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Bill “Papa” Lee

One of the least known Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants, but wildly taught.

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Last October marked 100 years of a vison received by Joseph Smith, not the Prophet Joseph, but his nephew, Joseph F. Smith. Over many years, of teaching Gospel Doctrine, this section “138”, is one few have read, and fewer knowing the history behind it. The story of Joseph F Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, and how this vision came about. It is such wonderful teaching, and an incredible look into the calling of service of those in the Spirit World, and a preview of the afterlife for the faithful, until Jesus Christ returns. 

We once were taught this every four years, like clockwork, now many just hear what they are taught only in Sunday School. As a number of my friends are teachers,  note that far to many just say they are to busy to do the home study, no one should wait that long. I meet every Tuesday wth friends who teach, for my Ward, and old Wards. We are all retired, so we can meet, it is fun and this became the topic of the week. 

 Question: Hace any here read or taught this in, Family Home Evening”? I have before, now I am encouraging my children not to wait for two more years. If they don’t, I think Sunday I will to all my children and grandchildren, but seek to make it both interesting and fun. 

So for the sake of dialogue, does anyone know Section 138, and when was the last ime you read it. Also to the many scholars here, can you give me some greater insights in the D&C 138, and into the life and work of President (Prophet) Joseph F. Smith? 

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I really like this section.  There are some very doctrinally interesting verses, and potentially a prophetic vision of the future council at Adam-Ondi-Ahman.

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I have read it quite a bit. I would argue it is one of the better known sections. How many people know about the parable of the Ten Sons by comparison?

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I love Doctrine and Covenants 138.  It gives me hope for family members and others who have left the faith, rejected it when offered, or rejected the prophets.  President Smith expounds on one of the most comforting doctrines in the Bible that is routinely overlooked by other Christian faiths— the doctrine of teaching the plan of Salvation to those in the Spirit world who rejected the Gospel in mortality so all would have equal opportunity the be judged fairly (on equal footing) in the final judgment.  He is talking about 1 Peter chapter 3:18-20 and 1 Peter 4:6.  

It is one of those scriptures that lines up with the character of the God I worship better than Alma 34, which states:

”33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.
36 And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.”

I have reconciled these two scriptures, but forget from time to time how they are reconciled.  I would be interested in how you or others reconcile Doctrine and Covenants 138 and Alma 34:33-36.

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13 hours ago, Meerkat said:

I love Doctrine and Covenants 138.  It gives me hope for family members and others who have left the faith, rejected it when offered, or rejected the prophets.  President Smith expounds on one of the most comforting doctrines in the Bible that is routinely overlooked by other Christian faiths— the doctrine of teaching the plan of Salvation to those in the Spirit world who rejected the Gospel in mortality so all would have equal opportunity the be judged fairly (on equal footing) in the final judgment.  He is talking about 1 Peter chapter 3:18-20 and 1 Peter 4:6.  

It is one of those scriptures that lines up with the character of the God I worship better than Alma 34, which states:

”33 And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.
35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked.
36 And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.”

I have reconciled these two scriptures, but forget from time to time how they are reconciled.  I would be interested in how you or others reconcile Doctrine and Covenants 138 and Alma 34:33-36.

Sadly, too often it is only spoken of at funerals. But it is filled with such hope, that wonderful sermons could use it’s words so much more. Thankfully our General Authorities, make very good use of it almost every General Conference. We often speak of Joseph Smith, as we should, but it is Hyrum’s lineage that has give so much to the Church, as Hyrum was a mighty soul himself. His linage has given us two more Prophets, and another as Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve, who may one day also become our Prophet, although already, a “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator”.  

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The timing of its receipt is so telling:  3 Oct 1918, 5 weeks and a day before Armistice Day, 11 Nov 1918.  37 Million dead during that war.  Another 20-50 Million dead from the Spanish Flu (nobody knows exactly how many).  57-87 million dead of about 1.7 billion.  An astonishing number of recently dead people on the Prophet's mind when this was received.  Who wouldn't be upset by and seek answers concerning such useless loss of life?

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I have often wondered exactly how this " preaching to the dead " will/does work. I mean it is now obvious to all that there is an existence after mortality, so that puts the atheists in a bind. Will there still be people who espouse other beliefs , sincerely, which contradict the pure gospel message , and testify of those beliefs trying to convince others  ? If there is still opposition  does that mean there will be lies/ misinformation, etc, in paradise or spirit prison?  Does " the day of this life " then include all time before a persons resurrection? 

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1 hour ago, USU78 said:

The timing of its receipt is so telling:  3 Oct 1918, 5 weeks and a day before Armistice Day, 11 Nov 1918.  37 Million dead during that war.  Another 20-50 Million dead from the Spanish Flu (nobody knows exactly how many).  57-87 million dead of about 1.7 billion.  An astonishing number of recently dead people on the Prophet's mind when this was received.  Who wouldn't be upset by and seek answers concerning such useless loss of life?

So true, it is only by the Grace of God, and 1,000’s of years of miracles that any of us are here, or had lives at all. 

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43 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

I have often wondered exactly how this " preaching to the dead " will/does work. I mean it is now obvious to all that there is an existence after mortality, so that puts the atheists in a bind. Will there still be people who espouse other beliefs , sincerely, which contradict the pure gospel message , and testify of those beliefs trying to convince others  ? If there is still opposition  does that mean there will be lies/ misinformation, etc, in paradise or spirit prison?  Does " the day of this life " then include all time before a persons resurrection? 

From what I understand “free will”, and even the choice to be blind, even while seeing the light, does and will exist. Ultimately all choose their own destination, as it would or should not ever be the will of a loving God, and Father to loose anyone. My guess is just as in this life, as in the beginning, in heaven...there will be opposing views, and teachings. 

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I find the doctrine in these verses interesting:

58 The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
            59 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

What penalty is referred to here?  If we repent and receive the ordinances of salvation  (baptism etc) then the penalty is paid by the atonement of Christ right?

So why if the dead repent and receive vicarious baptism do they have to "pay the penalty of their transgressions"?

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On 5/14/2019 at 8:52 PM, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

Last October marked 100 years of a vison received by Joseph Smith, not the Prophet Joseph, but his nephew, Joseph F. Smith. Over many years, of teaching Gospel Doctrine, this section “138”, is one few have read, and fewer knowing the history behind it. The story of Joseph F Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, and how this vision came about. It is such wonderful teaching, and an incredible look into the calling of service of those in the Spirit World, and a preview of the afterlife for the faithful, until Jesus Christ returns. 

We once were taught this every four years, like clockwork, now many just hear what they are taught only in Sunday School. As a number of my friends are teachers,  note that far to many just say they are to busy to do the home study, no one should wait that long. I meet every Tuesday wth friends who teach, for my Ward, and old Wards. We are all retired, so we can meet, it is fun and this became the topic of the week. 

 Question: Hace any here read or taught this in, Family Home Evening”? I have before, now I am encouraging my children not to wait for two more years. If they don’t, I think Sunday I will to all my children and grandchildren, but seek to make it both interesting and fun. 

So for the sake of dialogue, does anyone know Section 138, and when was the last ime you read it. Also to the many scholars here, can you give me some greater insights in the D&C 138, and into the life and work of President (Prophet) Joseph F. Smith? 

Pres. Joseph F. Smith was an old man by this time and had seen many deaths among his family.  He lost his father when he was about six, his mother when he was about 13.   His second (actually third but there was a divorce) wife Sarah Ellen died in 1915, he'd had several of his children die and this was something he did not get over (he had 50 children), His oldest son, Hyrum died and this was a shock, I think it was unexpected.  Also, this vision came in 1918, at the end of World War I which meant many lost loved ones and on top of that, the Spanish Flu was wiping out a significant population as well. With all this going on, it's no wonder he would be pondering death and the afterlife.  When he was reading those scriptures in Peter, he had the vision.  I think it was to give us revelation but it was also to give him some peace and an idea of what he would be doing.  His work of spreading the Gospel and building the Kingdom on Earth (which he was engaged in for the rest of his life since he was about 15 and served his first mission) was not going to end, but he would be engaged in this same work in the spirit world.  And to top it off-- Pres. Smith was close to death--he died about a month later and so I think the veil was thin for him.  I didn't know this was considered a little know section--if true, that is too bad.  I'm glad you brought it up, it's one of my favorites.

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On 5/15/2019 at 8:52 PM, JLHPROF said:

I find the doctrine in these verses interesting:

58 The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
            59 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

What penalty is referred to here?  If we repent and receive the ordinances of salvation  (baptism etc) then the penalty is paid by the atonement of Christ right?

So why if the dead repent and receive vicarious baptism do they have to "pay the penalty of their transgressions"?

Not sure, I think in most ways people are “let off with time served”, to use a police term, while others are “simply pardoned”, by the “King of Kings”. All of this lies within the purview of Jesus Christ, except other teachings it is suggested that some sins, require a greater degree of repentance. Of course the blood of Jesus Christ can cover all sin, but some will not avail themselves of it. Some like the darkness, while others no matter what the circumstances, welcome it, through pride or anger. 

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