2 April 1843 (2) (Sunday Evening). Ramus, Illinois

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards

[1] Meeting 7 eve resumed the subject of the beast. [2]—shewed very plainly that Johns vision was very different from Daniels Prophecy—one referring to things existing in heaven. the other a figure of things which on be on the earth [3] whatever principle of inteligence we attain unto in this life. it will rise with us in the resurrection,—and if a person gains more knowledge and inteligence through his obedience & diligence than another he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. [4]

There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundation of the world upon which all blessings are predicated and when we obtain a blessing it is by obidience to the law upon which that blessing is predicated.

again reverted to Elders Hyde mistake. &c. the Father has a body of flesh & bones as tangible as mans the Son also, but the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit.—and a person cannot have the personage of the H G in his heart he may receive the gift of the holy Ghost. it may descend upon him but not to tarry with him, [5]

What is the meaning of the scriptures. he that is faithful over a few things shall be made ruler over Many? & he that is faithful over Many shall be made ruler over many more? [6]

What is the meaning of the Parable of the 10 talents? [7] Also conversation with Nicodemus. except a man be born of water & of the spirit. [8]—I shall not tell you? [9]

Closed by flagellating the audience for their fears.—& called upon Elder Hyde to get up & fulfil his covenant to preach 3/4 of an hour.—otherwise I will give you a good whipping.—

Elder Hyde arose & said Brothers & Sisters I feel as though all had been said that can be said. I can say nothing but bless you.—

—2 April 1843 (2)


[1] See History of the Church, 5:325-26. Not in Teachings. See 2 April 1843 (1), note 1.

[2] Revelation 4:6.

[3] See the William Clayton Diary text of the 2 April 1843 (1) discourse, material after note 11.

[4] This is the source used for D&C 130:18-19.

[5] Neither the William Clayton Diary, the Joseph Smith Diary here quoted, nor the draft Manuscript History of the Church entry for this date, implies the phrasing of D&C 130:22: "Were it not so [that the Holy Ghost is a spirit], the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us." Originally the wording in the Manuscript History of the Church entry for this date was the same as in the original draft, but in the 1850s the Church historians reworded it to read the way it appears in the Doctrine and Covenants. Other than this alteration, the Joseph Smith Diary is the source for D&C 130:22-23.

[6] Matthew 25:21. See note 9, this discourse.

[7] Matthew 25:14-30. See note 9, this discourse.

[8] John 3:5. See note 9, this discourse.

[9] The Prophet would not explain to the congregation at large the meaning of the passages of scripture he quoted, but they did have particular meaning to one listener, Benjamin F. Johnson.

On the 1st day of April A.D. 1843, [Benjamin testified,] President Joseph Smith, Orson Hyde, and William Clayton and others came from Nauvoo to my residence in Macedonia or Ramus in Hancock Co. Illinois, and we[re] joyfully welcomed by myself and family as our guests.

On the following morning, Sunday April, 2nd, President Smith took me by the arm for a walk, leading the way to a secluded spot within the adjacent grove, where to my great surprise, he commenced to offer to me the principle of plural or celestial marriage, but I was more astonished by his asking me for my sister Almera to be his wife.

I sincerely believed him to be a prophet of God, and I loved him as such, and also for the many evidences of his kindness to me, yet such was the force of my education, and the scorn that I felt unvirtuous that under the first impulse of my feelings I looked him calmly, but firmly in the face and told him that, "I had always believed (you) to be a good man, and wished to believe it still, and would try to;" and that, "I would take for him a message to my sister, and if the doctrine was true, all would be well, but if I should afterwards learn that it was offered to insult or prostitute my sister I would take his life." With a smile he replied "Benjamin, you will never see that day, but you shall live to know that it is true, and rejoice in it…."

"He also told me that he would preach a sermon that day for me, which I would understand, while the rest of the congregation would not comprehend his meaning. His subject was the ten talents spoken of by the Savior, 'unto him that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundantly, but from that hath not (or will not receive) shall be taken away that which he hath, (or might have had.)' Plainly giving me to understand that the talents represented wives and children as the principle of enlargement throughout the great future, to those who were heirs of Salvation" (Joseph F. Smith, "40 Affidavits on Celestial Marriage," book 2, pp. 3-5, Church Archives).

The first two passages of scripture quoted by the Prophet fit into the background Benjamin Johnson gives, but the last does not so readily. Later, in a discourse given 16 July 1843, the Prophet made plainer his reason for quoting John 3:6. Joseph Smith said, "[That] the earthly is the image of the Heavenly shows that [it] is by the multiplication of Lives that the eternal worlds are created and occupied [for] that which is born of flesh is flesh that which is born of spirit is spirit" (Franklin D. Richards account of 16 July 1843 (2) discourse). Joseph had previously taught that resurrected beings will have "spirit in their [veins] & not blood" (Wilford Woodruff account of 20 March 1842 discourse). The implication is that if your body is not resurrected, your children will be born flesh and bones, but that if your body is resurrected and has spirit in its veins your children will be spirits.