My blog post on Come Follow Me: D&C 76, The Vision
Excerpt: The Vision
In 1832, Joseph and Sidney received a remarkable Vision that lasted hours. They took turns describing the things they saw. D&C 76 was created from the revelation, covering many of the important truths they discovered.
The first thing to note is that BOTH Joseph and Sidney received the revelation. While many pretenders proclaimed they had revelations from God and/or angels, none had a list of others who joined in many of those revelations: the Three Witnesses, Oliver Cowdery seeing John the Baptist, the First Presidency seeing the Kirtland Temple in vision as they began plans to design and build it, members attending the Kirtland Temple dedication, etc.
When it came to Christianity, the Vision was revolutionary. A few had previously suggested that heaven had several levels, but no one had given as much detail as this. For most of Christianity, only a few would be saved, the rest of the world would be damned – regardless of their opportunity to learn about Jesus Christ in this life. In fact, one leading dogma for many Christians is Calvin’s TULIP, which includes a limited atonement, predestination to heaven/hell, and that most will not be saved.
The Vision turns all of that on its head. Instead of a limited atonement, Christ offers a near universal salvation to humankind. Instead of predestination, there is fore-ordination and free will.It is a Vision of hope and joy.