1 May 1842 (Sunday Morning). Grove

Manuscript History of the Church[1]

I preached in the grove on the keys of the Kingdom, [2] Charity [3] &c The keys are certain signs and words by which false spirits and personages may be detected from true, which cannot be revealed to the Elders till the Temple is completed [4]—The rich can only get them in the Temple—the poor may get them on the Mountain top as did Moses. [5] The rich cannot be saved without Charity, giving to feed the poor when and how God requires as well as building. There are signs in heaven, earth, and hell, the Elders must know them all to be endowed with power, to finish their work and prevent imposition. [6] The devil knows many signs but does not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus. No one can truly say he knows God [7] until he has handled something, and this can only be in the Holiest of Holies.

Oliver Olney Record [8]

May 1st 1842 City of Nauvoo

This morning to Meeting
I fixed up and went. And decided that the mind
that the mind that would arise
And become wise and great
Must be attentive to Meeting
And hear the Prophet Joseph Preach

He will let them know of the gospel plan
He will let them know of the state of their souls
He will let them know of the state of their being endowed
With power from on High
He will reason both long and loud
To show the key word of Gods power

The mind that does desire to arise
In the Estimation of Joseph Smith
He must let him have their money
And he will lead them threw the garden The Garden gate of Heaven

But those that have kept their money back
He says he will leave them far behind
That they with him will have no chance
To enter threw the the Pearly Gate
Into Heavenly rest

A rest of which the Prophet spoke
If they it understood Between them and Joseph is a contrast Between them and Joseph is a contrast
The Prophets spoke of being endowed
With power from on High
They spoke of power that was of God
They spoke of power works by it performed
To heal the sick by the prayer of faith
To cast out Deavils raise the Dead
And will declare the Council of God
This in connection with all the gifts
Composed the Endowment of those sent to preach

But said Joseph Smith
If you with me desire to share
In blessings that is good. On me depend
And I will take you all along
If I for you do say to do
You in return must do for me
In money and goods and chattel
Or I will leave you far behind
As the Keys of the Kingdom I possess Like Peter I possess then I can save you
or Damn you as I like as

Such Preaching and teaching
As I of late have heard
Denotes the degraded situation
That the Church is in

I must now draw to a close
And to meeting go this afternoon
According to appointmen at two O Clock
I find not much falt with them
Except they suffer themselves
To be brought in to bondage
By the Leaders of the Church

I think their chance for reformation
Is but small as the Leaders of the Church
As they said by President Van Buren
Is a getting a merry fall
When my pen gets to running
In connection with my mind

—1 May 1842


[1] See History of the Church, 4:608. Not in Teachings. The original source for this account is the "Book of the Law of the Lord," p. 94.

[2] In these two sentences the Prophet defines the "keys of the kingdom" as "certain signs and words… [to] be revealed… [in] the Temple." This is an important evidence of his understanding of the endowment ordinances. Based on this statement, the ordinances of the endowment would be far more significant than what was given during the Kirtland period. See 28 April 1842, notes 6, 12, and 13, and discourse of 20 March 1842, text at note 15.

[3] Assuming that the Prophet repeated elements of what he had taught the sisters of the Relief Society three days before, he probably quoted from 1 Corinthians 13.

[4] Three days before, the Prophet indicated that he was about to give the endowment to the leaders of the Church. He also said that he would eventually bestow these ordinances upon the "Elders." Here it is clarified that the "Elders" would have to await the completion of the Nauvoo Temple before they would be permitted to receive these blessings. He, however, had two related reasons for administering these ordinances outside the temple before its dedication. The first reason he gave was that he was commanded of God to introduce the ordinances, and the second was that he had premonitions that he might be dead before the temple's completion. Evidence for the first reason is found in D&C 124:95, 97 and George Miller's letter to the North Islander dated 26 June 1855 in H. W. Mills, "De Tal Palo Tal Astilla," Annual Publications—Historical Society of Southern California 10 (Los Angeles: McBride Printing Company, 1917): 120-21. Evidence for the second reason is found in the minutes of his 28 April 1842 discourse and Bathsheba W. Smith's recollection of possibly this very Relief Society meeting in "Recollections the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor (1 June 1892): 345; Lucius N. Scovil letter to the Editor, Deseret News Semi-Weekly, 15 February 1884, p. 2; and the affidavit of Justus Morse dated 23 March 1887 in Charles A. Shook, The True Origin of Mormon Polygamy (Cincinnati: The Standard Publishing Company, 1914), p. 170. In regard to the more specific aspect of this referenced sentence, namely "the keys" of detection, see 27 June 1839, note 21, and 28 April 1842, note 13.

[5] Given that three days after this discourse the Prophet would administer the ordinances of the complete endowment for the first time (see History of the Church, 5:1-2, or Teachings, p. 137), Joseph Smith's comment that Moses received the endowment is fascinating—particuIarly in light of a remarkable alteration to Exodus 34:1-2 in Joseph Smith's Translation. Undoubtedly, if, at this stage of Joseph Smith's thinking, he had been asked, "What was taken away when Moses died?" he would not have answered, "the Endowment ordinances as they were given in Kirtland." Those ordinances there administered were identical for the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods (again see History of the Church, 5:1-2 or Teachings, p. 137). Based on his 5 January 1841 response to this question, his answer probably would have been the Melchizedek Priesthood portion of the endowment that could have brought Israel to see God face to face was taken away, but the keys of the Aaronic portion of the endowment that brought the ministry of angels remained. Moreover, the sacred vestments of the priesthood shown by the pattern of God for the Levitical order of the temple service (Exodus 28, 39, and 40:1-33) were not restored in Kirtland, but were given in Nauvoo.

[6] See 27 June 1839, note 21 and note 4, this discourse.

[7] John 17:3; 1 John 1:1-3; 3 Nephi 11:14-17; D&C 45:51-53; 50:45; 64:10; 84:98 (see 27 June 1839, note 9); 93:1; 132:22–24; JST Matthew 7:33 "Ye never knew me" and JST Matthew 25:11 "Ye know me not."

[8] Oliver Olney was born in England but spent his early life in Connecticut. He joined the Church around 1831 and was with the Saints in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. His wife passed away in 1842, leaving him alone with their seven children. On 17 March 1842, he was denounced for his writings. When a public notice appeared on 1 April 1842, he began to keep this record of the condition of the Church in Nauvoo from his peculiar point of view.

This uninspired prose—and this was at least his third attempt at describing the teachings of the day!—nevertheless confirms some of the points of the Prophet's sermon. Oliver Olney's papers are in the Beinecke Library, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.