the first object of a divine affection beyond [13] the grave. We first come in possession of the body. The spirit has overcome the body, and the body is made subject in every respect to that divine principle God has planted in the person. The spirit within is pure and holy, and goes back pure and holy to God, dwells in the spirit world pure and holy, and, by and by, will have the privilege of coming and taking the body again. Some person holding the keys of the resurrection, having previously passed through that ordeal, will be delegated to resurrect our bodies, and our spirits will be there and prepared to enter into their bodies. Then, when we are prepared to receive our bodies, they are the first earthly objects that bear divinity personified in the capacity of the man. Only the body dies; the spirit is looking forth.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 7:287)

This element of which our tabernacles are organized is calculated to decompose and return to its mother earth, or to its native element. This intelligence, which might be called divine intelligence, is implanted in mortal or human beings; and if we take a course to promote the principles of life–seek unto our Father and God, and obtain his will and perform it, the spirit will become purified, sanctified, cleansed, and made holy in the body, and the grave will cleanse the flesh. When the spirit overcomes the evil consequences of the fall, which are in the mortal tabernacle, it will reign predominant in the flesh, and is then prepared to be exalted, and will, in the resurrection, be reunited with those particles that formed the mortal body, which will be called together as with the sound of a trumpet and become immortal. Why? Because the particles composing these bodies have been made subject and obedient, by the law of the everlasting Priesthood, and the will and commandment of the Supreme Ruler of the universe, who holds the keys of life and death.

* * * * *


[14] Wilford Woodruff: (JD 18:33)

It certainly does require a good deal of the Spirit of the Lord to give comfort and consolation to a father and mother mourning for the loss of their children; and without the Gospel of Christ, the separation by death is one of the most gloomy subjects it is possible to contemplate; but just as soon as we obtain the Gospel and learn the principle of the resurrection, the gloom, sorrow and suffering occasioned by death are, in a great measure, taken away. I have often thought that, to see a dead body, and to see that body laid in the grave and covered with earth, is one of the most gloomy things on earth; without the Gospel it is like taking a leap in the dark. But as quick as we obtain the Gospel, as soon as the spirit of man is enlightened by the inspiration of the Almighty, he can exclaim with one of old–“Oh grave, where is thy victory? Oh death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin, and the gift of God is eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The resurrection of the dead presents itself before the enlightened mind of man, and he has a foundation for his spirit to rest upon. That is the position of the Latter-day Saints today. We do know for ourselves, we are not in the dark with regard to this matter; God has revealed it to us, and we do understand the principle of the resurrection of the dead, and that the Gospel brings life and immortality to light. We have received the Gospel, and if we are true to the principles of that Gospel as long as we live, we shall be made partakers of immortality, exaltation, and glory.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 12:186)

The earth and the fulness of the earth and all that pertains to this earth in an earthly capacity is no comparison with the glory, joy and peace and happiness of the soul that departs in peace.

* * * * *


[15] Orson Pratt: (JD 1:289)

When our spirits leave these bodies, will they be happy? Not perfectly so. Why? Because the spirit is absent from the body; it cannot be perfectly happy while a part of the man is lying in the earth. How can the happiness be complete when only a part of the redemption is accomplished? You cannot be perfectly happy until you get a new house. You will be happy, you will be at ease in paradise; but still you will be looking for a house where your spirit can enter, and act as you did in former times, only more perfectly, having superior powers. Consequently, all the holy men that have lived in days of old, have looked forward to the resurrection of their bodies; for then their glory will be complete.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:283-284)

The spirit and the body in this mortal life are not inseparably connected. Hence man cannot in the mortal life receive a fulness of joy. It is only through the resurrection and the spirit and the body being united inseparably that immortality and eternal life can come.

No man can receive the inseparable connection of the spirit and body until he dies. Therefore, death is just as important, so far as life is concerned, as birth. The reason is that in this life the spirit and the body are not inseparably connected. When mortal sickness comes, or old age, then dissolution comes, the spirit leaves the body, and the body goes into the grave to await the resurrection. When the spirit and the body unite again in the resurrection from the dead, they are joined together in such a way that they cannot be separated, and there shall be no more death.

Then man may receive a fulness of joy. While he is in this temporal state of spirit and body, he cannot receive a fulness of joy. No man in mortal life can receive the fulness of joy which the Lord has in store for him. Only after the resurrection from the dead, only when the spirit [16] and the body are inseparably connected–when through the resurrection the spirit and the body are welded together inseparably–can that fulness come. That is the beauty of the resurrection; that is the objective of the resurrection from the dead.

* * * * *


Doctrine and Covenants: (130:18-19)

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:300-301)

Translated beings are still mortal and will have to pass through the experience of death, or the separation of the spirit and the body, although this will be instantaneous. The people of the City of Enoch, Elijah, and others who received this great blessing of translation in ancient times, before the coming of our Lord, could not have received the resurrection, or the change from mortality to immortality at that time, because our Lord had not paid the debt which frees us from mortality and grants to us the resurrection and immortal life.

Christ is the “resurrection and the life” and the first fruits of them that slept. Therefore, none could pass from mortality to immortality until our Savior completed his work for the redemption of man and had gained the keys of the resurrection, being the first to rise, having “life in himself” and the power to lay down his life and take it up again, thus freeing all men from the bondage which the fall had placed upon them.

* * * * *


[17] Joseph E. Taylor: (JD 23:249)

Yes, give mother earth time and she will so effectually purify the tabernacle that she will get it ready for the resurrection from the grave to be re-united with the spirit. Then after a while we shall become acquainted with the higher laws, with principles altogether different to those taught to us in the flesh and which also pertain to eternal lives. And then again, when we come to be resurrected from the grave, we shall find other conditions in advance of those; we shall find God’s Priesthood there, his law there, his power there, his influence there, as there will be teachings and instructions to be given even then; and thus shall we keep going on from condition to condition of perfection and glory until we become possessed of the glory that belongs to God.

* * * * *



[18]                              Chapter 3



The ministry of Christ was popular in its beginning. Whole regions were converted through the testimony of John the Baptist; and thousands gathered to hear Christ teach. But as Jesus delved more and more into the “mysteries”, the ranks of His followers became fewer and fewer. By the time he taught some of the doctrines pertaining to the resurrection, even His apostles had trouble comprehending it. The Savior tried to make them understand that He held the keys of the resurrection and that He would be the “firstfruits of them that slept.” (I Cor. 15:20) Not much mention had been made in the Old Testament regarding the doctrine of resurrection–so this was a relatively unfamiliar idea to Christ’s listeners.

A myriad of pages and books have been written on the resurrection of Christ, but even the few selected quotations included in this chapter give more than adequate evidence.



I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. (John 11:25-26)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.


[19]         Marvel “not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:25, 28-29)

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. (Acts 2:22-24)

. . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. * * *

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. (1 Cor. 15:3-8, 20-23)

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 8:260)

Jesus is the first begotten from the dead, as you will understand. Neither Enoch, Elijah, Moses, nor any other man that ever lived on earth, no matter how strictly he [20] lived, ever obtained a resurrection until after Jesus Christ’s body was called from the tomb by the angel. He was the first begotten from the dead. He is the Master of the resurrection–the first flesh that lived here after receiving the glory of the resurrection.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (24th Semi-Annual Conference, 10/8/1854)

I believe we have already acknowledged the truth established that no person can officiate in any office he has not been subject to himself and been legally appointed to fill. That no person in this kingdom can officiate in any ordinance he himself has not obeyed; consequently no being who has not been resurrected possesses the keys of the power of resurrection. That you have been told often. Adam therefore was resurrected by someone who had been resurrected. I will go a little further with this lest some of you will be queering, doubting, and philosophizing this away. It is true, Jesus said, “I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” I do not doubt the power of Christ; but did he prove that in his resurrection? No. But it is proved that an angel came and rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulchre, and did resurrect the body of the Son of God.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:258-262)

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Author of the resurrection. He came into the world to redeem it and all upon its face from mortality and give immortality to every creature. The coming of our Savior to accomplish this end is due to the fact that death was brought into the world through the fall of Adam. (page 258)

Had there been no fall, there would have been no resurrection. Since there was a transgression which [21] brought death, the atonement had to be made by the Son of God, who was always the master over death. His sacrifice was an infinite atonement.

He declared himself to be the “resurrection and the life,” and that he had power in himself to lay down his life and take it up again. Such power has never been the possession of any other creature upon the earth. All other creatures were under the curse of death, and Christ alone could free them. (page 259)

When men deny the resurrection of Christ and coming forth from their graves of all mankind, it is a confession on their part that they are ignorant of the work of the Lord regarding the destiny of man. Our existence in mortality is most important; it is not accidental. It was never intended that we should pass through this life without coming in contact with sin–without temptation, without mortality. (page 261)

If Christ had not risen from the dead, do you think that Peter, James, and John, and the other disciples would have gone into the city of Jerusalem immediately following his crucifixion, and that there they would have begun to preach Christ and him crucified, boldly declaring unto the populace that he had been raised from the dead?

Is that reasonable? Is it reasonable to believe that Paul who started as a persecutor of the saints would suddenly change and accept Christ as the Son of God, that he too would go into those same communities to preach that Christ was the Son of God, if he had not been raised from the dead? (page 262) (See Chap. 14 “Law of the Resurrection” and Chap. 15 “Salvation and Resurrection”, Doctrines of Salvation 2:258-301.)

* * * * *


The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible: (5:78-79)

The empty tomb as evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. The fact that on Sunday morning the sepulcher was found empty is recorded in all the gospels. According to the [22] synoptics there were heavenly messengers in the tomb, who adduced as convincing proof of Jesus’ resurrection the fact that His body was not there. (Matt. 28:6; Mark 16:5,6; Luke 24:1-5, 23) John 20:1-8 describes how “the other disciple,” obviously John himself, believed that Jesus was risen, for upon entering the sepulcher he not only found it empty, but noticed how carefully Jesus’ grave clothes had been folded and laid aside. This to him excluded Mary’s theory that Jesus’ body had been taken away and buried somewhere else. John must have realized that if this had been the case, those who removed the body would certainly not have undressed it first and left the clothes lying in such an orderly condition. In the light of this, the empty tomb must certainly be reckoned among the convincing evidences of Jesus’ resurrection.

Ancient and modern unbelief has tried to explain away the evidence of the empty tomb. This process began immediately after the resurrection. When the guard had informed the Jewish leaders of what had happened, the latter bribed the soldiers to spread the rumor that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body while they were asleep. (Matt. 28:11-15) That this was an obvious lie is clear for the following reasons: (1) While the soldiers were asleep they could not possibly have seen the disciples doing their work! (2) It is unthinkable that a number of disciples could have approached the tomb through the midst of the sleeping soldiers, removed the heavy sealed stone, carried away the corpse, etc., all without even one of the soldiers waking.

Other “explanations” are equally unacceptable and unreasonable. To mention a few of them: (1) The suggestion has been made that the women, misled by the darkness, went to the wrong sepulcher, where a young man told them that they were mistaken. In this case one must reject the words the “young man” spoke: “He is risen.” Without any textual evidence these words are simply discarded as not belonging to the original text. This theory is to be rejected for the following reasons: (a) According to Mark 16:2, the sun had risen and the women who had seen where Jesus’ body was laid (Mark 15:47; Luke 23:55) knew [23] the place. (b) If the theory were correct, Mary Magdalene must have made the same mistake twice. (c) Not only the women but also Peter and John found the tomb empty. (2) The so-called “Swoon Theory”: Jesus allegedly had not died on the cross but fainted. In the tomb He revived. This suggestion is unacceptable on the following grounds: (a) Jesus’ death was officially verified and ascertained. (Mark 15:44, 45) (b) His side was pierced with a spear, which would have killed Him had He not been dead already. (c) A cruelly wounded, crucified man would not have been able to “disentangle himself from the long windings of the grave clothes,” (W. Barclay, Crucified and Crowned, p. 145) nor go remove the heavy stone before the entrance of the tomb. (d) Even if He had been physically able to do all these things, the guard would have prevented His escape. (3) Either the disciples removed and hid Jesus’ body in order to create “evidence” for an alleged resurrection, or thieves stole it. Regarding the latter suggestion, one can imagine thieves stealing the costly spices and expensive linen grave clothes (John 19:39, 40), but not a corpse which they first undressed, leaving the spices and clothing behind in the tomb, nicely folded at that. Moreover, as already indicated, the guard would have noticed and prevented all this. For these reasons alone, this suggestion is simply ridiculous. * * *

The post-resurrection appearances. During the forty days after the resurrection, Jesus appeared some eleven times to His followers, in order to give them “many proofs” of the reality of His resurrection. (Acts 1:3) Some of these appearances took place in or near the holy city and are the so–called “Jerusalem appearances~. They are those to:

(1) Mary in the garden (John 20:11)

(2) the women by the wayside (Matt. 28:9, 10)

(3) Simon Peter (Luke 24:34)

(4) The disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13)

(5) The company of apostles and disciples gathered in the evening of the resurrection day (Luke 24:33, 34; John 20:19)

(6) Thomas a week later

[24]         (7) The disciples, who saw Jesus ascend into heaven from the Mount of Olives (Luke 24:50, 51; Acts 1:9)

Other appearances occurred in Galilee and are the so-called “Galilean appearances” to:

(1) The seven disciples on the seashore (John 21:1)

(2) Jesus’ followers gathered on the mountain (Matt. 28:16), which appearance in all probability was the same as that to the five hundred brethren, recorded by Paul (1 Cor. 15:6)

In addition to these Jerusalem and Galilean appearances, the risen Lord showed Himself to James (15:7) and finally to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9), an appearance which Paul puts on a par with all the other appearances. (I Cor. 15:8)

* * * * *



Erastus Snow: (JD 19:276-277)

He showed himself to his disciples after his resurrection, on numerous occasions. First, he showed himself to Mary, near the tomb where he was raised. When Mary came to the tomb at early dawn, she saw two angels by the tomb, and they said unto her, “whom seek ye?” (Of course they knew whom she sought, but they spoke to draw her out.) And she, supposing them to be the guards, in the grey dawn of the morning looked in the door of the tomb, and saw he was gone. There was the winding sheet and the napkin that had been about his head neatly folded and laid down, but no Jesus was there, and in her disappointment and grief, she turned to go away, and saw two men which were supposed to be the guards, and said, “If you have borne him hence, tell me I pray you where you have lain him.” They replied, “Jesus has risen; as he said unto you when he was living; go and tell his disciples that he is risen,” and as she turned to go away, Jesus was by her. She met him, saw that he looked just as he did when he died, and she recognized him instantly. And as she made the motion towards him, as if she would seize him by his feet and worship him, says he, “Touch me not, I [25] have not yet ascended to my Father; I have just risen, I must go and report myself to my Father, and then I will come and visit you, but you cannot touch me yet. But go and tell my disciples I go before them into Galilee, as I promised them, and I will go to my Father.”

After a little he showed himself to his disciples. He appeared to two of them the same afternoon, as they were journeying out of the village, a few miles out of the city, talking and conversing with them by the way side, and discovered himself to them in the act of breaking bread. Then he departed from them. The next time he appeared unto eleven of the disciples as they were gathered together in a room, and instructed them. But Thomas called Didymus was not present, and when these told him that they had seen the Lord, he could not believe it; he says, “I must not only see him myself before I believe, but I must feel the prints of his wounds, where the nails were driven through his hands and feet, thrust my hands in his side, and feel the hole that was made by the spear when the soldiers thrust it into this side, and drew out his heart’s blood. Unless I can do this I will not believe.” So the next time the disciples were together, and Thomas was with them, Jesus came into their midst and showed himself to them again, and the first thing he said was, “Thomas, come here, stick your fingers in the holes in my hands, thrust your hands into my side, feel the wound as it was made by the spear in my side, feel the print of the nails in my hands and feet, and doubt not but be believing.” Not a word had been said, but Jesus heard his words, and knew the thoughts of his heart, and it took him unexpectedly. Now come, come said he, “Now apply the test you demand. Feel the print of the nails in my hands and feet, and thrust your hands into my side, and doubt not but be believing.” Thomas saw that the thoughts of his heart were known and heard, and the words of his mouth were known and read, and he at once exclaimed, “Lord! It is enough.” Well, says Jesus, “Thomas, you believe now that you have seen, but blessed are those who shall believe and have not seen.”

[26]         I know there is a great many think that they must show their great strength of mind by doing as Thomas did, and swear that they won’t believe anything till they see it; but Jesus says, “Thomas, you believe now you have seen, but blessed are those who believe and have not seen.”

Now, the first time Jesus appeared to his disciples they thought it was a spirit that had appeared to them, and to show them that he had his tabernacle with him, he says, Bring me something to eat, and I will prove to you that there is something more than spirit in me. “What have you to eat?” And they answered, “We have got some fish here and some honey.” “Bring me some fish and honey comb.” And he took some of the fish and some honey and ate it before them. Now, says he, “be believing; the spirit has not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”

Here was an immortal being raised from the dead. In what did that tabernacle differ from the mortal tabernacle? Was there a change wrought upon it? Had it the same eyes in its sockets, same tongue in its head, same hands and feet, with the same holes made by driving the nails through them, the same hole made in his side by the spear that was run into it? Says he, “spirit has not flesh and bones as you see me have,” and he used the same teeth, the same organs, and ate before them, and showed them that there was his tabernacle. Then wherein did he differ from the mortal tabernacle? I answer, the blood was spilled, and that the purpose of the Father might be accomplished, he caused the soldiers to run the spear into his vitals that they might draw out the last drop of his heart’s blood. And when he was raised from the dead, he was quickened by the spirit, by the spirit and power of the Father, and the life that was in him was not the life infused by the circulation of the blood; it was not that that kept the machinery of this organism in motion; it was the element called spirit. And this is the essential difference between the mortal and immortal.

* * * * *


[27] Christian Beacon: (Carl McIntire, Mar. 12, 1970, p. 6)

It has been suggested by a number of scholars that James, the Lord’s brother, . . . along with the other brothers did not believe on the Lord during the days of Jesus’ earthly life, for in John 7:5 we read: “For neither did his brethren believe in him.” Therefore, between the resurrection and the ascension Jesus must have appeared to His own brother, and such an appearance resulted in the conversion of James. At any rate, James would be included among His brethren who are said to have gathered in the upper room with the apostles of the Lord, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, subsequent to the ascension (cf. Acts 1:13-14). This James became an outstanding leader in Judaistic Christianity, the one who presided at the Jerusalem Council around A.D. 50 described in Acts 15. It was this James whom Paul met in Jerusalem on the occasion of his first visit there following his conversion, for in Galatians 1:18-19, Paul writes: “Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” This James, it should be noted, was the author of one of the General Epistles of the New Testament. (cf. James 1:1)

* * * It is an interesting fact concerning the time of the resurrection of Christ. For Paul states that His resurrection took place on the third day. This seemingly minor detail is also mentioned by Peter in his visit at the house of Cornelius. (Acts 10:40) In the Gospels, Jesus made the prediction of His death and resurrection on the third day. (Mark 8:31-33; 9:30-32; 10:32-34) Jesus also expressed this time of the third day at the first Passover of His public ministry: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Commenting on this, John said: “But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19, 21) Luke’s rehearsal of the resurrection of Christ places the time on the third day. (Luke 24:7, 21, 46) Thus, the third day became a part of prophecy and fulfillment, a small but essential detail in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

* * * * *


[28] Joseph F. Smith: (JD 24:80)

We have plenty of evidence to show that Jesus was crucified and resurrected. We have the testimony of His disciples and they produce irrefutable evidence that they did see Him crucified, and witnessed the wounds of the nails and spear which He received on the cross. They also testify that His body was laid away in a sepulchre wherein no man had lain and they rolled a great stone to the door and departed.

Now the chief priests and Pharisees were not satisfied with the crucifixion and burial of our Lord and Savior. They remembered that while living He had said that after three days He would rise again; so they established a strong guard to protect the sepulchre and set a seal upon the stone lest His disciples should come by night and steal the body away and say unto the people, “He is risen from the dead,” and thus perpetrate a fraud upon the world.

Lo and behold: By this act those unbelieving guards became actual witnesses to the fact that a heavenly personage came and rolled away the stone and that Jesus came forth. The disciples witness and testify to the resurrection, and their testimony cannot be impeached. It therefore stands good, and is true and faithful.

But is this the only evidence we have to depend on? Have we nothing but the testimony of the ancient disciples to rest our hopes upon? Thank God we have more. And the additional evidence which we possess enables us to become witnesses to the truth of the testimony of the ancient disciples. We go to the Book of Mormon; it testifies of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in plain and unmistakable terms.

<“And it came to pass that in the ending of the thirty and fourth year, behold, I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great favors shown unto them, and great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven, He did truly manifest [29] himself unto them–showing his body unto them, and ministering unto them; . . . (3 Nephi 10:18-19)>

We may go to the book of Doctrine and Covenants containing the revelations of this dispensation, and we shall find clear and well-defined evidence there. We have the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, the testimony of Oliver Cowdery, and the testimony of Sidney Rigdon, that they saw the Lord Jesus–the same that was crucified in Jerusalem–and that He revealed Himself unto them. Joseph and Sidney testify to it, as follows:

“We, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the spirit on the sixteenth of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two, by the power of the spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to understand the things of God–even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through His Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning, of whom we bear record, and the record which we bear is the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.” (Doc. and Cov. 76:11-14) They were called to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.

* * * * *



[30]                              Chapter 4



The question often arises in everyone’s mind, “What will I be like after I die and am resurrected?” Knowledge of the true nature and character of a man’s spirit and resurrected body is obtained only in the teachings of Christ and His prophets. (See Chapter 3, “Spirit Bodies”, in the author’s publication Paradise, for a description of spirit bodies.)

An astounding latter-day revelation states that our resurrected bodies will not be much different from those we have now–with the substitution of spirit substance for blood. At death we shed the mortal body, but continue to live with the spiritual one. The same feelings, desires and character that we possess here will continue with us after death. The dross will have to be purged not only from our characters, but also from our bodies.


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:284-285)

In the resurrection from the dead, the bodies which were laid down natural bodies shall come forth spiritual bodies. That is to say, in mortality the life of the body is in the blood, but the body when raised to immortality shall be quickened by the spirit and not the blood. * * *

These modern blind teachers of the blind who deny the literal resurrection have a very false understanding of what is meant by a spiritual body. They have based their conclusion on the statement that Paul makes, that the body is raised a spiritual body and that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. They cannot conceive in their minds of a body raised from the dead, being composed of flesh and bones, quickened by spirit and not by blood. * * *

[31]         After the resurrection from the dead, our bodies will be spiritual bodies, but they will be bodies that are tangible, bodies that have been purified, but they will nevertheless be bodies of flesh and bones. They will not be blood bodies. They will no longer be quickened by blood but quickened by the spirit which is eternal, and they shall become immortal and shall never die.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 7:163)


The blood He spilled upon Mount Calvary He did not receive again into His veins. That was poured out, and when He was resurrected, another element took the place of the blood. It will be so with every person who receives a resurrection; the blood will not be resurrected with the body, being designed only to sustain the life of the present organization. When that is dissolved, and we again obtain our bodies by the power of the resurrection, that which we now call the life of the body, and which is formed from the food we eat and the water we drink will be supplanted by another element; for flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 8:28-29)

After the spirit leaves the body, it remains without a tabernacle in the spirit world until the Lord, by His law that He has ordained, brings to pass the resurrection of the dead. When the angel who holds the keys of the resurrection shall sound his trumpet, then the peculiar fundamental particles that organized our bodies here, if we do honour to them, though they be deposited in the depths of the sea, and though one particle is in the north, another in the south, another in the east, and another in the west, will be brought together again in the twinkling of an eye, and our spirits will take possession of them. We [32] shall then be prepared to dwell with the Father and the Son, and we never can be prepared to dwell with them until then. Spirits, when they leave their bodies, do not dwell with the Father and the Son, but live in the spirit world, where there are places prepared for them. Those who do honour to their tabernacles, who love and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, must put off this mortality, or they cannot put on immortality. This body must be changed, else it cannot be prepared to dwell in the glory of the Father.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (Imp. Era 30:702)

The question may be asked, Do not the particles that compose man’s body, when returned to mother earth, go to make or compose other bodies? No, they do not. Some philosophers have asserted that the human body changes every seven years. This is not correct, for it never changes. That is, the substances of which it is composed do not pass off and other particles of matter come and take their places. Neither can the particles which have comprised the bodies of men become parts of the bodies of other men, beasts, fowl, fish, insects, or vegetables. They are governed by a divine law, and though they may pass from the knowledge of the scientific world that divine law still holds, and governs and controls them.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:288)

Resurrected bodies have control over the elements. How do you think the bodies will get out of the graves at the resurrection? When the Angel Moroni appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Prophet saw him apparently come down and ascend through the solid walls, or ceiling of the building. If the Prophet’s account had been a fraud, he never would have stated such a story (as we may be sure he never would have thought of such a thing), but [33] would have had the angel come in through the door. Why should it appear any more impossible for a resurrected being to pass through solid objects than for a spirit, for a spirit is also matter?

It was just as easy for the Angel Moroni to come to the Prophet Joseph Smith down through the building as it was for our Savior to appear to his disciples after His resurrection in the room where they were assembled when the door was closed. “The same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.”

Here, you see that the door was shut, “for fear of the Jews,” but this did not prevent Jesus from appearing to them in the room. How could He do it? He had power over the elements.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:290-292)

We must not judge the resurrection of others by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is true that He appeared to His disciples and invited them to examine the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet, and the spear wound in His side, but this was a special manifestation to them.

We should know that the disciples had failed to understand that He was to rise again, and this manifestation was for their benefit. Thomas was absent, and it was with some difficulty that the other disciples could convince him that the Lord had risen. Thomas was not worse than any other one of the apostles. Perhaps they would have done just what he did had they been absent. The Lord said to them and later to him: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39)

When the Savior comes to the Jews in the hour of their distress, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, 45:51-53, He will show them the wounds in His hands and in His feet.

[34]         “And then shall the Jews look upon me and say: What are these wounds in thine hands and in thy feet? Then shall they know that I am the Lord; for I will say unto them: These wounds are the wounds with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. I am he who was lifted up. I am Jesus that was crucified. I am the Son of God. And then shall they weep because of their iniquities; then shall they lament because they persecuted their king.”

The Prophet Zechariah has also prophesied of the Savior’s Second Coming and His appearance to the Jews, when they will flee from their enemies and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in twain making a valley in which they shall seek refuge. At that particular time He will appear and they shall say: “What are these wounds in thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” (See Zech. 12:9-14; 13:1-9; 14:1-21.) Then will they mourn, each family apart, because they had rejected their Lord.

It is true that he also showed these wounds to the Nephites when he visited with them with the same purpose in view, to convince them of his identity, and give to them a witness of his suffering. It can hardly be accepted as a fact that these wounds have remained in his hands, side, and feet all through the centuries from the time of his crucifixion and will remain until his Second Coming. But they will appear to the Jews as a witness against their fathers and their stubbornness in following the teachings of their fathers. After their weeping and mourning they shall be cleansed.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 9:193)

We are here in circumstances to bury our dead according to the order of the Priesthood. But some of our brethren die upon the ocean; they cannot be buried in a burying ground, but they are sewed up in canvas and cast into the sea, and perhaps in two minutes after they are in [35] the bowels of the shark, yet those persons will come forth in the resurrection, and receive all the glory of which they are worthy, and be clothed upon with all the beauty of resurrected Saints, as much so as if they had been laid away in a gold or silver coffin, and in a place expressly for burying the dead.

* * * * *


John Taylor: (JD 18:333-334)

I know that some people of very limited comprehension will say that all the parts of the body cannot be brought together, for, say they, the fish probably have eaten them up, or the whole may have been blown to the four winds of heaven. It is true the body, or the organization, may be destroyed in various ways, but it is not true that the particles out of which it was created can be destroyed. They are eternal; they never were created. This is not only a principle associated with our religion, or in other words, with the great science of life, but also it is in accordance with acknowledged science. You may take, for instance, a handful of fine gold, and scatter it in the street among the dust; again, gather together the materials among which you have thrown the gold, and you can separate one from the other so thoroughly, that your handful of gold can be returned to you; yes, every grain of it. You may take particles of silver, iron, copper, lead, and mix them together with any other ingredients, and there are certain principles connected with them by which these different materials can be eliminated, every particle cleaving to that of its own element.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:289, 292-294)

A little sound thinking will reveal to us that it would be inconsistent for our bodies to be raised with all kinds of imperfections. Some men have been burned at the stake for the sake of truth. Some have been beheaded, and [36] others have had their bodies torn asunder; for example, John the Baptist was beheaded and received his resurrection at the time of the resurrection of our Redeemer. It is impossible for us to think of him coming forth from the dead holding his head in his hands; our reason says he was physically complete in the resurrection. He appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery with a perfect resurrected body.

When we come forth from the dead, our spirits and bodies will be reunited inseparably, never again to be divided, and they will then be assigned to the kingdom to which they belong. All deformities and imperfections will be removed, and the body will conform to the likeness of the spirit, for the Lord revealed, “that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created” (D. & C. 77:2)

Bodies will come up, of course, as they were laid down, but will be restored to their proper, perfect frame immediately. Old people will not look old when they come forth from the grave. Scars will be removed. No one will be bent or wrinkled. How foolish it would be for a man to come forth in the resurrection who had lost a leg and have to wait for it to grow again. Each body will come forth with its perfect frame. If there has been some deformity or physical impairment in this life, it will be removed.

The Lord is not impotent to heal and restore the dead to their perfect frame in the resurrection. If the Savior could restore withered hands, eyes that had never had sight, crooked bodies, in this mortal life, surely the Father will not permit bodies that are not physically perfect to come forth in the resurrection.

If a man has gone through life with a club foot, or other deformity, will he be raised in the resurrection and have the club foot or deformity, and have to wait until the “restoration of all things,” before this imperfection is corrected?

[37] The answer to this is, No! Let us carry this a little farther. If a person through disease passes through the greater part of his life with some deformity–such as diabetes, tumors, consumption–will he have to be subject to such disease until the day of “restitution of all things?” Certainly not, and it is just as inconsistent to claim that the club foot would have to remain as to say that any of these other deformities or diseases would have to remain. * * *

In speaking about the resurrection at the funeral of Sister Rachel Grant, President Joseph F. Smith said that the same person, in the same form and likeness, will come forth “even to the wounds in the flesh. Not that a person will always be marred by scars, wounds, deformities, defects or infirmities, for these will be removed in their course, in their proper time, according to the merciful providence of God.” (Gospel Doctrine, Joseph F. Smith, p. 30)

<In the Improvement Era for June 1904, President Joseph F. Smith in an editorial on the resurrection said: “The body will come forth as it is laid to rest, for there is no growth or development in the grave. As it is laid down, so will it arise, and changes to perfection will come by the law of restitution. But the spirit will continue to expand and develop, and the body, after the resurrection will develop to the full stature of man.” This may be accepted as the doctrine of the Church in respect to the resurrection of children and their future development to the full stature of men and women; and it is alike conformable to that which will be regarded as both reasonable and desirable. (TPJS, p. 200)>

President Smith was in full accord with Amulek and Alma. He taught that the body will be restored as stated in Alma 11:42-45 and 40:22-23. While he expresses the thought that the body will come forth as it was laid down, he also expresses the thought that it will take time to adjust the body from the condition of imperfections. This, of course, is reasonable, but at the same time the length of time to make these adjustments will not cover any appreciable extent of time.


[38]         President Smith never intended to convey the thought that it would require weeks or months of time in order for the defects to be removed. These changes will come naturally, of course, but almost instantly. We cannot look upon it in any other way. For instance, a man who has lost a leg in childhood will have his leg restored. It does not grow in the grave, but will be restored naturally, but with the power of the Almighty it will not take extended time for this to be accomplished.

When President Smith declares that “the body will come forth as it is laid to rest, for there is no growth in the grave,” he has in mind this: Infants and children do not grow in the grave, but when they come forth, they will come forth with the same body and in the same size in which the body was when it was laid away. After the resurrection the body will grow until it has reached the full stature of manhood or womanhood. He did not intend to teach that the adult who loses a leg will come forth without that leg until it can be grafted on after the resurrection. Rather, his body will come forth complete in every part. Deformities and the like will be corrected, if not immediately at the time of the uniting of the spirit and body, so soon thereafter that it will make no difference. We may be sure that every man will receive his body in its perfect frame in the resurrection.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:286-287)

In the resurrection there will be different kinds of bodies; they will not all be alike. The body a man receives will determine his place hereafter. There will be celestial bodies, terrestrial bodies, and telestial bodies, and these bodies will differ as distinctly as do bodies here, for example, the white European, the Negro, the Philippino, the Indian.

Bodies will be quickened according to the kingdom which they are judged worthy to enter.

* * * * *


[39] 1 Corinthians 15:35, 40, 42:

But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? * * * There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: for the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. * * * So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.

<See Chapter 11, “Three Degrees of Glory”, for more information.>

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Way to Perfection, pp. 298-299; 312-313)

When Christ comes, the saints who are on the earth will be quickened and caught up to meet him. This does not mean that those who are living in mortality at that time will be changed and pass through the resurrection, for mortals must remain on the earth until after the thousand years are ended. A change, nevertheless, will come over all who remain on the earth; they will be quickened so that they will not be subject unto death until they are old. Men shall die when they are one hundred years of age, and the change shall be made suddenly to the immortal state. Graves will not be made during this thousand years, and Satan shall have no power to tempt any man. Children shall grow up “as calves of the stall” unto righteousness, that is, without sin or the temptations which are so prevalent today. Even the animal kingdom shall experience a great change, for the enmity of beasts shall disappear, as we have already stated, “‘and they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (isaiah 11:9) * * *

During all these years men dwelling in mortality will have the privilege of associating with those who have received their resurrection. Our Lord and Savior will be a familiar figure among the righteous saints. Instruction will [40] be given by resurrected prophets. How could wickedness remain under such conditions? Those who have passed through the resurrection will not, however, dwell with those in mortality. They will not stay in earthly, or human homes nor sleep in the beds of mortals. Such a thing would be inconsistent. Joseph Smith has said:

Christ and the resurrected Saints will reign over the earth during the thousand years. They will not probably dwell on the earth, but will visit it when they please, or when it is necessary to govern it. There will be wicked men on the earth during the thousand years. The heathen nations who will not come up to worship will be visited with the judgments of God, and must eventually be destroyed from the earth. (Compendium, pp. 274-5)

The question naturally will arise, if the wicked are to be destroyed when Christ comes, then how can there be wicked men on the earth during the Millennium, as stated by Joseph Smith and Isaiah? It is quite evident that the “wickedness” during that time will be among those who are heathen, or have not come into the Church, and their wickedness consists of failure to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

<Quotes on the work and activities to be performed during the Millennium are included in Chapter 8, “Work for the Dead.”>

* * * * *



[41]                              Chapter 5



The scriptures mention two resurrections. These are classed in the broadest sense of the term. The first resurrection spoken of pertains to the more righteous people; the second resurrection refers to all the rest.


Bruce R. McConkie: (Mormon Doctrine, p. 640)

Two great resurrections await the inhabitants of the earth: one is the first resurrection, the resurrection of life, the resurrection of the just; the other is the second resurrection, the resurrection of damnation, the resurrection of the unjust. (John 5:28-29; Rev. 20; D. & C. 76) But even within these two separate resurrections, there is an order in which the dead will come forth. Those being resurrected with celestial bodies, whose destiny is to inherit a celestial kingdom, will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection. * * *

“And after this another angel shall sound, which is the second trump; and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ’s at his coming; who have received their part in that prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh.” (D. & C. 88:99) This is the afternoon of the first resurrection; it takes place after our Lord has ushered in the millennium. Those coining forth at that time do so with terrestrial bodies and are thus destined to inherit a terrestrial glory in eternity. (D. & C. 76:71-80)

At the end of the millennium, the second resurrection begins. In the forepart of this resurrection of the unjust, those destined to come forth will be “the spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation; And these are the rest of the dead; and they live not [42] again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.” (D. & C. 88:100-101) These are the ones who have earned telestial bodies, who were wicked and carnal in mortality, and who have suffered the wrath of God in hell “until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.” (D. & C. 76:85) Their final destiny is to inherit a telestial glory. (D. & C. 76:81-112)

Finally, in the latter end of the resurrection of damnation, the sons of perdition, those who “remain filthy still” (D. & C. 88:102), shall come forth from their graves. (2 Ne. 9:14-16) “Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will. Then, I say unto you, they shall be as though there had been no redemption made; for they cannot be redeemed according to God’s justice; and they cannot die, seeing there is no more corruption.” (Alma 12:17-18)

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:294-295)

The Lord meant literally just what he said when he declared that the dead should hear his voice and should come forth, they that had done good unto the resurrection of life and they that had done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.

The resurrection shall come to all men, for they are not responsible for death. The Lord will not punish them for Adam’s transgression. Therefore, he took upon him the sins of all mankind and redeemed every creature from death and granted unto each one of us a resurrection, but not eternal life, not salvation, not an existence in the presence of his Father in the celestial kingdom. That comes through faithfulness, through diligence, through perseverance on our part and through our belief and acceptance and our keeping of the commandments of the Lord.

* * * * *


[43] Brigham Young: (JD 7:287)

You read about a first resurrection. If there is a first, there is a second. And if a second, may there not be a third, and a fourth, and so on? Yes; and happy are they who have a part in the first resurrection. Yes, more blessed are they than any others. But blessed also are they that will have part in the second resurrection, for they will be brought forth to enjoy a kingdom that is more glorious than the sectarian world ever dreamed of.

* * * * *



And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Rev. 20:4-6)

And there cometh a resurrection, even a first resurrection; yea, even a resurrection of those that have been, and who are, and who shall be, even until the resurrection of Christ–for so shall he be called. And now, the resurrection of all the prophets, and all those that have believed in their words, or all those that have kept the commandments of God, shall come forth in the first resurrection; therefore, they are the first resurrection.

They are raised to dwell with God who has redeemed them; thus they have eternal life through Christ, who has [44] broken the bands of death. And these are those who have part in the first resurrection; and these are they that have died before Christ came, in their ignorance, not having salvation declared unto them. And thus the Lord bringeth about the restoration of these; and they have a part in the first resurrection, or have eternal life, being redeemed by the Lord. (Mosiah 15:21-24)

Yea, and blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, from henceforth, when the Lord shall come, and old things shall pass away, and all things become new, they shall rise from the dead and shall not die after, and shall receive an inheritance before the Lord, in the holy city. And he that liveth when the Lord shall come, and hath kept the faith, blessed is he; nevertheless, it is appointed to him to die at the age of man. Wherefore, children shall grow up until they become old; old men shall die; but they shall not sleep in the dust, but they shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye. Wherefore, for this cause preached the apostles unto the world the resurrection of the dead. (D. & C. 63:49-52)

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 18:69)


All the righteous that lived on this continent before the flood, those who lived upon this continent who were righteous, who came from the Tower of Babel, after the flood, and lived here some sixteen hundred years, before the nation was destroyed. All the Prophets, and wise and good men of these several periods, will be permitted to reign as kings and priests upon this western hemisphere during the period of Christ’s reign on the earth. The Israelites, too, the remnants of Joseph, the forefathers of these poor degraded Indians, who are righteous, will come forth also to reign as kings and priests on this land.

* * * * *


[45] Wilford Woodruff: (Deseret Weekly News 53:21, 1896)

While I was upon my knees praying, my room was filled with light. I looked and a messenger stood by my side. I arose and this personage told me he had come to instruct me. He presented before me a panorama. He told me he wanted me to see with my eyes and understand with my mind what was coming to pass in the earth before the coming of the Son of Man. He commenced with what the revelations say about the sun being turned to darkness, the moon to blood, and the stars falling from heaven. These things were all presented to me one after another, as they will be, I suppose, when they are manifest before the coming of the Son of Man. Then he showed me the resurrection of the dead–what is termed the first and second resurrection. In the first resurrection I saw no graves nor anyone raised from the grave. I saw legions of celestial beings, men and women who had received the Gospel all clothed in white robes. In the form they were presented to me, they had already been raised from

grave. After this he showed me what is termed the second resurrection. Vast fields of graves were before me, and the spirit of God rested upon the earth like a shower of gentle rain, and when that fell upon the graves they were opened, and an immense host of human beings came forth. They were just as diversified in their dress as we are here, or as they were laid down. This personage taught me with regard to these things.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 10:24)

I think it has been taught by some that as we lay our bodies down, they will so rise again in the resurrection with all the impediments and imperfections that they had here; and that if a wife does not love her husband in this state she cannot love him in the next. This is not so. Those who attain to the blessing of the first or celestial resurrection will be pure and holy and perfect in body. [46] Every man and woman that reaches to this unspeakable attainment will be as beautiful as the angels that surround the throne of God. If you can, by faithfulness in this life, obtain the right to come up in the morning of the resurrection, you need entertain no fears that the wife will be dissatisfied with her husband or the husband with the wife; for those of the first resurrection will be free from sin and from the consequences and power of sin.

* * * * *


John Brown: (John Brown, Pioneer, pp. 56-57)

On the 29th of March 1845, I heard Orson Hyde preach at a funeral. He spoke of the resurrection. He said, “Every Saint has his guardian Angel to watch over and protect him, and the Saints could not be killed or would not die while the Angel was present, but as soon as the Angel is called away, the Saint is left to grapple with death. The Angel watches the sleeping dust of the bodies of the Saints and in the resurrection they will raise them from the dead as the Angel did Jesus.

He said prayers were communicated through these Angels and when a man is cut off from the Church <because of sin> or apostatizes, his angel is called home and when he prays, God does not hear him. Why? Because the communication is broken; therefore he cannot hear and the man is left to be carried about by evil spirits and cannot come forth in the first resurrection because he has no angel to raise him and he must wait till the last resurrection.

His opinion was “That evil spirits would raise them like the witch of Endor did Samuel. The Saints would not all come forth at once, but like the flowers of spring, one grade would come forth, and then another and another, so on through the Millennium.”

* * * * *


[47] Erastus Snow: (JD 25:34)

True, we have, in our limited understandings, perhaps imagined, many of us, that this glorious resurrection was to come upon us, and upon the whole world suddenly, like the rising of the sun. But you must remember the sun does not rise the same hour and the same moment upon all the earth. It is twenty-four hours in rising and twenty-four hours in setting. So with the resurrection. There is a day appointed for the resurrection of the righteous. And it is sealed upon the heads of many that if they are faithful and true, they shall come forth “in the morning of the first resurrection;” but the morning lasts from the first hour of the day until mid-day, and the day lasts till night; and the rest of the dead–those who are not prepared or counted worthy to have part in the first resurrection shall not live again until the thousand years are ended. In other words, the first resurrection will have been ended, and another period appointed for the resurrection of the rest of the dead.

* * * * *



[48]                              Chapter 6



Considerable controversy has existed concerning the state or condition of infants and children who die in mortality. But the essential factor is apparent in the fact that righteous mothers will have claim to their children after death, and the information compiled in this section should be a great comfort to them.


Brigham Young: (JD 14:229-230)

I have asked the people of the world sometimes what will become of the infants who die. Take the masses of the human family, and I do not think that any rational person amongst them will, for a moment, admit that they will go to a place of punishment. But whatever opinions may prevail on this subject, the fact is they return to the Father, as Jesus says, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Yes, the children must return to the Father: they came from and were nursed and cherished by Him and the heavenly host, and when they are called to pass the ordeal of death, they go right back into His presence. But what of the ungodly parents of the tabernacles of these children, will they have the privilege of going there? No, where God and Christ are they cannot come. Perhaps some of them may have had an offer of the Gospel and rejected it, then what will become of the children? They swarm in the Courts of Heaven; there are myriads and myriads of them there already, and more are going continually. What are you going to do with them? Perhaps I might say somebody will have the privilege of saying to our young sisters who have died in the faith, “I design so many of these [49] children for you, and so many for you, and they are given you by the law of adoption, and they are yours just as much as though you had borne them on the earth, and your seed shall continue through them for ever and ever.” It may be thought by some that when young persons die, they will be cut short of the privileges and blessings God designs for His children; but this is not so. The faithful will never miss a blessing through being cut off while here. And let me say to my brethren and sisters, that it is not the design of the Father that the earthly career of any should terminate until they have lived out their days.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 16:333-336)

We have no account that I know of, in any revelation which God has given, of any infant spirit coming from the eternal worlds to take infant bodies; but we have an opposite account in the revelations which God has given; for if we turn to the Book of Ether, we shall find that the Lord Jesus, who was one of these spirits, and the first-born of the whole family, was a personage like unto a man, without flesh, blood or bones, but a full-grown spirit, thousands of years before he came to take his infant tabernacle. Is it so recorded in the book of Ether? Yes.

* * * When all these spirits were sent forth from the eternal worlds, they were, no doubt, not infants; but when they entered the infant tabernacle, they were under the necessity, the same as our Lord and Savior, of being compressed, or diminished in size so that their spirits could be enclosed in infant tabernacles. If their bodies die in infancy, do their spirits remain infants in stature between death and the resurrection of the body? I think not. Why not? Because the redemption must restore everything to its natural order. If they were of the size and stature of manhood or womanhood before they entered into the tabernacle, would the redemption be complete, when they came out of that tabernacle, unless they were restored to their former dimensions? I think not; there would not be a [50] full restoration, and consequently, there would seem to be the Lord, and he received more and more in regard to this an imperfection in the plan. There are some of our brethren and sisters, perhaps, who are very anxious to see their little children after they depart this life. The Lord sometimes gives them a vision of their departed little ones, not of their spirits, but as they will appear in the morning of the resurrection, in order that they may know and recognize them. But supposing that he should show them the spirits of their little children as they are after leaving their infant tabernacles, would they be satisfied? I think not. Why? Because I think they would not recognize them, for I am of the opinion that the spirits of children who die here regain their former dimensions of manhood or womanhood, and hence if you were to see them, you would perhaps be disappointed. But by and by resurrection will come, then these full grown spirits, who have died in infancy here, will again enter into the infant tabernacle, and they will come forth as infants, as they were at the time they laid down their bodies; then their parents will have no difficulty in recognizing them.

There is quite an anxiety at the present time, about one thing, connected with the resurrection, and that is, will those spirits, whose bodies died here in infancy, when reunited with their infant bodies, remain of that stature through all the ages of eternity? There is a sermon of the Prophet Joseph Smith, reported by long-hand reporters, in which it is stated that resurrected infants will for ever remain infants. But I doubt very much in my own mind if those who reported that sermon got the full idea on this subject; and if they did, I very much doubt whether the Prophet Joseph, at the time he preached that sermon, had been fully instructed by revelation on that point, for the Lord has revealed a great many things to Prophets and revelators, and among them to Joseph Smith, the fullness of which is not at first given. For instance, in baptism forthe dead; in Joseph’s day women were baptised for men, and men for women as well as for men. The Lord had at first revealed a few things to him, showing that baptism for the dead was a true principle, without giving him all the particulars at once. But he continued to enquire of [51] the Lord, and he received more and more in regard to this principle. So in regard to the resurrection, there may have been many things revealed to him that were true, and others upon which, without having revelation, he would draw his own conclusions, until it should please the Lord to give further revelation. There is no revelation given that gives us a full knowledge upon that point,–but I will give you my reasons, merely as reasons, to show that they who die here in infancy will grow up to the full stature of manhood or womanhood, after the resurrection. I do not say that it is so, but my reasons for believing that they do are these: How could they be restored completely to all that perfection of manhood and have a perfect tabernacle, adapted to the dimensions of the spirit as it existed, before it came here, unless their bodies should grow up from a state of infancy, and be sufficiently enlarged to become a perfect house for the fullgrown spirit, whether man or woman? I have heard, whether it be true or not I do not know, that before Joseph was martyred, he had obtained further light and information on this subject, to the effect that there would be a growth after the resurrection.

* * * * *

<The portion of Joseph Smith’s sermon referred to above by Orson Pratt, is printed below, followed by quotations from two volumes of the (Documentary) History of the Church showing the inaccuracy of the reporting of this particular part of the Prophet’s sermon. This paragraph is included in the Journal Of Discourses account, but omitted from the more recent editions of Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.>


Joseph Smith: (“King Follett Discourse,” Conference of April 6, 1844, JD 6:10.)

A question may be asked–“Will mothers have their children in eternity?” Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life; for their debt is paid. There is no damnation awaits them, for they [52] are in the spirit. But as the child dies, so shall it rise from the dead, and be for ever living in the learning of God. It will never grow: it will still be the child, in the same precise form as it appeared before it died out of its mother’s arms, but possessing all the intelligence of a God. Children dwell in the mansions of glory and exercise power, but appear in the same form as when on earth. Eternity is full of thrones, upon which dwell thousands of children reigning on thrones of glory, with not one cubit added to their stature.


<Compare to the same paragraph, and accompanying footnote, as printed in the (Documentary) History of the Church, VI:316:>

A question may be asked–“Will mothers have their children in eternity?” Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid. There is no damnation awaiting them for they are in the spirit. But as the child dies, so shall it rise from the dead, and be for ever living in the learning of God. It will never grow <in the grave>; it will still be the child, in the same precise form <when it rises> as it appeared before it died out of its mother’s arms, but possessing all the intelligence of a God. Children dwell in the mansions of glory and exercise power, but appear in the same form as when on earth. Eternity is full of thrones of glory, with not one cubit added to their stature.*

* It is clearly evident that in this passage concerning little children and their salvation and glorification after the resurrection, we do not have from the brethren, who made the notes, a perfect report on the status of little children after the resurrection. There was some lack of interpretation in the report of the Prophet’s remarks, for he taught that little children would come forth from the dead in the same form and size in which their bodies were laid down but that they would grow after the resurrection to the full stature of the spirit.


[53] <Further corroborative evidence comes from the (Documentary) History of the Church, IV:553-556:>

(The following is a brief synopsis of the Prophet’s remarks, by Elder Wilford Woodruff:)

As concerning the resurrection, I will merely say that all men will come from the grave as they lie down, whether old or young; there will not be “added unto their stature one cubit,” neither taken from it; all will be raised by the power of God, having spirit in their bodies, and not blood. Children will be enthroned in the presence of God and the Lamb with bodies of the same stature* that they had on earth, having been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb; they will there enjoy the fullness of that light, glory and intelligence, which is prepared in the celestial kingdom.

* It must be remembered that the above report of the Prophet’s remarks, as also the report of the King Follett sermon (preached in April, 1844, and which will appear in Volume VI of this history), where the same matter of infants being enthroned in power while remaining of the same stature as when on earth, and at the time of their death, is mentioned–were reported in long-hand and from memory, so that they are very likely to contain inaccuracies and convey wrong impressions. This matter of children after the resurrection remaining of the same stature as at their death is well known to be such an error. The writer of this note distinctly remembers to have heard the late President Wilford Woodruff, who reported the above sermon, say, that the Prophet corrected the impression that had been made by his King Follett sermon, that children and infants would remain fixed in the stature of their infancy and childhood in and after the resurrection. President Woodruff very emphatically said on the occasion of the subject being agitated about 1888-9, that the Prophet taught subsequently to his King Follett sermon that children while resurrected in the stature at which they died would develop to the full stature of men and women after the resurrection; and that [54] the contrary impression created by the report of the Prophet’s King Follett sermon was due to a misunderstanding of his remarks and erroneous reporting. In addition to this personal recollection of the writer as to the testimony of the late President Wilford Woodruff, the following testimony of Elder Joseph Horne and his wife, M. Isabella Horne, on the same subject, is important. The statements here copied were delivered in the presence of President Angus M. Cannon, of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion, and Elder Arthur Winter, at the residence of Brother Horne, in Salt Lake City, on November 19, 1896, and were reported stenographically by Arthur Winter, the Church official reporter.

Sister M. Isabella Horne said: “In conversation with the Prophet Joseph Smith once in Nauvoo, the subject of children in the resurrection was broached. I believe it was in Sister Leonora Cannon Taylor’s house. She had just lost one of her children, and I had also lost one previously. The Prophet wanted to comfort us, and he told us that we should receive those children in the morning of the resurrection just as we laid them down, in purity and innocence, and we should nourish and care for them as their mothers. He said that children would be raised in the resurrection just as they were laid down, and that they would obtain all the intelligence necessary to occupy thrones, principalities and powers. The idea that I got from what he said was that the children would grow and develop in the Millennium, and that the mothers would have the pleasure of training and caring for them, which they had been deprived of in this life. This was sometime after the King Follett funeral, at which I was present.”

Brother Joseph Horne said: “I heard the Prophet Joseph Smith say that mothers should receive their children just as they laid them down, and that they would have the privilege of doing for them what they could not do here. The Prophet remarked: `How would you know them if you did not receive them as you laid them down?’ I also got the idea that children would grow and develop after the resurrection, and that the mothers would care for them and train them.”

<These statements were certified by Joseph and Isabella Horne, Angus M. Cannon, and Arthur Winter.>

* * * * *


[55] Joseph F. Smith: (Gospel Doctrine, 1928 ed., pp. 575-576)

It was evidently at the funeral service of his niece Sophronia that Joseph Smith first taught this doctrine. The child died in October 1843, and her father, Don Carlos Smith, had died two years earlier on August 7, 1841, at the age of twenty-five. At the child’s funeral service the Prophet pointed to Agnes Smith, the grieving mother, and said, “You will have the joy, the pleasure, and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.” * * *

“I met with my aunt, the wife of my uncle, Don Carlos Smith, who was the mother of that little girl that Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was speaking about when he told the mother that she should have the joy, the pleasure and satisfaction of rearing the child, after the resurrection, until it reached the full stature of its spirit; and that it would be a far greater joy than she could possibly have in mortality, because she would be free from the sorrow and fear and disabilities of mortal life, and she would know more than she could know in this life. I met that widow, the mother of that child, and she told me this circumstance and bore testimony to me that this was what the Prophet Joseph Smith said when he was speaking at the funeral of her little girl.”

<President Joseph F. Smith also reported a conversation with his brother-in-law, Lorin Walker, who mentioned he was present at the funeral of Sophronia Smith. President Smith asked:> “Lorin, what did the Prophet say?” According to President Smith, Lorin Walker repeated, “as nearly as he could remember, what the Prophet Joseph said in relation to little children. The body remains undeveloped in the grave, but the spirit returns to God who gave it. Afterwards, in the resurrection, the spirit and body will be reunited; the body will develop and grow to the full stature of the spirit; and the resurrected soul will go on to perfection.”

* * * * *


[56] Doctrine and Covenants: (45:58)

And the earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance; and they shall multiply and wax strong, and their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:293)

Of course, children who die do not grow in the grave. They will come forth with their bodies as they were laid down, and then they will grow to the full stature of manhood or womanhood after the resurrection, but all will have their bodies fully restored.

* * * * *


Joseph F. Smith: (Imp. Era 12:594)

In the resurrection of the dead, the child that was buried in its infancy will come up in the form of the child that it was when it was laid down; then it will begin to develop. From the day of the resurrection, the body will develop until it reaches the full measure of the stature of its spirit, whether it be male or female.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:280-281)

There is no information given by revelation in regard to the status of stillborn children. However, I will express my personal opinion that we should have hope that these little ones will receive a resurrection and then belong to us. I cannot help feeling that this will be the case.

When a couple have a stillborn child, we give them all the comfort we can. We have good reasons to hope. Funeral services may be held for such children, if the parents so desire. Stillborn children should not be reported nor recorded as births and deaths on the records of the [57] Church, but it is suggested that parents record in their own family records a name for each such stillborn child.

The time of quickening is when the mother feels the life of her unborn infant. President Brigham Young has left us this explanation of the time when the spirit enters the body: “When the spirit leaves them (mortal bodies) they are lifeless; and when the mother feels life come to her infant, it is the spirit entering the body preparatory to the immortal existence. But suppose an accident occurs and the spirit has to leave this body prematurely, what then? All that the physician says is–`lt is a still birth,’ and that is all they know about it; but whether the spirit remains in the body (i.e., in its own body) a minute, an hour, a day, a year, or lives there until the body has reached a good old age, it is certain that the time will come when they will be separated, and the body will return to mother earth, there to sleep upon that mother’s bosom. That is all there is about death.”

On other occasions, also, President Young taught that we should have hope for the resurrection of stillborn children. “They are all right,” he said, and nothing in the way of sealings or ordinances need be done for them.

* * * * *


  1. A. Greenhalgh: (Contributor 7:196-197)

The words of Christ when he said: “In my Father’s house are many mansions,” suggest the idea of home, and home involves the further idea of society. Thus we reach the idea of a vast family at home, angels and saints together, principalities, authorities and powers, all in order, all perfectly happy, all in union, for sin, the disturber of peace, and the destroyer of harmony has no place there, and all are occupied, but how!

That there will be intellectual occupations we can have no doubt. The divine life in man will have its elements, activities, and pursuits continued hereafter. * * *

The law of Christ’s kingdom here on earth is to every man his work, and this will be the law of the kingdom forever and ever. * * *

[58]         Christ when a child on earth, though perfect in His childhood, grew in wisdom and was subject to His earthly parents who brought Him up at Nazareth. So will childhood grow in heaven. There will be diversity there, a diversity which suggests a vast field of occupation, and exercise, each one of the Saints contributing in some way to the felicity and progress of all, and the varying gifts of nature, the diverse discipline of experience, and the distinctions of grace will fit all the Saints for different and delightful employment. Wonderful, diversified, and glorious will be the occupations of the Saints of God, after they have entered their heavenly home, into the presence of their Lord, fashioned like Him and co-workers with Him, worlds without end.

* * * * *



But behold, I say unto you, that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine Only Begotten; wherefore, they cannot sin, for power is not given unto Satan to tempt little children, until they begin to become accountable before me. (D. & C 29:46-47)

And little children also have eternal life. (Mosiah 15:25)

And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven. (Joseph Smith, “Vision of the Celestial Kingdom”, D. & C. 137:10; also TPJS, p. 107)

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (TPJS, pp. 196-197; also DHC IV:553)

I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the [59] most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it is a proverb that the “world grows weaker and wiser;” if that is the case, the world grows more wicked and corrupt. In the earlier ages of the world a righteous man, and a man of God and of intelligence, had a better chance to do good, to be believed and received than at the present day: but in these days such a man is much opposed and persecuted by most of the inhabitants of the earth, and he has much sorrow to pass through here. The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again.

* * * * *



[60]                              Chapter 7



Seeing, touching, hearing and witnessing resurrected beings in our dispensation is one of the special blessings of the Gospel of Christ that no other church except the Latter-day Saints has experienced. These remarkable events began with the “restoration of all things” as was promised and prophesied by those who were among the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection.


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:269-272)

We know that Christ has risen from the dead, that He has ascended on high, taking captivity captive, and has become the Author of salvation unto all who will believe, who will repent of their sins and accept Him as the Redeemer of the world. Latter-day Saints are not left in doubt regarding these things.

There were many witnesses who testified of the resurrection of the Savior at the time he came forth from the dead. He appeared first unto Mary at the tomb, later unto the Twelve, or to the eleven, one of them having lost his apostleship, and afterwards unto a multitude of the saints. He labored among His disciples for some time, confirming their faith and strengthening them in the gospel of which He is the Author. Of this they have borne record and have given their testimony to the world.

But after the falling away from the truth, the world was in darkness and without living witnesses of the resurrection of Christ, until the restoration of the gospel in the dispensation of the fulness of times. At the present time upon the face of the earth there are many who can testify that Jesus is the Christ, for the Spirit of God has revealed unto them this truth; and no man can know that Jesus is the Christ unless the Holy Spirit reveals it unto him.

[61]         The Prophet Joseph Smith was raised up as a witness of the resurrection of Christ and was given power and authority to institute His gospel anew among the children of men. Others, also, beheld Him, in our own generation, conversed with Him, and were instructed by Him and were taught the principles of truth which make us free. They also have borne record to the world of these things. We know that He hath risen from the dead, that He might bring all men unto Him, on conditions of repentance. * * *

How fortunate we are as Latter-day Saints. We have all of this evidence, we have all of this knowledge that is given to us in the New Testament, the testimonies of the witnesses who were with Christ. In addition to that we have the testimonies of the elders and those who were associated with Christ in His ministry upon this continent among the Nephites as recorded in the Book of Mormon.

* * * We have the testimony of Joseph Smith, of Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and Sidney Rigdon. There is no need to discuss any others. There are others.

We have the testimony of these five men who all bore witness, solemnly to the world, that in this dispensation of the fulness of times Christ appeared, that He sent messengers from His presence to them. These five men are witnesses. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery stood in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in the Kirtland Temple on the 3rd day of April, 1836. They stood in the presence of John the Baptist on the 15th day of May, 1829. They stood in the presence of Peter, James, and John, a short time later in 1829. They also received keys of authority from Moses, Elias, and Elijah on that 3rd day of April, 1836.

Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris stood in the presence of an angel of God some time about June, 1829, and there they conversed with him, and they heard the voice of God speaking unto them from the heavens. They have given us their testimony; it is recorded in every edition of the Book of Mormon. We have that testimony. Sidney Rigdon has given us his testimony, both while he was in the Church and after he left it, that [62] he with Joseph Smith in 1832, on the 16th day of February, saw the heavens opened, and they saw the Lord Jesus Christ sitting upon the right hand of God, and they have recorded for us that wonderful vision.

* * * * *


3 Nephi 11:7-17:

Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name–hear ye him.

And it came to pass, as they understood they cast their eyes up again towards heaven; and behold, they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.

And it came to pass that he stretched forth his hand and spake unto the people, saying: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.

And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying: Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

[63]         And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying: Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.

* * * * *


Contributor: (6:386-388)


Appearances of Resurrected Beings in This Dispensation (Synopsis)


  1. Early in the spring of 1820.–A vision of God the Father and His son Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith, Junior, (then a young lad about fourteen years of age), while he was praying in the woods near his home in Manchester, Ontario (now Wayne) County, State of New York.


  1. September 21, 1823.–An angel appeared to Joseph Smith, Junior, after he had retired to his bed for the night, and while praying to God for forgiveness of his sins and for some manifestation whereby he might know his state and standing before Him; having full confidence in obtaining a divine manifestation, as he had previously had one.


  1. September 22, 1823.–The same heavenly messenger again appeared to Joseph Smith as he was returning from his labors in the field, telling him to go and view the plates, the existence of which had been made known to him, and the locality of which he had seen in vision the night before.


  1. September 22, 1827.–Four years from the day on which Joseph Smith first beheld the plates, the angel Moroni delivered them up to him, together with the Urim and Thummim and the Breastplate, with this charge, that he should be responsible for them.


  1. May 15, 1829.–John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith, Junior, and Oliver Cowdery, while praying in the woods concerning baptism for the remission of sins, and conferred upon them the Aaronic Priesthood.


  1. Between this date, May 15, 1829, and the end of the following month (June 1829), the exact day not being known, Peter, James and John, who held the keys of the Melchisedek Priesthood in a former dispensation, appeared to Joseph Smith, Junior, and Oliver Cowdery in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, and Colesville, Broome County, in the State of New York, and ordained them to the Melchisedek Priesthood.


  1. April 3, 1836.–The Savior, Moses, Elias and Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith, Junior, and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple, as recorded in Section 110 of the Doctrine and Covenants.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (P. of G.P., Joseph Smith 2:16-17)

I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me, I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other–This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!

* * * * *


[65] Joseph Smith: (D.H.C. 1:11)

While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor. He had on a loose robe of most exquisite whiteness. It was a whiteness beyond anything earthly I had ever seen; nor do I believe that any earthly thing could be made to appear so exceedingly white and brilliant. His hands were naked and his arms also, a little above the wrist, so, also were his feet naked, as were his legs, a little above the ankles. His head and neck were also bare. I could discover that he had no other clothing on but this robe, as it was open, so that I could see into his bosom. Not only was his robe exceedingly white, but his whole person was glorious beyond description, and his countenance truly like lightning. The room was exceedingly light, but not so very bright as immediately around his person.

When first I looked upon him, I was afraid; but the fear soon left me. He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me and that his name was Moroni.

* * * * *


Lorenzo Snow: (JD 23:291-292)

The Christian world profess to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, they profess to believe that he lives; but yet the real spirit of that belief does not amount to a very great deal. They do not believe that there are any persons living that have seen individuals that have lived upon the earth and have received their glorified bodies. John upon the Isle of Patmos, had the privilege of beholding and conversing with an individual that had lived upon the earth and had gone back to the spirit world and received a resurrected body. He describes the glory with which that person was covered and says, “His eyes were as [66] a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.” Does anybody really believe this?

There were two persons with whom I was very well acquainted who saw a personage of this description in the Temple in Kirtland, Ohio. We are told that there appeared standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit of that Temple, our Lord and Savior, the same that the Revelator beheld, and they describe him in about the same manner. Now, I have been in the Kirtland Temple and preached from the pulpit therein several times. This person stood upon the breastwork of that pulpit, and he is described as follows, “His eyes were as a flame of fire, the hair of his head was white like the pure snow, his countenance shown above the brightness of the sun, and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying, I am the first and the last, I am He who liveth. I am He who was slain, I am your advocate with the Father. Behold your sins are forgiven you, you are clean before me, therefore lift up your heads and rejoice.” I have seen Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery; they were the individuals who saw that person and conversed with him. And they also saw Moses, Elias and Elijah. Now, who believes this? What testimony has the sectarian world in regard to these things, or in regard to the Gospel as preached in former days, or in regard to Jesus Christ? Have they a testimony to declare to their congregations? If so, what is the nature of their testimony?

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 295-296)

I will tell you what I want. If tomorrow I shall be called to lie in yonder tomb, in the morning of the resurrection let me strike hands with my father, and cry, “My father,” and he will say, “My son, my son,” as soon as the rock rend and before we come out of our graves.

And may we contemplate these things so? Yes, if we learn how to live and how to die. When we lie down we [67] contemplate how we may rise in the morning; and it is pleasing for friends to lie down together, locked in the arms of love, to sleep and wake in each other’s embrace and renew their conversation.

Would you think it strange if I relate what I have seen in vision in relation to this interesting theme? Those who have died in Jesus Christ may expect to enter into all that fruition of joy when they come forth, which they possessed or anticipated here.

So plain was the vision, that I actually saw men, before they had ascended from the tomb, as though they were getting up slowly. They took each other by the hand and said to each other, “My father, my son, my mother, my daughter, my brother, my sister.” And when the voice calls for the dead to arise, suppose I am laid by the side of my father, what would be the first joy of my heart? To meet my father, my mother, my brother, my sister; and when they are by my side, I embrace them and they me.

It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind.

All your losses will be made up to you in the resurrection provided you continue faithful. By the vision of the Almighty I have seen it.

More painful to me are the thoughts of annihilation than death. If I have no expectation of seeing my father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends again, my heart would burst in a moment, and I should go down to my grave.

The expectation of seeing my friends in the morning of the resurrection cheers my soul and makes me bear up against the evils of life. It is like their taking a long journey, and on their return we meet them with increased joy.

God has revealed His Son from the heavens and the doctrine of the resurrection also; and we have a knowledge that these we bury here God will bring up again,…

* * * * *


[68] Brigham Young: (JD 6:275)

We will take Joseph for instance: he is faithful to his calling–has filled his mission to this earth, and sealed his testimony with his blood; he has done the work his Father gave him to do, and will soon come to the resurrection. His spirit is waiting for the resurrection of the body, which will soon be. But has he the power to resurrect that body? He has not. Who has this power? Those that have already passed through the resurrection–who have been resurrected in their time and season by some person else, and have been appointed to that authority just as you Elders have with regard to your authority to baptise.

You have not the power to baptise yourselves, neither have you power to resurrect yourselves; and you could not legally baptise a second person for the remission of sins until some person first baptised you and ordained you to this authority. So with those that hold the keys of the resurrection to resurrect the Saints.

* * * * *


Heber C. Kimball: (JD 4:294-295)

Having used the word resurrection, I will make a few remarks touching it. After my body is laid in the grave, and after the Prophet Joseph has received his resurrected body, he probably will not suffer my body to remain long in the ground, but will be apt to say, “Come and let us go and help brother Heber to again take his body.” Do you suppose that if brother Brigham were to die tomorrow, and if Joseph is resurrected, which he will be so soon as his mission is filled in the spirit world, that Joseph will permit brother Brigham’s body to remain longer in the grave than may be requisite? No, for he then will have need of the assistance of his faithful resurrected brethren, as he now has of faithful spirits.

* * * * *


[69] Wilford Woodruff: (JD 21:317-318)

I believe the eyes of the heavenly hosts are over this people; I believe they are watching the elders of Israel, the prophets and apostles and men who are called to bear off this kingdom. I believe they watch over us all with great interest.

I will here make a remark concerning my own feelings. After the death of Joseph Smith, I saw and conversed with him many times in my dreams in the night season. On one occasion he and his brother Hyrum met me when on the sea going on a mission to England. I had Dan Jones with me. He received his mission from Joseph Smith before his death; and the prophet talked freely to me about the mission I was then going to perform. And he also talked to me with regard to the mission of the Twelve Apostles in the flesh, and he laid before me the work they had to perform; and he also spoke of the reward they would receive after death. And there were many other things he laid before me in his interview on that occasion. And when I awoke, many of the things he had told me were taken from me; I could not comprehend them. I have had many interviews with Brother Joseph until the last 15 or 20 years of my life; I have not seen him for that length of time. But during my travels in the southern country last winter I had many interviews with President Young, and with Heber C. Kimball, and George A. Smith, and Jedediah M. Grant, and many others who are dead. They attended our conference; they attended our meetings. And on one occasion, I saw Brother Brigham and Brother Heber ride in the carriage ahead of the carriage in which I rode when I was on my way to attend conference; and they were dressed in the most priestly robes. When we arrived at our destination I asked Prest. Young if he would preach to us. He said, “No, I have finished my testimony in the flesh I shall not talk to this people any more. But (said he) I have come to see you; I have come to watch over you, and to see what the people are doing. Then (said he) I want you to teach the people–and I want you to follow this counsel yourself–that they [70] must labor and so live as to obtain the Holy Spirit, for without this you cannot build up the kingdom; without the spirit of God you are in danger of walking in the dark, and in danger of failing to accomplish your calling as apostles and as elders in the church and kingdom of God. And, said he, Brother Joseph taught me this principle.” And I will here say, I have heard him refer to that while he was living. But what I was going to say is this: the thought came to me that Brother Joseph had left the work of watching over this church and kingdom to others, and that he had gone ahead, and that he had left this work to men who have lived and labored with us since he left us. This idea manifested itself to me, that such men advance in the spirit world. And I believe myself that these men who have died and gone into the spirit world had this mission left with them, that is, a certain portion of them, to watch over the Latter-day Saints.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:272)

Can we dispute these facts? Shall we put all that aside and say that these witnesses were deceivers, that they lied, or that they presented these things under hallucination? Is it consistent for us to do a thing of that kind? I say no. I say that when a man stands out in the face of all this evidence and says that nobody has ever returned from the dead, he is either ignorant or a fool; maybe he is both. The fact remains that these witnesses spoke the truth, and they are witnesses for God.

The Lord said he would raise up certain witnesses to testify of the restoration of the gospel, and of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, and that, “Wo be unto him that rejecteth the word of God!”

* * * * *



[71]                              Chapter 8



The temples of the Mormons are different from any other temples in the world. The ordinance work being done in them is foreign to all other churches, yet it is in agreement with the doctrine and teachings of Paul the Apostle. For example, they baptized for the dead in Paul’s time, and they have been baptizing for the dead ever since Joseph Smith’s time. It is not just an important doctrine, but is essential for the salvation of mankind.


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Way to Perfection pp. 161-162)

There was no work done for the dead in the days of Elijah, nor in those of any of the other ancient prophets. This work could not be performed until after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who opened the door to those who were bound. The Savior first took the message of salvation to the dead, and after his resurrection the blessings of the Gospel were extended to the dead as well as to the living, for it was the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ that made this possible. When, therefore, the keys of the sealing power which Elijah brought to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were delivered, power was given to extend this authority to all who now live on the earth, and to all who have lived in the past who will repent and receive the Gospel.

* * * * *


I Corinthians 15:29:

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?

* * * * *


[72] Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 179)

I presume the doctrine of “baptism for the dead” has ere this reached your ears, and may have raised some inquiries in your minds respecting the same. I cannot in this letter give you all the information you may desire on the subject; but aside from knowledge independent of the Bible, I would say that it was certainly practiced by the ancient churches; and St. Paul endeavors to prove the doctrine of the resurrection from the same, and says, “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?”

I first mentioned the doctrine in public when preaching the funeral sermon of Brother Seymour Brunson: and have since then given general instructions in the Church on the subject. The Saints have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have been commissioned to preach to them while in prison.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 12)

“But except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This eternal truth settles the question of all men’s religion. A man may be saved, after the judgment, in the terrestrial kingdom, or in the telestial kingdom, but he can never see the celestial kingdom of God, without being born of water and the Spirit. He may receive a glory like unto the moon, (i.e., of which the light of the moon is typical), or a star, (i.e., of which the light of the stars is typical), . . .

* * * * *


[73] Brigham Young: (JD 9:315)

It may be asked whether any person can be saved, except those who are baptized. Yes, all the inhabitants of the earth will be saved, except those that sin against the Holy Ghost. Will they come into the presence of the Father and the Son? No unless they are baptized for the remission of sins, and live faithfully in the observance of the words of life, all the rest of their days.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 18:52)

Do you suppose that the Lord has made no provision for all these things? All must have a chance. There is not an individual that ever lived upon the earth, from the days of Adam down to this time, whether it was among the heathen or savages, who never heard of Jesus or of the true God, and who went down to his grave in total ignorance; there never was a man or woman on the face of the globe, but what will have an opportunity, either in this life or in the life to come, to obey and enjoy the benefits of the Gospel of Salvation.

“But did you not say that there was no opportunity for them to attend to these ordinances in the life to come?” I did. “Then why did you say, that there will be an opportunity for them?” There is quite a difference between having an opportunity, and attending to the ordinances. You cannot attend to the latter in the life to come. Parties who have died in this generation or in the generations passed, without having an opportunity to be baptized by a man holding authority, will have an opportunity of hearing the Gospel in the life to come; but they cannot attend personally to the ordinances thereof. Why? Because God has ordained that men, here in the flesh, shall be baptized in this life; or, if they die without a knowledge of the Gospel and its ordinances, that their friends in the flesh, in the day of his power, when he brings forth the everlasting Gospel, shall officiate for [74] them, and in their behalf. This is another peculiarity of the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints–baptism for the dead.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (Contributor 4:175)

My text is on the resurrection of the dead; which you will find in the fourteenth chapter of John: “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” It should be, “In my Father’s kingdom are many kingdoms,” in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint heirs with me. * * *

There are many mansions for those who obey a celestial law, and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order. There is baptism, etc., for those to exercise who are alive, and baptism for the dead, who died without the knowledge of the Gospel.

In regard to the law of the Priesthood, there should be a place where all nations shall come up from time to time to receive their endowments; and the Lord has said this shall be the place for the baptism for the dead. Every man that has been baptized and belongs to the kingdom has a right to be baptized for those who are gone before; and, as soon as the law of the Gospel is obeyed here by their friends who act as proxy for them, the Lord has administrators there to set them free. A man may act as proxy for his own relatives; the ordinances of the Gospel which were laid out before the foundation of the world have thus been fulfilled by them, and we may be baptized for those whom we have much friendship for; but it must first be revealed to the man of God, lest we should run too far.

* * * * *


Charles W. Penrose: (JD 24:96-97)

But these ordinances belong to this sphere in which we live, they belong to the earth, they belong to the flesh. Water is an earthly element composed of two gases. [75] It belongs to this earth. What there is in the spirit world, we know little about. But here is the water in which repentant believers must be baptized. Can they be baptized in the spirit world? It appears not. What is to be done, then? The Apostle Paul asks this question in the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle of the Corinthians: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” It seems that the people to whom that was written were familiar with the ordinance called baptism for the dead, and they were baptized for their dead. Paul was arguing upon the literal resurrection of the body, and says, What shall they do if the dead rise not; why are they then baptized for the dead? Our learned divines may presume from that that the doctrine is not laid down sufficiently clear to endorse it; but to us there is no doubt concerning it, the Lord having revealed the principle to the Prophet Joseph Smith. He also explained the manner in which the ordinances should be administered, like everything else He has revealed, in great plainness. And that is why we are building Temples. People who visit our city frequently say, “What a fine meeting house you are building.” No, that is not a meeting house; this Assembly Hall and the adjacent Tabernacle are meeting houses. That is a Temple, a building in which we expect to perform ordinances for the living and the dead; wherein we may be baptized for our dead, that they may receive the benefit of that ordinance, provided they believe and repent and do the spiritual part, while we do the material part, that they may receive the blessings of obedience to the Gospel, and live according to God in the spirit. Some will say, “I cannot see why a thing done by one person should stand for another.” How do you understand the doctrine that Jesus Christ has done something for all of us? We read that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins.” Not my blood or your blood is to be shed for the remission of our sins; but He who was without sin allowed His blood to be shed as a sacrifice for our sins. Now the whole question hinges on that. If you reject the doctrine of proxy in baptism, you must reject the doctrine of proxy in the atonement.

* * * * *


[76] Wilford Woodruff: (JD 19:228-229)

I look upon this portion of our ministry as a mission of as much importance as preaching to the living; the dead will hear the voice of the servants of God in the spirit world, and they cannot come forth in the morning of the resurrection, unless certain ordinances are performed, for and in their behalf, in Temples built to the name of God. It takes just as much to save a dead man as a living man. For the last eighteen hundred years, the people that have lived and passed away never heard the voice of an inspired man, never heard a Gospel sermon, until they entered the spirit world. Somebody has got to redeem them, by performing such ordinances for them in the flesh as they cannot attend to themselves in the spirit, and in order that this work may be done, we must have Temples in which to do it; and what I wish to say to you, my brethren and sisters, is that the God of heaven requires us to rise up and build them, that the work of redemption may be hastened. Our reward will meet us when we go behind the vail. * * *

The dead will be after you, they will seek after you as they have after us in St. George. They called upon us, knowing that we held the keys and power to redeem them. * * *

I will here say, before closing, that two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them. Said they, “You have had the use of the Endowment House for a number of years, and yet nothing has ever been done for us. We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.” These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights. I thought it very singular, that notwithstanding so much work had been done, and yet nothing had been done for them. The thought never entered my heart, from the fact, I suppose, that heretofore our minds were reaching after our more immediate friends and relatives. I straightway went into [77] the baptismal font and called upon Brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others; I then baptized him for every President of the United States, except three; and when their cause is just, somebody will do the work for them.

* * * * *


Horatio Pickett: (A vision given on March 19, 1914, as recorded in The Vision, by N. B. Lundwall, pp. 142-143)


Do the Departed Appreciate Vicarious Work Performed for Them? While working here in the St. George Temple, I often thought of the great expense and the time and labor necessary to support the Temple, and to perform the necessary ordinances therein for the salvation of the dead, and the question often arose in my mind: Do they (the dead) know what is being done for them and do they appreciate the sacrifice that is being made by their brethren and sisters in the Temples for their benefit?

I often asked the Lord to give me sufficient of His Spirit that I might have a better understanding of the Temple work than I had. One day while at the font confirming, when a large list of women were being baptized for, the thought again came into my mind: Do those people for whom this work is being done, know that it is being done for them, and, if they do, do they appreciate it? While this thought was running through my mind I happened to turn my eyes toward the southeast corner of the font room and there I saw a large group of women. The whole southeast part of the room was filled; they seemed to be standing a foot or more above the floor and were all intently watching the baptizing that was being done; and as the recorder called a name, one of them–a rather tall, very slim woman, apparently about 35 years of age, gave a sudden start and looked at the recorder. Then her eyes turned to the couple in the water, closely watching the baptism; then her eyes followed the sister that was being baptized as she came up out of the water and was confirmed, and when the ordinance was completed, the happy, [78] joyous expression that spread over her countenance was lovely to behold.

The next one called seemed to be a younger woman, a little below the average height. She was of a nervous, emotional nature, could not keep still, seemed as though she wanted to jump into the water herself, and when the ordinance was finished, she seemed to be overflowing with joy, turning from one to another of her companions as though she was telling them how happy she was.

The third was a large muscular-looking woman, not fleshy but bony, masculine build, very high forehead and intelligent countenance, hair streaked with gray and combed like elderly ladies used to wear their hair when I was a lad. She seemed to be of a more quiet, stoical nature than the others; no outward demonstration of what her feelings may have been, but there was a look in her eyes that seemed to say that she appreciated what was being done fully as much as the others did, and when the ceremony was finished, she nodded her head slightly and moved her lips as though she might have said, “Amen”.

Just as the work for her was finished, there was a noise in President Cannon’s office as though a book or something might have fallen to the floor which caused me to turn my eyes in that direction, and though I turned back instantly, the vision had faded and gone and with it also had gone all doubt and queries that may have been in mind on the subject. I was satisfied, and am still satisfied that our friends behind the veil know and realize what is being done for them and are anxiously waiting for their time to come.

I do not think it would be possible for any person to look into the faces of those women as I did and see the earnestness with which they were watching the proceedings, and the joy and happiness that shone in their faces as their names were called and the work done for them, and not feel as I do. This was not a night vision nor a dream but was about three o’clock on a bright, sunny afternoon while I was standing at the font assisting in the ordinances thereof.

* * * * *


[79] Orson Pratt: (JD 21:293-294)

But this opens up another field, I am talking to some who have a second wife. You lost your first wife, did you not, and you re-married according to the laws of the nations? What about these two wives? One living and the other dead; perhaps the dead one was just as good as the living; perhaps the person that died, before you gathered here to these mountains, was morally as good as any Latter-day Saint, lived up to all the light and knowledge which she was in possession of, yet she was not married to you by divine authority–what of her? Must she stand aside in the resurrection? and the second wife, because she happens to live and to receive the Gospel, and to gather up from among the nations, into the mountains, where the authority to administer these ordinance is revealed–must she supplant the first one that happened to fall into her grave before she heard these things? Must the first one remain without her family, without her children, according to the order that exists in the eternal world, while the second one enjoys all these things because she happened to live a little longer?

What do you think about it? Are there no provisions made for the first wife that has fallen asleep just as much as there is for the second? for God is without respect of persons, so far as people are honest and obedient; and though people may fail to receive the fulness of the blessings, pertaining to the Gospel, because it might not be sent to them and they fall asleep, yet God was not so shortsighted, in laying of the plan of salvation, that he made no provisions for them. He did make provisions for them; and in what way? That the living shall act for the dead; this is the provision. Hence, we read concerning one of the sacred and holy ordinances, called baptism, that the saints in the Corinthian church, in ancient times, were baptised for those that were dead. What was the object of this? The object was that eternal blessings might be bestowed upon those who were dead, because of the actions of the living in their behalf, providing that the dead would receive what was done for them by the living. The same [80] great Being that ordained the principle of baptism for and in behalf of the dead, also ordained eternal union through other sacred ordinances referring to the man and the woman, not only for the living but also for the dead, that they might be benefited not only by the actions of the living in baptism, but also by the acts of the living in relation to the marriage covenant; one is just as consistent as the other. If there is any great principle that has a bearing upon the eternal welfare of the human family, any great ordinance necessary to be attended to that will give them a right and title to eternal blessings, it matters not whether it be baptism, or the laying on of hands, or any other ordinance which God has instituted, it will be recognized in the eternal heavens.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 356)

What promises are made in relation to the subject of the salvation of the dead? and what kind of characters are those who can be saved, although their bodies are mouldering and decaying in the grave? When his commandments teach us, it is in view of eternity; for we are looked upon by God as though we were in eternity. God dwells in eternity, and does not view things as we do.

The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. The Apostle says, “They without us cannot be made perfect;” (Hebrews 11:40) for it is necessary that the sealing power should be in our hands to seal our children and our dead for the fulness of the dispensation of times–a dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world for the salvation of man.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Way to Perfection, pp. 322-323)

Our Savior said that a man cannot enter the Kingdom unless he is born of the water and of the Spirit. In order [81] that all may have this privilege, if they will accept it, provision has been made to carry the Gospel to the dead where it is taught to them. It has also been decreed that ordinance work, which pertains to this mortal life, shall be performed for them in the temples of the Lord by those now living. It has been decreed that man must do for himself what he is able to do; but what he cannot do for himself others may do for him. That is why Jesus Christ became our Redeemer. In a less capacity we may be saviors to others by doing for them in the temples what they cannot do for themselves and what we can do for them.

It is very clear that there is neither time nor information at hand to enable the saints–who are comparatively few in number–to finish the ordinance work for the dead before the coming of Jesus Christ. It is expected, however, that we do all that we possibly can for them, as the information is placed in our hands. However, we can easily understand that the greater part of this work of salvation for the dead must be performed after the Millennium is ushered in.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (Discourses, p. 616, 619, 628; as quoted in Way to Perfection, pp. 323, 325-326, 324)

The Christian world have taught, preached, contemplated, meditated, sung about and prayed for the Millennium. What are you going to do during that period, Christians? Do you know what the Millennium is for, and what work will have to be done during that period? Suppose the Christian world were now one in heart, faith, sentiment and works, so that the Lord could commence the Millennium in power and glory, do you know what would be done? Would you sit and sing yourselves away to everlasting bliss? No, I reckon not. I think there is a work to be done then which the whole world seems determined we shall not do. What is it? To build temples. * * * and work for the salvation of our forefathers. (p. 616)

[82]         We shall go forth in the name of Israel’s God and attend to the ordinances for them (the dead). And through the Millennium, the thousand years that the people will love and serve God, we will build temples and officiate therein for those who have slept for hundreds and thousands of years–those who would have received the truth if they had had the opportunity; and we will bring them up, and form the chain entire, back to Adam.

If we preserve ourselves in the truth and live so that we shall be worthy of the celestial kingdom, by and by we can officiate for those who have died without the gospel–the honest, honorable, truthful, virtuous and pure. By and by it will be said unto us, Go ye forth and be baptized for them and receive the ordinances for them, and the hearts of the children will be turned to the fathers who have slept in their graves, and they will secure to them eternal life. This must be, lest the Lord come and smite the earth with a curse. (p. 619)

<During the Millennium> A great many of the elders of Israel in Mount Zion will become pillars in the temple of God, to go no more out. They will eat and drink and sleep there; and they will often have occasion to say, “Somebody came to the Temple last night; we did not know who he was, but he was no doubt a brother, and told us a great many things we did not before understand. He gave us the names of a great many of our forefathers that are not on record, and he gave me my true lineage and names of my forefathers for hundreds of years back. He said to me, You and I are connected in one family: there are the names of your ancestors; take them and write them down, and be baptized and confirmed, and save such ones, and receive of the blessings of the eternal Priesthood for such and such an individual, as you do for yourselves.” This is what we are going to do for the inhabitants of the earth. When I look at it, I do not want to rest a great deal, but be industrious all the day long, for when we come to think upon it, we have no time to lose for it is a pretty laborious work. (p. 628) * * * * *


[83] Brigham Young: (JD 9:317)

Many inquiries are made as to what will become of that portion of the world of mankind who have died without law. When we return to build up the waste places of Zion, then will the Scripture be fulfilled–“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” The servants of God will officiate for the dead in the temples of God which will be built. The Gospel is now preached to the spirits in prison, and when the time comes for the servants of God to officiate for them, the names of those who have received the Gospel in the spirit will be revealed by the angels of God and the spirits of just men made perfect; also the places of their birth, the age in which they lived, and everything regarding them that is necessary to be recorded on earth, and they will then be saved so as to find admittance into the presence of God, with their relatives who have officiated for them. The wicked will be cleansed and purified as by fire; some of them will be saved as by fire. Some will be given over to the buffering of Satan, that their spirits may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Others will receive their bodies, but cannot be saved in the kingdoms and mansions that are in the presence of God. All the children of men will receive a glory in the mansions of God according to their capacities, and rewards according to their acts in the flesh.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 8:225)

Our bodies are now mortal. In the resurrection there will be a reunion of the spirits and bodies, and they will walk, talk, eat, drink, and enjoy. Those who have passed these ordeals are society for angels–for the Gods, and are the ones who will come into the Temple of the Lord that [84] is to be built in the latter days, when saviors shall come up upon Mount Zion, and will say, “Here, my children, I want this and this done. Here are the names of such and such ones, of our fathers, and mothers–our ancestors; we will bring them up. Go forth, you who have not passed the ordeals of death and the resurrection–you who live in the flesh, and attend to the ordinances for those who have died without the law.” Those who are resurrected will thus dictate in the temple. When the Saints pass through death, they cannot officiate in this sinful world, but they will dictate those who are here. “Go, now, and be baptized for the honorable–for those who would have received the law of God and the true religion, if they had lived; be baptized for the heathen–for all who were honest; officiate for them, and save them, and bring them up. Be baptized for them, anointed for them, washed and sealed for them, and fulfil all the ordinances which cannot be dispensed with.” They will all be performed for the living and the dead upon Mount Zion.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 15:136-137, 139)

Now a few words to the brethren and sisters upon the doctrine and ordinances of the house of God. All who have lived on the earth according to the best light they had, and would have received the fulness of the Gospel had it been preached to them, are worthy of a glorious resurrection, and will attain to this by being administered for in the flesh by those who have the authority. All others will have a resurrection, and receive a glory, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost.

It is supposed by this people that we have all the ordinances in our possession for life and salvation, and exaltation and that we are administering in these ordinances. This is not the case. We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world. I know you would ask [85] what they are. I will mention one. We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of the resurrection. They will be given to those who have passed off this stage of action and have received their bodies again, as many have already done and many more will. They will be ordained, by those who hold the keys of the resurrection, to go forth and resurrect the Saints, just as we receive the ordinance of baptism, then the keys of authority to baptize others for the remission of their sins. This is one of the ordinances we cannot receive here, and there are many more. We hold the authority to dispose of, alter and change the elements; but we have not received authority to organize native element to even make a spear of grass grow. We have no such ordinance here. We organize according to men in the flesh. By combining the elements and planting the seed, we cause vegetables, trees, grains, etc., to come forth. We are organizing a kingdom here according to the pattern that the Lord has given for people in the flesh, but not for those who have received the resurrection, although it is a similitude. Another item: We have not the power in the flesh to create and bring forth or produce a spirit; but we have the power to produce a temporal body. The germ of this, God has placed within us. And when our spirits receive our bodies, and through our faithfulness we are worthy to be crowned, we will then receive authority to produce both spirit and body. But these keys we cannot receive in the flesh. Herein, brethren, you can perceive that we have not finished, and cannot finish our work, while we live here, no more than Jesus did while he was in the flesh.

We cannot receive while in the flesh, the keys to form and fashion kingdoms and to organize matter, for they are beyond our capacity and calling, beyond this world. In the resurrection, men who have been faithful and diligent in all things in the flesh, have kept their first and second estate and are worthy to be crowned Gods, even the sons of God, will be ordained to organize matter. * * *

If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is–Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet of God. He is the man who will [86] be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, and they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them when they shall have been officiated for, and bring them up. And we will have revelations to know our forefathers clear back to Father Adam and Mother Eve, and we will enter into the temples of God and officiate for them. Then man will be sealed to man until the chain is made perfect back to Adam, so that there will be a perfect chain of priesthood from Adam to the winding-up scene.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 7:289)

Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the veil in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter-day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them–something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them–namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the Celestial Kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are–I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation–the keys to rule in the spirit world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion and to [87] the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim, “Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!” But it is true.

I will now tell you something that ought to comfort every man and woman on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith, junior, will again be on this earth, dictating plans and calling for his brethren to be baptized for the very characters who wish this was not so, in order to bring them into a kingdom to enjoy, perhaps, the presence of angels or the spirits of good men, if they cannot endure the presence of the Father and the Son; and he will never cease his operations, under the directions of the Son of God, until the last ones of the children of men are saved that can be, from Adam till now.

Should not this thought comfort all people? They will, by and by, be a thousand times more thankful for such a man as Joseph Smith, junior, than it is possible for them to be for any earthly good whatever. It is his mission to see that all the children of men in this last dispensation are saved, that can be, through the redemption. You will be thankful, every one of you, that Joseph Smith, junior, was ordained to this great calling before the worlds were.

* * * * *



[88]                              Chapter 9



The blessings of being a resurrected being cannot even be compared to mortality. Yet, everyone holds fast to life–not fully contemplating what exists in the heavens. Both Brigham Young and Joseph Smith have explained that God implanted the fear of death in us so we would want to stay on earth longer and thereby finish our mission in mortality. If we knew what was in store for us in the heavens, we would have no desire to live here a moment longer. However, since those things have been revealed to only a few people, we must live by faith and try to visualize what those blessings might be.

Besides living forever and having no problems, here are some of the blessings to be enjoyed in the resurrection:


  1. To be in the presence of the Father and the Son.
  2. To continue increasing in wisdom, power and knowledge.
  3. To have a clear understanding of mysteries of the kingdom of God.
  4. To have memories that can recall everything and to learn at a much faster rate.
  5. To never become weary, tired or need sleep.
  6. To eat and drink only when so desired.
  7. To be able to see and hear through millions of miles in space.
  8. To have communication anywhere on this world and with other worlds.
  9. To ascend and descend without being subject to gravity, and travel at instantaneous speed.
  10. To live where there is no enmity between man nor among the animal kingdom.
  11. To never suffer from disease, pain, sorrow, etc.
  12. To receive a glorious body full of energy, perfect in form, and filled with happiness.


[89] Orson Pratt: (The Seer, pp. 274-275)

The deformities existing in the mortal body, will not appear in our resurrected bodies; but all who are counted worthy to receive a celestial body, will appear in the image and likeness of the glorified body of Jesus; and his body is in the express image and likeness of his Father’s person. Paul, in speaking of the resurrection says, that Jesus “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.” (Phil. 3:21) Notwithstanding we shall be fashioned like his body, yet there will be a variety of features and size by which one will be distinguished from another, the same as in this life. * * *

Although there will be an endless-variety of features, yet all will appear equally glorious and beautiful; the beauty being the result of the perfection and glory of the spirit inhabiting the tabernacle. * * *

Will the same identical materials composing the mortal body be reorganized in the resurrected body?– There will be a sufficient quantity of those materials brought forth to form a perfect tabernacle for the spirit. But it is not to be expected that every particle, which at any time has formed a component part of the mortal body, will be raised and enter into the immortal one. * * *

If, therefore, all the old materials of the human system are to arise, we shall be favored with a beard and hair from twenty-five to thirty feet long; with finger and toe nails six or eight feet long; with two sets of teeth, and with ten or fifteen hundred pounds of flesh and bones. Such a supposition would be ridiculous. We are, therefore, compelled to believe that in the resurrection, each immortal body only takes that quantity of the old materials as is amply sufficient to form a beautiful and perfect tabernacle for the spirit.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (“King Follett Discourse,” JD 6:4)

When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the [90] top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel–you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 21:262)

I told you that our process of gaining information would be very rapid–would be immense in its growth, and that we should have the faculties within us developed to the highest degree. But now let us for a few moments, look into this high state of perfection. When our faculties are thus developed, and when we have all the wisdom that I have been speaking of, that dwells in the bosom of celestial beings, in the eternal worlds, what will we do with this wisdom? Will we fold up our arms, and remain throughout all the future ages of eternity, in perfect indifference and laziness, without anything to accomplish or perform? No; we will have works assigned to us to perform in the eternal worlds, that will be proportionate to all the fulness of that glory and knowledge which we are endowed with.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 16:367-368)

Thus we see that man is a God in embryo, agreeing with that which the Lord has revealed to us in the vision given to Joseph. “They shall be Gods, even the Sons of God,” growing up like their Father, their bodies fashioned like His glorious body. The attributes and faculties with which man is endowed in a mortal state are godlike in their nature, but they are weakened and incapable of any very great expansion by being shut up in this frail mortal body; but when we are freed from mortality, we have the [91] promise that we shall become like him, and if He can grasp in His comprehension and vision all these numberless creations, so will those who are made like Him be able to do the same.

There are many other things that would be profitable to dwell upon in discussing the increased capacities and powers of man in his future state besides the physical qualities I have spoken of. There is his increased knowledge and the proportionate increase of power that will accompany it; the great creative principle, the mechanical work which was performed by our Father and God in constructing creations, and in redeeming and glorifying them; that great principle of knowledge by which our Father and God can call forth from a shapeless mass of dust an immortal tabernacle, into which enters an immortal spirit. All these principles of wisdom, knowledge and power will be given to his children, and will enable them to organize the elements, form creations, and call forth from the dust intelligent beings, who will be under their charge and control. * * *

Here we prophesy in part, and here we have knowledge in part; here we gaze upon one thing at once; here we can comprehend the future in some measure. But we “see through a glass darkly;” then we shall see face to face; then knowledge in part will be done away, for the past, present and future, and millions on millions of creations will come before us and be alike comprehended by the vision of immortal man.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 3:99)

The mind of that great man Sir Isaac Newton, one of the great discoverers in modern times, was exercised in a wonderful manner. About the time he unfolded the great law that governs the bodies in the universe, which he termed the law of universal gravitation, his mind was so affected, so full of joy, and so overcome, when he was about laying bare the great truths this law unfolded, that [92] he had to obtain the assistance of someone present in carrying out the calculations.

If these scientific truths will have such an effect upon the mind of man, how much greater ought the joy to be, in the hearts of the children of men, in relation to those still greater truths that pertain to eternal life and the exaltation of man in the eternal world.

* * * * *


John Taylor: (JD 11:77)

We read something like this, “But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Now, this is a remarkable declaration. Look at the millions of human beings that inhabit this earth, and that have inhabited it from the creation up to the present time. * * *

Then, if we could discover the thoughts and reflections of these numerous millions of human beings, look at the wisdom, the intelligence, the folly, the nonsense, the good and the evil that are connected with every one of them! It is so vast and complicated that the human mind could not receive it, and it seems as if it would be almost a thing impossible for God to gaze upon the whole of them–to comprehend the whole, and judge of the whole correctly. How shall this be done? My understanding of the thing is, that God has made each man a register within himself, and each man can read his own register, so far as he enjoys his perfect faculties. This can be easily comprehended.

Let your memories run back, and you can remember the time when you did a good action; you can remember the time when you did a bad action; the thing is printed there; and you can bring it out and gaze upon it whenever you please.

* * * * *


[93] Orson Pratt: (JD 16:337)

We might mention, too, concerning sleep. We have to sleep away about one-third part of our time here; will immortal beings be obliged to do the same, and spend one-third of the eternal millions on millions of the ages to come in dormancy? I do not think any such thing. Inquires one–“Are not things here typical of things hereafter?” Some are not. We die here, but that is not typical of any death that will come on the righteous hereafter, and there are a great many things which we pass through here that are not typical of things hereafter. All physical imperfections will be done away with hereafter, and we shall enjoy a greater fullness and power, and I cannot see that it will be necessary for the immortal body to be vivified or quickened and refreshed by sleep.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 16:358)

We read that, after Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples while they were out fishing, and he called them to the shore and said–“Children, have ye any meat?” They soon discovered that it was the Lord who had appeared to them, and they came to the shore, and broiled some fish on a fire of coals, and Jesus partook with them, yet he was an immortal being. But whether it was necessary for him to eat in order to sustain himself is another question. But can immortal beings live without food? Yes, even the children of mortality can live without food when the Lord sees proper. For instance, Moses, on two different occasions, when he went up into the mount, was there forty days and forty nights, and the Scripture says, expressly, that he neither ate nor drank during that time. Now, if a person in mortality could be sustained forty days and forty nights, on two occasions, as Moses was, why would it be necessary for an immortal personage to eat to preserve life. I think they eat, perhaps, because it is a pleasure, and, it may have certain beneficial tendencies [94] that we know nothing about; but as they are raised to immortality it scarcely seems probable that that immortality will be dependent upon eating and drinking for its preservation. In the testimony of our Savior to His Apostles, we learn that resurrected beings will eat and drink, for says he–“Ye that have followed me in the regeneration shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel, and ye shall eat and drink at my table.” When will that be? During the Millennium, after the resurrection of those Twelve Apostles, and when Jesus descends from heaven they will descend with him, and when he sits upon his throne in one of the apartments of the Temple, the Twelve Apostles will sit upon their thrones, each one having a separate tribe of Israel over whom he will reign; and when dinner is ready, or supper, as the case may be, they will sit down at the Lord’s table, and will eat and drink in his presence.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 20:154-155)

“What?” some might exclaim; “eat and drink after the resurrection from the dead? Yes, did not Jesus eat and drink with his disciples after he came forth from the tomb? He did. He ate the broiled fish and the honeycomb, in their presence. Immortal beings can eat if they choose to do so. Hence it is written, “You that have followed me in the regeneration,” meaning these twelve disciples, “inasmuch as you have followed me in the regeneration, you shall sit upon twelve thrones and shall eat and drink at my table, and you shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel.” * * *

How pleasant it would be to walk into one of those beautiful rooms that will be constructed in the temple of our God at Jerusalem, and behold the beautiful table spread, on which the luxuries of our earth shall be served to those immortal beings, and then to see the Master, the great King, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings rise up and minister to his disciples; wait upon them; setting them [95] an example. He that is immortal and as far above mortality as the heavens are above the earth, condescending to administer to their happiness. Would not this be delightful? Who, that has any desire for holiness, and purity, and honesty, and virtue in his heart, would not be enraptured at the thought of having the privilege of being an invited guest, to go in, even if you did not sit down to the table; to see them when they were partaking, with their Savior, of this feast? And these will be the men that will be with Jesus when he descends upon the Mount of Olives, after the graves of the just have been opened. In the resurrection, they will come forth immortal, eternal, clothed upon with the fulness of that glory that pertains to the celestial kingdom. They will also reign as kings and priests here on the earth. To some of the raised Saints there will be given ten cities to rule over. To others there will be given five cities to rule over, according to their works here in this life. All will not have the same power. All will not have the same rule. The Twelve shall have twelve thrones–one throne each, to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. * * *

These twelve men who are appointed to judge these twelve tribes of Israel cannot be as it were the judges over all the earth at the same time. They cannot be everywhere present at the same moment, and hence there will be other judges, other men of God, those who are accounted worthy in the sight of the Most High. Hence we read in the revelations of St. John that he heard them singing a new song, a glorious song. About what? Their future glory and their future happiness and their future home, Where? On the earth. What? People in heaven singing about coming to the earth? Yes. When it is redeemed, it will be a glorious mansion, it will be a glorious world, it will be worth living on; and it will be sanctified, and the knowledge of God will cover the earth as the waters cover the deep. All beings will have knowledge. All people will have understanding. They will comprehend the things of God, and perform them. The Lord will make this earth one of the most glorious habitations, inasmuch as the people will prepare themselves for it, one of the most glorious habitations that can be given to men.

* * * * *


[96] Orson Pratt: (JD 16:262-263)

Again, we will take the sense of vision. Although that sense is not limited like hearing, yet it is limited so far as opaque bodies are concerned. What man, of all the children of mortality, without the miraculous power of the spirit of God resting upon him, is able to see into the depths of our globe? No man living, naturally, can see through anything that is opaque, and no man, naturally, can penetrate with his powers of vision into the interior of the earth. It is not transparent to the visual organs of mortal beings, no light, apparently, proceeds therefrom, and affects the optic nerve of man, so as to produce the sense of seeing. Man, in this state, can only see those objects from which light can be radiated or reflected. Shall we be thus limited in our perceptions when we receive our immortal bodies? By no means. Immortal beings will have their capacity for seeing so much enlarged, that they will be able to see down into the earth just as easily as they can see things around about them, or the bodies that revolve in space. I will refer you to modern revelation to prove that immortal beings will be able to see through opaque bodies, and into materials from which the natural light does not radiate, as is the case here among the children of mortality. You among my hearers who are acquainted with the little work called “The Pearl of Great Price”–a very precious book, because it contains many important ideas given by revelation–will recollect the revelation given to Moses. He inquired of God concerning the creation of this heaven and this earth, and obtained the information now contained in the Book of Genesis respecting the creation of the world. But before this he had a great vision in relation to the earth, the revelation informing us, in substance, as follows: “Moses was again clothed upon with the glory of God, and he beheld every particle of the earth, and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God.” Now, this was a very extended vision. He saw something which you and I have never seen, unless we have had a similar vision. Only think of a man, here in a state of [97] mortality, being permitted to look down into the earth, which is about eight thousand miles in diameter, and seeing not only large portions of its interior, but discerning every particle of it. There was not a particle of it that he did not behold, discerning it by the Spirit of God.

Now, how do we know but what the Spirit of God which exists in connection with the elements, is able to quicken the sight of an individual so that he can see even to the very centre of the solid earth with all the apparent ease with which he can see objects near him on its surface? * * *

We can construct instruments which will magnify a common house fly’s eye and make it appear twelve feet in diameter; we can look into a drop of water and see creatures apparently two or three inches long floating there, while with the naked eye we cannot see anything. If, then, no man living, without the aid of the Spirit of God, has ever been able to detect even one of these elementary atoms or particles of matter, how great must have been the enlargement of the vision of Moses–a man still in mortality–to enable him to discern every particle of the earth, inside as well as on its surface! If a man in a state of mortality could have his vision so enlarged that he could see all these particles at once, what may be expected when we are immortal, and entirely freed from all the defects of mortality? We may expect that the immortal being will have his vision so enlarged that he can not only look with all ease upon every particle of this earth, but on the particles of millions of worlds like this. I can see nothing that would hinder an immortal being from having his vision enlarged far beyond the enlargement which the mortal Moses received before he obtained a knowledge of this creation.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (The Way to Perfection, p. 354)

In that day we shall discover that the vastness of the universe can be traversed. New conditions will be revealed [98] to us. By Urim and Thummim, the revelations of the great empire of God, as it fills the immensity of space, will be revealed and we shall be a part of it, knowing as we are known. Without question we will have communication with our fellow beings–the children of God throughout all space. Is this impossible? It is not impossible with God. He knows all things, for “all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things,” and this by celestial law! By his infinite power and wisdom our Father governs in the universe; this he cannot do unless he is familiar with it. We, too, shall become like him, possessors of this great knowledge, so that the vastness of the universe will not stand in the way of our becoming acquainted with the children of God in the various parts of this vast empire.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 19:291)

Not only are present worlds existing, but worlds without number have existed from all ages of eternity, in their various stages of progress from the infinite duration of the past, and are peopled by the children of God–his own offspring, or the offspring of those who have become Gods. Besides, these worlds will exist forever, and there still remains no end, as it were, to the materials which will yet be organized into worlds, for the materials are infinite in quantity; they cannot be exhausted. And do these worlds communicate one with another? Why not; is the Lord limited in the process of communication? We find that man, poor, weak, fallen man, is now able to communicate from one end of the world, on which we live, to the other; and why not immortal beings communicate from world to world. If they were limited, then they would partake more of the nature of mortality. But they are not limited in their communications. There is a faculty in mankind which, when lighted up by the Spirit of God, cannot only pierce in vision through millions of miles of space, but can also hear through millions of miles of [99] space. Indeed, the progress of man, in this the nineteenth century, shows to us, in a very forcible manner, what may be hereafter in our more perfect state.

* * * * *


Parley P. Pratt: (Key to Theology, p. 164)

A corporeal, human body, raised from the dead and quickened by elements so refined, so full of life and motion, so pure and so free from the influences, control or attractions of more gross elements, will, like the risen Jesus, ascend and descend at will and with a speed nearly instantaneous.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 16:359-360)

Now will the children of immortality be subject to the law of gravitation? When they please to walk upon the earth–an act performed by virtue of the law of gravitation–they can do so. We have an example of this in our Savior walking after his resurrection, with two of his disciples, and conversing with them on many subjects; also when he descended on this American continent and walked around among the Nephites, going a little way and kneeling down upon the ground and praying to his Father, showing that, for the time being, he was subject to the law of gravitation, that is, he permitted it to have power over him. But he had a superior power given to him, by which he could control the law of universal gravitation just as he pleased, as in the case of his ascension from the Mount of Olives contrary to the laws of gravitation, and a cloud receiving him from the sight of his disciples who stood gazing on the scene.

* * * * *


[100] John Taylor: (JD 20:17-18)

“Blessed are the meek,” says our Lord in his sermon on the mount. And what is the peculiar blessing of the meek? “For they shall inherit the earth.” Did they formerly inherit the earth? No; they wandered about, in the days of the Apostles, in sheep skins and goat skins, finding shelter from the inclemency of the weather, and concealment from their persecutors in the solitary dens and caves of the mountains. A great many infidels and sectarians cannot believe that this promise can ever be literally fulfilled, because they did not realize it in the day of their mortality. But Jesus says, they shall inherit the earth; this includes too, all the Gentile Saints that have, and that will embrace the gospel, among all peoples, and nations, and kindreds and tongues, for all such become Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise. What promise? The promise made to Abraham. To inherit the earth. Hence all people who are baptized into Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female, and who are true and faithful to him, have Abraham for their father; and they, with him and the patriarchs, will inherit the earth, when wickedness ceases to exist.

It is then that the enmity of the beasts of the field as well as that of all flesh will cease; no more one beast of prey devouring and feasting upon another that is more harmless in its nature; no more will this enmity be found in the fish of the sea, or in the birds of the air. * * *

For it will be remembered that animals did not devour one another until after the fall <of Adam> ….

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 17:142-143)

I would like to say to you, my friends and brethren, if we could see things as they are, and as we shall see and understand them, this dark shadow and valley is so trifling that we shall turn round and look upon it and think, when we have crossed it, why this is the greatest [101] advantage of my whole existence, for I have passed from a state of sorrow, grief, mourning, woe, misery, pain, anguish and disappointment into a state of existence, where I can enjoy life to the fullest extent as far as that can be done without a body. My spirit is set free, I thirst no more, I want to sleep no more, I hunger no more, I tire no more, I run, I walk, I labor, I go, I come, I do this, I do that, whatever is required of me, nothing like pain or weariness, I am full of life, full of vigor, and I enjoy the presence of my heavenly Father, by the power of his Spirit. I want to say to my friends, if you will live your religion, live so as to be full of the faith of God, that the light of eternity will shine upon you, you can see and understand these things for yourselves, that when you close your eyes upon mortality you wake up right in the presence of the Father and the Son if they are disposed to withdraw the vail, they can do as they please with regard to this; but you are in the spirit world and in a state of bliss and happiness, …

When the earth was framed and brought into existence and man was placed upon it, it was near the throne of our Father in heaven. And when man fell–though that was designed in the economy, there was nothing about it mysterious or unknown to the Gods, they understood it all, it was all planned–but when man fell, the earth fell into space, and took up its abode in this planetary system, and the sun became our light. When the Lord said–“Let there be light,” there was light, for the earth was brought near the sun that it might reflect upon it so as to give us light by day, and the moon to give us light by night. This is the glory the earth came from, and when it is glorified, it will return again unto the presence of the Father, and it will dwell there, and these intelligent beings that I am looking at, if they live worthy of it, will dwell upon this earth.

As for their labor and pursuits in eternity I have not time to talk upon that subject; but we shall have plenty to do. We shall not be idle. We shall go on from one step to another, reaching forth into the eternities until we become like the Gods, and shall be able to frame for ourselves, by the behest and command of the Almighty. All [102] those who are counted worthy to be exalted and to become Gods, even the sons of God, will go forth and have earths and worlds like those who framed this and millions on millions of others.

* * * * *



Orson Pratt: (JD 19:288-289)

We, in our first state of existence, never having seen misery among any of the immortal beings, and never experiencing it in our spiritual personages, how could we know anything about it? I do not think we could possibly comprehend the nature of it. We could not reason out the difference between happiness and misery. Why? For the want of experience. * * *

We learn quite an experience here: we learn what it is to be miserable; we learn what it is to be unhappy; and we can now contrast misery with happiness; and we can say in our hearts, if I could only get rid of sickness, and pain, and sorrow, the effects of this death, how I could appreciate it! We often give expression to such feelings, when we are deeply afflicted. * * *

Then we shall know, by experience, how to appreciate as well as distinguish between happiness and misery, and be as the gods, knowing good and evil. Is this lesson necessary? Yes, suppose the Lord were to appoint to you a kingdom; suppose He were to say to you, “Son, yonder are materials which you may organize by my power into a world; and you may place upon it your own offspring, as I did my offspring upon the world upon which you dwelt.” What kind of person would you be if you had no experience? What? Go and create a world, and then people that world with your own offspring, and not know the difference between good and evil, between sickness and health, between pain and happiness, having no knowledge of these by experience. I think that such a one would not be fit to be entrusted with a world that was to undergo and pass through the same ordeals that our creation is now experiencing.

* * * * *



[103]                             Chapter 10



Amidst all the children of God, some choose to rebel against Him and the cause of Christ. They become apostates who “loved darkness more than light,” and because they “denied the Holy Spirit” and “denied the Only Begotten Son”, they became Sons of Perdition, for whom “there is no forgiveness.”

An important part of the great revelation of heaven and the redemption of man given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in 1832 (Doc. & Cov. 76) pertained to these fallen apostates, as well as a portion of Section 88. These and other scriptures and quotations presented in this chapter are arranged under the following subtitles:


  1. Satan and his angels of perdition
  2. Scriptures
  3. Sons of Perdition to be Resurrected
  4. What constitutes a Son of Perdition?
  5. Second Death, Dissolution, and Native Element
  6. In Conclusion…


The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible: (4:695)

Perdition: This word is used in the English version of the Bible… together with the word destruction, to translate the Greek noun ____ <Greek word>, which has the general meaning “destruction,” “ruin,” “loss.” Apart from its literal use …. it is used in the New Testament in a metaphorical sense of the doom of the enemies of God.


[104] Satan and His Angels of Perdition


Orson Pratt: (JD 19:316)

These beings, who, in the beginning, were created after the image of the spirit of Jesus, had a probation; they had law; they had intelligence. It was called their first estate. They were agents there just as much as you and I are here. They could obey the law that was given to them, or they could disobey that law. I have already alluded to a third part of the great family, who did not keep their first estate. What became of them? They were thrust down, and thus came the devil and his angels. Jude says they were reserved in chains of darkness, until the judgment at the great day. That was their doom; their transgressions were so great–sinning against God the Father, whom they could behold, and against the person of his Son, whom they could also see–disobeying the most sacred of all laws–seeking to dethrone the Almighty, and to take the power from that Being who had begotten them, into their own hands. For this they were thrust down, and were called Perdition, and the heavens wept over them.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 24)

Say to the brothers Hulet and to all others, that the Lord never authorized them to say that the devil, his angels, or the sons of perdition should ever be restored; for their state of destiny was not revealed to man, is not revealed, nor ever shall be revealed, save to those who are made partakers thereof; consequently those who teach this doctrine have not received it of the Spirit of the Lord. Truly Brother Oliver declared it to be the doctrine of devils. We, therefore, command that this doctrine be taught no more in Zion. We sanction the decision of the Bishop and his council, in relation to this doctrine being a bar to communion.

* * * * *


[105] Bruce R. McConkie: (Mormon Doctrine, p. 746)

Lucifer is Perdition. He became such by open rebellion against the truth, a rebellion in the face of light and knowledge. Although he knew God and had been taught the provisions of the plan of salvation, he defied the Lord and sought to enthrone himself with the Lord’s power. (Moses 4:1-4) He thus committed the unpardonable sin. In rebellion with him were one-third of the spirit hosts of heaven. These all were thus followers (or in other words sons) of perdition. They were denied bodies, were cast out onto the earth, and thus cause the devil and his angels–a great host of sons of perdition.

* * * * *


Moses Thatcher: (JD 26:304-306)

We may talk upon the branches of human learning and knowledge, speaking after the manner of men with but little of this feeling of timidity, but not when we undertake to speak of the principles of life and salvation, of the plan of human redemption as it has always existed–as it existed before the foundations of the world were laid, as it will continue to exist until every child of God except the sons of perdition shall be brought back and exalted in a degree of glory far beyond the comprehension of the finite mind. * * *

Whatever may have been the efforts of Satan and the hosts that follow, whatever they may do in the future to destroy, a merciful and loving heavenly Father’s plan is broad enough to save and will save, in some degree of glory, every human being that has or ever will breathe the breath of mortal life except the sons of perdition who, sinning against light, put Jesus to an open shame by denying the efficacy of His atoning blood after knowing of its power. Thank God these will be few in number. Whatever may be the views of uninspired sectarians as to the utter condemnation of the heathen, and of the unsprinkled infant who dies before the dawning of reason upon its intel-[106]lect, none but those mentioned will be consigned to eternal condemnation and to the misery and torments of what is called hell. Men will be judged by the deeds done in the body. If, therefore, a man, in full possession of intellectual faculties sins against light, as the son of the morning, Satan, sinned against light, no power on earth or in heaven can save him. For he has deliberately, while freely exercising his own agency, elected to be damned. To such the sealing powers, the keys of which were restored to the Prophet Joseph by Elijah, are of no more avail than were they when Satan, followed by a third part of the hosts of heaven, sought to enforce against the decree of God and His Son Jesus, his coercive scheme of human redemption, which scheme in its very nature was calculated utterly to destroy the agency of man, thus denying him the means of growth and final intelligent exaltation. Satan knew of the existence of God and of His Christ, His first born, and he knew of their power, honor, glory and dominion. But being envious and full of ambitious pride was anxious to supplant all for his own advancement. He fell, and was cast down as those will be who follow him and do the works of their master, sinning against knowledge and the light of heaven. * * *

But Satan was an accuser of his brethren from the beginning, hence the rejoicing of angels when he and his kind were east down to earth bodiless, estateless and powerless, except for evil. Wandering spirits in the realms of darkness, seeking everywhere and under all circumstances to enter, defile and destroy the souls and bodies of man. Where God is he can never abide, nor can those having received the testimony of Jesus who deny it. Such can never, if they reject the truth, sin against the light and put Jesus again to an open shame, abide the presence of God. When through the atoning blood of Christ their spirits and bodies are brought together in the resurrection of the wicked and are judged according to the deeds done in the body, the second death will pass upon them. The first death resulted in a temporary separation of body and spirit, but the second will result in eternal separation. As the rebellious in heaven lost their first, so these will lose their second estate and become like the first.

[107] How many people in this world to-day are capable of becoming the sons of perdition? And those are the only ones of the human family who will not be saved in some degree of glory. Are there two hundred thousand mature, intelligent human beings throughout the Christian world to-day who have knowledge enough to enable them to become the sons of perdition? How many in the Christian world have that testimony of Jesus which the Apostle declared was the spirit of prophecy? Such a testimony is stronger than can be the testimony of the existence of any earthly thing as evidenced by the five senses.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 11:238)

What will become of all those who will not obey the laws of salvation? Will they be confined throughout an endless eternity in that bottomless pit, where their worm dieth not, and where their fire is not quenched?

It is necessary that men should become acquainted with the laws of God, and the ordinances of His kingdom, and receive of the power of the world to come in order to fit them to become angels of the devil, and that the devil may have full power over them; and these are the only ones who are cut off from every degree of salvation. Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”

He has been lifted up, and He will save every son and daughter of Adam and Eve, except the sons of perdition, in some kingdom where there shall be no more death, no more aches and pains to afflict and torment them; and let me assure you that none of those kingdoms will be any worse than the one we now inhabit. Jesus Christ will draw all men unto him, except those who contend against the power of God and against his kingdom until they have sealed their own damnation.

The adversary presents his principles and arguments in the most approved style, and in the most winning tone, [108] attended with the most graceful attitudes; and he is very careful to ingratiate himself into the favour of the powerful and influential of mankind, uniting himself with popular parties, floating into offices of trust and emolument by pandering to popular feeling, though it should seriously wrong and oppress the innocent. Such characters put on the manners of an angel, appearing as nigh like angels of light as they possibly can, to deceive the innocent and the unwary. The good which they do, they do it to bring to pass an evil purpose upon the good and honest followers of Jesus Christ.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 11:251)

Pertaining to this earth death will be swallowed up in victory, and Jesus Christ will come and rule and reign over all nations as he does in the kingdom of the Saints. Until then, this evil power will be exerted to its uttermost to destroy and lead astray every man and woman who loves the truth. It is no matter to the devil what religion men profess or what they worship, how many sacraments they observe, or how many ordinances they pass through, so that they are not legally in the possession of the priesthood of the Son of God, and will not worship the true and living God in the manner he has directed. The devil does not care how much religion there is on the earth; he is a great preacher, and to all appearance a great gentleman, and it is necessary that he should be, and that all his co-workers should be as like their great leader and master as possible. * * *

The devil and his servants give their sanction and support to anything that will lead astray the people, even if it is very like the kingdom of God, yet a little different to that order of things which the Lord has established in his Church for the salvation of mankind.

* * * * *


[109] Moses 5:18, 22-24:

And Cain loved Satan more than God. * * * And the Lord said unto Cain: Why art thou wroth? Why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, thou shalt be accepted. And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door, and Satan desireth to have thee; and except thou shalt hearken unto my commandments, I will deliver thee up, and it shall be unto thee according to his desire. And thou shalt rule over him; for from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies; thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world.

* * * * *


Robert Sloan: (Millennial Star 69:230)

Instantaneous salvation is an impossible and, as many hold, an irreligious condition. As revolting to the pure and rational sensibilities of a believer as to the mind of the atheist is the wild and unscriptural deduction of religious maniacs that a murderer, in that struggle of hope which the agony of enforced death brings to all, can, by a mere act of proclaiming his faith in the Savior, pass into the presence and favor of the Almighty–the blood of his victim, it may be, still red upon his hands–and there share in the same glory that is a reward won through suffering and through patient endurance by the humble heart followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Surely. God’s treatment of Cain, were all else wanting, should forever dispose of this vicious contention, for Cain believed in God, even conversed with God; yet he was accursed. To those that endure to the end is the chief glory, and diminishing in degree is the reward to others, just as they have failed in the trust given them (at their own desire) when they came to this earth and entered tabernacles of flesh and bone.

* * * * *


[110] Scriptures


John 6:70-71:

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.


John 17:12:

While I <Christ> was with them <the Apostles> in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.


3 Nephi 27:32:

But behold, it sorrowth me <Christ> because of the fourth generation from this generation, for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold,…


Doc. & Cov. 19:15-16:

Therefore I command you to repent–repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore–how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent….


Doc. & Cov. 76:25-49:

And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust [111] down from the presence of God and the Son, and was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him–he was Lucifer, a son of the morning. And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!

And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ–wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about.

And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us: Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power–They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born; for they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity; concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come–having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.

These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels–and the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power; yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath. For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.

And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us–That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness; that through him all might be saved whom the Father had put [112] into his power and made by him; who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.

Wherefore, he saves all except them–they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment–and the end thereof neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows; neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof; nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again; wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation.

And we heard the voice, saying: Write the vision, for lo, this is the end of the vision of the sufferings of the ungodly.


Doc.& Cov. 88:24, 29-35:

And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.

Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, [113] he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

And again, verily I say unto you, that which is governed by law is also preserved by law and perfected and sanctified by the same. That which breaketh a law, and abideth not by law, but seeketh to become a law unto itself, and willeth to abide in sin, and altogether abideth in sin, cannot be sanctified by law, neither by mercy, justice, nor judgment. Therefore, they must remain filthy still.

* * * * *


Sons of Perdition to be Resurrected


Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 361)

There have been remarks made concerning all men being redeemed from hell; but I say that those who sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven in this world or in the world to come; they shall die the second death. Those who commit the unpardonable sin are doomed to Gnolom–to dwell in hell, worlds without end. As they concoct scenes of bloodshed in this world, so they shall rise to that resurrection which is as the lake of fire and brimstone. Some shall rise to the everlasting burnings of God; for God dwells in everlasting burnings, and some shall rise to the damnation of their own filthiness which is an exquisite a torment as the lake of fire and brimstone.

* * * * *


Heber C. Kimball: (JD 6:67)

Still I believe the greater part of the inhabitants of the earth will be redeemed; yea, all will be finally redeemed, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost or shed innocent blood; and they never can be redeemed until that debt is paid. And I do not know any way for them to pay it, unless they are brought back again to a mortal existence, and pay the debt where they contracted it.

[114] God will make every man pay off the debt he contracts; for a restoration must take place, which has been spoken of by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:273-277)

It has been taught by some that the resurrection would not be universal among those who have received mortal bodies, that some known as sons of perdition would be denied the privilege of the resurrection. It is very strange that such a doctrine could be entertained in the face of the many instructions and revelations coming from the Lord and his holy prophets. They universally testify that all shall come forth from the dead. Justice demands this because men are not responsible for death and hence are entitled to redemption from its grasp.

In his great mercy, love, and justice, our Father in heaven has provided that all his children who have gained mortality shall live again. The soul cannot be destroyed. The spirits of all men are eternal. They lived before this mortal life came, and through the atonement of Jesus Christ, they shall live after this mortal life is ended.

Our Redeemer came into the world to obtain the mastery over death. If one soul born into this world, no matter how wicked he may be, were denied the resurrection, then Jesus Christ would not have the victory. It is imperative, therefore, that all must receive the resurrection.

No person who has lived and died on this earth will be denied the resurrection. Reason teaches this, and it is a simple matter of justice. Adam alone was responsible for death, and therefore the Lord does not lay this to the charge of any other person. Justice demands that no person who was not responsible for death shall be held responsible for it, and therefore, as Paul declared, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (I Cor. 15:22)

[115] Again the Lord has said: “But, behold, verily I say unto you, before the earth shall pass away, Michael, mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth–yea even all. And the righteous shall be gathered on my right hand unto eternal life; and the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the Father.” (D. & C. 29:26-27)

This passage should be enough for any member of the Church, to set him right, but strange to say, there are those who misconstrue it and say it does not mean what it says.

Then we have the clear statement of Jacob in the Book of Mormon: “And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.” (2 Ne. 9:21-22)

What could be stronger and more convincing than these words of our Redeemer: “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29)

Let us consider now some of the sayings of later prophets. This is from the Prophet Joseph Smith: “There have been remarks made concerning all men being redeemed from hell; but I saw that those who sin against the Holy Ghost cannot be forgiven in this world or in the world to come; they shall die the second death. Those who commit the unpardonable sin are doomed to Gnolom–to dwell in hell, worlds without end. As they concoct scenes of bloodshed in this world, so they shall rise to that resurrection which is as the lake of fire and brimstone. Some shall rise to the everlasting burnings of God; for God dwells in everlasting burnings, and some shall rise to [116] the damnation of their own filthiness which is as exquisite a torment as the lake of fire and brimstone.” (TPJS, p. 361)

This is from President John Taylor: “What, will everybody be resurrected? Yes, every living being! `But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end.’ (1 Cor. 15:23-24) The saints shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years. One of the apostles says, `But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.’ (Rev. 20:5) But all must come forth from the grave, some time or other, in the selfsame tabernacle that they possessed while living on the earth. It will be just as Ezekiel has described it–bone will come to its bone, and flesh and sinew will cover the skeleton, and at the Lord’s bidding breath will enter the body, and we will appear, many of us, a marvel to ourselves.” (see Ezek. 37:1-14; JD 18:333)

And this is the testimony of President Joseph F. Smith: “Every creature that is born in the image of God will be resurrected from the dead, just as sure as he dies; you can write that down if you please, and never forget it, nor allow yourself to have any unbelief on that account. `As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.’ (I Cor. 15:22). * * *

These references should be enough, but there may be some who will rise up and say that the Lord has spoken otherwise, and they will base their contention on the words in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 76:38-39. President George Q. Cannon, years ago, corrected this erroneous interpretation, as follows:

“In many minds there has been a great misapprehension on the question of the resurrection. Some have had the idea and have taught it, that the sons of perdition will not be resurrected at all. They base this idea, and draw this conclusion from the 38th and 39th verses of section 76, of the book of Doctrine and Covenants, where the Lord says:

“`Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings [117] of his wrath. For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.’

“A careful reading of these verses, however, and especially of the preceding paragraphs, will show that the Lord does not, in this language, exclude even the sons of perdition from the resurrection. It is plain that the intention is to refer to them explicitly as the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power `For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb.’ This excluded class are the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power, and `the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the suffering of his wrath.’

“This is by no means to say that they are to have no resurrection. Jesus our Lord and Savior died for all, and all will be resurrected–good, bad, white and black, people of every race, whether sinners or not; and no matter how great their sins may be, the resurrection of their bodies is sure. Jesus has died for them, and they all will be redeemed from the grave through the atonement which he has made.” (See Era 45:827-829 and Instructor 35:123)

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (quoted in Doc. of Sal. 2:287)

There will be several classes of resurrected bodies; some celestial, some terrestrial, some telestial, and some sons of perdition. Each of these classes will differ from the others by prominent and marked distinctions.

* * * * *


Bruce R. McConkie: (Mormon Doctrine pp. 640-641)

Finally, in the latter end of the resurrection of damnation, the sons of perdition, those who “remain filthy [118] still” (D. & C. 88:102) shall come forth from their graves. (2 Ne. 9:14-16) “Then is the time when their torments shall be as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever; and then is the time that they shall be chained down to an everlasting destruction, according to the power and captivity of Satan, he having subjected them according to his will.

* * * * *


Truman G. Madsen: (BYU Religious Studies Symposium, Apr. 1977)

The notion of transmigration of souls or of successive mortal rebirths or of switching species was labeled by Joseph Smith as “a doctrine of the devil.” (TPJS, p. 105)* * *

Your body is as permanently yours as you are permanently you. Even the sons of perdition will be resurrected.

* * * * *


What Constitutes a Son of Perdition?


Brigham Young: (JD 8:279)

Men in the flesh are clothed with the Priesthood with its blessings, the apostatizing from which and turning away from the Lord prepares them to become sons of perdition.


Bruce R. McConkie: (Mormon Doctrine, p. 746)

Those in this life who gain a perfect knowledge of the divinity of the gospel cause, a knowledge that comes only by revelation from the Holy Ghost, and who then link themselves with Lucifer and come out in open rebellion, become sons of perdition. Their destiny, following their resurrection, is to be cast out with the devil and his angels, to inherit the same kingdom in a state where “their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

* * * * *


[119] Moses Thatcher: (JD 26:210-211)

Read the vision of the three glories and learn that compassionate Father has decreed that even these <wicked men> shall not be cast into outer darkness, but shall be saved with a glory beyond, far beyond the comprehension of the finite mind.

There is but one class of human beings whom God hath decreed shall endure eternal punishment, utter and everlasting condemnation, and they are the “sons of perdition.” How few, thank God, will be their numbers and, correspondingly how fruitless and barren after all will be efforts of Satan to frustrate the designs of the Almighty in his glorious plan of human redemption!

You, my brethren and sisters, know what constitutes a “son of perdition.” To become such, a man, by the testimony of the Holy Ghost, must know that God the Father and Jesus the Son live, and are the authors of salvation. Belief is insufficient, positive knowledge is necessary. I say that this which I hold in my hand is a book. Do I base the statement on belief or knowledge? I do not believe it to be, I know it to be a book. And my testimony to the fact would be taken everywhere, because if required to state how I know this to be a book I could say I see the binding, paper, and imprint of the type. I tap the lids and leaves and hear sounds. I smell the binding, paper and ink. I put them to my lips and tongue and taste them, and with my hands and fingers feel them. Thus all my senses combined furnish evidence that together give indisputable knowledge; and yet the testimony, the turning away from which, and thereafter denying the efficacy of the atoning blood of Jesus, putting him, after having positive knowledge, to an open shame again, is as much stronger than my testimony that this is a book, as God is stronger than man. In the one instance, knowledge is founded on the evidence of the five senses–seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling; in the other, every faculty of the soul, every fibre of the body, receives testimony direct from God, through the Holy Ghost, and he who after having received, denies it, sins against light just as much as Satan did when [120] his ambition and pride led him to rebel against God; and no power in heaven, on earth or in hell can keep such a man out of the realms of the damned, where he has, in the exercise of his own agency, elected to go. People without this knowledge cannot be damned; those with it should be if they turn away and deny it.

* * * * *


Charles Penrose: (JD 24:92-93)

The “sons of perdition” are those who have received the Gospel, those to whom the Father has revealed the Son; those who know something concerning the plan of salvation; those who have had keys placed in their hands by which they could unlock the mysteries of eternity; those who received power to ascend to the highest pinnacle of the celestial glory; those who received power sufficient to overcome all things, and who, instead of using it for their own salvation, and in the interest of the salvation of others, prostituted that power and turned away from that which they knew to be true, denying the Son of God and putting Him to an open shame. `All-such live in the spirit of error, and they love it and roll it under the tongue as a sweet morsel; they are governed by Satan, becoming servants to him whom they list to obey, they become the sons of perdition, doomed to suffer the wrath of God reserved for the devil and his angels. And for them, having sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no forgiveness either in this world or the world to come.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (“King Follett Discourse”, JD 6:8-9)


What has Jesus said? All sins, and all blasphemies, and every transgression, except one, that man can be guilty of, may be forgiven; and there is a salvation for all men, either in this world or the world to come, who have not committed the unpardonable sin, there being a provision, either in this world or the world of spirits. Hence [121] God hath made a provision that every spirit in the eternal world can be ferreted out and saved, unless he has committed that unpardonable sin which cannot be remitted to him either in this world or the world of spirits. God has wrought out a salvation for all men, unless they have committed a certain sin; and every man who has a friend in the eternal world can save him, unless he has committed the unpardonable sin. And so you can see how far you can be a saviour.

A man cannot commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, and there is a way possible for escape. Knowledge saves a man; and in the world of spirits no man can be exalted but by knowledge. So long as a man will not give heed to the commandments, he must abide without salvation. If a man has knowledge, he can be saved; although, if he has been guilty of great sins, he will be punished for them. But when he consents to obey the Gospel, whether here or in the world of spirits, he is saved.

A man is his own tormentor and his own condemner. Hence the saying, They shall go into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. The torment of disappointment in the mind of man is as exquisite as a lake burning with fire and brimstone. I say, so is the torment of man.

I know the Scriptures and understand them. I said no man can commit the unpardonable sin after the dissolution of the body, nor in this life until he receives the Holy Ghost; but they must do it in this world. Hence the salvation of Jesus Christ was wrought out for all men in order to triumph over the Devil; . . .

All sins shall be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; for Jesus will save all except the sons of perdition. What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; [122] and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

When a man begins to be an enemy to this work, he hunts me; he seeks to kill me, and never ceases to thirst for my blood. He gets the spirit of the Devil–the same spirit that they had who crucified the Lord of Life,–the same spirit that sins against the Holy Ghost. You cannot save such persons; you cannot bring them to repentance: they make open war like the Devil, and awful is the consequence.

I advise all of you to be careful what you do, or you may by-and-by find out that you have been deceived. * * *

I warn you against all evil characters who sin against the Holy Ghost; for there is no redemption for them in this world nor in the world to come.

* * * * *


Heber C. Kimball: (JD 2:107)

There will many of you turn from the faith; you will turn your backs to us, and some will be guilty of shedding innocent blood, if you are not aware. This will be the result of apostacy. When that spirit attacks you, you will be led to do as other apostates have, who have turned from the Church of Christ.

Judas, when he lost the faith, received the power of the devil, and betrayed the Son of God into the hands of murderers. Joseph Smith in like manner was betrayed into the hands of wicked men, who took his life. He was betrayed by apostates, by men whom he once loved when they were in our midst, and had the Spirit of the Lord.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 4:76)

We have in our community the worst creatures that the world can produce; the Gospel net must gather them [123] of necessity, or the saying of Jesus, and what he knew of the kingdom in the last day would not come to pass. There are as bad men and women within the pales of this Church as there are upon this earth, and the Gospel being preached to them prepares them to become devils. As you have frequently been told, that is the only way men can become devils; they must have the knowledge to sin against the Holy Ghost, or yet the day of redemption awaits them, one or the other.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 16:365)

And the memories of the wicked, after they leave this body, will be so increased that they will have a bright recollection, Alma says, of all their guilt. Here they forget a good many things wherein they have displeased God; but in that condition, even before the resurrection, they will have a bright recollection of all their guilt, which will kindle in them a flame like that of an unquenchable fire, creating in their bosoms a feeling of torment, pain and misery, because they have sinned against their own Father and their own God, and rejected His counsels.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 8:154)

Jesus will bring forth, by his own redemption, every son and daughter of Adam, except the sons of perdition, who will be cast into hell. Others will suffer the wrath of God–will suffer all the Lord can demand at their hands, or justice can require of them; and when they have suffered the wrath of God till the utmost farthing is paid, they will be brought out of prison. Is this dangerous doctrine to preach? Some consider it dangerous; but it is true that every person who does not sin away the day of grace, and become an angel to the Devil, will be brought forth to inherit a kingdom of glory. * * *

[124] Jesus will redeem the last and least of the sons of Adam, except the sons of perdition, who will be held in reserve for another time. They will become angels of the Devil.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 15:136-137)

All who have lived on the earth according to the best light they had, and would have received the fullness of the gospel had it been preached to them, are worthy of a glorious resurrection, and will attain to this by being administered for in the flesh by those who have the authority. All others will have a resurrection, and receive a glory, except those who have sinned against the Holy Ghost.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (The Seer, pp. 156-157)

If we should inquire what constitutes the misery of the fallen angels, the answer would be, they are destitute of love; they have ceased to love God; they have ceased to have pure love one towards another; they have ceased to love that which is good. Hatred, malice, revenge, and every evil passion have usurped the place of love; and unhappiness, wretchedness, and misery are the results. Where there is no love, there will be no desire to promote the welfare of others. Instead of desiring that others may be happy, each desires to make all others miserable like himself; each seeks to gratify that hellish disposition against the Almighty which arises from his extreme hatred of that which is good. For the want of love the torment of each is complete. All the wicked who are entirely overcome by these malicious spirits will have the heavenly principle of love wholly eradicated from their minds, and they will become angels to these infernal fiends, being captivated by them, and compelled to act as they act. They cannot extricate themselves from their power, nor ward off the fiery darts of their malicious tormentors. [125] Such will be the condition of all beings who entirely withdraw themselves from the love of God. As love decreases, wickedness, hatred, and misery increase; and the more wicked individuals or nations become, the less capable are they of loving others and making them happy; and vice versa, the more righteous a people become, the more they are qualified for loving others and rendering them happy. A wicked man can have but little love for his wife, while a righteous man, being filled with the love of God, is sure to manifest this heavenly attribute in every thought and feeling of his heart, and in every word and deed. Love, joy, and innocence will radiate from his very countenance, and be expressed in every look. This will beget confidence in the wife of his bosom, and she will love him in return; for love begets love; happiness imparts happiness; and these heaven-born emotions will continue to increase more and more, until they are perfected and glorified in all the fulness of eternal love itself.

Could wicked and malicious beings, who have eradicated every feeling of love from their bosoms, be permitted to propagate their species, the offspring would partake of all the evil, wicked, and malicious nature of their parents. However pure the spirits might be, when permitted to enter such degraded tabernacles, yet, being extremely susceptible to influences, they would speedily partake of all the evil nature which characterized the spirits of the father and mother; thus they would soon become devils incarnated in flesh and bones. Such would be the dreadful consequences of offspring, brought into existence by parents destitute of the principles of love, like the fallen angels. The same consequences, to a certain degree, would result from the multiplication of wicked parents. In proportion as the pure love of God is eradicated from their hearts, the unholy passions take the place thereof, and the offspring partake of these unlovely principles which are engendered in the nature and constitution of the infant tabernacle, and begin to act upon the pure spirit that takes up its abode therein, forming, modifying, and bending, in a great measure, its inclinations, until, by the time that it grows up to know good from evil, it becomes prepared to plunge headlong into all [126] the vices of its ungodly parents; thus the parents, for the want of that holy and pure affection which exists in the bosom of the righteous, not only destroy their own happiness, but impress their own degraded and unlovely passions upon the constitution of their offspring. It is for this reason that God will not permit the fallen angels to multiply: it is for this reason that God has ordained marriages for the righteous only: it is for this reason that God will put a final stop to the multiplication of the wicked after this life.

* * * * *


Second Death, Dissolution, and Native Element


Heber C. Kimball: (JD 5:271-274)

My tabernacle that is now standing before you, that you see with your eyes, I expect will decay, just like an old house. When it is done with, it decays, and turns back to the mother earth, from whence it was taken; and it is so with my body; it is so with yours; but it is not so with my spirit, if I live my religion.

If I do not live my religion, but turn away from the principles of light and life, my spirit will die. You have heard me speak of that a great many times, and so you have brother Brigham. There are thousands upon thousands whose bodies will die by the power of the second death; and then they never will return again. Many call that annihilation.

It is just the same with that as it is with this pitcher: it was made in England; it was once in its mother element, and it was taken out of the earth, and went through a certain process. It was then modelled and fashioned into the shape in which you now see it.

Now, will the day come when this pitcher will return to its mother earth? It will; and it may be thrown into some part of the earth where it may be thousands and millions of years before that pitcher or the elements of which it is composed will be brought back again; and so it will be with thousands and millions of the people: they [127] never will be brought back into the shape they were in once.

Some men enquire, “Why?” Simply because they have dishonoured the spirit and bodies that God gave them; therefore God will make a desolation of those bodies and spirits, and he will throw them back into the earth; that is, that portion that belongs to the earth will go back there. And so it will be with our spirits: they will go back into the elements or space that they once occupied before they came here.

Now, you may believe what you have a mind to about it; it is just as easy to conceive of a dissolution as to conceive of anything else. Chemists take elements and dissolve them and separate them, and can it not be done with our bodies? I answer yes, and with our spirits too, just as easy as a chemist can take a five-dollar piece and dissolve it into an element that is like water. Can that be restored again? It can: it can be dissolved, and it can be brought back again. And upon the same principle can our bodies be dissolved and restored again. * * *

There are thousands here that have never seen a potter’s house. But if I was in one, I could take a lump of clay and show you; and perhaps, being out of practice, it would mar in my hands: then I would throw it back into the mill and grind it, and afterwards I would take it up again and make a vessel unto honour. And thus the Lord said to Jeremiah, “As you see that clay mar in the hands of the potter, so shall it be with the house of Israel. They shall go and be in prison till I bring them out and make them vessels unto honour.” That is to be done in the latter days, when the Lord is to say to the dry bones, “Come forth,” and so on. Go and read the Bible, and you will learn about it. It will be just so with thousands and tens of thousands who will embrace “Mormonism:” they will go back into the mill again, through disobedience.

I do not believe, of all the Branches of this church that were raised up twenty-five years ago, that there is one man out of twenty who now stands firm and is living. Of the two thousand whom I and my brethren baptised, when we first went to old England, I do not believe there are five hundred now in this Church.

* * * * *


[128] Brigham Young: (JD 4:54)

It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit. As it was in ancient days, so it is in our day; and though the principles are taught publicly from this stand, still the people do not understand them; yet the law is precisely the same. * * *

There are principles that will endure through all eternity, and no fire can obliterate them from existence. They are those principles that are pure, and fire is made typical use of to show the glory and purity of the gods, and of all perfect beings. God is the Father of our spirits; He begat them, and has sent them here to receive tabernacles, and to prove whether we will honour them. If we do, then our tabernacles will be exalted; but if we do not, we shall be destroyed; one of the two–dissolution or life. The second death will decompose all tabernacles over whom it gains the ascendancy; and this is the effect of the second death, the tabernacles go back to their native element.

* * * * *


Erastus Snow: (JD 7:358)

The spiritual death is that which shall be passed upon the wicked when he shall say unto them, “Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” You can read this revelation in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants when you go home.

I understand that that second death is a spiritual death. Is it meant that the spirit shall die? Each of you can draw your own conclusions as well as I. Your traditions may be such that your thoughts do not run in the same channel with mine in this respect. But I can conceive of no other spiritual death than dissolution. I understand, when applied to the mortal tabernacle, it alludes to the dissolution of that tabernacle: it ceases to act in its functions, being dissolved, to return to its native element.

I conceive that the same term is applicable to the spirit in like manner.

* * * * *


[129] Brigham Young: (JD 9:149)

No matter how many deny their God, and their religion, God is the same, his holy religion is the same and all the truth is the same. There is no plan, no device, no possible way in which we can get rid of “Mormonism,” only by taking the downward road which leads to hell, until spiritually and temporally the whole organized being is dissolved, and the particles thereof have returned again to native elements. We read in the scriptures of the second death not having power over certain ones. The first death is the separation of the spirit from the body; the second death is, as I have stated, the dissolution of the organized particles which compose the spirit and their return to their native element. The wicked spirit will have to endure the wrath of the Almighty, until it has paid the uttermost farthing where the “worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 8:28)

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.” The death that is spoken of here is the death that is opposite to the eternal life the Saviour spoke of. If you dishonour that body–transgress the natural laws pertaining to it, you are not worthy, in your sphere, to possess this body in an immortal state. What will become of it? It will return to its native element. That is the death that never dies. That is endless death.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 3:203)

We might ask, when shall we cease to learn? I will give you my opinion about it; never, never. If we continue to learn all that we can, pertaining to the salvation which is purchased and presented to us through the Son of God, is there a time when a person will cease to learn? Yes, when he has sinned against God the Father, Jesus Christ [130] the Son, and the Holy Ghost–God’s minister; when he has denied the Lord, defied Him and committed the sin that in the Bible is termed the unpardonable sin–the sin against the Holy Ghost. That is the time when a person will cease to learn, and from that time forth, will descend in ignorance, forgetting that which they formerly knew, and decreasing until they return to the native element, whether it be one thousand or in one million years, or during as many eternities as you can count. They will cease to increase, but must decrease, until they return to the native element. These are the only characters who will ever cease to learn, both in time and eternity. * * *

We shall never cease to learn, unless we apostatize from the religion of Jesus Christ. Then we shall cease to increase, and will continue to decrease and decompose, until we return to our native element. Can you understand that? It is a subject worthy the attention of the eminent divines of Christendom, and they may search into it until they are tired, and still know comparatively little about it, while I preach it to you in a few words.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 1:118)

The principle opposite to that of eternal increase from the beginning, leads down to hell; the person decreases, loses his knowledge, tact, talent, and ultimately, in a short period of time, is lost; he returns to his mother earth, his name is forgotten. But where, Oh! where is his spirit? I will not now take the time to follow his destiny; but here, strong language could be used, for when the Lord Jesus Christ shall be revealed, after the termination of the thousand years’ rest, he will summon the armies of heaven for the conflict, he will come forth in flaming fire, he will descend to execute the mandates of an incensed God, and, amid the thunderings of the wrath of Omnipotence, roll up the heavens as a scroll, and destroy death, and him that has the power of it. The rebellious will be thrown back into their native element, there to remain myriads of years before their dust will again be revived, before they will be re-organized.

* * * * *


[131] In Conclusion . . .


Brigham Young: (Contributor 5:59)

A man can dispose of his agency or of his birthright, as did Esau of old, but when disposed of, he cannot again obtain it; consequently, it behooves us to be careful, and not forfeit the agency that is given to us. The difference between the righteous and the sinner, eternal life or death, happiness or misery, is this: To those who are exalted there are no bounds or limits to their privileges, their blessings have a continuation, and to their kingdoms, thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, there is no end, but they increase through all eternity; whereas, those who reject the offer, who despise the proffered mercies of the Lord, and prepare themselves to be banished from His presence, and to become companions of the devils, have their agency abridged immediately, and bounds and limits are put to their operations. The power of the devil is limited; the power of God is unlimited; therefore let us be cautious how we use our liberty and agency, and be careful to choose that which is good and right before the Lord, and then our exaltation is sure.

* * * * *


Times and Seasons, p. 83:


For thus saith the Lord, now concerning all those

Who know of my power and partake of the same; And suffer themselves, that they be overcome

By the power of Satan; despising my name;


Defying my power, and denying the truth;

They are they–of the world, or of men, most forlorn,

The Sons of Perdition, of whom, ah! I say,

‘T were better for them had they never been born!

* * * * *



[132]                             Chapter 11



It has been said that the most enlightening revelation ever given to mankind may be Section 76 in the Doctrine and Covenants. This revelation explains and clarifies more about man’s eternal destiny than any other recorded revelation. It could easily put an end to the strange and confusing precepts of men concerning heaven and hell.

Information in this chapter is divided into the following four categories: (1) General, (2) Telestial, (3) Terrestrial, and (4) Celestial.




Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 311)

“But,” says one, “I believe in one universal heaven and hell, where all go, and are all alike, and equally miserable or equally happy.”

What! where all are huddled together–the honorable, virtuous, and murderers, and whoremongers, when it is written that they shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body? But St. Paul informs us of three glories and three heavens. He knew a man that was caught up to the third heavens. Now, if the doctrine of the sectarian world, that there is but one heaven, is true, Paul, what do you tell that lie for, and say there are three? Jesus said unto His disciples, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come and receive you to myself, that where I am ye may be also.”

* * * * *


[133] Brigham Young: (JD 8:154)

The sectarian world, as we call them, is a professed church of God without the Priesthood. Sectarians have not the Priesthood; but all of them who live according to the best light and intelligence they can obtain through faithfulness to what they believe, as taught unto them, will receive a kingdom and glory that will far transcend all their expectations, imaginations, or visions in their most excited moments, whether in their falling-down power, jumping power, or squawling power. All they have ever desired or anticipated they will receive, and far more; but they cannot dwell with the Father and Son, unless they go through these ordeals that are ordained for the Church of the First born. The ordinances of the house of God are expressly for the Church of the First born.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 8:152-153)

I will read a portion of the vision Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon had concerning various kingdoms that God has prepared for his subjects: (See Sec. 92:7 Doc. and Cov., the then current edition–1860. Now Sec. 76:96-113.)

I do not know that I have any particular desire to dwell upon this any more than any other subject of the Gospel, although, this subject, in the abstract, occupies more of my affection, adoration, and heartfelt gratitude to our Father and God than any other that has ever been revealed to my knowledge, from the days of Adam to the present. * * *

I can truly say that, in my estimation, no other revelation so glorious was ever given. You may read the character of the Deity as portrayed in all that has ever been revealed, until you come to this vision, in relation to his justice, his judgment, his power, his life, his glory, his excellence, his goodness, his mercy, and the fullness of every gift, of every trait, of every principle inherent in the character of the Supreme Being, and it is not equal in [134] magnitude, in my reflections, to that which God revealed to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon in the vision from which I have read.

We are far advanced in the things of the kingdom of God. To say nothing about any other principle or doctrine that has ever been revealed, the transcending glory, excellency, wisdom, goodness, virtue, and power that God has revealed in this vision far outweigh all the Christian tenets, doctrines, and systems they have drawn from the Bible. No cistern, to use a figure, hewn by man, can hold water; and every human doctrine and principle, professing to point the way of salvation, fades away. The doctrine God has revealed here is more precious to me, and is worth more than all the doctrines of Christendom.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 17:159)

I expect one thing will be true that Joseph said when living. A gentleman came to see him and asked him a great many questions, and among the rest he said: “I suppose you calculate that you are just right, and that you “Mormons” are all going to be saved and everybody else will be damned.” Said Joseph, “Sir, I will tell you this one thing, all the rest of the world will be damned, and I expect that most of the “Mormons” will be unless they do better than they have done.” The man did not stop for an explanation. What Joseph meant by being damned was that people will go into the spirit world without the Priesthood, and consequently they are under the power of Satan, and will have to be redeemed, or else they will be forever under his power. That is all there is about that.

* * * * *


John Taylor: (JD 26:133, 1883)

We are told that if we cannot abide the law of the celestial kingdom we cannot inherit a celestial glory. Is [135] not that doctrine? Yes. “But,” says one, “are not we all going into the celestial kingdom?” I think not, unless we turn round and mend our ways very materially. It is only those who can abide a celestial glory and obey a celestial law that will be prepared to enter a celestial kingdom. “Well,” says another, “are the others going to be burned up?” No. “Do you expect everybody to walk according to this higher law?” No, I do not. And do I expect those that do not are going into the celestial kingdom? No, I do not. “Well, where will they go?” If they are tolerably good men and do not do anything very bad, they will get into a terrestrial kingdom, and if there are some that cannot abide a terrestrial law, they may get into the telestial kingdom, or otherwise, as the case may be.

* * * * *


Parley P. Pratt: (Key to Theology, pp. 143-144)


The final state of man, though varying in almost infinite gradations and rewards, adapted to his qualifications and deserts, and meted out in the scale of exact justice and mercy, may be conceived or expressed under three grand heads or principal spheres, viz.:

First. The Telestial, or least heaven, typified by the stars of the firmament.

Secondly. The Terrestrial, or intermediate heaven, typified by the moon.

Thirdly. The Celestial, or third heaven, of which the sun of the firmament is typical.

The qualifications which fit and prepare intelligences for these different spheres or rewards are an all important consideration, and well worthy of the sincere attention of all people.

These several kingdoms or degrees, and their comparative happiness, and what characters are candidates for each degree, are revealed in a most concise, clear, lucid and beautiful manner, in one of the visions of our great Prophet and founder.

* * * * *


[136] Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:287-288)

Elder Orson Pratt many years ago in writing of the resurrection and the kind of bodies which would be raised in these kingdoms said:

“In every species of animals and plants, there are many resemblances in the general outlines and many specific differences characterizing the individuals of each species. So in the resurrection. There will be several classes of resurrected bodies; some celestial, some terrestrial, some telestial, and some sons of perdition. Each of these classes will differ from the others by prominent and marked distinctions; yet, in each, considered by itself there will be found many resemblances as well as distinctions.” * * *

Some of the functions in the celestial body will not appear in the terrestrial body, neither in the telestial body, and the power of procreation will be removed. I take it that men and women will, in these kingdoms, be just what the so-called Christian world expects us all to be–neither man nor woman, merely immortal beings having received the resurrection.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrine and Covenants 138:58-59, “Vision of Redemption of the Dead”)

The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God, and after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.

* * * * *


[137] Telestial Kingdom


Times and Seasons: (p. 84)


These are they that deny not the spirit of God,

But are thrust down to hell, with the devil, for sins,

As hypocrites, liars, whoremongers, and thieves,

And stay ’till the last resurrection begins.


Doctrine and Covenants 76:81-90, 98-112:

And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament. These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus. These are they who deny not the Holy Ghost. These are they who are thrust down to hell. These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.

These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial; And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial. And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.

And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding; and no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it. * * *

And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world; for these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas. These are they who say they are some of one and some of another–some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch; But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.

[138] Last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud. These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie. These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth. These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work; when he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.

Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever. But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore; and heard the voice of the Lord saying: These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne forever and ever; for they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared; and they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.

* * * * *

Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:297-298)

All liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers and all who love and make a lie, shall not receive the resurrection at this time, but for a thousand years shall be thrust down into hell where they shall suffer the wrath of God until they pay the price of their sinning, if it is possible, by the things which they shall suffer.

[139] These are the “spirits of men who are to be judged, and are found under condemnation; And these are the rest of the dead; and they live not again until the thousand years are ended, neither again, until the end of the earth.” (D. & C. 88:100-101)

These are the hosts of the telestial world who are condemned to “suffer the wrath of God on earth”; and who are “cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work.” (D. & C. 76:104-106)

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 15:322)

Now let us come to still inferior glories. I have mentioned those who inherit the glory of the stars. Who are they? They are not the heathen, for they come up higher–into the terrestrial glory. Who are they, then, who are permitted only to inherit a glory typified by the stars? They are the general world of mankind, those who have heard the Gospel of the Son of God but have not obeyed it. They are to be punished. How long? Until Jesus has reigned here on the earth a thousand years. How much longer? Until the “little season” has passed away after the end of the thousand years, and then when the final end shall come and the trump of God shall sound, and the great white throne shall appear and the heaven and the earth shall flee away; when that time shall come, the sound of the trump shall call forth those sleeping millions of all ages, generations and nations who have heard the sound of the Gospel and have not obeyed it, but until then their bodies must sleep. They are not worthy of the first resurrection.

* * * * *


[140] Terrestrial Kingdom


Times and Seasons: (p. 84)


These are they that are hon’rable men of the earth;

Who were blinded and dup’d by the cunning of men:

They receiv’d not the truth of the Savior at first;

But did, when they heard it in prison, again.


Doctrine and Covenants 76:71-79; 91, 97:

And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament. Behold, these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh; Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.

These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men. These are they who received of his glory, but not of his fulness. These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.

Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God. * * *

And thus we saw the glory of the terrestrial which excels in all things the glory of the telestial, even in glory, and in power, and in might, and in dominion. * * *

And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one.

* * * * *


[141] Cleon Skousen: (Imp. Era, July 1969, see pp. 72-75)


Verses 71-79 (of Section 76) state that if a person has an opportunity to embrace the fullness of the gospel during earth life but postpones, accepting it until he reaches the spirit world, then he cannot be an heir to the celestial kingdom. He drops down to the next level, the terrestrial. Of course, if a person never even hears the gospel until he reaches the spirit world (and that has been the case with the majority of mankind), then he can accept it in the spirit world without any penalty, provided he would have accepted it in the flesh. In due time the ordinance work will be done for him vicariously (such as baptism for the dead referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29), and then that person will be resurrected to the celestial glory just as though he had accepted the gospel while in earth life.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:296-297)

Following this great event, and after the Lord and the righteous who are caught up to meet him have descended upon the earth, there will come to pass another resurrection. This may be considered as a part of the first, although it comes later. In this resurrection will come forth those of the terrestrial order, who were not worthy to be caught up to meet him, but who are worthy to come forth to enjoy the millennial reign.

It is written that the second angel shall sound, which is the second trump, “and then cometh the redemption of those who are Christ’s at his coming; who have received their part in the prison which is prepared for them, that they might receive the gospel, and be judged according to men in the flesh.” (D. & C. 76:73-75)

This other class, which will also have right to the first resurrection, are those who are not members of the Church of the Firstborn, but who have led honorable lives, although they refused to accept the fulness of the gospel.

[142] Also in this class will be numbered those who died without law and hence are not under condemnation for a violation of the commandments of the Lord. The promise is made to them of redemption from death in the following words: “And then shall the heathen nations be redeemed, and they that knew no law shall have part in the first resurrection; and it shall be tolerable for them.” (D. & C. 45:54) These, too, shall partake of the mercies of the Lord and shall receive the reuniting of spirit and body inseparably, thus becoming immortal, but not with the fulness of the glory of God.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (Contributor 11:87)

With your mind’s eye look at the millions of them in all nations who are doing according to the best knowledge they possess. What! the Roman Catholics? Yes, and then every one of her daughters down to the latest Protestant Church that has been organized. They are all doing just as well as they can, and living according to the best light they have–a great many of them, though not all. What shall we do with them? They pass from the world, their spirits go into the spiritual world, and their bodies go back to their mother earth, and there sleep while their spirits are before the Lord.

Are they happy? Every son and daughter of Adam who live according to the best light and knowledge they have, when they go into the spiritual world, are happy in proportion to their faithfulness. For instance, take a view of some of our late reformers; take the best specimen of reformers that we have, who are all the time full of glory and happiness and full of praise to the Lord–who meet together oft to sing and pray and preach and shout and give thanks to the Lord Almighty; and in a great many instances and in a great degree they enjoy much of a good spirit, which is the Spirit of the Lord, or the light of Christ, which lighteth the world.

Now, this may be singular to some. What! they enjoy the Spirit of the Lord? Yes, every man and woman, ac-[143]cording to their faith and the knowledge they have in their possession. They enjoy the goodness of their Father in heaven. Do they receive the Spirit of the Lord? They do, and enjoy the light of it, and walk in it, and rejoice in it.

What will be their state hereafter? Every faithful Methodist that has lived up to and faithfully fulfilled the requirements of his religion, according to the best light he had, doing good to all and evil to none, injuring no person upon the earth, honoring his God as far as he knew, will have as great a heaven as he ever anticipated in the flesh, and far greater. Every Presbyterian, and every Quaker, and every Baptist, and every Roman Catholic member–every reformer, of whatever class or grade, that lives according to the best light they have, and never have had an opportunity of receiving a greater light than the one in their possession, will have and enjoy all they live for.

I am telling you the truth as it is, and you may write it down if you please, and call it revelation if you will. But it has been revealed before I revealed it here to-day. This is the situation of Christendom after death.

You may go among the Pagans, or among all the nations there are, and they have their religion, their sacraments and ceremonies, which are as sacred to them as ours are to us; they are just as precious and dear to them, though we call them heathen. They are idolatrous worshippers; yet their religion is as sacred to them as ours is to us. If they live according to the best light they have in their religion, God is God over all and the Father of us all; we are all the workmanship of His hands; and if they are ignorant, filled with superstition, and have the traditions of the fathers interwoven like a mantle around and over them, that they cannot see any light, so will they be judged; and if they have lived according to what they did possess, so they will receive hereafter.

And will it be glory? you may inquire. Yes. Glory, glory, glory to our merciful Father in heaven; for the least glory is so great and so exquisite that it is altogether beyond mortal perception.

* * * * *


[144] Orson Pratt: (JD 15:322)

But how about these terrestrials, can they come up into the celestial? No, their intelligence and knowledge have not prepared and adapted them to dwell with those who reign in celestial glory, consequently they cannot even be angels in that glory. They have not obeyed the law that pertains to that glory, and hence they could not abide it. But will there be blessings administered to them by those who dwell in celestial glory? Yes, angels will be sent forth from the celestial world to minister to those who inherit the glory of the moon, bearing messages of joy and peace and of all that which is calculated to exalt, to redeem and ennoble those who have been resurrected into a terrestrial glory. They can receive the Spirit of the Lord there, and the ministration of angels there.

* * * * *


Celestial Kingdom


Times and Seasons: (p. 84)


They are they, of the church of the first born of God,-

And unto whose hands he committeth all things;

For they hold the keys of the kingdom of heav’n, And reign with the Savior, as priests, and as kings.


Doctrine and Covenants 76:50-70; 92-96

And again we bear record–for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just–

They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given–That by keeping the commandments they might [145] be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; and who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.

They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things–They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.

Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God–Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. And they shall overcome all things.

Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet. These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.

These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people. These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection. These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just. These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.

These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn. These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.

These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood. These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical. * * *

[146] And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things–where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever; Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever. They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion. And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (“Vision of the Celestial Kingdom”, D.H.C. 2:380-381; TPJS, p. 107; D. & C. 137:1-10)

The heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the celestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire; also the blazing throne of God, whereon was seated the Father and the Son. I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold. I saw Father Adam and Abraham, and my father and my mother, my brother, Alvin, that has long since slept, and marvelled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.

Thus came the Voice of the Lord unto me, saying–All who have died without a knowledge of this Gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God; also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom, for I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.

[147] And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability, are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:296)

In modern revelation given to the Church, the Lord has made known more in relation to this glorious event. There shall be at least two classes which shall have the privilege of the resurrection at this time: First, those who “shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever”; (D. & C. 76:62) and second, honorable men, those who belong to the terrestrial kingdom as well as those of the celestial kingdom.

At the time of the coming of Christ, “They who have slept in their graves shall come forth, for their graves shall be opened; and they also shall be caught up to meet him in the midst of the pillar of heaven–They are Christ’s, the first fruits, they who shall descend with him first, and they who are on the earth and in their graves, who are first caught up to meet him; and all this by the voice of the sounding of the trump of the angel of God.” (D. & C. 88:97-98) These are the just, “whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all. These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.” (D. & C. 76:68-69)

* * * * *


Parley P. Pratt: (Key to Theology, pp. 168-170)

To contemplate man in his true light, we must, as it were, forget that death is in his path; we must look upon him as an eternal, ever-living being, possessing spirit, flesh and bones, with all the mental and physical organs, and all the affections and sympathies which characterize [148] him in this world. Or, rather, all his natural affections and sympathies will be purified, exalted and immeasurably increased.

Let the candidate for celestial glory forget, for a moment, the groveling sphere of his present existence, and make the effort to contemplate himself in the light of eternity, in the higher spheres of his progressive existence, beyond the grave, a pure spirit, free from sin and guile, enlightened in the school of heaven, by observation and experience, and association with the highest order of intelligences, for thousands of years, and clothed with immortal flesh, in all the vigor, freshness and beauty of eternal youth, alike free from pain, disease, death, and the corroding effects of time, looking back through the vista of far distant years, and contemplating his former sojourn amid the sorrows and pains of mortal life, his passage through the dark valley of death and his sojourn in the spirit world, as we now contemplate a transient dream, or a night of sleep, from which we have awakened, renewed and refreshed, to enter again upon the realities of life.

O candidates for celestial glory! Would your joys be full in the countless years of eternity without forming the connections, the relationship, the kindred ties which concentrate in the domestic circle, and branch forth, and bud and blossom, and bear the fruits of eternal increase? * * *

Or, would you, like your heavenly Father, prompted by eternal benevolence and charity, wish to fill countless millions of worlds with your begotten sons and daughters, and to bring them through all the gradations of progressive being, to inherit immortal bodies and eternal mansions in your several dominions?

If such be your aspirations, remember that this present probation is the world of preparation for joys eternal. This is the place where family organization is first formed for eternity, and where the kindred sympathies, relationships and affections take root, spring forth, shoot upward, bud, blossom and bear fruit to ripen and mature in eternal ages.

* * * * *


[149] Orson Pratt: (The Seer, p. 37)

The celestial beings who dwell in the Heaven from which we came, having been raised from the grave in a former world, and having been filled with all the fulness of these eternal attributes, are called Gods, because the fulness of God dwells in each. Both the males and the females enjoy this fulness. The celestial vegetables and fruits which grow out of the soil of this redeemed Heaven, constitute the food of the Gods. This food differs from the food derived from the vegetables of a fallen world; the latter are converted into blood, which, circulating in the veins and arteries, produces flesh and bones of a mortal nature, having a constant tendency to decay; while the former, or celestial vegetables, are, when digested in the stomach, converted into a fluid, which, in its nature, is spiritual, and which, circulating in the veins and arteries of the celestial male and female, preserves their tabernacles from decay and death. Earthly vegetables form blood, and blood forms flesh and bones; celestial vegetables, when digested, form a spiritual fluid which gives immortality and eternal life to the organization in which it flows.

Fallen beings beget children whose bodies are constituted of flesh and bones, being formed out of the blood circulating in the veins of the parents. Celestial beings beget children, composed of the fluid which circulates in their veins, which is spiritual; therefore, their children must be spirits, and not flesh and bones. This is the origin of our spiritual organization in heaven. The spirits of all mankind, destined for this earth, were begotten by a father, and born of a mother in Heaven, long anterior to the formation of this world. The personages of the father and mother of our spirits, had a beginning to their organization, but the fulness of truth (which is God) that dwells in them, had no beginning; being “from everlasting to everlasting.” (Psalm 90:2)

* * * * *


[150] Orson Pratt: (JD 19:176)

The Saints then will be resurrected, and they will also be the inhabitants of this globe. They are singing about it in heaven, while their bodies are sleeping in the grave. Read the 5th chapter of John’s Revelations, that will give you an idea what the Saints of heaven anticipate. The words of the new song which John heard them sing, were: “Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue and people and nation. And hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth!” How plain! “We shall reign on the earth!” They hope for it; they sing about it; they expect it, just as much as we hope to go with them, and mingle with them, and just as much as we have faith that we will, when we lay our bodies down in the grave, go to our former abode where we once were, to the mansions prepared, and that we will join with the heavenly hosts. We will not forget the earth; it is our native abode; but instead of forgetting it, we will join with them in their new song, and with them we will look forward with joyful anticipation to the day when we shall return to reign on the earth, having been made kings and priests unto our God.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 15:137)

And when our spirits receive our bodies, and through our faithfulness we are worthy to be crowned, we will then receive authority to produce both spirit and body. But these keys we cannot receive in the flesh. Herein, brethren, you can perceive that we have not finished, and cannot finish our work, while we live here, no more than Jesus did while he was in the flesh.

We cannot receive, while in the flesh, the keys to form and fashion kingdoms and to organize matter, for they are beyond our capacity and calling, beyond this world. In the resurrection, men who have been faithful and [151] diligent in all things in the flesh, have kept their first and second estate, and worthy to be crowned Gods, even the sons of God, will be ordained to organize matter.

* * * * *


Doctrine and Covenants: 131:1-4

In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood (meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage); and if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

* * * * *


Cleon Skousen: (Imp. Era, July 1969, see pp. 72-75)

Modern revelation has further disclosed that the celestial kingdom is divided into three heavens or degrees. (D. & C. 131:1) To attain the highest degree, one must be married for time and eternity by the power of God’s holy priesthood. (D. & C. 131:2-3) Only those who qualify for this highest discipline enjoy a continuing family relationship in the eternal worlds. (D. & C. 132:19) And only those who qualify for this level will have the privilege of being tutored to follow in the footsteps of the Father and share in his infinite power. (D. & C. 132:20) To these the Father says he will give “all things.” Then the scripture adds, “They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory. . . . Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God.” (D. & C. 76:55-56, 58)

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 21:292)

But here arises another question,–one of the greatest importance to the children of men of all generations, and that is, are there any marriages that God will recognize which he is not the author of? In other words, sup-[152]posing that two persons in the Roman Catholic church, in the Greek church, in any Protestant church, or two persons that do not belong to any religious denomination, are married by a minister, by a justice of the peace, by any person professing to have authority among men, to celebrate the marriage ceremony–have they any claim upon each other when death separates them? According to their own covenants they do not. The minister only married them till death should them part. When death comes along and separates these two persons, their marriage covenant has expired; it has run out, it is at an end. But, inquires one, will not the Lord permit them to live together as husband and wife, after the resurrection? Why should he? If he had joined them together, according to the marriage ceremony that was administered to the first pair of immortality, then they could claim each other, after the resurrection; but inasmuch as the ceremony was performed by an uninspired man, not sent of God, and having no power to seal on earth that it should be sealed in heaven, of course their marriage covenant expires; that is the eternal end of their association. Now, the Latter-day Saints are not willing to go according to the tradition of the sectarian denominations of the earth; but we desire this great, this important ceremony to be performed so that it may be enduring, so that it never shall have an end, but last while eternal ages shall last.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 16:166)

Now, where a man in this Church says, “I don’t want but one wife, I will live my religion with one,” he will perhaps be saved in the celestial kingdom; but when he gets there he will not find himself in possession of any wife at all. He has had a talent that he has hid up. He will come forward and say, “Here is that which thou gavest me, I have not wasted it, and here is the one talent,” and he will not enjoy it, but it will be taken and given to those who have improved the talents they received, and he will find himself without any wife, and he will remain [153] single forever and ever. But if the woman is determined not to enter into a plural marriage, that woman when she comes forth will have the privilege of living in single blessedness through all eternity.

* * * * *


Charles W. Penrose: (JD 25:227)

. . . but shall wed under the everlasting covenant and have their wives given them of the Lord and sealed to them by an holy ordinance revealed from heaven, in a holy place prepared for the purpose–sealed for time and all eternity, so that death shall not be able to break the bond of union; that though death may separate them for a little season, when they come up in the resurrection, there will be no need to marry or give in marriage, because they were married on the earth by authority of God Almighty for time and all eternity, …

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 15:252)

Another question. Having been married for eternity, we die and our spirits go into celestial paradise. We come forth in the morning of the first resurrection as immortal males and immortal females. Our wives, married to us for eternity, come forth, and they are ours by virtue of that which God has pronounced upon them through those whom he has appointed, and to whom he has given authority. We have a legal claim upon them at the resurrection. But here comes forth a person that is married outside. She comes up without a husband, he without a wife, or any claim upon any of the blessings. Here is the difference between these two classes of beings. One dwells as an angel, without any power to increase their species, family or dominions, without the power to beget sons and daughters. This class will be angels. Perhaps many of them will be worthy of obtaining a degree of power, glory, and happiness, but not a fullness. Why? Because they have not come up to [154] that position of their Father and their God. He has power to beget and bring forth sons and daughters in the spirit world; and after he has brought forth millions and millions of spirits, he has power to organize worlds, and send these spirits into these worlds to take temporal bodies to prepare them in turn to be redeemed and become Gods, or in other words, the sons of God, growing up like their father, possessing all his attributes, and propagating their species through all eternity. Here then is the difference between these two classes of beings–one having lost what they might have obtained and enjoyed if they had had faith in God and been willing to obey his commandments. But the others are worthy, as the Apostle Paul has said, to obtain a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while the others will be angels or servants, to go and come at the bidding of those who are more exalted.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (TPJS, p. 312)

Gods have an ascendancy over the angels, who are ministering servants. In the resurrection, some are raised to be angels, others are raised to become Gods.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 15:319)

. . . I wish more particularly to inquire concerning the nature of this higher state of glory called celestial. Will there be any difference among those who are redeemed into that glory? There will, in some respects. They will all be equal in the enjoyment of some blessings, and so far their glory will be the same, but yet in some respects there will be a difference. Some who will inherit a portion of that glory will have no families; they will be deprived of that blessing to all ages of eternity, while others will receive an exaltation and kingdom, and will have wives, children, dominion, greatness and power far above those I first referred to.

[155] Now why should there be this distinction in the celestial kingdom, and what is the cause of it? It is because certain persons who have obeyed the Gospel have become careless and indifferent in regard to securing that high exaltation which was within their reach. God has revealed to this people what is needful for an exaltation in his kingdom. He has revealed to us that marriage is destined for eternity as well as time,–that the marriage covenant between male and female must be entered into in this life, and the ordinance performed here by those whom God has appointed and ordained to hold the keys and authority to seal on earth that it may be sealed in heaven; for in heaven there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, no such thing can be attended to there. Now persons among the Latter-day Saints who do not enter into this covenant of marriage but prefer to lead a single life cannot enjoy all that fullness of exaltation which will be possessed by those who have had this covenant sealed upon them. They might not have forfeited the blessing of celestial glory altogether, but they have forfeited the right to have wives by which only they could have a posterity in the eternal worlds. Who will be the subjects in the kingdom which they will rule who are exalted in the celestial kingdom of our God? Will they reign over their neighbors’ children? Oh no. Over whom then will they reign? Their own children, their own posterity will be the citizens of their kingdoms; in other words, the patriarchal order will prevail there to the endless ages of eternity, and the children of each patriarch will be his while eternal ages roll on.

* * * * *


Franklin D. Richards: (JD 25:233-235)

He <Christ> taught the doctrine of the resurrection, saying that He was the resurrection and the life, and that the day will come when all they that are in their graves shall hear His voice and shall come forth. It was because He taught this doctrine that the Sadducees sought to entangle and confuse Him concerning this principle by bringing up the case of the woman who married a man and he [156] died without any children; then because he died childless she married his brother, which was according to the law of Moses. He also died without children, and so on, each of the brothers marrying her, until the seven brothers had her to wife, and last of all the woman died also.

These Sadducees did not believe in any resurrection, and they thought to be very crafty with the Savior, so they put the question squarely to Him: “Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.” They evidently thought they had caught the Savior then; but He replied to them saying: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” Now, who was He talking to? He was speaking to those Sadducees who denied there being any resurrection; who lived contemporaneously with the seven men and this woman who had lived and died among them. He was talking to a race of people to whom John the Baptist had come, and many had received his testimony; but these had not.

* * * It was to this class of people, who were living under these circumstances, that He makes the answer saying, “For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Luke the Evangelist, stating this case in his 20th chapter, says: “The children of this world marry and are given in marriage, but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” * * *

Had they hearkened to the Prophets, the Apostles, the words of the Savior, and received the everlasting covenant, they would have been made heirs of God and joint heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ, and would have been made heirs of the celestial world, with power to increase eternally, being Gods, even the sons of God, but now that they would not receive the Gospel, the Prophets, nor the everlasting covenant which they might have received, they can only become as the angels in heaven, who in that world neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are equal to the angels in heaven.

* * * * *


[157] Orson Pratt: (JD 16:177)

Says one–“What are you going to do with that Scripture which says that in the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage?” I am going to let it stand precisely as it is, without the least alteration. A man who is so foolish as to neglect the divine ordinance of marriage for eternity, here in this world, and does not secure to himself a wife for all eternity, will not have the opportunity of doing so in the resurrection; for Jesus says, that after the resurrection there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage. It is an ordinance that pertains to this world, and here it must be attended to; and parties neglecting it wilfully, here in this life, deprive themselves of the blessings of that union forever in the world to come. It is so with regard to baptism. We are bringing up these two divine ordinances to show you how they harmonize. A man who, in this life, hears the Gospel and knows that it is his duty to be baptized in order that he may come forth in the morning of the resurrection with a celestial, glorified body, like unto that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and neglects baptism and dies without attending to the ordinance, cannot be baptized himself after the resurrection of the dead, any more than he can be married after the resurrection of the dead. Why not? Because God has appointed that both marriage and baptism shall be attended to in the flesh, and if neglected here, the blessings are forfeited.

* * * * *


Parley P. Pratt: (Key to Theology, pp. 180-181)

“And after death, in distant spheres

The union still renew.”

The eternal union of the sexes, in and after the resurrection, is mainly for the purpose of renewing and continuing the work of procreation. In our present or rudimental state, our offspring are in our own image and partake of our natures, in which are the seeds of death. In [158] like manner will the offspring of immortal and celestial beings be in the likeness and partake of the nature of their divine parentage. Hence, such offspring will be pure, holy, incorruptible and eternal. They will in no wise be subject unto death, except by descending to partake of the grosser elements, in which are the inherent properties of dissolution or death.

To descend thus and to be made subject to sorrow, pain and death, is the only road to the resurrection and to the higher degrees of immortality and eternal life. It is by contrast that intelligences appreciate and enjoy. How shall the sweet be known without the bitter? How shall joy be appreciated without sorrow? Or, how shall life be valued, or its eternal duration appreciated, without a contact with its mortal antagonist, death?

Hence, the highest degrees of eternal felicity are approached by the strait gate and the narrow path which leads through the dark valley of death, to eternal mansions in the realms of endless life. This path has been trodden by the Eternal Father, by His Son, Jesus Christ, and by all the sons and daughters of God who are exalted to a fullness of joys celestial.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 6:275)

After man have got their exaltations and their crowns–have become Gods, even the sons of God–are made Kings of kings and Lords of lords, they have the power then of propagating their species in spirit; and that is the first of their operations with regard to organizing a world. Power is then given to them to organize the elements, and then commence the organization of tabernacles. How can they do it? Have they to go to that earth? Yes, an Adam will have to go there, and he cannot do without Eve; he must have Eve to commence the work of generation, and they will go into the garden, and continue to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporeal world, until this grosser matter is diffused sufficiently [159] through their celestial bodies to enable them, according to the established laws, to produce mortal tabernacles for their spiritual children.

This is a key for you. The faithful will become Gods, even the sons of God; but this does not overthrow the idea that we have a father. Adam is my father; (this I will explain to you at some future time;) but it does not prove that he is not my father, if I become a God: it does not prove that I have not a father.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 15:220)

The increase of those who are exalted in that kingdom will endure forever; and the bringing forth of children will not be attended with sorrow, pain and distress as it is here: these evils have come in consequence of the fall of man and the transgression by him of God’s holy laws. But when men are redeemed to immortality and eternal life, there will be no pain, sorrow or affliction of body, and yet children will be brought forth, and to their increase there will be no end. Hence the promise of God to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that their seed should be as numerous as the stars of heaven, or as the sands upon the sea shore. We all know that the sand on the sea shore is innumerable to us. If we take a handful it numbers in tens of thousands of grains, and if Abraham’s seed are to become as numerous as the sands on the sea shore, they will fill a great many worlds like this of ours. There is to be no end to the increase of the old Patriarch, and, as his posterity increases, world on world will be created and brought into existence, and those children will be sent forth from the presence of the Patriarch to take upon themselves bodies, as we have done here in this world. I mean their spirits. Understand me now, resurrected parents are the parents not of bodies of flesh and bones, but of spirits the same as we were before we came and took these mortal bodies, that is, when we lived up in yonder world in the presence of our Father, and in the [160] company of the thousands of millions of our brother and sister spirits. They will be of the same class and nature, and they will have to take their position in worlds that will be created for them the same as we came from heaven to this world, that we might gain knowledge and experience that we could not gain in any other way. Thus will the Lord continue his work and purposes, and there will be one eternal round in creation, and redemption, in the formation and redemption of worlds, and bringing them back into his presence.

* * * * *


<Note: Further recommended reading on this subject–Orson Pratt’s discourse, JD 15:312-324.>

* * * * *



[161]                             Chapter 12



The conditions surrounding the resurrection apply not only to mankind, but also to animals, birds, fish and all other living things.

The victory of Jesus Christ will not be complete until death is destroyed, and death will not be destroyed until every creature affected by the fall has been redeemed from death through the resurrection. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doc. of Sal. 2:299)

Even the earth will “die and be quickened again.” (D. & C. 88:26)


Doctrine and Covenants 29:22-25:

And again, verily, verily, I say unto you that when the thousand years are ended, and men again begin to deny their God, then will I spare the earth but for a little season; And the end shall come, and the heaven and the earth shall be consumed and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth. For all old things shall pass away, and all things shall become new, even the heaven and the earth, and all the fulness thereof, both of man and beasts, the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea; And not one hair neither mote, shall be lost, for it is the workmanship of mine hand.


[162] Doctrine and Covenants 88:25-27:


And again, verily I say unto you, the earth abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law–Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it. For notwithstanding they die, they also shall rise again, a spiritual body.


Doctrine and Covenants 130:6-11:

The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth; But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.

The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known; And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 2:281)

Every creature on the earth, whether it be man, animal, fish, fowl, or other creature, that the Lord has created, is redeemed from death on the same terms that [163] man is redeemed. These creatures are not responsible for death coming into the world any more than we were, and since they have been created by the Father, they are entitled to their redemption and eternal duration.

The earth itself shall be changed from its mortal body, for it too is a living thing now, under the curse of death, and it “abideth the law of a celestial kingdom, for it filleth the measure of its creation, and transgresseth not the law–Wherefore, it shall be sanctified; yea, notwithstanding it shall die, it shall be quickened again, and shall abide the power by which it is quickened, and the righteous shall inherit it. (D. & C. 88:25-26)

“I know that, whatsoever God doeth,” we read in the scriptures, “it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it.” (Eccles. 3:14) We know that all these creatures are animated by the spirit which is in them, just as man is. The Lord declared through the Prophet that “the spirit of man (is) in the likeness of his person, also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created. (D. & C. 77:2) Is there any living creature that God has not made? If so, the power of creation has gone out of his hands. He is supreme, and all life is from him, his gift to every creature.

* * * * *


Joseph Smith: (Contributor 4:174-175; see also TPJS, pp. 291-292; compare D. & C. 77:3)

John saw curious looking beasts in heaven: he saw every creature that was in heaven–all the beasts, fowls and fish in heaven–actually there giving glory to God. How do you prove it? See Revelation, v. 13, “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, forever and ever.” I suppose John saw beings there of a thousand forms, that had been saved from ten thousand times ten thousand earths like this, strange [164] beasts of which we have no conception: all might be seen in heaven. The grand secret was to show John what there was in heaven. John learned that God glorified himself by saving all that His hands had made, whether beasts, fowls, fishes or men; and He will gratify himself with them.

Says one, “I cannot believe in the salvation of beasts.” Any man who would tell you that this could not be would tell you that the revelations are not true. John heard the words of the beasts giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them. The four beasts were four of the most noble animals that had filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect; they were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God. * * *

The beasts which John saw and speaks of as being in heaven, were actually living in heaven, and were actually to have power given to them over the inhabitants of the earth, precisely according to the plain reading of the Revelations. I give this as a key to the Elders of Israel. The independent beast is a beast that dwells in heaven, abstract from the human family.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (The Seer, pp. 37-38)

When a world is redeemed from its fallen state, and made into a Heaven, all the animal creation are raised from the dead, and become celestial and immortal. The food of these animals is derived from the vegetables, growing on a celestial soil; consequently, it is not converted into blood, but into spirit which circulates in the veins of these animals; therefore, their offspring will be spiritual bodies, instead of flesh and bones. Thus the spirits of beasts, of fowls, and of all living creatures, are the offspring of the beasts, fowls, and creatures which have been redeemed or raised from the dead, and which [165] will multiply spirits, according to their respective species, forever and ever.

As these spiritual bodies, in all their varieties and species, become numerous in Heaven, each God will send those under his jurisdiction to take bodies of flesh and bones on the same world to which he sends his own sons and daughters. As each God is “The God of the spirits of all flesh,” pertaining to the world which he forms, and as he holds supreme dominion over them in heaven, when he sends them into a temporal or terrestrial world, he commits this dominion into the hands of his sons and daughters, which inhabit the same.

When the world is redeemed, the vegetable creation is redeemed and made new, as well as the animal; and when planted in a celestial soil, each vegetable derives its nourishment therefrom; and the fluid, thus derived, circulates in the pores and cells of the vegetable tabernacle, and preserves it from decay and death; this same fluid, thus circulating, forms a spiritual seed, which planted, grows into a spiritual vegetable; this differs from the parent vegetable, in that it has no tabernacle. This is the origin of spiritual vegetables in Heaven. These spiritual vegetables are sent from heaven to the terrestrial worlds, where, like animals, they take natural tabernacles, which become food for the sustenance of the natural tabernacles of the animal creation. Thus the spirits of both vegetables and animals are the offspring of male and female parents which have been raised from the dead, or redeemed from a fallen condition, with the world upon which they dwelt.

* * * * *



Orson Pratt: (JD 1:291-292)

The Lord ordained baptism or immersion of the earth in water, as a justifying ordinance. Said he to Noah: “Build an ark for the saving of thyself and house, for I will immerse the earth in water, that the sins which have corrupted it may be washed away from its face.” The fountains of the great deep, and the windows on high, [166] were opened and the rains came and overwhelmed the earth, and the dry land disappeared in the womb of the mighty waters, even as in the beginning. The waters were assuaged; the earth came forth clothed with innocence, like the new-born child, having been baptized or born again from the ocean flood; and thus the old earth was buried with all its deeds, and arose to newness of life, its sins being washed away, even as man has to be immersed in water to wash away his own personal sins.

By and bye the earth becomes corrupted again, and the nations make themselves drunken with the wine of the wrath of great Babylon; but the Lord has reserved the same earth for fire; hence He says by the Prophet Malachi, “Behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, etc.” A complete purification is again to come upon the earth and that, too, by the more powerful element of fire; and the wicked will be burned as stubble. When is this to be? Is it to be before the earth dies? This is a representation of the baptism that is received by man after he has been baptized in water; for he is then to be baptized with fire and the Holy Ghost, and all his sins entirely done away; so the earth will be baptized with fire, and wickedness swept away from its face, so that the glory of God shall cover it. * * *

When the earth waxes old and has filled the measure of its creation, and all things have been done according to the mind and will of God, He will say to the earth, “Die”. What will be its death? Will it be drowned? No; it is to die through the agency of fire; it is to suffer a death similar to many of the martyrs; the very elements themselves are to melt with fervent heat, and the hills are to be made like wax before the Lord. Will the earth be annihilated? No, there is no such word in all His revelations; such a thing was never known in the bosom of the Almighty, or any other being, except in the imaginations of some of the moderns who have declared that the globe was to become like the “baseless fabric of a vision.” It is one of the sectarian follies, that the elements and everything else are to be completely struck out of existence. The Lord never revealed, or thought of, or even hinted at such a thing.

[167] The earth will not be annihilated, any more than our bodies are after being burned. Every chemist knows that the weight of a thing is not diminished by burning it. The present order of things must be done away, and, as the Apostle John says, all things must become new; and he tells us the time when: it is to be after the millennium. The passing away is equivalent to death, and all things being made new is equivalent to the resurrection. * * *

This is our heaven, and we have the title to it by promise, and it will be redeemed through the faith and prayers of the Saints, and we shall get a title from God to a portion of it as our inheritance.

* * * * *


Joseph Lee Robinson: (His journal, p. 96)

Now there is an exact pattern, that this our mother earth sets for man to follow, or rather the Great Creator of this mighty universe has caused her to set for man. An exact pattern. This mighty earth has been baptized, emersed in water for the remission of all her (lution) and she has to be also baptized or emersed in fire and the Holy Ghost, that is also to die, and be quickened, resurrected and become a clean, pure Heavens, and Earth, that she may be prepared to take her place at the head of all the Celestial worlds of our Father’s Kingdoms, for surely, as she has occupied the lowest in this important probationary state and as she has become the mother of the son of God and also the mother of the greatest and most intelligent spirits of our Father’s, as she also has had to drink the blood of all those holy innocent men, or some of them at least, so the Celestial Law will require that she and they, that have gone or descended below all things, shall surely be raised above all things.

* * * * *


[168] Orson Pratt: (JD 16:318-320)

In order to show you this type still further, we will pass along over the floods which was merely a type of the baptism of redemption, and we will come down to the day when this great period shall arrive, when Satan shall be bound and wickedness be swept from the face of the earth. This is to be done by a variety of judgments, the last of which is called fire. The Prophet Malachi says–“The day shall come that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud and they who do wickedly shall become as stubble, and the day that comes shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch, but unto them who fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and they shall go forth and grow up like calves of the stall, and they shall tread down the wicked, and they shall be ashes under the soles of their feet in the day that I do this, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Here then is a declaration how this earth is to be cleansed the second time from wickedness, namely, by fire, which is a more powerful element than water. The earth is to be cleansed by fire; in other words, the elements are to be melted with fervent heat. This is the declaration of several of the prophets. David, in speaking of this period, in one of his psalms, says the mountains shall melt like wax before the presence of the Lord when he shall come. You know how wax melts when exposed to the influence of heat. So, when the Lord comes, will the elements melt and the mountains flow down at his presence with fervent heat. This will cleanse the earth as it was cleansed in the days of Noah, only by another element called fire. This is typical of the cleansing of those who embrace the plan of salvation. After you have been immersed, as this earth was, in the water, and been cleansed and received the remission of your sins, you also have the promise of baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, by which you are purified, as well justified and sanctified from all your evil affections, and you feel to love God and that which is just and true, and to hate that which is [169] sinful and evil. Why? Because of this sanctifying, purifying principle that comes upon you, by the baptism, of fire and the Holy Ghost. So must this earth be baptised by fire, it must be cleansed from all sin and impurity. Will it be filled with the Holy Ghost? Yes. These elements that melt like wax before the presence of the Lord will again be filled with his Spirit and will be renewed, and the earth itself will be full of the knowledge of God as the waters cover the channels of the great deep. It will enter into the elements of creation, so that the curse which came in consequence of the fall of man will be removed from the earth, and the elements will be cleansed, not only by fire but by the Spirit of the living God, which will mingle with and purify them. Satan, that arch-deceiver, will be bound, and a seal will be set upon him, and King James’ translation of the Scriptures tells us that he will be cast into the bottomless pit. But in the inspired translation I have referred to, it reads, if I remember correctly, “the lower-most pit,” which, to my: mind is more consistent than a pit that has no bottom. Satan is to be cast into this pit, and a seal set upon him, and he is to be bound with a chain, and will have no power or dominion upon this earth. He and all the fallen angels with him, are to be kept in that pit until the thousand years are ended.

Now, then, all the inhabitants who are spared from this fire–those who are not proud, and who do not do wickedly, will be cleansed more fully and filled with the glory of God. A partial change will be wrought upon them, not a change to immortality, like that which all the Saints will undergo when they are changed in the twinkling of an eye, from mortality to immortality; but so great will be the change then wrought that the children who are born into the world will grow up without sin unto salvation. Why will this be so? Because that fallen nature introduced by the fall, and transferred from parents to children, from generation to generation, will be, in a measure, eradicated by this change. Then the righteous will go forth, and grow up like calves of the stall; and one revelation says, their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation. Satan having no power to tempt them, These children will not sin.

[170] The question may arise here: “Will it be possible for men to sin during the Millennium?” Yes. Why? Because they have not lost their agency. Agency always continues wherever intelligent beings are, whether in heaven, on the earth, or among any of the creations that God has made; wherever you find intelligent beings, there you will find an agency, not to the same extent perhaps, under all circumstances, but yet there is always the exercise of agency where there is intelligence. For instance, when Satan is bound and a seal set upon him in this lowermost pit, his agency is partially destroyed in some things. He will not have power to come out of that pit; now he has that power; then he will not have power to tempt the children of men, now he has that power; consequently his agency then will be measurably destroyed or taken away, but not in full. The Lord will not destroy the agency of the people during the Millennium, therefore there will be a possibility of their sinning during that time. But if they who live then do sin, it will not be because of the power of the devil to tempt them, for he will have no power over them, and they will sin merely because they choose to do so of their own free will.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 25:25)

. . . when this world passes through its various ordeals, it, too, by and by, will pass away and die like the body of man and be resuscitated again, a new heaven and a new earth, eternal in its nature. The new worlds that are thus constructed and quickened by the fullness of the celestial glory will be the heavens where the Gods will dwell, or in other words, those that are made like unto God, when their bodies are changed in all respects like unto His glorious body, changed from materiality and cleansed from sin and redeemed, they will then be immortal and dwell in a heavenly world.

* * * * *


[171] Orson Pratt: (JD 15:265)

When the seventh millennium shall arrive, the Lord will redeem man and bring him forth from the grave, and he will begin to redeem this creation not making it entirely immortal and spiritual, like a sea of glass. It will exist for a thousand years in a temporal condition, as it was before the Fall. This will be the first of his temporal work in the last days. By and by when the millennium has passed, and the earth passes away and dies and its elements are melted with fervent heat, and there is no place found for it as an organized body,, he will again speak and there will be another creation–a creation of this earth out of the old materials; in other words a resurrection of the earth, a literal resurrection. That will be the last of his work. In the morning of creation spiritual first, and lastly temporal. But in the ending, temporal first in the redemption, and lastly spiritual, which will be the perfection or ending of this work.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 1:88)

When the Meek Shall Inherit the Earth. The Lord gave the promise to Abraham that he should have Palestine, or the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession. Yet, as Stephen said at the time of his martyrdom, Abraham never received as much as a foot of it as a possession while he lived.

Then what did the Lord mean in making a promise to Abraham of that kind, giving him that portion of the earth as an everlasting possession for himself and his posterity, the righteous part of it, forever? Simply this, that the time would eventually come, after the resurrection from the dead, when Abraham and his children who have been faithful in the keeping of the commandments of the Lord, should possess that land, and they shall also spread forth as far as it is necessary for them to receive an inheritance.

[172] The Lord gave this land upon which we dwell, America, as an everlasting possession to Joseph, the son of Jacob. His posterity, when cleansed from sin, and when they come forth in the resurrection, shall inherit this part of the earth. This land shall be theirs forever.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (JD 21:328-330)

We will be there if we are righteous enough, if we keep the commandments of God. If we will endure to the end, we will have an inheritance in this world when it is resurrected and made anew. * * *

Abraham got the promise, not after he was dead, but here in this life. The Lord, because of his faith, made him a promise, and told him to go out from his own country to a land he had never seen; and after getting there, the Lord said unto him, “Now, Abraham, walk through this land in the length and breadth of it; to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.” For how long? For an everlasting possession. Abraham did not care about having a deed for time only, did not care about getting a few acres just merely for a little while, and then have it taken from him, and he have no claim upon it afterwards. Did Abraham inherit it on this earth? Did his seed, Isaac, or his grandson, Jacob, to whom the promises were confirmed and renewed–did they get any of it while they lived? No. The prophet Stephen, who was murdered for the Christian religion, has recorded in the New Testament, speaking of this promise made to Abraham, that the Lord “gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on.” What! Stephen, are you not mistaken? You lived several thousand years after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were in their graves–do you mean to say that the Lord did not even give them as much as a foot? What did he do for them, Stephen? He made them a promise that they should have it, and their seed after them; for an everlasting inheritance. Oh, then, they are still to have it, are they, for an everlasting inheritance, by virtue of the promise made in this mortal state? [173] Who are Abraham’s seed? All that do the works of Abraham–all that are baptized into Christ. They are Abraham’s seed according to the promise. What promise? The promise that he and his seed should have the land of Palestine, east and northeast of the Mediterranean Sea, for an everlasting possession. Now all who have received the same covenants, obeyed the same Gospel, obeyed the new and everlasting covenant, have the promise in connection with Abraham’s seed.

Has the earth been parcelled out to anybody else except Abraham and his seed? Yes. The Lord brought a nation to this great western hemisphere, called Jaredites, from the Tower of Babel. When He brought them here they were a righteous people, and he made promises to them; and among the promises given was the promise that this great western hemisphere should be given to them, and to those that were worthy besides them, for an everlasting possession. ***

But what about the Nephites that came here about six hundred years before Christ? When they got here, the first thing the Lord did was to confirm his promise unto them. He told them it was their inheritance for an everlasting possession. Hold on, says one, that would take away the right of the Jaredites. Oh, no. The Lord, in making this promise, did not do it according to the deed-makers of this day; he did not follow after the pattern of men. The records that he makes on the books in eternity are records made upon principles in accordance with celestial law, not in accordance with Gentile laws, nor our notions of things. The notion, or idea, that the Lord had was that this continent, North and South America, should be inhabited by the righteous who will be resurrected from the dead, and who lived here on this continent.

Latter-day Saints, do you not feel a little concerned? Has any promise been made to you, or are you left out while the Nephites and Jaredites gobble up all the land, and leave you to go around the streets begging? Hear what the Lord, our God, had to say, through the Prophet Joseph, concerning you, on the 2nd day of January, 1831. I [174] was present when the Lord gave this revelation, in the midst of a conference, to his servant Joseph. I will repeat the words: “And I will hold forth and deign to give unto you” (speaking to the Latter-day Saints assembled in conference, and to all that should become Saints) “greater riches, even a land of promise, a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh. And I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance. And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever, while the earth shall stand, and ye shall possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away.” The same promise you see; very different from the promise of men; you will possess it again in eternity, no more to pass away. * * *

But will we inhabit any of it in time? Oh, yes. We will build a great city in Missouri. We will also build a great temple unto the Lord our God, in that city, and the temple block and place where it is to stand is already known. It was laid out in the year 1831, and the corner stone laid, and we will build a temple there, and build it after the pattern that the Lord gave to his servant Joseph, the Prophet, and also according to the pattern that he shall hereafter show, if the pattern is not already given in full. I will tell you another thing that will happen in our promised land, after that temple is built: there will be a cloud of glory rest upon that temple by day, the same as the cloud rested upon the tabernacle of Moses, that was carried in the wilderness. Not only that, but also a flaming fire will rest upon the temple by night, covering the whole temple; and if you go inside of the temple, the glory of God will be seen there as it was anciently; for the Lord will not only be a glory and a defense on the outside of that wonderful building, but he will also be a glory and a power in the inside thereof, and it shall come to pass that every man and every woman who is pure in heart, who shall go inside of that temple, will see the Lord.

* * * * *


[175] Brigham Young: (JD 17:117)

When sin and iniquity are driven from the earth, and the spirits that now float in this atmosphere are driven into the place prepared for them; and when the earth is sanctified from the effects of the fall, and baptized, cleansed, and purified by fire, and returns to its paradisiacal state, and has become like a sea of glass, a Urim and Thummim; when all this is done, and the Savior has presented the earth to his Father, and it is placed in the cluster of the celestial kingdoms, and the Son, and all his faithful brethren and sisters have received the welcome plaudit–“Enter ye into the joy of your Lord,” and the Savior is crowned, then and not till then, will the Saints receive their everlasting inheritances. I want you to understand this.

* * * * *


Parley P. Pratt: (Key to Theology, p. 58)

When man, and the planet on which he lives, with all its fullness, shall have completed all their series of progressive changes, so as to be adapted to the highest glories of which their several characters and species are capable, then the whole will be annexed to, or numbered with the eternal heavens, and will there fulfill their eternal rounds, being another acquisition to the mansions or eternally increasing dominions of the great Creator and Redeemer.

Worlds are mansions for the home of intelligences.

* * * * *


Orson Pratt: (Mill. Star 12:72)

Who, in looking upon the earth as it ascends in the scale of the universe, does not desire to keep pace with it? that when it shall be classed in its turn, among the dazzling orbs of the blue vault of heaven, shining forth in all the splendor of celestial glory, he may find himself [176] proportionally advanced in the scale of intellectual and moral excellence? Who, but the most abandoned, does not desire to be counted worthy to associate with those higher orders of beings who have been redeemed, exalted, and glorified together with the worlds they inhabit, ages before the foundations of our earth were laid? O man, remember the future destiny and the glory of the earth, and secure thine everlasting inheritance upon the same, that when it shall be glorious, thou shalt be glorious also.

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (The Way to Perfection, p. 351)

In that great change, or resurrection, which shall come to this earth, it shall be sanctified, celestialized and made a fit abode even for God the Father, who shall grace it with His presence. (D. & C. 88:19) Then shall the righteous, those who have become sanctified through the law of God, possess it forever as their abode. This earth is destined to become the everlasting residence of its inhabitants who gain the glory of the celestial kingdom. It shall become in that day like the throne of God and shall shine forth with all the splendor and brightness of celestial glory in its eternal, sanctified and glorious state.

* * * * *


Brigham Young: (JD 7:163)

And this world, so benighted at present, and so lightly esteemed by infidels, as observed by Brother Clements, when it becomes celestialized, it will be like the sun, and be prepared for the habitation of the saints, and be brought back into the presence of the Father and the Son. It will not then be an opaque body as it now is, but it will be like the stars of the firmament, full of light and glory; it will be a body of light. John compared it, in its celestialized state, to a sea of glass.

* * * * *


[177] Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 1:72)

The Lord declared to Moses that his great work and glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” For this purpose earths have been and are now being built; and the Lord’s purpose is to provide for his children immortality and eternal life, not only on this earth, but on the countless earths throughout the universe. They are numberless to man, yet our Father knows them all and they are numbered unto him. The Lord has said: “And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.”

* * * * *


Joseph Fielding Smith: (Doctrines of Salvation 1:62)

We are not the only people that the Lord has created. We have brothers and sisters on other earths. They look like us because they, too, are the children of God and were created in his image, for they are also his offspring. (See Moses 1:29-35; 7:29; and D. & C. 76:22-25.) His great work is to create earths and people them with his children who are called upon to pass through the mortal probation like unto this we are now in ….

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[178]                             Chapter 13



Man is a creature of immortality, as the Creator intended for him to live forever. Mortal life is but a short mission, filled with tests and trials to prepare him for a proper place in the eternities; it is a proving ground to give man an opportunity for special earning and experience. It is here that he will be acquainted with both good and evil.

However, man is not left without an assurance or understanding of life after death. God has revealed encouraging, hopeful and valuable information through his prophets, and one of the most precious truths is the doctrine of the resurrection. No portion of the Gospel is more exhilarating to the mind, nor satisfying to the soul than the prospect of receiving a glorious resurrection.

Christianity distinguishes itself from all other religions by teaching the fact that we not only have an eternal living spirit within us, but that we shall also receive again an everlasting and glorified body. But the resurrection of the body is hinged upon the life of Christ. If we in mortality have no faith in His resurrection, then life really continues to be an unsolved riddle, based upon conjecture, supposition, and the philosophies of men.

Through revelation and prophecy, the resurrection of Christ was foretold in detail and was fulfilled after His crucifixion. Twenty-seven ancient prophecies were fulfilled as Jesus hung on the cross. Afterwards all doubt was removed when he was resurrected and appeared unto “many”. Then in the Book of Mormon hundreds of others on this continent added their testimony to the actuality of His resurrection.


[179] The reality of Christ’s resurrection is founded on several interesting facts. The disciples of Christ actually touched His body. (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:17, 27) They recognized Him by His face and voice. (Matt. 28:9, Luke 24:31; John 20:16) He also ate with them. (Luke 24:30, 43; John 21:12; Acts 10:40-41) He walked with them (John 21:20), and helped them perform a miracle (John 21:11). Also, many other substantiations were not even recorded in the scriptures (John 21:25). He also explained to them that “a spirit has not flesh and bones as ye see me have.” (Luke 24:39)

As if to firmly convince His disciples of His power of resurrection, He visited with them for 40 days. (Acts 1:3) As mentioned in Chapter 3, “Resurrection of Christ”, we have about a dozen recorded instances where He came as a resurrected being, and probably many more were never recorded.

Paul states that the entire Christian faith and the redemption of mankind, either stands or falls entirely upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (See Acts 17:3; Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 6:14; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20; Col. 2:12.) It is also the final proof that Christ is the promised Messiah who was to be resurrected. (John 4:25-26)

There is, however, a problem to all this. Why should we come into mortality at all if we are to inherit a glorious body? We are placed on this earth in the midst of weeds, famine, floods, carnivorous animals, insects, and even the devil himself. And, if famines, disease, infirmities, or accidents don’t take us in death, perhaps wars will. Even if you manage to get half-way through a century, you will start losing your sight, teeth, hearing, hair, and memory. The experience and misery of aching muscles, creeking brittle bones, being tired and weak, are “enjoyed” by nearly all the elderly. If by old age, the doctors and lawyers haven’t got your money, then the I.R.S. will. Most ministers have a problem understanding this time in mortality; they don’t really know why God created the earth, put His children on it, then left the devil to “baby sit” them while He is gone.


[180] But Brigham Young and Joseph Smith beautifully explained the reason for mortality:

We know the design of our Father in Heaven in creating the earth and in peopling it, and bringing forth the myriads of organizations which dwell upon it. We know that all this is for his glory–to swell the eternities that are before him with intelligent beings who are capable of enjoying the height of glory. But, before we can come in possession of this, we need large experience, and its acquisition is a slow process. Our lives here are for the purpose of acquiring this, and the longer we live, the greater it should be. (Brigham Young, JD 14:229)

* * *

Here, then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. * * *

These are the first principles of consolation. How consoling to the mourners when they are called to part with a husband, wife, father, mother, child, or dear relative, to know that, although the earthly tabernacle is laid down and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more; but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, [181] the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before. (Joseph Smith, “King Follett Discourse,” JD 6:3-4)

So if men learn to live in righteousness and govern themselves and their families with honor, it will be their privilege to rule and reign as kings in the kingdom of our God. If we can be faithful over a few things in mortality, we will rule and reign over many things in immortality.

Orson Pratt elaborates:

Do you understand this, brethren and sisters? If you were to speak, I should hear innumerable voices respond: “Yes, we understand it; the Lord has revealed the ordinances; we know how the sons and daughters of God obtain this kingly office, while living here in this mortal tabernacle.”

We will pass over that; suffice it to say, that death does not wrench it from them; for they are to be kings, not for a day or for this short life, but they are to remain through all eternity kings, having their thrones, and acting in the duties belonging to their kingly office. Compared with this, what are all the little petty kingdoms of this earth worth? They are not worth one snap of the finger. The kings of the world exercise a certain authority over the nations, over their subjects, issuing laws, and framing government and controlling them; and do you suppose that the Saints will be kings in the eternal world, and sit down upon thrones, in silence, not exercising the functions of their office? No. That is not the way the Lord has organized His creations; if there are kings, you depend upon it they will have kingdoms under their control; they will have authority and [182] dominion; they will give laws to those subjects over whom they bear rule; they will control them by the priestly office, for it is combined with the kingly office, and neither can be separated and contracted in His feelings, in His views and disposition, that He would limit the authority of the priestly office to this little globe we inhabit. No. God has more expansive views; His works are without beginning, and without end; they are one eternal round. What kind of works are they? They are to make creations and people them with living beings, and place them in a condition to prove themselves; and to exercise the kingly and priestly office to redeem them after they have suffered pain, and sorrow, and distress; and to bring them up into the presence of God; that they, in their turn, may become kings and priests for other creations that shall be made, and that shall be governed and ruled over by those possessing the proper authority. * * *

Do you suppose that we shall get up out of the grave, male and female, and that we shall not have the same kind of affections and endearments and enjoyments that we have here? The same pure feelings of love that exist in the bosoms of the male and female in this world will exist with sevenfold intensity in the next world, governed by the law of God; there will be no corruptions, nor infringements, upon one another’s rights. Will not a man have his own family? Yes; he will also have his own mansion and farm, his own sons and daughters. And what else? Why, the fact is, man will continue to multiply and fill up this creation, inasmuch as it is not filled up by the resurrected saints after it is made new.

And what will he do when this is filled up? Why, he will make more worlds, and swarm out like bees from the old hive, and prepare new [183] locations. And when a farmer has cultivated his farm and raised numerous children, so that the space is beginning to be too strait for them, he will say, “My sons, yonder is plenty of matter, go and organize a world, and people it, and you shall have laws to govern you, and you shall understand and comprehend through your experience the same things that we know.” And thus it will be one eternal round, and one continual increase; and the government will be placed under those that are crowned as kings and priests in the presence of God. (JD 1:290-291; 293-294)

George Q. Cannon reiterates this glorious promise:

You will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection, if you will comply with the conditions, clothed with glory, immortality and eternal lives. You will receive thrones, and principalities, and powers, and dominions, and exaltations. You will receive the blessings of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. Not one word that the Lord has spoken through His servants will fail, unless you yourselves take a course to cause a failure. And then what? Why, human imagination fails. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” In our present condition we cannot conceive of these things, because they are beyond our comprehension. (Contributor 11:480)

On this earth men sacrifice and suffer on the battlegrounds of war; they battle snow, rain, cold and desert heat; they endure wounds, pain, and even death. For wounds they receive medals; for victories they are rewarded; and for death they are highly honored.


[184] But these battlefields of men are of little consequence, indeed, when compared to the battlegrounds where Michael the archangel and Satan the prince of darkness are engaged in battle. For they fight for the souls of men. Every man is engaged in this more serious battle, whether he knows it or not. The wounds are much deeper, but the rewards and victories are much greater! Each step toward the kingdom of God is a victory.

In those days of our final restoration, we can enjoy victory over the devil, share in the glory of our Savior and dwell forever in the house of God.

In short, eternal man in possession of eternal worlds, in all their variety and fullness, will eat, drink, think, converse, associate, assemble, disperse, go, come, possess, improve, love and enjoy. He will increase in riches, knowledge, power, might, majesty and dominion in worlds without end. (Parley P. Pratt, Key to Theology, p. 59)

Jesus said that eternal life was the greatest gift. Why? Because when man is clothed in honor, glory and immortality, he will bask in the sunshine of eternity. What, then, are these few years on earth–a mere blink of an eye–compared to the eons of time in eternity? Every effort of every day should be directed towards immortality and a glorious resurrection.



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