DUSTIN - I am looking for a statement by Joseph Smith regarding witnesses to temple ordinances. He is reported to have said that anyone who serves as a witness to priesthood ordinances will be called upon to give a reporting here on the earth and again in heaven. Can you give me a reference?
JOEL - Joseph Smith gave the following Instructions:
"When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder, and let him be eye-witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord."
"Let him [the recorder] be very particular and precise in taking the whole proceedings, certifying in his record that he saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears, giving the date, and names, and so forth, and the history of the whole transaction; naming also some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." (HC, V, p. 141, D&C 127: 5-9)
"All persons baptized for the dead must have a recorder present, that he may be an eyewitness to record and testify of the truth and validity of his record. It will be necessary, in the Grand Council, that these things be testified to by competent witnesses. Therefore let the recording and witnessing of baptisms for the dead be carefully attended to from this time forth. If there is any lack, it may be at the expense of our friends; they may not come forth." (HC, V, p. 141).
The prophet explained why this was so necesary:
"And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared, as you will find recorded in Revelation 12: "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
You will discover, in this quotation, that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books; according to their works: consequently, the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote to you previously to my leaving my place, that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven. (1842-September 6-DHC 5:148-153)
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