What Did the Savior Do Between His Death and Resurrection?A vision given to President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 3 October 1918. In his opening address at the 89th Semiannual General Conference of the Church, on 4 October 1918, President Smith declared that he had received several divine communications during the previous months. One of these, concerning the Savior’s visit to the spirits of the dead while his body was in the tomb, President Smith had received the previous day. It was written immediately following the close of the conference. On 31 October 1918, it was submitted to the counselors in the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Patriarch, and it was unanimously accepted by them.
Here is the link to the section - Doctrine and Covenants 138
For the purposes of this post I will only share vs. 25-60
25.I marveled, for I understood that the Savior spent about three years in his ministry among the Jews and those of the house of Israel, endeavoring to teach them the everlasting gospel and call them unto repentance;
26. And yet, notwithstanding his mighty works, and miracles, and proclamation of the truth, in great power and authority, there were but few who hearkened to his voice, and rejoiced in his presence, and received salvation at his hands.
27. But his ministry among those who were dead was limited to the brief time intervening between the crucifixion and his resurrection;
28. And I wondered at the words of Peter—wherein he said that the Son of God preached unto the spirits in prison, who sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah—and how it was possible for him to preach to those spirits and perform the necessary labor among them in so short a time.
29. And as I wondered, my eyes were opened, and my understanding quickened, and I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;
30. But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to fall the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
31. And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.
32. Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.
33. These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
34. And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
35. And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross.
36. Thus was it made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of aspirits, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the prophets who had testified of him in the flesh;
37. That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their rebellion and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.
38. Among the great and mighty ones who were assembled in this vast congregation of the righteous were Father Adam, the Ancient of Days and father of all,
39. And our glorious Mother Eve, with many of her faithful daughters who had lived through the ages and worshiped the true and living God.
40. Abel, the first martyr, was there, and his brother Seth, one of the mighty ones, who was in the express image of his father, Adam.
41. Noah, who gave warning of the flood; Shem, the great high priest; Abraham, the father of the faithful; Isaac, Jacob, and Moses, the great law-giver of Israel;
42. And Isaiah, who declared by prophecy that the Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound, were also there.
43. Moreover, Ezekiel, who was shown in vision the great valley of dry bones, which were to be clothes upon with flesh, to come forth again in the resurrection of the dead, living souls;
44. Daniel, who foresaw and foretold the establishment of the kingdom of God in the latter days, never again to be destroyed nor given to other people;
45. Elias, who was with Moses on the Mount of Transfiguration;
46. And Malachi, the prophet who testified of the coming of bElijah—of whom also Moroni spake to the Prophet Joseph Smith, declaring that he should come before the ushering in of the great and dreadful day of the Lord—were also there.
47. The Prophet Elijah was to plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to their fathers,
48. Foreshadowing the great work to be done in the temples of the Lord in the dispensation of the fulness of times, for the redemption of the dead, and the sealing of the children to their parents, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse and utterly wasted at his coming.
49. All these and many more, even the prophets who dwelt among the Nephites and testified of the coming of the Son of God, mingled in the vast assembly and waited for their deliverance,
50. For the dead had looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as a bondage.
51. These the Lord taught, and gave them apower to come forth, after his resurrection from the dead, to enter into his Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with immortality and eternal life,
52. And continue thenceforth their labor as had been promised by the Lord, and be partakers of all blessings which were held in reserve for them that love him.
53. The Prophet Joseph Smith, and my father, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice aspirits who were reserved to come forth in the fulness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work,
54. Including the building of the atemples and the performance of ordinances therein for the redemption of the dead, were also in the spirit world.
55. I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.
56. Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.
57. I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead.
58. The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
59. And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.
60. Thus was the vision of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this record is true, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen.
I will share a couple of experiences that I have had while caring for dying patients. I was taking care of a woman who had cancer and was in her final days. I spent a night in the hospital in her room. During the night I heard her talking with someone; but could not see them at all. She appeared to be having a discussion over dying and her desire to live. She was only 46 years old and had 6 children and a devoted husband. I heard her say the following: "I am not ready to go yet. I need to have more time with my children."
Another experience occurred when I was visiting a dear friend who was caring for her husband. He was terminally ill with cancer. I went into his room to see him; he was sitting on the edge of his bed talking to unseen individuals. He identified them as his parents. Later that evening he passed away. I felt such a sweet and calm feeling at that moment. I knew that he had loved ones that were surrounding him. I believe that we do have family from the other side of the veil that will be with us when crossing over into the Spirit World.