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Sermon delivered at Nauvoo temple grounds at the General Conference of the Church on Monday April 8, 1844 1
Sources: William Clayton report, Thomas Bullock report, Wilford Woodruf journal and the Joseph Smith diary (Willard Richards)
Clayton Report Bullock Report Woodruff Journal Smith Diary
9 3/4 A. M. Prest. J. Smith took his seat on the stand. and requested choir to sing an Hymn.

¶ His lungs having failed he would call upon Er B. Young to read 1 Cor 15 Ch.

¶ Er B. Young said to cont the sub of Prest. S discourse yesterday shall commence by reading 18 Cor.--from an old Bible--W. W. Phelps read-

¶ Prayer by Er B. Young. choir sung an Hymn

¶ Prest. J. said impos. to continue the subject as to raise the dead Lungs is gone--time to do things must wait--give it up and leave the time to those who can make you hear--will do it some other time.

Monday morning

¶ Prayer by Pres Young--after which choir sung an hymn

¶ Prophet it is just as impossible for me to continue the subject as to raise the dead--my lungs are worn out--I will do so anor. day.

Conference met at 10 oclck April 8th

¶ President J Smith arose and said it is impossible to continue the subject that I spoke upon yesterday in Consequence of the weekness of my lungs.

Prest. J. Smith said he must give up the subject of yesterday.
Proclamation -a Revelation

Make a proc to the Ers [Elders]--Wanted you to stay in order I might make this Proc. you know the Ld has lead the Church from rev. Has another rev in rel to economy in the Church Shall not be able as largely as some other. time will give
I want a few words to the Elders you know very well that the Ld. has led this Church by revn. I have anr. revn. a great grand & glorious revn. & Yet I have a proclamation to make to the Elders you know the Lord has led the Church untill the present time ¶ Made a proclamation.--I have another great and grand Revelation--
North and South America Zion

1st prin--has ben great discourse in rel to Zion--prophets-- make a proc that will cover a broad gd. the whole America is the Zion itself-- from North to South-- that is the Zion where the Mountain of the Ld shd be-- 2 when Ers take up br will see it--dec. this morning.
this is what I am going to declare--you kno there has been great discusn. where Zion is & when the gathg. of the D is & which I am to--the whole America is the Land itself N. & S itself & is descd. by the Prophets that it shod. be in the centre of the land. the declan. is that I have now a great proclamation for the Elders to teach the Church hereafter which is in relation to Zion, The whole of North and South America is Zion, the mountain of the Lords House is in the Centre of North & South America, great discussion where Zion is.--The whole America is Zion that is the Zion where the Mountain of the Lords house shall be. about the central part of N. & South America.--
Temple Ordinances

are calculating soon as Temple finished washing & anointing &c when those last & most impt ordinance can be done--must be in a house--prov made during time of laying found: where men may rec endowment to make K[ings] & P[ries]ts unto the Most H G. having nothin to do with temporal things but K of G. G has provided for a house to be built
as soon as the temple & B font is prepd. & so as we can wash & anoint the El of Israel there must be a place prepd. for that purpose--there are provins made until the work is compd. to be as K & P of the mos H. God but as all to do with the h[ou]s[e] of God-- when the House is done, Baptism font erectd and finished & the worthy are washed, anointed, endowed & ordained Kings & priests, which must be done in this life, ¶ soon as the Temple is finished.--Lord hath ordained where these last & most important ordinances must be in a house.--provided for the purpose.
Center Place is Where the Temple is

where we can get a House this the central place & where we can be baptized for dead--
but there must be an express place built for that purpose & when the place is prepared you must go through all the ordinances of the house of the Lord --when we can get a house built first there is the place.--Bap. washed. anointed, sealed &c
Ordinances for Living and Dead Must be the Same

it is nec. when we want to save our dead we go through all the ordinances same as for ourself from bap to ordination & endt.
for men to be B for their dd for every man who wishes to save the F[athers] & M[others]. B[rothers]. S[isters], & F[riends] must go thro the same--B[aptism]--A. W. & all the protectn. of the powers of the Priesthood same as for themselves-- so that you who have any dead friends must go through all the ordinances for them the same as for yourselves; for the dead same as for themselves.--
Gathering --a Change

From henceforth I have rec--inst from Ld that Ers shall build churches where ever they raise branches through the States then build stakes--in the gt cities, Boston &c there shall be stakes--
the Elders of Israel shall build Churches unto the Ld. & there shall they build Churches unto the Ld: & there shall be a Stake of Zion--it is a glorious pro[clamation]--& then the Elders are to go through all America & build up Churches untill all Zion is built up, ¶ from henceforth the elders shall build churches where ever the people receive the gospel sufficient. then build stakes to this place.
Must be a Place for Salvation for the Dead

reserved the pro. to the last. all this to be und. that this work shall commence after the washing anointing & endowment here

¶ The Ld has an est law in relation to the matter. there must be a particular spot for the sal, of our dead. I verily believe this will be the place,

I reserved it to the last & desn. it to be understd. that it shall be after the washg. & anointg. here--the place that the Ld. has estd. for the Sn. of the dead--there must be a parlar place. I verily belive this to be the place-- but not to commence to do this untill the Temple is built up here and the Elders endowed then go forth & accomplish the work & build up stakes in all North and South America, Their will be some place ordained for the redeeming of the dead I think this place will be the one, so there will be gathering fast enough here. I verily believe that God will establish this place for the salvation of the dead.--
Vision for Future of Temple Use

hence men who want to save their dead can come and bring their families do their work and return to live and wait till the go to receive their reward.

Prophet Must Teach Doctrine

Shall leave the rest for the brethren--tis my duty to teach the doctrine--spt is willing flesh is weak. God is not willing to let me gratify you-- but I must teach the Ers and they should teach you He will make me to be God in your stead & they be mouth for me. Have been giving some inst to Er Adams to speak to you & when he makes a mistake will get up and correct him.
& men who wish to save their dead must come here to be B for their dead--& then may go back agn.-- & I shall leave m Brern to enlarge--it is my duty to teach those who err in doctrine-- the Sp is willg. but the flesh is weak--if God made Aaron to be their mouthpiece & Made me to be their K. & their God & if you dont like it you must lump it--I have give instrons to El Adams in some principles--if he makes a mistake I will tell it.

President Smith lungs failed him and he appointed Elder G. J. Adams to occupy the time during the foornoon He however remarked that his proclamation just made was the greatest ever made as all could not come here; but it was necessary that enough should come to build up the temple & get an endowment so that the work could spread abroad.

those who want to save their dead can come hither. those who do not wish to come hither to live can bring their families and attend the ordinances and return.


1. This discourse was uncharacteristically short because of the very long lecture (see 7Apr44) on the previous day. The subject of that discourse would be extended in later speeches right up to a few days before Joseph Smith's death. With the open-air venue, it required considerable effort to be heard by more than a few in the large assembly, in some cases more than 10,000 listeners. Hence Joseph's excuse of fatigue. The topics for this days remarks are nevertheless significant and mark the doctrinal foundation (see also D&C 115) for the eventual end of the single place of gathering. The actual fulfillment of the idea was late coming however, since the move to the west required years extra time for replacement temples to be built and the concomitant population pressures found at this time in Nauvoo. The point of gathering to a single location had been reviewed by Joseph Smith on several occasions, i.e. to have sufficient monetary and labor strength to build "a house" (temple).

2. The pronoucement here was possibly not actually new, but like many of the Nauvoo doctrines may have been given (in this case at least once) earlier. However, it seems to have been hardly referenced at all since then. In any case the audience was 90% new. For the earlier proclamation see 19Jul40. Opinion is divided on whether the 19 July discourse may be a compression and so while representing Joseph's words, each portion must be examined for dating issues. However the remarks about Zion in this earlier speech seem to be from 1840 (see the notes at the 19 July record).

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