7 March 1844 (2) (Thursday Afternoon).

7 March 1844 (2) (Thursday Afternoon). At Temple. [1]

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards

Joseph said in relation to those who give property on the temple. be careful into whose hands it come into that it may be entered into the church books. that those whose names are found in the church books [2] shall have the first claim in that house. I intend to keep the door at dedication myself—& not a man shall pass who had not paid his bonus

I do not care 1/2 so much about the Pres election as I do the office I have got we have as good a right to make a political party to gain power to defend ourselves as for mormons demagogues to make use of our religion to get power to destroy ourselves.—we will whip the mob by getting up a president. when I look into the Eastern papers & see how popular I am I am afraid I shall be president.—

on the annexation of Texas—some object—the anti-Mormons are good fellows—I say it in anticipation they will repent object to Texas on account of slavery.—Tis the very reason why she should be received.—

Houston [3] says "gentlemen if you refuse to receive us we must go to the British" and the first thing they will do will be to set the negroes free & Indians & they will use us up.

British officers running all over Texas to pick a quarrel with us.—more honorable for us to receive them. & set the negroes free & use the negroes & indians against our foes.

dont let Texas go out. [4] Our Mother & the daughter of the land, will laugh us in the teeth.—and if these things are not so—God never spoke with by any prophet since the world began.—I have been [thought not completed]

south held the balance of power &c—by annexing Texas.—I can do away this evil liberate 2 or 3 states & if that was not sufficient, call in Canida—

Send the negroes to Texas. from Texas to Mexico where all colors are alike.—Notice was given for the relief Society to meet saturday 2 P. M. to adopt "the voice of Innocence from Nauvoo." [5]

Joseph stated the Mormon Zion has endured all animus

Singing & prayer by B. Young.

Wilford Woodruff Diary

President Smith remarked in relation to those who give in property for the temple we want it brought to the proper source that it may be put on the Church Book [6] So that in the endowment those whose names are on Book shall have the prefference. As to politics I care but little about the Presidential Chair., I would not give half as much for the office as I would for the one I now hold, but as the world have used the power of Goverment to oppress & persecute us it is right for us to use it for the protection of our rights. when I get hold of the eastern paper & see how popular I am I am afraid myself that I shall be elected, But if I should be I would not say that your cause is just & I could not do anything for you. [7] What I said in relation to the annexation of texas is with some unpopular the people are opposed to it, I will take this objection away. the opposition is because it is filled up with Slavery, [8] now I wish to turn the argument it is the vary reason why it ought to be received in order to watch over them of the greatest two evils we should reject the greatest The president of Texas sayes if you do not receive us in the United States we will go to the British [9] this would certainly be bad policy for this Nation the British are now throughout that whole Country trying to bribe all they can. How much better it is to be to a little expens than to have the indians & British upon us & destroy us all, we should grasp all the territory we can [10] and I know, much that I do not tell I have had bribes offerd me, but I have rejected them. The government will not receive any thing from me they are self sufficient, but they must go to Hell & work out their own salvation with fear & trembling. as soon as texas was annexed I would liberate two or three states & pay them for their salves & let them go to Mexico whare they are mixed blacks &c I would also receive Canida & stand by them & many other usful remarks He made.

Thomas Bullock Diary

At the temple all day—the Prophet, Patriarch, B. Young, Taylor &c spoke—both large meetings. a most splendid day—& an attentive congregation—received much instruction.

Nauvoo Neighbor 1 (13 March 1844)

On Thursday last a large concourse of people assembled at the Temple, according to previous appointment. Gens. Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, Elder Young, and others, addressed the meeting at considerable length, and were listened to with profound attention. Upwards of five thousand persons were present on the occasion.

—7 March 1844 (2)

Notes

[1] See History of the Church, 6:243-44, and Teachings, pp. 333-35. The original source for the reports of this discourse in History of the Church and Teachings is am amalgamation of the Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards and the Wilford Woodruff Diary. The brief report by Thomas Bullock is here published for the first time.

[2] That is, the "Book of the Law of the Lord" wherein donations to the temple were recorded.

[3] Samuel Houston (1793-1863) was a United States statesman and general. He was president of the Republic of Texas 1836-44.

[4] When Texas declared its independence in 1836, an overwhelming majority favored annexation by the United States. To take Texas could result in war with Mexico, and would unavoidably stir sectional controversy over slavery. With 1844 (an election year) coming, northern and western senators refused to vote for annexation, and Texas began developing friendly ties with Great Britain. In the spring of 1844 presidential hopefuls Henry Clay (Whig) and Martin Van Buren (Democrat) announced their opposition to the annexation of Texas. At the Democratic convention in Baltimore, however, southern Democrats and a few northern expansionists demanded Texas be in the campaign and nominated James K. Polk instead of Van Buren on the basis of the latter's opposition to annexation. Joseph Smith is here advocating annexation at a time when both Whigs and Democrats were opposed to it.

[5] "The Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo" was a document prepared by a large number of the female part of Nauvoo to decry the nefarious activities of Orsimus F. Bostwick. It was published in the Nauvoo Neighbor on 20 March 1844. See 7 March 1844 (1) note 2.

[6] The "Book of the Law of the Lord."

[7] This is what President Martin Van Buren informed the Prophet during the latter's visit to Washington, D.C., in the fall of 1839. Joseph Smith and others were seeking for redress of their Missouri grievances.

[8] Sectionalism between the northern and southern states was becoming more and more pronounced. The Prophet is here referring to northern concerns that the annexation of Texas would upset the balance between slave and non-slave states.

[9] See note 4, this discourse. Texas was establishing ties with the British at the time, and there was fear that if the independent republic was not annexed by the United States it would be dominated by Great Britain.

[10] The Prophet is here advocating an aggressive, expansionist view.