22 January 1843 (Sunday). At Temple

Wilford Woodruff Diary[1]

22d Sunday President Joseph Smith deliverd an interesting discourse at the Temple to an inter large Congregation among other things he treated upon the kingdom of God & the baptism of John, He remarked some say the kingdom of God was not set up on earth untill the day of pentecost & that John did not preach the Baptism of repentance for the remission of sins [2] But I say in the name of the Lord that the kingdom of God was set up on earth from the days of Adam to the present time. Whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed his word & gave power & authority to administer in his name. And whare their is a Priest of God, A minister who has power & Authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel & officiate in the Priesthood of God, theire is the kingdom of God & in Consequence of rejecting the gospel of Jesus Christ & the Prophets whom God hath sent, the judgments of God hath rested upon people Cities & nations in various ages of the world, which was the Case with the Cities of Sodom & gomoroah who were destroyed for rejecting the Prophets. Now I will give my testimony I care not for man I speak boldly & faithfully & with authority. How is it with the kingdom of God, whare did the Kingdom of God begin, whare their is no kingdom of God their is no salvation. What Constitutes the Kingdom of God Whare there is a Prophet a priest or a righteous man unto whom God gives his oracles there is the Kingdom of God, & whare the oracles of God are not there the Kingdom of God is not, In these remarks I have no allusion to the Kingdoms of the earth we will keep the Laws of the Land, we do not speak against them we never have & we can hardly make mention of the State of Missouri of our persecutions there &c but what the cry goes forth that we are guilty of larceny Burlary, arson treason & murder &C &C which is fals [3] we speak of the Kingdom of God on the earth not the Kingdom of men, The plea of many in this day is that we have no right to receive revelations, But if we do not get revelations we do not have the oracles of God & if they have not the oracles of God they are not the people of God But say you what will become of the world or the various professors of religion who do not believe in revelation & the oracles of God as Continued to the Church in all ages of the world when he has a people on earth I Tell you in the name of Jesus Christ they will be damned & when you get into the eternal world you will find it to be so they cannot escape the damnation of hell

As touching the gospel & Baptism that John preached I would say that John Came preaching the gospel for the remission of Sins he had his authority from God & the oricles of God were with him & the Kingdom of [God] for a season seemed to roll be with John alone. The Lord promised Zecheriah [4] that he should have a son, which was a desendant of Aaron & the Lord promised that the priesthood should continue with Aaron & his seed throughout their generations, Let no man take this honour upon himself except he be Called of God as was Aaron, & Aaron received his Call by Revelation. [5] An angel of God Also appeared unto Zecheriah while in the Temple that he should have a son whose name should be John & he should be filled with the Holy Ghost [6] Zecheriah was a Priest of God & officiating in the Temple & John was a priest after his father & held the Keys of the aronic priesthood & was Called of God to preache the Gospel & the Kingdom of God & the Jews as a nation having departed from the Law of God & the gospel the Lord prepared the way for transfering it to the gentiles But Says one the Kingdom of God Could not be set up in the days of John for John said the Kingdom was at hand [7] But I would ask if it could be any nearer to them than to be in the hands of John, the people need not wait for the days of Pentecost to find the Kingdom of God [8] for John had it with him, & he Came forth from the wilderness Crying out repent ye for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand as much as to baul out here I have got the Kingdom of God & I am coming after you, Ive got the Kingdom of God & you Can get it & I am Coming after you & if you dont receive it you will be damned & the Scriptures represent that all Jerrusalem went out unto Johns Baptism [9] Here was a legal administrator, & those that were baptized were subjects for a King & also the laws & oracles of God were there therefore the Kingdom of God was there for no man Could have better authority to Administer than John & our Savior submitted to that authority himself by being Baptized by John [10] therefore the Kingdom of God was set up upon the earth Even in the days of John their is a difference between the Kingdom of God & the fruits & blessings that flow from that Kingdom becaus their was more miracles gifts graces visions healings, tongues &c in the days of Jesus Christ & the Apostles & on the day of pentecost than under Johns Administration, it does not prove by any means that John had not the Kingdom of God, any more than it would that a woman had not a milk pan because she had not a pan of milk, for while the pan might be compared to the Kingdom the milk might be compared to the blessings of the Kingdom John was a Priest after the order of Aaron & had the Keys of that Priesthood & Came forth preaching repentance & Baptism for the remission of sins but at the same time Crys out there cometh one after me more mighter than I the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unlose, [11] & Christ came according to the word of John, & he was greater than John because he held the Keys of the Melchesedic Priesthood & the Kingdom of God & had before revealed the priesthood to Moses, yet Christ was baptizd by John to fulfill all righteousness & Jesus in his teaching says upon this rock I will build my Church & the gates of hell shall not prevail against it [12] what rock, Revelation [13] Again he says except ye are born of the water & the spirit ye Cannot inter into the Kingdom of God, [14] And though the heavens & earth should pass away my words shall not pass away [15] If a man is born of the water & the spirit he can get into the Kingdom of God [16] it is evident the Kingdom of God was on the earth & John prepared subject[s] for Kingdom by preaching the gospel to them & Baptising them & he prepared the way before the Savior or came as a forerunner & prepared subject for the preaching of Christ, &c. Christ preached through Jerrusalem on the same ground whare John had preached & when the Apostles were raised up they worked in Jerrusalem & Jesus Commanded them to tarry thare untill they were endowed with power from on high [17] had they not work to do in Jerrusalem. they did work & prepared a people for the pentecost The Kingdom of God was with them before the day of pentecost as well as afterwards & it was also with John & he preached the same gospel & Baptism that Jesus & the Apostles preached after him The endowment was to prepare the desiples for their mission into the world. [18] Whenever men can find out the will of God & find an Administrator legally authorized from God there is the Kingdom of God but whare these are not, the Kingdom of God is not All the ordinances Systems, & Administrations on the earth is of no use to the Children of men unless they are ordained & authorized of God for nothing will save a man but a legal Administrator for none others will be acknowledge either by God or Angels [19]

I know what I say, I understand my mishion & business God Almighty is my shield & what Can man do if God is my friend I shall not be Sacrafised untill my time Comes then I shall be offered freely, [20] all flesh is is as grass [21] & a governor is no better than othe men when he dies he is but a bag of dung I thank God for preserving me from my enemies I have no enmity I have no desire but to do all men good I feel to pray for all men we dont ask any people to throw away any good they have got we ownly ask them to Come & get more what if all the world should embrace this gospel they would then see eye to eye [22] & the blessings of God would Be poured out upon the people which is my whol soul Amen.

William Clayton Diary [23]

This A.M. Joseph preached in the Temple. subject arose from two questions proposed from a Lyceum. [24] 1st Did John Baptize for remission of sins? 2nd Whether the kingdom of God was set up before the day of Pentecost or not till then? To the 1st Q. he answered, "he did" It is acknowledged of all men that John preached the gospel & must have preached the 1st principles, if so he must have preached the doctrine of Baptism for the remission of sins [25] for that is the 1st principal of the Gospel and was ordained before the foundation of the world. [26] I next give my own testimony because I know it is from God. On the 2nd question He said Where the oracles of God are revealed there is the kingdom of God. Wherever the oracles of God are & subjects to obey those oracles there is the kingdom of God. What constitutes the kingdom of God? an administrator who has the power of calling down the oracles of God, and subjects to receive those oracles no matter if there are but 3, 4, or 6 there is the kingdom of God &c. [27]

Franklin D. Richards "Scriptural Items" [28]

Joseph's words 1843 No Generation was ever saved or destroyed upon dead testimony neither can be; but by Living

Wherever the Oracles of God are received & found there is the Kingdom of God

The Kingdom of Heaven was set up before the days of Christ.

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards

Sunday January 22d Preached at the Temple on the setting up of the Kingdom.

—22 January 1843


[1] See History of the Church, 5:256-59, and Teachings, pp. 271-75. The original source for the reports of this discourse in History of the Church and Teachings is an amalgamation of the Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards, the William Clayton Diary, and the Wilford Woodruff Diary—the two first-named sources forming the introduction of the sermon and the latter the text. The Franklin D. Richards account is here published for the first time. It was included in the Manuscript History of the Church (compiled in Nauvoo), but was later replaced by the Woodruff report.

[2] Mark 1:4.

[3] These were the crimes charged against the Prophet and other members of the Church by the State of Missouri in 1838. Although Joseph Smith escaped from Missouri law-enforcement officers in April 1839, these charges were formally dropped in August 1840. See Boone County Circuit Court Records, August 1840 Term, Columbia, Missouri.

[4] Luke 1:5-17; Exodus 40:15 (1-16).

[5] Hebrews 5:4.

[6] Luke 1:13-15.

[7] Matthew 3:1-2.

[8] Matthew 3:5-8; Luke 3:7-8.

[9] Matthew 3:5-6.

[10] Matthew 3:13-17.

[11] Luke 3:16.

[12] Matthew 3:15; 16:18 (13-20).

[13] Matthew 18:18-20; D&C 90:2-5; 128:10-11. See 5 October 1840, note 19.

[14] The full keys for inquiring of the Lord by the sealing power of Elijah (Helaman 10:5-7 [4-10]), which the Prophet received in the Kirtland Temple (D&C 110:13-16), had not as yet been conferred on anyone else (see 27 August 1843 discourse &); however, here he is teaching that revelation is the rock of the Church (see D&C 128:10-11), that he saw the conferral of these keys as essential to the completion of his mission (see 5 October 1840, note 19).

[15] John 3:5.

[16] D&C 1:38.

[17] John 3:5.

[18] Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5.

[19] Luke 24:49 (46-49); Acts 1:4-5.

[20] See 20 March 1842, note 13.

[21] Compare text of discourse dated 28 April 1842, at note 11.

[22] 1 Peter 1:24.

[23] Isaiah 52:8. See also D&C 84:98.

[24] William Clayton 1842-1846 Diaries. Citations from these diaries are used by permission and were provided by Dr. James B. Allen, professor of history at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. In sharing with us these quotations, Dr. Allen has substantially assisted this work. (Hereafter cited as William Clayton Diary.)

[25] Lyceum meetings apparently were fairly common in Nauvoo—a sort of "school of the Elders" for the Nauvoo era of Church history.

[26] Mark 1:4.

[27] See 5 January 1841, note 10.

[28] Franklin D. Richards (1821-99) was baptized in 1838, served several missions for the Church during the Nauvoo period, and was ordained an apostle in 1849. Richards's "Scriptural Items" Notebook is located in the Church Archives.