Salt Lake City, Utah
Beehive House, where Joseph F. Smith lived in 1918
Section 138
October 1918
"Our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of spirits, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the prophets who had testified of him in the flesh;
"That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their rebellion and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.
This was Brigham Young's bedroom and study when he lived in the Beehive House. It may have served the same purpose for Joseph F. Smith, who also lived here.
"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."
Doctrine and Covenants 138:36-37, 58-59
Key Events
Joseph F. Smith, a son of Hyrum Smith, was born in Far West, Missouri in 1838. He became the sixth President of the Church in 1901. President Smith was the last prophet to have personally known the Prophet Joseph Smith.
In October 1918, while contemplating the meaning of Christ's atonement, President Joseph F. Smith received a vision of the plan of salvation for the dead.
A month after receiving this revelation, World War I ended as Germany signed an armistice with the Allies.
President Smith died several weeks later.
This revelation was added to the Doctrine and Covenants in 1979.
President Smith was in poor health the last few months of his life. He spent much time in prayer and meditation. The evening of 3 October 1918, he saw in vision the redemption of the dead, and shared it with the Saints at General Conference the next day. He passed away the following month.
Words of Joseph F. Smith
"On the third of October, in the year nineteen hundred and eighteen, I sat in my room pondering over the scriptures, and reflecting upon the great atoning sacrifice that was made by the Son of God, for the redemption of the world, and the great and wonderful love made manifest by the Father and the Son in the coming of the Redeemer into the world; That through his atonement, and by obedience to the principles of the gospel, mankind might be saved. While I was thus engaged, my mind reverted to the writings of the apostle Peter, to the primitive saints scattered abroad throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and other parts of Asia, where the gospel had been preached after the crucifixion of the Lord. I opened the Bible and read the third and fourth chapters of the first epistle of Peter, and as I read I was greatly impressed, more than I had ever been before, with the following passages, 'For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.' (1 Peter 3:18-20) 'For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.' (1 Peter 4:6) As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great." (Doctrine and Covenants 138:1-11)
Copyright 2005 Steve Mortensen. All rights reserved.