Faithful Called to the Spirit World to Labor

Joseph F. Smith (D&C 138)

57 I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.

No Righteous Man is Ever Taken Before his Time

Joseph Fielding Smith

No righteous man is ever taken before his time. In the case of the faithful Saints, they are simply transferred to other fields of labor. The Lord's work goes on in this life, in the world of spirits, and in the kingdoms of glory where men go after their resurrection. (The funeral services of Elder Richard L. Evans, Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 10)


Death May Come When the Lord Has a Calling for Us Beyond Mortality

Harold B. Lee

I know a father who lost his daughter, a mother of four or five children, and it was a long fight. I have never seen a father or mother who had greater devotion to a daughter, and as she sank into the shadows the father said, "I guess I failed. If I had faith, she would have gotten well." The Lord said that "those who have faith in me shall be healed if they are not appointed unto death" (see D&C 42:48). That suggests that we are here filling a mission on earth. We can fail in our appointment, but if we live true, then we fulfill our mission. Now, if the Lord asks us, calls us to no greater calling, I ask you, Would any one of you want to remain here one hour more than the Lord wants you to live in mortality, if He had something else for you to do? Not if you are thinking right. You would want to answer the call of the Master, wouldn't you? (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, p. 48)

Righteous are Called to the Other Side

Wilford Woodruff

Perhaps I may be permitted to relate a circumstance with which I am acquainted in relation to Bishop Roskelley, of Smithfield, Cache Valley:

On one occasion he was suddenly taken very sick -- near to death's door. While he lay in this condition, President Peter Maughan, who was dead, came to him and said: "Brother Roskelley, we held a council on the other side of the veil. I have had a great deal to do, and I have the privilege of coming here to appoint one man to come and help. I have had three names given to me in council, and you are one of them. I want to inquire into your circumstances.

The Bishop told him what he had to do, and they conversed together as one man would converse with another. President Maughan then said to him: "I think I will not call you. I think you are wanted here more than perhaps one of the others."

Bishop Roskelley got well from that hour. Very soon after, the second man was taken sick, but not being able to exercise sufficient faith, Brother Roskelley did not go to him. By and by this man recovered, and on meeting Brother Roskelley, he said: "brother Maughan came to me the other night and told me he was sent to call one man from the ward," and he named two men as had been done to Brother Roskelley. A few days afterwards the third man was taken sick and died.

Now, I name this to show a principle. They have work on the other side of the veil; and they want men, and they call them. And that was my view in regards to Brother George A. Smith. When he was almost at death's door, Brother Cannon administered to him, and in thirty minutes he was up and ate breakfast with his family. We labored with him in this way, but ultimately, as you know, he died. But it taught me a lesson. I felt that man was wanted behind the veil. We labored also with Brother Pratt; but he, too, was wanted behind the veil. (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, pp.290-291)


We lost one of our apostles a short time since. He was about the youngest man in the quorum of the apostles. He was suddenly called away from us. There is a meaning to this. Many times things take place with us that we do not comprehend, unless it is given to us by revelation. But there is a meaning in the loss of that young apostle. I had a manifestation of that while in San Francisco recently.

One evening, as I fell asleep, I was very much troubled with evil spirits that tried to afflict me; and while laboring to throw off these spirits and their influence, there was another spirit visited me that seemed to have power over the evil spirits, and they departed from me. Before he left me he told me not to grieve because of the departure of Abraham Hoagland Cannon; for the Lord had called him to fill another important mission in the spirit world, as a pure and holy apostle from Zion in the Rocky Mountains -- a labor which would not only prove a great benefit to his father's household, but to the Church and kingdom of God on the earth. I feel to name this, because it is true. I have become acquainted with many things in our history that I have marveled at. While in the St. George temple I had a son, who was in the north country, drowned. He had a warning of this. In a dream he was notified how he would die. We had testimony of that after his death. I asked the Lord why he was taken from me. The answer to me was, "You are doing a great deal for the redemption of your dead; but the law of redemption requires some of your own seed in the spirit world to attend to work connected with this." That was a new principle to me; but it satisfied me why he was taken away. I name this, because there are a great many instances like it among the Latter-day Saints. This was the case with Brother Abraham Cannon. He was taken away to fulfil that mission. And where we have anything of this kind, we should leave it in the hands of God to reconcile. (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p.292)

Neal A. Maxwell

On the other side of the veil, there are perhaps seventy billion people. They need the same gospel, and releases occur here to aid the Lord's work there. Each release of a righteous individual from this life is also a call to new labors. Those who have true hope understand this.

Therefore, though we miss the departed righteous so much here, hundreds may feel their touch there. One day, those hundreds will thank the bereaved for gracefully forgoing the extended association with choice individuals here, in order that they could help hundreds there. In God's ecology, talent and love are never wasted. The hopeful understand this, too. (Notwithstanding My Weakness, p.55)