21 February 1843 (Tuesday Morning). At Temple

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards[1]

11 [A.M.] went to Temple found Bro Hawes [2] preaching about Nauvoo house. Mr Woo[d]worth [3] spoke say something in indicating my own character. {commenced under peculiar circumstances. have made all contracts for Nauvoo house. was employed to build from the commencement. some brick on hand. most ready to start brick work one says can you give me something to eat? I'll try. another says I will have my pay. "Go to hell & get it" said I. I have set me down to a dry Johncake & cold water and the men who have worked with me no man shall go onto my poverty stricken foundation to build himself up. for I began it & will finish it. Not that public spirit here as in other cities dont deny revelation if the Temple and Nauvoo house are not finished you must run away.—when I have had a pound of meat or quart of meal I have divided with the workman. (pretty good Doctrin for paganism said Joseph) have had about 300 men on the job—the best men in the world. those that have not complained I want them to continue with me. & them who hate Mormonism & every thing else thats good I want them to get their pay & run away} [4]

Joseph say, well the pagan prophet has preached us a pretty good sermon this morning—I dont know as I can better it much—to break off the yoke of oppression, and say what he is a mind to. that the pagans and the pagan prophets to feel more our prosperity is curious. I am almost converted to his doctrine. "he has prophecied if these buildings go down it will curse the place." I verily know it is true. Let us build the temple. there may be some speculations about Nauvoo house. say some—some say because we live on the hill we must build up this fort on the hill. does that coat fit you Dr. Foster? [5] pretty well! put it on then. this is the way people swell like the ox or toad. They come down under the hill among little folks brother Joseph how I love you—and get up opposition & sings names to strangers & scoundrels &c I want all men to feel for me. when I have shook the bush—& bare the burden, and if they do not—I speak in authority in the name of the Lord God he shall be damned,—people on the flats are aggrandizing themselves. by the Nauvoo house. who laid the foundation of the Temple. Bro Joseph in the name of the Lord. not for his aggrandizement but for the good of the whole

Our speculators say our poor folk on the flat are down & keep them down. how the Nauvoo house cheats this man & that man—say the speculators. they are fools ought to hide their heads in a hollow pumpkin & never take it out. the first principle brought into consideration is aggrandizement, some think it unlawful—but it is lawful while he has a disposition to aggrandize all around him. false principle, to aggrandize at the expence of another. every thing God does is to aggrandize his kingdom how does he lay the foundation? build a temple to my great name. and call the attention of the great. but where shall we lay our heads—an old log cabin I will whip Hiram Kimball [6] & esq Wells [7] and every body else over Dr Fosters Head, instead of building the Nauvoo house build a great many little skeletons—see Dr Fosters mammoth skeletons of Dr Foster rising all over town but there is no flesh on them. personal aggrandizement. don't care how many bones—somebody may come along & clothe them. elephants; crocodiles &c eaters. such as grog shop &c—card shops &c—those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. The building of N. House is just as sacred in my view as the Temple. [8]

I want the Nauvoo House built it must be built, our salvation depends upon it. When men have done what they can or will for the temple, let them do what they can for the Nauvoo House. We never can accomplish our work at the expense of another. There is a great deal of murmuring in the Church—about me, but I dont care any thing about it. I like to hear it thunder. to hear the saints grumbling.—the growling dog get the sorest head. If any man is poor and afflicted. let him come and tell of it.—& not complain or grumble

finishing Nauvoo House like a man finishing a fight. if he gives up he is killed—if he holds out a little longer he may live.—a story. a man who will whip his wife is a coward. I fought with a man who had whipped wife. still remembered he was whipped his wife. I whipped him till he said enough.—hang on to the Nauvoo house thus & you will build it. & you will be on Pishagah [9] & the great men who come will pile their gold & silver till you are weary of receiving them. & if you are not careful will be lifted up & fall and they will cover up & cloak all your former sins & hide a multitude of sins & shine forth fair as the sun &c [10]

those who have labored & cannot get your pay be patient, if you take the means which are set apart let him he will destory themselves if any man is hungry let him come to me & I will feed him at my table

if any are hungry or naked dont take away the brick &c but come & tell. I will divided. & then if he is not satisfied I will kick his back side

there cannot be some fire without some smoke. well if the stories about Jose Smith are true, then the stories of J C. Bennet are true about the Ladies of Nauvoo. Ladies that the Relief Society was organized of those who are to be wifes to Jos Smith. [11] Ladies you know whether it is true. no use of living among hogs without a snout. this biting and devouring each other. for Gods sake stop it.

one thing more. political economy. our duty to concentrate all our influence to make popular that which is sound & good. & unpopular that which is unsound Tis right politically for a man who has influence to use it as well as for a man who has no influence to use his, from henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get. in relation to politics I will speak as a man in religion in authority. if a man lift a dagger to kill me, I will lift my tongue.—when I last preached, heard such a groaning I thought of the paddys ell[?] when he tried to kill him could not contrive any way so he put it [in] the water to drown him. and as he began to come to—see said he what pain he is in how he wigles his tail.—the banks are failing & it is the privilege to say what a currency we want. gold & silver to build the Temple & Nauvoo house. We want your oId nose rings & finger rings & brass kettles no longer. if you have old raggs—watches—guns go and peddle them, & bring the hard metal, if we will do this by popular opinion you will have a sound currency. send home bank notes—& take no paper money. & let every man write his neighbor before he starts to get gold and silver.—I have contemplated these things a long time, but the time has not come till now to speak till now

I would not do as the Nauvoo House committee has done, sell stock for an old stone house where all the people who live die. & put that stock into a mans hand to go east and purchase rags [12] to come here & build up Mammoth bones [13] with

as a political man in the name of old Joe Smith I command the Nauvoo committee not to sell a share in the N House without the gold or silver. excuse bro Snider [14] he was in England, when they sold stock for stone house.—I leave it

the meeting was got up by N[auvoo House] Committee the pagans. [15] Roman Catholics. & Methodist & Baptist shall have peace in Nauvoo only they must be ground in Joe smiths mill.—I have been in their mill I was ground in Ohio. & York States a presbyterian smut machine—& last machine was in Missouri & last of all I have been through Illinois smut machine & those who come here must go through my smut machine & that is my tongue.

{Dr Foster [16] remarked much good may grow out of a very little, and much good may come out of this. If any men accuse me of exchanging N[auvoo House]. Stock for Rags &c. I gave a $1000 to this house & $50 to relief society & some to Fulmer [17] to get stone to build Joseph house. & I mean to build Joseph a house & you may build this. & I will help you I mean to profit this. & will divide the mammoth bones with you. I am guilty of all I have been charged.—I have signed my name to a petition to have Wm H. Rolinson [18] to have the Post Office.—I did not know a petition for Joseph Smith.—}

Joseph [said] I thought I would make a coat. it dont fit the Dr. only in the P[ost]. office if it does fit any one let them put it on. The bones are skeleton and as old Ezekiel said I command the flesh & the sinnews to come upon them that they may be clothed. [19]

Blessing by Bro. P. P. Pratt.—

Wilford Woodruff Diary

President Joseph Smith arose & Addressed the meeting as a Christian Prophet & addressed for about an hour much to our edifycation, many remarks he made were plain & pointed some vary applicable to Dr Foster which he afterwards acknowledged to be true Joseph said the Pagan Prophet had prophesied one thing that was true viz that if we did not build the temple & Nauvoo house it would proove the ruin of the place that if we did not build those buildings we might as well leave the place & that it was as necessary to build one as the other & many other things were said much to the purpose.

—21 February 1843


[1] See History of the Church, 5:283-87. Not in Teachings. The original source for the History of the Church account is the Joseph Smith Diary. Wilford Woodruff's report is here published for the first time.

[2] Peter Haws (1796-1862). Converted to the Church in Canada, Haws was a member of the Nauvoo House Association.

[3] Lucien Woodworth (1799-1867). A native of Orange County, Vermont, he was the architect for the Nauvoo House and was affectionately nicknamed the "Pagan Prophet" by Joseph Smith. Here designated as "Mr. Woodworth," later in 1843 he joined the Church and, on 28 September 1843, became one of the first five to receive the endowment since its introduction on 4 May 1842. The text of Woodworth's speech (enclosed in braces) is included here to provide context for the Prophet's comments.

[4] This concludes Lucien Woodworth's speech.

[5] Dr. Charles Foster. In 1844 Foster would become a bitter enemy of the Prophet and side with Mormon dissenters seeking to take his life.

[6] Hiram S. Kimball (1806-63) was a resident and a land owner at Nauvoo before the arrival of the Saints. Baptized in 1843, he moved to Utah in 1850.

[7] Daniel H. Wells (1814-91) was a resident and landowner at Nauvoo before the arrival of the Saints. Prominent in public affairs, Wells endeared himself to the Mormons and was baptized after the Prophet's death, in August 1846.

[8] Based on D&C 124, the completion of the Nauvoo House was recognized as being a divine injunction upon the Saints.

[9] Pisgah is a Hebrew word meaning a ridge crowning a hill or mountain and which from below or from a distance presents a broken outline. See Numbers 23:14; Deuteronomy 3:27.

[10] Psalm 32:1; James 5:20; 1 Peter 4:8; and, Song of Solomon 6:10.

[11] John C. Bennett, after he was excommunicated from the Church in mid-1842, published his History of the Saints. In it he asserted that there was a French Freemasonic-type cloister of females that, at the asking, the male priesthood of Nauvoo could enjoy. These lurid stories about the purpose of the Relief Society never made the book the bestseller the publishers expected it to be.

[12] That is, paper money.

[13] The "mammoth bones" apparently referred to numerous buildings then under construction in the upper part of Nauvoo.

[14] John Snider.

[15] Lucien Woodworth was called the "pagan prophet."

[16] Because the words of Charles Foster provide an essential context for the Prophet's remarks, those words are included, within the braces.

[17] John S. Fullmer (1807-83) was a native of Huntington, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. After his conversion to the Church, Fullmer moved to Nauvoo, where he became intimately associated with Joseph Smith and did some clerical work for the Prophet. After Joseph's death, Fullmer was one of a committee appointed to dispose of the properties of the Saints in Nauvoo.

[18] William H. Robinson later became a bitter opponent of Joseph Smith and in the spring of 1844 joined with Mormon apostates seeking to destroy the Prophet's credibility.

[19] Ezekiel 37:7, 10 (1-10).