Doctrine and Covenants Commentary - Section 137

by Don R. Hender

Since the vision of the Lord are given in the perspective of the 'eternal now', it is not clear whether Joseph's vision was yet to come, though it would surely be as he saw it, or whether it was the current state of affares. The evidence that it was of the future celestial kingdom to come would be that the final judgements of God had not been made from the perspective that they would come to pass at the end of the Second Estate, and whether Alvin or the prophet's father had yet been resurrected to obtain a celestial body is another question to consider. Thus one might consider the vision of the Prophet Joseph Smith a vision of things as they were yet to come. And this would consistant with allowing Alvin the oportunity to live again in the Millennium and to hear, accept and have the vicarious ordinances completed in his behalf prior to his actual eventual entering into that celestial glory.

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
           SECTION 137

A vision given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, January 21, 1836. HC 2:380—381. The occasion was the administration of the ordinances of the endowment as far as they had then been revealed.

    1—6, The Prophet sees his brother Alvin in the celestial kingdom;
    7—9, The doctrine of salvation for the dead is revealed;
    10, All children are saved in the celestial kingdom.
D&C 137:1 The aheavens were bopened upon us, and I behold the ccelestial kingdom of God, and the glory thereof, whether in the dbody or out I cannot tell.
D&C 137:2 I saw the transcendent abeauty of the bgate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, which was clike unto dcircling flames of fire;
D&C 137:3 Also the ablazing bthrone of God, whereon was seated the dFather and the dSon.

D&C 137:4 I saw the beautiful streets of that kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with agold.
D&C 137:5 I saw Father aAdam and bAbraham; and my cfather and my mother; my brother dAlvin, that has long since eslept;
D&C 137:6 And amarveled how it was that he had obtained an binheritance in that kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to cgather Israel the second time, and had not been dbaptized for the remission of sins.

D&C 137:7 Thus came the avoice of the Lord unto me saying: All who have died bwithout a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarrya, shall be cheirs of the celestial kingdom of God;
D&C 137:8 Also all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who awould have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that kingdom;
D&C 137:9 For I, the Lord, will ajudge all men according to their bworks, according to the cdesire of their hearts.

 7a who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry One of the very purposes for the vicarious ordiances of the temple is to provide those the opportunity to be taught the gospel in the spirit world, to accept it there and then to be blessed and judged in the same manner, receiving the same glories based upon their works and desires of their hearts as are men in the flesh who have had that same opportunity (D&C 138:33-34).
D&C 137:10 And I also beheld that all achildren who die before they arrive at the byears of accountability are csaved in the celestial kingdom of heaven.