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PETER - I was reading in the book latter-Day prophet speak by Daniel H Ludlow and on page 66, taken from Brigham Young, JD 7:289, oct 9,1859 and says no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom without the consent of joseph smith. can i take that letterally or is it my misreading?
JOEL - First of all the Journal of Discourses (JD) can not be considered a perfectly accurate resource of LDS doctrine and teachings(See note: Journal of Discourses), and we must therefore use some caution on the things quoted therin. However, Brigham Young does mention a valid bit of information in there in regards to the role Joseph Smith plays in the plan of salvation. He said, speaking of those who had been enimies of the Church:
"thinking that the Latter-day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them—something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them—namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are—I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation." (JD 7:289, oct 9,1859)
Each dispensation throughout the religious history of the earth has had a prophet, designated to be the leader and head of the children of God for their period of time. There was the Adamic dispensation; the dispensation of Enoch; the dispensation of Noah; then Abraham; then Moses and of the prophets who were associated with that dispensation; and the dispensation of John the Baptist, followed by Jesus Christ and then His apostles, to finnaly end up to the present-day Dispensation of the Fullness of Times, whose head is Joseph Smith.
Because Joseph Smith is the head of this dispensation and holds the keys to it, it is his responsibility and mission to see that all the children of men are saved, that can be, through the redemption.
Perhaps Brigham was a little bold in his statement(and we can't be certain that his words were recorded correctly), but consider what Jesus himself taught His apostles:
"Ye [the apostles] are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke
22:28-30; see also Matthew 19:28.)
Since Joseph Smith was also called as an apostle and prophet (see D&C 21:1) would he not also perhaps play a role in the final judgment the same as Peter, James, John, and others?