8 April 1844 (Monday Morning). Temple Stand

[1] 9 3/4 A. M. Prest. J. Smith took his seat on the stand. and requested choir to sing an Hymn. His lungs having failed he would call upon Er B. Young to read 1 Cor 15 Ch.

Er B. Young said to cont the sub of Prest. S discourse yesterday shall com by read 18 Cor.—from an old Bible—W. W. Phelps read

Prayer by Er B. Young. choir sung an Hymn

Prest. J. said impos. to continue the subject as to raise the dead Lungs is gone—time to do things must wait—give it up and leave the time to those who can make you hear—will do it some other time. Make a proc to the Ers—Wanted you to stay in order I might make this Proc. you know the Ld has lead the Church from rev. Has another rev. in rel to economy in the Church Shall not be able as largely as some other. time will give 1st prin—has ben great discourse in rel to Zion—prophets—make a proc that will cover a broad gd. the whole America is the Zion itself—from North to South—that is the Zion where the Mountain of the Ld shd be [2]—when Ers take up br will see it [3]—dec. this morning are calculating soon as Temple finished washing & anointing &c when those last & most impt ordinance can be done [4]—must be in a house—prov made during time of laying found: where men may rec endowment to make K & Pts [5] unto the Most H G. having nothin to do with temporal things but K of G. G has provided for a house to be built where we can get a House this the central place & where we can be baptized for dead—it is nec. when we want to save our dead we go through all the ordinances same as for ourself from bap to ordination & endt. From henceforth I have rec—inst from Ld that Ers shall build churches where ever they raise branches through the States then build stakes—in the gt cities Boston &c [6] there shall be stakes—reserved the pro. to the last. all this to be und. that this work shall commence after the washing anointing & endowment here

The Ld has an est law in relation to the matter. there must be a particular spot for the sal, of our dead. I verily believe this will be the place, hence men who want to save their dead can come and bring their families do their work and return to live and wait till the go to receive their reward. [7] Shall leave the rest for the brethren—tis my duty to teach the doctrine—spt is willing flesh is weak. [8] God is not Willing to let me gratify you— but I must teach the Ers and they should teach you He will make me to be God in your stead [9] & they be mouth for me. Have been giving some inst to Er Adams [10] to speak to you & when he makes a mistake will get up and correct him.

Wilford Woodruff Diary

Conference met at 10 oclock April 8th

President J Smith arose and said it is impossible to continue the subject that I spoke upon yesterday in Consequence of the weekness of my lungs. Yet I have a proclamation to make to the Elders you know the Lord has led the Church untill the present time I have now a great proclamation for the Elders to teach the Church hereafter which is in relation to Zion, The whole of North and South America is Zion, the mountain of the Lords House is in the Centre of North & South America, when the House is done, Baptism font erectd and finished & the worthy are washed, anointed, endowed & ordained Kings & priests, [11] which must be done in this life, when the place is prepared you must go through all the ordinances of the house of the Lord so that you who have any dead friends must go through all the ordinances for them the same as for yourselves; then the Elders are to go through all America & build up Churches untill all Zion is built up, but not to commence to do this untill the Temple is built up here and the Elders endowed then go forth & accomplish the work & build up stakes in all North and South America, Their will be some place ordained for the redeeming of the dead I think this place will be the one, so their will be gathering fast enough here. President Smith lungs failed him and he appointed Elder G. J. Adams to occupy the time during the foornoon He however remarked that his proclamation just made was the greatest ever made as all could not come here; [12] but it was necessary that enough should come to build up the temple & get an endowment so that the work could spread abroad.

Thomas Bullock Report

Monday morning

Prayer by Pres Young—after which choir sung an hymn

Prophet it is just as impossible for me to continue the subject as to raise the dead—my lungs are worn out—I will do so anor. day. has led this Church by revn. I have anr. revn. a great grand & glorious revn. & this is what I am going to declare—you kno there has been great discusn. where Zion is & when the gathg. of the D is & which I am to—the whole America is the Land itself N. & S itself & is descd. by the Prophets that it shod. be in the centre of the land. the declan. is that as soon as the temple & B font is prepd. & so as we can wash & anoint the El of Israel there must be a place prepd for that purpose—there are provins made until the work is compd. to be as K & P of the mos H. God but as all to do with the hs of God—but there must be an express place built for that purpose & for men to be B for their dd for every man who wishes to save the F & M. B. S & F. must go thro the same—B—A. W. & all the protectn. of the powers of the Priesthood same as for themselves—the Elders of Israel shall build Churches unto the Ld. & there shall they build Churches unto the Ld: there shall be a Stake of Zion—it is a glorious pro—& I reserved it to the last & desn. it to be understd. that it shall be after the washg. & anointg. here—the place that the Ld. has estd. for the Sn. of the dead—there must be a parlar place. I verily belive this to be the place—& men who wish to save their dead must come here to be B for their dead—& then may go back agn.—& I shall leave m Brern to enlarge—it is my duty to teach those who err in doctrine—the Sp is willg. but the flesh is weak [13]—if God made Aaron to be their mouthpiece & Made me to be their K. & their God [14] & if you dont like it you must lump it—I have give instron to El Adams in some principles—if he makes a mistake I will tell it.

Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards

Prest. J. Smith said he must give up the subject of yesterday.

Made a proclamation.—I have another great and grand Revelation—great discussion where Zion is.—The whole America is Zion that is the Zion where the Mountain of the Lords house shall be. about the central part of N. & South America.—

soon as the Temple is finished.—Lord hath ordained where these last & most important ordinances must be in a house.—provided for the purpose.—when we can get a house built first there is the place.—Bap. washed. anointed, sealed &c for the dead the same as for themselves.—

from henceforth the elders shall build churches where ever the people receive the gospel sufficient. then build stakes to this place. I verily believe that God will establish this place for the salvation of the dead.—those who want to save their dead can come hither. those who do not wish to come hither to live can bring their families and attend the ordinances and return.

—8 April 1844


[1] See History of the Church, 6:381, and Teachings, pp. 362-63. The account of this discourse in History of the Church and Teachings is an amalgamation of the reports by William Clayton, Wilford Woodruff, Thomas Bullock, and Willard Richards (Joseph Smith Diary).

[2] Isaiah 2:2-3 (2-5). See text of a discourse reported by Martha Coray in July 1840, at note 4.

[3] In preparation for publication this sentence was fleshed out to read "when the Elders, shall take up and examine the old prophecies in the Bible, they will see it" (italicized words added).

[4] The last and most impressive ordinances of the Gospel are designed to be administered in the House of the Lord.

[5] Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6; D&C 76:56 (50-56).

[6] The first stakes to be organized in the large cities of the United States were Los Angeles (1923), San Francisco (1927), New York (1934), Chicago (1936), and Washington D.C. (1940). The Boston Stake was organized in 1962.

[7] Here Joseph Smith emphasizes that some ordinances of the priesthood have to be performed in the temple of the Lord and cannot be performed in public places. See 1 May 1842 discourse and 12 May 1844, note 28.

[8] Matthew 26:41.

[9] Exodus 4:16 (10-17).

[10] George J. Adams.

[11] See 27 August 1843, note 30.

[12] This was a significant statement in light of the Church's principle of "the gathering of Israel." In Nauvoo, not only did Joseph Smith start a new phase of the "gathering" by establishing Nauvoo as the hub of a wheel of outlying gathering places called stakes, but as was indicated here, all of North and South America would be the place for the "gathering to Zion in the last days." The previous policy emphasized a concept of gathering to a single location. See D&C 124:36 and the text of discourse reported by Martha Coray in July 1840, after note 3.

[13] Matthew 26:41.

[14] Exodus 4:16 (10-17). This statement may have meant much more to the men who were members of Joseph Smith's private Council of Fifty. Three days later, on 11 April 1844, they chose Joseph as their "Prophet, Priest and King" (see 16 July 1843 (2), note 15).