Abide #22: Doctrine and Covenants 137-138
Today we will consider two visions received by two different prophets named Joseph Smith and separated by almost 100 years. The first was received by Joseph Smith, Jr. in January of 1836–as they completed work on the Kirtland temple. The period surrounding the dedication of the Kirtland temple was a time full of manifestations of the spirit–as Lorenzo Snow said, the spirit poured out in copious effusion. The day they first introduced the preparatory ordinances of the endowment, Joseph Smith received a vision of the Celestial kingdom.
82 years later, Joseph F. Smith, nephew of the prophet, and now the fifth prophet to follow his uncle, studied his scriptures. Surrounded by death from a horrific flu pandemic and the horrors of the first world war, he pondered a verse in 1 Peter that talked of Christ’s descent into hell after his death. Perplexed, he asked the lord for help to understand, in response he too saw a vision–this time a vision of the Spirit world.
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“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)