6 April 1843 (2) (Thursday Afternoon). In Temple

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards [1]

[The meeting began at 3 P.M., and Hyrum Smith spoke before the Prophet arrived.]

Joseph followed. I want the Elders to make hono[ra]ble proclamation abroad what the feelings of the presidency are.—I despise a theif above ground. He would betray me, if he could get the opportunity if I were the biggest rogue in the world, he would steal my horse when I wanted to run away, then read proclamation of the Mayor on Stealing. dated 25 day March 1843.—"Wasp". No. 48" [2] Many observation confirmatory & said, enough Said. for this conferece on this Subject.—

Elders have a privilege to appeal from any decision of a branch to know if they shall retain their office or membership.

Necessary I explain concerning Keokuk [3] it is known that the Gov of Iowa [4] has posted a writ for me on affidavit of Boggs. [5] he still holds that writ as a cudgil over my head. (U.S. Attorney [6] told me all writs issued thus were legally dead.) I said that is a stumper & I will shew them a trick the Devil never did. that is leave them. every man who wishes to cast out economically with regard to futurity.—let them come over. leave as soon as they can settle their affairs without sacrifice let them come & we will protect them & let that government know that we dont like to be imposed upon.—

about the first of August 1842 Mr. Remick [7] came to my house, put on a long face, said he was in distress, about to loose $1400 do a theft of 300 at Sheriffs Sale. said he the sale takes place to-morrow.—I have money in St Louis.—next morning he called. I did not like the looks of him but thought I he is a stranger. I have been a stranger. & better loose 200 than be guilty of sin of ingratitude. took his note. on demand The. day I was taken I asked him for the money.—You ought to have it said he but, I have not got my money from St Louis. I have a curious plan in my mind. I will give you a quit claim deed of the land you bought of Galland [8] & give notes to Gallands notes which I have as his agent" I said Joseph, have not asked you for your property. & would not give a snap for it, but I will accept your offer. but want my money—(1/2 my land in the) state.) said he I will give you deed & he gave me deeds. & I got them recorded.—he called for some more favors. & I let him have some Cloths—to the amount 6 or 7 hundred dollars. I have offered this land to many, if they would go to settle there but nobody will go. I agreed if I found he owned as much as he pretended I would give my influence to build up Keokuk. J. G. Remick is his name he has got most $1100 from me, he looks exactly like a woodchuck, & talks like a woodchuck on a stump with a chaw of tobacco, in his mouth. he tried to get his hands to steal a stove from near my store & carry it off on the raft, he is a theif.—My advice is, if they [the Saints] to choose, come away from Keokuk and not go there more. I am not so much of a christian as many suppose I am, when a man undertakes to ride me I am apt to kick him off & ride him.—I wouldn't buy property in the Iowa. I considered it stooping to accept it as a gift. I wish to speak of the—1/2 breed lands opposite this city. [9] 1/2 breed lands.—1/2 breed lands.—and every man there who is not 1/2 breed had better come away. & in a little time we will call them all 1/2 breed.—I wish we could swap some of our 1/2 breeds here for the 1/2 breeds who lived there. I will give you a key, if any one will growl tomorrow, you will know him to be a 1/2 breed. My opinion is the Legislature have done well in giving the best tittle to settlers & squatters. [10]

Those who have deeds to those islands from the chancery of Iowa, have as good tittle as any, but the settlers under the Laws of Iowa. th Legislature & chancery of Iowa, are at variance. I believe it a form of swindling from by court of Chancery.

Dr Galland said those Islands dont belong to any body, they were thrown out of U. S. Survey. hence no man had a claim, & it was so considered, when I come here.—

My advice to the Mormons, who have deeds & possessions, is fight it out. you who have no deeds or possessions let them alone.—touch not a stick of their timber. Deeds given by court of chancery, warrants & defend against all unlawful claims.—It is a 1/2 breed, it an anomaly, without form & void, a nondescript. if they have your note, let them come here & sue you then you can carry up your case to the highest court.—So long as the Laws have a shadow of tittle, it is not right for the Mormons to go & carry away the wood In the name of the Lord God, I forbid any man from using any observations of mine, to rob the land of wood.—

Moses Martin [11] has been tried & had fellowship withdrawn by the church at Keokuk Nashville [12]

The question has been asked can a Member not belonging to the church bring a member before the high council, for trial? I answer No! I ask no Jurisdiction in [local] religious matters I merely give my opinion when asked. If there was any feelings at Nashville because I gave my opinion, there is no occasion for it.. I only advice the brethren to come from Iowa, & they may do as they please about coming. If I had not actually got into this work, & been called of God, I would back out. but I cannot back out. I have no doubt of the truth. were I going to prophecy I would prophecy the end will not come in 1844 or 5 or 6. or 40 years more there are those of the rising generation who shall not taste death till christ comes. I was once praying earnestly upon this subject. and a voice said unto me. My son, if thou livest till thou art 85 years of age, thou shalt see the face of the son of man.—I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this & I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live till that time Jesus he would make his appearance.—but I do not say whether he will make his appearance or I shall go where he is. [13]

I prophecy in the name of the Lord God.—& let it be written. that the Son of Man will not come in the heavens till I am 85 years old [14] 48 years hence or about 1890. [15]—then Read 14 Rev. 6 verse another angel fly in the midst of heaven; for the hour of his judgment is come. to extermination—from the commencement. commence when angel commences preaching this gospel 1 day—1000 years. 1000 years as 1 day. [16]—41 yrs 8 months. [17]—only 6 years [18] from the voice, saying, if thou live till thou art 85. years old. Hosea 6th chapter after 2 days &c 2520 years [19] which brings it to 1890.—Gaylor [20] says 45 years according to bible recokening. the coming of the Son of man never will be, never can be till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out, which judments are commenced. [21]

Paul says ye are the children of the light—& not of the darkness, that that day should not overtake us as a theif in the night. [22]—it is not the design of the Almighty to come upon the earth & crush it & grind it to powder) he will reveal it to his servants the prophets. [23] O what wondrous wise men there are going about & braying like—like an ass cry O, Lord, where is Joe Smith—Joe Smith.—whare—O Away up on the top of the topless throne aha.—&c—

Jerusalem must be rebuilt. [24]—& Judah return, [25] must return & the temple [26] water come out from under the temple—the waters of the dead sea be healed. [27]—it will take some time to build the walls & the Temple. &c & all this must be done before Son of Man will make his appearance; wars & rumours of wars. [28] signs in the heavens above on the earth beneath Sun turned into darkness moon to blood. [29] earthquakes in divers places, oceans heaving beyond their bound. [30]—then one grand sign of the son of the son of man in heaven. but what will the world do? they will say it is a planet. a comet, &c. consequently the sun [Son] of man will come as the sign of coming of the son of man; is as the light of the morning cometh out of the east. [31]—10 minutes before 6 singing.

James Burgess Notebook [32]

Remarks on the comeing of the Son of Man by Joseph Smith the Prophet. Made in Nauvoo Christ says no man knoweth the day or the hour when the Son of Man cometh. [33] This is a sweeping argument for sectarianism against Latter day ism. Did Christ speak this as a general principle throughout all generations Oh no he spoke in the present tense no man that was then liveing upon the footstool of God knew the day or the hour But he did not say that there was no man throughout all generations that should not know the day or the hour. No for this would be in flat contradiction with other scripture for the prophet says that God will do nothing but what he will reveal unto his Servants the prophets [34] consequently if it is not made known to the Prophets it will not come to pass; [35] again we find Paul 1st of Thesslonians 5th Chapter expressly points out the characters who shall not know the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh for says he it will come upon them as the theif or unawares. [36] Who are they they are the children of darkness or night. But to the Saints he says yea are not of the night nor of darkness of that that day should come upon you unawares. John the revelator says 14 chap 7th verse that the hour of his judgements is come they are precursers or forerunners of the comeing of Christ. read Matthew 24 Chap and all the Prophets. He says then shall they see the Sign of the comeing of the Son of Man in the clouds of Heaven. How are we to see it Ans. As the lighting up of the morning or the dawning of the morning cometh from the east and shineth unto the west—So also is the comeing of the Son of Man. The dawning of the morning makes its appearance in the east and moves along gradualy so also will the comeing of the Son of Man be. it will be small at its first appearance and gradually becomes larger untill every eye shall see it. [37] Shall the Saints understand it Oh yes. Paul says so. [38] Shall the wicked understand Oh no they attribute it to a natural cause. They will probably suppose it is two great comets comeing in contact with each other

It will be small at first and will grow larger and larger untill it will be all in a blaze so that every eye shall see it. Joseph Smith the Prophet.

Franklin D. Richards "Scriptural Items"

Joseph said when he was asking to know of the time of Christs second Coming he obtained for answer my son if thou shalt live untill thou art Eighty five years old thou shalt see the son of man on Earth Joseph was born in Sharon Windsor County Vermont Dec 23 1805. He is therefore now 37 years old last Dec which leaves 48 years yet to transpire untill the tim[e] of Promise that Joseph should see Christ.

—6 April 1843 (2)


[1] See History of the Church, 5:333-37. A small extract is in Teachings, pp. 286-87. The original source for the entries in History of the Church and Teachings is the Joseph Smith Diary. The reports by James Burgess and Franklin D. Richards are here published for the first time. The following remarks were made by the Prophet at the April 1843 General Conference of the Church. James Burgess did not date this discourse, and though he did not arrive in Nauvoo until 13 April 1843 one week after this discourse, his account parallels the Joseph Smith Diary entry so well we have chosen to assign it this date. Although sharing reports of the Prophet's discourses was a common practice in Nauvoo, James Burgess may not have obtained his notes from someone else, therefore this dating of his report of this discourse should be considered very tentative.

[2] The letter referred to is included in the Times and Seasons report of this discourse.

[3] A branch of the Church was located at Keokuk, Lee County, Iowa Territory, and Church members remained there during the entire Nauvoo period. During the heat of the 1842 Missouri extradition attempt, Joseph Smith considered the possibility of strengthening Keokuk as a Mormon settlement. On 15 September 1842 the Prophet counseled his uncle, John Smith, and others to move to Keokuk, and on 19 September 1842 he directed John Taylor to take a printing press to that city and issue a paper (see History of the Church, 5:164-65). These plans did not materialize, but interest in Keokuk and Lee County, Iowa, would continue. In 1843, after Joseph Smith had been acquitted by the Illinois District Court for any wrongdoing in the murder attempt on ex-Governor Boggs, Governor John Chambers of Iowa Territory continued to encourage the Prophet's arrest (if perchance he should enter Iowa). In the text, the Prophet is suggesting that the Saints all come out of Keokuk and Lee County, Iowa Territory, and settle in Illinois. Such an action, or the threat of such an action to Lee County's economy was intended to put pressure on the Iowa Governor to rescind the arrest warrant.

[4] John Chambers (1780-1852) was a Whig congressman. He served as territorial governor of Iowa 1841-45.

[5] Lilburn W. Boggs, ex-Governor of Missouri.

[6] Justin Butterfield (1790-1855). A prominent lawyer from Chicago, Butterfield was appointed United States District Attorney in 1841. He defended Joseph Smith in January 1843 in an extradition case wherein Missouri had demanded the Prophet on charges that he had been an accessory to attempted murder.

[7] Joseph G. Remick.

[8] Isaac Galland (1791-1858). A land speculator, Galland joined the Church in 1839 after selling thousands of acres of land to the Saints. He served a mission to Pennsylvania and New Jersey 1841-42 but withdrew from the Church by 1843.

[9] The Half-Breed Tract, also called the Sac and Fox Indian Reservation, was a 119,000-acre parcel of land lying between the Des Moines and Mississippi rivers in the southeast corner of Iowa.

[10] In 1834 Congress passed an act that relinquished the federal government's reversionary interest in the Half-Breed Tract and gave the half-breed Sac and Fox Indians the lands in fee simple. Since Congress failed to specify who the individual owners were, as many as 160 parties came forward to claim the land. In 1838, to remedy this problem, the Wisconsin Legislature required all claimants to file claims with the District Court of Lee County within one year, showing how title was obtained. In the meantime the Territory of Iowa was created, and the first session of the territorial legislature repealed the Wisconsin Act. This action complicated the problem, and suits were filed in the territorial courts, resulting in the sale of the entire tract of land to Hugh T. Reid. Reid, who received a deed executed by the sheriff of Lee County, subsequently sold several small tracts, but his title became involved in litigation. This matter came before the second session of the territorial legislature, but nothing concrete occurred until 1841, when Spaulding v. Antaya (U. S. District Court of Iowa Territory) requested partition of the entire tract. A decree of partition was issued, and commissioners were appointed to divide the 119,000 acres into 101 tracts of equal value. This was done and confirmed by the courts in October 1841. The Prophet and Church members had a vested interest in the Half-Breed Tract, because in 1839 Church land agents had purchased nearly 20,000 acres (or 17 percent) of the tract from Isaac Galland.

[11] Moses Martin (1812-93) was a native of new Lisbon, Grafton County, New Hampshire. Ordained a seventy in 1835, he served several missions for the Church. Martin was subsequently reinstated.

[12] Nashville, located three miles below Montrose, Iowa, was founded by Isaac Galland in 1829. A revelation, received in March 1841 (D&C 125), directed members of the Church to settle there.

[13] Cf. D&C 130:12-17.

[14] The Saints felt it a great advantage to have a prophet. For Joseph Smith's negative prophecy that Christ would not come before 1890 was an effective counterpoint to the fanaticism of an equally zealous and very popular millennarian movement led by William Miller. Although the Saints thought that Miller had predicted that the Second Coming would occur on 3 April 1843, just three days before this discourse was delivered (History of the Church, 5:326), actually Miller had predicted it could be as much as a year and a half later. Nevertheless, this was still not long enough time, for according to the Lord's voice to Joseph Smith the Second Coming would not be before 1890.

[15] Joseph Smith would have been 85 years old on 23 December 1890.

[16] See 9 March 1841, note 10.

[17] Given "1000 years" equals "a day of the Lord," then "41 yrs 8 months" equals "one hour." ("The hour of his judgment is come": Revelation 14:7.)

[18] Given the information of note 17, then the start of the "hour of judgment" the "41 yrs 8 months" subtracted from 1890 [1848] was still nearly "6 years" from the time of this discourse.

[19] Hosea 6:2.

[20] Gaylor. Identification of this man cannot be made.

[21] Matthew 24:27-30.

[22] 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

[23] Amos 3:7.

[24] Isaiah 2:2-5; 4:3; 52; Joel 2:32; Zechariah 12:6; 14:2; Acts 1:6-8; 3 Nephi 20:29-46; Ether 13:5, 11; D&C 113:7-9.

[25] Isaiah 11:10-16; Ezekiel 37:21-28.

[26] Ezekiel 37:26-28; 40-48.

[27] Ezekiel 47.

[28] Matthew 24:6.

[29] Joel 2:31. See also Matthew 24:29 and Joseph Smith-History 1:41.

[30] Luke 21:25; D&C 61:4-6, 14-19; 88:90.

[31] Matthew 24:27, 29.

[32] James Burgess (1818-1904) was converted to the Church in England in 1840 and arrived in Nauvoo 13 April 1843. See note 1, this discourse, for possible dating problem.

[33] Matthew 24:36-51; D&C 49:7.

[34] Amos 3:7.

[35] See text of this discourse for which note 23 applies (the account in the Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards).

[36] 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8.

[37] Matthew 24:27, 29.

[38] 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8.