The Vision

February 22, 2015 - Visions and Dreams
The Vision

The Vision:

Many people that I know or have read about consider Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants to be the greatest vision of Heaven, God, and the Afterlife that has ever been recorded. One of the most amazing things about this vision is that it was seen and experienced by two different individuals at the same time – Sydney Rigdon and Joseph Smith. One of the most impressive things about Joseph Smith is that he was in the habit of introducing his friends to God and Angels. They often saw and experienced what Joseph Smith saw and experienced, thus lending greater credence to the message or vision that they received from God. When it comes to these kinds of things, it is very important that there be witnesses, instead of just one man standing alone.

Doctrine and Covenants – Section 76
Date: February 16, 1832
Place: Hiram, Ohio
To: Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon

D&C 76: 1-119:
1 Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, and rejoice ye inhabitants thereof, for the Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior.
2 Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.
3 His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.
4 From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.
5 For thus saith the Lord — I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
6 Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.
7 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
8 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
9 And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.
10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will — yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.
11 We, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the Spirit on the sixteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two —
12 By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God —
13 Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning;
14 Of whom we bear record; and the record which we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.
15 For while we were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth verse of the fifth chapter of John, which was given unto us as follows–
16 Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, concerning those who shall hear the voice of the Son of Man:
17 And shall come forth; they who have done good, in the resurrection of the just; and they who have done evil, in the resurrection of the unjust.
18 Now this caused us to marvel, for it was given unto us of the Spirit.
19 And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.
20 And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness;
21 And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father —
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.
25 And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
26 And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him — he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.
27 And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!
28 And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ —
29 Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about.
30 And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us:
31 Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power —
32 They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;
33 For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity;
34 Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come —
35 Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.
36 These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels —
37 And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;
38 Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath.
39 For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.
40 And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us —
41 That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
42 That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
43 Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.
44 Wherefore, he saves all except them — they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment —
45 And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;
46 Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof;
47 Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again;
48 Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation.
49 And we heard the voice, saying: Write the vision, for lo, this is the end of the vision of the sufferings of the ungodly.
50 And again we bear record — for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just —
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given —
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things —
56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God —
59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
60 And they shall overcome all things.
61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.
63 These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.
64 These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.
65 These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just.
66 These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
67 These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.
68 These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.
69 These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.
70 These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.
71 And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.
72 Behold, these are they who died without law;
73 And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;
74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
75 These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
76 These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness.
77 These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.
78 Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun.
79 These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.
80 And now this is the end of the vision which we saw of the terrestrial, that the Lord commanded us to write while we were yet in the Spirit.
81 And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.
82 These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.
83 These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit.
84 These are they who are thrust down to hell.
85 These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.
86 These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;
87 And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial.
88 And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.
89 And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding;
90 And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it.
91 And thus we saw the glory of the terrestrial which excels in all things the glory of the telestial, even in glory, and in power, and in might, and in dominion.
92 And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things — where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever;
93 Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever.
94 They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace;
95 And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.
96 And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.
97 And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one.
98 And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;
99 For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas.
100 These are they who say they are some of one and some of another — some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch;
101 But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.
102 Last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud.
103 These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.
104 These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth.
105 These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.
106 These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fulness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;
107 When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.
108 Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever.
109 But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore;
110 And heard the voice of the Lord saying: These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne forever and ever;
111 For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared;
112 And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.
113 This is the end of the vision which we saw, which we were commanded to write while we were yet in the Spirit.
114 But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might, and in dominion;
115 Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;
116 Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;
117 To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;
118 That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory.
119 And to God and the Lamb be glory, and honor, and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

My favorite part of this vision is found in D&C 76: 22-24. This is my favorite part because it pertains directly to YOU and ME. It tells us that our spirits are literally the sons and daughters of God. Children have the potential to become just like their parents, which means that YOU and I have the potential to become like God someday.

D&C 76: 22-24
22 And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
23 For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father —
24 That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

I am in agreement with others that this is the most significant vision on record.  There might have been greater visions received by men from God, but we have no record of them currently.  This vision tells us where we came from and where we are going.  It gives each one of us a place in the Creation and in this Universe.




Joseph Smith even made use of and learned from this vision as he went along.

Degrees of Glory:

Degrees of Glory:

Joseph Smith, “Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith’s Teachings”, edited by Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q. Cannon:


1 Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the foregoing vision [D&C 76]. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory {of different degrees of glory in the future life} and witnesses the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: “It came from God.” (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 1:252-53.)


vade mecum, (translated,) go with me. Go with me, will you go to the saints that have died,- To the next, better world, where the righteous reside; Where the angels and spirits in harmony be In the joys of a vast paradise? Go with me. Go with me where the truth and the virtues prevail; Where the union is one, and the years never fail; Not a heart can conceive, nor a nat’ral eye see What the Lord has prepar’d for the just. Go with me.
Go with me where there is no destruction or war; Neither tyrants, or sland’rers, or nations ajar; Where the system is perfect, and happiness free, And the life is eternal with God. Go with me.
Go with me, will you go to the mansions above, Where the bliss, and the knowledge, the light, and the love, And the glory of God do eternally be? – Death, the wages of sin, is not there. Go with me.
Nauvoo, January, 1843.

to w. w. phelps, esq.


A Vision.
1. I will go, I will go, to the home of the Saints, Where the virtue’s the value, and life the reward; But before I return to my former estate I must fulfil the mission I had from the Lord.
2. Wherefore, hear, O ye heavens, and give ear O ye earth; And rejoice ye inhabitants truly again; For the Lord he is God, and his life never ends, And besides him there ne’er was a Savior of men.
3. His ways are a wonder; his wisdom is great; The extent of his doings, there’s none can unveil; His purposes fail not; from age unto age He still is the same, and his years never fail.
4. His throne is the heavens, his life time is all Of eternity now, and eternity then; His union is power, and none stays his hand,- The Alpha, Omega, forever: Amen.
5. For thus saith the Lord, in the spirit of truth, I am merciful, gracious, and good unto those That fear me, and live for the life that’s to come; My delight is to honor the saints with repose;
6. That serve me in righteousness true to the end; Eternal’s their glory, and great their reward; I’ll surely reveal all my myst’ries to them,- The great hidden myst’ries in my kingdom stor’d –
7. From the council in Kolob, to time on the earth. And for ages to come unto them I will show My pleasure and will, what my kingdom will do: Eternity’s wonders they truly shall know.
8. Great things of the future I’ll show unto them, Yea, things of the vast generations to rise; For their wisdom and glory shall be very great, And their pure understanding extend to the skies:
9. And before them the wisdom of wise men shall cease, And the nice understanding of prudent ones fail! For the light of my spirit shall light mine elect, And the truth is so mighty ‘t will ever prevail.
10. And the secrets and plans of my will I’ll reveal; The sanctified pleasures when earth is renew’d, What the eye hath not seen, nor the earth hath yet heard; Nor the heart of the natural man ever hath view’d.
11. I, Joseph, the prophet, in spirit beheld, And the eyes of the inner man truly did see Eternity sketch’d in a vision from God, Of what was, and now is, and yet is to be.
12. Those things which the Father ordained of old, Before the world was, or a system had run, – Through Jesus the Maker and Savior of all; The only begotten, (Messiah) his son.
13. Of whom I bear record, as all prophets have, And the record I bear is the fulness, – yea even The truth of the gospel of Jesus Degrees of Glory the Christ, With whom I convers’d, in the vision of heav’n.
14. For while in the act of translating his word, Which the Lord in his grace had appointed to me, I came to the gospel recorded by John,
Chapter fifth and the twenty ninth verse, which you’ll see.
Which was given as follows:
“Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, Degrees of Glory
“Concerning those who shall hear the voice of the son of man-
“And shall come forth:-
“They who have done good in the resurrection of the just.
“And they who have done evil in the resurrection of the unjust.”
15. I marvel’d at these resurrections, indeed! For it came unto me by the spirit direct: – And while I did meditate what it all meant, The Lord touch’d the eyes of my own intellect: –
16. Hosanna forever! they open’d anon, And the glory of God shone around where I was;
And there was the Son, at the Father’s right hand,
In a fulness of glory, and holy applause.
17. I beheld round the throne, holy angels and hosts,
And sanctified beings from worlds that have been,
In holiness worshipping God and the Lamb,
Forever and ever, amen and amen!
18. And now after all of the proofs made of him,
By witnesses truly, by whom he was known,
This is mine, last of all, that he lives; yea he lives!
And sits at the right hand of God, on his throne.
19. And I heard a great voice, bearing record from heav’n,
He’s the Saviour, and only begotten of God –
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made,
Even all that career in the heavens so broad,
20. Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last,
Are sav’d by the very same Saviour of ours;
And, of course, are begotten God’s daughters and sons,
By the very same truths, and the very same pow’rs.
21. And I saw and bear record of warfare in heav’n;
For an angel of light, in authority great,
Rebell’d against Jesus, and sought for his pow’r,
But was thrust down to woe from his Godified state.
22. And the heavens all wept, and the tears drop’d like dew,
That Lucifer, son of the morning had fell!
Yea, is fallen! is fall’n, and become, Oh, alas!
The sons of Perdition; the devil of hell!
23. And while I was yet in the spirit of truth,
The commandment was: write ye the vision all out;
For Satan, old serpent, the devil’s for war, –
And yet will encompass the saints round about.
24. And I saw, too, the suff’ring and mis’ry of those,
(Overcome by the devil, in warfare and fight,)
In hell-fire, and vengeance, the doom of the damn’d;
For the Lord said, the vision is further: so write.
25. For thus saith the Lord, now concerning all those
Who know of my power and partake of the same;
And suffer themselves, that they be overcome
By the power of Satan; despising my name: –
26. Defying my power, and denying the truth; –
They are they – of the world, or of men, most forlorn,
The Sons of Perdition, of whom, ah! I say,
‘T were better for them had they never been born!
27. They’re vessels of wrath, and dishonor to God,
Doom’d to suffer his wrath, in the regions of woe,
Through the terrific night of eternity’s round,
With the devil and all of his angels below:
28. Of whom it is said, no forgiveness is giv’n,
In this world, alas! nor the world that’s to come;
For they have denied the spirit of God,
After having receiv’d it: and mis’ry’s their doom.
29. And denying the only begotten of God, –
And crucify him to themselves, as they do,
And openly put him to shame in their flesh,
By gospel they cannot repentance renew.
30. They are they, who must go to the great lake of fire,
Which burneth with brimstone, yet never consumes,
And dwell with the devil, and angels of his,
While eternity goes and eternity comes.
31. They are they, who must groan through the great second death,
And are not redeemed in the time of the Lord;
While all the rest are, through the triumph of Christ,
Made partakers of grace, by the power of his word.
32. The myst’ry of Godliness truly is great; –
The past, and the present, and what is to be;
And this is the gospel – glad tidings to all,
Which the voice from the heavens bore record to me:
33. That he came to the world in the middle of time,
To lay down his life for his friends and his foes,
And bear away sin as a mission of love;
And sanctify earth for a blessed repose.
34. ‘Tis decreed, that he’ll save all the work of his hands,
And sanctify them by his own precious blood;
And purify earth for the Sabbath of rest,
By the agent of fire, as it was by the flood.
35. The Savior will save all his Father did give,
Even all that he gave in the regions abroad,
Save the Sons of Perdition: They’re lost; ever lost,
And can never return to the presence of God.
36. They are they, who must reign with the devil in hell,
In eternity now, and eternity then,
Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quench’d; –
And the punishment still, is eternal. Amen.
37. And which is the torment apostates receive,
But the end, or the place where the torment began,
Save to them who are made to partake of the same,
Was never, nor will be, revealed unto man.
38. Yet God shows by vision a glimpse of their fate,
And straightway he closes the scene that was shown:
So the width, or the depth, or the misery thereof,
Save to those that partake, is forever unknown.
39. And while I was pondering, the vision was closed;
And the voice said to me, write the vision: for lo!
‘Tis the end of the scene of the sufferings of those,
Who remain filthy still in their anguish and woe.
40. And again I bear record of heavenly things,
Where virtue’s the value, above all that’s pric’d –
Of the truth of the gospel concerning the just,
That rise in the first resurrection of Christ.
41. Who receiv’d and believ’d, and repented likewise,
And then were baptis’d, as a man always was,
Who ask’d and receiv’d a remission of sin,
And honored the kingdom by keeping its laws.
42. Being buried in water, as Jesus had been,
And keeping the whole of his holy commands,
They received the gift of the spirit of truth,
By the ordinance truly of laying on hands.
43. For these overcome, by their faith and their works,
Being tried in their life-time, as purified gold,
And seal’d by the spirit of promise, to life,
By men called of God, as was Aaron of old.
44. They are they, of the church of the first born of God, –
And unto whose hands he committeth all things;
For they hold the keys of the kingdom of heav’n,
And reign with the Savior, as priests, and as kings.
45. They’re priests of the order of Melchisedek,
Like Jesus, (from whom is this highest reward,)
Receiving a fulness of glory and light;
As written: They’re Gods; even sons of the Lord.
46. So all things are theirs; yea, of life, or of death;
Yea, whether things now, or to come, all are theirs,
And they are the Savior’s, and he is the Lord’s,
Having overcome all, as eternity’s heirs.
47. ‘Tis wisdom that man never glory in man,
But give God the glory for all that he hath;
For the righteous will walk in the presence of God,
While the wicked are trod under foot in his wrath.
48. Yea, the righteous shall dwell in the presence of God,
And of Jesus, forever, from earth’s second birth –
For when he comes down in the splendor of heav’n,
All these he’ll bring with him, to reign on the earth.
49. These are they that arise in their bodies of flesh,
When the trump of the first resurrection shall sound;
These are they that come up to Mount Zion, in life,
Where the blessings and gifts of the spirit abound.
50. These are they that have come to the heavenly place;
To the numberless courses of angels above:
To the city of God; e’en the holiest of all,
And the home of the blessed, the fountain of love:
51. To the church of old Enoch, and of the first born:
And gen’ral assembly of ancient renown’d,
Whose names are all kept in the archives of heav’n,
As chosen and faithful, and fit to be crown’d.
52. These are they that are perfect through Jesus’ own blood,
Whose bodies celestial are mention’d by Paul,
Where the sun is the typical glory thereof,
And God, and his Christ, are the true judge of all.
53. Again I beheld the terrestrial world,
In the order and glory of Jesus, go on;
‘Twas not as the church of the first born of God,
But shone in its place, as the moon to the sun.
54. Behold, these are they that have died without law;
The heathen of ages that never had hope,
And those of the region and shadow of death,
The spirits in prison, that light has brought up.
55. To spirits in prison the Savior once preach’d,
And taught them the gospel, with powers afresh;
And then were the living baptiz’d for their dead,
That they might be judg’d as if men in the flesh.
56. These are they that are hon’rable men of the earth;
Who were blinded and dup’d by the cunning of men:
They receiv’d not the truth of the Savior at first;
But did, when they heard it in prison, again.
57. Not valiant for truth, they obtain’d not the crown,
But are of that glory that’s typ’d by the moon:
They are they, that come into the presence of Christ,
But not to the fulness of God, on his throne.
58. Again I beheld the telestial, as third,
The lesser, or starry world, next in its place,
For the leaven must leaven three measures of meal,
And every knee bow that is subject to grace.
59. These are they that receiv’d not the gospel of Christ,
Or evidence, either, that he ever was;
As the stars are all diff’rent in glory and light,
So differs the glory of these by the laws.
60. These are they that deny not the spirit of God,
But are thrust down to hell, with the devil, for sins,
As hypocrites, liars, whoremongers, and thieves,
And stay ’till the last resurrection begins.
61. ‘Till the Lamb shall have finish’d the work he begun;
Shall have trodden the wine press, in fury alone,
And overcome all by the pow’r of his might:
He conquers to conquer, and save all his own.
62. These are they that receive not a fulness of light,
From Christ, in eternity’s world, where they are,
The terrestrial sends them the Comforter, though;
And minist’ring angels, to happify there.
63. And so the telestial is minister’d to,
By ministers from the terrestrial one,
As terrestrial is, from the celestial throne;
And the great, greater, greatest, seem’s stars, moon, and sun.
64. And thus I beheld, in the vision of heav’n,
The telestial glory, dominion and bliss,
Surpassing the great understanding of men, –
Unknown, save reveal’d, in a world vain as this.
65. And lo, I beheld the terrestrial, too,
Which excels the telestial in glory and light,
In splendor, and knowledge, and wisdom, and joy,
In blessings, and graces, dominion and might.
66. I beheld the celestial, in glory sublime;
Which is the most excellent kingdom that is, –
Where God, e’en the Father, in harmony reigns;
Almighty, supreme, and eternal, in bliss.
67. Where the church of the first born in union reside,
And they see as they’re seen, and they know as they’re known;
Being equal in power, dominion and might,
With a fulness of glory and grace, round his throne.
68. The glory celestial is one like the sun;
The glory terrestr’al is one like the moon;
The glory telestial is one like the stars,
And all harmonize like the parts of a tune.
69. As the stars are all different in lustre and size,
So the telestial region, is mingled in bliss;
From least unto greatest, and greatest to least,
The reward is exactly as promis’d in this.
70. These are they that came out for Apollos and Paul;
For Cephas and Jesus, in all kinds of hope;
For Enoch and Moses, and Peter, and John;
For Luther and Calvin, and even the Pope.
71. For they never received the gospel of Christ,
Nor the prophetic spirit that came from the Lord;
Nor the covenant neither, which Jacob once had;
They went their own way, and they have their reward.
72. By the order of God, last of all, these are they,
That will not be gather’d with saints here below,
To be caught up to Jesus, and meet in the cloud:-
In darkness they worshipp’d; to darkness they go.
73. These are they that are sinful, the wicked at large,
That glutted their passion by meanness or worth;
All liars, adulterers, sorc’rers, and proud;
And suffer, as promis’d, God’s wrath on the earth.
74. These are they that must suffer the vengeance of hell,
‘Till Christ shall have trodden all enemies down,
And perfected his work, in the fulness of times:
And is crown’d on his throne with his glorious crown.
75. The vast multitude of the telestial world-
As the stars of the skies, or the sands of the sea;-
The voice of Jehovah echo’d far and wide,
Ev’ry tongue shall confess, and they all bow the knee.
76. Ev’ry man shall be judg’d by the works of his life,
And receive a reward in the mansions prepar’d;
For his judgments are just, and his works never end,
As his prophets and servants have always declar’d.
77. But the great things of God, which he show’d unto me,
Unlawful to utter, I dare not declare;
They surpass all the wisdom and greatness of men,
And only are seen, as has Paul, where they are.
78. I will go, I will go, while the secret of life,
Is blooming in heaven, and blasting in hell;
Is leaving on earth, and a budding in space:-
I will go, I will go, with you, brother, farewell.



Nauvoo, Feb. 1843. (Times and Seasons 4:81-85)


3 Paul ascended into the third heavens, and he could understand the three principal rounds of Jacob’s ladder – the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial glories or kingdoms, where Paul saw and heard things which were not lawful for him to utter. I could explain a hundred fold more than I ever have of the glories of the kingdoms manifested to me in the vision, were I permitted, and were the people prepared to receive them.
The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 5:402)


4 The great misery of departed spirits in the world of spirits, where they go after death, is to know that they come short of the glory that others enjoy and that they might have enjoyed themselves, and they are their own accusers. “But,” says one, “I believe in one universal heaven and hell, where all go, and are all alike, and equally miserable or equally happy.”
What! where all are huddled together – the honorable, virtuous, and murderers, and whoremongers, when it is written that they shall be judged according to the deeds done in the body? But St. Paul informs us of three glories and three heavens. He knew a man that was caught up to the third heavens. Now, if the doctrine of the sectarian world, that there is but one heaven, is true, Paul, what do you tell that lie for, and say there are three? Jesus said unto His disciples, “In my Father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, and I will come and receive you to myself, that where I am ye may be also.” (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 5:425-26)


5 I know a man that has been caught up to the third heavens, and can say, with Paul, that we have seen and heard things that are not lawful to utter. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 5:556)


6 My text is on the resurrection of the dead, which you will find in the 14th chapter of John – “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” It should be – “In my Father’s kingdom are many kingdoms,” in order that ye may be heirs of God and joint-heirs with me. I do not believe the Methodist doctrine of sending honest men and noble-minded men to hell, along with the murderer and the adulterer. They may hurl all their hell and fiery billows upon me, for they will roll off me as fast as they come on. But I have an order of things to save the poor fellows at any rate, and get them saved; for I will send men to preach to them in prison and save them if I can.
There are mansions for those who obey a celestial law, and there are other mansions for those who come short of the law, every man in his own order. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 6:365)


7 Go and read the vision in the Book of Covenants [D&C 76]. There is clearly illustrated glory upon glory – one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and a glory of the stars; and as one star differeth from another star in glory, even so do they of the telestial world differ in glory, and every man who reigns in celestial glory is a God to his dominions. (Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols. 6:477)



A Cross Reference:

Glorious Visions

The pictures are linked to their source.