Discourse, circa 19 July 1840, as Reported by Martha Jane Knowlton Coray–B
JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, ca. 19 July 1840. Featured version copied [between fall 1843 and 1850s] in Martha Jane Coray, Notebook, ca. 1843–1850s, pp. –; handwriting of Martha Jane Knowlton Coray; CHL.
Small book, measuring 5⅝ × 3⅝ × ⅜ inches (14 × 9 × 1 cm). The notebook consists of ninety-two pages in four gatherings of eight, sixteen, ten, and twelve leaves each. The volume is loosely sewn together with thread and lacks a cover. The pages are ruled with now-faded black lines. The beginning of the notebook appears to be missing at least one leaf that likely contained diary entries. The majority of the book’s pages are unnumbered. Coray inscribed most of the entries in the book with black ink, but the volume also includes occasional inscriptions in graphite. Twenty-four pages in the middle of the book are blank. The reverse side of the book includes inscriptions regarding Coray’s study of French. The reverse pages are numbered 3 through 20 inclusive, suggesting that the reverse side is also missing at least one leaf.
The timing of ’s appointment as in (an event referred to in the notebook) and internal dating suggest that Coray made the entries in the notebook sometime between 1843 and 1855. The first date listed in the notebook is 8 August 1853, and the last recorded date is 1 December 1854. The notebook contains diary entries, financial statements, school notes, a copy of Coray’s patriarchal blessing, and transcripts of three sermons given by JS in , Illinois.
Presumably, Coray maintained ownership of the notebook until her death in 1881. The book likely remained in the possession of the Coray family until at least July 1902. Historians later discovered the book filed among the Joseph F. Smith Papers in the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, suggesting that the Coray family placed the notebook in Smith’s custody sometime prior to his death in 1918.
Ehat, Andrew F., and Lyndon W. Cook, eds. The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980.
adversity. For many will come to us in times of prosperity that will stand at the corners of the streets saying with long pharisaical faces to those that come after thems dont go near Bro Joseph dont go near the authorities of the 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——
Now from this hour bring every thing you can bring and build a unto the Lord a house into the mighty God [p. ]
As early as 1831, JS was accused of enriching himself from church members’ assets. An 1838 publication similarly claimed that it was “the grand object” of church leaders to get members to “surrender their property to the Mormon community.” (“Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier [Ravenna, OH], 1 Sept. 1831, ; Symonds Rider, Hiram, OH, to Amos S. Hayden, 1 Feb. 1868, in Hayden, Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, 221; Sunderland, Mormonism Exposed and Refuted, 22, 33.)
Western Courier. Ravenna, OH. 1826–1833.
Hayden, Amos Sutton. Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio; with Biographical Sketches of the Principal Agents in Their Religious Movement. Cincinnati: Chase and Hall, 1875.
Sunderland, La Roy. Mormonism Exposed and Refuted. New York City: Piercy and Reed, 1838.