13 April 1843 (Thursday). At Temple

[1] I most heartily congratulate you on your safe arrival at Nauvoo. & your safe deliverance from all the dangers & difficulties you have had to encounter but you must not think your tribulations are ended.

I shall not address you on doctrine but concerning your temporal welfare inasmuch as you have come up here assaying to keep the Commandments of God I pronounce the blessings of heaven & earth upon you. & inasmuch as [you] will follow counsel & act wisely & do right these blessings shall rest upon you so far as I have power of with God to seal them upon you I am your servant. & it is only through the Holy Ghost that I can do you good. God is able to do his own work.

we do not present ourselves before you as any thing but your humble servants. willing to be spend & be spent in your services.

we shall dwell on your temporal welfare on this occasion. In the 1st place. where a crowd is flocking from all parts of the world of different minds, religions, &c. there will be some who do not live up to the commandments; & there will be designing characters who would turn you aside & lead you astray. speculators who would get away your property. therefore it is necessary we should have an order here, & when emigrants arrive to instruct them concerning these things.

If the heads of the Church have laid the foundation of this place, & have had the trouble of of doing what has been done—are they not better qualified to tell you how to lay out your money & than those who have had no interest &c—

Some start on the revelations to come here [2] & get turned away & loose all, & then come, and enter their complaints, to us when it is too late to do any thing for them the object of this meeting is to tell you these things & then if you will pursue the same courses you must bear the consequence. There are sevrl objects in your coming here—one object has been to bring you from Sectarian bondage Another from National bondage, where you can be planted in a fertile soil, We have brought you into a free government, not that you are to consider yourselves outlaws, by free government we do not mean that a man has a right to steal rob, &c but free from Bondage. taxation—oppression. free in every thing if he conduct himself honestly & circumspectly with his neighbor—free in a Spiritual capacity.—This is the place that is appointed for the oracles of god to be revealed. [3]

If you have any darkness you have only to ask & the darness is removed. tis not necessary that miracles should be wrought to remove darkness Miracles are the fruits of faith. "how shall we believe of him of whom &c [4] we have not heard. I.E. inasmuch as I have resumed leading before I God may correct the scripture by me if he choose [5] faith comes by hearing the word of God. & not faith by hearing & hearing by the word &c [6] If a man has not faith Enough to do one thing he may do another, if he cannot remove a Mountain he may heal the sick. where faith is there will be some of the fruits. all gift & power which were poured out from heaven were poured out on the heads of those who had faith. [7] You must have a oneness of heart in all things, You shall be satisfied one way or the other with us before you have done with us—there are a great many old huts here but they are all new our city is not 6 or 700 years old as those you come from, it is only a 4 year old not a 4 year old but 3 year old. we commenced building 3 years last fall. there [were] few old setlers—I got away from my keepers in Missouri [8] & run & come on these Shore, & found 4 or 500 families & I went to work to get meat & flour folks were not afraid to trust me, I went to work & bought all this region of country. & I cried Lord what will thou have me to do? "& the answer was build up a city & call my saints to this place!" [9] & our hearts leaped with joy to see you coming here. We have been praying for you all winter, [10] from the bottom of hearts, We are glad to see you—we are poor—& cannot do by you as we would, but will do all we can.—

Tis not to be expected that all can locate in the city.—there are some who have money & will build & hire others. those who cannot purchase. lots can go out in the county. the farmers want your labor.—no industrious man need suffer in this land.—

the claims of the poor on us are such that we have claim on your good feelings for your money, to help the poor. & the church debts also have their demands to save the credit of the church. this credit has been obtained to help the poor. & keep them from starvation &c. those who purchase church lands & pay for it, this shall be their sacrifice.

Men of 50 & 100,000 dollars who were robbed of every thing in the State of Mo. [11] are laboring in this city for a morsel of bread, & there are those who must have starved but for the providence of God through me. If any man say here is land or there is land, believe it not. we can beat all our competitors in lands, price, & ever think. we have the highest prices, best lands. & do the most good with the money we get. our system it is a real smut machine a bolting machine.—& all the shorts brann & smut runs away & all the flour remains with us.—

suppose I sell you land for $10 per acre & I gave 3. 4. 5. pr acre. then you are speculating says one. yes, I will tell you how. I buy others lands & give them to the widow & the fatherless.—

If the speculators run against me they run against the buckler of Jehovah.—God did not send me up as he did Joshuua Joshua in former days [12] God sent his servants to fight, but in the last days he has promised to fight the battle himself [13]

God will deal with you himself. & will bless or curse you as you do behave yourselves. I speak to you as one having authority that you may know when it come & that you may have faith & know that God has sent me.

The lower part of the town is the most healthy. [14] In the upper part of the town the Merchants will say I am partial &c. but The lower part of the town is much the most healthy. I tell you in the name of the Lord.—I have been out in all parts of the city at all times of night to learn these things.

The Doctors in this region dont know much; & the lawyers [15] when I spoke about them began to say we will renounce you on the stand.—but they dont come up & I take the liberty to say what I have a mind to about them.

Doctors wont tell you where to go to be well. they want to kill or cure you to get your money.—Calomel Doctors [16] will give you Calomel to cure a sliver in the big toe & does not stop to know whether the stomach is empty or not.—& calomel on an empty stomach will kill the patient. & the Lobelia doctors [17] will do the same. point me out a patient & I will tell you whether calomel or Lobelia will kill him or not. if you give it, The river Mississippi is healthy unless they drink it. & it is more healthy than the spring water—dig wells from 15 to 30 feet and it will be healthy.

There are many sloughs on the Islands from were Miasma [18] arises in the summer, and is blown over the upper part of the city. but it does not extend over the lower part of the city.—

All those persons who are not used to living on a river, or lake or large pond of water. I do not want you should stay on the banks of the river. get away to the lower part of the city. back on the hill— where you can get good well water.—if you feel any inconvenience take some mild physic 2 or 3 times & then some good bitters. [19]

if you can get any thing else take a little salts & cyanne pepper—if you cant get salt take peconia, or gnaw down a butternut tree, eat some boneset or hoarhound.

Those who have money come to me & I will let you have lands & those who have no money if they look as well as I do I will give you advice that will do you good 12 1/4.—I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen…Joseph gave notice that Bro Gardner [20] wanted 2 or 300 hands ditching—a good job.—

Levi Richards Diary [21]

Spent the day visiting friends & attending Meeting at Temple to hear from Pres Joseph Counsel to Emigrants in relation to settling—&, Speculation &c.

Wilford Woodruff Diary

The New emegrants assembled at the Temple & received an interesting discourse from President Joseph Smith which was truly interesting to the Saints in general.

Willard Richards Diary

Meeting of Emigrants at temple office.

—13 April 1843


[1] See History of the Church, 5:354-57. Not in Teachings. The original source for the report in History of the Church is the Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards. The reports of Levi Richards, Wilford Woodruff, and Willard Richards are here published for the first time. The following remarks were made to a "great multitude" including a group of British Saints who had arrived from England just the day before.

[2] That is, the revelation that the Saints should gather together and form Zion. See 8 April 1840, note 4.

[3] That is, the word of the Lord from the Prophet would come from the center place of the Church, which at that time was Nauvoo (see D&C 90:5; 124:126).

[4] Romans 10:14.

[5] The Prophet had undertaken an inspired translation of the Bible thirteen years before which he still had not published. In this work, according to the research of Robert J. Matthews, more than 3,400 verses of the Bible underwent revision. See Robert J. Matthews, "A Plainer Translation:" Joseph Smith's Translation of the Bible—A History and Commentary (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University Press, 1975). If Joseph Smith intended to change this passage before his expected publication of the Translation of the Bible (D&C 124:89), it was not altered in the manuscripts of his translation (see Stephen R. Knecht, The Story of Joseph Smith's Bible Translation—A Documented History [Salt Lake City: Associated Research Consultants, 1977], p. 228).

[6] Romans 10:17.*

[7] Hebrews 11; Alma 32:17-43; Ether 12:4-32.

[8] The Prophet was alluding to his 1838-39 Missouri imprisonment.

[9] D&C 124:2, 30, 56, 145.

[10] Nearly 500 English Saints arrived in Nauvoo on 12 April 1843 under the charge of Parley P. Pratt, Lorenzo Snow, and Levi Richards. Some had been detained through the winter at St. Louis and elsewhere.

[11] Reference is to the Saints' expulsion from Missouri in 1838-39. New research has shown that the Saints' losses were essentially personal property, not real estate.

[12] Joshua 6; 8; 10; 11; 12.

[13] D&C 105:14.

[14] There was brisk competition among the merchants and land speculators in Nauvoo. Land in the lower part of town was controlled by the Church. The Prophet's comment here is essentially sarcastic—he is suggesting that the lower part of town was spiritually more healthy.

[15] Apparently for a year the Prophet amused Nauvoo by making comments about the doctors and lawyers. At last, on 7 April 1844, he unmasked his ruse: "When I say a lawyer I mean a lawyer of the Scrip[tures]. I have done so hither to let the lawyers flutter & let everybody laugh at them" (Thomas Bullock Report, at note 71 &). He was attacking the doctors but was only poking fun at the lawyers.

[16] Calomel was a white, tasteless powder containing mercury used to purge the bowels. "Calomel" doctors were characterized by blood-letting and the use of heroic drugs.

[17] The "Lobelia" doctors were also known as Thomsonian herbal practitioners. Samuel Thomson, the founder of Thomsonian medicine, used as his major medication a wild plant, called lobelia, for purging. Capitalizing on the growing opposition to heroic medicine such as calomel, Thomson based his practice on the use of botanic agents. The botanic system of medicine was essentially approved by the Prophet Joseph Smith, but he warned of the abuses of herbal as well as heroic practitioners as witnessed in the text. See also D&C 42:43. Such uncertainty in the medical practice encouraged self-medication.

[18] Miasma was poisonous vapor supposed to arise from swamps.

[19] See D&C 42:43; Psalm 104:14.

[20] Brother Gardner. This man cannot be properly identified.

[21] Levi Richards (1799-1876) a native of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, was an older brother of Willard Richards. A botanical doctor, he served a mission to England 1840-43.