8 February 1844 (Thursday Evening).

8 February 1844 (Thursday Evening). Upper Room, Red Brick Store. [1]

Wilford Woodruff Diary

I met with a congregation of the Citizens in the room over Joseph Store for the purpose of hearing the views of General Joseph Smith given concerning the affairs of Government his views were written & were read by Wm W Phelps & were in the highest degree interesting. [2] Gen Smith gave his reasons for permitting his name to go forth as a Candidate for the Presidency of the United States. which were as follows

I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on any wise as president of the United States or Candidate for that office If I & my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious & civel rights as American Citizen even those rights which the Constitution guarantee unto all her Citizens alike but this we as a people have been denied from the beginning Persecution has rolled upon our heads from time to time from portions of the United States like peels of thunder because of our religion & no portion of the government as yet has steped forward for our relief & under view of these things I feel it to be my right & privilege to obtain what influence & power I can lawfully in the United States for the protection of injured innocence & If I loose my life [3] in a good cause I am will to be sacrificed on the alter of virtue rightousness & truth in maintaining the laws & Constitution of the United States if need be for the general good of mankind.

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards

evening had a political Meeting in the assembly room & Bro Phelps publicly read my views of the Gen Government for the first time—Elders Hyde & Taylor made a speech—& myself also.

—8 February 1844

Notes

[1] See History of the Church, 6:210-11, and Teachings, pp. 331-32. The original source for the reports of this address in History of the Church and Teachings is the Wilford Woodruff Diary except for the introduction which comes from the Joseph Smith Diary.

[2] The Prophet's "Views on the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States," published in pamphlet form, is given in full in History of the Church, 6:197-209.

[3] See Joseph Smith Diary report of the 9 July 1843 discourse (after note 2 &), for a similar remark by the Prophet.