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Sermon Delivered at Nauvoo, Illinois July 19, 1840
Source: Howard and Martha Coray Notebook (Martha Coray handwriting)

A few Item from a discourse delivered by Joseph Smith July 19 18401

¶ Read a chap in [Ezek. 33:33] concluding with this saying and when all these things come to pass and Lo they will come then shall you know that a Prophet hath been among you

Parable of Olive Trees - America is Zion

¶ Afterwards read the parable of the 12 olive trees 2 and said speaking of the Land of Zion that It consists of all N. & S America but that any place where the Saints gather is Zion3 which every righteous man will build up for a place of safety for his children that The olive trees are 12 stakes which are yet to be built not the Temple in Jackson [County, Missouri] as some suppose for while the 12 olive stakes are being built we will be at peace but the Nations of the Earth will be at war.4

Twelve Symbolic - Redeeming Zion means more than Missouri

¶ our cry from the 1st has been for peace and we will continue pleading like the Widow at the feet of the unjust judge but we may plead at the feet of Majistrates and at the feet of Judges At the feet of Governors and at the feet of senators & at the feet of the Pre[s]idents for 8 years it will be of no avail. We shall find no favor in any of the courts of this government. The redemption of Zion is the redemption of all N & S America and those 12 stake must be built up before the redemption of Zion can take place and those who refuse to gather and build when they are commanded to do so cease to be Saviours of men and are henceforth good for nothing but shall be cast out and trodden underfeet of men for their transgression as Reed Peck was when he aplied in the name of an apostate for business in a store in Quincy They told him that they wanted no apostates round them and showed him the door At this same store the Authorities of this Church could have obtained almost any amount of credit they could have asked--

Nauvoo to be Scattered - U.S. in Danger - Gospel to Whole Earth

¶ We shall build the Zion of the Lord in peace untill the servants of that Lord shall begin to lay the foundation of a great and high watch Tower and then shall they begin to say within themselves what need hath my Lord of this tower seeing this is a time of peace & Then the Enemy shall brak come as a thief in the night and scatter the servants abroad when the seed of these 12 Olive trees are scattered abroad they will wake up the Nations of the whole Earth Even this Nation will be on the very verge of crumbling to peices and tumbling to the ground and when the constitution is upon the brink of ruin this people will be the Staff up which the Nation shall lean and they shall bear away the constitution away from the very verge of destruction Then shall the Lord say go tell all my servants who are the strength of mine house my young men and middle aged &c come to the Land of my vineyard and fight the battle of the Lord Then the Kings & Queens shall come then the rulers of the Earth shall come then shall ail saints come yea the Foreign saints shall come to fight for the Land of my vineyard for in this thing shall be their safety and they will have no power to choose but will come as a man fleeth from a sudden destruction But before this the time shall be when these who are now my friends shall become my enemies and shall seek to take my life and shall be m there are those now before me who will more furiously pursue me and the more dilligently seek to my life and be more blood thirsty upon my track than ever were the Missouri Mobbers You say among yourselves as did them of old time it is I & is it I But I know these things by the visions of the Almighty.

Nauvoo to be Built Up

¶ But brethren come ye yea come all of you who can come and go to with your mights and build up the cities of the Lord and whosoever will let him come and partake of the poverty of Nauvoo freely for those who partake of her poverty shall also shall also partake of her prosperity. And it is now wisdom in God that we should enter into as compact a city as posible for Zion and Jerusalem and must both be built up before the coming of Christ This will near a half of a century How long will it take to do this 10 years Yes more than 40 years will pass before this work will be accomplished and when these cities are built then shall the coming of the Son of man be5

Nauvoo to Become Great

¶ Now let all who can coolly and deliberately dispose of their property come up and give of their substance to the [poor?] that the hearts of the poor may be comforted and all may worship god together in holiness of heart Come brethren come all of you.And I prophecy in the name of the Lord that the state of Illinois shall become a great mountain and mighty mountain as city set upon a hill that cannot be hid and a great that giveth light to the world and The city of Nauvoo als[o] shall become the greatest city in the whole world.

¶ Curse that man who says to his neighbor you are a mean man because you do not believe as I do I now invite all liberall minded men to come up to Nauvoo and help to build up the city of our God We are not greatly distressed no nor ever will be This is the principle place of gathering therefore let the brethren begin to roll in like clouds and we will sell you lots if you are able to pay for them and if not you shall have them without money and without price

¶ The greater blessing is unto those who come in times of adversity. For many will come to us in times of prosperity that will stand at the corners of the street saying with long pharisaical faces don to those that come after them dont go near Bro Joseph dont go near the authorities of the church for they will pick your pockets they will rob you of all your money Thus will they breed in our midst a spirit of dissatisfaction and distrust that will end in persecution and distress--

Ancient Scripture to Come Forth with Temple - Book of Abraham

¶ Now from this hour bring every thing you can bring and build a Temple unto the Lord a house into the mighty God of Jacob. We will build upon the top of this Temple a great observatory a great and high watch tower and in the top thereof we will Suspend a tremendous bell whi that when it is rung shall rouse the inhabitants of Madison wake up the people of Warsaw and sound in the ears of men [in] Carthage Then comes the ancient records yea all of them dig them yea bring them forth speedily

People Will Come From All Over the World to See Temple

¶ Then shall the poor be fed by the curious who shall come from all parts of the world to see this wonderful temple Yea I prophecy that pleasure parties shall come from England to see the Mamoth and like the Queen of Sheba shall say the half never was told them. School houses shall be built here and High schools shall be established and the great men of the [earth] shall send their sons here to board while they are receiving their education among us And even Noblemen shall crave the priviledge of educating their children with us and these poor saints shall chink in their pockets the money of these proud men received from such as come and dwell with us

Mormons Will One Day Travile Missiouri Without Fear

¶ Now brethren I obligate myself to build as great a temple as ever solomon did if the church will back me up. Moreover it shall not impoverish any man but enrich thousands I prophecy that the time shall be when these saints shall ride proudly over the mountains of Missouri and no Gentile dog nor Missouri dog shall dare lift a tongue against them but will lick up the dust from beneath their feet and I pray the father that many here may realize this and see it with their eyes. And if it should be (Stretching his hand towards the place and in a melancholly tone that made all hearts tremble) will of God that I might live to behold that temple completed and finished from the foundation to the top stone I will say Oh Lord it is enough Lord let thy servant depart in peace, which is my ernest prayer in the name of the L[ord] Jesus Amen


on this day the Stake of Macedonia over which Father Jhon [John] Smith presided was publicly appointed.


1. The discourse was transcribed from notes around 1856. It contains the anachronism of the organization of the Macedonia stake, temple, the government of the US crumblin, etc. In 1840 the town was known as Ramus. It was not until 1843 that it took the name Macedonia when John Smith was made stake president. However, at least part of the discourse (the twelve olive trees and Zion) is attested in a contemporary letter from Orson Pratt to George A. Smith. [Orson Pratt Papers, LDS Archives. See Dean C. Jessee in "Joseph Smith's 19 July 1840 Discourse," BYU Studies 19 (Spring 1979):390-94; Dean C. Jessee, BYU Studies 21 (Fall 1981): 533).] The request to bring materials for a temple may or may not be from later teachings.

2. The parable is from D&C 101:43-62 (given December 1833). It reads:

43 And now, I will show unto you a parable, that you may know my will concerning the redemption of Zion.

44 A certain nobleman had a spot of land, very choice; and he said unto his servants: Go ye unto my vineyard, even upon this very choice piece of land, and plant twelve olive-trees;

45 And set watchmen round about them, and build a tower, that one may overlook the land round about, to be a watchman upon the tower, that mine olive-trees may not be broken down when the enemy shall come to spoil and take upon themselves the fruit of my vineyard.

46 Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive-trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower.

47 And while they were yet laying the foundation thereof, they began to say among themselves: And what need hath my lord of this tower?

48 And consulted for a long time, saying among themselves: What need hath my lord of this tower, seeing this is a time of peace?

49 Might not this money be given to the exchangers? For there is no need of these things.

50 And while they were at variance one with another they became very slothful, and they hearkened not unto the commandments of their lord.

51 And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive-trees.

52 Now, behold, the nobleman, the lord of the vineyard, called upon his servants, and said unto them, Why! what is the cause of this great evil?

53 Ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you, and--after ye had planted the vineyard, and built the hedge round about, and set watchmen upon the walls thereof--built the tower also, and set a watchman upon the tower, and watched for my vineyard, and not have fallen asleep, lest the enemy should come upon you?

54 And behold, the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off; and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof, and saved my vineyard from the hands of the destroyer.

55 And the lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants: Go and gather together the residue of my servants, and take all the strength of mine house, which are my warriors, my young men, and they that are of middle age also among all my servants, who are the strength of mine house, save those only whom I have appointed to tarry;

56 And go ye straightway unto the land of my vineyard, and redeem my vineyard; for it is mine; I have bought it with money.

57 Therefore, get ye straightway unto my land; break down the walls of mine enemies; throw down their tower, and scatter their watchmen.

58 And inasmuch as they gather together against you, avenge me of mine enemies, that by and by I may come with the residue of mine house and possess the land.

59 And the servant said unto his lord: When shall these things be?

60 And he said unto his servant: When I will; go ye straightway, and do all things whatsoever I have commanded you;

61 And this shall be my seal and blessing upon you--a faithful and wise steward in the midst of mine house, a ruler in my kingdom.

62 And his servant went straightway, and did all things whatsoever his lord commanded him; and after many days all things were fulfilled.

3. The announcement that all of the americas constituted Zion rather than just Missouri is usually thought to have been given on April 8, 1844 (see 8Apr44). This discourse suggests that none of the doctrinal statements of the April 1844 conference were new. All had been given before, most on many occasions (see April 7, 1844 discourse notes).

4. The Twelve Stakes of the revelations were apparently taken quite literally by the Saints. Mary Fielding, future wife of Hyrum Smith wrote to her sister in 1837 of a revelation regarding twelve stakes,

Some important things were shown to Brother Joseph in vision previous to his going off relative to the enlargement of our borders which has indeed become indispensably necessary for the inhabitants of Zion both here and in the west are crying the cities are too strait for us give place that we may dwell. The people are crowding in from all parts and as President Rigdon said in his last discourse here they will gather and earth and hell combined cannot hinder them for gather they will. Hence the necessity of planting new stakes which they received a command to do before they left and it is expected that after they have set in order the Church in the west they will fix upon 11 new stakes before they return but this is not spoken of in public for reasons you will be aware of. If this were generally known it would probably make there way much more difficult. [Mary Fielding Smith, October 7, 1837, LDS Archives.]

5. Joseph often suggested that the Parousia was fairly distant, using his experience of December 1832 [see 2Apr43 and notes there] to provide a lower bound [1890] for the second coming of Jesus.

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