Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Honoring the Dead

On October 3, 1918 President Joseph F. Smith received his glorious vision of the spirit world-- the world we go to when we die-- and Jesus Christ's visit to it during the three days his body was in the tomb. He said that as he pondered the Spirit of the Lord had rested upon him and,

"... I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great. And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just... I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand. They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.

...While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful;
...And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.

On October 4th, 1918, in his opening remarks at General Conference Joseph F. Smith shared the vision he had received:

"...And the saints rejoiced in their redemption, and bowed the knee and acknowledged the Son of God as their Redeemer and Deliverer from death and the chains of hell. Their countenances shone, and the radiance from the presence of the Lord rested upon them, and they sang praises unto his holy name.

 ....And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross.

On October 31st, 1918 his vision was submitted to the counselors in the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Patriarch, and it was unanimously accepted by them.

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

...Thus was the vision of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this record is true, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen. "

Halloween, celebrated in the US on October 31st,  is thought to originate from the celebration of All Saints Day (or All Hallows) the day in which people prayed for the  recently deceased souls in purgatory, those who had not yet reached Heaven. The night before All Saints Day (All Hallows Eve) was the night when those souls ran loose upon the earth before they moved on to the next world. 

How interesting that the prophet's vision of Christ delivering the waiting souls in the spirit world was accepted as scripture on Halloween. 



Regardless, this Halloween I celebrated by going to the temple and doing proxy work for the dead, so that perhaps just a few more of those departed souls could be loosed from their chains. 

Oh, and toting around these to scare off any extra belligerent souls.

Though I don't think that this one would scare a mouse.



  1. Oh my gosh. I am dying. How cute is Abe in that mouse costume?? And Rosie acting all fancy as Cleopatra. I can just imagine how happy she was to get to wear makeup and lipstick :)

    1. Yeah, he was so cute. Especially with his one little tooth. And Rose did love the makeup-- how'd you guess :)

  2. Heather
    Thank you for this insightful post.I love that revelation by Joseph F Smith, it has inspired me and helped me to continue working on my family's Temple work. I don't believe there are coincidences. Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning and the devil is a liar and counterfeiter. We know from the scripture that the adversary can "appear" as an angel of light, and try to convince the sons of man that there is no redemption, no resurrection, no heaven, no hell.

    The Savior teaches us this in
    John 17:1-3
    1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
    2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
    3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

    For better or for worse, our society celebrates "holidays", and we do our best to keep them wholesome for our children, but at some point, we may need to revisit why we participate,and even partake in some holidays.We may need to line them up with the truth, which is Jesus Christ, the Lord.
    Thank you Heather

  3. So nice to see someone write about this, we miss the spiritual dimension of the holidays so easily. Thanks for sharing wonderful insights! I too like to go to the temple on Halloween or All Saints Day (today) for that reason.

  4. Whoa. Coolest Halloween news ever!