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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Temples & Mormonism – 1842

Below you will find Prince’s research excerpts titled, “Temples, 1842.” You can view other years here.

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1842:  When were first adoptions?

“No consensus exists with regard to the date when the first adoptions were performed; any conclusions as to whether the ordinance was practiced during Joseph Smith’s lifetime must be viewed as tentative.  It is certainly possible, perhaps probable, that Joseph Smith did initiate certain trusted leaders into the adoptionary order as early as 1842.”  (Gordon Irving, “The Law of Adoption,” BYU Studies 14(3):295, Spring, 1974)

1 Jan.:  12 to spend time in Nauvoo to finish temple.

As we have now a Commandment from the Lord resting upon us to Build the temple of the Lord & the Nauvoo house it is probable that our quorum will spend most of the time in Nauvoo untill the Temple is built & I shall endeavour to record those things spiritual & temporal which I consider the most beneficial to mankind.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 1 Jan., 1842)

10 Jan.:  John C. Bennett defection–effect on Joseph?

“Under this date (Jan 10th) the notorious John C. Bennett wrote the following:

Springfield, Ill., Jan. 10, 1842.

Mr. Sidney Rigdon & Orson Pratt:

Dear Friends:–It is a long time since I have written you, and I should now much desire to see you; but I leave tonight for Missouri, to meet the messenger charged with the arrest of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight and others, for murder, burglary treason, etc., etc., who will be demanded in a few days in new indictments, found by the grand Jury of a called court, on the original evidence and in relation to which a nolle prosequi was entered by the district attorney.  New proceedings have been gotten up on the old charges and no habeas corpus can then save them.  We shall try Smith on the Boggs case when we get him into Missouri.  The war goes bravely on, and although Smith thinks he is now safe, the enemy is near, even at the door.  He has awoke the wrong passenger.  The Governor will relinquish Joe up at once on the new requisition–there is but one opinion in the case, and that is nothing can save Joe on a new requisition and demand predicated on the old charges, on the institution of new suits.  He must go to Missouri, but he shall not be harmed, if he is not guilty: but he is a murderer and must suffer the penalty of the law.  Enough on this subject.

I hope that both of your kind and amiable families are well, and you will please to give them all my best respects.  I hope to see you all soon.  When the officer arrives, I shall be near at hand.  I shall see you all again.  Please to write me at Independence immediately,

Yours respectfully,

John C. Bennett.

P.S.  Will Mr. Rigdon please to hand this letter to Mr. Pratt after reading?

J. C. B.

Elder John Taylor, who was the editor of the ‘Times and Seasons’ in 1842, prepared the following editorial for publication together with the letter, but by the advice of the Prophet Joseph, it was not printed:

We had the following letter handed to us by General Joseph Smith.  Mr. Rigdon received it from John C. Bennett and handed it to Mr. Orson Pratt and Mr. Pratt gave it to Joseph Smith, which Mr. Rigdon had delayed doing.

We are very sorry that our old and long esteemed friend, Mr. Rigdon, should be holding correspondence with such a notorious scoundrel as John C. Bennett, and more especially that he, of all others, should not acquaint President Joseph Smith with a circumstance of this kind, which threatened (in his opinion) to destroy him and other innocent men.

Are we indeed forced from evidence to believe that Mr. Rigdon who was charged with and imprisoned for the same crimes, that those gentlemen mentioned in the letter ostensibly were, can countenance, cloak over, and virtually leave his companions in tribulation exposed to destruction, when he had it in his power to prevent it, and that he did believe that this was the case is evident from some remarks that he made to Mr. Smith ‘that he would not take upon himself the responsibility of making it known,’ fearful of the consequences of exposing villainy; and hiding himself under the iniquitous shade of their unhallowed protection.  ‘How is the gold become dim? and the fine gold, how is it changed!’

We are, however, happy to inform our readers that this letter is all vain glorying and empty boast; it is a tissue of falsehoods intended to intimidate.  Governor Ford informed Mr. Smith, when at Springfield, that such a requisition had been made from Missouri; but that he knew that a nolle prosequi had been entered and refused to issue a writ.

How long shall the feelings of innocent men be goaded with repeated attempts at cruelty and injustice?  ‘When the wicked rule the people mourn.’  We are pleased, however, that we now have a governor whose bosom burns with pure patriotic principles.

‘Who understands the people’s rights, and will protect them too.’

Elder John Taylor gives the following explanation for withholding the letter and comments from the public.

I was requested by Joseph Smith to prefer charges against Sidney Rigdon before a court composed of twenty-four High Priests and three Bishops.  I asked who would give testimony in the case.  Joseph Smith told me to collect what testimony I could, for there was an abundance, and that I was to call upon him and Sister Emma who knew plenty to criminate him.  He handed me the letter about the time and stated that Sidney Rigdon had kept it from him, and that Orson Pratt, as soon as he got it, handed it to him.  Joseph Smith immediately went to Sidney and charged him with being leagued with the enemies to destroy him.  Mr. Rigdon, in order to excuse himself, said ‘I know it was wrong; but I dared not take upon myself the responsibility of making it known.’  This was the only excuse offered by him.

I had the above letter, with the accompanying remarks set up in type in the printing office, ready for printing, preparatory to commencing the trial of Sidney Rigdon.  I, however, went to Bro. Joseph and told him what I had done and that I was now ready to proceed with the trial.  Said I:  ‘Bro. Joseph, what shall I do?  Shall I proceed?’  He paused for a moment and then replied, ‘I think you had better not, we will save him if we can.’

John Taylor.”

(JH 10 Jan., 1842)

12 Jan.:  Tithings and consecrations for the temple.

“From this time, the Recorder’s office will be opened on Saturday of each week for the reception of the Tithings and consecrations of the brethren, and closed on every other day in the week.  This regulation is necessary, to give the Trustee and Recorder time to arrange the Book of Mormon, New Translation of the Bible, Hymn Book, and Doctrine and Covenants for the press; all of which the brethren are anxious to see, in their most perfect form; consequently, they will be particular to bring their offerings on the day specified until further notice, but not relax their exertions to carry on the work.

The Elders will please give the above notice in all public meetings, until the plan is understood.

W. Richards, Recorder, for the Temple.”

(12 Jan., 1842, in T&S 3(6):667, 15 Jan., 1842)

Jan..:  Joseph Fielding’s description of Temple.

“The temple is 128 feet in length and 88 in breadth, and is to be 150 feet in height; the whole is vaulted, and what I call the vault, is in part occupied by the baptismal font, supported by twelve oxen, which are of wood, now painted white, but eventually to be overlaid with gold.  It would be vain to attempt to describe my feelings on beholding this interesting sight; but if you have the same faith as myself in the great work of God, and consider that the things on earth are patterns of things in heaven, at the same time look back on the form of the temple of Solomon and the design of this temple and the font, you may judge of my feelings.  Many have been baptized therein for their deceased relatives, and also for the healing of their own afflicted bodies.  The temple is going on well, though the building itself is at a stand, because of the frost, but I suppose scores of men are at work in the stone quarry, and from ten to twenty teams are at work, bringing the stones to the place; I suppose the men of England would not attempt to build such a house unless they had some thousands of pounds to start with, but it seems as though the Lord saw that money is the god of this generation, and to shew the folly of it, is manifesting to the world that he can do his own work; it will, indeed, be a noble building; it is to be of stone, and the surface hewn; it is not yet quite up to the floor of the building; the outer walls are from three to four feet thick, and it is to be accomplished by tything and consecrations, the Saints bring this in on one day in the week, viz. on Saturday; this is to prevent confusion–the sum thus brought in has often exceeded 1000 dollars per week, for the people offer to the Lord willingly and liberally, even as they hope to receive of him.”  (Joseph Fielding [Nauvoo] to Parley P. Pratt [England], Jan., 1842; MS 3(4):78, Aug., 1842)

1 Feb.:  Kings and priests:  Non-Mormon source.

“The reign of Christ, and the redeemed saints will then commence on earth.–However, we do not wish to be understood that Christ during the Millennium will be perpetually confined to this earth; but the idea is, he will subject the earth to himself, that it shall be wholly under his control or jurisdiction, and he will go and come as will be necessary; and the patriarchs, prophets, and immortal saints, shall reign as kings and priests under him. . . .

John while wrapped in a vision, and was caught up to the third heaven, and heard the heavenly hosts sing a new song, says:  ‘And they sung a new song, saying, thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.’–Rev. v, 9-10.  Thus the heavenly hosts sung anthems of praise to God for the promised redemption, and because he had made them kings and priests, and promised that they should reign on earth.”  (“The Millennium,” from the Gospel Reflector, reprinted in T&S 3(7):671, 675, 1 Feb., 1842)

11 Feb.:  Fullness of Priesthood foreshadowed: HUSBAND.

“I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus and bless you with these promises, which are sacred and of great worth, the value to be revealed in the fulness of times, which is the Priesthood after the Order of Melchesidec with all its glory and fullness and with all its gifts and graces, coming to pass in due time.”  (Patriarchal Blessing of James Twist, by Hyrum Smith, 11 Feb., 1842.  RLDS Archives, P8/F12)

“Beloved sister, I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to bless and seal you up unto eternal life, by the power of the holy priesthood and the authority sealed upon me by revelation.  Your name shall be written and sealed in heaven as I seal you here on earth.”  (Patriarchal Blessing of Jane Anne Twist, wife of James Twist, by Hyrum Smith, 11 Feb., 1842.  RLDS Archives, P8/F13.  Note that husband was promised fullness of priesthood, whereas wife was sealed to eternal life.)

21 Feb.:  Respecting work on the Temple.

“To the Brethren in Nauvoo City:  Greeting–It is highly important for the forwarding of the Temple, that an equal distribution of labor should be made in relation to time; as a superabundance of hands one week, and none the next, tends to retard the progress of the work; therefore every brother is requested to be particular to labor on the day set apart for the same, in his ward; and to remember that he that sows sparingly, shall also reap sparingly, so that if the brethren want a plentiful harvest, they will do well to be at the place of labor in good season in the morning, bringing all necessary tools, according to their occupation, and those who have teams bring them also, unless otherwise advised by the Temple Committee.  Should any one be detained from his labor by unavoidable circumstances on the day appointed, let him labor the next day, or the first day possible.

N.B.–The captains of the respective wards are particularly requested to be at the place of labor on their respective days, and keep an accurate account of each man’s work, and be ready to exhibit a list of the same when called for.

The heart of the Trustee is daily made to rejoice in the good feelings of the brethren, made manifest in their exertion to carry forward the work of the Lord, and rear His Temple; and it is hoped that neither planting, sowing, or reaping will hereafter be made to interfere with the regulations hinted at above.

Joseph Smith, Trustee in Trust.”

(HC 4:517)

1 Mar.:  Book of Abraham.

Began to be published in Times and Seasons on 1 Mar., 1842.  Ehat claims it included “allusions to both rituals–the endowment and Freemasonry.”  (p. 43) 

9 Mar.:  Fullness of Priesthood foreshadowed.

“the same shall crown you with every blessing, Spiritually and temporally; Spiritually by that priesthood, which is your right, with all its qualifying powers of which you have received a foretaste, but you shall be blest with a fulness, and shall be not one whit behind the chiefest.”  (Heber C. Kimball patriarchal blessing, given by Hyrum Smith.  In Heber C. Kimball diary, dated 9 Mar., 1842)

“[You shall] share in the glory and in the honour and every Blessing touching your inheritance, and Lineage with and in common with your husband, receiving the mysteries of God through the Key of Knowledge which is sealed upon his head, and as to your temporal blessings, they shall be in common with your Husband.”  (Vilate Kimball patriarchal blessing, given by Hyrum Smith.  In Heber C. Kimball diary, dated 9 Mar., 1842)   

15 Mar.:  Facsimile #2 published in Times and Seasons.

“Fig. 3,  Is made to represent God, sitting upon his throne, clothed with power and authority; with a crown of eternal light upon his head; representing, also, the grand Key words of the Holy Priesthood, as revealed to Adam in the Garden of Eden, as also to Seth, Noah, Melchisedek, Abraham and all to whom the Priesthood was revealed. . . .

Fig. 7,  Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing, through the heavens, the grand Key words of the Priesthood; as, also, the sign of the Holy Ghost unto Abraham, in the form of a dove.

Fig. 8,  Contains writing that cannot be revealed unto the world; but is to be had in the Holy Temple of God.”

(“Book of Abraham,” Facsimile #2, in Times and Seasons, 15 Mar., 1842)  [SEE HC 4:522, 1 Mar., 1842]

15 Mar.:  Joseph inducted into Masonry. 

“I officiated as grand chaplin at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons, at the Grove near the Temple.  Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus, being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion.  The day was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order, and universal satisfaction was manifested.  In the evening I received the first degree in Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office.”  (Joseph Smith, HC 4:550-551)

16 Mar.:  Joseph rises to sublime degree of Masonry.

“I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree.”  (HC 4:552)

17 Mar.:  Joseph organizes Relief Society.

“I assisted in commencing the organization of ‘The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo’ in the Lodge Room.  Sister Emma Smith, President, and Sister Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Sarah M. Cleveland, Counselors.  I gave much instruction, read in the New Testament, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants, concerning the Elect Lady, and showed that the elect meant to be elected to a certain work, &c., and that the revelation was then fulfilled by Sister Emma’s election to the Presidency of the Society, she having previously been ordained to expound the Scriptures.  Emma was blessed, and her counselors were ordained by Elder John Taylor.”  (Joseph Smith, HC 4:552-553)

20 Mar.:  Key words and signs.

“. . . baptism is a sign ordained of God. . . . It is a sign and a commandment which God has set for man to enter into His kingdom.  Those who seek to enter in any other way will seek in vain; for God will not receive them, neither will the angels acknowledge their works as accepted, for they have not obeyed the ordinances, nor attended to the signs which God ordained for the salvation of man, to prepare him for, and give him a title to, a celestial glory; . . . There are certain key words and signs belonging to the Priesthood which must be observed in order to obtain the blessing.”  (Joseph Smith, HC 4:552-553)

“What if we should attempt to get the Holy Ghost through any other means except the sign or way which God hath appointed?  Should we obtain it?  Certainly not.  All other means would fail.  The Lord says do so & so & I will bless so & so.  Their is certain key words & signs belonging to the priesthood which must be observed in order to obtaine the Blessings.”  (Joseph Smith, 20 Mar., 1842, Wilford Woodruff diary) 

“There are certain key-words, and signs belonging to the priesthood, which must be observed in order to obtain the blessing, the sign of Peter was to repent, and be baptized for the remission of sins, with the promise of the gift of the Holy Ghost: and in no other way is the gift of the Holy Ghost obtained.”  (Wilford Woodruff report of Joseph Smith discourse, 20 Mar., 1842; in T&S 3(12):752, 15 Apr., 1842)

20 Mar.:  Baptisms in the font.

“President Smith had spoken in the open air to the people, and stood in the water and baptized about 80 persons, about 50 of those baptized received their confirmation under his hands, in the after part of the day.  While this was progressing great numbers were being baptized in the font.”  (Wilford Woodruff, 20 Mar., 1842; in T&S 3(12):752-753, 15 Apr., 1842)

“After Baptism the congregation again repaired to the grove near the Temple to attend to the ordinance of confirmation & notwithstanding president Smith had spoken in the open air to the people & stood in the water & Baptized about 80 person about 50 of those Baptized received their confirmation under his hands in the after part of the day; & during the intermission of these meetings their was probably as many more Baptized & confirmed for their Dead relatives at the Font By the Twelve.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 20 Mar., 1842)

24 Mar.:  Orson Hyde and Jerusalem Temple.

“Elder Orson Hyde, has been to Jerusalem, and has consecrated the spot, where the former Temple stood, for the building of the Temple of the Lord in these Last days.”  (Jacob Scott to Mary Warnock, 24 Mar., 1842.  RLDS Archives)

27 Mar.:  Baptism for the dead.

“He was followed by Joseph the Seer who made some edifying remarks concerning Baptism for the dead.  He said the Bible supported the doctrine ‘why are ye Baptized for the dead if they dead rise not &c’ if their is one word of the Lord that supports the doctrin it is enough to make it a true doctrin Again if we can baptize a man in the name of the Father of the Son & of the Holy Ghost for the remission of sins it is just as much our privilege to act as an agent & be baptized for the remission of sins for & in behalf of our dead kindred who have not herd the gospel or fulness of it.”  (Joseph Smith, 27 Mar., 1842.  In Words of JS, pp. 109-110; from Wilford Woodruff’s journal)

7 Apr.:  Kirtland ordinances to be part of Nauvoo Temple.

“President Hyrum Smith spoke concerning the Elders who went forth to preach from Kirtland, and were afterwards called in for the washing and anointing at the dedication of the House, and those who go now will be called in also, when this Temple is about to be dedicated, and will then be endowed to go forth with mighty power, having the same anointing, and all may go forth and have the same power, the first, second, and so on, of the Seventies, and all those formerly ordained.  This will be an important and beneficial mission, and not many years until those now sent will be called in again.”  (Hyrum Smith in General Conference address, HC 4:585)

“Pres’t. H. Smith spoke concerning the elders who went forth to preach from Kirtland, and were afterwards called in for the washing and anointing at the dedication of the House, and those who go not will be called in also, when this Temple is about to be dedicated, and will then be endowed to go forth with might power having the same anointing, that all may go forth and have the same power, the first, second, and so on, of the seventies and all those formerly ordained.  This will be an important and beneficial mission, and not many years until those now sent will be called in again.”  (Hyrum Smith, General Conference address, 7 Apr., 1842, in T&S 3(12):763, 15 Apr., 1842)

7 Apr.:  Baptisms for dead & healing must be in temple.

“Pres’t. J. Smith spoke upon the subject of the stories respecting Elder Kimball and others, showing the folly and inconsistency of spending any time in conversing about such stories or hearkening to them, for there is no person taht is acquainted with our principles would believe such lies, except Sharp the editor of the ‘Warsaw Signal.’  Baptisms for the dead, and for the healing of the body must be in the font, those coming into the church and those rebaptized may be done in the river.”  (Joseph Smith, 7 Apr., 1842. Times and Seasons 3(12):763, 15 Apr., 1842) 

12 Apr.:  Joseph attends Masonic Lodge meeting. 

“I attended the meeting of the lodge.”  (HC 4:589)

13 Apr.:  Joseph introduces others to Masonry.

“I introduced Messrs. Backenstos, Stiles, and Robinson into the Lodge Room in the morning, and Samuel H. Smith, William Smith, and Vinson Knight in the evening.”  (HC 4:594)

15 Apr.:  Joseph Smith on baptism for the dead.

“The great designs of God in relation to the salvation of the human family are very little understood by the professedly wise, and intelligent generation in which we live; various and conflicting are the opinions of men concerning the plan of salvation; the requisitions of the Almighty; the necessary preparations for heaven; the state and condition of departed spirits; and the happiness, or misery that is consequent upon the practice of righteousness and iniquity according to their several notions of virtue, and vice.  The Mussulman condemns the Heathen, the Jew, and the Christian, and the whole world of mankind that reject his Koran as infidels, and consigns the whole of them to perdition.  The Jew believes that the whole world that reject his faith, and are not circumcised, are gentile dogs, and will be damned.  The Heathen are equally as tenacious about their principles, and the Christian consigns all to perdition who cannot bow to his creed and submit to his ipse dixit.  But while one portion of the human race are judging and condemning the other without mercy, the great parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care, and paternal regard; he views them as his offspring; and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men, causes ‘his sun to rise on the evil and the good; and sends his rain on the just and unjust.’  He holds the reins of judgment in his hands; he is a wise lawgiver, and will judge all men, {not according to the narrow contracted notions of men, but} ‘according to the deeds done in the body whether they be good or evil;’ or whether these deeds were done in England, America, Spain, Turkey or India: he will judge then ‘not according to what they have not, but according to what they have;’ those who have lived without law, will be judged without law, and those who have a law, will be judged by that law; we need not doubt the wisdom and intelligence of the great Jehovah, he will award judgment or mercy to all nations according to their several deserts, their means of obtaining intelligence, the laws by which they are governed; the facilities afforded them of obtaining correct information; and his inscrutable designs in relation to the human family: and when the designs of God shall be made manifest, and the curtain of futurity be withdrawn, we shall all of us eventually have to confess, that the Judge of all the earth has done right.

The situation of the Christian nations after death is a subject that has called forth all the wisdom, and talent of the philosopher, and the divine; and it is an opinion which is generally received, that the destiny of man is irretrievably fixed at this death; and that he is made either eternally happy, or eternally miserable, that if a man dies without a knowledge of God, he must be eternally damned; without any mitigation of his punishment, alleviation of his pain or the most latent hope of a deliverance while endless ages shall roll along.  However orthodox this principle may be, we shall find that it is at variance with the testimony of holy writ; for our Saviour says that all manner of sin, and blasphemy shall be forgiven men wherewith they shall blaspheme; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come; evidently showing that there are sins which may be forgiven in the world to come; although the sin of blasphemy cannot be forgiven.

Peter also in speaking concerning our Saviour says, that ‘he went and preached unto spirits in prison, which sometimes were disobedient, when once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah.’  1 Pet. iii, 19, 20.  Here then we have an account of our Saviour preaching to the spirits in prison; to spirits that had been imprisoned from the days of Noah; and what did he preach to them? that they were to stay there? certainly not; let his own declaration testifyi; ‘he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised’–Luke iv, 18, Isaiah has it; –‘To bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness from the prison house.’  Is. xlii, 7.  It is very evident from this that he not only went to preach to them, but to deliver, or bring them out of the prison house.  Isaiah in testifying concerning the calamities that will overtake the inhabitants of the earth says, ‘The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgressions thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall and not rise again.  And it shall come to pass in that day; that the Lord shall punish the hosts of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.  And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in prison, and after many days shall they be visited.’  Thus we find that God will deal with all the human family equally; and that as the antediluvians had their day of visitation; so will those characters referred to by Isaiah, have their time of visitation, and deliverance, after having been many days in prison.

The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth, pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence, or ever the ‘morning stars sung together for joy,’ the past, the present and the future, were, and are with him one eternal now; he knew of the fall of Adam, the iniquities of the antedeluvians, of the depth of iniquity that would be connected with the human family; their weakness and strength, their power and glory, apostasies, their crimes, their righteousness, and iniquity; he comprehended the fall of man, and their redemption; he knew the plan of salvation, and pointed it out; he was acquainted with the situation of all nations; and with their destiny; he ordered all things according to the council of his own wilil, he knows the situation of both the living, and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption, according to their several circumstances, and the laws of the kingdom of God, whether in this world, or in the world to come.  The idea that some men form of the justice, judgment, and mercy of God, is too foolish for an intelligent man to think of; for instance it is common for many of our orthodox preachers to suppose, that if a man is not what they call converted, if he dies in that state, he must remain eternally in hell without any hope:–

‘Infinite years in torment must he spend;’

‘And never, never, never, have an end.’  And yet this eternal misery is made frequently to rest upon the merest casuality;–The breaking of a shoe string: the tearing of a coat, of those officiating; or the peculiar location in which a person lives, may be the means indirectly of his damnation: or the cause of his not being saved.  I will suppose a case which is not extraordinary:–Two men who have been equally wicked, who have neglected religion, are both of them taken sick at the same time; one of them has the good fortune to be visited by a praying man, and he gets converted a few minutes before he dies; the other sends for three different praying men, a tailor,a dhowmaker, and a tinman.  The tinman as a handle to solder on to a can; the tailor has a button-hole to work on some coat that is needed in a hurry; and the shoemaker has a patch to put onto somebody’s boot; they none of them can go in time, the man dies and goes to hell: one of these is exalted to Abraham’s bosom; he sits down in the presence of God, and enjoys eternal, uninterrupted happiness; while the other who was equally as good as him, sinks to eternal damnation; irretrievable misery, and hopeless despair; because a man had a boot to mend, the button hole of a coat to work, or a handle to solder on to a saucepan.  The plans of Jehovah are not so unjust; the statements of holy writ so visionary; nor the plan of salvation for the human family so incompatable with common sense; at such proceedings God would frown with indignance, angels would hide their heads in shame; and every virtuous, intelligent man would recoil.  If human laws award to each man his deserts, and punish all delinquents, according to their several crimes; surely the Lord will not be more cruel than man, for he is a wise legislator, and his laws are more equitable, his enactments more just, and his decisions more perfect than those of man: and as man judges his fellow man by law, and punishes him according to the penalty of that law; so does the God of heaven judge ‘according to the deeds done in the body.’  To say that the heathen would be damned because they did not believe the gospel would be preposterous; and to say that the Jews would all be damned that do not believe in Jesus, would be equally absurd; for, ‘how can they believe on him of whom they have not heard; and how can they hear without a preacher; and how can he preach except he be sent;’ consequently neither Jew, nor heathen, can be culpable for rejecting the conflicting opinions of sectarianism, nor for rejecting any testimony but that which is sent of God, for as the preacher cannot preach except he be sent, so the hearer cannot believe without he hear a sent preacher; and cannot be condemned for what he has not heard; and being without law will have to be judged without law.

When speaking about the blessings pertaining to the gospel, and the consequences connected with disobedience to its requirements, we are frequently asked the question, what has become of our Fathers?  will they all be damned for not obeying the gospel, when they hever heard it? certainly not.  But they will possess the same privilege that we here enjoy, through the medium of the everlasting priesthood, which not only administers on earth but in heaven, and the wise dispensations of the great Jehovah; hence those characters referred to by Isaian will be visited by this priesthood, and come out of their prison, upon the same principle as those who were disobedient in the days of Noah, were visited by our Saviour, {who possessed the everlasting, Melchizedec priesthood,} and had the gospel preached to them, by him in prison; and in order that they might fulfil all the requisitions of God, their living friends were baptized for their dead friends, and thus fulfilled the requirements of God which says, ‘Except a man be born again of water, and of the spirit he can in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven;’ they were baprtized of course, not for themselves, but for their dead.  Crosostum says that the Marchionites practised baptism for the dead, ‘after a catachumen was dead they hid a living man under the bed of the deceased; then coming to the dead man they asked him whether he would receive baptism; and he making no answer, the other answered for him, and said that he would be baptized in his stead; and so they baptized the living for the dead.’

The church of course at that time was degenerate, and the particular form might be incorrect, but the thing is sufficiwently plain in the scriptures, hence Paul in speaking of the doctrine says, ‘Else what shall they do who are baptized for the dead?  If the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for the dead?’  1 Cor. xv, 29.

Hence it was that so great a responsibility rested upon the generation in which our Savior lived; for says he ‘That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.  Verily I say unto you all these things shall come upon this generation.’  Matt. xxiii. 35, 36.  Hence as they possessed greater privileges than any other generation, not only pertaining to themselves but to their dead, their sin was greater; as they not only neglected their own salvation but that of their progenitors, and hence their blood was required at their hands.  And now as the great purposes of God are hastening to their accomplishment and the things spoken of in the prophets are fulfilling, as the kingdom of God is established on the earth, and the ancient order of things restored, the Lord has manifested to us this duty and privilege, and we are commanded to be baptized for our dead thus fulfilling the words of Obadiah when speaking of the glory of the Latter Day.  ‘And saviours shall come up upon mount Zion to judge the remnant of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lords’.  A view of these things reconciles the scriptures of truth, justifies the ways of God to man; places the human family upon an equal footing, and harmonizes with every principle of righteousness, justice, and truth.  We will conclude with the words of Peter:  ‘For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles’ . . . . [in original] ‘For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.'”  (Joseph Smith, T&S 3(12):759-761, 15 Apr., 1842)

21 Apr.:  Woodruff baptized for mother.

“I was Baptized on the 21 for my Mother & two Brothers.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 21 Apr., 1842)

28 Apr.:  Church not fully organized without Temple. 

“. . . the Church is not fully organized, in its proper order, and cannot be, until the Temple is completed, where places will be provided for the administration of the ordinances of the Priesthood. . . . He [Joseph Smith] spoke of delivering the keys of the Priesthood to the Church, and said that the faithful members of the Relief Society should receive them in connection with their husbands, that the Saints whose integrity has been tried and proved faithful, might know how to ask the Lord and receive an answer; for according to his prayers, God had appointed him elsewhere.”  (Joseph Smith to the Relief Society, HC 4:603ff)

[Compare this discourse and the one Joseph Smith gave to the Relief Society on 30 Mar., 1842, and it becomes clear that Joseph intended for women to participate in all the ordinances of the Temple in connection with their husbands and that he conceived of this before he gave the endowment on 4 May.  In the above discourse (see Mark 16:15-18) Joseph stated that women could anoint with oil and administer to the sick (this he indicated would be better understood in the temple) as well as the keys to detect evil spirits as would be given in the endowment.  See TPJS p. 226; HC 4:608; and Mark 16:17–{comments in notes from Bergera; author unknown}] 

“HC 4?604 presents minutes of the Nauvoo Female Relief Society which would seem to indicate that as early as 28 April 1842, Joseph Smith had suggested that the women would one day receive the ordinances of the endowment and participate in the prayer circle:

He spoke of delivering the keys of the Priesthood to the Church and said that the faithful members of the Relief Society should receive them in connection with their husbands, that the Saints whose integrity has been tried and proved faithful, might know how to ask the Lord and receive an answer; for according to his prayers, God had appointed him elsewhere.

However, none of the italicized words in this quote from the published History of the Church were in the original minutes.  See Nauvoo Female Relief Society Minutes, p. 37, Church Historical Department.  No document present extant supports the conclusion that Joseph Smith suggested prior to 1843 that women would receive the endowment and participate in the prayer circle.”  (D. Michael Quinn, “Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles,” BYU Studies 19(1):86, Fall, 1978)

1 May:  Public discourse by Joseph on “signs and words”.

“I preached in the grove on the keys of the Kingdom, Charity &c  The keys are certain signs and words by which false spirits and personages may be detected from true, which cannot be revealed to the Elders till the Temple is completed–The rich can only get them in the Temple–the poor may get them on the Mountain top as did Moses. . . . There are signs in heaven, earth, and hell, the Elders must know them all to be endowed with power, to finish their work and prevent imposition.  The devil knows many signs but does not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus.  No one can truly say he knows God until he has handled something, and this can only be in the Holiest of Holies.”  (Joseph Smith, “Law of the Lord” entry for 1 May, 1842; cited in Words of Joseph Smith, pp. 119-120.  Cf. HC IV:608)

[SEE ALSO HC 4:608]

2 May:  Epistle of the Twelve concerning the Temple.

“Beloved brethren, we have whereof to congratulate you at the present time, as we have the opportunity from day to day to witness the progress of the building of the Temple of the Lord in this city, and which is and must be accomplished by the united exertions of the labors of the brethren who reside here, and the tithings and contributions of those who are scatterd abroad in the different states.

In this glorious object the hearts of all the faithful are united, the hands of the laborer are made strong continually, and the purse strings of the more opulent are unloosed, from time to time, to supply those things which are necessary for upraising the stones of this noble edifice; and it may truly be said that the blessing of the Lord is upon his people; we have peace without, and love within the borders of our beautiful city;–beautiful, indeed, for situation, is Nauvoo; the crown of the great valley of the Mississippi, the joy of every honest heart.

Although all things are more prosperous, concerning the Temple, than at any former period, yet the saints must not suppose that all is done, or that they can relax their exertions and the work go on.  It is a great work that God has required of his people, and it will require long and unwearied diligence to accomplish it; and redoubled diligence will be necessary with all, to get the building inclosed before another winter, so that the joiner can be employed during the cold weather; and we would again call upon all the saints abroad to unite in making their deposites in banks known to be good and safe, and forward their certificates to the Trustee in Trust, as speedily as possible; when trusty men are not coming immediately to this place who can bring your offerings.  All will want the privileges and blessings of the sanctuary, when it is completed; and all can have their wishes; but they can obtain them only by faithfulness and diligence in striving to build.

We praise our God for the liberality which has hitherto been manifested; many have given more than was required of them, many have given their all, but they have done it cheerfully; they have done it voluntarily; and they shall have a great reward; for the blessings of heaven, and earth shall be multiplied unto such; even the blessings of that priesthood which hath neither beginning of days nor end of life.  While there are those who of their abundance have built unto themselves fine houses, and who ride in carriages and on horseback, and regale themselves with the good things of the land, and at the same time they have left the Lord’s House untouched, or, if touched at all, have touched it so lightly as scarce to leave the print of their little finger: their reward will be according to their deeds, and unless they speedily repent, and come up with their abundance to the help of the Lord, they will find in the end that they have no part nor lot in this matter; their gold and silver will become cankered, their garments moth eaten, and they will perish in their own slothfulness and idolatry, leaving none to mourn their absense.

But brethren the Temple will be built.  There are hundreds and thousands who stand ready to sacrifice the last farthing they possess on earth, reather than have the building of the Lord’s House delayed, and while this spirit prevails no power beneath the heavens can hinder its progress: but we desire you all to help with the ability which God has given you, that you may all share the blessings which will distill from heaven to earth through this consecrated channel.

This is not all.  It will be in vain for us to build a place where the son of man may lay his head, and leave the cries of the widow and the fatherless, unheard by us, ascending up th the orphan’s God, and widow’s friend.  It is in vain we cry Lord, Lord, and do not the things our Lord hath commanded; to visit the widow, the fatherless, the sick, the lame, the blind, the destitute, and minister to their necessities; and it is but reasonable that such cases should be found among a people who have but recently excaped the fury of a relentless mob on the one hand, and gathered from the half starved population of the scattered nations on the other.

Neither is this all.  It is not sufficient that the poor be fed and clothed, the sick ministered unto, the temple built:–No! when all this is accomplished, there must be a year of Jubilee; there must be a day of rejoicing; there must be a time of release to Zion’s sons, or our offerings, our exertions, our hopes and our prayers will be in vain, and God will not accept of the doings of his people. . . .

To accomplish this most desirable object, we call on all the brethren, who hold such claims, to bring them forward for a final settlement; and also those brethren who have individual claims against each other, of long standing, and the property of the debtor has been wrested from him by violence, or he has been unfortunate, and languished on a bed of sickness till his means are expended; and all claims whatsoever between brother and brother, where there is no reasonable prospect of a just and equitable settlement possible, that they also by some means, either by giving up their obligations, or destroying them, see that all such old affairs be adjusted so that it shall not give occasion for difficulties to arise hereafter.  Yes brethren, bring all such old accounts, notes, bonds &c. and make a consecration of them to the building of the Temple, and if any thing can be obtained on them it will be obtained, and if nothing can be obtained when the Temple is completed, we will make a burnt offering of them, even a peace offering, which shall bind the brethren together in the bonds of eternal peace and love, and union; and joy and salvation shall flow forth into your souls, and you shall rejoice and say it is good that we have harkened unto counsel, and set our brethren free, for God hath blessed us.”  (“An Epistle of the Twelve.  To the Saints in America,” T&S 3(13):767-768, 2 May, 1842) 

2 May:  Joseph Smith, on “The Temple.”

“This noble edifice is progressing with great rapidity; strenuous exertions are being made on every hand to facilitate its erection, and materials of all kinds are in a great state of forwardness, and by next fall we expect to see the building enclosed; if not the top stone raised with ‘shouting of grace–grace, unto it.’  There have been frequently, during the winter, as many as one hundred hands quarrying rock, while at the same time multitudes of others have been engaged in hauling, and in other kinds of labor.  A company was formed last fall to go up to the pine country to purchase mills, and prepare and saw lumber for the Temple, and the Nauvoo House, and the reports from them are very favorable; another company has started this last week, to take their place, and to relieve those that are already there; on their return they are to bring a very large raft of lumber for the use of the above named houses.

While the busy multitudes have thus been engaged in their several avocations performing their daily labor, and working one tenth of their time, others have not been less forward in bringing in their tithings, and consecrations for the same great object.  Never since the formation of this church was laid, have we seen manifested a greater willingness to comply with the requisitions of Jehovah; a more ardent desire to do the will of God; more strenuous exertions used; or greater sacrifices made, than there has been since the Lord said, ‘Let the Temple be built by the tithing of my people.’  It seemed as though the spirit of enterprise, philanthropy, and obedience rested simultaneously upon old and yound; and brethren and sisters, boys and girls, and even strangers, who were not in the church, united with an unprecedented liberality in the accomplishment of this great work; nor could the widow, in many instances, be prevented, out of her scanty pittance, from throwing in her two mites.

We feel at this time to tender to all, old and young, both in the church and out of it, our unfeigned thanks for their unprecedented liberality, kindness, dilligence, and obedience which they have so opportunely manifested on the present occasion.  Not that we are personally or individually benefitted in a pecuniary point of view, but when the brethren as in this instance shew a unity of purpose, and design, and all put their shoulder to the wheel, our care, labor, toil, and anxiety is materially diminished, ‘our yoke is made easy; and our burden is light.’

The cause of God is one common cause, in which all the Saints are alike interested, we are all members of the one common body, and all partake of the same spirit, and are baptized into one baptism, and possess alike the same glorious hope.  The advancement of the cause of God and the building up of Zion is as much one man’s business as another.  The only differance is that one is called to fulfil one duty and another another duty; ‘but if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, and if one member is honored all the rest rejoice with it, and the eye cannot say to the ear I have no need of thee, nor the head to the foot I have no need of thee; party feelings, separate interests, exclusive designs should be lost sight off in the one common cause, in the interest of the whole.

The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests, and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we lived; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung, and wrote, and prophesied of this our day;–but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter Day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in, and help to roll forward the Latter Day glory; ‘the dispensation of the fulness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth, even in one,’ when the saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, when the Jews will be gathered together into one, the wicked will also be gathered together to be destroyed, as spoken of by the prophets; the spirit of God will also swell with his people, and be withdrawn from the rest of the nations, and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ.  The heavenly priesthood will unite with the earthly, to bring about those great purposes; and whilst we are thus united in the one common cause to roll forth the kingdom of God, the Heavenly Priesthood are not idle spectators; the spirit of God will be showered down from above, it will dwell in our midst.  The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles, and our name will be handed down to future ages; our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured; the untiring zeal that we have manifested; the insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessings which they will realize; a work that God and angels have contemplated with delight, for generations past; that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets–a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.”  (Joseph Smith, “The Temple,” T&S 3(13):775-776, 2 May, 1842)

3 May:  Room in Red Brick Store prepared for endowment.

“Editor Deseret News:

I noticed an article in the Deseret News of January 25th, 1884, in relation to Church Doctrines.  I can testify that on the 3rd day of May, 1842, Joseph Smith the Prophet called upon five or six, viz:  Shadrack Roundy, Noah Rogers, Dimick B. Huntington, Daniel Cairns, and myself (I am not certain but that Hosea Stout was there also) to meet with him (the Prophet) in his business office (the upper part of his brick store).  He told us that the object he had was for us to go to work and fit up that room preparatory to giving endowments to a few Elders that he might give unto them all the keys of power pertaining to the Aaronic and Melchisedec Priesthoods.  

We therefore went to work making the necessary preparations, and everything was arranged representing the interior of a temple as much as the circumstances would permit, he being with us dictating everything.  He gave us many items that were very interesting to us, which sank with deep weight upon my mind, especially after the temple was finished at Nauvoo, and I had received the ordinances in which I was among the first, as I had been called upon to work in the Temple as one of the hands during the winter.  Some weeks previous to the dedication he told us that we should have the privilege of receiving the whole of the ordinances in due time.  The history of Joseph Smith speaks for itself.  But I can and do testify that I know of a surety that room was fitted up by his order which we finished in the forenoon of the said 4th of May, 1842.  And he gave us to understand that he intended to have everything done by him that was in his power while he remained with us.  He said his work was nearly done and he should roll the burden of the kingdom upon the shoulders of the Twelve.  I am the only one living that I know of, who helped to fit up that room, except Hosea Stout, (who) was there.

I am, most respectfully, your brother in the Covenant.

Lucius N. Scovil.” (Lucius N. Scovill letter to Editor in “Higher Ordinances,” Deseret News Semi-Weekly, 15 Feb., 1884, p. 2)

“The Prophet told me to assist in carrying water and other comodities to the room above the store.  Afterwards I found out it was to give endowments to some of the brethren.”  (John Henry Rollins, quoted in Hyrum L. and Helen Mae Andrus, They Knew The Prophet (1974), p. 77)

[Check Dimick B. Huntington, “Statement,” 12 Dec., 1878, Zina Y. Card Papers, Archives and Manuscripts, BYU.  If they won’t allow access, check with Maureen U. Beecher.]    

4 May:  Joseph initiates nine men into endowment.

“I met with Joseph, Hyrum, Heber, Willard, Bishops Whitney and Miller, and Gen. James Adams, in Joseph’s private office – where Joseph taught the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days, and received my washings, anointings and endowments.”  (Brigham Young Manuscript History, p. 134, for 4 May, 1842) 

“When we got our washings and anointings under the hands of the Prophet Joseph at Nauvoo we had only one room to work in, with the exception of a little side room or office, where we were washed and anointed, had our garments placed upon us and received our new name.  And after he had performed these ceremonies he gave the key words, signs, tokens, and penalties.  Thereafter we went into the large room in Nauvoo over the store.  Joseph divided up the room the best that he could, hung up the veil, marked it, gave us our instructions as we passed along from one department to another, giving us signs, tokens, and penalties with the key words pertaining to those signs.  And after we had got through, Brother Joseph turned to me and said, ‘Brother Brigham, this is not arranged right, but we have done the best we can under the circumstances in which we are placed, and I wish you to take this matter in hand organize and systematize all these ceremonies with the signs, tokens, penalties and key words.’  I did so, and each time got something more.  So that when we went through the Temple at Nauvoo I understood and knew how to place them there.  We had our ceremonies pretty correct.  In the creation the Gods entered into an agreement about forming this earth and putting Michael or Adam upon it.  These things of which I have been speaking are what are termed the ‘Mysteries of Godliness,’ but they will enable you to understand the expression of Jesus, made while in Jerusalem:  ‘This is Life Eternal that they might know Thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.'”  (L. John Nuttall diary, 7 Feb., 1877)

“Many of the Apostles and Elders having returned from England, Joseph washed and anointed as Kings and Priests to God, and over the House of Israel, the following named persons, as he said he was commanded of God, viz:  James Adams (of Springfield), William Law, William Marks, Willard Richards, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Newel K. Whitney, Hyrum Smith, and myself;  and conferred on us Patriarchal Priesthood.  This took place on the 5th and 6th of May, 1842.”  (George Miller to James J. Strang, 26 Jun., 1855, cited in H. W. Mills, “De Tal Palo Tal Astilla,” Annual Publications–Historical Society of Southern California 10:120-21, 1917)  [Check the entire quotation from the Journal.]

“I spent the day in the upper part of the Store (IE.) in my private office (so called, because in that room I kept my sacred writings, translated ancient records, and received revelations) and in my general business office, or Lodge room (IE) where the Masonic fraternity met occasionally for want of a better place), in council with Gen James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney, & Geo. Miller, Wm Marks, Wm Law [these two names lined out] & Prests Brigham Young  Heber C. Kimball & Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the priesthood, attending to washings & anointings, endowments, and the communications of keys, pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedec Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of days & all those plans & principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fulness of those blessings which has been prepared for the church of the firstborn, and come up and abide in the presence of . . . Eloheim in the eternal worlds.  In this council was instituted the Ancient order of things for the first time in these last days.  And the communications I made to this Council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded:  and there was nothing made known to these men but will be made known to all Saints, of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints:  therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the temple and all houses which they have been or shall hereafter be commanded of god to build, and wait their time with patience, in all meekness and faith, & perserverance unto the end.  knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principles of Revelation.”  (Joseph Smith, draft sheet of “Manuscript History of the Church,” in the hand of Willard Richards, 4 May, 1842; Historian’s Office Church Records Group, LDS Church Archives)  [Compare with HC V:1-2]

“Wednesday, 4.–I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office (so called because in that room I keep my sacred writings, translate ancient records, and receive revelations) and in my general business office, or lodge room (that is where the Masonic fraternity meet occasionally, for want of a better place) in council with General James Adams, of Springfield, Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newell K. Whitney and George Miller, and President [p. 2] Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded; and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple, and all houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perseverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principle of revelation.

Footnote: This is the Prophet’s account of the introduction of the Endowment ceremonies in this dispensation, and is the foundation of the sacred ritual of the temples. There has been some controversies as to the time when these ceremonies were introduced into the Church. A sect styling itself the “Re-organized Church,” even goes so far as to claim that these ceremonies were not introduced into the Church by the Prophet Joseph Smith at all, but on the contrary claim that they had their origin with Brigham Young and the Apostles who followed him in the migration from Nauvoo to Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah. The evidence, however, against such claims, is overwhelming. First, the statement of the Prophet in the text above.  Second, a previous allusion to the same thing in his remarks at Nauvoo, on the 6th of January, 1842. (See History of the Church, Vol. IV p. 492) Third, the same ceremonies are referred to in the Revelation of Jan. 19, 1841, in which washings, anointings, conversations, statutes, judgments, etc., are explicitly referred to. (History of the Church, Vol. IV, p. 277.) In addition to this evi- [p. 3] dence also Ebenezer Robinson, associate editor of the Times and Seasons when that periodical was founded by Don Carlos Smith and himself, and who at the death of Don Carlos Smith, 1841, became editor-in-chief of that periodical, and so continued until the 15th of March, 1842–declares that such ceremonies as are alluded to in the text were inaugurated by special action of the Prophet as early as 1843. Mr. Robinson subsequently left the Church, but when in 1890, the aforesaid self- styled “Re-organized Church” persisted in claiming that Joseph Smith the Prophet did not inaugurate these Temple ceremonies, he published an article in the magazine he was then conducting, called the Return, in which he bears emphatic testimony to the effect above stated, namely, that all these ceremonies were introduced into the Church by the Prophet Joseph Smith at least as early as 1843. (See The Return, Vol. II, No. 4, p. 252.)”  (HC 5:1-2, 4 May, 1842)

“Strange Events.  June [sic] 1842 I was aniciatad into the ancient order was washed and annointed and Sealled and ordained a Preast, and so forth in company with nine others.  Viz. Joseph Smith  Hiram Smith.  Wm Law  Wm Marks  Judge Adams.  Brigham Young  Willard Richards.  George Miller  N K Whitney.”  (Heber C. Kimball diary) 

“Here was instituted, undoubtedly the order of things which represented the scenes in the Garden of Eden, which was called in Nauvoo, the ‘Holy Order,’ a secret organization.  The terrible oaths and covenants taken by those who entered there were known only to those who took them.”  (Ebeneezer Robinson, The Return 2:346-348)

Of the 9 who received their endowments:

James Adams was Deputy Grand Master Mason of Illinois and had been the first Master of the Springfield Lodge when the lodge was under dispensation from Missouri.  (Newton Bateman, ed., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, 2 vols.  Chicago:  Munsell Pub. Co., 1912.  Vol. 2:997)

George Miller, Worshipful Master of the Nauvoo Lodge, was a Mason in 1819.  (H. W. Mills, “De Tal Palo Tal Astilla,” Annual Publications–Historical Society of Southern California 10:91.  1917)

Hyrum Smith, Senior Warden and Worshipful Master, pro. tem, had been a Mason at least since 1821.  (Mervin B. Hogan, ed., The Founding Minutes of Nauvoo Lodge.  Des Moines, Iowa:  Research Lodge No. 2, n.d.  p. 8)

Heber C. Kimball had been a Mason since 1823.  (Stanley B. Kimball, Heber C. Kimball–Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer.  Urbana, Ill.:  University of Illinois Press, 1982.  p. 12)

Newel K. Whitney had been a member of the Meridian No. 10 Lodge of Ohio.  (Hogan, Founding Minutes . . ., p. 9)

William Law, William Marks, Brigham Young and Willard Richards were all Masons, but of recent initiation.  (Hogan, Founding Minutes . . ., pp. 15, 21, 24)

“The Kirtland endowment with its immediate contact between spiritual and temporal beings also supported the view of the Millennium’s imminence.  Doctrines and practices at Nauvoo, however, emphasized the concept of building the kingdom of God on earth.  These included not only the establishment of the Council of Fifty but also the idea of the kingdom’s being a place of refuge.  Perhaps most importantly, this idea was inculcated through the Nauvoo temple ceremony which was carried to Utah and which still forms the basis for temple ritual within the Church.  Unlike the Kirtland ceremony, which stressed immediate contact with spiritual beings, and unlike the Masonic ritual, the scenario of which is based upon traditions relating to the construction of the Temple of Solomon, the central theme of the Nauvoo ceremony is the redemption of mankind through Christ’s work and the commitment of all members to building the kingdom of God on earth.”  (Thomas G. Alexander, “Between Revivalism and the Social Gospel: The Latter-day Saint Social Advisory Committee, 1916-1922,” BYU Studies 23(1):23, Winter, 1983)

5 May:  Joseph receives endowment.

“General Adams started for Springfield, and the remainder of the council of yesterday continued their meeting at the same place, and myself and Brother Hyrum received in turn from the others, the same that I had communicated to them the day previous.”  (Joseph Smith, HC 5:2-3) 

“I attended council as yesterday and we administered to Brother Joseph the same ordinances.”  (Brigham Young Manuscript History/Brigham Young Journal, 5 May, 1842)

6 May:  Confidence in baptism for healing.

“Word of this use of the temple font was widely circulated and within a few months a Mormon in a distant branch of the Church wrote to the Prophet:  ‘I have confidence that if I can be Baptized in the font I shall be healed of a hereditary disease I am, and ever have been laboring under.  what is known by the name of sick head ache.  I hope to be with the Saints soon.'”  (D. Michael Quinn, “The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo,” BYU Studies 18(2):230, Winter, 1978; quoting from Alphonso Young to Joseph Smith, 6 May, 1842, Newell K. Whitney Family Papers, Special Collections, BYU)

7 May:  Woodruff baptized for male and female relatives.

“To the font & in Company with Br C. C. Rich I Baptized about one hundred for the remission of Sins the healing of the Body & the dead while Elder Young & other confirmed them as they came out of the water & Before leaving I went into the pool & was Baptized for My Great Grandfather Josiah Woodruff & My Great Grand Mother wife of Josiah Woodruff making five of my dead relatives which I have been Baptized for.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 7 May, 1842)

11 May:  John C. Bennett’s expose.

“I will expose his [Joseph’s] actings and doings in Nauvoo Lodge, U.D. when none but the Mormon brethren were present;–that he (Joe Smith) and five others, were entered, passed, and raised, before the Lodge was installed by the Grand Master; and that they all passed through a second time afterwards, with the exception of one, who is now abroad; and many other like irregularities, and departures from the ancient land-marks.  He has, likewise, established a new lodge of his own, by inspiration, called ‘ORDER’, in which there are many curious things, and relative to which I have much to say hereafter.  The following is a part of the obligation–‘I furthermore promise and swear that I will never touch a daughter of Adam UNLESS SHE IS GIVEN ME OF THE LORD’, so as to accord with the NEW DISPENSATION and the ‘ancient order of things.'”  (John C. Bennett letter, dated 11 May, 1842; in Sangamo Journal 10(46):2, 8 Jul., 1842; Snider Collection)

11 May:  Disfellowshipment of John C. Bennett.


The subscribed members of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints withdrew the hand of fellowship from Gen. John C. Bennet, as a christian, he having been labored with from time to time.  To persuade him to amend his counduct to no good effect.

Joseph Smith,

Hyrum Smith, 

Wm. Lay.

Nauvoo May 11, 1842.

The following members of the Quorum of the Twelve concur in the above sentence.

Brigham Young,

Heber C. Kimball,

Lyman Wight, 

John Taylor,

Wilford Woodruff,

Willard Richards,

John E. Page,

William Smith,

George A. Smith.

We concur in the above sentence,

Newel K. Whitney,

Vinson Knight,

George Miller, Bishops of the above mentioned Church.”

(JH 11 May, 1842)

15 May:  Rebaptism in connection w/baptism for dead?

[Sunday]  “I attended meeting at the Grove, and addressed the Saints in the forenoon; brother Woodruff preached in the afternoon.  At the close of the meeting I repaired to the font, with several of the Twelve.  Brothers Woodruff and Rich baptized about 100 for the remission of sins and for their dead.  I confirmed those baptized, assisted by other Elders.”  (MHBY 15 May, 1842)

15 May:  Woodruff baptized for male and female relatives.

“At the Close of the meeting I went to the pool & Baptized in company with C C Rich about 100 persons mostly for the dead & was also Baptized myself for My Great Grandfather /Medad/ Woodruff and his wife my Great Grand Mother.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 15 May, 1842)

29 May:  Phebe Woodruff baptized for male ancestors.

“In the evening I went to the font & Baptized Elder G. A. Smith for the restoration of his health.  I also Baptized my wife, Phebe W. Woodruff for three of her dead kindred viz her Grand Father Joshua Fabyan & Grand Mother Sarah Fabyan & Great uncle John Fabyan.

I was then Baptized under the hands of Elder G. A. Smith for & in Behalf of my Grand Father Eldad Woodruff & Grand Mother Dinah Woodruff/Also for the wife of uncle Samuel Woodruff/.  Phebe was Baptized for & in Behalf of her Grand Father Ezra Carter & Grand Mother Phebe W. Carter, on the 21stof April the same day that I was Baptized for my Mother & two Brothers.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 29 May, 1842)

30 May:  Woodruff baptized for female and male relatives.

“I was Baptized under the hands of G. A. Smith for my Great Grand father Thompson & my Great Grand Mother Thompson Also for My Grand Father Lot Thompson & my Grand Mother Anna Thompsons.

I Baptized Phebe W Woodruff for her uncle John Fabyan Aunt Sally Fabyan Uncle George Fabyan Uncle Joseph Fabyan.  I also Baptized Br John Benbow for six of his dead kindred Also Sister Jane Benbow for six of her dead friends.”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, 30 May, 1842)

15 Jun.:  “The Temple of God at Nauvoo.”

“Ye servants that so many prophets foretold,

Should labor for Zion and not for the gold,

Go into the field ere the sun dries the dew,

And reap for the kingdom of God at Nauvoo.

Go carry glad tidings, that all may attend,

While God is unfolding ‘the time of the end;’

And say to all nations, whatever you do,

Come, build up the Temple of God at Nauvoo.

Go say to the Islands that wait for his law,

Prepare for that glory the prophets once saw,

And bring on your gold and your precious things, too,

As tithes for the Temple of God at Nauvoo.

Go say to the great men, who boast of a name;

To kings and their nobles, all born unto fame,

Come, bring on your treasures, antiquities, too,

And honor the Temple of God at Nauvoo.

Proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,

For now we have prophets to bring forth his word,

And reveal to the church what the world never knew,

By faith in the Temple of God at Nauvoo.

To spirits in prison the gospel is sent,

For on such a mission the Savior once went;

And we are baptiz’d for the dead–surely, too,

In the font at the Temple of God at Nauvoo.

Up; watch! for the strange work of God has begun,

And now things are opening, now, under the sun:

And knowledge on knowledge will burst to our view,

From Seers in the Temple of God at Nauvoo.”

(W. W. Phelps, “The Temple of God at Nauvoo,” T&S 3(16):15 Jun., 1842)

17 Jun.:  Organization of Masonic Lodge in Nauvoo.

“. . . Brother Joseph feels as well as I Ever see him.  one reason is he has god a Small company.  that he feels safe in thare hads.  and that is not all he can open his bosom to and feel him Self safe I wish you was here so as to feel and hear for your Self.  we have recieved some pressious things through the Prophet on the preasthood that would caus your Soul to rejoice I can not give them to you on paper fore they are not to be riten.  So you must come and get them fore your Self.–We have organised a Lodge here.  of Masons.  since we obtained a Charter.  that was in March  since that thare has near two hundred been made masons  Br Joseph and Sidn[e]y was the first that was Recieved in to the Lodg.  all of the twelve have become members Except Orson P.  he Hangs back.  he will wake up soon, thare is a similarity of preast hood in masonary.  Br Joseph Ses Masonary was taken from preasthood but has become degenrated.  but menny things are perfect.”  (Heber C. Kimball to Parley P. Pratt [in England], 17 Jun., 1842.  Original in LDS Church Archives.)

“Nauvoo June the 17 1842

Dear Brother and Sister Pratt Sister Ollive not forgoten by me. no I remember old friends.  all though I have not writen to you fore some time, it has been on the acount of much buisness.  I am well my family are tolarble fare.  it is a time of helth in the City of Nauvoo.  the Emegration is great here.  they are coming in here from most Evry State in the union this place has grone half since I got home the Temple is geting on well.  all seam to be interested in the concern.  thare is a great menny Brick buildings going up this season.  thare is 7 or 8 Brick yards in this place.  some have burnt three kills this season.  and men stand ready to take evry brick as soon as they are cool.  Brother Joseph feels as well as I ever see him.  one reason is he has got a small company.  that he feels safe in thare hads.  and that is not all he can open his bosom to and feel him self safe I wish you was here so as to feel and hear fore your self.  we have recieved some preasious things through the Prophet on the preassthood that would caus your Soul to rejoice I can not give them to you on paper for they are not to be riten.  So you must come and get them fore your self.–We have organised a Lodge here of Masons.  since we obtained a Charter, that was in March since that thare has near two hundred been made masons Br Joseph and Sidny was the first that was Recieved in to the Lodg.  all of the twelve have become members except Orson P. he hangs back.  he will wake up soon, thare is a similarity of preast hood in masonary.  Br Joseph ses masonary was taken from preasthood but has become degennated.  but menny things are perfect..  we have a prosession on the 24 of June which is cold by Masons St Johns day in this country.  I think it will result in good.  the Lord is with us and we are prosperd concidering all things.  money is scarce but provisions plenty and cheap.  the Saints that come from England–have all got in to buisness, and the grater part of them have got places.  those that have means to with by lots.  those that have not go and take up lots on a disputed tract of land that lays in the limets of of the city it cost nothing fore them.  probably they will not be troubled fore sevrel years they go on to the Island wehare they get thare timber to build with and burn.  this land lays on the banck of the River.  and stone plenty by picking up.  so what more can they ask but at the same time thare is menny that finds falt and are ready to denigh the Lord and turn traters to thare Brethren.  Some have found falt becaus we had no housses fore them to go in when they got here some becaus we did not make more of them and invite them home, and provide for them we would be glad if they could know we have as much as we can do to live our selvs we are thronged all the day Long we would esteem it a plesure to retire from the sean and rest our warry souls fore a time but this will not do we must fite.  Dear Br I can tell you our battle will be chort, and others will have to front the battle my dear wife send much love to you and wife, you have my best wishes.  you have my prairs.  there is much excietment in this county on the account of our election.  we have nominated our own of officers, and no doubt we shall elect them this maks the Devil made and I am glad so amen.  I am as ever

Heber C Kimball

Mr. Parley P. Pratt


On Liverpool.”

[Note that letters to Pratt from Wilford Woodruff and Orson Hyde, contained on this same microfilm and written within a week of Kimball’s letter, neither say nor hint at anything of the May endowment.]

(Ms d 897 fd 1, LDS Archives)

4 Jul.:  Joe’s Holy Lodge called “Order.”


I alluded to this holy institution in one of my former letters.  Joe says he has given them the Master’s word by revelation.  In the preparation they are stripped naked so as to see if they will pass the holy examination as required in Deuteronomy, 23d chapter and 1st verse.  They are then clothed upon and the precious ointment poured upon the head, running down upon the beard and the skirts of the garment.  The ungodly oath, a part of which I gave you is then administered in order to prepare them for the SPIRITUAL WIFE operations, and save Joe from public disgrace and infamy.  Some of the, however, are not in the SECRETS,–They are taken in as a blind in order to deceive the people.  If they are changed with iniquity, they say, ‘Look at William Marks and others like him!  Do they indulge!’  No, gentlemen, but this is not exploited to THEM.  Joe says, ‘Sidney Rigdon and Orson Pratt, and William Marks must never know the SECRETS, or they will apostatize.’  Rigdon and Pratt are not yet members, however, and I hope they never will be; and Marks has a very strong squinting at apostacy.  If Sidney Rigdon will suffer a base attempt on his daughter’s chastity; Orson Pratt another on his wife; and William Marks will look tamely on at these disclosures, and say nothing, I am much mistaken in the man.  The public look to Rigdon, Pratt and Marks and other kindred spirits, to speak at this eventful crisis–they have seen and heard and FELT in their own families, the corruptions of this fiend of hell.  Come out, gentlemen, and renounce, and denounce Joseph Smith, that soul damning imposter.”  (John C. Bennett to the Editor of The Alton [Ill.] Telegraph & Democratic Review 7(30):1, 23 Jul., 1842; Bennett’s letter dated 4 Jul., 1842; also in North Western Gazette & Galena Advertiser 8(37):4, 23 Jul., 1842; Sangamo Journal 10(47):2-3, 15 Jul., 1842; Snider Collection)

27 Jul.:  Sealing “throughout eternity.”

“Somehow hearing of the sealings, [John C.] Bennett believed he had a new disclosure to make [28 Oct., 1843]. . . . Bennett was unaware that the sealing ceremony beginning in 1841 included the clause ‘throughout eternity’ in the covenant between couples.  A revelation given 27 July 1842 gives the exact wording for the sealing between Joseph Smith and Sarah Ann Whitney and confirms such wording.”  (Ehat, MA Thesis, pp. 63-64)  

“Verily thus saith the Lord unto my servant N. K. Whitney the thing that my servant Joseph Smith has made known unto you and your Famely and which you have agreed upon [i.e., Joseph’s plural marriage to Whitney’s daughter] is right in mine eyes and shall be crowned upon your heads with honor and immortality and eternal life to all your house both old and young because of the lineage of my Preast Hood saith the Lord it shall be upon you and upon your children after you from generation to generation By virtue of the Holy promise which I now make unto you saith the Lord.  These are the words which you shall pronounce upon my servant Joseph and your Daughter S. A. Whitney they shall take each other by the hand and you shall say you both mutually agree calling them by name to be each others companion so long as you both shall live preserving yourselves for each other and from all others and also through out all eternity reserving only those rights which have been given to my servant Joseph by revelation and commandment and by legal Authority in times passed if you both agree to covenant and do this then I give you S. A. Whitney my Daughter to Joseph Smith to be his wife to observe all the rights between you both that belong to that condition I do it in my own name and in the name of my wife your mother and in the name of my Holy Progenitors by the right of birth which is of Priest Hood vested in me by revelation and commandment and promise of the liveing God obtained by the Holy Melchesdick Gdhrow [sic] and other of the Holy Fathers commanding in the name of the Lord all those powers to concentrate in you and through to your posterity forever all these things I do in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that throgh this order he may be gloryfied and through the power of anointing Davied may reign King over Iseral which shall hereafter be revealed let immortality and eternal life hencforth be sealed upon your heads forever and ever.  Part in the first reserrection together with other blessings now added Sunday 27th day of Augt 42 myself and wife I now also bless with part in the first reserrection also with many other blessings together with the promise to all of my house the same day and of the same time 27 Augt 42 Saturday evening myself and wife to were Baptised for remission of sins.

Sinday in forepart of the day we were all confirmed and b[l]essed again with all good things and eternal life in the first reserrection I was blessed above others with long life the keys of the Priest Hood a double portion of the spirit heretofore confered upon my fellows with all gifts possesed by my progenitors who held the Priest Hood before me anciently.”  (Unpublished revelation, HDC Ms d 4583 fd 104)

30 Jul.:  John C. Bennett’s allegation of FEMALE ORDER.

“In the New York Herald, of the 26th inst., [James A.] Bennett says: ‘This presents a strange and curious state of things for the centre of the nineteenth century; and the developments are the most remarkable we ever heard of.  The initiatory proceedings at Joe’s ‘Order Lodge’, resemble those practices by Mathias at Pearson’s house, only his members were females, and they danced round a stone, whilst Mathias anointed them.  But, perhaps, after all, Joe Smith has a secret lodge of women!  We shall see.’  Yes, Joe has a secret lodge of women! and the editor will see.  Joe’s female lodge (the Mormon inquisition) is the most singular thing of the age.  The annointing A LA JOE is a caution to David Crockett.  The investment, the oath, the ceremonies, the lectures, and the GRAND FINALE, are all done up in such a manner as to place Mathias in the shade, and to cover Mahomet, the Oriental prophet, in the rubbish of things that were.–The ‘History of the Saints’, will give a full account of this nondescript lodge of the Mormon ladies of pleasure and of the fine arts, including their cloistered, chambered and cyprean maids and maidens!!  This will be one of the most interesting works of the age.”  (John C. Bennett to the Editors of the Louisville Journal, 30 Jul., 1842; in Sangamo Journal 11(2):2, 2 Sep., 1842; Snider Collection)

23 Aug.:  Foreshadowing of sealings of dead?

“This day President Joseph has renewed the subject of conversation, in relation to his faithful brethren, and friends in his own words, which I now proceed to record as follows:

. . . .

But as I said before, so say I again while I remember the faithful few who are now living, I would remember also the faithful of my friends who are now dead, for they are many.  And many are the acts of kindness, and paternal and brotherly kindnesses which they have bestowed upon me.  And since I have been hunted by the Missourians many are the scenes which have been called to my mind.  Many thoughts have rolled through my head, and across my breast.

I have remembered the scenes of my childhood.  I have thought of my father who is dead, who died by disease which was brought upon him through suffering by the hands of ruthless mobs.  He was a great and a good man.  The envy of knaves and fools was heaped upon him, and this was his lot and portion all the days of his life.  He was of noble stature, and possessed a high, and holy, and exalted, and a virtuous mind.  His soul soared above all those mean and groveling principles that are so subsequent to the human heart.  I now say, that he never did a mean act that might be said was ungenerous, in his life, to my knowledge.  I loved my father and his memory; and the memory of his noble deeds, rest with ponderous weight upon my mind; and many of his kind and parental words to me, are written on the tablet of my heart.  Sacred to me, are the thoughts which I charish of the history of his life, that have rolled through my mind and have been implanted there, by my own observation since I was born.  Sacred to me is his dust, and the spot where he is laid.  Sacred to me is the tomb I have made to encircle o’er his head.  Let the memory of my father eternally live.  Let his soul, or the spirit my follies forgive.  With him may I reign one day, in the mansions above; and tune up the Lyre of anthems, of the eternal Jove.  May the God that I love look down from above, and save me from my enemies here, and take me by the hand; that on Mount Zion I may stand and with my father crown me eternally there.  Words and language, is inadequate to express the gratitude that I owe to God for having given me so honorable a parentage.  My mother also is one of the noblest, and the best of all women.  May God grant to prolong her days, and mine; that we may live to enjoy each other’s society long yet in the enjoyment of liberty, and to breathe the free air.  Alvin my oldest brother, I remember well the pangs of sorrow that swelled my youthful bosom and almost burst my tender heart, when he died.  He was the oldest, and the noblest of my father’s family.  He was one of the noblest of the sons of men:  Shall his name not be recorded in this book?  Yes, Alvin; let it be had here, and be handed down upon these sacred pages, forever and ever.  In him there was no guile.  He lived without spot from the time he was a child.  From the time of his birth, he never knew mirth.  He was candid and sober and never would play; and minded his father, and other, in toiling all day.  He was one of the soberest of men and when he died the angel of the Lord visited him in his last moments.  These childish lines I record in remembrance of my childhood scenes.  My Brother Don Carlos Smith, whose name I desire to record also, was a noble boy.  I never knew any fault in him.  I never saw the first immoral act; or the first irreligious, or ignoble disposition in the child.  From the time that he was born, till the time of his death; he was a lovely, a goodnatured, and a kind-hearted, and a virtuous and a faithful upright child.  And where his soul goes let mine go also.  He lays by the side of my father.  Let my father, Don Carlos, and Alvin, and children that I have buried be brought and laid in the tomb I have built.  Let my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters be laid there also; and let it be called the Tomb of Joseph, a descendant of Jacob; and when I die, let me be gathered to the tomb of my father.  There are manyysouls, whom I have loved stronger than death; to them I have proved faithful; to them I am determined to prove faithful, untill God calles me to resign up my breath.

O, thou who seeeth, and knoweth the hearts of all men, thou eternal omnipotent, omnicient, and omnipresent Jehovah, God, thou Eloheem, that sitteth, as saith the psalmist, enthroned in heaven, look down upon thy servant Joseph, at this time, and let faith on the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him, even the faith of Elijah.  And let the Lamp of eternal life, be lit up in his heart, never to be taken away, and the words of eternal life, be poured upon the soul of thy servant, that he may know thy will, thy statutes, and thy commandments, and thy judgments to do them.  As the dews upon Mount Hermon, may the distillations of thy divine grace, glory and honor in the plenitude of thy mercy, and power and goodness be poured down upon the head of thy servant.

O Lord God, my heavenly Father, shall it be in vain, that thy servant must needs be exiled from the midst of his friends, or be dragged from their bosoms, to clank in cold and iron chains, to be thrust within dreary prison walls, to spend days of sorrow, and of grief and misery there, by the hand of an infuriated, insensed and infatuated foe, to glut their infernal and insatiable desire upon innocent blood, and for no other cuase on the part of thy servant, than for the defence of innocence, and thou a just God will not hear his cry?

Oh, no, thou wilt hear me, a child of woe, pertaining to this mortal life, because of sufferings here, but not for condemnation that shall come upon him in eternity.  For thou knowest O God, the integrity of his heart.  Thou hearest me, and I knew that thou wouldst hear me, and mine enemies shall not prevail.  They all shall melt like wax before thy face, and as the mighty floods, and waters roar, or as the billowing earthquake’s, devouring gulf, or rolling thunder’s loudest peal, or vivid, forked lightnings flash, or sound of the Arch-Angels trump, or voice of the Eternal God, shall the souls of my enemies be made to feel in an instant, suddenly, and shall be taken, and ensnared, and fall backwards, and stumble in the ditch they have dug for my fet, and the feet of my friends, and perish in their own infamy and shame, be thrust down to an eternal hell, for their murderous and hellish deeds.

After writing so much President Joseph left off speaking for the present but will continue the subject again.

Wm Clayton, Clerk.”  (Joseph Smith “Reflections,” 23 Aug., 1842.  In Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, pp. 535-536)

29 Aug.:  Weekly forgiveness of sins in temple.

“We want the Temple built, that we may offer our oblations, and where we can ask forgiveness of our sins every week, and forgive one another, and offer up our offering, and get our endowment.”  (Hyrum Smith, HC 5:137)

31 Aug.:  Promise of the endowment. 

“But it will be but a little season and all these afflictions will be turned away from us inasmuch as we are faithful and are not overcome by these evils.  By seeing the blessings of the endowment rolling on and the kingdom increasing and spreading from sea to sea, we will rejoice that we were not overcome by these foolish things.”  (Joseph Smith, 31 Aug., 1842.  In Words of JS, p. 131)

31 Aug.:  Baptism for the dead. 

“Prest. S. then remark’d that a few things had been manifested to him in his absence respecting the baptism for the dead, which he should communicate next Sabbath if nothing should occur to prevent.

Prest. S. then addressed the throne of grace.

Prest. S. said he had one remark to make respecting the baptism for the dead to suffice for the time being, until he has opportunity to discuss the subject to greater length–that is, all persons baptiz’d for the dead must have a Recorder present, that he may be an eye witness to testify of it.  It will be necessary in the grand Council, that these things be testified let it be attended to from this time lest if there is any lack it may be at the expense of our friends–they may not come forth &C.”  (Joseph Smith, 31 Aug., 1842.  In Words of JS, p. 131; see also HC 5:141) 

1 Sep.:  Baptism for the dead.

“And again, verily thus saith the Lord, let the work of my Temple, and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease: and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works be redoubted; and you shall in no wise lose your reward saith the Lord of Hosts.  And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets, and righteous men that were before you.  For all this ther is a reward in heaven.

And again I give unto you a word in relation to the Baptism for your dead.  Verily thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead when any of you are baptised for your dead let there be a recorder, and let him be eyewitness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord; that in all your recordings it may be recorded in Heaven, that whatsoever you bind on earth may be bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth may be loosed in heaven; for I am about to restore many things to the Earth, pertaining to the  Priesthood saith the  Lord  of Hosts.  

And again let all the Records be had in order, that they may be put in the archives of my Holy Temple to be held in remembrance from generation to generation saith the Lord of Hosts.  

I will say to all the saints that I desired with exceeding great desire to have addressed them from the stand on the subject of Baptism for the dead on the following sabbath but inasmuch as it is out of my power to do so I will write the word of the Lord from time to time on that subject and send it [to] you by mail as well as many other things.”  (Joseph Smith to the Saints, 1 Sep., 1842.  In Jessee, Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, pp. 544-545; also T&S 3(22):919-920, 15 Sep., 1842)

6 Sep.:  Further instructions on baptisms for the dead.

“To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, sendeth Greeting:–

As I stated to you in my letter before I left my place, that I would write to you from time to time, and given you information in relation to many subjects, I now resume the subject of the baptism for the dead; as that subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest, since I have been pursued by my enemies.

I wrote a few words of Revelation to you concerning a Recorder.  I have had a few additional views in relation to this matter, which I now certify.  That is, it was declared in my former letter that there should be a Recorder, who should be eye-witness, and also to hear with his ears, that he might make a record of a truth before the Lord.  Now, in relation to this matter, it would be very difficult for one recorder to be present at all times, and to do all the business.  To obviate this difficulty, ther can be a recorder appointed in each ward of the city, who is well qualified for taking accurate minutes; and let him be very particular and precise in making his record, in taking the whole proceedings; certifying in his record that he saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears; giving the date, and names, &c., and the history of the whole transaction; naming also, some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon, certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  Then let there be a general Recorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over their own signatures; certifying that the record which they have made is true.  Then the general church recorder can enter the record on the general church book, with the certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement that he verily believes the above statement and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those men by the church.  And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes, and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general church book. 

You may think this order of things to be very particular, but let me tell you that they are only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead, who should die without a knowledge of the gospel.

And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, when he declared as you will find recorded in Revelation xx, 12:  ‘And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.’  You will discover in this quotation that the books were opened; and another book was opened, which was the book of life. But the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works: consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; and refers to the records which are kept on the earth.  And the book which was the book of life, is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter which I wrote you previous to my leaving my place,’that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.’  Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ; wherein it is granted, that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Or in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven; and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world; according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of: a power which records, or binds on earth, and binds in heaven: nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given.  Hence whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah.–This is a faithful saying!  Who can hear it?

And again for a precedent, Matthew xvi: 18,19.  ‘And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’  Now the great and grand secret of the whole matter, and the sum and bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given, there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living.  Herein is glory and honor, and immortality, and eternal life. The ordinance of baptism by water, to be immersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other.  To be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of their graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead.  Consequently the Baptismal Font was instituted as a simile of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are wont to assemble, to shew forth the living and the dead: and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another; that which is earthly, conforming to that which is heavenly, as Paul hath declared, I Cor, xv:46, 47, and 48.  ‘Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is spiritual.  The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord, from heaven.  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.’  And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven.  This therefore is the sealing and binding power, and in one sense of the word the keys of the kingdom, which consists in the key of knowledge.  And now my dearly and beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles, in relation to the dead and the living, that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation.  For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers, ‘that they without us can not be made perfect;’ neither can we without our dead, be made perfect.  And now in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, I Corinthians, xv:29: Else what shall they do which are baptised for the dead if the dead rise not at all; why are then then baptised for the dead.  And again, in connexion with this quotation, I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, viz.: the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th, Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.  I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands.  It is sufficient to know in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse, unless there is a welding link of some kind or other, between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other, and behold, what is that subject.  It is the baptism for the dead.  For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect.  Neither can they or us, be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times; which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed, from the days of Adam even to the present time; and not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this the dispensation of the fulness of times.–Now what do we hear in the gospel which we have received?  ‘A voice of gladness!  A voice of mercy from Heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth, glad tidings for the dead: a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy;  how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things; and that say unto Zion, behold! thy God reigneth.  As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them.[‘]  And again, what do we hear?  Glad tidings from Cumorah!  Moroni, an Angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets–the book to be revealed.  A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book.  The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light.  The voice of Peter, James, and John, in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broom county, on the Susquehanna River, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times.  And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places, through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam, down to the present time, all declaring each one their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little–giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope.

Brethren shall we not go on in so great a cause?  Go forward and not backward.  Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory!  Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceeding glad.–Let the earth break forth into singing.  Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prisons; for the prisoners shall go free.

Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your eternal King.  And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness.  Let the woods, and all the trees of the field praise the Lord: and ye solid rocks week for joy.  And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy.  And let the eternal creations declare his name for ever and ever.  And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life: kingdoms, principalities, and powers.  Behold the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who can abide the day of this coming, and who can stand when he appeareth, for he is like a refiners fire and like fullers soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.  Let us therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter Day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and let us present in his holy Temple when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.

Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject; but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time.

I am, as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend.

Joseph Smith.”  (Joseph Smith “To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” 6 Sep., 1842, T&S 3(23):934-936, 1 Oct., 1842)

17 Sep.:  “Your spirits united in an everlasting chain.”

“Yesterday I wrote the following


To Jonathan & Elvira.

Like two streams, whose gentle forces

Mingling, in one current blend–

Like two waves, whose onward course

To the ocean’s bosom tend–

Like two rays that kiss each other

In the presence of the sun–

Like two drops that run together

And forever are but one,

May your mutual vows be plighted–

May your hearts, no longer twain

And your spirits be united

In an everlasting chain.”

(Eliza R. Snow diary, 18 Sep., 1842; in BYU Studies 15(4):399, Summer, 1975)

1 Oct.:  Update on the Temple.

“If there is any subject in which the saints of the Most High are interested more than another, it is in the completion of that edifice; destitute of a place of worship, and so many thousands subject to the inconvenience of worshipping out of doors where the cold, heat, and damp alternately prey upon the the [sic] systems of the weak and delicate, and subject them to colds, fevers, and a variety of diseases, renders it imperative upon us to use our energies in building that house.  This however is tolerable, when we consider the inconveniences that we have to labor under in the winter season; when instead of having a commodious building to worship in, we are subjected to the inconvenience of worshipping in private houses, or in the best manner that we can, and no matter how important a subject has to be laid before the saints, it is impos[s]ible for them to hear it, as there is no place for them to congregate in.

These, as natural reasons, might be considered sufficient to induce any religious community to use their utmost exertions in the accomplishment of so desirable an object.  But when we consider the great work in which we are engaged, a work that has been looked forward to with delight by the ancient servants of God; a theme about which all the inspired poets have sung, and all the prophets, from the foundation of the world, have wrote–even the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times, which has been spoken of by ALL the prophets since the world began.’  God has reserved us as the honored instruments to participate in the blessings, glories, and privileges, that ‘prophets and kings desired to see, but died without the sight,[‘]

Under these circumstances, blessed with the light and intelligence of heaven, and with direct revelation from the Most High, it behooves us as his people to use the most untiring diligence, and to exert all our energies in the accomplishment of an object so desirable for us to attend to; and so pregnant with importance to the inhabitants of this city.  The Lord has given us directions in regard to this affair, and has said, ‘let the House be built by the tithing of my people.’  This is a commandment which is binding, which is imperative upon all God’s people, and if we consider ourselves his people, we shall feel ourselves bound under the strongest obligations, even that of duty, to our God to fulfil this requisition.  We take pleasure in stating that many of the saints have come forward with willingness and cheerfulness, and have tithed and consecrated all, yea more than could have been required of them; whilst others have relaxed in their duty and have been slow to perform their covenants.  We know that of late we have had gloomy times; clouds have been gathering around our horizon, and our atmosphere has been impregnated with the foul effluvia of wanton and unmerited persecution; the life of our prophet has been sought after, and many unpleasant circumstances have transpired which in their nature have had a tendency to damp the energies, and slacken the exertions of the saints in the accomplishment of this great work; and as the building of the Temple is principally depending upon the tenth day’s labor of the inhabitants of this placew, when many are slack, as has been the case of late, it has a great tendency to retard the work–to dispirit those who are actively engaged, and who feel zealous in the work, and to derange very materially the plans and designs of the committee.  There are some few things that devolve upon us to mention, which, though an unpleasant work, we feel the importance of the cause requires at our hands.

The committee find themselves very much perplexed in consequence of the brethren not coming forward as usual from their different wards, to perform their tenth of labor.  They state that they cannot get sufficient stone quarried to supply the stone cutters at the Temple, and that some of them have been obliged to quit work in consequence, and that unless strenuous exertions are immediately made, and the brethren come up promptly to their duty, the work will be greatly retarded, and perhaps have to stop; at all events the stone cutters will have to stop unless they get an immediate supply of stone.  Brethren, such things ought not to be; ‘let us not be weary in well doing, for we shall reap in due time, if we faint not.’   We have commenced a good work–we have been zealously engaged in it–we have spent a great deal of labor, and toil, and our expectations have been great when we have reflected upon the blessings that would flow to us through that medium.  Let us begin this next week and continue our labors ‘until the topstone shall be raised with shoutings of grace! grace unto it!’  The committee state that if they have a sufficiency of stone quarried, they can not only be progressing with the work this fall, but the stone cutters can be employed all the winter, and thus have a great quantity of hewn stone ready to commence with as soon as the spring opens which will greatly facilitate the progress of the work.

It may here be necessary to give a word or two of instruction:  many of the brethren no doubt out of the best of motives bring guns and watches, and other kinds of property that is not saleable, or easy to dispose of; they give them in at what is considered a fair valuation, yet they are not saleable–they will not purchase either provisions or clothing for those that need, neither will they purchase labor, and they lay as useless lumber on the hands of the committee.  It is the especial desire of the committee, and absolutely necessary for the prosperity of the work that the brethren in town pay their tenth in labor, and not in property.

In regard to the brethren in the country, we would also say a word.  Cattle which are neither fit for milking or killing are frequently brought in for tithing, and they lay as dead property on the hands of the committee–as they have no way of feeding them they are put into the drove, from which several have wandered off and been lost; we would therefore advise the brethren to bring in fat cattle which would immediately supply the hands with beef; or otherwise milch cows, that might be disposed of to advantage.  Another word on this subject and we have done.  Many of the brethren, in their liberality bring in pumpkins, squashes, potatoes, and other vegetables, if, when they were doing this they could bring a little corn meal, flour, butter, pork, or other articles of that kind they would be very acceptable.

Perhaps we have said enough on this subject, but we feel the importance of it and therefore speak plainly.  It is for you, brethren, to say whether the work shall stand or progress; one thing is certain, that unless that is done all our efforts to aggrandize or enrich ourselves will be vain and futile.  We may build splendid houses but we shall not inhabit them; we may cultivate farms but we shall not enjoy them; we may plant orchards, or vineyards, but we shall not eat the fruit of them.  The word of the Lord is build my house, and until that command is fulfilled we stand responsible to the great Jehovah for the fulfilment of it, and if not done in due time we may have to share the  same fate that we have heretofore done in Missouri.

But leaving duty and interest out of the question, if we wish to receive great blessings from the hands of Jehovah, if we wish to receive our anointing, if we wish the glory of the priesthood to be more fully developed, if we wish to do the will of God and to secure the blessings of the most high God, in fact if we wish to secure our present, our temporal and eternal salvation, we shall build that house.”  (“The Temple,” T&S 3(23):937-939, 1 Oct., 1842)

5 Oct.:  Emma baptized for health in Mississippi River.

“Although some were baptized for health purposes in the Nauvoo Temple font, still others resorted to the Mississippi River for this ordinance.  The most notable example occurred when Joseph Smith baptized his wife Emma twice in the Mississippi River on 5 October 1842 because of her serious ill health, and then went with her on 1 November 1842, ‘to the temple {the font being the only part completed} for the benefit of her health.'”  (D. Michael Quinn, “The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo,” BYU Studies 18(2):230, Winter, 1978; quoting HC 5:167-168, 182)

23 Oct.:  Temporary floor in temple for worship.

“This day the Temple committee laid before the Saints the propriety and advantages of laying a temporary floor in the Temple, that the brethren might henceforth meet in the Temple to worship, instead of meeting in the Grove.  This was my instructions, and the Saints seemed to rejoice at this privilege very much.”  (HC 5:180)

28 Oct.:  “The Temple of God in Nauvoo.”

“No doubt the brethren abroad often wonder, and would be glad to be informed from time to time of the progress of the Temple of the Most High in this place; inasmuch as all who rear God and his name, and assay to keep his commandments are interested in this great and glorious undertaking, and, whilst gazing on what is now passing during the present week we feel constrained to notice a few things for the comfort of those Saints who cannot be present to witness for themselves.

Last Sabbath the committee for the building of the Temple, stated before the congregation that a large raft of pine lumber had lately arrived and was not laying in the river at this place.  They requested all the brethren who had teams to turn out and with their teams, assist in hauling the lumber to the Temple.  The first, second, third, fourth and fifth wards of the city were requested to be on the ground on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  They also stated that they requested all the carpenters to come together on the Thursday to prepare the timbers for the first floor of the Temple, and all the brethren who could, to assemble on Friday and Saturday and lay a temporary floor and prepare seats inside the walls of the Temple that the church might henceforward meet in the Temple to worship, instead of meeting in the grove. Accordingly, when Monday came we had a cheering assemblage of waggons, horses, oxen and men who began with zeal and gladness to pull the raft to pieces and haul it up to the Temple.  This scenery has continued to the present date and the expectations of the committee more than realized.

On Thursday we had a large assemblage of carpenters, joiners &c. who succeeded in preparing the lumber and laying the joists preparatory to laying the temporary floor and fixing seats &c.

This day a large number of brethren were on the ground and commenced their operations and whilst we are writing they are busy at work and will soon have all things prepared for the comfort and convenience of the Saints (which the nature of the case will admit of) that they may have the gratification of meeting within the walls of that building which is being built according to the revelation and commandment of the Most High; a gratification which can only be enjoyed by those who have a knowledge of the work of God in these last days and whose desire it is to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Whilst watching for a few moments the zeal and cheerful labors of the brethren to accomplish this thing we could not avoid feeling grateful to the great Jehovah, and to the brethren engaged in this noble cause.  We are constrained to feel thankful to the Almighty for the many blessings we receive at his hands–for the prosperity of the place–for the harmony and good feeling prevailing in our midst–and for the great and glorious privileges granted unto us as a people.  He has commanded us to ‘build a house unto his name for the Most High to dwell therein for there is not place found on the earth; that he may come and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away even the fullness of the priesthood.’  And brethren, great and glorious will be the blessings realized by us as a people if we build this house in the appointed time.  Even now when the building is not half completed behold the great privileges realized thereby.  A Baptismal Font has been built in the lower apartment, where we have the privilege of being baptized for our dead and redeeming them, that they may come forth in the first resurrection; the full interest of which was published in a letter from President Joseph Smith in the 23d number of this paper, and we shall now have the privilege as before stated of meeting within the walls of the Temple where the Almighty has promised to meet with us.

Now brethren, if so great and glorious have been the blessings realized in so early a stage of the work what may we expect when the building is completed, and a house prepared where the Most High can come and restore that which has been taken away in consequence of transgression; even the FULNESS of the priesthood.

Truly, no exertion on our part ought to be lacking but to double our diligence because great, yea very great are the consequences pending.

As we have already said, we feel thankful to the brethren for the interst they have taken, not only on the present, but on all former occasions.  They have come forth like Saints of God and great will be their reward.  Not long since they were naked, destitute, afflicted, and smitten having been twice plucked up by the roots; but again they lift their heads with gladness and manifest a determination to fulfil the revelations and commandments of the Most High if it be at the expense of all their property and even their lives.  Will not God reward them?  Yea, verily!

In the midst of our reveries, we found but one circumstance, to break in upon the happy scenery before us, and that was, the absence of our prophet.  The silent whisper to us was, oh, that we could see the iron hand of oppression removed from off the man whom the great God has appointed to be our leader, and he permitted to be in our midst, free, and untramelled by the power and malice of an ungodly set of persecutors;–that we could have the privilege of hearing his voice within these walls every Sabbath, and learning from his lips the great things of the kingdom of God, and that we could receive his counsels from day to day upon all important subjects.  Surely the oppressor’s power will soon be brought to an end, and liberty, that sacred ocean in which every philanthropic soul loves to swim, and which was so dearly bought by our forefathers, shall be enjoyed by every citizen of these United States.  But cease my soul to ponder upon these gloomy subjects; and thou man of God take courage and rejoice; the God that delivered Daniel out of the lion’s den is yet able, and will deliver his anointed one, out of the grasp of all wicked men; we shall again see good days, for Zion shall blossom as the rose and flourish as the green bay tree; and if we have to endure the abuse and insults of an ungodly generation even a generation of vipers, the great God is in our midst, and when their wrath waxes hot against the Saints, the still small voice whispers in the ears of the faithful, peace, be still.

Brethren, let us be faithful and fulfil the commandment given to us.  Let us hasten and build this house for the Lord.  Let our exertions not relax, neither our love wax cold, but double our diligence and one and all lay to with all our mights, and we shall soon have the happiness of realizing greater blessings than has yet entered into our hearts to conceive.

Let us not forget that we have another house also, to build in this place, even the NAUVOO HOUSE; and, which is as important to us as the Temple; inasmuch as great things are depending upon that house, and it is commanded us of God.  Let us all remember the Nauvoo House as well as the Temple for we (i.e. the church) are abundantly able to build them both in due season, let us therefore go forward boldly in the accomplishment of those things which God has required at our hands and it will be well with us, notwithstanding the malice of our enemies.

May the great God fill the hearts of his Saints with joy and peace; their understanding with knowledge and inspire them with his spirit to do his will; and may the richest, the greatest and choicest of heaven’s blessings be poured on the head of the man, who is hated of the ungodly, but who is anointed of the Most High and the honored instrument in his hand to bring to pass the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth in these last days, even so Amen.

W. C. [William Clayton?]

Nauvoo, Oct., 28th 1842.

Friday evening 5 o’clock–Elder Cahoon, one of the Committe just informs me that the work is completed and the seats &c formed ready for meeting next Sabbath.   Truly the exertions of the brethren have been noble on this occasion.

W. C.”

(“The Temple of God in Nauvoo,” 28 Oct., 1842, in T&S 4(1):10-11, 15 Nov., 1842)

28 Oct.:  Conference in Kirtland Temple.

“Kirtland, October 28, 1842.

A meeting was held this day, in the house of the Lord.  Brother Lyman Wight having commenced the subject of what it required to save an individual, and having addressed the people on the principles of faith, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, the two evenings previous, he again resumed the subject and read the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians.  The doctrines of the saints were held up to view in so positive, plain, and convincing a manner that all the congregation seemed not only well satisfied but very much astonished at the things which they had heard.  Only about seventy five were present; but in the afternoon one hundred and fifty persons came into the Temple with cheerful countenances, while elder Wight, by the power of the spirit of God launched forth into a boundless theme of intelligence, while the doctrines of charity, baptism for the dead, and responsibility of connections were so clearly taught that no one could be misguided by his remarks.  At the close of the meeting an appointment was given out for baptising the next morning at 7 o’clock, in the waters of Shagrin River.

At the appointed time a great number of persons assembled, not only to witness this very delightful and soul reviving spectacle of humble obedience to the ordinance of baptism, but to become partakers in the joys which flow from cheerful obedience to the commandments of God.  The sight was sublime and affecting; to behold both old and young  flocking together and pressing forward to the liquid stream, so celebrated as a place of baptism by the Latter Day Saints.  After this service was concluded the whole congregation repaired to the Temple, where from five to seven hundred persons were soon assembled, to hear the instructions of elder Wight, which were in strict accordance with the propositions he had previously made; in which the doctrines of baptism, charity, &c. were set forth in so clear and plain a manner that every heart was made glad.  In the evening the church again met and were instructed by brother Wight, after which the brethren, one after another arose, and so great were the manifestations of the spirit to the congregation, and so clear the evidence and testimony to every soul, that it seemed almost impossible to bring the meeting to a close without curtailing many in the privilege of bring in a testimony concerning the blessings received by complying with the requirements of heaven; and by giving heed to the instructions of those whom God had had sent to this meeting.  In consequence of the uncommon degree of intelligence and power manifested it was more like those meetings enjoyed in times past, in the house of the Lord, than any since the church removed to the west.  The next morning we again went to the water and many more came forward, some of whom were not baptised before; after this we went again to the Temple, where the conference sat agreeable to previous appointment, Oct., 31, 1842.”  (Lyman Wight, John P. Green, T&S 4(3):38-39, 15 Dec., 1842) 

30 Oct.:  First worship services in Temple.

“The Saints met to worship on a temporary floor, in the Temple, the walls of which were about four feet high above the basement; and notwithstanding its size, it was well filled.”  (HC 5:182)

17 Nov.:  Concerning baptism for the dead.

“There are three that bear witness on earth, as there are three that bear record in heaven: the spirit, the water, and the blood, bear concurrent testimony to our obedience on earth; for the want of any one, or all of these witnesses on earth, in our favour, there will be no registry of our perfect acceptance in heaven.  Hence the baptism for the dead.  The righteous dead have a merciful provision made for them in the testimony of the three witnesses on earth, which secures a record of their perfect acceptance in heaven, without which they cannot attain to the highest glory.”  (Orson Spencer letter, Nauvoo, 17 Nov., 1842; in MS 4(3):37, Jul., 1843)

Dec.:  Baptized for health seven days in a row.

“Certainly one of the most extraordinary examples of baptism for health at Nauvoo occurred in December 1842, when Horace S. Eldredge cut holes in the frozen river seven mornings in a row for the purpose of baptizing John Bills for rheumatism and bleeding lungs.”  (D. Michael Quinn, “The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo,” BYU Studies 18(2):231, Winter, 1978; quoting from Journal of Horace S. Eldredge, December 1842, HDC)

10 Dec.:  Non-Mormon view of Temple.

“Joseph Smith, the leader of this sect, has resigned the editorial chair of the ‘Times and Seasons’ to John Taylor, who tells us, that ‘Tkhe Temple of God in Nauvoo,’ is progressing by the voluntary labor of the ‘Saints,’ who turn out with their teams, tools, &c. to aid in its construction.  The timbers for the first floor of the temple were thus laid, and service performed withint its walls for the first time, Sunday the 20th ult.  The exhortations to complete it, as well as to construct the ‘Nauvoo house,’ (for entertainment), are uttered with all the solemnity of divine injunction!”  (Niles’ National Register, 10 Dec., 1842)

20 Dec.:  Baptism for dead of opposite sex in temple.

“After Jacob’s death, we felt very solicitous to know & be satisfied whether he was enjoying happiness in his disembodied state or not, and your sister Ann and myself shed many tears, & presented our Applications & desires Unto God on this account. . . . Accordingly on the 20th of Dec. last [1842] between sundown and dusk, . . . [Jacob appeared to Eliza and said] ‘Sarah must know that I know what has passed since my body died.’ . . . Jacob desired in his sickness to be Baptized but it was thought unsafe for his health, as he appeared to be in a fair way of recovering; but as he died without having his desire in this fulfilled; his sister Sarah, was baptized for him, in the Font, which is in the house of the Lord, and we think he had particular reference to that circumstance, in what he said, respecting daughter Sarah.”  (Jacob Scott to his daughter, Mary Warnock, 28 Feb., 1843.  RLDS Archives, P12-1/F5.  Jacob Jr. died sometime between 24 Mar., 1842 and the above mentioned appearance on 20 Dec., 1842.  The date of his proxy baptism is not stated in the letter.)  

John C. Bennett’s description of Nauvoo Temple.

“The Mormon Temple is a splendid structure of stone, quarried within the bounds of the city.  Its breadth is eighty feet, and its length one hundred and twenty, besides an outer court of thirty feet, making the length of the whole structure one hundred and fifty feet.

In the basement of the Temple is the baptismal font, constructed in imitation of the famous brazen sea of Solomon.  It is upborne by twelve oxen, handsomely carved, and overlaid with gold.  Upon the surface of it, in panels, are represented various scenes, handsomely painted.  This font is used for baptism of various kinds, viz., baptism for admission into the Church–baptism for the healing of the sick–baptism for the remission of sins–and lastly, which is the most singular of all, baptism for the dead.  By this latter rite, living persons, selected as the representatives of persons deceased, are baptized for them, and thus the dead are released from the penalty of their sins!  This baptism was performed, I recollect, for General Washington, among many others.

The upper story of the Temple will, when finished, be used as a lodge-room for Order Lodge, and other secret societies.

In the body of the Temple, where it is intended that the congregation shall assemble, are two sets of pulpits; one for the Melchisedec priesthood, and the other for the Aaronic and Levitical priesthood.

The cost of this noble edifice has been defrayed by tithing the whole Mormon Church.  Those who reside at Nauvoo, and are able to labor, have been obliged to work every tenth day in quarrying stone, and also upon the Temple itself; and those who reside at a distance have been levied upon to the amount of one tenth of their property.”  (John C. Bennett, History of the Saints, pp. 190-191)

Bennett’s description of Danite oaths.

“The oath by which the Danites were bound in Missouri, is as follows:–

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I do solemnly obligate myself ever to conceal, and never to reveal, the secret purposes of this society, called the Daughter of Zion.  Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture.

This obligation was, however, subsequently altered, in a secret council of the Inquisition at Nauvoo, so as to read,–

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, I do solemnly obligate myself ever to regard the Prophet, and First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as the Supreme Head of the Church on Earth, and to obey them in all things the same as the Supreme God; that I will stand by my brethren in danger or difficulty, and will uphold the Presidency, right or wrong; and that I will ever conceal, and never reveal, the secret purposes of this society, called the Daughter of Zion.  Should I ever do the same, I hold my life as the forfeiture, in a caldron of boiling oil.

Those who belonged to the society when under its old organization, but refused to take the new oath, were, together with those whose fidelity was doubtful, absolved from the Missouri obligation.  But to the faithful of the band, and to about twelve hundred new members, the Nauvoo oath was administered by Joe Smith in person.  While the candidate was yet kneeling before the altar, after having taken the oath, the Holy Prophet, assisted by Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch of the Church, and George Miller, the President of the High Priest’s Quorum, approached, and said,–

In the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and by the authority of the Holy Priesthood, we, the First President, Patriarch, and High Priest, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, representing the First, Second, and Third Gods in Heaven,–the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost,–do not anoint you with holy, consecrated oil, and by the imposition of our hands, do ordain, consecrate, and set you apart, for the holy calling, whereunto you are called; that you may consecrate the riches of the Gentiles to the House of Israel, bring swift destruction upon apostate sinners, and execute the decrees of Heaven, without fear of what man can do unto you.  So mote it be.  Amen.”  

(John C. Bennett, History of the Saints, pp. 266-267)

Summary of Woodruff baptisms for the dead:

“The following are the names of the Dead that Wilford Woodruff was Baptized for in the font in the house of the Lord in Nauvoo, in 1842:

[total of 17 names, of which 9 were female relatives]”  (Wilford Woodruff diary, at end of entries for 1842)

Architectural symbolism of Nauvoo Temple.

“Even in the fuzzy print on Hills’s map it is apparent that the pilasters do not really conform to any of the classical orders.  Their bases are crescent moons, and the capitals, though they are not yet the sun faces which appear on the other drawings, certainly possess some kind of applied ornament resembling the two heavenly hands holding trumpets seen on the capitals as they were carved.  The progressive changes in the two additional drawings reaffirm the chronological arrangement of the drawings for the temple.  As it was built, the temple belonged to an ‘order’ consisting of sunface capitals surmounted by hands holding trumpets, anthropoid inverted crescent moons as bases, and five-pointed stars which served as triglyphs.  The drawing closest in appearance to the completed temple, with rectangular attic story (figure 23), possess this complete order; the Hills drawing has neither sun faces nor stars, and while the remaining drawing does have the faces, it lacks the star triglyphs and so must occupy an intermediate position between the map illustration and the signed drawing.  (pp. 71-73)

The triple-arched entranceway led into a vestibule with circular staircases at either end, though the actual entrance to the first-floor hall was through two doors  (figure 30).  On the interior the resemblance to Kirtland was striking (figure 31).  The hall of each of the two main stories had an arched ceiling and the first floor exhibited the double-ended arrangement of three rows of pulpits to seat the two priesthoods (the second floor remained uncompleted).  As at Kirtland, the reversible backs of the seats allowed the congregation to face either east or west.  In the reconstruction of the Nauvoo temple by Southern Illinois University’s archaeological expedition, the space over the side aisles in each story formed a mezzanine floor divided into small rooms corresponding to the round windows, seven on each side, so that ‘one light at the center of each circular window would be sufficient to light the whole room; that when the whole building was thus illuminated, the effect would be remarkably grand.’  The main attic under the sloping roof contained a long central room with twelve side chambers, and the higher western end enclosed a single room divided by fabric curtains into three smaller rooms.  (p. 76)

The sun seen in conjunction with trumpets had appeared on New England gravestones of the eighteenth century to symbolize the morn of the Judgment Day, and the sun, moon, and stars appearing together on a single stone had also occurred, though no precise explanation of their funerary symbolism has been offered.  Was the symbolism the result of memories which Smith may have had of such grave markers from his early youth in New England?  Perhaps, but Smith’s inspiration is more easily traceable to his association with a new institution.  (p. 83)

The new order of the Nauvoo temple, which appeared in abbreviated form on the first of Week’s drawings from 1842, bears a startling resemblance to some very prominent Masonic symbols which figure in the ritual and are illustrated in Masonic handbooks (freely available throughout the nineteenth century).  The three most important Masonic emblems are the Bible, the compass, and the square, the ‘three great lights’ of Freemasonry–the Bible signifying God, the square the master of the lodge, and the compass the craft of masonry.  These are accompanied by the ‘three lesser lights,’ the sun, moon, and stars, which are symbols of officials in the lodge and also have moral messages.  Smith simply appropriated those Masonic elements which were applicable to Mormonism, using the three lesser lights, probably seen in illustrations (figure 33), to symbolize the three degrees of heavenly glory.  The Weeks drawings show the gradual working out of this symbolism to include all three heavenly bodies.

At Nauvoo the temple became truly differentiated from the church.  Masonry added a new dimension to Mormon worship–it became ritualistic and also secret, so that the temple was no longer a congregational center of town activity.  The temple became a place set apart, like a Masonic lodge, to be used only by those whom church authorities had initiated into something great and mysterious.  At Nauvoo Smith began to refer to the temple as a ‘Holy of Holies’ in the Solomonic sense.  The performance of the ritual took place in the western attic of the temple, in the rectangular pediment area which was separated into three chambers by curtains; the left side was for the women’s rites and the right side for the men.  This may have been why the triangular pediment of William Weeks’s earlier plans was abandoned.  Though Smith was dead before the temple was far enough along to accommodate these ceremonies, they were inaugurated by Brigham Young in December 1845, and as many Saints as possible received their endowments before leaving for the west.  How the ritual would have affected the use of the temple had the Saints remained in Nauvoo is not certain.  There is no indication that Smith intended for the rituals to be made public once the temple was completed, but if they remained clandestine there would have been some difficulty keeping the meeting halls open for general worship while prohibiting access to the basement and attic.  In all likelihood the temple would have been closed to outsiders as the temples in Utah would be.  (pp. 85-89)

The Mormons at Nauvoo were obviously very familiar with Masonic symbolism and procedure, for the Nauvoo Masonic hall carefully followed the specifications for a correctly constructed Masonic building.  There were no windows on the north side, since Freemasonry believed the north to be the direction of darkness, having slightly sinister connnotations, and the front of the building faced towards the east, the direction of the rising sun.  Significantly, the orientation of the building was a practice followed consistently in all the temples built in Utah–after the encounter with Freemasonry–while at Kirtland and Nauvoo, both planned before, this was not a consideration.  Nauvoo of course faced west, towards the river.  Kirtland faces east, but does not exhibit the relationship between exterior and interior seen in the Utah buildings.  In Utah the facade facing east was symbolic of the more important priesthood, the Melchizedek, and the eastern end of the interior halls belonged to the same priesthood.  But at Kirtland, though the facade is towards the east, the arrangement of the pulpits is reversed–the Melchizedek pulpits are in the western end, where the pulpit would normally be found in a Protestant church.  The eastern end of the building thus does not seem to have had any significance until the Mormons realized that it was given special importance by the Freemasons.  (pp. 89-91)

What [Thomas] Ford neglected to note was that the Nauvoo temple was a highly original structure, its awkwardness due in part to the attempt to create an architectural identity for a new people.  The exterior of the temple was in actuality not truly indicative of what Mormonism had become by the time the Saints left the city, for the ritual was formulated while the building was going up, and the possible consequences of these changes, with the exception of the new order, could not be incorporated into the building.  Smith and Weeks did not regard the building as belonging outside the tradition of American architecture, for the temple certainly manifests a desire to keep pace with contemporary trends.  The temple represents, rather, an effort to compete with the architecture of the non-Mormon world on its own terms while only just beginning to signify the distinctiveness of the creed to which it belonged.  (p. 96)”

(Laurel B. Andrew, The Early Temples of the Mormons, pages as indicated)