Discourse, 22 January 1843, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff
JS, Discourse, [, Hancock Co., IL, 22 Jan. 1843]. Featured version copied [ca. 22 Jan. 1843] in Wilford Woodruff, Journal, vol. 5, 1 Jan. 1843–31 Dec. 1844, pp. –; handwriting of ; Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Discourse, 17 Jan. 1843, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff.
On 22 January 1843, JS delivered a discourse at the site in , Illinois, during the Sunday morning worship service. He spoke on the kingdom of God and John the Baptist, subjects he had addressed in remarks to a smaller audience in his home on 17 January. In his journal entry for 22 January, noted that JS made at least some of his remarks in response to a pair of related questions raised at a recent lyceum meeting regarding whether the baptisms that John performed were for the remission of sins and whether God’s kingdom was established prior to the day of Pentecost. inscribed content from both the 17 January and the 22 January discourses in his journal, but he recorded this 22 January discourse in fuller detail. In both discourses, JS maintained that the kingdom of God on earth was organized prior to the day of Pentecost, or the day when the Holy Ghost was bestowed on the New Testament saints. In addition, he declared that because the kingdom of God had been a cohesive entity since the days of Adam, the baptism of John constituted a necessary Christian rite for the remission of sins, distinct from but related to the subsequent bestowal of the Holy Ghost.
While JS referred to the kingdom of God in revelations and discourses as early as 1829, this discourse marks an attempt to define the kingdom of God. In giving this sermon, JS may have had in mind a 1 January discourse of in which he referred to John the Baptist as he discussed God revealing his will to his servants. During his 22 January sermon, JS elaborated that John was a minister in the kingdom of God and that it was necessary to receive revelation to establish the kingdom.
reported the discourse in his journal around 22 January 1843. The account’s level of detail suggests that Woodruff worked from a nonextant daybook or rough notes as he inscribed the sermon in his journal. Around that same date, and recorded less-detailed accounts of the sermon. In their accounts, both Woodruff and Clayton made conscious efforts to preserve JS’s own voice, using “I” rather than “he.” Richards also tried to capture JS’s voice, introducing his account as “Joseph’s words 1843,” but he preserved only three statements from the discourse. Due to illness, did not leave an account of the sermon in JS’s journal, noting merely that JS “preached at the on the setting up of the Kingdom.” His rough draft notes for JS’s history demonstrate that he had access to the account in Clayton’s journal. Accordingly, the 22 January 1843 entry in a draft of JS’s history reflects Clayton’s description of the sermon. The accounts of the sermon written by Woodruff, Clayton, and Franklin D. Richards are each featured here.
Discourse, 17 Jan. 1843. JS’s journal notes that on 28 October 1842, “the brethren finished laying the temporary floor, and seats in the Temple.” The following May, a correspondent reported to the New York Herald that the temple was “going on rapidly” and that services were held “on the first floor every Sabbath,” during which JS frequently addressed the Saints. (JS, Journal, 28 Oct. 1842; “Late and Interesting from the Mormon Empire on the Upper Mississippi,” New York Herald [New York City], 30 May 1843, ; see also Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 40–41.)
New York Herald. New York City. 1835–1924.
Clayton, William. History of the Nauvoo Temple, ca. 1845. CHL. MS 3365.
Extant records do not indicate exactly when this lyceum meeting was held, but JS may have given his 17 January 1843 discourse in connection with it. During 1841 the lyceum met on Tuesdays. JS’s 17 January discourse was given on a Tuesday and addressed the same topics that JS chose to speak on in the 22 January meeting. (Discourse, 17 Jan. 1843; Historical Introduction to Discourse, ca. 2 Feb. 1841.)
that all Jerrusalem went out unto Johns Baptism Here was a legal administrator, & those there that were baptized were subjects for a king & also the laws & oracles of God were there therefore the kingdom of God was there, for no man could have better authority to Administer than John & our Savior submitted to that authority himself by being Baptized By John therefore the kingdom of God was set up upon the earth even in the days of John their is a differance between the kingdom of God & the fruits & blessings that flow from that kingdom becaus their was more miracles gifts visions healings, tongues &c in the days of Jesus Christ & the Apostles & on the day of pentecost that under Johns Administration, it does not prove by any means that John had not the kingdom of God; any more than it would that a woman had not a milk pan because she had not a pan of milk, for while the pan might be compared to the kingdom the milk might to be compared to the blessings of the kingdom. John was a priest after the order of Aaron & had the keys of that priesthood & came forth preaching repentance & Baptism for the remission of sins but at the same time crys out there cometh one after me more might[i]er than I the latches of whose shoes I am not worthy to unlo[o]se, & Christ came according to the words of John, & he was greater than John because he held the keys of the & the kingdom of God & had before revealed the priesthood to Moses, yet Christ was baptisd by John to fulfill all righteousness & Jesus in his teaching says upon this rock I will build my Church & th[e] gatas [gates] of hell shall not [p. ]