“Elders Will Sit in Judgment on Those Who Reject Their Message”

Doctrine and Covenants 75:18–22

18 Yea, let all those take their journey, as I have commanded them, going from house to house, and from village to village, and from city to city.
19 And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you, leave your blessing upon that house.
20 And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you not, ye shall depart speedily from that house, and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony against them.
21 And you shall be filled with joy and gladness; and know this, that in the day of judgment you shall be judges of that house, and condemn them;
22 And it shall be more tolerable for the heathen in the day of judgment, than for that house; therefore, gird up your loins and be faithful, and ye shall overcome all things, and be lifted up at the last day. Even so. Amen.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“The urgency of this missionary call [in D&C 75] is apparent. The Lord had declared repeatedly that the time is short for the preaching of the gospel and had stressed that immediate need for missionary work in all directions. Through the guiding hand of the Almighty, some stalwart men and faithful women had been led to settle in various points in all directions pointing out of Kirtland. The Lord had made known that He had called Sidney Rigdon and others to perform a preparatory work in and around Kirtland, so that when the missionaries on the way to the Lamanites arrived in that place they found these people waiting for their message and a wonderful work was accomplished. Now the work was to spread out farther and farther like the spokes of a great wheel in all directions. The message and commission to these brethren is also of the greatest interest, in many respects similar to the commission the Savior gave His disciples when He sent them forth in their ministry throughout the land of Palestine. Whenever they entered a house and were received, they were to leave their blessing. From such houses as would not receive them and their message, they were to depart speedily, shaking off the dust of their feet as a testimony against them [see D&C 75:20]. They were to remember also that one important duty which they were to fulfill and that was to be sure and bear testimony in every instance. If they performed their labors sincerely, humbly, and diligently bearing witness of the Restoration then it would be more tolerable for the heathen in the day of judgment, than for that house which rejected the message. If no warning had been left, however, then the judgment would be pronounced against the servant who was expected to deliver it [see D&C 4]. This statement that it would be more tolerable for the heathen should be considered. If the heathen are to be judged without law and assigned to the terrestrial kingdom [see D&C 45:54; 76:72], then the chances for those who rejected the message would imply that they may find themselves in a lower kingdom, when the judgment comes. The elders who delivered the message were also to be the judges in the day of judgment against those who rejected their testimony [see D&C 75:21]. Missionaries of the Church should realize this fact. They are sent to warn the world and when they faithfully do their duty they will stand as witnesses against those who reject them, but if they fail to perform their duty, then those unto whom the message should have been given, will stand up as accusers in their turn, and the unfaithful servants will be condemned [see D&C 43:19].”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:276.)

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