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Discourse, 3 October 1841, as Reported by Times and Seasons

President Joseph Smith, by request of some of the Twelve, gave instructions on the doctrine of Baptism for the Dead; which was listened to with intense interest by the large assembly. The speaker presented “Baptism for the Dead” as the only way that men can appear as saviors on mount Zion. The proclamation of the first principles of the gospel was a means of salvation to men individually, and it was the truth, not men that saved them; but men, by actively engaging in rites of salvation substitutionally, became instrumental in bringing multitudes of their kin into the kingdom of God. He explained a difference between an angel and a ministering spirit; the one a resurrected or translated body, with its spirit, ministering to embodied spirits—the other a disembodied spirit, visiting and ministering to disembodied spirits. Jesus Christ became a minestering spirit, while his body laying in the sepulchre, to the spirits in prison; to fulfil an important part of his mission, without which he could not have perfected his work or entered into his rest. After his resurrection, he appeared as an angel to his disciples &c. Translated bodies cannot enter into rest until they have undergone a change equivalent to death. Translated bodies are designed for future missions. The angel that appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos was a translated or resurrected body.— Jesus Christ went in body, after his resurrection, to minister to translated and resurrected bodies. There has been a chain of authority and power from Adam down to the present time. The only way to obtain truth and wisdom, is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer and obtain divine teaching. It is no more incredible that God should save the dead, than that he should raise the dead. There is never a time when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin, which hath no forgiveness, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. There is a way to release the spirit of the dead; that is, by the power and authority of the Priesthood—by binding and loosing on earth [p. 577]
President Joseph Smith, by request of  some of the Twelve, gave instructions on  the doctrine of Baptism for the Dead;  which was listened to with intense interest  by the large assembly. The speaker  presented “Baptism for the Dead” as the  only way that men can appear as saviors  on mount Zion. The proclamation of  the first principles of the gospel was a  means of salvation to men individually,  and it was the truth, not men that saved  them; but men, by actively engaging in  rites of salvation substitutionally, became  instrumental in bringing multitudes of  their kin into the kingdom of God. He  explained a difference between an angel  and a ministering spirit; the one a resur rected or translated body, with its spirit,  ministering to embodied spirits—the other  a disembodied spirit, visiting and minis tering to disembodied spirits. Jesus Christ  became a minestering spirit, while his  body laying in the sepulchre, to the spirits  in prison; to fulfil an important part of  his mission, without which he could not  have perfected his work or entered into  his rest. After his resurrection, he ap peared as an angel to his disciples &c.  Translated bodies cannot enter into rest un til they have undergone a change equival ent to death. Translated bodies are design ed for future missions. The angel that  appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos  was a translated or resurrected body.—  Jesus Christ went in body, after his res urrection, to minister to translated and  resurrected bodies. There has been a  chain of authority and power from Adam  down to the present time. The only way  to obtain truth and wisdom, is not to ask  it from books, but to go to God in prayer  and obtain divine teaching. It is no more  incredible that God should save the dead,  than that he should raise the dead. There  is never a time when the spirit is too old  to approach God. All are within the  reach of pardoning mercy, who have not  committed the unpardonable sin, which  hath no forgiveness, neither in this world,  nor in the world to come. There is a way  to release the spirit of the dead; that is,  by the power and authority of the Priest [h]ood—by binding and loosing on earth [p. 577]
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JS, Discourse, Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, IL, 3 Oct. 1841; in Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1841, 2:577–578.

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