“I a rough stone," Joseph Smith's journal records. "Rough stone roling down hill.”
"The Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Vol. 3," covers the last 14 months of the Prophet Joseph Smith's life, from May 1843 to June 1844. This new volume, available on Nov. 30, is less of a personal journal and more of a corporate record of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during its time in Nauvoo, Illinois.
In this volume, readers can gain greater insight into Joseph Smith's daily activities at a time of growing opposition toward him and the church; the building of the Nauvoo Temple; his more than 60 public addresses, with many doctrinal discourses on gospel topics; his campaign for president of the United States; along with his final days and martyrdom.
What follows is a list of quotes from Joseph Smith's journals, recorded by Willard Richards, his private secretary and historian. The quotes are presented as found in the journals.
Click here to read more about "The Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Vol. 3."
21 May 1843:
"I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm. and administ(er)ing to the poor & dividi(n)g his substance. than the long smoothed faced hypo(c)rites."
9 July 1843:
"If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a mormon I am bold to declare befo(r)e heaven that I am just as ready to die for a presbytiran. a baptist or any other denomination."
23 July 1843:
"Frie(n)dship is the grand fundamental prin(c)iple of Mormonism. to revolutin (revolutionize?) civilize the world.— pour forth love."
In an entry dated Oct. 9, 1843, Joseph gave a sermon at the funeral of Gen. James Adams:
"Could you gaze in heaven 5 minute. you would know more — than you would by read(ing) all that ever was writtn on the subject."
29 Jan. 1844:
"At 10 A M. The Twelve met at the mayors office. Joseph & Hyrm (Hyrum Smith) — J. P. Green (John P. Greene). . . Moved by Willard Richards and voted unanimou(s)ly — that we have — indepindent electors — and that Joseph Smith be a candidate for the next presidiny (presidency) — and that we use all honorable means to se(c)ure his election."
Joseph Smith’s presidential platform called for many reforms, including reducing the size of the federal government, educating and rehabilitating criminals rather than imprisoning them, establishing a national bank, and abolishing slavery by paying slaveholders, according to "The Joseph Smith Papers: Journals, Vol. 3."
In an entry dated April 7, 1844, Richards kept a detailed record of Joseph's sermon at the funeral of King Follett. One quote from Joseph reads:
"I dont blame you for not believi(n)g my histo(r)y had I not expe(r)i(e)n(ce)d it (I) could not believe it myself."
Another quote from the King Follett discourse:
"If men do not compreh(e)nd the character of God they do not comprehe(n)d themselvs."
During the King Follett sermon, Wilford Woodruff recorded Joseph Smith as saying this on the subject of mothers and children:
"Will Mothers have their children in Eternity yes, yes you will have the children."
27 May 1844:
"Joseph (H.) Jackson F(rancis) M. Higbee. & C(hauncey) L. Higbee were in A. Hamiltns Hotel when we arrived. soon after our arrival Chas A. Foster took me in a private room & told me as a frie(n)d there was a conspiracy again(s)t my life. R(obert) D. Foster. told some of the breth(r)en there was evil determ(ine)d aga(in)st me. (& that with tears in his eyes.) — and that there were those who were determ(ine)d I should not go out of the village alive. & Jackson was seen Loading his pistol."
Willard Richards recorded the final events of Joseph Smith's life in his own personal journal, which he took with him to Carthage, Illinois. These details may have been written on the night of the martyrdom, June 27, 1844, or over the next few days. Richards wrote:
“Joseph attempted as the last resort, to leap the same window from whence Mr. Taylor fell, when two balls pierced him from the door, and one entered his right breast from without, and he fell outward exclaiming, 'O Lord my God!' As his feet went out of the window my head went in, the balls whistling all around. He fell on his left side a dead man.”
When the violence was over, Richards recorded:
“(I) caught Mr. Taylor under my arm, and rushed by the stairs into the dungeon, or inner prison, stretched him on the floor and covered him with a bed in such a manner, as not likely to be perceived, expecting an immediate return of the mob. I said to Mr. Taylor, this is a hard case to lay you on the floor, but if your wounds are not fatal I want you to live to tell the story.”