Come Follow Me: Doctrine and Covenants 137-138
When I do baptisms for the dead, I think about how excited the people who have passed that I am doing them for must feel. But what I didn’t realize until now is the steps that they have to go through in heaven in order to be baptized, and the help they have.
As I was reading Doctrine and Covenants sections 137-138, I noticed a theme of talking about baptisms for the dead, and what the spirit world is vaguely like. Section 138 verse 51 says, “These the Lord taught, and gave them power to come forth, after his resurrection from the dead, to enter into his Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with immortality and eternal life.”
So basically what this means is that everyone has the chance to go to the celestial kingdom and to receive the gospel, and they don’t have to be alive to do that. Fun fact: There are missionaries on both sides of the veil. There are of course the ones on Earth wearing a name tag, but there are also those who have already passed that are in the spirit world who can teach the other spirits there of the gospel.
Section 138 verse 37 says, “That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their rebellion and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.” When we do baptisms for the dead, we aren’t just automatically making those we are doing them for members of the church. Actually, they still need to be taught the gospel beforehand. Spirits who are already members of the church teach them the lessons, and the spirits being taught get to accept or deny the gospel. It is still their choice, though they are not on earth anymore. I like to think that my family members who have passed are teaching others in heaven about the gospel so that they can be in the Celestial Kingdom when the time comes.
Everyone gets the chance–and the choice to accept the gospel. Though it’s a little discouraging when I try to share the gospel with my friends through various ways and they don’t seem to connect with it, I know that it’s not my fault and that I can keep trying. If they don’t choose to accept the gospel still, they will have a chance to in the spirit world.
I’m so glad that we can have this knowledge, and these fair principles, so that we all have a chance to be in the Celestial Kingdom one day, and I am thankful that there are missionaries and temples everywhere so that we can all have this chance.