Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833
Plan of the , [, Geauga Co., OH], between 1 and 25 June 1833; text and drawings in handwriting of ; two pages; CHL. Contains archival marking.One leaf measuring 17¾–18¾ × 22¼ inches (45–48 × 57 cm). The recto features a floor plan of the interior of a House of the Lord, with text in the right margin. The interior drawing measures 15½ × 22 inches (39 × 56 cm). Dimensions are written on the plan. The verso features text and two drawings of the building’s exterior, one of the side view and one of the end view. These exterior drawings measure 3⅞ × 11 inches (10 × 28 cm) and 5¾ × 7⅝ inches (15 × 19 cm), respectively. An archival notation in the handwriting of Robert L. Campbell on the verso in reddish-purple ink reads: “G. S. L. city, June 30, 1865. This plan was presented to the Historian’s Office by | Mrs. Lydia Partridge widow of . It was sent to him by | Pres. Joseph Smith while he was presiding in in 1832–3. | It is a design for the house of the Lord for the Presidency intended to | be erected about the time of the expulsion of the Saints from Jackson County”. The document was folded multiple times and, along with the plat, was enclosed in a letter dated 25 June 1833 and sent to , Missouri. As indicated by an archival notation on the envelope that was deposited with the document, Partridge and his family maintained possession of this plan until 30 June 1865, when Lydia Partridge donated the document to the Church Historian’s Office.
Likely in connection with the development of the , or temple, in , Ohio, and the need to draft plans for its construction, the made plans to build similar temples in . In a late June 1833 letter to , Missouri, the presidency enclosed a plat for the development of , which called for twenty-four houses of the Lord to be constructed in the city’s center. The plat was accompanied by the document featured here, a draft of the architectural plan of a to be built in Missouri. The plan featured here was to be the “house of the Lord for the Presidency,” the first of the twenty-four multipurpose houses of the Lord to be constructed in . The building was to be for “the presidency as well as all purposes of Religion and instruction” and was to be “built immediately.”By October 1830, leaders of the , directed by revelation, instructed a missionary expedition “unto the ” to locate the spot and “rear up a pillar as a witness where the Temple of God [should] be built, in the glorious .” The location for the temple was not designated, however, until early August 1831, when eight church leaders assembled in , Missouri, as JS laid a cornerstone for the “contemplated Temple.” This temple, according to revelation, was to “be reared in this generation,” though at the time JS sent the temple plan to , construction on it had not yet begun. Back in , church members had also made little progress in constructing the in . Progress had quickened, however, after JS’s 1 June 1833 revelation declared, “Ye have sinned against me a verry grievous sin in that ye have not considered the great in all things that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house.”The 1 June revelation also promised that “if ye keep my commandments ye shall have power to build” the and instructed that the house was to be built “after the manner which I shall show unto three of you,” referring to the presidency of the high priesthood. Shortly thereafter, drew the plans for the House of the Lord that was to be built in . Williams also drew the plans featured here for a to be built in , Missouri. By 25 June 1833, the presidency of the high priesthood approved Williams’s architectural draft of the interior and exterior plans of the House of the Lord. The specifications on the plan for this first temple in provided greater detail for the interior than for the exterior. JS and other church leaders in Kirtland told the recipients of this plan in Missouri that if they did not understand the explanations for the temple or the city plat that accompanied it, “you will inform us, so as you may have a propper understanding, for it is meet that all things should be done according to the pattern.” The package containing the plat and this architectural plan arrived in on 29 July 1833, just after violence against church members had erupted in Missouri.Church leaders in later realized that the plat and plan were “drawn in grate haste” and that they included some errors. Thus, several weeks later drew up a new set of plans, accompanied by slightly modified instructions, and sent them to . Those plans likely arrived in Missouri in late September 1833. The plans to build any of the proposed houses of the Lord in were never realized because of the growing conflict between church members and other residents of .The following transcript presents the plan for the interior of the temple first, the explanation for the interior drawing second, and the combined plan and explanation for the exterior last. For the plan of the interior, the transcript divides the drawing into nine rectangular sections. These nine sections were not numbered originally but are numbered here for the reader’s convenience. The images of the interior plan are all oriented so that the north end of the building is at the top, as in the original document.