Discourse, circa 19 July 1840, as Reported by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray–B

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

A few Item from a discourse delivered by Joseph Smith July 19— 1840
Read a chap in [Ezekiel] ed concluding with this saying and when all these things come to pass and Lo they will come then shall you know that a Prophet hath been among you
Afterwards read the parable of the 12 olive trees and said speaking of the Land of that It consisted consists of all N. & S America but that any place where the gather is Zion which every righteous man will build up for a place of safety for his children that The olive trees are 12 which are yet to be built not the in as some suppose for while the 12 olive stakes are being built we will be at [p. [9]] peace but the Nations of the Earth will be at war:
our cry from the 1st has been for peace and we will continue pleading like the Widow at the feet of the unjust judge but we may plead at the feet of Majistrates and at the feet of Judges At the feet of Governors and at the feet of senotors & at the feet of the Pre[s]idents for 8 years it will be of no avail we shall find no favor in any <​of the​> courts of this government
The is the redemption of all N & S America and those 12 must be built up before the redemption of Zion can take place and those who refuse to gather [p. [10]] and build when they are comanded to do so cease to be Saviours of men and are thenceforth good for nothing but shall be cast out and trodden underfeet of men for their transgression as was when he aplied in the name of an apostate for buisness in a store in They told him that they wanted no apostates round them and showed him the door At this same store the Authorities of this could have obtained almost any amount of Credit they could have asked—
*We shall build the of the Lord in peace untill the servants of that Lord shall begin to lay the found [p. [11]][a]tion of a great and high watch Tower and then shall they begin to say within themselves what need hath my Lord of this tower seeing this is a time of peace &c—
Then the Enemy shall come as a thief in the night and [one blank line] scatter the servants abroad when the seed of these 12 Olive trees are scattered abroad they will wake up the Nations of the whole Earth Eeven this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to peices and tumbling to the ground and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up[on] which the Nation shall [p. [12]] lean and they shall bear away the constitution away from the <​very​> verge of destruction— Then shall the Lord say Go tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house my young men and middle aged &c Come to the Land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord— Then the Kings & Queens shall come then the rulers of the Earth shall come then shall all saints come yea the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the Land of my vineyard for in this thing Shall be their safety and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeeth from a sudden des [p. [13]] destruction— But before this the time shall be when these who are now my friends shall become my enemies and shall seek to take my life and shall be m there are those now before me who will more furiously pursue me and more dilligently seek to my life and be more b[l]ood thirsty upon my track thus <​than​> ever were the an Mobbers you say among yourselves as did them of old time is it I & is it I but I know these things by the visions of the Almighty—
But brethren come ye yea come all of you who can come and go to with your mights [p. [14]] and build up the cities of the Lord and whosoever will let him come and partake of the poverty of freely for those who partake of her poverty shall also shall also partake of her prosperity and it is now wisdom in God that we should enter into as compact a city as posible For and Jerusalem and must both be built up before the coming of Christ This will near a half of a century How long will it take to do this 10 years yes more than 40 years will pass before this work will be accomplished and when these cities are built then shall the coming of the son of man be [p. [15]]
Now let all who can coolly and deliberately dispose of their property come up and give of their substance to the [poor?] that the hearts of the poor may be comforted and all may worship god together in holiness of heart come brethren come all of you— And I prophecy in the name of the Lord that the state of shall become a great mountain and mighty mountain as [a] city set upon a hill that cannot be hid and a great [candle?] that giveth light to the world and The city of als[o] shall become the Greatest city in the whole world— [p. [16]]
curse that man who says to his neighbor you are a mean man because you do not believe as I do I now invite all liberall minded men to come up to and help to build up the city of our God We are not greatly distressed No no nor ever will be This is the principle place of therefore let the brethren begin to roll in like clouds and we will sell you lots if you are able to pay for them and of if not you shall have them without money and without price
The greater blessing is unto those who come in times of [p. [17]] adversity. For many will come to us in times of prosperity that will stand at the corners of the streets saying with long pharisaical faces to those that come after thems dont go near Bro Joseph dont go near the authorities of the for they will pick your pockets they will rob you of all your money Thus will they breed in our midst a spirit of dissatisfaction and distrust that will end in persecution and distress——
Now from this hour bring every thing you can bring and build a unto the Lord a house into the mighty God [p. [18]] of Jacob. We will build upon the top of this Temple a great observatory a great and high watch tower and in the top thereof we will Suspend a tremendous bell that when it is rung shall rouse the inhabitants of and wake up the people of and sound in the ears of men [in] Then comes the ancient records yea all of them dig them yes bring them forth speedily
Then shall the poor be fed by the curious who shall come from all parts of the world to see this wonderful temple Yea I [p. [19]] I prophecy that pleasure parties shall come from to see the Mamoth and like the Queen of Sheba shall say the half never was told them. School houses shall be built here and High schools shall be established and the great men of the [earth] shall send their sons here to board while they are receiving their education among us and even Noblemen shall crave the priviledge of educating their children with us and these poor saints shall chink in their pockets the money of these proud men received from such as come and dwell with us [p. [20]]
Now brethren I obligate myself to build as great a as ever solomon did if the will back me up. moreover it shall not impoverish any man but enrich thousands and I prophecy that the time shall be when these saints shall ride proudly over the mountains of and no dog nor dog Shall dare lift a tongue against them but will lick up the dust from beneath their feet and I pray the father that many here may realize this and see it with their eyes and And if it should be [p. [21]] (Stretching his hand towards the place and in a melancholly tone that made all hearts tremble) will of God that I might live to behold that completed and finished from the foundation to the top stone I will say Oh Lord it is enough Lord let thy servant depart in peace which is my ernest prayer in the name of the L Jesus Amen [p. [22]]


  1. 1

    See Ezekiel 33:33.  

  2. 2

    See Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:43–62].  

  3. 3

    A July 1831 revelation stated that the Saints would build a temple near Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:3]; see also Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:3–4].)  

  4. 4

    After the Saints were driven from Jackson County in fall 1833, a June 1834 revelation instructed the Saints to “make proposals for peace unto those who have smitten you” and to “lift up an ensign of peace, and make a proclamation for peace unto the ends of the earth.” Thereafter, church leaders drafted an “APPEAL for peace,” which was published in the August 1834 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star. (Revelation, 22 June 1834 [D&C 105:40]; William W. Phelps et al., “An Appeal,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1834, 183–184, emphasis in original.)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  5. 5

    See Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:81–85].  

  6. 6

    A December 1833 revelation instructed the church to “impertune at the feet” of judges, the governor of Missouri, and the president of the United States to regain its Jackson County lands. Although church leaders complied with the revelation, they did not receive help from any of those sources. After church members were expelled from Missouri in 1838 and 1839, JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Elias Higbee appealed to Congress and President Martin Van Buren for redress but were denied assistance from the federal government. (Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:86–88]; “Joseph Smith Documents from April 1834 through September 1835”; Letter from Elias Higbee, 26 Feb. 1840; Letter to Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo High Council, 5 Dec. 1839.)  

  7. 7

    See Matthew 5:13; Book of Mormon, 1837 ed., 506 [3 Nephi 12:13]; Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:40]; and Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:10].  

  8. 8

    Although Peck was excommunicated, his family remained members of the church. They likely did not arrive in Quincy, Illinois, before mid-May 1839. (“Extracts of the Minutes of Conferences,” Times and Seasons, Nov. 1839, 1:15; William W. Phelps, Far West, MO, to Sally Waterman Phelps, St. Louis, MO, 1 May 1839, CHL.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

    Phelps, William W. Letter, Far West, MO, to Sally Waterman Phelps, St. Louis, MO, 1 May 1839. CHL.

  9. 9

    See Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:45–48].  

  10. 10

    See Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:51].  

  11. 11

    The federal government’s refusal to help the Saints led many church members to conclude that the United States was ripe for destruction. In the July 1840 issue of the Times and Seasons, for example, Alanson Ripley declared that if the Saints could not obtain redress, God would “hear the cries of innocent blood, and will let loose his indignation upon the rulers of this government, and vexation, and astonishment shall be the cry of this nation.” (Alanson Ripley, “To All the Saints,” Times and Seasons, July 1840, 1:137–138; see also Letter from Elias Higbee, 9 Mar. 1840.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  12. 12

    Parley P. Pratt stated in a letter to Orson Pratt that JS had said—perhaps in this discourse—that “the government is fallen & needs redeeming. It is guilty of Blood & cannot stand as it now is but will come so near dessolation as to hang as it were by a single hair!” (Orson Pratt, Edinburgh, Scotland, to George A. Smith, Burslem, England, 21 Jan. 1841, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL, underlining in original.)  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

  13. 13

    See Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:55–56].  

  14. 14

    See Matthew 26:21–22; and Mark 14:18–19.  

  15. 15

    See Book of Mormon, 1837 ed., 359 [Alma 42:27]; and Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:66].  

  16. 16

    See Book of Mormon, 1837 ed., 204, 488 [Mosiah 18:12; 3 Nephi 4:29]; and Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:7].  

  17. 17

    See Matthew 5:14–15.  

  18. 18

    At an April 1840 general conference, JS “requested the brethren to step forward and assist in liquidating the debts on the [Nauvoo] town plot, so that the poor might have inheritances.” (Minutes and Discourse, 6–8 Apr. 1840.)  

  19. 19

    As early as 1831, JS was accused of enriching himself from church members’ assets. An 1838 publication similarly claimed that it was “the grand object” of church leaders to get members to “surrender their property to the Mormon community.” (“Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier [Ravenna, OH], 1 Sept. 1831, [1]; Symonds Rider, Hiram, OH, to Amos S. Hayden, 1 Feb. 1868, in Hayden, Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, 221; Sunderland, Mormonism Exposed and Refuted, 22, 33.)  

    Western Courier. Ravenna, OH. 1826–1833.

    Hayden, Amos Sutton. Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio; with Biographical Sketches of the Principal Agents in Their Religious Movement. Cincinnati: Chase and Hall, 1875.

    Sunderland, La Roy. Mormonism Exposed and Refuted. New York City: Piercy and Reed, 1838.

  20. 20

    JS may have been contemplating the troubles he had encountered in Kirtland, Ohio. In 1837 and 1838, after a period of prosperity, an economic crisis caused in part by a national economic panic and the failure of the Kirtland Safety Society led many church leaders to denounce JS as a fallen prophet. He even feared for his life and ultimately relocated with his family to Far West, Missouri. (“Joseph Smith Documents from October 1835 through January 1838.”)  

  21. 21

    See 1 Kings 10:4–7; and 2 Chronicles 9:3–6.  

  22. 22

    See 1 Kings chap. 6.  

  23. 23

    See Isaiah 49:23; and Book of Mormon, 1837 ed., 80 [2 Nephi 6:13].