Discourse of the Prophet—His Love for Mankind—Presentation of the Documents of the Late Trial to Governor Ford—Revelation on The Eternity of the Marriage Covenant and Plurality of Wives.
Sunday, July 9, 1843.—Meeting at the Grove in the morning. I addressed the Saints.[The following is a brief synopsis, as reported by Dr. Willard Richards:]
The Cause of the Prophet’s Success—Love for His Fellow-Man.
Joseph remarked that all was well between him and the heavens: that he had no enmity against any one; and as the prayer of Jesus, or his pattern, so prayed Joseph—”Father, forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me,” for I freely forgive all men. If we would secure and cultivate the love of others, we must love others, even our enemies as well as friends.
Sectarian priests cry out concerning me, and ask, “Why is it this babbler gains so many followers, and retains them?” I answer, It is because I possess the principle of love. All I can offer the world is a good heart and a good hand.
The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a “Mormon.” I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.
It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul—civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race. Love of liberty was diffused into my soul by my grandfathers 1 while they dandled me on their knees; and shall I want friends? No.
The inquiry is frequently made or me, “Wherein do you differ from others in your religious views?” In reality and essence we do not differ so far in our religious views, but that we could all drink into one principle of love. One of the grand fundamental principles or “Mormonism” is to receive truth, let it come from whence it may.
We believe in the Great Eloheim who sits enthroned in yonder heavens. So do the Presbyterians. If a skilful mechanic, in taking a welding heat, uses borax, alum, etc., and succeeds in welding together iron or steel more perfectly then any other mechanic, is he not deserving of praise? And if by the principles of truth I succeed in uniting men of all denominations in the bonds of love, shall I not have attained a good object?
If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way. Do you believe in Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation which He revealed? So do I. Christians should cease wrangling and contending with each other, and cultivate the principles of union and friendship in their midst; and they will do it before the millennium can be ushered in and Christ takes possession of His kingdom.
“Do you believe in the baptism of infants?”asks the Presbyterian. No. “Why?” Because it is nowhere written in the Bible. Circumcision is not baptism, neither was baptism instituted in the place of circumcision. Baptism is for remission of sins. Children have no sins. Jesus blessed them and said, “Do what you have seen me do.” Children are all made alive in Christ, and those of riper years through faith and repentance.
So far we are agreed with other Christian denominations. They all preach faith and repentance. The gospel requires baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, which is the meaning of the word in the original language—namely, to bury or immerse.
We ask the sects, Do you believe this? They answer, No. I believe in being converted. I believe in this tenaciously. So did the Apostle Peter and the disciples of Jesus. But I further believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Evidence by Peter’s preaching on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:38. You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost. Baptism by water is but half a baptism, and is good for nothing without the other half—that is, the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
The Savior says, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” “Though we or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed,” according to Galatians 1:8.
I am free today. Messengers have returned with offers of peace from the governor.
Markham Outwits Sheriff’s Reynolds and Wilson.
This morning, [the 9th of July] Esquire Patrick and Colonel Markham returned from Springfield. Markham stated that on the 4th they drove to Beardstown, hired fresh horses, and got to Springfield, 124 miles, about seven on the morning of the 5th, about two hours in advance of the Carthage mail, carrying Reynolds and Wilson, and ready with the documents to see the governor. The affidavits were in the possession of Cyrus Walker, who refused to give them up, on account of a political squip in the State Register, charging Walker with making capital stock out of my arrest to favor his election to Congress. Markham then demanded them as my agent, telling him that, if he would not give them up, he would take them from him. Walker then turned and said, “I will do my duty, if it takes my head,” and then went with Markham and delivered the papers to the governor. When they received the decision of the governor, they started on their return home. When they returned to Rushville, they learned that General Moses Wilson 2 had been staying there two or three weeks, with ten or twelve men, waiting for an opportunity of transporting me to Jackson county, and had only left there the morning previous, when they learned the decision of Governor Ford.
In the evening, Shadrach Roundy started for Springfield, to carry further affidavits and see Governor Ford.
Monday, 10.—I rode out with Emma to the farm.
Tuesday, 11.—I rode out with my family in the carriage.
Revelation on the Eternity of the Marriage Covenant, including the Plurality of Wives. Given through Joseph, the Seer, in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, July 11th, 1843. 3
Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I the Lord justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David, and Solomon my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines; behold and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter. Therefore prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for, behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world: and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment, through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power, (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred,) are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my father ordained unto you before the world was? I am the Lord thy God, and I give unto you this commandment, that no man shall come unto the Father but by me, or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord; and everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me, or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God; for whatsoever things remain are by me, and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.
Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world, and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead and when they are out of the world; therefore they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world: therefore, when they are out of the world, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more and an exceeding and an eternal weight of glory: for these angels did not abide my law; therefore they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity, and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God for ever and ever.
And again, verily I say unto you, If a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid, neither of force, when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word. When they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass: they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory, for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
And again, verily I say unto you, If a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this Priesthood, and it shall be said unto them, Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths; then shall it be written in the Lamb’s book of life, that he shall commit no murder, whereby to shed innocent blood; and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time and through all eternity, and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels and the gods which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads; which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds for ever and ever.
Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue. Then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law, ye cannot attain to this glory; For strait is the gate and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world, neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation, that where I am, ye shall be also. This is eternal lives, to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. I am He. Receive ye, therefore, my law. Broad is the gate and wide the way that leadeth to the deaths; and many there are that go in thereat, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder, wherein they shed innocent blood,—yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall he delivered unto the buffetings of Satan, unto the day of redemption; saith the Lord God.
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world, nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder, wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was. Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation, and sitteth upon his throne.
Abraham received promises concerning his seed and of the fruit of his loins,—from whose loins ye are—viz., my servant Joseph,—which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed out of the world, they should continue: both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the sea shore, ye could not number them. This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law are the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein He glorifieth Himself. Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law, and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law, ye cannot receive the promises of my Father, which He made unto Abraham.
God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham therefore under condemnation? Verily, I say unto you, Nay: for I the Lord commanded it. Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written, Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
Abraham received concubines, and they bare him children, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded, 4 they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels, but are gods.
David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, and Moses my servant, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin, save in those things which they received not of me.
David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me, save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you, according to my word. And as ye have asked concerning adultery, verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery, and shall be destroyed. If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery; and if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery; and if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent, and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery, but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many; for I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the Priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.
And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosoever sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.
And again, verily I say, Whomsoever you bless I will bless; and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I the Lord am the God.
And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings, and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven; for I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee, even unto the end of the world and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins. I have seen your sacrifices, in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore; and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
Verily, I say unto you, A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself, and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice; and let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me: and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God; for I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice: and I give unto my servant Joseph that he shall be made ruler over many things, for he hath been faithful over a few things; and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment, she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her, if she abide not in my law: but if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him, and multiply him, and give unto him an hundredfold, in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say, Let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses, and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I the Lord thy God will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
And again, I say, Let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him, for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
Now, as touching the law of the Priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto. Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of Him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this Priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law, and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood. If any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery, for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else: and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him: therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men, for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
And again, verily, verily I say unto you, If any man have a wife who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my Priesthood as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God, for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor, and he is exempt form the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you hereafter; therefore let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen.
Hyrum took the revelation and read it to Emma.
I directed Clayton to make out deeds of certain lots of land to Emma and the children.
I extract from the Neighbor:—
Joseph Smith is at Nauvoo in peace, quietly pursuing his own business; where we hope he will long remain free from the power of his inhuman persecutors.
The testimony already given 5 needs no comment. It shows but too plainly the inhumanity, recklessness, barbarism, and lawlessness of the state of Missouri; and we could wish, for the sake of humanity, for the sake of suffering innocence, and for the sake of our honored institutions, that our nation’s escutcheon had never been stained by the inhuman acts and bloody deeds of Missouri, and that the non-efficiency of the nation to execute law had not been so fully developed. But it is too true, we have witnessed most of the things mentioned by Mr. Smith, and we have also witnessed the carelessness and apathy of Congress on this subject, or their inefficiency to remedy the evil; the which, had it been fully investigated, and the perpetrators of those damning crimes brought to condign punishment, it would have exposed a blacker history than ever was written of any pagan, not to say Christian nation, and would have exposed half of that state to the charge of treason, murder, robbery, arson, burglary, and extermination.
As it is, the blood of the innocent yet cries for vengeance; and it overtakes them not here, and God spares my breath, if no one else does it, their deeds shall be handed down to posterity, that unborn generations may execrate these anti-republico cannibals, and tell that in the state of Missouri lived a horde of savages, protected and shielded by American republican legislative authority, who, in the face of open day, dragged the innocent to prison, because of their religion,—who murdered the oppressed that they had in their power, and fed the victims with their flesh; that they glutted their diabolical lust on defenseless innocence, and violated female chastity in a manner too horrid to relate; that in their mock tribunals they refused all testimony in favor of the accused, and thrust their witnesses into prison; that, after robbing them of their property, they drove 15,000 persons from the state; that they cried to the authorities of that state for redress, and from them to Congress; but the echo from both was—”We can render you no assistance.”
Elders Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and George A. Smith arrived in Louisville, and visited Mr. Porter, the “Kentucky baby!” 7 feet 7 inches high, and weighing 250 lbs.
Sheriff Reynolds, having published a garbled statement of my arrest in The Old School Democrat, [St. Louis] it was replied to by Esq. Southwick in the same paper.
2. This was the Gen. Moses Wilson who was active in the Missouri persecutions of the Saints, see vol. 2, pp. 46. 191. Also Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt. Edition of 1874, chapt. 21, Affidavit. Hist. of the Church, vol. 3, Appendix.
3. Doctrine and Covenants, section 132. For a treatise on the date of publication and authorship of this revelation see Introduction to this volume.