13 August 1843 (1) (Sunday Morning). Temple Stand

[1] Sunday Aug 13th 1843

Joseph Pre. in relation the death of Judge Higby [2]

2d. Peter 3d. C. 10.11.v.—Text said he was not like other. men his mind was continually occupied with the business of the day, and he had to depend entirely upon the living God for every thing he said on such occasions.

The great thing for us to know is to comprehend what God did institute before the foundation of the world.—Who knows it?

It is the constitutional disposition of mankind to set up stakes & set bounds to the works and ways of the Almighty.

we are called this [to] mourn this morning the death of a good man a great man & a mighty man—It is a solemn idea that man has no hope of seeing a friend after he has lost him. but I will give you a more painful thought—the thought is simple and I never design to communicate no ideas but what are simple for to this end I am sent.—suppose we have an idea of a resurrection, &c &c. and yet know nothing at all of the gospel and could not comprehend one principle of the order of heaven. but found yourselves disappointed, yes, at last find yourselfes disappointed in every hope or anticipation when decisions goes forth from the lips of the Almighty at last. would not this be a greater disappointment. a more painful thought than annihilation

had I inspiration, Revelation & lungs to communicate what my soul has contemplated in times past there is not a soul in this congregation but would go to their homes & shut their mouths in everlasting silence on religion, till they had learned something.

Why be so certain that you comprehend the things of God.—when all things with you are so uncertain. you are welcome to all the knowledge &

I do not grudge the world of all the religion the[y] have got.—they are welcome to all the knowledge they possess.

the sound saluted my ears. we are come unto Mt. Zion. [3] &c. what could profit us to come unto the spirits of Just Men but to learn, and come to the knowledge spirits of the Just.

Where has Judge Higby gone? who is there that would not give all his goods to feed the poor & pour out his gold & silver, to the four winds. to come where Judge Higby has gone.—

that which hath been hid from before the foundation of the world, is revealed to babes and sucklings in the last days. [4]

The world is reserved unto burning in the last days—he shall send Elijah the prophet. and he shall reveal the covenants of the fathers in relation to the children.—and the children and the covenants of the children in relation to the fathers. [5]

4 destroying angels holding power over the 4 quarters of the earth. until the the servants of God are sealed in their foreheads. [6] what is that seal. shall I tell you? know No.—

Doctrine Election.—sealing of the servants of God on the top of their heads. [7] tis not the cross as the catholics would have it. doctrine of Election to Abraham was in the relation to the Lord. a man wishes to be embraced in the covenant of Abraham. A man Judge Higby—in world of spirits. is sealed unto the throne, & doctrine of Election sealing the father & children together. [8]

to the mourner. do as the husband and the father would instruct you & you shall be reunited. [9]

I have been acquainted with Judge Higby a long time & I Never knew a more tenderhearted man.

The president was much exhausted.

Howard and Martha Coray Notebook

Sermon 3thd.

on the death of Judge Higbee.

There is a thought more dreadful than that of total annihilation That thought is the an assurance thought that we shall never again meet with those we loved here on earth [10] Suppose I had died believing that when having some Idea of a resurection and glory beyond the grave which God and angels had secured and yet had not any knowledge intelligence of any Law or any order by which it is to obtained. Well you lose a friend you come up in the resurection hoping to [meet] him again but find yourself separated from them to all eternity and become aware of the fact that through ignorance of the principles of the resurection and reunion you will never behold that dear friend nor ever enjoy his society this thought I say of being disappointed in meeting my friend in the resurection is to me more dreadful than of ceasing to suffer by a cessation of being

Were I could I tell the fact as it is all that heard me would go home and never say one word more about God or Christ or religion until they had received that assurance from Heaven which would set their souls at rest by placing all beyond a doubt. [11]

What consolation have we what power what reason to expect one thing more than another in eternity

Hebrews 12 ch 22 & 22 v You You have come to an innumerable company of angels to the general assembly and church of the first born And for have were they brought thus far—I answer you that they came to these personages to learn of the things of God and to hear revealed through them the order and glory of the kingdoms of God.

I would ask again Is there a word on record that was revealed by those angels and spirits [12] if there is where is it to be found found

Again I enquire what is the order and organization of the Spirits of the just made perfect Let me tell you brethren That which is to be revealed which was kept his from the foundation of the world will be revealed to sucklings and babes [13]

Malachi 4th ch Behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven and all the proud and they that do wickedly shall be as stubble and they [14] that cometh shall burn them up But although in the beginning God created the Earth standing in the water and out of the water still in the End it shall be burned and few men left [15]—but before that God shall send unto them Elijah the prophet and he shall reveal unto them the covenants of the fathers wi with relation to the children and the covenants of the children in relation to the Fathers that they may have the priviledge of entering into the same in order to effect their mutual salvation [16] And I saw another angel ascending from the east having the Seal of the living God and he cried &c. sayin Hurt not the Earth nor sea nor trees till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. [17]

Now I would ask who know the seal of the living God Behold the ignorance of the World.

A measure of this sealing is to confirm upon their head in common with Elijah the doctrine of election or the covenant with Abraham [18]—which which when a Father & mother of a family have entered into their children who have not transgressed are secured by the seal wherewith the Parents have been sealed. [19] And this is the Oath of God unto our Father Abraham and this doctrine shall stand forever.

Mourners: I exhort you to do as your Father and husband would direct—be sealed by the by the servants of God. [20] Eternal life is to know the only true God and his son Jesus without which there is no salvation. [21]

Franklin D. Richards "Scriptural Items"

Joseph. Translation of Mal 4th-5 . 6 I will send Elijah the Prophet and he shall reveal the covenants of the Fathers to the children and of the Children to the Fathers that they may enter into Covenant with each other lest I come & smite the whole Earth with a curse—

What is the seal spoken of in Rev 7-3 find it out if you can I will not reveal it now but will drop an idea that I have never revealed [22] concerning Election connected with the sealing of the servants of God in the fore or top of the head

Judge Higbee would say that covenants either there or here must be made in view of eternity and the Covenant sealed on the fore heads of the Parents secured the children from falling that they shall all sit upon thrones [23] as one with the God-head joint Heirs of God with Jesus Christ [24]

This principle is revealed also through the covenant of Abraham and his children [25] This is also the blessing and consolation of the Mourners———

William Clayton Diary

Went to meeting heard J. preach on 2 Peter 3. 10 & 11—being a funeral sermon on the death of E. Higbee [26] When speaking of the passage "I will send Elijah the prophet &c" he said it should read and he shall turn the hearts of the children to the covenant made with their fathers [27] Also where it says and they shall seal the servants of God in their foreheads &c it means to seal the blessing on their heads {meaning the everlasting covenant thereby making their calling & election sure. [28] When a seal is put upon the father and mother it secures their posterity so that they cannot be lost but will be saved by virtue of the covenant of their father.} [29]

Levi Richards Diary

13 AM attended meeting at Temple stand heard Pres. Smith preach Judge Higbee's funeral discourse.

Willard Richards Diary

Meeting Joseph preached Judge Higbys funeral sermon.

—13 August 1843 (1)


[1] See History of the Church, 5:529-31, and Teachings, pp. 319-21. The original source of these reports is the Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards. The accounts of this discourse by Howard Coray, Franklin D. Richards, William Clayton, Levi Richards, and Willard Richards (personal diary) are here published for the first time.

[2] Judge Elias Higbee died 8 June 1843.

[3] Hebrews 12:22-24. See 27 June 1839, note 15.

[4] D&C 128:18. See Matthew 11:25; 21:16; and, Luke 10:21 as compared with Matthew 13:35.

[5] Malachi 4:3-4.* See note 8, this discourse.

[6] Revelation 7:2-3.

[7] At this time Joseph Smith was not willing to discuss the temple ordinances of conferral of the fulness of the priesthood, of marriage for time and eternity, or of sealing children to parents; nevertheless, he indicated that the conferral of the fulness of the priesthood was a "sealing … on top of the head", of which the phrase "sealed in their foreheads" was symbolic. Furthermore, Joseph Smith here taught that it was through the ordinance of conferral of the fulness of the priesthood that men could be qualified to be a part of the special missionary force of the last days which would number 144,000 high priests (D&C 77:8-11, 14). When Cornelius P. Lott and his wife received these ordinances on 4 February 1844, the Prophet indicated that "the selection of the persons to form that number had already commenced." He had already conferred these blessings on at least 17 men (History of the Church, 6:196 and Wilford Woodruff Diary, under date given).

[8] According to the teachings that the Prophet gave in private (but which he only hinted at in this discourse), to be heir to Abraham's promise that he would head an innumerable posterity, each individual and his children must be sealed for time and eternity. If this sealing was performed, he taught, the covenant relationship would then continue throughout eternity. The Prophet taught, moreover, that such a patriarchal priesthood of kings and priests would have to be established by sealing children and parents back through Abraham to Adam in order to fulfill the mission of Elijah (Malachi 4:5-6). When this was accomplished, the order within the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom would then be eternally set. Probably no clearer statement of Joseph's theology regarding this concept can be found than what is given in an editorial by Orson Hyde. The following diagram began the editorial after which came the text.)


The above diagram shows the order and unity of the kingdom of God. The eternal Father sits at the head, crowned King of kings and Lord of lords. Wherever the other lines meet, there sits a king and a priest unto God, bearing rule, authority, and dominion under the Father. He is one with the Father, because his kingdom is joined to his Father's and becomes part of it.

The most eminent and distinguished prophets who have laid down their lives for their testimony (Jesus among the rest), will be crowned at the head of the largest kingdoms under the Father, and will be one with Christ as Christ is one with his Father; for their kingdoms are all joined together, and such as do the will of the Father, the same are his mothers, sisters, and brothers. He that has been faithful over a few things, will be made ruler over many things; he that has been faithful over ten talents, shall have dominion over ten cities, and he that has been faithful over five talents, shall have dominion over five cities, and to every man will be given a kingdom and a dominion, according to his merit, powers, and abilities to govern and control. It will be seen by the above diagram that there are kingdoms of all sizes, an infinite variety to suit all grades of merit and ability. The chosen vessels unto God are the kings and priests that are placed at the head of these kingdoms. These have received their washings and anointings in the temple of God on this earth; they have been chosen, ordained, and anointed kings and priests, to reign as such in the resurrection of the just. Such as have not received the fulness of the priesthood, (for the fulness of the priesthood includes the authority of both king and priest) and have not been anointed and ordained in the temple of the Most High, may obtain salvation in the celestial kingdom, but not a celestial crown. Many are called to enjoy a celestial glory, yet few are chosen to wear a celestial crown, or rather, to be rulers in the celestial kingdom.

While this portion of eternity that we now live in, called time, continues, and while the other portions of eternity that we may hereafter dwell in, continue, those lines in the foregoing diagram, representing kingdoms, will continue to extend and be lengthened out; and thus, the increase of our kingdoms will increase the kingdom of our God, even as Daniel hath said: "of the increase of his kingdom and government there shall be no end." All these kingdoms are one kingdom, and there is a King over kings, and a Lord over lords. There are Lords many, and Gods many, for they are called Gods to whom the word of God comes, and the word of God comes to all these kings and priests. But to our branch of the kingdom there is but one God, to whom we all owe the most perfect submission and loyalty; yet our God is just as subject to still higher intelligences, as we should be to him.

… These kingdoms, which are one kingdom, are designed to extend till they not only embrace this world, but every other planet that rolls in the blue vault of heaven. Thus will all things be gathered in one during the dispensation of the fulness of times, and the Saints will not only possess the earth, but all things else, for, says Paul, "All things are yours, whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come: all are yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (Orson Hyde, "A Diagram of the Kingdom of God," Millennial Star 9 [15 January 1847]: 23-24).

[9] The Prophet's words do seem a warning to Elias Higbee's sons, Francis and Chauncey. Both opposed Joseph Smith and teamed with William and Wilson Law to publish the Nauvoo Expositor.

[10] To Joseph Smith heaven could be desirable only if it did not obliterate the relationships developed here.

[11] The idea conveyed in this sentence differs slightly from what is conveyed in the Joseph Smith Diary variant of this discourse. In that version the Prophet is quoted as saying, "Had I inspiration, revelation & lungs to communicate what my soul has contemplated in times past, there is not a soul in this congregation but would go to their homes & shut their mouths in everlasting silence on religion, till they had learned something." Such was the assurance he had of his prophetic calling.

[12] Hebrews 12:22-24.

[13] See note 4, this discourse.

[14] The use of the word they rather than the word day in Malachi 4:1* agrees with Moroni's variation of this scripture, which he recited during each of his five visits to Joseph Smith 21-22 September 1823 (see Joseph Smith-History 1:37).

[15] Genesis 1:1-2, 6-10; Isaiah 24:6.

[16] See notes 7 and 8, this discourse.

[17] Revelation 7:2-3. See 13 August 1843 (1), note 7.

[18] Genesis 12:3; 18:8; 22:18; 26:4-5; D&C 110:12; Abraham 2:9-11.

[19] When the Church historians amalgamated the entries from the Joseph Smith Diary and the William Clayton Diary to create the version of this discourse that was published, the passage that the blessings conferred by the ordinance of sealing parents and children was unconditional. The wording of the published version suggests that the children of parents who receive the fulness of the priesthood can never fall. This previously unpublished, more complete account of the Prophet's idea does contain a conditional. Clearly this a more reasonable and consistent doctrine: if it were not for such a conditional, the concept would contradict significant doctrines taught by Joseph Smith, not the least of which would be a contradiction of his article of faith that "men will be punished for their own sins."

[20] See note 9, this discourse.

[21] John 17:3.

[22] See note 8, this discourse, regarding Joseph Smith's first teaching the ordinances of sealing parents and children.

[23] See note 19, this discourse.

[24] Romans 8:17 (14-17).

[25] See note 18, this discourse.

[26] Elias Higbee.

[27] Malachi 4:5-6.*

[28] Revelation 7:2-3. See note 7, this discourse. See also note 7 of the discourse dated “Before 8 August 1843 (3).”

[29] See note 19, this discourse.