12 May 1844 (Sunday Morning). Temple Stand

[1] The Savior has the words of Eternal life [2]—nothing else can profit us—there is no salvation in believing an evil report against our neighbor—I advise all to go on to perfection and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness [3]—a man can do nothing for himself unless God direct him in the right way, and the Priesthood is reserved for that purpose—the last time I spoke on this stand, it was on the resurrection of the dead; when I promised to continue my remarks upon that subject. [4] I still feel a desire to say something on this subject—let us this very day begin anew, and now say with all our hearts, we will forsake our sins and be righteous—I shall read the 24th. ch of Matthew and give it a litteral rendering and reading, and when it is rightly understood it will be edifying (he then read & translated it from the German) I thought the very oddity of its rendering would be edifying any how—"And it will preached be; the Gospel of the Kingdom in the whole world, to a witness over all people, and then will the end come." [5] I will now read it in German—(which he did, and many Germans who were present said he translated it correct) the Savior said, when those tribulations should take place, it should be committed to a man, who should be a witness over the whole world, the keys of knowledge, power, and revelations, should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world; [6] it has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries, new things, for my hearers—just at the time when some men think that I have no right to the keys of the Priesthood [7] just at that time, I have the greatest right—the Germans are an exalted people. the old German translators are the most correct; most honest of any of the translators, and therefore I get testimony to bear me out in the revelations that I have preached for the last 14 years—the old German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew translations all say it is true, they cannot be impeached, and therefore I am in good company—all the testimony is, that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the Priesthood to a witness over all people—has the Gospel of the Kingdom commenced in the last days? and will God take it from the man, until he takes him, himself? [8] I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ—John the Revelator saw an angel flying thro' the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, &c. [9] the Scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgements, &c are ready to be poured out on the Inhabitants of the Earth—John saw the angel having the holy Priesthood who should preach the everlasting gospel to all nations,—God had an angel, a special messenger, ordained, & prepared for that purpose in the last days—Woe! Woe! be to that man, or set of men, who lift up their hands against God and his Witness in these last days. [10]—for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones—my apostate enemies say that I have been a true prophet—& I had rather be a fallen true prophet, than a false prophet; when a man goes about prophesying and commands men to obey his teachings, he must be either a true or false prophet; false prophets always arise to oppose the true prophets, and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones—the doctrine of eternal judgments belong to the 1st. principles of the Gospel in the last days [11]—in relation to the Kingdom of God [12]—the devil always sets up his Kingdom at the very same time in opposition to God,—every man who has a calling to mininster to the Inhabitants of the world, was ordained to that very purpose in the grand Council of Heaven before this world was [13]—I suppose that I was ordained to this very office in that grand Council [14]—it is the testimony that I want, that I am God's servant, and this people his people—the Ancient Prophets declared in the last days the God of Heaven shall set up a Kingdom which should never be destroyed, nor, left to other People; [15] & the very time that was calculated on; this people was struggling to bring it out [16]—he that arms himself with Gun, sword, or Pistol except in the defense of truth, will some time be sorry for it [17]—I never carry any thing weapon with me bigger than my Pen Knife—when I was dragged before the Cannon and muskets in Missouri, I was unarmed. God will always protect me until my mission is fulfilled. [18] I calculate to be one of the Instruments of setting up the Kingdom of Daniel, by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world [19]—I once offered my life to the Missouri Mob as a sacrifice for my people—and here I am—it will not be by Sword or Gun that this Kingdom will roll on—the power of truth is such that—all nations will be under the necessity of obeying the Gospel the prediction is that army will be against army [20]—it may be that the Saints will have to beat their Ploughes into Swords. [21] It will not do for men to sit down and see their women & children destroyed patiently,—my text is on the resurrection of the dead, which you will find in the 14 ch. of John In my Fathers house are many mansions &c it should be In my Father's Kingdom are many Kingdoms [22]—in order that ye may be heirs of—God and joint heirs with me [23]—I do not believe the methodist doctrine of sending honest men, and noble minded men to hell, along with the murderer and adulterer—they may hurl all their hell and fiery billows upon me, for they will roll off me as fast as they come on—but I have an order of things to save the poor fellows at any rate, and get them saved for I will send men to preach to them in prison and save them if I can. There are many mansions for those who obey a celestial law [24]—& there are other mansions for those who come short of that law—every man in his own order there is baptism &c for those to exercise who are alive, and baptism for the dead, who died without the knowledge of the gospel I am going on in my progress for eternal life—it is not only necessary that you should be baptized for your dead, but you will have to go thro' all the ordinances for them, same as you have gone through, to save yourselves; there will be 144,000 Saviors on Mount Zion, [25] and with them an innumerable host, that no man can number—Oh! I beseech you to forward, go forward and make your calling and your election sure [26]—and if any man preach any other gospel with that which I have preached, he shall be cursed, [27] and some of you who now hear me, shall see it & know that I testify the truth concerning them; in regard to the law of the Priesthood [28]—there should be a place where all nations shall come up from time to time to receive their endowments, and the Lord has said, this shall be the place for the baptism for the dead [29]—every man that has been baptized and belongs to the Kingdom, has a right to be baptized for those who are gone before, and, as soon as the Law of the Gospel is obeyed here by their friends, who act as proxy for them, the Lord has administrators there to set them free—a man may act as proxy for his own relatives—the ordinances of the Gospel which was laid out before the foundation of the world has been thus fulfilled, by them, and we may be baptized for those who we have much friendship for, but it must be first revealed to the man of God, lest we should run too far [30]—as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive, [31] all shall be raised from the dead—the Lamb of God hath brought to pass the resurrection so that all shall rise from the dead—God Almighty himself dwells in Eternal fire, [32] flesh and blood cannot go there for all corruption is devoured by the fire [33]—our God is a consuming fire [34]—when our flesh is quickened by the Spirit, there will be no blood in the tabernacles, [35]—some dwell in higher glory than others—those who have done wrong, always have that wrong knawing them—Immortality dwells in everlasting burnings [36]—I will from time to time reveal to you the subjects that are revealed by the Holy Ghost to me—all the lies that are now hatched up against me are of the devil & all the influence of the devil & his servants will be used against the kingdom of God—the Servants of God teach nothing but the principles of eternal life—by their works ye shall know them [37]—a good man will speak good things, & holy principles and an evil man, evil things;—I feel in the name of the Lord, to rebuke all such bad principles, liars &c and I warn all of you to look out who you are going after—I exhort you to give heed to all the virtue and the teachings which I have given you; all men who are mortal, dwell in everlasting burnings; [38] you cannot go any where, but where God can find you out; [39] all men are born to die & all must rise, all must enter eternity—in order for you to receive your children to yourself, you must have a promise, some ordinance some blessing in order to assend above principalities or else it may be an angel [40]—they must rise just as they died—we can there hail our lovely infants with the same glory, the same loveliness in the celestial glory where they all enjoy alike—they differ in stature, in size—the same glorious spirit gives them the likeness of glory and bloom [41]—the old man with his silvery hairs will glory in bloom & beauty [42]—no man can describe it to you—no man can write it [43]— when did I ever teach any thing wrong from this stand? when was I ever confounded? I want to triumph in Israel before I depart hence and am no more seen [44]—I never told you I was perfect—but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught—must I then be thrown away as a thing of nought?—I enjoin for your consideration, add to your faith, virtue, love &c [45] I say in the name of the Lord, if these things are in you, you shall be fruitful. [46] I testify that no man has power to reveal it, but myself, things in heaven, in earth and hell [47]—and all shut your mouths for the future—I commend you all to God, that you may inherit all things—& may God add his blessings. Amen.

George Laub [48] Journal

Concerning Gods Witness

24th chapter of Revelations of John Mathew, Mathew 6 & 7 14 verses, & the orriginal translation Reads thus and I will Send you a nother witness & he shall preach this gospel to all nations to the ends of the world But woe to that man or woman who Shall lift up their or his hands against god's witness for the[y] are rasing their hands or arms against the power of god and the[y] will be cursed. But in these times in the last days there will many fals prophets arise and false teachers and decieve many the[y] Shall have many followers by their deceit. [49] the[y] Strive to have power and by their pernitious ways lead of[f] many—for Brother Joseph Smith was chosen for the last dispensation or Seventh Dispensation The time the grand council Set in heaven to organise this world Joseph was chosen for the last & greatest Prophet to lay the foundation of gods work of the Seventh Dispensation therefore the Jews asked John the Baptist if he was Elias or Jesus or that great prophet that was to come. [50]

the Devil lusifer also organised his kingdom in oposition to overthrow gods kingdom & he became the Son of perdition [51]

also concerning the kingdoms in my fathers house or kingdom are many kingdoms or worlds I will goe to prepare a place for you. [52] and according to your works you shall be rewarded. [53] These who will not obey the gospel will goe to the world of spirits there to stay till the[y] have paid the utmost farthing or till some person pays their depts they owe. [54] Now all those die in the faith goe to the prison of Spirits to preach to the ded in body, but they are alive in the Spirit & those Spirits preach to the Spirits that they may live according to god in the Spirit and men do minister for them in the flesh and angels bare the glad tidings to the Spirits & the[y] are made happy by these means. [55] therefore those who are baptised for their dead are the Saviours on mount Zion [56] & the[y] must receave their washings and their anointings for their dead the same as for themselves till the[y] are connected to the ones in the dispensation before us and trace their leniage to connect the priesthood again

and if any other man preach any other gospel then this and the Baptism for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the reception of the holy ghost let him be anathamised or acursed [57] The curs of god shall be upon him or them.

Concerning Resurection Flesh and Blood cannot inherit the kingdom of god or the kingdom that god inherits or inhabits. [58] But the flesh without the blood and the Spirit of god flowing in the vains in Sted of the blood for blood is the part of the body that causes corruption. [59] therefore we must be changed in the twinkle of an Eye or have to lay down these tabernacles and leave the blood vanish away [60] Therefore Jesus Christ left his blood to atone for the Sins of the world that he might assend into the presents of the father for god dwels in flaming flames and he is a consuming fire [61] he will consume all that is unclean and unholly and we could not abide his presents unless pure Spirits in us. [62] for the Blood is the corruptible part of the tabernacles.

for the resurrection is devised to take away corruption and make Man perfect or in the glory which he was created for The body is Sowen in corruption & raised in Incorruption [63] Then we will be able to goe in the presents of god Br. Joseph Smith was sent to remind the world of Sin or rituousness & of the Judgments to come But this is that of what John Says in his 14th Chapter, but he Says of sin or rituousness and of a Judgment to come to reprove the world This is rong Translation for to remind is correct. [64]

Samuel W. Richards Record

The Prophet Joseph said May 12th 1844 After reading the 24th Chap of Math [65] from from an Ancient German Bible Text: "The Kingdom must preached be to a witness over all Nation People." "preached to a man who should be a witness to all people, is the meaning of the text." quoted Rev. 14-6 having the Gospel saying the hour of his Judgment is come.

At the general & grand Council of heaven, all those to whom a dispensation was to be commited, were set apart & ordained at that time, to that calling.

The Twelve also as witnesses were ordained. [66]

Subject changed to Resurrection of the Dead. John 14: 2d "in my Fathers Kingdom are many Kingdoms. I go to prepare a Kingdom for you, that the exaltation that I receive you may receive also."

The sectarians have no Charity for me but I have for them. I intend to send men to prison to preach to them, and this is all on the Principle of entering in by Water and Spirit. [67] Then you must not only be baptized for them but they must receive the Holy Ghost by Proxy and be sealed by it unto the day of their redemption as all the other ordinances by proxy. [68]

All persons who have been Baptized and who have received the Holy Ghost may be baptized for their ancestors or near relatives. God has administrators in the eternal world to release those spirits from Prison the ordinances being administered by proxy upon them the law is fulfilled.

All resurected bodies dwell in flaming fire for our God is a consuming fire. [69]

With what body do they rise?

You must obtain promises for them as Abraham. They rise with the same sized and shaped bodies, but to have the same glories as full grown bodies. [70]

Joseph Fielding Diary

On Sunday the 13th [12th] of May Joseph spoke on the Gospel of the Kingdom and shewd that when God set up his Kingdom on the Earth Satan always set up his in Opposition alluding to Appostay at this [time] working in this Place [71], I never felt more delighted with his discourse than at this time, It put me in Mind of Herod when they said at his Oration It is the voice of a God and not of a Man, [72] The Circumstances were widely different, he also spoke some on the Resurrection.

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards

10 A.M. preached at the Stand touching many things.

Thomas Bullock Diary

I and wife went to Temple stand Joseph preached on the resurrection and baptism for the dead he translated 24 ch Matthew—I learned a great deal.

—12 May 1844


[1] See History of the Church, 6:363-67, and Teachings, pp. 364-68. The original source for the account of this discourse in History of the Church and Teachings is the Thomas Bullock report. The accounts of Thomas Bullock (personal diary) and Samuel W. Richards are here published for the first time.

A reminiscent account of this discourse by David Osborn (1807-93) parallels certain parts of the Bullock report.

I will mention a few instances of his commenting on or explaining the scriptures: On the stand (Upon the bench at Nauvoo) he read the 24th chapter of Math. in the German Bible. When he came to the 14th v. he read it thus "And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached for or against all Nations and then shall the end come" he called on a learned German in the congregation to say whether he had read the verse correctly, he said he had. Joseph then observed that he considered the German translation of the Scriptures more correct than any other and furthermore he believed the German people were more honest than many other nations. Again in commenting on 1st. Cor. 12th ch. 31st. v. he read it thus "Thus I have shown unto you a more excellent way," for says he the Translators make the Apostle swerve from the truth in order to do away or invalidate the true organization of the gospel ordinances with its spiritual Gift and office (David Osborn Journal, Church Archives).

[2] John 6:68 (66-71). See also John 17:8; D&C 59:23; Moses 6:59.

[3] That the mysteries of godliness were a desirable subject of righteous pursuit is suggested by the following passages: Psalm 25:14; Daniel 2:28; Matthew 13:11; 1 Corinthians 4:1; 1 Nephi 2:16; 10:19; Alma 12:9-11; D&C 6:7; 19:8-10 (4-22); 42:61; 50:24-30; 76:5-10, 114-119; 84:19; 88:49-50, 63-69 (49-69); 93:1, 19-22, 26-28, 36-39; 107:18-19; 121:26-28; 132:23; 27 June 1839 text, paragraph with note 15 &. Nevertheless, this important attribute of godliness is only part of the attribute of charity (1 Corinthians 13:2; 2 Peter 1:5-7).

[4] He last spoke at length on 7 April and only briefly on 8 April. On both occasions he promised to continue the subject of the King Follett sermon.

[5] Matthew 24:14*.

[6] In the Prophet's word for word translation of Matthew 24:14 the key word zu he chose to translate as to rather than for.

[7] William Law, who was only recently excommunicated, claimed that Joseph Smith was a fallen prophet because he was practicing plural marriage. Here Joseph Smith asserts that despite these objections, he still possessed the keys given to him by revelation (see D&C 28:7; 64:5; 90:1-5; 112:15; 115:19; 128:10-11; 132:7, 19, 45).

[8] See D&C 90:1-5; 112:15.

[9] Revelation 14:6-7.

[10] Cf. the discourse dated "Before 8 August 1839 (2)," the sentence after note 6.

[11] See 27 June 1839, note 5.

[12] See note 71, this discourse.

[13] Abraham 3:23.

[14] Regarding pre-mortal priesthood appointments, see Jeremiah 1:4-5; Abraham 3:22-23 and Alma 13:3-5 (1-9).

[15] Daniel 2:44.

[16] No doubt a calculation based on the words "in the days of these kings" of Daniel 2:44. Also based on a comparison between Revelation 12:6 (1-6) and three passages: JST Revelation 12:1-7; D&C 5:14; and, D&C 33:5.

[17] Matthew 26:52.

[18] See 22 January 1843, note 20.

[19] This he was doing specifically by organizing the "Kingdom of God" or "Council of Fifty." See D. Michael Quinn, "The Council of Fifty and Its Members, 1844-1945." Brigham Young University Studies 20 (Winter 1980) and Andrew F. Ehat "'It Seems Like Heaven Began on Earth': Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God." Brigham Young University Studies 20 (Spring 1980), and Hyrum L. Andrus, Doctrines of the Kingdom—Foundations of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ 3 (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973) pp. 352-401, 550-60.

[20] Matthew 24:7 is the closest approximation to this statement in the scriptures.

[21] Joel 3:10 (cf. Joseph Smith-History 1:41, for the time of the fulfillment of this prophecy).

[22] John 14:2*.

[23] Romans 8:17.

[24] Admittedly, D&C 131:1 could be interpreted as "In the heavens, there are the three glories: celestial, terrestrial and telestial." However, Joseph Smith clearly indicates in this sentence that there are differences of glory within the Celestial Kingdom. This, therefore, effectively eliminates this possible alternate interpretation.

[25] Revelation 14:1 (cf. Obadiah 21, Revelation 7 and D&C 77:8-11, 14).

[26] 2 Peter 1:10.

[27] Galatians 1:8 (6-8).

[28] Here he calls it a "law of the priesthood" that certain ordinances can only be performed in the house of the Lord. See text of 8 April 1844 at note 7.

[29] D&C 124:29-39.

[30] This is perhaps the clearest statement of the procedure of proxy work for the dead—how it is that those who have died are informed that their descendants have done their ordinances work by proxy. Agreeable to D&C 132:7, the proxy work (done at that time) for other than blood kin ("those who we have much friendship for") must be approved by the Prophet on a case-by-case basis.

[31] 1 Corinthians 15:22 (21-22).

[32] Isaiah 33:14 (13-17).

[33] 1 Corinthians 15:50.

[34] Hebrews 12:29.

[35] See text of 20 March 1842 discourse at note 21.

[36] Isaiah 33:14 (13-17). According to Thomas Bullock's report of this discourse, Joseph Smith twice indicated that "all men who are immortal, dwell in everlasting burnings." The celestial, terrestrial and telestial kingdoms however are of varying degrees of "everlasting burnings."

[37] Matthew 7:20 (15-20).

[38] See note 36, this discourse.

[39] Psalm 139:7 (1-16); Jeremiah 23:24 (23-24).

[40] Confirmation of D&C 132:16-17, 19. On children being sealed to parents, see 13 August 1843 (1), note 8.

[41] See 20 March 1842, note 22.

[42] According to his own account, Zebedee Coltrin saw with Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery a vision of the resurrected Adam and Eve. "They were the two most beautiful and perfect specimens of mankind [I have] ever seen." "Their heads were white as snow, and their faces shone with youth." (The first quotation is from the Salt Lake School of the Prophets Minute Book, 1883, p. 70 [meeting of 11 October 1883]. The second quotation is from an extract of the Spanish Fork, Utah High Priests Quorum Minutes for 5 February 1878, extract in the Zebedee Coltrin Papers. Both of these manuscripts are located in the Church Archives.)

[43] See description of the resurrection given in the 16 April 1843 discourse.

[44] See 28 April 1842, note 11.

[45] 2 Peter 1:5-7.

[46] 2 Peter 1:8; D&C 107:30-31.

[47] D&C 28:7(1-7).

[48] George Laub (1814-80), a native of Earl, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was baptized in 1842. In Nauvoo he was ordained a seventy and received his endowment on 19 December 1845.

[49] Matthew 24:5.

[50] Laub did not transcribe his original notes of this discourse in his journal until nearly a year after the death of Joseph Smith; thus, this reference to John 1:21 may be Laub's interpolation.

[51] D&C 76:26.

[52] John 14:2.

[53] Revelation 20:12-13.

[54] Matthew 5:26.

[55] 1 Peter 4:6.

[56] Obadiah 21.

[57] Galatians 1:8 (6-8); 1 Corinthians 16:22.

[58] 1 Corinthians 15:50.

[59] See 20 March 1842, note 21.

[60] 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

[61] Isaiah 33:14 (13-17); Hebrews 12:29.

[62] Ephesians 5:5. See also 3 Nephi 27:19.

[63] 1 Corinthians 15:42.

[64] John 16:8*.

[65] Matthew 24:14.

[66] This is the only known reference in the Prophet's teachings concerning the pre-mortal ordination of the Twelve Apostles.

[67] John 3:5.

[68] That all temple ordinances for the living are also performed for the dead, see James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord, pp. 163, 211 and B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church 6:495.

[69] Hebrews 12:29. See also note 36, this discourse.

[70] See 20 March 1842, note 22.

[71] Joseph Fielding, who was a member of the "Kingdom of God" or "Council of Fifty," stated that the Prophet was very specific in his allusions made at this point of the discourse. He was referring to the fact that while the "Kingdom" was organized on 11 March 1844, William Law soon thereafter organized an opposition church (see Andrew F. Ehat, "'They Might Have Known That He Was Not a Fallen Prophet'—The Nauvoo Journal of Joseph Fielding." Brigham Young University Studies 19 (Winter 1979): 146-148.

[72] Acts 12:22.