Here’s your history lesson for the day.
On October 3rd 1918, then LDS Church President Joseph F. Smith received a vision regarding the redemption of the dead. The next day at General Conference,
“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, he had received the previous day. It was written immediately following the close of the conference; on October 31, 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.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Introduction to Section 138)
Following this endorsement of President Smith’s October 3rd vision by Church leaders, the revelation was published in the December 1918 issue of the Improvement Era magazine and in the January 1919 issue of The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine.
It wasn’t until 57 years later, at the April 1976 General Conference, that President Smith’s vision was presented to the general membership of the Church to be accepted as Scripture and approved for inclusion in the Pearl of Great Price. In June of 1979 the First Presidency of the Church announced that the vision would be removed from the Pearl of Great Price and added to the Doctrine and Covenants as Section 138, where it remains today.
I find it curious that this revelation — from God to His prophet (from the LDS perspective), written down, regarded as true by top Church leaders, and made public — was not actually presented to members of the Church (to be adopted and accepted) until more than half a century later.
I also wonder about the other “divine communications” which President Smith said he received in 1918. Only one (to date) has been canonized. Perhaps sometime in the future some of his other revelations will be presented to Church members for their approval and acceptance.