26013

Journal, December 1841–December 1842

19 August 1842 • Friday

Friday 19th. This evening President Joseph had a visit from his Aunt Temperance Mack

8 Sept. 1771–15 Sept. 1850. Born in Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Stephen Bond and Mary Yemmons. Married Stephen Mack, 1788, in Gilsum. Moved to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Moved to Norwich, Orange Co., 1816; to Detroit, by 1822; and...

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Spent the day mostly in conversation and reading. At night went to the city

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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and concluded to tarry at home untill something further transpired with regard to the designs of his persecutors.

20 August 1842 • Saturday

Saturday 20th. Spent the day in the large Room over the Store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

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. Was considerable sick all day. In the evening had an interview with brother Hyrum [Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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, Wilson

26 Feb. 1806–15 Oct. 1876. Merchant, millwright, land speculator, farmer. Born in Ireland. Son of Richard Law and Ann Hunter. Immigrated to U.S. and settled in Springfield Township, Mercer Co., Pennsylvania, by 1820. Moved to Delaware Township, Mercer Co....

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and William Law

8 Sept. 1809–12/19 Jan. 1892. Merchant, millwright, physician. Born in Co. Tyrone, Ireland. Son of Richard Law and Ann Hunter. Immigrated to U.S. and settled in Springfield Township, Mercer Co., Pennsylvania, by 1820. Moved to Delaware Township, Mercer Co...

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, Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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, & George Miller

25 Nov. 1794–after July 1856. Carpenter, mill operator, lumber dealer, steamboat owner. Born near Stanardsville, Orange Co., Virginia. Son of John Miller and Margaret Pfeiffer. Moved to Augusta Co., Virginia, 1798; to Madison Co., Kentucky, 1806; to Boone...

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a few hours, conversing on the illegality of the proceedings of our oppressors &c.

21 August 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 21st. In the Room over the Store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

More Info
. To day Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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went to the grove near the Temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

More Info
and there related before the congregation the following incident which took place in his family. He stated that his daughter Eliza [Elizabeth Rigdon] had been sick unto death all the skill of physicians having been of no avail. She continued to sink untill finally she appeared to die, and went cold. She continually wished to recover and expressed strong desires to live saying she did not want to die &c. He stated that she appeared to die three times and again recover. When she came to the last time she stated that she had something to say to her father, which was to the effect that he must be faithful in the cause, that this was the cause of truth &c. She also said that George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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had it in his heart to deny the faith but if he did it would be his damnation, Also that Nancy [Rigdon]

8 Dec. 1822–1 Nov. 1887. Born in Pittsburgh. Daughter of Sidney Rigdon and Phebe Brooks. Moved to Bainbridge, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1826. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., 1827. Baptized into LDS church, likely ca. Nov. 1830, in Ohio. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co....

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had near denied the faith but if she did she would be damned. She also said that Jno C. Bennett

3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married ...

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was a wicked man. Elder Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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then stated that he felt himself a new man, that his constitution was renewed and his system invigorated. He also bore testimony to the truth of the work; he said he had been in it a number of years and knew for himself that it was the work of God &c. He also said it had been stated that he had said Joseph was a fallen prophet; this he denied in the strongest terms. After he had got through president Hyrum [Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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arose and spoke at great length and with great power. He cited Elder Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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s mind back to the Revelation concerning him, that if he would move into the midst of the city and defend the truth he should be healed &c and showed that what Elder Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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felt in regard to the improvement in his his health was a fulfilment of the Revelation. He then went on to show the folly of any person’s attempting to overthrow or destroy Joseph and read from the Book of Mormon in various places concerning the Prophet who was prophecied should be raised up in the last days, setting forth the work he was destined to accomplish and that he had only just commenced; but inasmuch as we could plainly see that the former part of the prophecy had been literally fulfilled we might be assured that the latter part would also be fulfilled and that Joseph would live to accomplish the great things spoken concerning him, notwithstanding his enemies might diligently and continualy seek his destruction; hence the danger of any man’s lifting his hand against him, for whosoever did it, would surely come to destruction and could not prosper. He asked if it had not already been proven that this was the fact. and that all who had persecuted the prophet had come to disgrace and shame, and how should any man prosper whilst seeking to injure him whom God had blessed and promised to protect and concerning whom the prophets had prophecied that he should live to fulfil the work committed to him [p. 166]

19 August 1842 • Friday

Friday 19th. This evening President Joseph had a visit from his Aunt Temperance Mack

8 Sept. 1771–15 Sept. 1850. Born in Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Stephen Bond and Mary Yemmons. Married Stephen Mack, 1788, in Gilsum. Moved to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Moved to Norwich, Orange Co., 1816; to Detroit, by 1822; and...

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 Spent the day mostly in conversation and reading. At night went to the city

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

More Info
 and concluded to tarry at home untill something further transpired with  regard to the designs of his persecutors.337

Though JS returned to the city, he was still in hiding, spending Saturday, Sunday, and presumably Monday in the store. Four days later he returned to live in his home. (JS, Journal, 20, 21, and 23 Aug. 1842.)  


20 August 1842 • Saturday

Saturday 20th. Spent the day in the large Room over the Store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

More Info
. Was considerable sick all  day. In the evening had an interview with brother Hyrum [Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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, Wilson

26 Feb. 1806–15 Oct. 1876. Merchant, millwright, land speculator, farmer. Born in Ireland. Son of Richard Law and Ann Hunter. Immigrated to U.S. and settled in Springfield Township, Mercer Co., Pennsylvania, by 1820. Moved to Delaware Township, Mercer Co....

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and  William Law

8 Sept. 1809–12/19 Jan. 1892. Merchant, millwright, physician. Born in Co. Tyrone, Ireland. Son of Richard Law and Ann Hunter. Immigrated to U.S. and settled in Springfield Township, Mercer Co., Pennsylvania, by 1820. Moved to Delaware Township, Mercer Co...

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, N[ewel] K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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, & George Miller

25 Nov. 1794–after July 1856. Carpenter, mill operator, lumber dealer, steamboat owner. Born near Stanardsville, Orange Co., Virginia. Son of John Miller and Margaret Pfeiffer. Moved to Augusta Co., Virginia, 1798; to Madison Co., Kentucky, 1806; to Boone...

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a few hours, conversing on the  illegality of the proceedings of our oppressors &c.

21 August 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 21st. In the Room over the Store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

More Info
. To day Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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went to the grove near the  Temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

More Info
and there related before the congregation the following incident which took  place in his family. He stated that his daughter Eliza [Elizabeth Rigdon] had been sick unto death  all the skill of physicians having been of no avail. She continued to sink untill  finally she appeared to die, and went cold. She continually wished to recover and  expressed strong desires to live saying she did not want to die &c. He stated that she  appeared to die three times and again recover. When she came to the last time  she stated that she had something to say to her father, which was to the effect that  he must be faithful in the cause, that this was the cause of truth &c. She also  said that George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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had it in his heart to deny the faith but if he did  it would be his damnation, Also that Nancy [Rigdon]

8 Dec. 1822–1 Nov. 1887. Born in Pittsburgh. Daughter of Sidney Rigdon and Phebe Brooks. Moved to Bainbridge, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1826. Moved to Mentor, Geauga Co., 1827. Baptized into LDS church, likely ca. Nov. 1830, in Ohio. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co....

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had near denied the faith but if  she did she would be damned.338

Difficulties between JS and members of Rigdon’s family had existed for several months. Rigdon’s son-in-law George W. Robinson had recently published his withdrawal from the church, claiming that “scandalous attacks [had], at several times, been made on myself, in connection with Mr. Rigdon.” The Wasp responded by publishing statements about Robinson’s allegedly dishonest business dealings. (JS, Journal, 12 and 13 May 1842; 28 June 1842; 29 Aug. 1842; George W. Robinson, “Letter from Nauvoo,” Quincy [IL] Whig, 23 July 1842, [2]; “G. W. Robinson,” The Wasp, 30 July 1842, [2].)  


She also said that Jno C. Bennett

3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married ...

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was a wicked man.  Elder Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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that then stated that he felt himself a new man, that his constitution  was renewed and his system invigorated. He also bore testimony to the truth of the  work; he said he had been in it a number of years and knew for himself that  it was the work of God &c. He also said it had been stated that he had said Joseph  was a fallen prophet; this he denied in the strongest terms.339

A more detailed summary of Rigdon’s sermon was published in the Times and Seasons the following month. (“Elder Rigdon, &c,” Times and Seasons, 15 Sept. 1842, 3:922–923 .)  


After he had got  through president Hyrum [Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
arose and spoke at great length and with great power.  He cited Elder Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
s mind back to the Revelation concerning him, that if he  would move into the midst of the city and defend the truth he should be healed &c  and showed that what Elder Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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felt in regard to the improvement in his  his health was a fulfilment of the Revelation.340

The revelation directing Rigdon to move into the city and to be faithful is recorded in Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841, in Doctrine and Covenants 103:32, 1844 ed. [D&C 124:103–110].  


He then went on to show  the folly of any person’s attempting to overthrow or destroy Joseph and read from  the Book of Mormon in various places concerning the Prophet who was  prophecied should be raised up in the last days, setting forth the work  he was destined to accomplish and that he had only just commenced;  but inasmuch as we could plainly see that the former part of the  prophecy had been literally fulfilled we might be assured that the latter  part would also be fulfilled and that Joseph would live to accomplish the  great things spoken concerning him, notwithstanding his enemies might  diligently and continualy seek his destruction;341

The most notable prophecies regarding the prophet who should be “raised up in the last days” are found in the second book of Nephi and the book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. (Book of Mormon, 1840 ed., 66–67, 108–110, 532 [2 Nephi 3:6–21; 27:6–26; Ether 5:1–4].)  


hence the danger of any  man’s lifting his hand against him, for whosoever did it, would surely  come to destruction and could not prosper. He asked if it had not already  been proven that this was the fact. and that all who had persecuted  the prophet had come to disgrace and shame, and how should any man  prosper whilst seeking to injure him whom God had blessed and promised  to protect and concerning whom the prophets had prophecied that he  should live to fulfil the work committed to him [p. 166]
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Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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, William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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, and Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

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recorded JS’s journal entries from 13 December 1841 through 20 December 1842 in a large leather-bound blank book. The book was first used by church recorder Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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to copy revelations. Between January 1841 and his death on 27 August the same year, Thompson recorded nine of JS’s revelations, beginning with the 19 January 1841 revelation commanding the building of the Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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and a boardinghouse called the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

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. On 11 December 1841, following his election as “sole Trustee in Trust for the Church” earlier in the year, JS instructed that all donations for building the Nauvoo temple be received directly through his office rather than through the committee overseeing construction of the temple. Two days later, he appointed Willard Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as recorder for the temple and as his personal scribe. Richards then became custodian of the book Thompson had used for recording revelations, and Richards apparently began recording journal entries and tithing donations in some manner on that same day. However, the quality of inscription for the journal entries in the book suggests that they are copies of previously inscribed notes, and if Richards began making such notes in mid-December it is less certain when he began copying them into the book.1

One of Richards’s entries records that he was ill “& did not take notes.” Other entries, such as those dictated by JS to William Clayton while in hiding, are clearly copies of previously inscribed notes. (JS, Journal, 17 June 1842; 16 and 23 Aug. 1842.)  


The book apparently was kept in the “counting room” on the lower floor of JS’s red brick store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

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on Water Street, where Richards received and entered donations and also inscribed JS’s journal.2

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 16; Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.  


Journal entries and donations were kept concurrently in the book, alternating sometimes every other page and chronologically leapfrogging each other. This pattern was especially pronounced near the beginning of the book, where donations and journal entries occasionally appear together on a single page. Over time, however, larger and larger blocks of text were dedicated to either donations or journal entries until eventually, in December 1842, the journal was transferred to another book. This slow separation or disentanglement of the journal and donation records—the reasons for which are unclear—was completed long before the volume was filled; indeed, only 90 of the volume’s 478 pages include journal entries, and all of these are within the first 215 pages. In several places it is clear that lists of donations were recorded earlier than were the journal entries found on preceding pages; that is, Richards and William Clayton—who was assigned to assist in the recorder’s office 10 February 1842—left several pages blank between lists of donations and then later filled in those pages with journal entries.3

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18; Clayton, Journal, 10 Feb. 1843.  


This practice sometimes left the scribes with insufficient space to finish a journal entry before running into the list of donations, requiring them to continue the entry several pages later.4

For example, the donation records on pages 136–163 were evidently inscribed before the 16 August 1842 journal entry, which begins on page 135 and is continued on page 164.  


The interspersing of journal entries with pages of donation records, as well as JS’s conscious efforts to record the names of people who helped him, suggests that the volume as a whole was understood in terms of an 1832 revelation that “a hystory and a general church record” must be kept “of all things that transpire in Zion and of all those who consecrate properties . . . and also there manner of life and the[ir] faith and works.” This record was to be kept in a book called “the book of the Law of God”—a book whose name parallels that of “the book of the law of the Lord” mentioned in the Old Testament.5

JS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, [Independence, MO], 27 Nov. 1832, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 1–2 [D&C 85:1–2, 5]; 2 Chronicles 17:9; 34:14; Nehemiah 9:3.  


Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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continued the pagination of Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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’s revelation transcripts and, at some point in time, the title “The Book of the Law of the Lord” was inscribed in the front of the book Richards was filling with journal entries and donation records. That the revelation transcripts, donation records, and journal entries appear under the same title and pagination suggests the book’s creators understood its title to comprehend all of its parts.
During the first few months of keeping JS’s journal, Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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included events that occurred before his appointment as JS’s scribe and temple recorder as well as current journal entries. For example, in his 13 December 1841 entry on deteriorating conditions in Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

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, Illinois, Richards explained what led church members to settle there in the first place. At times these retrospective entries eclipse the events of the day on which they were written and have no apparent connection to surrounding entries. The entries for 17 and 29 December 1841, for example, relate to Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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’s July 1841 arrival at Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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following his mission to England and to the October 1841 laying of the cornerstone for the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

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, respectively, but they record nothing about the events of 17 and 29 December. Multiple entries for individual days, sometimes separated by several pages, add to the complexity of the first part of the journal and also suggest that Richards wrote retrospectively at least part of the time. Only after Richards moved into the Smith home in mid-January 1842 and was able to more closely observe JS’s actions did the entries become more regular, and even then multiple entries occasionally occurred. Immediately preceding the entry for 15 January 1842, the header “Journal of President Joseph” appears—showing that by the time he moved into JS’s home, Richards considered the daily entries he was keeping as journal entries.6

See also the entry for 29 June 1842, in which Richards transferred “this Journal” to his assistant William Clayton.  


Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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kept JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 29 June 1842, shortly after which he left for Richmond, Massachusetts, to bring his family to Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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. Among the numerous topics addressed in Richards’s entries are problems relating to the purchase of land in the Nauvoo area, the organization of the Female Relief Society, and the developing rift between JS and two of his close associates, John C. Bennett

3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married ...

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and Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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. When Richards left for Massachusetts

One of original thirteen colonies that formed U.S. Capital city, Boston. Colonized by English religious dissenters, 1620s. Population in 1830 about 610,000. Population in 1840 about 738,000. Joseph Smith Sr. born in Massachusetts. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde...

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, he transferred the book—and therefore JS’s journal—to his assistant, William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, to keep during his absence. Two months later, in early September, Clayton was appointed temple recorder, officially replacing Richards as custodian of the Book of the Law of the Lord. Some of Clayton’s entries include accounts of JS’s activities during the day as well as his activities later in the evening. In some of these entries, the record of the evening events is inscribed in an ink that differs from the ink he used to record JS’s activities earlier in the day yet matches that of the following day’s entry. This indicates that he was probably writing in the book about some events the very day they occurred.7

Pages 207–209, for example, contain such inscriptions. Willard Richards’s entry for 10 March 1842 also indicates contemporaneous inscription.  


Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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’s first entry (30 June 1842) retrospectively records three events dealing with the Nauvoo temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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—the dedication of the baptismal font on 8 November 1841, a miraculous healing in the waters of the font in February 1842, and a deposit made in the cornerstone on 25 September 1841. JS may have directed the inclusion of this material after having “heard the Recorder [Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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] Read in the Law of the Lord” the day before;8

JS, Journal, 29 June 1842.  


alternatively, Clayton may have recorded it on his own in his role as assistant temple recorder. Either way, its inclusion clearly demonstrates the desire to include information about the temple in the record. The Book of the Law of the Lord was to be kept in the temple when it was completed.9

Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.  


Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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had kept JS’s journal for little more than a month when, on 8 August 1842, JS was arrested as part of an effort to extradite him to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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to stand trial for alleged complicity in the attempted assassination of former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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.10

JS, Journal, 8 Aug. 1842; see also Appendix 1.  


JS’s subsequent efforts to avoid extradition to Missouri were attended by a flurry of letter writing among JS, his associates, and Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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governor Thomas Carlin

18 July 1789–14 Feb. 1852. Ferry owner, farmer, sheriff, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of Thomas Carlin and Elizabeth Evans. Baptist. Moved to Missouri, by 1803. Moved to Illinois, by 1812. Served in War of 1812. Married Rebecca Hewitt, 13...

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. Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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, a private teacher living in the Smith home, and Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

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, who also had clerical skills, assisted Clayton in copying these and other letters into the journal. Among other things, this correspondence provides valuable insight into the thoughts and character of several of Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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’s leading citizens. Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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’s articulate and thoughtful letters to Carlin, for example, in which she argued against the legality of Boggs’s affidavit and the entire extradition proceedings, reveal a woman of ability and resourcefulness. Two of JS’s letters written to members of the church during this period provided important instructions regarding proxy baptisms for deceased persons and record keeping. Clayton and Snow also copied into the journal three of the early letters in a lengthy series between JS and his New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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correspondent James Arlington Bennet

21 Dec. 1788–25 Dec. 1863. Attorney, newspaper publisher, educator, author. Born in New York. Married first Sophia, ca. 1811. Served as third and later second lieutenant in First U.S. Artillery, 1 Aug. 1813–14 Oct. 1814. Published American System of Practical...

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.
JS spent much of the last five months of 1842 in hiding to avoid arrest and extradition to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. Periods of enforced solitude gave him time for sustained reflection and opportunity to commit his thoughts to paper. Lengthy recitations of the names and deeds of his loyal friends, and explicit references to his desire to have them recorded in the Book of the Law of the Lord are unique features of this part of his journal and contribute—like the lists of donations for the temple—to the unusual character of the book as a whole.
Although Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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returned to Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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with his family on 30 October 1842, Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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continued keeping JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 20 December of that year. Clayton’s entries end with a recital of his, Richards’s, and several other men’s efforts in Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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, Illinois, to resolve a bankruptcy case involving JS. While there, they also counseled with Judge Stephen A. Douglas

23 Apr. 1813–3 June 1861. Lawyer, politician. Born at Brandon, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of Stephen Arnold Douglass and Sarah Fisk. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, 1830. Moved to Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois, 1833. Served as attorney general of Illinois...

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, United States district attorney Justin Butterfield

1790–Oct. 1855. Teacher, lawyer. Born in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Ca. 1810, moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, where he taught school and studied law. Admitted to bar, 1812, at Watertown. Practiced law in Adams, Jefferson Co., and Sackets...

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, and newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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regarding the effort to extradite JS to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. All three gave suggestions for how JS might safely and successfully proceed in the case against him. On 21 December 1842, the day following the party’s return to Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, JS appointed Richards his “private se[c]retary & historian” and Richards began keeping a new journal for JS in a small memorandum book.11

JS, Journal, 21 Dec. 1842.  


As temple recorder, Clayton retained possession of the Book of the Law of the Lord, in which he continued to record tithing and other donations.
 
Chronological Index to Journal Entries
 
Journal entries in the Book of the Law of the Lord were not always dated sequentially. In addition, there are several dates for which more than one entry was made, often with entries for other dates intervening. This chronological index helps to locate journal entries. In this index, sequential journal entries are not individually listed, and dates with no journal entry are not noted.
DateManuscript PagePage in JSP, J2
December 184126, 31, 33, 36, 39, 43–4410–21
Dec. 18413616
11–13 Dec. 18413314–15
13 Dec. 184126, 3310–11, 15–16
14 Dec. 18412611
15–16 Dec. 18413113–14
17 Dec. 18412611
22 Dec. 18413616–17
24–28 Dec. 18413917–19
29–31 Dec. 184143–4419–21
January 184231, 43–44, 48, 56–60, 66–6714, 21–32, 36–38
1 Jan. 18424421
4 Jan. 18424823–24
5 Jan. 184231, 4414, 21
6 Jan. 18425725–26
12–16 Jan. 18424824
15 Jan. 18425826–27
16 Jan. 184248, 5824, 27
17 Jan. 184243, 56, 5820–21, 24–25, 27
18–22 Jan. 18425827–30
23 Jan. 184259, 6630, 36–37
24 Jan. 18425930
25 Jan. 184259, 6630, 37
26–27 Jan. 18425930–31
28 Jan. 184259, 6731, 38
29–31 Jan. 18426031–32
February–July 184260–61, 88–95, 122–12832–36, 38–80
August 1842128–135, 164–167, 179–18480–99, 115–124
3–15 Aug. 1842128–13580–92
16 Aug. 1842135, 164–16593–96
17–21 Aug. 1842165–16796–99
Copied Correspondence168–178100–114
23–31 Aug. 1842179–184115–124
September–December 1842184–215124–183

Facts