30717

Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833

and those upon each side are also to be ellevated the first one 8 inches the 2d 16 the 3 two feet the 4th 2 feet 8 inchs the corner seats are to be occupied by singers13

This appears to be a reference to seating for a choir. According to music scholar Michael Hicks, these plans reveal that JS had planned “to have a formal choir,” and a choir was in fact organized for the Kirtland temple’s dedication in 1836. (Hicks, Mormonism and Music, 39–40; Revelation, July 1830–C [D&C 25:11–12].)  


and ellevated the first seat 6 inchs the 2 12— the 3d 18— the 4— 24— & the 5th 30 inches. The Pulpit in the East end of the house

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

View Glossary
is to be occupied by the lesser Priesthood

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

View Glossary
14 No 1 the Presidency of lesser Priesthood No 2 for the Priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

View Glossary
No 3 for the teachers

Generally, one who instructs, but also an ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The Book of Mormon explained that teachers were to be ordained “to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end...

View Glossary
and No 4 for the Deacons

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The “Articles and Covenants” directed deacons to assist teachers in their duties. Deacons were also to “warn, expound, exhort, and teach and invite all to come unto Christ.” Although deacons did not have the authority...

View Glossary
and the seats by their side are also to be occupied by visiting officer each one opposite his respective grade &c the pulpits are to be off with pannel work in the best workmanlike manner16

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 72 [2 Nephi 5:16].  


and the building to be composed of stone and brick of the best kind17

In an era when many structures were built of wood, the temples, like the private residences in the city of Zion, were to be built of brick or stone. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833.)  


Plan of Exterior

Side View of Exterior

[Image of Side View of the House]
The Scale of this side is 8 feet to an inch
28 feet high 2 stairs
This is to represent a side view of the house five windows in each story the windows are to have each 48 lights 7— by 9—18

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defined a “light” as “a pane of glass; as a window with twelve lights.” The size seven by nine was standard for glass windows. (“Light,” in American Dictionary; Hazlett, History of Rockingham County, New Hampshire, 679.)  


6 one way and eight the other the sills and littels lintels19

A lintel is a load-bearing or decorative architectural element often found over doors and windows.  


of the windows to be of hewn stone and on the top of the Center is to be a gothick top20

Aside from the building’s dimensions, the only stylistic elements specified for the exterior of the temple are “gothick tops” on the windows and doors. Gothic doors and windows typically had rounded tops that came to a point at the apex. Gothic windows were a typical “cultural symbol for a church” in the United States and Canada in the early nineteenth century. An article in the July 1835 Messenger and Advocate discussed the nearly completed House of the Lord in Kirtland and noted that the house “will be lighted with thirty-two Gothic, three Venitian, ten dormer, one circular and two square gable-windows.” (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 17; [William W. Phelps], “The House of God,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1835, 1:147.)  


as you see but the window must have a lintel and so with the out side doors all with gothick tops make your house 14 feet high between the floors there will not be a gallery but a chamber21

Most contemporary churches had “an upper gallery, or balcony, which was above the sanctuary and supported on columns. Often these balconies were U-shaped, leaving a full double height in the center of the room.” In contrast, the specifications here call for two stories with an assembly hall on each level. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 19.)  


each story to be 14 feet high arched over head with an eleptical arch each of the stories let the under part or foundation of the house be of stone let it be raised sufficiently high to admit of banking up so high as to admit of a descent every way from the house as far as to divide the distance betwen this house and those next to it on top of the stone and above the embankment let there be two rows of hewn stone and then commence the back on the hewn stone in the entire hight of the house 28 feet each story being 14 feet22

According to one architectural historian, these specifications “describe the vaults, but neither the scaled drawings nor the height measurements listed in the specifications take them into account. . . . The fourteen-foot stories described here leave no room for the second-floor girders and joists or for the elliptical arch set into the ceiling of the lower floor.” These specifications for the House of the Lord in Jackson County were, therefore, not practical. When the Kirtland temple was built, workers raised the overall height of the building to forty-five feet to reach the eaves of the roof instead of the twenty-eight feet specified for the original Jackson County temple. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 14–15.)  


make the wall a sufficient thickness for a house of this size23

Based on the scale used in the drawing, the walls were to be three feet thick.  


Observe particularly that as there are pulpits at each end of the house that the backs of the congregation must be to one of them and they will want occasionally to change in order for this the house must have pews instead of Slips and in the pews let the seats be loose so as to slip from one side of the pew to the other24

People of the period tended to use the terms pew and slip synonymously. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defined pew as “an inclosed seat in a church. Pews were formerly made square; in modern churches in America they are generally long and narrow, and sometimes called slips.” The definition of slip was “a long seat or narrow pew in churches.” The text here seems to distinguish between a large, immovable pew and a smaller bench or slip that could be easily moved forward or backward. (“Pew,” in American Dictionary, italics in original; “Slip,” in American Dictionary.)  


so as to face other pulpit as occasion may require25

In other words, the benches in the pews could be moved from the back to the front. This arrangement allowed congregants to “face either the Melchizedek or Aaronic pulpits, depending upon who was officiating during the meeting. Most meetings [in the Kirtland temple] were held facing the west or Melchizedek pulpits—an arrangement that would have been far more practical for latecomers, who could then slip in the eastern doors without disturbing the western-facing congregation.” (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 20.)  


immediately on entering the outer door turn to the right and left to go up stairs26

According to one architectural historian, “Most contemporary churches had an entry vestibule that led into the main sanctuary. . . . In these church buildings, stairs at the sides of the vestibule led to an upper gallery, or balcony, which was above the sanctuary.” Here, the stairs led to the upper-floor auditorium, which was to be used as a school. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 19.)  


and between the stairs and inner door, & under the stairs there is to be a vestry to contain the furniture of the house & the dressing rooms——
NB For your satisfaction we inform you that the plot for the City and the size form and dimensions of the house were given us of the Lord

End View of the Exterior

[Image of End View of the House]
Scale
8 feet to an inch
This cut represents an end view the windows the same as in the side the middle window excepted it is to be the same with the addition of side lights this middle window is desighned to light both above and below as the upper floor as to be laid off in the same way as the lower and arched over head with curtains or vailes as is before mentioned you will be carefull to have hooks and rings to suspend your vailes on so they can be let down or raised up at any time at pleasure also as you can see the pulpits are to have four seats one raising above another for instance the Elders seat is the lowest next comes the high Priests next the Bishop so each of these must have a vail that is suspended to the uper floor so to be let down which will at any time when necessary be let down and shut off each stand or seat by itself. The doors are to be 5 feet wide 9 feet high and to be in the east end the west end is to have no doors but in other respects to be like the east except the windows are to be opposite to alleys which runs east and west of the roof of the house to have one fourth ptich the door to have gothick tops as the windows the shingles of the roof to be painted before they are put on there is to be a fan light as you see. The windows and doors are all to have venetions venetians27

Venetians are decorative features that make the tops of windows or doors semicircular, similar to gothic-top windows.  


a balcony in the east end and a bell of very large size [p. [2]]
and those upon each side are also to be ellevated the first one 8 inches the 2d 16 the 3 two feet the 4th 2 feet 8 inchs  the corner seats are to be occupied by singers13

This appears to be a reference to seating for a choir. According to music scholar Michael Hicks, these plans reveal that JS had planned “to have a formal choir,” and a choir was in fact organized for the Kirtland temple’s dedication in 1836. (Hicks, Mormonism and Music, 39–40; Revelation, July 1830–C [D&C 25:11–12].)  


and ellevated the first seat 6 inchs the 2 12— the 3d 18— the 4— 24— & the  5th 4 30 inches. The Pulpit in the East end of the house

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

View Glossary
is to be occupied by the lesser Priesthood

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

View Glossary
14 No 1 the Presidency of  lesser Priesthood No 2 for the Priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

View Glossary
No 3 for the teachers

Generally, one who instructs, but also an ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The Book of Mormon explained that teachers were to be ordained “to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end...

View Glossary
and No 4 for the Deacons

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The “Articles and Covenants” directed deacons to assist teachers in their duties. Deacons were also to “warn, expound, exhort, and teach and invite all to come unto Christ.” Although deacons did not have the authority...

View Glossary
and the seats by their side are also  to be occupied by by visiting officer each one opposite his respective office grade &c the pulpits are to be [illegible]15

TEXT: Possibly “done”.  


 off with pannel work in the best workmanlike manner16

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 72 [2 Nephi 5:16].  


and the building to be composed of stone and brick  of the best kind17

In an era when many structures were built of wood, the temples, like the private residences in the city of Zion, were to be built of brick or stone. (Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833.)  


Plan of Exterior

Side View of Exterior

[Image of Side View of the House]
The Scale of this side is 8 feet to an inch
28 feet high 2 stairs
This is to represent a side view of the house five windows in each story the windows are to have  each 48 lights 7— by 9—18

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defined a “light” as “a pane of glass; as a window with twelve lights.” The size seven by nine was standard for glass windows. (“Light,” in American Dictionary; Hazlett, History of Rockingham County, New Hampshire, 679.)  


6 one way and eight the other the sills and littels [lintels]19

A lintel is a load-bearing or decorative architectural element often found over doors and windows.  


of the windows to be of hewn stone and on the  top of the Center is to be a gothick top20

Aside from the building’s dimensions, the only stylistic elements specified for the exterior of the temple are “gothick tops” on the windows and doors. Gothic doors and windows typically had rounded tops that came to a point at the apex. Gothic windows were a typical “cultural symbol for a church” in the United States and Canada in the early nineteenth century. An article in the July 1835 Messenger and Advocate discussed the nearly completed House of the Lord in Kirtland and noted that the house “will be lighted with thirty-two Gothic, three Venitian, ten dormer, one circular and two square gable-windows.” (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 17; [William W. Phelps], “The House of God,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1835, 1:147.)  


as you see but <the> window must have a lintel and so with the out side  doors the middle window of the ◊◊◊ is to have side lights all with gothick tops make your house  14 feet high between the floors and the timbers there will not be a gallery but a chamber21

Most contemporary churches had “an upper gallery, or balcony, which was above the sanctuary and supported on columns. Often these balconies were U-shaped, leaving a full double height in the center of the room.” In contrast, the specifications here call for two stories with an assembly hall on each level. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 19.)  


each story to be 14 feet  high arched over head with an eleptical arch each of the stories let the under part or foundation of the house be of  stone let it be raised sufficiently high to admit of banking up so high as to admit of a descent every way from the  house as far as to divide the distance betwen this house and those next to it on top of this the stone and above the embank ment let there be two rows of hewn stone and then commence the back on the hewn stone in the entire hight of the house  28 feet each story being 14 feet22

According to one architectural historian, these specifications “describe the vaults, but neither the scaled drawings nor the height measurements listed in the specifications take them into account. . . . The fourteen-foot stories described here leave no room for the second-floor girders and joists or for the elliptical arch set into the ceiling of the lower floor.” These specifications for the House of the Lord in Jackson County were, therefore, not practical. When the Kirtland temple was built, workers raised the overall height of the building to forty-five feet to reach the eaves of the roof instead of the twenty-eight feet specified for the original Jackson County temple. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 14–15.)  


make the wall a sufficient thinkness thickness for a house of this size23

Based on the scale used in the drawing, the walls were to be three feet thick.  


Observe parti cularly that as there are pulpits at each <end of the house> that the backs of the congregation must be to one of them and they  will want occasionally to change in order for this the house must have pews pews instead of Slips and  in the pews let the seats be loose so as to slip from one side of the pew to the other24

People of the period tended to use the terms pew and slip synonymously. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defined pew as “an inclosed seat in a church. Pews were formerly made square; in modern churches in America they are generally long and narrow, and sometimes called slips.” The definition of slip was “a long seat or narrow pew in churches.” The text here seems to distinguish between a large, immovable pew and a smaller bench or slip that could be easily moved forward or backward. (“Pew,” in American Dictionary, italics in original; “Slip,” in American Dictionary.)  


so as to face other  pulpit as occasion may require25

In other words, the benches in the pews could be moved from the back to the front. This arrangement allowed congregants to “face either the Melchizedek or Aaronic pulpits, depending upon who was officiating during the meeting. Most meetings [in the Kirtland temple] were held facing the west or Melchizedek pulpits—an arrangement that would have been far more practical for latecomers, who could then slip in the eastern doors without disturbing the western-facing congregation.” (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 20.)  


immediately on entering the outer door turn to  the right and left to go up stairs26

According to one architectural historian, “Most contemporary churches had an entry vestibule that led into the main sanctuary. . . . In these church buildings, stairs at the sides of the vestibule led to an upper gallery, or balcony, which was above the sanctuary.” Here, the stairs led to the upper-floor auditorium, which was to be used as a school. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 19.)  


and between  the stairs and and inner door, <& under the stairs> there is to be a  vestry to contain the furniture of the house & the  dressing rooms——
NB For your satisfaction we inform  you that the plot for the City and the  size form and dime[n]sions <of the house> were given us  of the Lord

End View of the Exterior

[Image of End View of the House]
Scale
8 feet to an inch
This cut represents an end view the windows the same as in the side the middle window excepted <it> is to be  the same with the addition of side lights this middle window is desighned to light both above and below as the  upper floor as to be laid off presently in the same way as the lower and arched over head with curtains or vailes as  is before mentioned you will be carefull to have hooks and rings to suspend your vailes on so they can be let down or rai sed [u]p at any time at pleasure also as you can see the pulpits are to have four seats one raising above another for instance  the Elders seat is the lowest next comes the high Priests next the presidency <Bishop> so each of these must have a vail that  is suspended to the uper ceiling floor so to be let down which will at any time when necessary be let down and  shut off each stand or seat by itself. The doors are to be 5 feet wide 9 feet high and to be in the east end  the west end is to have no doors but in other respects to be like the east <except the windows are to be opposite to alleys which runs east and west of> the roof of the house to have one fourth  ptich the door to have gothick tops as the windows the shingles of the roof to be painted before the[y] are put on  there is to be a fan light as you see. The windows and doors are all to have venetions [venetians]27

Venetians are decorative features that make the tops of windows or doors semicircular, similar to gothic-top windows.  


a balcony in the east end   and a bell of very large size [p. [2]]
Previous
Likely in connection with the development of the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
, or temple, in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, and the need to draft plans for its construction, the presidency of the high priesthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

View Glossary
made plans to build similar temples in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
. In a late June 1833 letter to Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, Missouri, the presidency enclosed a plat for the development of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
, 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 House of the Lord

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

View Glossary
to be built in Missouri.1 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 Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
. The building was to be for “the presidency as well as all purposes of Religion and instruction” and was to be “built immediately.”2
By October 1830, leaders of the Church of Christ

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
, directed by revelation, instructed a missionary expedition “unto the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
” to locate the spot and “rear up a pillar as a witness where the Temple of God [should] be built, in the glorious New-Jerusalem

The Book of Mormon indicated that, in preparation for Jesus Christ’s second coming, a city should be built on the American continent and called the New Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon further explained that the remnant of the seed of Joseph (understood to be...

View Glossary
.”3 The location for the temple was not designated, however, until early August 1831, when eight church leaders assembled in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, Missouri, as JS laid a cornerstone for the “contemplated Temple.”4

Whitmer, History, 32, underlining in original; Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:57].  


This temple, according to revelation, was to “be reared in this generation,” though at the time JS sent the temple plan to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, construction on it had not yet begun.5 Back in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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, church members had also made little progress in constructing the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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. 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 commandment

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
in all things that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house.”6

Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:3].  


The 1 June revelation also promised that “if ye keep my commandments ye shall have power to build” the house

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
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.7

Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:11, 14]. JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams had been appointed to “obtain a draft or construction of the inner court of the house.” (Minutes, ca. 1 June 1833.)  


Shortly thereafter, Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
drew the plans for the House of the Lord that was to be built in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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.8 Williams also drew the plans featured here for a House of the Lord

Plans for Far West included temple on central block. Latter-day Saints in Caldwell Co. made preparations for construction and commenced excavating for foundation, 3 July 1837. However, while visiting Latter-day Saints in Far West, 6 Nov. 1837, JS gave instructions...

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to be built in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, Missouri. By 25 June 1833, the presidency of the high priesthood approved Williams’s architectural draft of the interior and exterior plans of the Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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House of the Lord.9

Although the original plan does not include a date, the later copy in JS’s letterbook dates the “discription of the house of the Lord which is to be built first in Zion” to 25 June 1833, the date of the letter accompanying the plan. (“A Discription of the House of the Lord Which Is to Be Built First in Zion,” 25 June 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 41–44; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833.)  


The specifications on the plan for this first temple in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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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.”10 The package containing the plat and this architectural plan arrived in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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on 29 July 1833, just after violence against church members had erupted in Missouri.11

The package consisted of the following documents: the Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; and the plan featured here. John Whitmer acknowledged receiving the building “plan of our Lord” in his letter dated 29 July 1833. (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


Church leaders in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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later realized that the plat and plan were “drawn in grate haste” and that they included some errors. Thus, several weeks later Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
drew up a new set of plans, accompanied by slightly modified instructions, and sent them to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
. Those plans likely arrived in Missouri in late September 1833.12 The plans to build any of the proposed houses of the Lord in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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were never realized because of the growing conflict between church members and other residents of Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

More Info
.13

A temple was not built in Jackson County, but the temple eventually completed in Kirtland was evidently constructed according to a pattern similar to the one presented here. (See Plan of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio [Fragments], ca. June 1833.)  


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.

Facts