DEAN - This is a follow up question on your answer to accepting the LDS tenants after death and getting to the Celestial Kingdom. You stated that in order to be able to have that option the ordinances have to be done here on earth for the person who has died. That is what I always thought. But then I was talking with someone and they said that no, the performance of the ordinances for the dead was not a precondition and that all spirits have the opportunity in the afterlife to hear and accept. Which is correct?

JOEL - All spirits in the Spirit Prison after-life do have the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel, whether their ordinances have been performed for them or not. However, they can not be released from Spirit Prison and move into Paradise until the temple ordinances have been performed. After they accept the ordinances they are then able to move into the Paradise realm of the Spirit World to await the resurrection and finally enter into the Celestial Kingdom after the final judgment.
LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith said;
"In relation to the deliverance of spirits from their prison house, of course, we believe that can only be done after the gospel has been preached to them in the spirit, and they have accepted the same, and the work necessary to their redemption by the living be done for them." (Teachings of Presidents of the Church Joseph F. Smith/Chapter 46)

So according to President Smith, the ordinances need to be performed before they can be released from the "prison house". This of course means that there may be a lot of spirits who have heard and accepted the gospel, but can't move into Paradise because someone has not yet done the temple work for them here on earth. I suppose in the mean time they could help out with the missionary work that continues on there in Spirit Prison. Eventually, someone will perform those ordinances for them either during this life or during the Millennium.

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