17 May 1843 (1) (Wednesday Morning).

17 May 1843 (1) (Wednesday Morning). Ramus, Illinois. [1]

William Clayton Diary

At 10 Prest. J. preached on 2nd Peter Ch 1. He shewed that knowledge is power & the man who has the most knowledge has the greatest power. Also that salvation means a mans being placed beyond the powers of all his enemies. He said the more sure word of prophecy [2] meant a mans knowing that he is sealed up unto eternal life by revelation & the spirit of prophecy through the power of the Holy priesthood. [3] He also showed that it is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. Paul had seen the third heavens and I more. [4] Peter penned the most sublime language of any of the apostles.

Samuel A. Prior [5] Statement, Times and Seasons 4 (15 May 1843): 198

He commenced preaching, not from the Book of Mormon, however, but from the Bible; the first chapter of the first of Peter, [6] was his text. He commenced calmly and continued dispassionately to pursue his subject, while I sat in breathless silence, waiting to hear that foul aspersion of the other sects, that diabolical disposition of revenge, and to hear that rancorous denunciation of every individual but a Mormon. I waited in vain—I listened with surprise—I sat uneasy in my seat, and could hardly persuade myself but that he had been apprised of my presence, and so ordered his discourse on my account; that I might not be able to find fault with it, for instead of a jumbled jargon of half connected sentences, and a volley of imprecations, and diabolical and malignant denunciations heaped upon the heads of all who differed from him, and the dreadful twisting and wresting of the scriptures, to suit his own peculiar views, and attempt to weave a web of dark and mystic sophistry around the gospel truths, which I had anticipated, he glided along through a very interesting and elaborate discourse, with all the care and happy facility of one who was well aware of his important station, and his duty to God and man, and evidencing to me, that he was well worthy to be styled "a workman rightly dividing the word of truth," [7] and giving without reserve, "saint and sinner his portion in due season" [8]—and I was compelled to go away with a very different opinion from what I had entertained when I first took my seat to hear him preach.

—17 May 1843 (1)


[1] See History of the Church, 5:392, and Teachings, p. 301. The original source for the report of this discourse published in History of the Church and Teachings is the William Clayton Diary. Ramus, also known as Macedonia, was a Mormon settlement twenty miles east of Nauvoo.

[2] 2 Peter 1:19.

[3] Regarding the phraseology "by revelation, & the spirit of Prophecy," see 27 June 1839, note 3. See also the poetic rendition of D&C 76:53 quoted in note 7 of discourse dated "Before 8 August 1839 (3)."

[4] See discourse dated "Before 8 August 1839 (1)," note 4.

[5] Samuel A. Prior was a Methodist minister.

[6] Actually Joseph Smith quoted 2 Peter 1.

[7] 2 Timothy 2:15.

[8] Based on Matthew 12:42.