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Redemption of the Dead: Continuing Revelation after Joseph Smith

TitleRedemption of the Dead: Continuing Revelation after Joseph Smith
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsPaulsen, David L., Judson Burton, Kendel J. Christensen, and Martin Pulido
JournalJournal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture
KeywordsMissionary Work; Postmortal Life; Redemption of the Dead; Revelation; Smith, Joseph, Jr.; Soteriology; Spirit World; Temple; Theodicy

After Joseph Smith’s death, the Saints still had many questions regarding the soteriological problem of evil and the doctrines about redeeming the dead. This paper details what leaders of the church after Joseph Smith have said in response to these previously unanswered questions. They focus on the nature of visit to the spirit world, those who were commissioned to preach the gospel to the departed spirits, the consequences of neglecting the gospel in mortality, and the extent and role of temple ordinances for those not eligible for celestial glory. This paper focuses on both the early and the late teachings of President Joseph F. Smith. It explains the doctrinal and historical contexts for his vision in 1918 and the further insights provided by this vision.