Mormon History, Apr 5, 1844

-- Apr 5, 1844
The Masonic Temple is dedicated, with 550 Masons from various parts of the world attending. The Nauvoo Brass Band parades from Henry Miller's house to the hall. Worshipful Master Hyrum Smith dedicates the building; Erastus Snow, Dr. Goforth, and Joseph Smith also address the assembly. (1)

[Joseph Smith] Attends dedication of Nauvoo masonic temple. (2)

[Joseph Smith Sermon] Nauvoo Neighbor 2 (1 May 1844)

At 10 o'clock I attended near the Temple, where the word of God was proclaimed by Mr. A. M. Lyman, and others, and at the close of whose addresses Joseph Smith in a plain and familiar style satisfactorily closed. The text was 104th verse of 119th Psalm (through thy precepts I get understanding &c). [Thomas Bullock Diary] (3)

[Masonry] Joseph Smith speaks at the dedication of a Masonic hall with Worshipful Master Hyrum Smith presiding. About 550 masons attend, who are investigated by a non-Mormon lodge calling them "clandestine Masons of Nauvoo." (4)

-- Apr 5, 1844 (Friday)
The Masonic Temple, which had been erected at Nauvoo, was dedicated. About five hundred and fifty members of the Masonic fraternity from various parts of the world were present. (5)

-- Apr 6, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] [6] A Special Conference held at Nauvoo April 6th AD 1844.

Conference assembled at 10 oclock AM April 6. President B. Young called the conference to order. President Joseph Smith said He should not occupy time in speaking of any difficulties that might have occured in our midst. Said He was not a fallen prophet, & never in any nearer relationship to God than at the present time, & would show before the conferen[ce] closed that God was with him.

Prayer by W. W. Phelps, after which Sidney Rigdon arose & said it was with no ordinary feelings He arose to speak, A privilege which he had not before enjoyed in the same capacity for five years. And the circumstances of the occasion points out to me my text which is the saints of the last Days. I remember in 1830 All the church met in a log cabin, whare we conversed extensively about laying the foundation of this kingdom. Our minds expanded far & wide while contemplating this subject even in that day we talked as large then as now. We spoke of Great things that the world Could not bear & that is the reason why we were in secret. The world would laugh & consider us fools & even mob us because we talked about things that were true & have and will come to pass yet things that looked impossible to them because they did not view them by faith as we do. And if we should still convers about things in secret it would be upon the same principle for we are not willing to bear the sco
ffs of the world any longer unnessarily. Had we told openly & talked openly of the things of God that have & will come to pass our Blood would have been shed. We should not have been here this day. But we hid ourselves up in secret. There we talked wept, & prayed & the Angels Administered unto us & the spirit of God was with us & the heavens opened unto us. But we should now have been in our grave had we proclaimed unto the world what God showed unto us, notwithstanding it was for the benefit of man, & for his salvation, & not for evil.

The appearance of this congregation this day shows the fulfillment of the revelations of Jesus Christ given in those days. No incident has taken place in this day but what we spoke of at that early period. All those things were deeply impressed upon the mind by the God of Heaven. How Could you be made to believe that you did not live in Nauvoo & have not got habitations? Neither Could we disbelieve this to be the Church of God. We cannot disbelieve it for we see hear & feel. I have always known it to be. I Cannot see otherwise. Have I not seen Gods glory by the visions of Heaven? Yea I have. Then what have we to do with the little difficulties on earth? Nothing.

Those were the beginning of Good days shut up in a little shop with nothing to eat but a little Jonny Cake & milk & water ownly as we would occa-sionlly shoot a squirrel & we lived in an old smokey house. Still we rejoiced in the things God was revealing unto us.

Many think it hard to live in Nauvoo but we counted those good days. God had given us great things. Dont think [it] strange if men dont think of great things. When I obtained a great & glorious principle I felt like locking it up lest the people would laugh at me. And while we were together & telling one thing we would learn another; I speak of these things to do away with the notion or feelings about our secret meetings. Was their any thing wrong then? No, neither will their be now. No, I have no fear of it. What God does is for my salvation & the salvation of man, & I say go ahead.

I have spoken of the grand principle of the beginning, & I have marvelled at one thing ie after the foundation of the church men crept in that were vary wise. More so than God. Professed to know more some of them. It has kept the Church in a continual broil. It was so in the days of Moses but he disposed of them. He killed them or the Lord destroyed them.

I will leave this subject & show why Salvation belongs to the Priesthood of God & why it belongs to us as a people. Men labor under a mistake ie Salvation is distinct from goverment. Salvation is always the result of goverment. Evry man has a right to govern himself in a goverment. As evry good is a part of the goverment & the laws is for the defence of a man, we see the need of laws in this city for their is evil dispose of here. I have seen some trials in this city whar some persons were tried for insulting the Marshall. But any other man is as good as the Marshall. Many other usful remarks were made by the speaker when he gave way untill the Afternoon.

Was followed with many usful remarks from Elder Taylor. The stand was occupied with with eleven Lamanites chiefs braves &c.

At 2 oclok the conference Assembled & [Sidney Rigdon] resumed his subject. Said we were discusing in the morning service upon the History of the Church of Jesus Christ. Its a miserable man that Could not manufactor his own tex. I have known many a sermon spoiled by a bad tex. The Church of Jesus Christ then. The Hights of testimony, & amount of evidence that many of those have had that have fallen away has been of such a nature that when they say they dont believe this work to be true they lie. The things that were done in secret in the begining are now seen openly and their is nothing secret now but what all will know in time to come.

I am aware their is many things I did not Hint at. I will speak of them now. I have seen the time when the Presidency of the Church Sitting now before me, were locked up with me in secret places waiting upon God. We did not go out at all but to eat &c. But it was soon found out, & a mob Came saying God damn you to Hell, & threatend our lives. It was at this time we sat for hours in the Visions of heaven around the throne of God & gazed upon the seenes of Eternity.

One evening a Mexican called upon us & he went out armed to see a dozen armed men in the cornor of the fence. He wanted to shoot them. Afterwards the mob came in & broke the door, took me & dragd me out through the streets by my heels with my head pounding over the frozen ground. Another company took president Smith, & tar & featherd him. They tried to tar and turn Aquiphertos down our our throats. This is the reason why we were in secret under lock & key.

Now if you will let us work openly we will not work in secret. We will work openly as much as you want. I think I have said enough already to show that the Church has Come up through great tribulation. Let this suffice then upon this subject.

Their is men Standing in your midst who are not afraid of men or devels & men whos mouths cannot be stoped unless you take their lives. For they will speak in defence of the innocent of virtue & truth while they live.

Their is men in your midst who have learned their is a great God who can do as he pleases take up the Hills as a little thing, & such men do not fear death. They know about Heaven. They have seen it & know all about it.

Their is men in your midst which you must Sustain or go to Hell. Save them & you save yourselves. Reject them & you go to Hell. We are 14 years of age now. Chuse your guardeen and when you get to be 21 then do business for youselves. You can save yourselves or Damn yourselves.

You have just men among you & the reason is because God has taught them chose & ordained them & this is the reason why they are so.

You have men in your midst who will not turn to the right hand or left. If you are in their path you must get out. You cannot Cort by favor or welth or any thing els. They do not ask Poleticians kings or people for favor. They ask God for it alone. If the world make them rich or poor they never ask for it. The man whom God has raised up to lay the foundation of this work is placed in such a situation that He cannot fall and He is so lovely that I cannot get mad at him.

This is an important part in the History of the Church. The cry of some is I shall not get office if these men are not put down. Well God intended to keep them fearing. When God sets up his kingdom He will sustain it above all laws & kingdoms of the world & the world has no power over the kingdom of God. The laws will be so strict that the world will make to try to ketch the saints that it will hang themselves by the wholesale. We want to build up the Laws of God in Hancock Co. I dont care anything about all the laws in the world for I will live above them. God teaches his servants to respects kings Gov[ernors] Presidents, & men in authority. But I have a right to proclaim myself a king and priest unto the most High God. Yet I will not transgresss your laws. But dont do as they did in Missouri kill people because they would not have break the law.

I dont want any office in this goverment for I am determined to be a king in the kingdom of God. What be king in heaven and quarrel about the office of constable on earth?

The kingdom of God may rise up in the midst of the kingdoms of the world and live above all laws, and not be a law abiding man. I will live above all law. I will pay my taxes & obey all requirments that the goverment has upon me. The reason we was mob in Mo was because we would not have any thing to do with the laws. We did not break any. We lived above them so they sent a mob. upon us. The kingdom of God to the world would be a light in a dark place. The kingdom of God Could be set up in any kingdom or country & not Break the law but live above it. Conference Adjourned till tomorrow morning. (6)

1 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
2 - Scott H. Faulring, An American Prophet's Record, 'A Joseph Smith Chronology',
3 - The Words of Joseph Smith by Joseph Smith by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook
4 - Homer, Michael, 'Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry':The Relationship Between Freemasonry and Mormonism, Dialogue, Vol. 27, No. 3
5 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
6 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,

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