Doing the Spiritual Work for Our Kindred Dead

Malachi 4:5-6

 5 ¶Behold, I will asend you bElijah the prophet cbefore the coming of the dgreat and dreadful eday of the Lord:

 6 And he shall aturn the bheart of the cfathers to the dchildren, and the heart of the echildren to their fathers, lest I come and fsmite the gearth with a hcurse.

The First Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians


Chapter 15

Christ died for our sins—He rose from the dead and was seen by many—All men will be resurrected—Paul speaks of baptism for the dead—The three degrees of glory are described—Victory over death comes through Christ.

 1 Moreover, brethren, I adeclare unto you the bgospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

 2 By which also ye are asaved, if ye bkeep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ adied for our bsins according to the scriptures;

 4 And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according to the scriptures:

 5 And that he was aseen of bCephas, then of the twelve:

 6 After that, he was aseen of babove five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

 8 And last of all he was aseen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not ameet to be called an apostle, because I bpersecuted the church of God.

 10 But by the agrace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I blaboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

 12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have atestified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is avain; ye are yet in your sins.

 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are aperished.

 19 If in this alife only we have bhope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

 20 But now is aChrist brisen from the dead, and become the cfirstfruits of them that slept.

 21 For since by man came adeath, by man came also the bresurrection of the dead.

 22 For as in aAdam all bdie, even so in cChrist shall all be made dalive.

 23 But every man in his own aorder: Christ the bfirstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his ccoming.

 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have aput down all brule and all cauthority and dpower.

 25 For he must areign, till he hath put all benemies under his cfeet.

 26 The last aenemy that shall be bdestroyed is cdeath.

 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is amanifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

 28 And when all things shall be asubdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be bsubject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

 29 Else what shall they do which are abaptized bfor the dead, if the dead crise not at all? why are they then baptized for the ddead?

 30 And why stand we in ajeopardy every hour?

 31 aI protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us aeat and drink; for bto morrow we die.

 33 Be not deceived: evil acommunications corrupt good manners.

 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your ashame.

 35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it adie:

 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, ait may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

 40 aThere are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the bcelestial is one, and the glory of the cterrestrial is another.

 41 There is one glory of the asun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the bstars: for one star cdiffereth from another star in dglory.

 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in acorruption; it is raised in incorruption:

 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in aglory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

 44 It is sown a anatural body; it is raised a bspiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

 45 And so it is written, The afirst man bAdam was made a living soul; the last cAdam was made a dquickening spirit.

 46 Howbeit that was not afirst which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

 50 Now this I say, brethren, that aflesh and bblood cannot cinherit the kingdom of God; neither doth dcorruption inherit incorruption.

 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all asleep, but we shall all be bchanged,

 52 In a moment, in the atwinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the btrumpet shall sound, and the cdead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be dchanged.

 53 For this acorruptible must put on incorruption, and this bmortal must put on immortality.

 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on aimmortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, bDeath is swallowed up in victory.

 55 O adeath, where is thy sting? O bgrave, where is thy victory?

 56 The sting of adeath is sin; and the bstrength of sin is the law.

 57 But athanks be to God, which giveth us the bvictory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye astedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Doctrine and Covenants 124:29

 29 For a abaptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be bbaptized for those who are dead—

D&C 127:5-7

 5 And again, I give unto you a word in relation to the abaptism for your dead.

 6 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead: When any of you are abaptized for your dead, let there be a brecorder, and let him be eye-witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord;

 7 That in all your recordings it may be arecorded in heaven; whatsoever you bbind on earth, may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth, may be loosed in heaven;

D&C 128

Section 128

An epistle from Joseph Smith the Prophet to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, containing further directions on baptism for the dead, dated at Nauvoo, Illinois, 6 September 1842 (see History of the Church, 5:148–53).

1–5, Local and general recorders must certify to the fact of baptisms for the dead; 6–9, Their records are binding and recorded on earth and in heaven; 10–14, The baptismal font is a similitude of the grave; 15–17, Elijah restored power relative to baptism for the dead; 18–21, All of the keys, powers, and authorities of past dispensations have been restored; 22–25, Glad and glorious tidings are acclaimed for the living and the dead.

 1 As I stated to you in my letter before I left my place, that I would write to you from time to time and give you information in relation to many subjects, I now resume the subject of the abaptism for the dead, as that subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest, since I have been pursued by my enemies.

 2 I wrote a few words of revelation to you concerning a recorder. I have had a few additional views in relation to this matter, which I now certify. That is, it was declared in my former letter that there should be a arecorder, who should be eye-witness, and also to hear with his ears, that he might make a record of a truth before the Lord.

 3 Now, in relation to this matter, it would be very difficult for one recorder to be present at all times, and to do all the business. To obviate this difficulty, there can be a recorder appointed in each ward of the city, who is well qualified for taking accurate minutes; and let him be very particular and precise in taking the whole proceedings, certifying in his record that he saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears, giving the date, and names, and so forth, and the history of the whole transaction; naming also some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three awitnesses every word may be established.

 4 Then, let there be a general arecorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over their own signatures, certifying that the record they have made is true. Then the general church recorder can enter the record on the general church book, with the certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement that he verily believes the above statement and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those men by the church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general church book.

 5 You may think this order of things to be very particular; but let me tell you that it is only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the asalvation of the dead who should die without a bknowledge of the gospel.

 6 And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared, as you will find recorded in Revelation 20:12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were awritten in the books, according to their works.

 7 You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works; consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works, and refer to the arecords which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the bbook of life is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place—that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.

 8 Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the apower of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bbind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the cordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

 9 It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a adispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in bauthority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great cJehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?

 10 And again, for the precedent, Matthew 16:18, 19: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this arock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 11 Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the apowers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given there is no difficulty in obtaining a bknowledge of facts in relation to the csalvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living.

 12 Herein is aglory and honor, and immortality and eternal life—The ordinance of baptism by water, to be bimmersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other; to be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of their graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead.

 13 Consequently, the abaptismal font was instituted as a similitude of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to show forth the living and the dead, and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another—that which is earthly conforming to that which is bheavenly, as Paul hath declared, 1 Corinthians 15:46, 47, and 48:

 14 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This, therefore, is the asealing and binding power, and, in one sense of the word, the bkeys of the kingdom, which consist in the key of cknowledge.

 15 And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their asalvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made bperfect.

 16 And now, in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, 1 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?

 17 And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the arestoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you bElijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

 18 I might have rendered a aplainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a bcurse unless there is a welding clink of some kind or other between the fathers and the dchildren, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the ebaptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the ffulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the gfoundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto hbabes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.

 19 Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of agladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of btruth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great cjoy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the dfeet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the edews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!

 20 And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from aCumorah! bMoroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the cbook to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to dbear record of the book! The voice of eMichael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the fdevil when he appeared as an angel of glight! The voice of hPeter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the ikeys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!

 21 And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old aFather Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of bGabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers cangels, from Michael or dAdam down to the present time, all declaring their edispensation, their rights, their fkeys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, gprecept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hhope!

 22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. aCourage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into bsinging. Let the cdead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the dKing Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to eredeem them out of their fprison; for the prisoners shall go free.

 23 Let the amountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid brocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the cmorning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and dimmortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!

 24 Behold, the great aday of the Lord is at hand; and who can babide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a crefiner’s dfire, and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a erefiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of fLevi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an goffering in righteousness. Let us, therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the hrecords of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.

 25 Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject; but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time. I am, as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend,

D&C 138:32-34

 32 Thus was the gospel preached to those who had adied in their sins, without a bknowledge of the truth, or in ctransgression, having drejected the prophets.

 33 These were taught afaith in God, repentance from sin, bvicarious baptism for the cremission of sins, the dgift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,

 34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be ajudged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.


18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this arock I will build my bchurch; and the gates of chell shall not dprevailagainst it.

 19 And I will agive unto thee the bkeys of the ckingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt dbind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Eternal Family

Gen 25:8

8 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.

Gen 35:28

29 And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was agathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob bburied him.

D&C 130

Section 130

Items of instruction given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Ramus, Illinois, 2 April 1843 (see History of the Church, 5:323–25).

1–3, The Father and the Son may appear personally to men; 4–7, Angels reside in a celestial sphere; 8–9, The celestial earth will be a great Urim and Thummim; 10–11, A white stone is given to all who enter the celestial world; 12–17, The time of the Second Coming is withheld from the Prophet; 18–19, Intelligence gained in this life rises with us in the Resurrection; 20–21, All blessings come by obedience to law; 22–23, The Father and the Son have bodies of flesh and bones.

 1 When the Savior shall aappear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a bman like ourselves.

 2 And that same asociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with beternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.

 3 John 14:23—The aappearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal bappearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son cdwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

 4 In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s atime, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside?

 5 I answer, Yes. But there are no aangels who bminister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.

 6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;

 7 But athey reside in the bpresence of God, on a globe clike a dsea of glass and efire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.

 8 The place where God resides is a great aUrim and Thummim.

 9 This aearth, in its bsanctified and cimmortal state, will be made like unto dcrystal 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 eChrist’s.

 10 Then the white astone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a bhigher order of kingdoms will be made known;

 11 And a awhite stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new bname written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

 12 I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the adifficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.

 13 It may probably arise through the slave question. This a avoice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832.

 14 I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the acoming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:

 15 Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore alet this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.

 16 I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.

 17 I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

 18 Whatever principle of aintelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the bresurrection.

 19 And if a person gains more aknowledge and intelligence in this life through his bdiligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the cadvantage in the world to come.

 20 There is a alaw, irrevocably decreed in bheaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all cblessings are predicated—

 21 And when we obtain any ablessing from God, it is by bobedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

 22 The aFather has a bbody of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of cSpirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not ddwell in us.

 23 A man may receive the aHoly Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not btarry with him.

Eternal Marriage



4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which amadethem at the beginning made them male and female,

 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall acleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath ajoined together, let not man bput asunder.

 7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a awriting of bdivorcement, and to put her away?

 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the ahardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your bwives: but from the beginning it was not so.

Mark 10:9

9 What therefore God hath ajoined together, let not man put basunder.

D&C 131

Section 131

Instructions by Joseph Smith the Prophet, given at Ramus, Illinois, 16 and 17 May 1843 (see History of the Church, 5:392–93).

1–4, Celestial marriage is essential to exaltation in the highest heaven; 5–6, How men are sealed up unto eternal life is explained; 7–8, All spirit is matter.

 1 In the acelestial glory there are three bheavens or degrees;

 2 And in order to obtain the ahighest, a man must enter into this border of the cpriesthood [meaning the new and deverlasting covenant of emarriage];

 3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.

 4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an aincrease.

 5 (May 17th, 1843.) The more sure word of aprophecy means a man’s knowing that he is bsealed up unto ceternal life, by revelation and the spirit of prophecy, through the power of the Holy Priesthood.

 6 It is impossible for a man to be asaved in bignorance.

 7 There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All aspirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by bpurer eyes;

 8 We cannot asee it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all bmatter.


These are the what we should hearken to and realize that we are eternal family 

Our kindred dead who pass beyond the veil can no longer do their spiritual work themselves even though the gospel is taught on the other side because they no longer possess a physical body and someone on this side of the veil must do their work for them as a proxy in this world.


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