Discourse, 5 January 1841, as Reported by William Clayton
JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, 5 Jan. 1841. Featured version from report copied  in L. John Nuttall, Notebook, pp. 4–8; handwriting of L. John Nuttall; L. John Nuttall, Papers, BYU. For more complete source information, see the source note for Discourse, Dec. 1840, as Reported by William Clayton.
By Joseph, Jany. 5th, 1841, at the organization of a school of instruction.
Description of Paul— He is about 5 foot high; very dark hair; dark complection; dark skin; large Roman nose; sharp face; small black eyes, penetrating as eternity; round shoulders; a whining voice, exept when elevated and then it almost resembles the roaring of a Lion. He was a good orator, but is a superior orator, and like Paul is active and diligent, always, employing himself in doing good to his fellow men. [p. 4]
JS may have been familiar with a similar physical description of Paul in the pseudepigraphical Acts of Paul. According to that account, Paul was “of a low stature, bald (or shaved) on the head, crooked thighs, handsome legs, hollow-eyed; had a crooked nose; full of grace; for sometimes he had the countenance of an angel.” At some point while in Nauvoo, JS owned a copy of William Hone’s The Apocryphal New Testament, containing a translation of the Acts of Paul, which JS donated in early 1844 to the Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute. (Wayment, “Joseph Smith’s Description of Paul the Apostle,” 39–53; Acts of Paul, 1:7, in [Hone], Apocryphal New Testament, 100; Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute Record, .)
Wayment, Thomas A. “Joseph Smith’s Description of Paul the Apostle.” Mormon Historical Studies 13, nos. 1–2 (Spring and Fall 2012): 39–53.
[Hone, William]. The Apocryphal New Testament, Being All the Gospels, Epistles and Other Pieces Now Extant, Attributed in the First Four Centuries to Jesus Christ, His Apostles, and Their Companions and Not Included in the New Testament by Its Compilers. London: By the author, 1820.
Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute Record, Jan.–June 1844. CHL. MS 3431.
Neither Clayton nor McIntire identified those in attendance for this discourse, but Bennett, who was living with the Smith family at the time, may have been present. Two weeks later, a revelation said of Bennett, whose efforts had recently helped secure the passage of a city charter for Nauvoo, “I have seen the work he hath done, which I accept, if he continue, and will crown him with blessings and great glory.” (JS, Store Daybook, 8 Dec. 1843, 92; Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841 [D&C 124:17]; Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.)