Dead People Appear to Joseph Smith
Ensign, August 1978, pg. 12; “In addition to Moroni, the Savior himself, whose advent among the Nephites is central in the book, appeared to Joseph in the First Vision, at the time section 76 was given, and in the Kirtland Temple. (History of the Church, 1:5–7, D&C 76: 19–24; D&C 110:1–10.)
In addition to these visits, early chroniclers record other visits of the Savior. For example, Zebedee Coltrin, speaking to the School of the Prophets of the Salt Lake Stake—which included President John Taylor and other general authorities—said that the Savior had appeared during a meeting two or three weeks after the organization of the original School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio. He passed through the room without speaking, and Joseph Smith identified the holy visitor: “That is Jesus, the Son of God, our elder brother.”
Several other Book of Mormon personalities came in relationship to the book’s publication. Parley P. Pratt, for one, said:
“Through that young man and the ministration of holy angels to him that book came forth to the world.” (Journal of Discourses, 9:212.)
Thus, Joseph Smith was apparently aided by the ministering of angels who had been Nephites during mortality.
Elder George Q. Cannon named two of these angels as, probably, Alma and Nephi. (Journal of Discourses, 13:47.) In a later address, Elder Cannon said Joseph was visited constantly by angels, including Moroni and the heads of various dispensations, that Joseph Smith’s mind “might be fully saturated with a knowledge of the things of God, and that he might comprehend the great and holy calling that God had bestowed upon him.” (Journal of Discourses, 23:362.)… Elder Orson Pratt, in a personal letter to John Christensen of Brigham City, Utah, testified:
“The prophet often received visits from Nephi, Moroni, Peter, James, John (the beloved), John (the Baptist), Elijah, Moses, the three Nephites, etc. etc.”
Let us make no mistake. Joseph Smith’s prophetic mission and the translation of the Book of Mormon were events for which righteous beings had waited and prayed for centuries. The unseen world was close during those crucial events. Those visits of instruction and inspiration to the young Prophet, spoken of with sacred reticence by himself and his colleagues thereafter, show him to be a seer second to none in this dispensation. The words of William Taylor, brother to President John Taylor, pay a fitting tribute to this great gift of the Prophet:
“He seemed to be just as familiar with the Spirit World, and as well acquainted with the other side, as he was here.” – Robert J. Woodford
Ecclesiastes 9:5-6; “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion forever in anything that is done under the sun.”
Two words come to mind when I read the Mormon Ensign: necromancy and divination.
Deuteronomy 18:10-13; “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,
11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
13 Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God.”
God is quite clear that you do not hang out with dead spirits. The author of Ecclesiastes (Solomon) also throws some light into the situation for Mormon people that dead people don’t have lives like they did when they lived.
There are actually 3 lessons in this one segment for today.
1. There is no life in heaven like there is here on earth. We won’t know sadness, envy, marital love, etc.
2. You shouldn’t be talking to your dead relatives or anyone that has already died.
3. When you walk with God you are perfect!
This last discovery should be a great relief for all of us – Mormons included! This word perfect in the Hebrew is tamiym (pronounced taw-meem). It means without blemish, complete, full, upright, without spot, undefiled.
What a blessing we have here from the Lord! When our relationship is with Him it is complete, as are we! As a Christian I truly take comfort in hearing that because there are days when the road seems hard and I am discouraged by my decisions at times. Now I know I can rest!
Following someone who talks to dead people and had a life filled with dead spirits around him all the time just sounds so scary. I can’t imagine as a Christian believing this is okay. The Bible is so clear – Jesus is life, Jesus is the way, Jesus is salvation for your souls!