An account from the journal of Joseph Smith Jr. of a revelation in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, 21 January 1836.

  1. At about three o’clock p.m. I dismissed the school and the presidency, retired to the loft of the printing office, where we attended to the ordinance of washing our bodies in pure water. We also perfumed our bodies and our heads in the name of the Lord. At early candlelight, I met with the presidency at the west school room in the temple to attend to the ordinance of anointing our heads with holy oil. Also, the councils of Kirtland and Zion met in the two adjoining rooms, who waited in prayer while we attended to the ordinance.
  2. I took the oil in my left hand, father Smith being seated before me, and the rest of the presidency encircled him round about. We then stretched our right hands to Heaven and blessed the oil and consecrated it in the name of Jesus Christ. We then laid our hands on our aged father Smith and invoked the blessings of Heaven. I then anointed his head with the consecrated oil and sealed many blessings upon him. The presidency then, in turn, laid their hands upon his head, beginning at the eldest, until they had all laid their hands on him and pronounced such blessings upon his head as the Lord put into their hearts, all blessing him to be our patriarch, to anoint our heads, and attend to all duties that pertain to that office.
  3. I then took the seat, and father anointed my head and sealed upon me the blessings of Moses, to lead Israel in the latter days even as Moses led them in days of old; also the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. All of the presidency laid their hands upon me and pronounced upon my head many prophecies and blessings, many of which I shall not notice at this time, but as Paul said, so say I, Let us come to visions and revelations.
  4. The Heavens were opened upon us, and I beheld the Celestial Kingdom of God and the glory thereof, whether in the body or out I cannot tell. I saw the transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that Kingdom will enter, which was like unto circling flames of fire, also the blazing throne of God whereon was seated the Father and the Son. I saw the beautiful streets of that Kingdom, which had the appearance of being paved with gold. I saw Father Adam, and Abraham, and Michael, and my father and mother, my brother Alvin [Smith] that has long since slept, and marveled how it was that he had obtained an inheritance in that Kingdom, seeing that he had departed this life before the Lord had set his hand to gather Israel the second time, and had not been baptized for the remission of sins.
  5. Thus came the voice of the Lord unto me, saying, All who have died without a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the Celestial Kingdom of God. Also, all that shall die henceforth without a knowledge of it, who would have received it with all their hearts, shall be heirs of that Kingdom. For I the Lord will judge all men according to their works, according to the desires of their hearts.
  6. And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive to the years of accountability are saved in the Celestial Kingdom of Heaven.
  7. I saw the twelve apostles of the Lamb who are now upon the earth, who hold the keys of this last ministry, in foreign lands, standing together in a circle much fatigued, with their clothes tattered and feet swollen, with their eyes cast downward, and Jesus in their midst, and they did not behold him. The Savior looked upon them and wept.
  8. I also beheld Elder William E. McLellin in the South, standing upon a hill surrounded with a vast multitude, preaching to them, and a lame man standing before him, supported by his crutches. He threw them down at his word and leaped as a hart by the mighty power of God.
  9. Also Elder Brigham Young standing in a strange land in the far Southwest, in a desert place, upon a rock, in the midst of about a dozen men of color who appeared hostile. He was preaching to them in their own tongue, and the angel of God standing above his head with a drawn sword in his hand, protecting him, but he did not see it.
  10. And I finally saw the twelve in the Celestial Kingdom of God. I also beheld the redemption of Zion, and many things which the tongue of man cannot describe in full.
  11. Many of my brethren, who received this ordinance with me, saw glorious visions also. Angels ministered unto them, as well as myself, and the power of the Highest rested upon us. The house was filled with the glory of God, and we shouted, Hosanna to God and the Lamb!
  12. I am mistaken concerning my receiving the holy anointing first, after father Smith; we received it in turn according to our age (that is the presidency). My scribe also received his anointing with us, and saw in a vision the armies of Heaven protecting the saints in their return to Zion. The bishop of Kirtland with his counselors, and the bishop of Zion with his counselors, were present with us, and received their anointing under the hands of father Smith and confirmed by the presidency, and the glories of Heaven was unfolded to them also.
  13. We then invited the counselors of Kirtland and Zion into our room, and President Hyrum Smith anointed the head of the president of the counselors in Kirtland, and President David Whitmer, the head of the president of the counselors of Zion. The president of each quorum then anointed the heads of his colleagues, each in his turn, beginning at the eldest. The vision of Heaven was opened to these also. Some of them saw the face of the Savior, and others were ministered unto by holy angels, and the spirit of prophecy and revelation was poured out in mighty power. And loud Hosannas, and, Glory to God in the highest, saluted the Heavens; for we all communed with the Heavenly hosts.
  14. And I saw in my vision all of the presidency in the Celestial Kingdom of God, and many others who were present.
  15. Our meeting was opened by singing and prayer offered up by the head of each quorum, and closed by singing and invoking the benediction of Heaven with uplifted hands, and retired between one and two o’clock in the morning.