Below is an account of Brigham Young’s vision of Joseph Smith at Winter Quarters in 1847 as recorded by Hosea Stout. Stout records that Brigham Young sought to “know about the law of adoption, and the sealing powers”:
In the afternoon I went to the Council house to a meeting at which Elder Henry G. Sherwood spoke after that I was around as usual At six went to a High Council as usual There was not much done of interest except some remarks of President Young which I will give in short It is in relation to a spell of sickness he had had lately.
He spoke as follows.
“Another subject which I wanted to speak of is this.
On Wednesday morning I was taken ill and it has been asked if I had a vision I was taken so suddenly sick. Just as I was getting out of my bed that I could not go out. I tried to return to the bed again, but could not even get back
As to how I felt, No one can tell how I felt, until he dies and goes through the vail and when he does that he can then tell how I felt
All that I know, is what my wife told me about it since. She said that I said, I had been where Joseph & Hyrum was.
And again that I said, it is hard coming to life again.
But I know that I went to the world of spirits; but what I saw I know not, for the vision went away from me, as a dream which you loose when you awake.
The next day I had a dream.
I dreamed that I saw Joseph sitting in a room, in the South West corner, near a bright window.
He sat in a chair, with his feet, both on the lower round.
I took him by the hand and kissed him on both cheeks, and wanted to know why we could not be together, as we once was.
He said that it was all right, that we should not be together yet.
We must be separated for a season.
I said it was hard to be separated from him.
He said, it was all right and putting his feet down on the floor.
Now all you who know, how he looks, when he used to give council, know all about, how he looked then
I told him that the Latter Day Saints was very anxious to know about the law of adoption, and the sealing powers &c and desired word of council from him.
Joseph said; do you be sure and tell the people one thing.
Do you be sure and tell the brethren that it is all important for them to keep the spirit of the Lord, To keep the quiet spirit of Jesus, and he explained how the spirit of the Lord reflected on the spirit of man and set him to pondering on any subject, and also explained how to know the spirit of the Lord from the spirit of the enemy.
He said the mind of man must be open to receive all spirits, in order to be prepared, to receive the spirit of the Lord; otherwise it might be barred so as not to receive the spirit of the Lord, which always brings peace and makes one happy and takes away every other spirit. When the small still voice speaks always receive it, and if the people will do these things, when they come up to the father, all will be as in the beginning, and every person stand as at the first.
I saw how we were organized before we took tabernacles and every man will be restored to that which he had then, and all will be satisfied. After this I turned away & saw Joseph was in the edge of the light; but where I had to go was as midnight darkness.
He said I must go back, so I went back in the darkness.
I want you all to remember my dream for I it is a vision of God and was revealed through the spirit of Joseph.”1
The Manuscript History of Brigham Young records the following account of this experience:
Joseph stepped toward me, and looking very earnestly, yet pleasantly said, “Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Our Father in Heaven organized the human family, but they are all disorganized and in great confusion.2