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Revised Plan of the House of the Lord, circa 10 August–circa 4 September 1833

Revised Plan of the House of the Lord, circa 10 August–circa 4 September 1833

☞Note—— There is to be a ballcony on the east end of the house

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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sufficient to contain and support a large bell.
[Drawing of east end view of House of the Lord]
Eend View East.
Drawn by F.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...

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[p. [3]]
☞Note—— There is to be a ballcony on the east  end of the house

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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sufficient to contain  and support a large bell.
[Drawing of east end view of House of the Lord]
Eend View East.
Drawn by F.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...

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[p. [3]]
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In late June 1833, JS and the other members of 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...

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sent a package containing the first iteration of the plat of the city of Zion

Also referred to as New Jerusalem. JS revelation, dated Sept. 1830, prophesied that “city of Zion” would be built among Lamanites (American Indians). JS directed Oliver Cowdery and other missionaries preaching among American Indians in Missouri to find location...

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and the architectural plan for 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

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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, or temple, to church leaders 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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, Missouri.1

The package was sent from Kirtland, Ohio, on 26 June 1833 and consisted of the following documents: Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; Plat of the City of Zion, ca. Early June–25 June 1833; and Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833. John Whitmer acknowledged receiving these building patterns in his 29 July 1833 letter. (Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833.)  


On the revised plan, featured here, scribe Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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noted that the original city plat and plan for the House of the Lord (referred to herein as the “June plan”) were “incorrect in some respects; being drawn in grate haste” and that the presidency of the high priesthood had therefore created revised drawings of the plat and plan, “which are correct.” How the presidency determined that the June plan was incorrect is not known. It is possible that work on 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...

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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, which commenced in early June, informed some of these revisions.2 More likely, the presidency reviewed the June plan and determined that clarifications and corrections were necessary. Though they may have begun drafting this revised plan soon after they sent the originals, the document was not finalized until after 9 August 1833, when Cowdery arrived in Kirtland from Missouri.3

Cowdery concluded the written explanations of the revised plan with personal remarks to his associates in Missouri, meant to buoy them in the traumatic and chaotic aftermath of the recent violence they had suffered in Jackson County. The immediacy and poignancy of Cowdery’s comments on the revised plan echo a letter he wrote to Missouri on 10 August 1833, the day after he arrived in Kirtland. (See Historical Introductions to Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833; and to Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.)  


These revised drawings for the first 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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meant to be built 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...

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occupy both sides of two sheets of paper. On the front of one sheet is a drawing of the “Side View” of the House of the Lord, along with Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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’s explanations for the new patterns. On the verso of the sheet is the interior floor plan with dimensions for elements such as the pews, doors, and vestibules. The other sheet contains a detailed “Eend View East” of the exterior on one side and a simple pencil outline of the unfinished “West End View” on the other.
Though 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...

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drew each of these views in both the June plan and this revised pattern, two of the three exterior views are more elaborately detailed in the revised plan than they are in the original pencil-line drawings of the June plan. The revised plans, however, altered few of the building’s internal arrangements. The details of the pulpits and pews, for instance, remained virtually the same.4

For a discussion of these features, see Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833.  


This plan added ten feet to the building’s length (ninety-seven feet instead of eighty-seven), though it added no height. It also provided a few new dimensions that were not specified in the June plan, including the width of the aisles between the pulpits and the size of the inner doors. The revision further called for nine windows along the sides of the building instead of five and specified the number of glass panes, or “lights,” that should be in each window. Aside from these and other minor corrections (identified in footnotes in the following transcript), the revised plan closely resembles the first iteration composed in June.5

For a detailed architectural comparison of the two plans, see Robison, First Mormon Temple, chap. 2.  


At the time this revised plan was drafted, church members 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...

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had just experienced a wave of violence that forced them to agree to leave 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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, the center place 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 ...

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.6 In mid-August, about the time that this revised plan was finalized, JS still believed that “the day will come that Zion will be keept for our sakes therefore be of good cheer and the cloud shall pass over and the sun shall shine as clear and as fair as heaven itself and the Event shall be Glorious.”7 The presidency thus once again directed church leaders in Missouri to commence building the 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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in Jackson County despite the threats they faced. The revised city plat and modified temple design were sent to Missouri by special messengers Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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and John Gould

21 Dec. 1784–25 June 1855. Pastor, farmer. Born in New Hampshire. Married first Oliva Swanson of Massachusetts. Resided at Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire, 1808. Lived in Vermont. Moved to northern Pennsylvania, 1817. Served as minister in Freewill...

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, who arrived in Jackson County in late September 1833.8

Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to John Whitmer, Missouri, 1 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 14–17; see also Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 Sept. 1833.  


However, because church members were expelled from the county in early November 1833, the plans to build the temple in Jackson County were never realized.9
The following transcription presents Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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’s explanation for the plan first and 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...

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’s drawings of the interior and exterior second. 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.

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