What was Brigham Young’s deathbed wish?
A) A bite of Johnny cake and a drink of Buttermilk
B) That the Priest and Teachers do a better job of home teaching
C) That he be buried facing the temple
D) That the Saints never leave the Salt Lake Valley
(D) The number of death’s around the world
On October 3, 1918, the day before General Conference, Joseph F. Smith received what would become Section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants. This section describes what happens to the spirit after it departs this life. With as much death as Joseph F. Smith had experienced in his life time, plus the millions of deaths around the world as a result of World War I and the Spanish Influenza, it really is not surprising that he had pondered endlessly on this subject. The question could be asked, just how much death had Joseph F. experienced in his life time?
He was five-years old when his father, Hyrum Smith, was shot and killed at Carthage Jail.
His mother died when he was thirteen.
In 1915 his wife, Sarah Richards Smith passed away.
Later in 1915, his twenty-five year old daughter, Zina Greenwell, died leaving a three-year old child.
By 1918, only one of his four sisters was still alive.
Of his forty-four children, from five different wives, thirteen had passed away.
On January 23, 1918 his oldest son, and Apostle, Hyrum Mack Smith died.
September 24, 1918, Hyrum Mack’s widow, Ida Bowman Smith died of heart failure just six days after giving birth.
Nine million war dead during the First World War
The flu pandemic took the lives of 675,000 in the United States from 1917-1918.
No wonder a timely revelation on the redemption of the dead.
George S. Tate, “The Great World of the Spirits of the Dead,” BYU Studies Vol. 46, no. 1 (2007), 10-11, 33.