Children who die early.

We had a really amazing discussion in seminary this morning.  It didn’t start off very lively, the youth had all been up late and didn’t feel well.  I just asked them about their evenings and then we got into our discussion, which this week has all focused on Doctrine and Covenants 76.

Doctrine and Covenants 76 is a six part vision the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon received as they were translating the Bible and pondering about John 5:29.  Here is an outline of the teachings and which verses they compare with:

Today we were discussing the Telestial Glory presented in D&C 76: 81-112.  The question posed regarded children who died in infancy or those who were not able to be taught the gospel in this life and what would happen to them.  I directed the youth to section 137, where Joseph was shown another vision in which he saw his brother Alvin in the Celestial Kingdom with God the Father and Jesus Christ and Joseph marveled at that fact because Alvin had died before the Lord had set up his kingdom though the prophet Joseph Smith.  Joseph wondered how that was even possible.

As he was pondering, the voice of the Lord spoke to him:

Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying: All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God;

 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;

 For I, the Lord, will judge all men according to their works, according to the desire of their hearts.

 10 And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.
We also discussed the doctrine that those children who die in their infancy, will, in the Millennium be resurrected to the state in which they were laid down (or died) to then be raised to the full stature of their spirit.  Those righteous parents will have the opportunity to raise those children to maturity.  One of my youth asked if I could find where that doctrine was taught because it was new to her.
Well, my sweet husband found it for me.  Here it is.  It is found in the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith manual, Chapter 14.  (Remember that my links are in English, but you can change the language by using the three letters that correspond to your language.)   I will just copy and past the significant parts from the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Parents who lose children in death will receive them in the resurrection just as they laid them down.

At the funeral of two-year-old Marian Lyon, the Prophet said: “We have again the warning voice sounded in our midst, which shows the uncertainty of human life; and in my leisure moments I have meditated upon the subject, and asked the question, why it is that infants, innocent children, are taken away from us, especially those that seem to be the most intelligent and interesting. The strongest reasons that present themselves to my mind are these: This world is a very wicked world; and it … grows more wicked and corrupt. … The Lord takes many away, even in infancy, that they may escape the envy of man, and the sorrows and evils of this present world; they were too pure, too lovely, to live on earth; therefore, if rightly considered, instead of mourning we have reason to rejoice as they are delivered from evil, and we shall soon have them again. …

“… The only difference between the old and young dying is, one lives longer in heaven and eternal light and glory than the other, and is freed a little sooner from this miserable, wicked world. Notwithstanding all this glory, we for a moment lose sight of it, and mourn the loss, but we do not mourn as those without hope.”5

“A question may be asked—‘Will mothers have their children in eternity?’ Yes! Yes! Mothers, you shall have your children; for they shall have eternal life, for their debt is paid.”6

“Children … must rise just as they died; we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory—the same loveliness in the celestial glory.”7

The Gospel brings to comfort to those who mourn.

Joseph Smith taught that young children “must rise just as they died” and that parents will greet their children with “the same loveliness in the celestial glory.”

President Joseph F. Smith, the sixth President of the Church, reported: “Joseph Smith taught the doctrine that the infant child that was laid away in death would come up in the resurrection as a child; and, pointing to the mother of a lifeless child, he said to her: ‘You will have the joy, the pleasure and satisfaction of nurturing this child, after its resurrection, until it reaches the full stature of its spirit.’ …

“In 1854, I met with my aunt [Agnes Smith], the wife of my uncle, Don Carlos Smith, who was the mother of that little girl [Sophronia] that Joseph Smith, the Prophet, was speaking about, when he told the mother that she should have the joy, the pleasure, and the satisfaction of rearing that child, after the resurrection, until it reached the full stature of its spirit; and that it would be a far greater joy than she could possibly have in mortality, because she would be free from the sorrow and fear and disabilities of mortal life, and she would know more than she could know in this life. I met that widow, the mother of that child, and she told me this circumstance and bore testimony to me that this was what the Prophet Joseph Smith said when he was speaking at the funeral of her little daughter.”8

Mary Isabella Horne and Leonora Cannon Taylor each lost a young child in death. Sister Horne recalled that the Prophet Joseph Smith gave the two sisters these words of comfort: “He told us that we should receive those children in the morning of the resurrection just as we laid them down, in purity and innocence, and we should nourish and care for them as their mothers. He said that children would be raised in the resurrection just as they were laid down, and that they would obtain all the intelligence necessary to occupy thrones, principalities and powers.”9

It occurred to me as I was reading his words, that some of you who read my blog may not know this doctrine or have access to these teachings.  You need to know that it was important enough to Heavenly Father for you to receive this doctrine and comfort your hearts that my feelings were to drop what I was doing immediately and to write this blog post.  That is how much He loves you.

I hope this doctrine brings you peace and comfort.  Now I can report back to my class as well!  Have a great day!!  Remember, that we, too, must live worthy to have that blessing!

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