"And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.
They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.
While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful."
This chapter records a vision received by Joseph F. Smith, October 3, 1918. He was the son of Hyrum Smith, nephew to the Prophet Joseph Smith. At this time in his life he was the President and Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have always considered the 138th section of the Doctrine and Covenants mine. I have cherished it since the spirit told me to read it after my near-death experience. I was also told to go to the temple in order to understand what I saw. I have read it many time as the spirit has impressed upon me the need to do so once again. I have felt no need to endlessly pour over it. In fact I know I need distance so my eyes will see new things. For the past 24 years my reading has focused on the Redemption of the Dead.
I had the tender mercy of the Lord to have my day to read this chapter also fall on my temple day. I was able to sit alone in the Celestial Room and read and ponder on it. In this holy place, having done work in behalf of my kindred dead, the spirit surprisingly had me focus on something other than doing family history work.
What caused me deep reflection was how similar the day will be for the saints as we wait for the Savior's Second Coming. I reflected on what I could recall of President Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve, recent General Conference talk about "Joy and Spiritual Survival". What we need to focus on is having joy in these last days. That joy comes as we focus on the Savior, regardless of our trials. The saints of God waiting in spirit prison, rejoiced and had joy as they waited for the Savior to appear. Releasing them from their bondage and captivity caused by death. I reflected on how important joy was in their preparation to meet the Savior. I feel that the saints prior to the Savior's return to the earth will be capable of experiencing that same joy, even if death is looking them in the face. In fact finding joy in the gospel plan is the only way to endure what is to come. There was so much more I pondered on. I am seeing this chapter with new eyes. I cannot wait to read Elder Nelson's conference talk again.