7 March 1844 (1) (Thursday Morning). At Temple

[1] 9 A. M. I Joseph presented to the meeting the proceedings of O. F. Bostwick [2] & the Lawyers &c—for the people to speak out, say whether such men should be tolerated and supported in our midst.—and from this time 1 design to bring such characters before the committee of the whole.—and if these things cannot be put a stop to. I will give them in to the hands of the mob.—the hands of the officers of the city falter, and are palsied by the conduct of such men.

There is another I will speak about he is a mormon.—a certain man who lived here before we come here. the two first letters of his name are Hiram Kimball—when the city had passed an ordinance to tax steam boats. He goes and tells the captains of the steam boats that he owned the landing. and they need not to pay tax—and I am determined to use up such men if they will not stop their efforts. If this is not true. Let him come forward & throw of[f] the imputation.—when they people appeal to carthage I will appeal to this people—the highest court—I despise the Lawyers who lag on their law suits. Kimball & Morrison [3] say they own the wharfs. but the city own the wharf.—64 ft. from high water mark from printing office to the northern limits of the city.—

annother thing. I want to speak about. the Lawyers of this city. I have good feelings & and I will reprove them—and the prophets always did say wo unto you ye Lawyers.—the Maratime laws of the U. S. have ceded up the tolls wharfage &c to the respective corporations who have jurisdiction. &c.

Shallow drafts intoxicate the brain &c.

Look at the reason.—no vessel could land any where if Subject to individuals laws.—Corporation owns the streets of the city, and have a right to tax the Boats to make wharfs. the same as to tax citizens to make roads—want every man in this city to stay at home & let the Boat Captains. peace officers and every body alone.—

How are we to keep peace in this city. & defend our selves against mobs—disgrace every man by preaching—him on the house top, who will, who not be still, and mind their own business.—Let them alone to use themselves up.—

A couple of merchants in this city. I was visi told by an old gentleman this morning who told me that the spirit of Mobocracy was almost subsiding.—These mobocrats have as the people abroad say.—told the people that they need not bring butter eggs &c—to Nauvoo will not tell their names. if they will not let the people bring in their produce.—the people will not buy their goods

another Man. will not call his name. has been writing to the New York Tribune [4] some of the greatest most disgraceful things possible to name.—he has stated in that article that there are a great many appropriations to the temple—applied some where else &c.—to stigmatize the Trustee [5] & turn prejudice against us abroad.—if any man who has appointed any thing.—old harness horses waggon &c let him come forward the first farthing and we cannot show where it has been appropriated. I will give him my head for a foot ball.—

he also states that the Temple cannot be build it costs so much. who dont know that we can put the roof on this building this season? by turning all the means of the N. House & doubling our diligence we can do it.

The best way for such men is to be still. If I did not love men I would not reprove them. but work in the dark as they do—read the Tribune & you see for yourself.—

he is not a Lawyer. he is nearer related to a Doctor. a small man.—"Mr McNiel [6]—enquired if he was the man.—" No did not know you—you are a stranger. Joseph rested [during Hyrum Smith's remarks].

Chas Foster asked if Joseph meant him Joseph said. I will ask you a question—[F.] that is no way. [J.] yes that is the way the Quakers do. Why did you denominate yourself.—Jesus said—whose image & superscription is it [7]—[F.] Did you mean me.—[J.] Why did you denominate yourself. did [F.] then I understand you meant me.—[J.] You said it.—[F.] You shall hear form me.—Mayor I fine you $10.00 for that threat, and disturbing the meeting Doctor [Robert] Foster spoke to palliate and exhort him to await—&c doctor said he has not threatened you. Joseph says he has—Doctor no one has heard him threaten you—and hundreds cried I have. Doctor continued to speak & Mayor said stop order or I will fine you—

W W. Phelps read Gen Smiths views of the powers & policies of the Gen Government, after which it was voted unanimously with one exception, to uphold Gen Smith for the Presidency.

"A voice of Innocence from Nauvoo" was then read by W W Phelps.—and all the people assembly said Amen. twice Doctor Foster read a letter from Thomas Ford Governor 30 minutes past 12. adjourned till 2. P. M.

Wilford Woodruff Diary

The Prophet arived & took the stand. and arose in the midst of people & said (Orson Pratt come & take your post) & further remarked I do not know whether the object of the meeting has been told or not I apologize for not comeing sooner. I have had so much on my mind since I saw you that I hardly know whare to begin or to say but one of the grand objects that I had in view in calling this meeting was in making a few remarks relative to the laws & ordinances and building the temple, the reason I want to speak of the laws is the Officers have difficulty in administering the laws. We are republican & wish to have the people rule but rule in righteousness, Sone [Some] would complain with what God himself would do, the laws are enacted by petition and they can all be repealed if they wish it but the people ought not to complain of the officers but to complain of the law makers, I am instructed by the City Council to tell this people that if you do not like any law we have passed we will repeal it for we are your servants, Any that Complain of our rights and Charters it is because they are wicked the devil is in them. the reason I called it up is we have a simple gang of fellows who does not know whare their elbows or head is if you preach virtue to them they will oppose that if you preach the Methodist God to them they will oppose that or any thing els & if their is any Case tried they want it appealed to Carthage Mr Boswick's case had to go to Carthage our Lawyers will send any thing to Carthage. I want to know if the Citizens will sustain me when my hands are raised to heaven for the people, I will areign the person before the people that act against the interest of the City & I will have the voice of the people which is republican and as likely to be the voice of God And as long as long as long as I have a tongue to speak I will expose the iniquity of the Lawyiers and wicked men I fear not their boiling over nor the boiling over of Hell their thunders & forked lightning. I despise the man that will betray you with a kiss. Here is Hiram Kimball has set at naught the ordinances of the City. By saying that He owns the wharf & steem boats need not pay them. wharefore this body is the highest Court what appeal to Carthage I would not appeal there if i died a thousand deaths. Kimball nor Morrison does not own the wharfage water street runs along the beach & belongs to the City & not individuals I will reprove the lawyers & doctrs anyhow Jesus did [8] & evry prophet has & if I am a prophet I shall do it, at any rate I shall do it for i profess to be a prophet. The laws & Constitution of the United States has ceded up the right to Corporate Cities to regulate all wharfage of shiping & Steem Boats &c all laws of taxation is subject to the City & not individuals, And I want from this time forth evry fool to stay at home & let the steem Boats & Captain alone and let the peace officers alone. How can we keep off mobs & keeping innocent Blood from being shed, By striking a blow at evry thing that rises up in disorder & I will war an eternal war with those that oppose me while I am labouring in behalf of the City. A man has been writing to the New York Tribune I will not mention his name. [9] He says that much has been appropriated for the building the Temple that has been spent for other purposes. But I pledge myself that any man that has paid any old shoes, harnesss, horses, or any thing els if he will come I will show him on Book that evry farthi[n]g has gone on Book & been appropriated for the building of the Temple if not so I will pled[g]e my head for a foot ball that this is true. their are men in our midst who are trying to build up themselves at our expense & others in our midst that are watching for iniquity & will make a man an offender for a word. [10] But I will rest myself & give way for others.

Willard Richards Diary

Great Meeting at Temple all day.

—7 March 1844 (1)


[1] See History of the Church, 6:236-40. Not in Teachings. The original source for the report of this discourse in History of the Church is an amalgamation of the Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards and the Wilford Woodruff Diary.

[2] Orsimus F. Bostwick. The text has reference to Bostwick's being fined $50 for slanderous language concerning himself and certain females of Nauvoo. Hyrum Smith was complainant. Francis M. Higbee, Bostwick's attorney, informed the Prophet that he would appeal the case to the Municipal court and then to the circuit court at Carthage.

[3] Arthur Morrison was a friendly non-Mormon who greatly assisted the Saints in Clay Count, Missouri 1834-36. He subsequently moved to Nauvoo.

[4] The Prophet was referring to Charles A. Foster. A land speculator in Nauvoo, Foster subsequently joined other dissidents in opposing the leadership and influence of Joseph Smith.

[5] Joseph Smith was the Trustee-in-Trust for the Church.

[6] Dr. James McNeil had a small drug business and botanical medicine practice in Nauvoo.

[7] Matthew 22:20.

[8] See 13 April 1843, note 15. Regarding Jesus reproving the "lawyers and doctors," see Matthew 23.

[9] Charles Foster. See note 4, this discourse.

[10] Isaiah 29:21.