21 March 1841 (Sunday). Vinson Knight Home.

Howard and Martha Coray Notebook[1]

Sermon 2nd

On the death of Judge Higbee delivered in the latter part of the winter about just before he took Laws [2] store at the House of Bishop Knight [3] year 1841

Joseph Smith read the 3 chap Malachi dwelt with emphasis upon the Levitical priesthood and the promise concerning them

Took up Jhon shewed him to be a Levite [4] and proceed The voice of one crying in the wilderness prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight [5] Now it was written that the priests lips should keep knowledge and to them should the people seek for understanding [6] and above all the law binds them and us to receive the word of the Lord at the hands of the Levites [7] therefore Jhon being Lawful heir to the Levitical Priesthood the people were bound to receive his testimony. Hence the saying the Kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force [8] after Jhon had been testifying of Jesus for some time Jesus came unto him for baptism Jhon felt that the honor of baptizing his master was too great a thing grater than he could claim and said I have need to be baptized thee and comest thou to me Jesus repled thus it behooveth us to fulfill all righteousness [9] thus signifying to Jhon the claim of the Aronic priesthood which holds the Keys of entrance into the Kingdom. [10] Then the three signs which were given were conclusive [11] The dove which sat upon his shoulder was a sure testimony that he was of God Brethren be not deceived an nor doubtful of this fact a spirit of a good man or an angell from heaven who has not a body will never undertake to shake hands with you for he knows you cannot perceive his touch and never will extend his hand but any spirit or body that is attended by a dove you may know to be a pure spirit [12] Thus you may in some measure detect them the spirits who may come unto you [13] Jhon was great in that he baptized Jesus an for this cause Jesus saith "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than Jhon the baptist [14] But again he says the from the coming days of Jhon the Batist till the Kingdom of Haven suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force [15]

Jesus as I said could not enter except by the administration of Jhon. Although Jhon was not a restorer but a forerunner [16] It was not the Lawful priests who rejected jesus but the self made priests Those who were priests lawfully received the Saviour in his station which was given him by the Law All the Authority that we have is from Jhon The Law is not changed nor the ordinances The keys of ushering into the Kingdom were given to Peter James & Jhon. [17]

Malachi 4th [3rd] chap And he shall purify the sons of Levi &c yes brethren the Lord will purify the sons of Levi good or bad for it is through them that blessings flow to Israel and as Israel once was baptized in the cloud and in the sea [18] so shall God as a refiners fire and a Fullers soap Purge purify the sons of Levi and purge them as Gold and as silver & then and not till then shall the offering of Judah & Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord as in days of old and as in former years [19]

And he shall witness against all iniquity as saith Malachi and shall sorely chastize those who are gone astray, but still he saith I am God I change not therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed return thou unto me and I will return unto thee [20] The Lord will begin by revealing the House House of Israel among the gentiles and those who have gone from the ordinances of God shall return unto the keeping of all the law and observing his judgments and statutes to do them [21] Then shall the law of the Lord go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord to the priests and through them from Jerusalem [22]

And I prophecy that the day will come when you will say Oh that we had given heed but look now upon our public works the store schoolhouse for instance the Simoon of the Desert has passed over it the people will not hearken nor hear And bondage Death and destruction are close at our heels The Kingdom will not be broken up but Judgments awaits man we shall be scattered and driven gathered again & then dispersed reestablished & driven abroad and so on until the Ancient of days shall sit and the kingom and power thereof shall the be given to the Saints and they shall the possess it forever and ever, [23] which may God hasten for Christs sake Amen.

McIntire Minute Book

Sabath Meeting—Joseph Read the 2 & 3d Chapters of Malichi & stated that there was a preistHood Confered upon the sons of Levi throughout the Jenerations of the Jews, & he also said they was born heirs to that prestHood [24] By Linage or Decent & held the Keys of the first principles of the Gospel—for this—he quoted concerning Jesus coming to John to be Baptized of Jhon that he (Jesus) Might Enter into the Kingdom as Jhon held the Keys, suffer it to be so now [25] &c he also Brought up Zacharias pleading with the Lord in the temple that he might have seed so that the preistHood might be preserved [26]

he also prophesyed that all those that made Light of the Revalations that was Given and him & his words—would ere Long Cry & Lement (when the servent of God would be imprizened) say O!! that we had harkened to the words of God & the Revelattions Given—But all opertunity is Cut of from them.

—21 March 1841


[1] The following reports by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray and William P. McIntire are here published for the first time.

[2] William Law's store on Water Street, block 148.

[3] Vinson Knight (1804-42) was converted to the Church in 1834 and appointed a bishop in Nauvoo. Knight lived on Main Street, block 126.

[4] Luke 1:5; D&C 84:27.

[5] Matthew 3:3.

[6] Malachi 2:7.

[7] Leviticus 10:10-11 (9-11); Deuteronomy 17:9-13 (8-13); 33:10 (8-11).

[8] Matthew 11:12.

[9] Matthew 3:14-15 (13-17).

[10] D&C 84:26-27.

[11] Matthew 3:13-17. Undoubtedly, the three signs referred to in the text are (1) the opening of the heavens and the Holy Ghost, a personage in the form of a man, descending; (2) the appearance of a dove; and (3) the voice of the Father saying "This is my Beloved Son."

[12] This is the only reference in all of the Prophet's teachings that the appearance of a dove signifies the presence of a "pure" or "true" spirit messenger. See 27 June 1839, note 21.

[13] See 27 June 1839, note 21.

[14] Luke 7:28.

[15] Matthew 11:11-12.

[16] JST Matthew 17:10-14.

[17] Matthew 17:1-3 (cf. 16:19; 18:18 [7-20]).

[18] 1 Corinthians 10:1 (1-4).

[19] Malachi 3:2-4 (1-4).

[20] Malachi 3:5-7.

[21] Ezekiel 36:21-27; Isaiah 49:22-23 (cf. 1 Nephi 22).

[22] A combination of Isaiah 2:3 and the scriptures cited in note 7.

[23] Daniel 7:9, 14, 21-22, 27 (1-28).

[24] Exodus 40:15.

[25] Matthew 3:15 (13-17).

[26] Luke 1:8* (5-11) (cf. 1 Chronicles 24:10, 19). Zacharias, of the order Abia, had a turn—the rare opportunity—to officiate in the priest's office in the temple. The Prophet here asserts that Zacharias, in the authority and wearing the robes of the Levitical priesthood, wrestled with the Lord to obtain the promise of a son. Because of respect to Zacharias's keys, God sent the angel Gabriel. See 23 July 1843, note 21 and 5 October 1840, note 19.