The Plat of the City of Zion—Its Temples—Correspondence on Affairs in Zion and Eugene.
An explanation of the plat of the city of Zion, sent to the brethren in Zion, the 25th of June, 1833:
The General Plan of the City of Zion.
The plat contains one mile square; all the squares in the plat contain ten acres each, being forty rods square. You will observe that the lots are laid off alternately in the squares; in one square running from the south and north to the line through the center of the square; and in the next, the lots run from the east and west to the center line. Each lot is four perches in front and twenty back, making one half of an acre in each lot, so that no one street will be built on entirely through the street; but on one square the houses will stand on one street, and on the next one, another, except the middle range of squares, which runs north and south, in which range are the painted squares. The lots are laid off in these squares, north and south, all of them; because these squares are forty perches by sixty, being twenty perches longer than the others, their greatest length being east and west, and by running all these squares, north and south, it makes all the lots in the city of one size.
The Blocks Set Aside for Temples.
The painted squares in the middle are for public buildings. The one without any figures is for store-houses for the Bishop, and to be devoted to his use. Figure first is for temples for the use of the presidency; the circles inside of the squares, are the places for the temples. You will see it contains twelve figures, two are for the temples of the lesser Priesthood. It is also to contain twelve temples.
The whole plot is supposed to contain from fifteen to twenty thousand people: you will therefore see that it will require twenty-four buildings to supply them with houses of worship, schools, etc.; and none of these temples are to be smaller than the one of which we send you a draft. This temple is to be built in the square marked figure 1; and to be built where the circle is which has a cross on it on the north end.
Location of Lands for the Agriculturist.
South of the plot where the line is drawn, is to be laid off for barns, stables, etc., for the use of the city; so that no barns or stables will be in the city among the houses; the ground to be occupied for these must be laid off according to wisdom. On the north and south are to be laid off the farms for the agriculturist, and sufficient quantity of land to supply the whole plot; and if it cannot be laid off without going too great a distance from the city, there must also be some laid off on the east and west.
Zion a Group of Cities.
When this square is thus laid off and supplied, lay off another in the same way, and so fill up the world in these last days; and let every man live in the city, for this is the city of Zion. All the streets are of one width, being eight perches wide. Also, the space round the outer edge of the painted squares, is to be eight perches between the temple and the street on every side. No one lot, in this city, is to contain more than one house, and that to be built twenty-five feet back from the street, leaving a small yard in front, to be planted in a grove, according to the taste of the builder; the rest of the lot for gardens; all the houses are to be built of brick and stone. The scale of the plot is forty perches to the inch.
Names of the Temples.
The names of the temples to be built on the painted squares as represented on the plot of the city of Zion, which is now about to be forwarded thither:—numbers 10, 11, and 12, are to be called, House of the Lord, for the Presidency of the High and most Holy Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of the Son of God, upon Mount Zion, City of the New Jerusalem. Numbers 7, 8, and 9, the Sacred Apostolic Repository, for the use of the Bishop. Numbers 4, 5, and 6, the Holy Evangelical House, for the High Priesthood of the Holy Order of God. Numbers 1, 2, and 3, the House of the Lord, for the Elders of Zion, an Ensign to the Nations. Numbers 22, 23, and 24, House of the Lord for the Presidency of the High Priesthood, after the Order of Aaron, a Standard for the People. Numbers 19, 20, and 21, House of the Lord, the Law of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Messenger to the People; for the Highest Priesthood after the Order of Aaron. Numbers 16, 17, and 18, House of the Lord for the Teachers in Zion, Messenger to the Church. Numbers 13, 14, and 15, House of the Lord for the Deacons in Zion, Helps in Government. Underneath must be written on each house—
Holiness to the Lord.
A description of the House of the Lord, which is to be built first in Zion:
The House of the Lord for the Presidency.
The house of the Lord for the Presidency, is eighty-seven feet long and sixty-one feet wide, and ten feet taken off of the east end for the stairway, leaves the inner court, seventy-eight feet by sixty-one, which is calculated and divided for seats in the following manner, viz: the two aisles four feet wide each; the middle block of pews are eleven feet ten inches long, and three feet wide each; and the two lines drawn through the middle are four inches apart; in which space a curtain is to drop at right angles, and divide the house into four parts if necessary. The pews of the side blocks are fourteen and a half feet long, and three feet wide. The five pews in each corner of the house, are twelve feet six inches long. The open spaces between the corner and side pews are for fireplaces; those in the west are nine feet wide, and the east ones are eight feet and eight inches wide, and the chimneys carried up in the wall where they are marked with a pencil.
The Pulpits of the Temple.
The pulpit in the west end of the house is to be occupied by the High Priesthood, as follows:—Number 1, is for the President and his council; number 2, for the Bishop and his council; number 3, for the High Priests; and number 4 for the Elders: each of these is eight feet long, containing three coves or stands for the respective speakers; and those seats opposite them are for visiting officers, who are to occupy seats according to their respective grades. The two spaces in the middle are stairs two feet wide. The middle pulpit is to be elevated; the first seats one foot, the second two feet, the third three feet, and the fourth four feet. And those upon each side are also to be elevated: the first one eight inches, the second sixteen, the third twenty-four, the fourth thirty-two. The corner seats are to be occupied by singers, and elevated—the first seat six inches, the second twelve, the third eighteen, the fourth twenty-four, and the fifth thirty-two inches. The pulpit in the east end of the house is to be occupied by the Lesser Priesthood. Number 1, is for the Presidency of the Lesser Priesthood; number 2, for the Priests; number 3, for the Teachers; and number 4, for the Deacons; and the seats by their sides, are also to be occupied by visiting officers; each one opposite his respective grade. The pulpits are to be finished with panel work, in the best workmanlike manner; and the building to be constructed of stone and brick of the best quality. Observe particularly that as there are pulpits at each end of the house, the backs of the congregation must be to one of them, and they will want occasionally to change. In order for this the house must have pews instead of slips, and in the pews let the seats be loose, that they may slip from one side of the pew to the other, so as to face either pulpit, as occasion may require.
The side view represents five windows in each story. The windows are to have each forty-eight lights, of seven by nine glass, six one way and eight the other; the sides and lintels of the windows to be of hewn stone, and on the top of the lintel is to be a Gothic top, as you see, but the windows must have a lintel; and so with the outside doors, all with Gothic tops.
Make your house fourteen feet high between the floors. There will not be a gallery but a chamber; each story to be fourteen feet high, arched overhead with an elliptic arch. Let the foundation of the house be of stone; let it be raised sufficiently high to allow of banking up so high as to admit of a descent every way from the house, so far as to divide the distance between this house, and the one next to it. On the top of the foundation, above the embankment, let there be two rows of hewn stone, and then commence the brick-work on the hewn stone. The entire height of the house is to be twenty-eight feet, each story being fourteen feet; make the wall a sufficient thickness for a house of this size. The end view represents five windows of the same size as those at the side, the middle window excepted, which is to be the same, with the addition of side lights. This middle window is designed to light the rooms both above and below, as the upper floor is to be laid off in the same way as the lower one, and arched overhead; with the same arrangement of curtains, or veils, as before mentioned.
The doors are to be five feet wide, and nine feet high, and to be in the east end of the house. The west end is to have no doors, but in other respects is to be like the east, except the windows are to be opposite the alleys which run east and west. The roof of the house is to have one-fourth pitch, the door to have Gothic top, the same as the windows. The shingles of the roof to be painted before they are put on. There is to be a fanlight, as you see. The windows and doors are all to have venetian blinds. A belfry is to be in the east end, and a bell of very large size.
Arrangement of Curtains.
You will be careful to have hooks and rings to suspend your veils on, so that they can be let down or raised at any time, at pleasure. Also, as you see, the pulpits are to have four seats, rising one above another; for instance, the Elder’s seat is the lowest, next comes the High Priest’s, next the Bishop’s; so each of these must have a veil that is suspended from the upper floor, so as to be let down; which will at any time when necessary be let down, and shut off each stand or seat by itself.
Important Letter to Brethren in Zion.
The same day [June 25th], we wrote to Brother W. W. Phelps, and others in Zion, from Kirtland, as follows:
Brethren;—We have received your last, containing a number of questions which you desire us to answer; this we do the more readily as we desire with all our hearts the prosperity of Zion, and the peace of her inhabitants; for we have as great an interest in the welfare of Zion, as you can have.
First, as respects getting the Book of Commandments bound, we think it is not necessary. They will be sold well without binding, and there is no bookbinder to be had that we know of, nor are there materials to be had for binding, without keeping the books too long from circulation.
With regard to the copies of the Book of Mormon, which are in the hands of Brother Burkett, we say to you, get them from Brother Burkett, and give him a receipt for them in the name of the Literary Firm. Let Brother Gilbert pay Brother Chapin his money.
We have not found the Book of Jasher, nor any other of the lost books mentioned in the Bible as yet; nor will we obtain them at present. Respecting the Apocrypha, the Lord said to us that there were many things in it which were true, and there were many things in it which were not true, and to those who desire it, should be given by the Spirit to know the true from the false.
We have received some revelations within a short time back, which you will obtain in due season. As soon as we can get time, we will review the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon, after which they will be forwarded to you.
We commend the plan highly of your choosing a teacher to instruct the High Priests, that they may be able to silence gainsayers. Concerning Bishops, we recommend the following: Let Brother Isaac Morley be ordained second Bishop in Zion, and let Brother John Corrill be ordained third.
Let Brother Edward Partridge choose as counselors in their place, Brother Parley P. Pratt and Brother Titus Billings, ordaining Brother Billings to the High Priesthood.
Let Brother Morley choose for his counselors, Brother Christian Whitmer, whom ordain to the High Priesthood, and Brother Newel Knight. Let Brother Corrill choose Brother Daniel Stanton and Brother Hezekiah Peck, for his counselors; let Brother Hezekiah also, be ordained to the High Priesthood.
Zombre [John Johnson] has been received as a member of the firm, by commandment, and has just come to Kirtland to live; as soon as we get a power of attorney signed agreeably to law, for Alam [Edward Partridge] we will forward it to him, and will immediately expect one from that part of the firm to Ahashdah [Newel K. Whitney], signed in the same manner. We would again say to Alam [Edward Partridge], be sure to get a form according to law for securing a gift. We have found by examining the law, that a gift cannot be retained without this.
The truth triumphs gloriously in the east; multitudes are embracing it. I, Sidney, who write this letter in behalf of the Presidency, had the privilege of seeing my aged mother baptized into the faith of the Gospel, a few weeks since, at the advanced age of seventy-five. She now resides with me.
We send by this mail, a draft of the city of Zion, with explanations, and a draft of the house to be built immediately in Zion, for the Presidency, as well as for all purposes of religion and instruction.
Kirtland, the stake of Zion, is strengthening continually. When the enemies look at her they wag their heads and march along. We anticipate the day when the enemies will have fled away and be far from us.
You will remember that the power of agency must be signed by the wives as well as the husbands, and the wives must be examined in the matter separate and apart from the husbands, the same as signing a deed, and a specification to that effect inserted at the bottom, by the justice before whom such acknowledgment is made, otherwise the power of attorney will be of none effect.
Should you not understand the explanations sent with the drafts, you will inform us, so that you may have a proper understanding, for it is meet that all things should be done according to the pattern.
We have found the following errors in the Commandments, as printed: fortieth chapter, tenth verse, third line, instead of “corruptable,” put corrupted. Fourteenth verse of the same chapter, fifth line, instead of “respecter to persons,” put respecter of persons. Twenty-first verse, second line of the same chapter, instead of “respecter to,” put respecter of. Forty-fourth chapter, twelfth verse, last line, instead of “hands,” put heads.
Items of Instruction Concerning the Consecration of Property.
Brother Edward Partridge, Sir:—I proceed to answer your questions, concerning the consecration of property:—First, it is not right to condescend to very great particulars in taking inventories. The fact is this, a man is bound by the law of the Church, to consecrate to the Bishop, before he can be considered a legal heir to the kingdom of Zion; and this, too, without constraint; and unless he does this, he cannot be acknowledged before the Lord on the Church Book therefore, to condescend to particulars, I will tell you that every man must be his own judge how much he should receive and how much he should suffer to remain in the hands of the Bishop. I speak of those who consecrate more than they need for the support of themselves and their families.
The matter of consecration must be done by the mutual consent of both parties; for to give the Bishop power to say how much every man shall have, and he be obliged to comply with the Bishop’s judgment, is giving to the Bishop more power than a king has; and upon the other hand, to let every man say how much he needs, and the Bishop be obliged to comply with his judgment, is to throw Zion into confusion, and make a slave of the Bishop. The fact is, there must be a balance or equilibrium of power, between the Bishop and the people, and thus harmony and good will may be preserved among you.
Therefore, those persons consecrating property to the Bishop in Zion, and then receiving an inheritance back, must reasonably show to the Bishop that they need as much as they claim. But in case the two parties cannot come to a mutual agreement, the Bishop is to have nothing to do about receiving such consecrations; and the case must be laid before a council of twelve High Priests, the Bishop not being one of the council, but he is to lay the case before them. 1
Say to Brother Gilbert that we have no means in our power to assist him in a pecuniary way, as we know not the hour when we shall be sued for debts which we have contracted ourselves in New York. Say to him that he must exert himself to the utmost to obtain means himself, to replenish his store, for it must be replenished, and it is his duty to attend to it.
We were not a little surprised to hear that some of our letters of a public nature, which we sent for the good of Zion, have been kept back from the Bishops. This is conduct which we highly disapprobate.
Answers to Queries to Brother Phelps’ Letter of June 4th.
First, in relation to the poor: When the Bishops are appointed according to our recommendation, it will devolve upon them to see to the poor, according to the laws of the Church.
In regard to the printing of the New Translation: It cannot be done until we can attend to it ourselves, and this we will do as soon as the Lord permits.
As to Shederlaomach, [F. G. Williams], all members of the United Firm are considered one. The order of the Literary Firm is a matter of stewardship, which is of the greatest importance; and the mercantile establishment God commanded to be devoted to the support thereof, and God will bring every transgression unto judgment.
Say to the brothers Hulet and to all others, that the Lord never authorized them to say that the devil, his angels or the sons of perdition, should ever be restored; for their fate of destiny was not revealed to man, is not revealed, nor ever shall be revealed, save to those who are made partakers thereof: consequently those who teach this doctrine, have not received it of the Spirit of the Lord. Truly Brother Oliver declared it to be the doctrine of devils. We therefore command that this doctrine be taught no more in Zion. We sanction the decision of the Bishop and his council, in relation to this doctrine being a bar to communion.
The number of disciples in Kirtland is about one hundred and fifty. We have commenced building the house of the Lord, in this place, and it goes on rapidly. Good news from the east and south of the success of the laborers is often saluting our ears. It is a general time of health among us; families all well, and day and night we pray for the salvation of Zion.
We deliver Brother Ziba Peterson over to the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord, that he may learn not to transgress the commandments of God. We conclude our letter by the usual salutation, in token of the new and everlasting covenant. We hasten to close, because the mail is just going.
Joseph Smith, Jun.,
F. G. Williams.
P. S.—We feel gratified with the way in which Brother William W. Phelps is conducting the Star at present, we hope he will seek to render it more and more interesting. In relation to the size of Bishoprics: When Zion is once properly regulated there will be a Bishop to each square of the size of the one we send you with this; but at present it must be done according to wisdom. It is needful, brethren, that you should be all of one heart, and of one mind, in doing the will of the Lord.
There should exist the greatest freedom and familiarity among the rulers in Zion.
We were exceedingly sorry to hear the complaint that was made in Brother Edward Partridge’s letter, that the letters attending the Olive Leaf had been kept from him, as it is meet that he should know all things in relation to Zion, as the Lord has appointed him to be a judge in Zion. We hope, dear brethren, that the like occurrence will not take place again. When we direct letters to Zion to any of the High Priests, which pertain to the regulation of her affairs, we always design that they should be laid before the Bishop, so as to enable him to perform his duty. We say so much, hoping it will be received in kindness, and our brethren will be careful of one anothers’ feelings, and walk in love, honoring one another more than themselves, as is required by the Lord. Yours as ever,
F. G. W.
A Second Communication to the Brethren in Zion.
Kirtland, July 2nd, 1833.
To the Brethren in Zion
We received your letters of June 7th: one from Brothers William W. Phelps and Oliver Cowdery; one from Brother David Whitmer; and one from Brother Sidney Gilbert, for which we are thankful to our Heavenly Father, as also to hear of your welfare, and the prosperity of Zion. Having received your letters in the mail of today, we hasten to answer, in order that our reply may go with tomorrow’s mail.
We are exceedingly fatigued, owing to a great press of business. We this day finished the translating of the Scriptures, for which we returned gratitude to our Heavenly Father, and sat immediately down to answer your letters. We rejoiced greatly to hear of the safe arrival of Sister Vienna Jaques and Brother William Hobert, and thank our Heavenly Father that their lives have been spared them till their arrival. The health of the brethren and sisters in Kirtland is good at present; no case of sickness known to us. Brother Joseph C. Kingsbury’s wife is declining fast, and cannot continue much longer, but will soon be in the paradise of God.
We are engaged in writing a letter to Eugene 2 respecting the two Smiths, as we have received two letters from them; one from John Smith, the other from the Elder of the Church. 3 As to the gift of tongues, all we can say is, that in this place, we have received it as the ancients did: we wish you, however, to be careful lest in this you be deceived. Guard against evils which may arise from any accounts given by women, or otherwise; be careful in all things lest any root of bitterness spring up among you, and thereby many be defiled. Satan will no doubt trouble you about the gift of tongues, unless you are careful; you cannot watch him too closely, nor pray too much. May the Lord give you wisdom in all things. In a letter mailed last week, you will doubtless, before you receive this, have obtained information about the New Translation. Consign the box of the Book of Commandments to N. K. Whitney & Co., Kirtland, Geauga, county, Ohio, care of Kelly and Walworth, Cleveland, Cuyahoga county, Ohio.
I, Sidney, write this in great haste, in answer to yours to Brother Joseph, as I am going off immediately, in company with Brother Frederick to proclaim the Gospel; we think of starting tomorrow. Having finished the translation of the Bible, a few hours since, and needing some recreation, we know of one way we can spend our time more to divine acceptance than in endeavoring to build up His Zion in these last days, as we are not willing to idle any time away which can be spent to useful purposes. Doors are opening continually for proclaiming the Gospel. The spirit of bitterness among the people is fast subsiding, and a spirit of inquiry is taking its place. I preached last Sunday at Chardon, our county seat; I had the court house; there was a general turn-out, good attention, and a pressing invitation for more meetings, which will be granted, if the Lord will, when we return from this tour.
Brother Joseph is going to take a tour with Brother George James, of Brownhelm, as soon as Brother George comes to this place. We hope, our brethren, that the greatest freedom and frankness will exist between you and the Bishop, not withholding from one another any information from us, but communicating with the greatest freedom, lest you should produce evils of a serious character, and the Lord become offended: for know assuredly, if we, by our wickedness, bring evil on our own heads, the Lord will let us bear it till we get weary and hate iniquity. Brother Frederick wants you to say to Brother Burke, that the man from whom he expected to get the mill stones, has run off, so he will not be able to get them; but Brother Burke can get them of the same man’s make, in St. Louis.
We conclude by giving our heartiest approbation to every measure calculated for the spread of the truth, in these last days; and our strongest desires, and sincerest prayers for the prosperity of Zion. Say to all the brethren and sisters in Zion, that they have our hearts, our best wishes, and the strongest desires of our spirits for their welfare, temporal, spiritual, and eternal. As ever, we salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen.
Joseph Smith, Jun.,
F. G. Williams.
Correspondence over Troubles in the Eugene Branch of the Church.
Kirtland, July 2nd, 1833.
Brother John Smith
We have just received your letter, of the 8th of June, which seems to have been written in a spirit of justification on your part. You will recollect that previous to your leaving this place, you were tried before the Bishop’s court, which found you guilty of misdemeanor, and decided that you should no longer retain your authority in the Church; all of which we, as Presidents of the High Priesthood, sanction. You name something in your letter, that took place at Brother Olney’s in Shalersville, on the 27th and 28th of August, which we perfectly recollect, and had you made such confession as you were required to, at Chippeway, all things would have worked together for your good, and as I told you; but you did not manifest that degree of humility to the brethren that was required, but remained obstinate; for that reason God withdrew His Spirit from you, and left you in darkness. In your letter you say many hard things against the brethren, especially against Father Joseph Smith, Brother Reynolds Cahoon, and Bishop Whitney, all of which we highly disapprove. It seems also that your son Eden is confederate with you, and needs to be reproved, together with yourself, in all humility before the Lord, or you must expect to be dealt with according to the laws of the Church. We say you are no more than a private member in the Church.
Joseph Smith, Jun.,
F. G. Williams, Presidents.
Kirtland, July 2nd, 1833.
To the Church at Eugene:
Dear Brethren:—It is truly painful to be under the necessity of writing on a subject which engages our attention at this time, viz: the case of John Smith, and Eden Smith, his son. We have just received a letter from you concerning their standing in the Church. We do not hold them in fellowship. We would inform you that John Smith has been dealt with, and his authority taken from him; and you are required not to receive his teachings, but to treat him as a transgressor, until he repents and humbles himself before the Lord, to the entire satisfaction of the Church: and also, you have authority to call a conference, and sit in judgment on Eden’s case, and deal with him as the law directs.
We feel to rebuke the Elders of that branch of the Church of Christ, for not magnifying their office, and letting the transgressor go unpunished. We, therefore, enjoin upon you, to be watchful on your part, and search out iniquity, and put it down wherever it may be found. You will see by this, brethren, that you have authority to sit in council on the Smiths; and if found guilty, to deal with them accordingly. We have this day directed a letter to John Smith, thereby making known to him our disapprobation of the course he has pursued. We commend you to God and His grace, ever praying He will keep and preserve you blameless till He come.
Joseph Smith, Jun.,
F. G. Williams.
Postscript by Bishop Whitney, same date:
Dear Brethren:—Yours of the 3rd of June came safe to hand the last mail, and John Smith’s, which was directed to Brother Joseph. Now, my brethren, on this sheet you have Brother Joseph’s sanction to my proceedings, and the letter I last wrote you, and you will govern yourselves accordingly, for you have full power and authority to call the two brothers Smith to an account for their conduct; and, unless they repent and make satisfaction, not only to your branch of the Church, but also to this branch, they must be cut off from the body; for under existing circumstances, we have no fellowship with them. Brother John Smith’s authority, as an officer in the Church, was taken from him before he left, and he ought to have given up his license; but he went away without doing so, and it seems he has made use of it to impose upon you. As to the two sisters you spoke of in your last, if there is no testimony on either side, all you can do is to forbid them to partake of the Sacrament unworthily; and pray much, and God will bring all things to light.
N. K. Whitney, Bishop.