Saturday, July 02, 2011

Spirit World - The Next Phase of Existence

Joseph Smith
The righteous and the wicked [upon death] all go to the same world of spirits until the resurrection. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.310)

Brigham Young
• When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world. Are you going into Abraham’s bosom. No, not any where nigh there, but into the spirit world. Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do. Do they go to the sun? No. Do they go beyond the boundaries of this organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity. Where else are you going? No where else, only as you may be permitted. (Journal of Discourses, 3:369)

We Ought To Learn What Has Been Revealed About the Spirit World

Neal A. Maxwell
Of course, we still lack many details [about the spirit world] and would like to know more. Even so, we ought to pay closer attention to what has been given about the spirit world so that we can truly “cite [our] minds forward” in appropriate ways (Alma 13:1). [The Promise of Discipleship, p. 105]

Where is the Spirit World?

Brigham Young
• Is the spirit world here? It is not beyond the sun, but is on this earth that was organized for the people that have lived and that do and will live upon it. No other people can have it, and we can have no other kingdom until we are prepared to inhabit this eternally. (Journal of Discourses, 3:372)

• When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world. Are you going into Abraham’s bosom? No, not anywhere nigh there but into the spirit world. Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do. Do they go to the sun? No. Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth, for the express purpose of inhabiting it to all eternity. Where else are you going? Nowhere else, only as you may be permitted. (Journal of Discourses, 3:369)

Meaning of the Phrase, “Spirits Return to God who gave it”

Alma 40 :11
Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection--Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

Harold B. Lee
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). What does it mean to return to that God who gave us life? I had a call from someone who was disturbed about that question. He said, “Now, does that mean all the wicked will return back into the presence of God? How shall they be worthy to stand in the presence of the Lord? Now, how could that be possible?” Well, that started me on a bit of thinking, and then I found the prophet Alma explaining to his son Corianton this same matter. You will find in the fortieth chapter of Alma how Alma explained this matter to his son Corianton. He said: “Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life” (Alma 40:11). Now you note the difference? In one place it suggests that we shall enter into the very presence of; In the next place it says that we shall go home to that God who gave us life.

Separation of Spirits in Spirit World

Alma 40:12-14
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
13 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil--for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house--and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil. 
14 Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.

Conditions in the Spirit World

Heber K. Kimball
[From a sermon given at the funeral of Jedediah M. Grant] I went to see him one day last week, and he reached out his hand and shook hands with me; he could not speak, but he shook hands warmly with me. I felt for him, and wanted to raise him up, and to have him stay and help us whip the devils and bring to pass righteousness. Why? Because he was valiant, and I loved him. He was a great help to us, and you would be, if you were as valiant as he was, which you can be through faithfulness and obedience. I laid my hands upon him and blessed him, and asked God to strengthen his lungs that he might be easier, and in two or three minutes he raised himself up and talked for about an hour as busily as he could, telling me what he had seen and what he understood, until I was afraid he would weary himself, when I arose and left him.
He said to me, brother Heber, I have been into the spirit world two nights in succession, and, of all the dreads that ever came across me, the worst was to have to again return to my body, through I had to do it. But O, says he, the order and government that were there!

The Veil is Thin Between this World and the Spirit World

Joseph Smith
• The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work; hence they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.325)

Former Leaders Still Watch Over the Mortal Church

Wilford Woodruff
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 have had many interviews with Brother Joseph until the last fifteen or twenty 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 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 President 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 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. (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p.290)

Work Performed in the Spirit World

All Must Hear the Gospel Before Final Judgment

Joseph Smith
• The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth, pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence, or ever “the morning stars sang together” for joy; the past, the present, and the future were and are, with Him, one eternal “now;” He knew of the fall of Adam, the iniquities of the antediluvians, of the depth of iniquity that would be connected with the human family, their weakness and strength, their power and glory, apostasies, their crimes, their righteousness and iniquity; He comprehended the fall of man, and his redemption; He knew the plan of salvation and pointed it out; He was acquainted with the situation of all nations and with their destiny; He ordered all things according to the council of His own will; He knows the situation of both the living and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption, according to their several circumstances, and the laws of the kingdom of God, whether in this world, or in the world to come. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.220)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Faithful Called to the Spirit World to Labor

Joseph F. Smith (D&C 138)
57 I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.

No Righteous Man is Ever Taken Before his Time

Joseph Fielding Smith
No righteous man is ever taken before his time. In the case of the faithful Saints, they are simply transferred to other fields of labor. The Lord’s work goes on in this life, in the world of spirits, and in the kingdoms of glory where men go after their resurrection. (The funeral services of Elder Richard L. Evans, Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 10)

Vicarious Ordinances of Salvation for the Dead

Ordinances of Salvation are for Mortals

Joseph Fielding Smith
• Baptism, confirmation, ordination, endowment, and sealings all pertain to this mortal life and are ordinances required of those who are in mortality. Provision has been made for these ordinances to be performed vicariously for those who are worthy but who died without the opportunity in this life of receiving these ordinances in person. You can readily see that it would be inconsistent for a resurrected being to come and be baptized for the dead. The resurrected person has passed to another sphere where the laws and blessings do not pertain to this mortal life. This is equally true of every other ordinance. If it were permissible for resurrected persons to come and do work in the temples, then there would be no reason for us in this mortal life to act vicariously for them, for they would do it for themselves. (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:178)

Communication With the Spirit World

Heber C. Kimball
Bless my soul, look at the unbelieving world, that is a great many of them, they now believe in spiritual knockings, spiritual communications, and spiritual rappings, and they will ask the same spirit for this, and for that; to know this, that, and the other; and, “Won’t you cause that table to kick up its legs, and that chair to dance, and cause a knocking here, and a knocking there?” They believe all this, still they do not believe that God can communicate. And at the same time those that they communicate with are corrupt spirits, and they might know it, and still they say they can speak from the heavens, and communicate this, that, and the other, and tell them where their friends are. If wicked spirits can do this, I want to know, on the same principle, if the righteous have not power to communicate to the children of men? And has not God power to do it? (Journal of Discourses, 2:222-223)