Orson Pratt disagrees with Joseph's teachings about the nature of the resurrected bodies of children who die in infancy; states that leaders learn principles gradually and not all at once.

Speech / Court Transcript
Orson Pratt
Scribed Verbatim

Orson Pratt, "Revelation on the Judgments of the Lord—First Fruits of the Resurrection—What Becometh of the Souls of Men—Redemption Universal," December 28, 1873, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: Joseph F. Smith, 1874), 16:334-36

David W. Evans
Orson Pratt, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Reading Public, Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

When all these spirits were sent forth from the eternal worlds, they were, no doubt, not infants; but when they entered the infant tabernacle, they were under the necessity, the same as our Lord and Savior, of being compressed, or diminished in size so that their spirits could be enclosed in infant tabernacles. If their bodies die in infancy, do their spirits remain infants in stature between death and the resurrection of the body? I think not. Why not? Because the redemption must restore everything to its natural order. If they were of the size and stature of manhood or womanhood before they entered into the tabernacle would the redemption be complete, when they came out of that tabernacle, unless they were restored to their former dimensions? I think not; there would not be a full restoration, and consequently, there would seem to be an imperfection in the plan. There are some of our brethren and sisters, perhaps, who are very anxious to see their little children after they depart this life. The Lord sometimes glares them a vision of their departed little ones, not of their spirits, but as they will appear in the morning of the resurrection, in order that they may know and recognize them. But supposing that he should show them the spirits of their little children as they are after leaving their infant tabernacles, would they be satisfied? I think not. Why? Because I think they would not recognize them, for I am of the opinion that the spirits of children who die here regain their former dimensions of manhood or womanhood, and hence if you were to see them you would perhaps be disappointed. But by and by the resurrection will come, then these full grown spirits, who have died in infancy here, will again enter into the infant tabernacle, and they will come forth as infants, as they were at the time they laid down their bodies; then their parents will have no difficulty in recognizing them.

There is quite an anxiety at the present time, about one thing, connected with the resurrection, and that is, will those spirits, whose bodies died here in infancy, when reunited with their infant bodies, remain of that stature through all the ages of eternity? There is a sermon of the Prophet Joseph Smith, reported by long-hand reporters, in which it is stated that resurrected infants will for ever remain infants. But I doubt very much in my own mind if those who reported that sermon got the full idea on this subject; and if they did, I very much doubt whether the Prophet Joseph, at the time he preached that sermon, had been fully instructed by revelation on that point, for the Lord has revealed a great many things to Prophets and revelators, and among them to Joseph Smith, the fullness of which is not at first given. For instance, in baptism for the dead, in Joseph's day women were baptised for men, and men for women as well as for men. The Lord had at first revealed a few things to him, showing that baptism for the dead was a true principle, without giving him all the particulars at once. But he continued to enquire of the Lord, and he received more and more in regard to this principle. So in regard to the resurrection, there may have been many things revealed to him that were true, and others upon which, without having revelation, he would draw his own conclusions, until it should please the Lord to give further revelation. There is no revelation given that gives us a full knowledge upon that point,—but I will give you my reasons, merely as reasons, to show that they who die here in infancy will grow up to the full stature of manhood or womanhood, after the resurrection. I do not say that it is so, but my reasons for believing that they do are these: How could they be restored completely to all that perfection of manhood and have a perfect tabernacle, adapted to the dimensions of the spirit tas it existed, before it came here, unless their bodies should grow up from a state of infancy, and be sufficiently enlarged to become a perfect house for the fullgrown spirit, whether man or woman? I, have heard, whether it be true or not I do not know, that before Joseph was martyred, he had obtained further light and information on this subject, to the effect that there would be a growth after the resurrection. How this may be I do not know, and it does not particularly matter; still it is something that we have the right and the privilege of reflecting upon, for there is no harm for any man or woman letting the mind expand to lay hold upon all that God has revealed, and to ponder upon it, as the ancient children of God did. Nephi says—"I ponder upon the things of God continually which he has revealed unto me," and there is no harm for us to do the same. We should not get into that old sectarian notion, that we have no right to know anything about this, that or the other, and that we must not pry into this, that or the other. That is an old sectarian notion, which we have fought against all the day long, and we do not want it to creep into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is the privilege of its members to let their minds expand, and to ponder upon the things of God, and to enquire of him, and by and by, when we have prepared ourselves by getting all the knowledge we possibly can from that which is written, God will give as more.

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