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Joseph Smith

Prophet of God

Joseph Smith Quotes

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Adversity

The Savior said, . . . "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you." Now, dear brethren, if any men ever had reason to claim this promise, we are the men; for we know that the world not only hate us, but they speak all manner of evil of us falsely, for no other reason than that we have been endeavoring to teach the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 124; paragraph divisions altered.

Joseph Smith wrote the following from Liberty Jail after receiving letters from his loved ones: "We need not say to you that the floodgates of our hearts were lifted and our eyes were a fountain of tears, but those who have not been enclosed in the walls of prison without cause or provocation, can have but little idea how sweet the voice of a friend is; one token of friendship from any source whatever awakens and calls into action every sympathetic feeling . . . until finally all enmity, malice and hatred, and past differences, misunderstandings and mismanagements are slain victorious at the feet of hope; and when the heart is sufficiently contrite, then the voice of inspiration steals along and whispers, 'My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.'"

History of the Church, 3:293; the last portion of this paragraph was later canonized in D&C 121:7–8.

Hell may pour forth its rage like the burning lava of Mount Vesuvius . . . and yet shall "Mormonism" stand. . . . God is the author of it. He is our shield. . . . It was by Him we received the Book of Mormon; and it is by Him that we remain unto this day; and by Him we shall remain, if it shall be for our glory; and in His Almighty name we are determined to endure tribulation as good soldiers unto the end.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 139.

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Apostasy

It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind. Oh! how I would delight to bring before you things which you never thought of! But poverty and the cares of the world prevent. But I am glad I have the privilege of communicating to you some things which, if grasped closely, will be a help to you when earthquakes bellow, the clouds gather, the lightnings flash, and the storms are ready to burst upon you like peals of thunder. Lay hold of these things and let not your knees or joints tremble, nor your hearts faint; and then what can earthquakes, wars and tornadoes do? Nothing.

History of the Church, 5:362.

When you joined this Church . . . you [speaking to Isaac Behunnin] left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one.

Quoted by Daniel Tyler, in "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor, Aug. 15, 1892, 492.

I have no enemies but for the truth's sake. I have no desire but to do all men good. I feel to pray for all men. We don't ask any people to throw away any good they have got; we only ask them to come and get more. What if all the world should embrace this gospel? They would see eye to eye, and the blessings of God would be poured out upon the people, which is the desire of my whole soul.

History of the Church, 5:259.

We . . . must be under [God's] guidance if we are prospered, preserved and sustained. Our only confidence can be in God; our only wisdom obtained from Him: and He alone must be our protector and safeguard, spiritually and temporally, or we fall.

History of the Church, 5:64.

I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with a new revelation, which . . . would open the eyes of more than eight hundred millions of people, and make "plain the old paths."

History of the Church, 6:74.

The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 191.

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Baptism

[Baptism] is a sign and a commandment which God has set for man to enter into His kingdom. Those who seek to enter in any other way will seek in vain; for God will not receive them, neither will the angels acknowledge their works as accepted, for they have not obeyed the ordinances, nor attended to the signs which God ordained for the salvation of man, to prepare him for, and give him a title to, a celestial glory.

History of the Church, 4:554.

Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels.

History of the Church, 5:259.

We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation. Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us, in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of.

"History of Joseph Smith," Times and Seasons, Aug. 1, 1842, 866.

In the former ages of the world, before the Savior came in the flesh, "the saints" were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to come, because there never was any other name whereby men could be saved; and after he came in the flesh and was crucified, then the saints were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, crucified, risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, that they might be buried in baptism like him, and be raised in glory like him, that as there was but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and father of us all [see Ephesians 4:5-6], even so there was but one door to the mansions of bliss.

Times and Seasons, Sept. 1, 1842, 905; spelling modernized.

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Book of Mormon

Let us take the Book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field, securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time; let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth, yea, even towering, with lofty branches, and God-like majesty, until it, like the mustard seed, becomes the greatest of all herbs. And it is truth, and it has sprouted and come forth out of the earth, and righteousness begins to look down from heaven, and God is sending down His powers, gifts and angels, to lodge in the branches thereof.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 98.

The Book of Mormon is true, just what it purports to be, and for this testimony I expect to give an account in the day of judgment.

Quoted by David Osbourne in "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor, Mar. 15, 1892, 173.

Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none.

History of the Church, 2:52.

This messenger [Moroni] proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the Gospel in all its fullness to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the Millennial reign. I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.

History of the Church, 4:536–37.

Our translation drawing to a close, we went to Palmyra, Wayne county, New York, secured the copyright, and agreed with Mr. Egbert B. Grandin to print five thousand copies for the sum of three thousand dollars.

History of the Church, 1:71.

At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge: that I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.

Joseph Smith—History 1:59.

By the power of God I translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics, the knowledge of which was lost to the world, in which wonderful event I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with a new revelation.

History of the Church, 6:74.

The plea of many in this day is, that we have no right to receive revelations; but if we do not get revelations, we do not have the oracles [prophets] of God; and if they have not the oracles of God, they are not the people of God. . . . Jesus in His teachings says, 'Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' What rock? Revelation.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 272, 274.

Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box.

Joseph Smith—History 1:51.

Great opposition and much persecution followed the believers of [the Book of Mormon's] authenticity; but it had now come to pass that truth had sprung out of the earth; and righteousness had looked down from heaven—so we feared not our opponents, knowing that we had both truth and righteousness on our side; that we had both the Father and the Son, because we had the doctrines of Christ and abided in them.

Times and Seasons, Dec. 1, 1842, 22.

The Book of Mormon is a record of the forefathers of our western tribes of Indians; having been found through the ministration of an holy angel, and translated into our own language by the gift and power of God, after having been hid up in the earth for the last fourteen hundred years, containing the word of God which was delivered unto them.

History of the Church 1:315.

I did translate the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, and it is before the world, and all the powers of earth and hell can never rob me of the honour of it.

Quoted in James Palmer, Journal, 75, Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter–day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; capitalization modernized.

I translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics, the knowledge of which was lost to the world, in which wonderful event I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with new revelation, which (if they would receive the everlasting Gospel,) would open the eyes of more than eight hundred millions of people, and make "plain the old paths," wherein if a man walk in all the ordinances of God blameless, he shall inherit eternal life.

History of the Church, 6:74.

The messenger . . . told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.

Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there, and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews, respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.

Joseph Smith—History 1:53–54.

I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding its precepts, than by any other book.

History of the Church, 4:461.

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Discipleship

No month ever found me more busily engaged than November [1834]; but as my life consisted of activity and unyielding exertions, I made this my rule: When the Lord commands, do it.

History of the Church, 2:170.

 

Let those who come up to this place be determined to keep the commandments of God . . . and then they will be prospered—the intelligence of heaven will be communicated to them, and they will, eventually, see eye to eye, and rejoice in the full fruition of that glory which is reserved for the righteous.

History of the Church, 4:273.

 

I shall speak with authority of the Priesthood in the name of the Lord God, which shall prove a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death. . . . If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses, for if we are not drawing towards God in principle, we are going from Him and drawing towards the devil. . . . Search your hearts, and see if you are like God. I have searched mine, and feel to repent of all my sins.

History of the Church, 4:588; paragraph divisions altered.

 

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Doctrine and Covenants

Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the [D&C 76] vision. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future life] and witnesses the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: "It came from God."

History of the Church, 1:252–53.

 

I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics [from the papyri], and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc.,—a more full account of which will appear in its place, as I proceed to examine or unfold them. Truly we can say, the Lord is beginning to reveal the abundance of peace and truth.

History of the Church, 2:236.

 

After deliberate consideration, in consequence of the book of revelations, now to be printed [later to become the Doctrine and Covenants], being the foundation of the Church in these last days, and a benefit to the world, showing that the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of our Savior are again entrusted to man; and the riches of eternity within the compass of those who are willing to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God—therefore the conference [of saints] voted that they prize the revelations to be worth to the Church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally.

History of the Church, 1:235–36.

 

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Family

This is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven.

History of the Church, 6:252.

 

The doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows: If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise. The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 340.

 

The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.

History of the Church, 6:251; spelling modernized.

 

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First Vision

I retired to a secret place in a grove, and began to call upon the Lord; while fervently engaged in supplication, my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages, who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded with brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon day.

History of the Church 4:535–536.

 

I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true . . . . I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.

Joseph Smith—History 1:25.

 

The Lord does reveal himself to me. I know it. He revealed himself first to me when I was about fourteen years old, a mere boy. . . . I kneeled down, and prayed, saying, 'O Lord, what Church shall I join?' Directly I saw a light, and then a glorious Personage in the light, and then another personage, and the first personage said [of] the second, "Behold this is my beloved Son, hear him."

Interview by David Nye White, Aug. 1843, published in "The Prairies, Nauvoo, Joe Smith, the Temple, the Mormons, etc.," The Pittsburgh Weekly Gazette, Sept. 15, 1843, 3; reprinted in The Papers of Joseph Smith, ed. Dean C. Jessee, 2 vols. [1989–92], 1:444.

 

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Forgiveness

Ever keep in exercise the principle of mercy, and be ready to forgive our brother on the first intimations of repentance, and asking forgiveness; and should we even forgive our brother, or even our enemy, before he repent or ask forgiveness, our heavenly Father would be equally as merciful unto us.

History of the Church, 3:383.

 

One of the most pleasing scenes that can occur on earth, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, is, to forgive that sin; and then according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven to forgive him also.

History of the Church, 6:245.

 

To the iniquitous show yourselves merciful. . . . Beware, be still, be prudent, repent, reform, but do it in a way not to destroy all around you. I do not want to cloak iniquity—all things contrary to the will of God, should be cast from us, but don't do more hurt than good, with your tongues—be pure in heart. Jesus designs to save the people out of their sins. . . . I want the innocent to go free—rather spare ten iniquitous among you, than condemn one innocent one. "Fret not thyself because of evil doers." God will see to it.

History of the Church, 5:20–21.

 

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Gathering

He who scattered Israel has promised to gather them; therefore inasmuch as you are to be instrumental in this great work, he will endow you with power, wisdom, might, and intelligence, and every qualification necessary; while your minds will expand wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the earth and the heavens, reach forth into eternity, and contemplate the mighty acts of Jehovah in all their variety and glory.

History of the Church, 4:129.

 

We feel disposed to go forward and unite our energies for the upbuilding of the Kingdom, and established the Priesthood in their fullness and glory. The work which has to be accomplished in the last days is one of vast importance, and will call into action the energy, skill, talent, and ability of the Saints, so that it may roll forth with that glory and majesty described by the prophet [see Daniel 2:34–35; 44–45]; and will consequently require the concentration of the Saints, to accomplish works of such magnitude and grandeur.

History of the Church, 4:185–86.

 

The cause of God is one common cause, in which the Saints are alike all interested; we are all members of the one common body, and all partake of the same spirit, and are baptized into one baptism and possess alike the same glorious hope. The advancement of the cause of God and the building up of Zion is as much one man's business as another's.

History of the Church, 4:609.

 

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Godhead

God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what He will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them.

History of the Church, 3:380

 

When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.

History of the Church, 6:308.

 

Seek to know God in your closets, call upon him in the fields. Follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over, and for your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn, and all things that you possess; ask the blessing of God upon all your labors, and everything that you engage in.

History of the Church, 5:31.

 

I will try to be contented with my lot, knowing that God is my friend. In him I shall find comfort. I have given my life into his hands. I am prepared to go at his call. I desire to be with Christ. I count not my life dear to me, only to do his will.

Joseph Smith to Emma Smith, 6 June 1832, reprinted in Dean C. Jessee, comp., Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, (2002), 264-265; punctuation and spelling standardized.

 

The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.

History of the Church, 3:30.

 

On one occasion in 1842, Joseph Smith poured out his soul in prayer, saying: "O Thou, who seest and knowest the hearts of all men . . . look down upon Thy servant Joseph at this time; and let faith on the name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than Thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him. . . . Let the lamp of eternal life be lit up in his heart, never to be taken away; and let the words of eternal life be poured upon the soul of Thy servant."

History of the Church, 5:127

 

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Jesus Christ

When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.

History of the Church, 6:308.

 

Seek to know God in your closets, call upon him in the fields. Follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over, and for your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn, and all things that you possess; ask the blessing of God upon all your labors, and everything that you engage in.

History of the Church, 5:31.

 

The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.

History of the Church, 3:30.

 

It is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory, "the dispensation of the fullness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth, even in one," . . . The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles, and our name will be handed down to future ages; our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will dwell with peculiar delight upon the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured; the untiring zeal that we have manifested; the all but insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessing which they will realize; a work that God and angels have contemplated with delight for generations past; that fired the souls of the ancient patriarchs and prophets; a work that is destined to bring about the destruction of the powers of darkness, the renovation of the earth, the glory of God, and the salvation of the human family.

History of the Church, 4:609–10.

 

When I contemplate the rapidity with which the great and glorious day of the coming of the Son of Man advances, when He shall come to receive His Saints unto Himself, where they shall dwell in His presence, and be crowned with glory and immortality; when I consider that soon the heavens are to be shaken, and the earth tremble and reel to and fro; and that the heavens are to be unfolded as a scroll when it is rolled up; and that every mountain and island are to flee away, I cry out in my heart, What manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness!

History of the Church, 1:442.

 

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Love

It is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind, and the Lord will reward us with everlasting increase; cast our bread upon the waters and we shall receive it after many days, increased to a hundredfold.

History of the Church, 5:517.

 

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Martyrdom

I am a lover of the cause of Christ and of virtue, chastity, and an upright, steady course of conduct and a holy walk. I despise a hypocrite or a covenant breaker. I judge them not; God shall judge them according to their works. I am a lover even of mine enemies, for an enemy seeketh to destroy openly. I can pray for those who despitefully use and persecute me, but for all I cannot hope.

 Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, ed. Dean C. Jessee (2002), 272; spelling and punctuation modernized.

 

On my part, I am ready to be offered up a sacrifice in that way that can bring to pass the greatest benefit and good to those who must necessarily be interested in this important matter.

History of the Church, 5:159.

 

If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins.

History of the Church, 4:445.

 

In February 1847 Joseph Smith appeared to Brigham Young in a dream and said: "Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord, and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you how to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it. They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife, and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God. Tell the brethren if they will follow the Spirit of the Lord they will go right. Be sure to tell the people to keep the Spirit of the Lord; and if they will, they will find themselves just as they were organized by our Father in Heaven before they came into the world. Tell the people to be sure to keep the Spirit of the Lord and follow it, and it will lead them just right."

Brigham Young, vision, Feb. 17, 1847, in Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878, Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; spelling, punctuation, and capitalization modernized.

 

Persecution has not stopped the progress of truth, but has only added fuel to the flame, it has spread with increasing rapidity. Proud of the cause which they have espoused, and conscious of our innocence, and of the truth of their system, amidst calumny and reproach, have the Elders of this Church gone forth, and planted the Gospel in almost every state in the Union. . . . It has also spread into England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

History of the Church, 4:540.

 

I defy all the world to destroy the work of God; and I prophesy they never will have power to kill me till my work is accomplished, and I am ready to die.

History of the Church, 6:58.

 

I know not why; but for some reason I am constrained to hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances, keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the priesthood, and so set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary and the endowment therein.

Quoted by Parley P. Pratt in "Proclamation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Millennial Star, Mar. 1845, 151.

 

Father, forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me, for I freely forgive all men. If we would secure and cultivate the love of others, we must love others, even our enemies as well as friends. . . . I possess the principle of love. All I can offer the world is a good heart and a good hand. The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a "Mormon", I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination. . . . It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul.

History of the Church, 5:498.

 

God Almighty is my shield; and what can man do if God is my friend? I shall not be sacrificed until my time comes; then I shall be offered freely.

History of the Church, 5:259.

 

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Missionary Work

We don't ask any people to throw away any good they have got; we only ask them to come and get more. What if all the world should embrace this gospel? They would then see eye to eye, and the blessings of God would be poured out upon the people, which is the desire of my whole soul.

History of the Church, 5:259.

 

No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.

History of the Church, 4:540.

 

The reflection that everyone is to receive according to his own diligence and perseverance while in the vineyard, ought to inspire everyone who is called to be a minister of these glad tidings, to so improve his talent . . . that when the Master sits down to take an account of the conduct of His servants, it may be said, Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will now make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

History of the Church, 2:6.

 

A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race. This has been your [the Twelve in England] feeling, and caused you to forego the pleasures of home, that you might be a blessing to others, who are candidates for [eternal life], but strangers to truth; and for so doing, I pray that heaven's choicest blessings may rest upon you.

History of the Church, 4:227.

 

After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.

History of the Church, 2:478.

 

Do not be discouraged on account of the greatness of the work; only be humble and faithful. . . . He who scattered Israel has promised to gather them; therefore inasmuch as you are to be instrumental in this great work, He will endow you with power, wisdom, might, and intelligence, and every qualification necessary.

History of the Church, 4:128–29.

 

I ask God in the name of Jesus, to . . . cause that His word may speedily go forth to the nations of the earth, to the accomplishing of His great work in bringing about the restoration of the House of Israel.

History of the Church, 1:451.

 

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Moroni

Let us take the Book of Mormon, which a man took and hid in his field, securing it by his faith, to spring up in the last days, or in due time; let us behold it coming forth out of the ground, which is indeed accounted the least of all seeds, but behold it branching forth, yea, even towering, with lofty branches, and God-like majesty, until it, like the mustard seed, becomes the greatest of all herbs. And it is truth, and it has sprouted and come forth out of the earth, and righteousness begins to look down from heaven, and God is sending down His powers, gifts and angels, to lodge in the branches thereof.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 98.

 

This messenger [Moroni] proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled, that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the Gospel in all its fullness to be preached in power, unto all nations that a people might be prepared for the Millennial reign. I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.

History of the Church, 4:536–37.

 

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Pearl of Great Price

Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the [D&C 76] vision. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future life] and witnesses the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: "It came from God."

History of the Church, 1:252–53.

 

I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics [from the papyri], and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc.,—a more full account of which will appear in its place, as I proceed to examine or unfold them. Truly we can say, the Lord is beginning to reveal the abundance of peace and truth.

History of the Church, 2:236.

 

After deliberate consideration, in consequence of the book of revelations, now to be printed [later to become the Doctrine and Covenants], being the foundation of the Church in these last days, and a benefit to the world, showing that the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of our Savior are again entrusted to man; and the riches of eternity within the compass of those who are willing to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God—therefore the conference [of saints] voted that they prize the revelations to be worth to the Church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally.

History of the Church, 1:235–36.

 

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Prayer

When we understand the character of God, and know how to come to Him, he begins to unfold the heavens to us, and to tell us all about it. When we are ready to come to him, he is ready to come to us.

History of the Church, 6:308.

 

Seek to know God in your closets, call upon him in the fields. Follow the directions of the Book of Mormon, and pray over, and for your families, your cattle, your flocks, your herds, your corn, and all things that you possess; ask the blessing of God upon all your labors, and everything that you engage in.

History of the Church, 5:31.

 

The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.

History of the Church, 3:30.

 

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Priesthood

[Baptism] is a sign and a commandment which God has set for man to enter into His kingdom. Those who seek to enter in any other way will seek in vain; for God will not receive them, neither will the angels acknowledge their works as accepted, for they have not obeyed the ordinances, nor attended to the signs which God ordained for the salvation of man, to prepare him for, and give him a title to, a celestial glory.

History of the Church, 4:554.

 

Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels.

History of the Church, 5:259.

 

We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation. Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us, in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of.

"History of Joseph Smith," Times and Seasons, Aug. 1, 1842, 866.

 

The Savior, Moses and [Elijah] gave the keys to Peter, James and John on the mount, when they were transfigured before him (see Matt.17:1–5). The Priesthood is everlasting—without beginning of days or end of years. . . . The keys have to be brought from heaven whenever the Gospel is sent. . . . How have we come at the Priesthood in the latter days? It came down, down, in regular succession. Peter, James, and John had it given to them and they gave it to others.

History of the Church, 3:385–87.

 

The Melchizedek Priesthood . . . is the channel through which all knowledge, doctrine, the plan of salvation, and every important matter is revealed from heaven. . . . It is the channel through which the Almighty commenced revealing His glory at the beginning of the creation of this earth, and through which He has continued to reveal Himself to the children of men to the present time, and through which He will make known His purposes to the end of time.

History of the Church, 4:207; spelling modernized and paragraph divisions altered.

 

In the former ages of the world, before the Savior came in the flesh, "the saints" were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to come, because there never was any other name whereby men could be saved; and after he came in the flesh and was crucified, then the saints were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, crucified, risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, that they might be buried in baptism like him, and be raised in glory like him, that as there was but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and father of us all [see Ephesians 4:5-6], even so there was but one door to the mansions of bliss.

Times and Seasons, Sept. 1, 1842, 905; spelling modernized.

 

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Prophets

Brethren [members of the Quorum of the Twelve], the Lord bids me hasten the work in which we are engaged. . . . Some important scene is near to take place. It may be that my enemies will kill me. And in case they should and the keys and power which rest on me not be imparted to you, they will be lost from the earth. But if I can only succeed in placing them upon your heads, then let me fall a victim to murderous hands if God will suffer it, and I can go with all pleasure and satisfaction, knowing that my work is done, and the foundation laid on which the kingdom of God is to be reared in this dispensation of the fulness of times.

In Declaration of the Twelve, Brigham Young Office Files, 1832–1878, Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; spelling, punctuation, and capitalization modernized.

 

I have had sealed upon my head every key, every power, every principle of life and salvation that God has ever given to any man who ever lived upon the face of the earth. And these principles and this Priesthood and power belong to this great and last dispensation which the God of heaven has set His hand to establish in the earth. Now, . . . I have sealed upon your [the Twelve] heads every key, every power, and every principle which the Lord has sealed upon my head. . . . I tell you, the burden of this kingdom now rests upon your shoulders; you have got to bear it off in all the world, and if you don't do it you will be damned.

Millennial Star, Aug. 22, 1892, 530.

 

The kingdom of God was set up on the earth from the days of Adam to the present time, whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed His word and gave power and authority to administer in His name. And where there is a priest of God—a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God—there is the kingdom of God.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 271.

 

It is my meditation all the day, and more than my meat and drink, to know how I shall make the Saints of God comprehend the visions that roll like an overflowing surge before my mind. Oh! how I would delight to bring before you things which you never thought of! But poverty and the cares of the world prevent. But I am glad I have the privilege of communicating to you some things which, if grasped closely, will be a help to you when earthquakes bellow, the clouds gather, the lightnings flash, and the storms are ready to burst upon you like peals of thunder. Lay hold of these things and let not your knees or joints tremble, nor your hearts faint; and then what can earthquakes, wars and tornadoes do? Nothing.

History of the Church, 5:362.

 

When you joined this Church . . . you [speaking to Isaac Behunnin] left the neutral ground, and you never can get back on to it. Should you forsake the Master you enlisted to serve it will be by the instigation of the evil one.

Quoted by Daniel Tyler, in "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor, Aug. 15, 1892, 492.

 

I have no enemies but for the truth's sake. I have no desire but to do all men good. I feel to pray for all men. We don't ask any people to throw away any good they have got; we only ask them to come and get more. What if all the world should embrace this gospel? They would see eye to eye, and the blessings of God would be poured out upon the people, which is the desire of my whole soul.

History of the Church, 5:259.

 

We . . . must be under [God's] guidance if we are prospered, preserved and sustained. Our only confidence can be in God; our only wisdom obtained from Him: and He alone must be our protector and safeguard, spiritually and temporally, or we fall.

History of the Church, 5:64.

 

I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with a new revelation, which . . . would open the eyes of more than eight hundred millions of people, and make "plain the old paths."

History of the Church, 6:74.

 

The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask it from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 191.

 

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Restoration

I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world. . . . It will not be by sword or gun that this kingdom will roll on: the power of truth is such that all nations will be under the necessity of obeying the Gospel.

History of the Church, 6:365.

 

Truly this is a day long to be remembered by the Saints of the last days,—a day in which the God of heaven has begun to restore the ancient order of His kingdom unto His servants and His people,—a day in which all things are concurring to bring about the completion of the fullness of the Gospel, a fullness of the dispensation of dispensations, even the fullness of times; a day in which . . . Jehovah has promised should be made known in His own due time unto His servants, to prepare the earth for the return of His glory.

History of the Church, 4:492–93.

 

We consider that God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker, and is caught up to dwell with Him.

History of the Church, 2:8.

 

The exaltation and happiness of any community, goes hand in hand with the knowledge possessed by the people, when applied to laudable ends; whereupon we can exclaim like the wise man; righteousness exalteth a nation; for righteousness embraces knowledge and knowledge is power.

Times and Seasons, Aug. 15, 1842, 889.

 

Here, then, beloved brethren, is a work to engage in worthy of archangels—a work which will cast into the shade the things which have been heretofore accomplished; a work which kings and prophets and righteous men in former ages have sought, expected, and earnestly desired to see, but died without the sight; and well will it be for those who shall aid in carrying into effect the mighty operations of Jehovah.

History of the Church, 4:187.

 

The great Jehovah contemplated the whole of the events connected with the earth, pertaining to the plan of salvation, before it rolled into existence, or ever "the morning stars sang together" for joy; the past, the present, and the future were and are, with Him, one eternal "now." . . . He comprehended the fall of man, and his redemption; He knew the plan of salvation and pointed it out. . . . He knows the situation of both the living and the dead, and has made ample provision for their redemption, according to their several circumstances, and the laws of the kingdom of God, whether in this world, or in the world to come.

History of the Church, 4:597.

 

After a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, "The Church of Jesus Christ," organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by Him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament.

History of the Church, 1:79.

 

To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things as observed by the holy Apostles of old; to realize the importance and solemnity of such proceedings, and to witness and feel with our own natural senses, the like glorious manifestations of the power of the priesthood; the gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost; and the goodness and condescension of a merciful God, unto such as obey the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within us sensations of rapturous gratitude, and inspire us with fresh zeal and energy, in the cause of truth.

History of the Church, 1:85–86.

 

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Revelation

The kingdom of God was set up on the earth from the days of Adam to the present time, whenever there has been a righteous man on earth unto whom God revealed His word and gave power and authority to administer in His name. And where there is a priest of God—a minister who has power and authority from God to administer in the ordinances of the gospel and officiate in the priesthood of God—there is the kingdom of God.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 271.

 

I translated the record, by the gift and power of God. In this important and interesting book the history of ancient America is unfolded. . . . This book also tells us that our Saviour made his appearance upon this continent after his resurrection, that he planted the gospel here in all its fulness, and richness, and power, and blessing; that they had apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists; the same order, the same priesthood, the same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessings, as was enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgement of their prophesies, history &c., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days.

Historical Sketch, Mar. 1, 1842, reprinted in Dean C. Jessee, comp., Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (2002), 243–44.

 

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Sacred Places

The Book of Mormon is true, just what it purports to be, and for this testimony I expect to give an account in the day of judgment.

Quoted by David Osbourne in "Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor, Mar. 15, 1892, 173.

 

Never since the foundation of this Church was laid, have we seen manifested a greater willingness to comply with the requisitions of Jehovah, a more ardent desire to do the will of God, more strenuous exertions used, or greater sacrifices made than there have been since the Lord said, "Let the Temple be built by the tithing of my people."

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 230.

 

Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none.

History of the Church, 2:52.

 

The Savior said, . . . "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake; rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you." Now, dear brethren, if any men ever had reason to claim this promise, we are the men; for we know that the world not only hate us, but they speak all manner of evil of us falsely, for no other reason than that we have been endeavoring to teach the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 124; paragraph divisions altered.

 

Brethren, some of you are angry with me, because you did not fight in Missouri; but let me tell you, God did not want you to fight. He could not organize his kingdom with twelve men to open the gospel door to the nations of the earth, and with seventy men under their direction to follow in their tracks, unless he took them from a body of men who had offered their lives, and who had made as great a sacrifice as did Abraham.

Now, the Lord has got his Twelve and his Seventy, and there will be other quorums of Seventies called, who will make the sacrifice, and those who have not made their sacrifices and their offerings now, will make them hereafter.

Quoted in Joseph Young Sr., History of the Organization of the Seventies (1878), 14.

 

Our translation drawing to a close, we went to Palmyra, Wayne county, New York, secured the copyright, and agreed with Mr. Egbert B. Grandin to print five thousand copies for the sum of three thousand dollars.

History of the Church, 1:71.

 

I have seen those men who died of the cholera in our camp; and the Lord knows, if I get a mansion as bright as theirs, I ask no more," said Joseph Smith of those who served in Zion's Camp. Then he wept and continued: "I wish you to notify all the brethren living in the branches, within a reasonable distance from this place, to meet at a general conference on Saturday next [February 14, 1835]. I shall then and there appoint twelve Special Witnesses, to open the door of the Gospel to foreign nations, and you [Brigham Young] will be one of them.

History of the Church, 2:181.

 

At length the time arrived for obtaining the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate. On the twenty-second day of September, one thousand eight hundred and twenty-seven, having gone as usual at the end of another year to the place where they were deposited, the same heavenly messenger delivered them up to me with this charge: that I should be responsible for them; that if I should let them go carelessly, or through any neglect of mine, I should be cut off; but that if I would use all my endeavors to preserve them, until he, the messenger, should call for them, they should be protected.

Joseph Smith—History 1:59.

 

Such scenes as these [the first Church conference in June 1830] were calculated to inspire our hearts with joy unspeakable, and fill us with awe and reverence for that Almighty Being. . . . To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things as observed by the holy Apostles of old; to realize the importance and solemnity of such proceedings; and to witness and feel with our own natural senses, the like glorious manifestations of the powers of the Priesthood, the gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost, and the goodness and condescension of a merciful God unto such as obey the everlasting Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within us sensations of rapturous gratitude, and inspire us with fresh zeal and energy in the cause of truth.

History of the Church, 1:85–86.

 

Convenient to the village of Manchester, Ontario county, New York, stands a hill of considerable size, and the most elevated of any in the neighborhood. On the west side of this hill, not far from the top, under a stone of considerable size, lay the plates, deposited in a stone box.

Joseph Smith—History 1:51.

 

Notwithstanding our enemies were continually breathing threats of violence, we did not fear, neither did we hesitate to prosecute our journey, for God was with us, and His angels went before us, and the faith of our little band was unwavering. We know that angels were our companions, for we saw them.

History of the Church, 2:73.

 

Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels.

History of the Church, 5:259.

 

We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation. Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us, in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of.

"History of Joseph Smith," Times and Seasons, Aug. 1, 1842, 866.

 

Brethren and sisters, be faithful, be diligent, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints; let every man, woman and child realize the importance of the work, and act as if success depended on his individual exertion alone; let all feel an interest in it, and then consider they live in a day, the contemplation of which animated the bosoms of kings, Prophets, and righteous men thousands of years ago.

History of the Church, 4:214.

 

In a meeting of high priests on March 18, 1833, Joseph "exhorted the brethren to faithfulness and diligence in keeping the commandments of God, and gave much instruction for the benefit of the Saints, with a promise that the pure in heart should see a heavenly vision; and after remaining a short time in secret prayer, the promise was verified; for many present had the eyes of their understanding opened by the Spirit of God, so as to behold many things. . . . Many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the Savior, and concourses of angels, and many other things, of which each one has a record of what he saw."

History of the Church, 1:334–35.

 

On my part, I am ready to be offered up a sacrifice in that way that can bring to pass the greatest benefit and good to those who must necessarily be interested in this important matter.

History of the Church, 5:159.

 

In front of the stairs opens the door to my private office, or where I keep the sacred writings, with a window to the south, overlooking the river below, and the opposite shore for a great distance, which, together with the passage of boats in the season thereof, constitutes a peculiarly interesting situation, in prospect, and no less interesting from its retirement from the bustle and confusion of the neighborhood and city, and altogether is a place the Lord is pleased to bless.

History of the Church, 4:491.

 

I spent the day . . . in council . . . , instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, . . . and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth . . . all those plans and principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fullness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church.

History of the Church, 5:1–2.

 

Hell may pour forth its rage like the burning lava of Mount Vesuvius . . . and yet shall "Mormonism" stand. . . . God is the author of it. He is our shield. . . . It was by Him we received the Book of Mormon; and it is by Him that we remain unto this day; and by Him we shall remain, if it shall be for our glory; and in His Almighty name we are determined to endure tribulation as good soldiers unto the end.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 139.

 

We have been driven time after time, and that without cause; and smitten again and again, and that without provocation; until we have proved the world with kindness, and the world has proved us, that we have no designs against any man or set of men, that we injure no man, that we are peaceable with all men, minding our own business, and our business only. We have suffered our rights and our liberties to be taken from us; we have not avenged ourselves of those wrongs; . . . yet we have yielded peaceably to all these things. We have not complained at the Great God, we murmured not, but peaceably left all, and retired into the back country, in the broad and wild prairies, in the barren and desolate plains, and there commenced anew; we made the desolate places to bud and blossom as the rose.

History of the Church, 3:67–68.

 

About his vision of the three degrees of glory received at the Johnson home, Joseph Smith observed: "Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the foregoing vision. . . . The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: "It came from God."

History of the Church, 1:252–53.

 

This winter [1832–33] was spent in translating the Scriptures; in the School of the Prophets; and sitting in conferences. I had many glorious seasons of refreshing. The gifts which follow them that believe and obey the Gospel, as tokens that the Lord is ever the same in His dealings with the humble lovers and followers of truth, began to be poured out among us, as in ancient days.

History of the Church, 1:322.

 

Of the mob attack on the night of March 24, 1832, Joseph recounted: "I found myself going out of the door, in the hands of about a dozen men; some of whose hands were in my hair, and some had hold of my shirt, drawers and limbs. . . . They had concluded not to kill me, but to beat and scratch me well, tear off my shirt and drawers, and leave me naked. . . . They ran back and fetched the bucket of tar . . . and they tried to force the tar-paddle into my mouth. . . . All my clothes were torn off me except my shirt collar; and one man fell on me and scratched my body with his nails like a mad cat."

History of the Church, 1:261–63.

 

The messenger . . . told me that I should come to that place precisely in one year from that time, and that he would there meet with me, and that I should continue to do so until the time should come for obtaining the plates.

Accordingly, as I had been commanded, I went at the end of each year, and at each time I found the same messenger there, and received instruction and intelligence from him at each of our interviews, respecting what the Lord was going to do, and how and in what manner his kingdom was to be conducted in the last days.

Joseph Smith—History 1:53–54.

 

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

Articles of Faith 1:11.

 

Joseph Smith explained the need for a temple this way: "We must have all things prepared and call our solemn assembly as the Lord has commanded us, that we may be able to accomplish his great work: and it must be done in God's own way; the house of the Lord must be prepared, and the solemn assembly called and organized in it according to the order of the house of God."

Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, ed. Dean C. Jessee (2002), 110; spelling and punctuation modernized.

 

I defy all the world to destroy the work of God; and I prophesy they never will have power to kill me till my work is accomplished, and I am ready to die.

History of the Church, 6:58.

 

I know not why; but for some reason I am constrained to hasten my preparations, and to confer upon the Twelve all the ordinances, keys, covenants, endowments, and sealing ordinances of the priesthood, and so set before them a pattern in all things pertaining to the sanctuary and the endowment therein.

Quoted by Parley P. Pratt in "Proclamation to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Millennial Star, Mar. 1845, 151.

 

Joseph recalled that during the dedication, "George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place."

History of the Church, 2:428.

 

I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding its precepts, than by any other book.

History of the Church, 4:461.

 

Joseph wrote this letter to the members of the Quorum of the Twelve then on a mission in England, October 19, 1840, while living at the Nauvoo Homestead: "I presume the doctrine of 'baptism for the dead' has ere this reached your ears. . . . It was certainly practiced by the ancient churches; and St. Paul endeavors to prove the doctrine of the resurrection from the same, and says, 'Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?'

" . . . The Saints have the privilege of being baptized for those of their relatives who are dead, whom they believe would have embraced the Gospel, if they had been privileged with hearing it, and who have received the Gospel in the spirit, through the instrumentality of those who have been commissioned to preach to them."

History of the Church, 4:226–31.

 

God Almighty is my shield; and what can man do if God is my friend? I shall not be sacrificed until my time comes; then I shall be offered freely.

History of the Church, 5:259.

 

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Scriptures

Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the [D&C 76] vision. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men, go to show the perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future life] and witnesses the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: "It came from God."

History of the Church, 1:252–53.

 

I commenced the translation of some of the characters or hieroglyphics [from the papyri], and much to our joy found that one of the rolls contained the writings of Abraham, another the writings of Joseph of Egypt, etc.,—a more full account of which will appear in its place, as I proceed to examine or unfold them. Truly we can say, the Lord is beginning to reveal the abundance of peace and truth.

History of the Church, 2:236.

 

After deliberate consideration, in consequence of the book of revelations, now to be printed [later to become the Doctrine and Covenants], being the foundation of the Church in these last days, and a benefit to the world, showing that the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of our Savior are again entrusted to man; and the riches of eternity within the compass of those who are willing to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God—therefore the conference [of saints] voted that they prize the revelations to be worth to the Church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally.

History of the Church, 1:235–36.

 

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Temples

Never since the foundation of this Church was laid, have we seen manifested a greater willingness to comply with the requisitions of Jehovah, a more ardent desire to do the will of God, more strenuous exertions used, or greater sacrifices made than there have been since the Lord said, "Let the Temple be built by the tithing of my people."

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 230.

 

The question is frequently asked "Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances, etc.?" I would answer, No, not the fullness of salvation. Jesus said, "There are many mansions in my Father's house, and I will go and prepare a place for you." [see John 14:1–2] House here named should have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too.

History of the Church, 6:184.

 

This is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven.

History of the Church, 6:252.

 

The doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows: If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise. The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 340.

 

All those who have not had an opportunity of hearing the Gospel, and being administered unto by an inspired man in the flesh, must have it hereafter, before they can be finally judged. It is no more incredible that God should save the dead, than he should raise the dead.

History of the Church, 4:425–26.

 

The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.

History of the Church, 6:251; spelling modernized.

 

The Church is not fully organized, in its proper order, and cannot be, until the Temple is completed, where places will be provided for the administration of the ordinances of the Priesthood.

History of the Church, 4:603.

 

Joseph Smith explained the need for a temple this way: "We must have all things prepared and call our solemn assembly as the Lord has commanded us, that we may be able to accomplish his great work: and it must be done in God's own way; the house of the Lord must be prepared, and the solemn assembly called and organized in it according to the order of the house of God."

Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, ed. Dean C. Jessee (2002), 110; spelling and punctuation modernized.

 [In] "the dispensation of the fullness of times, when God will gather together all things that are in heaven, and all things that are upon the earth, even in one," . . . the Saints of God will be gathered in one from every nation, and kindred, and people, and tongue, . . . and all things whether in heaven or on earth will be in one, even in Christ. The heavenly Priesthood will unite with the earthly, to bring about those great purposes; and whilst we are thus united in the one common cause, to roll forth the kingdom of God, the heavenly Priesthood are not idle spectators, the Spirit of God will be showered down from above, and it will dwell in our midst. The blessings of the Most High will rest upon our tabernacles.

History of the Church, 4:610; punctuation modernized.

 

Believing the time has now come, when it is necessary to erect a house of prayer, a house of order, a house for the worship of our God, where the ordinances can be attended to agreeably to His divine will. . . . it behooves the Saints to weigh the importance of these things, in their minds, [and] . . . resolve to do all they can, and feel themselves as much interested as though the whole labor depended on themselves alone. By so doing they will emulate the glorious deeds of the fathers, and secure the blessings of heaven upon themselves and their posterity to the latest generation. To those who feel thus interested, and can assist in this great work, we say, let them . . . assist in the rolling on of the Kingdom, . . . and rise higher and higher in the scale of intelligence until they can "comprehend with all Saints what is the breadth and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge."

History of the Church, 4:186.

 

Joseph recalled that during the dedication, "George A. Smith arose and began to prophesy, when a noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; others saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple was filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running together (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting upon the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place."

History of the Church, 2:428.

 

The Temple of the Lord is in process of erection here [Nauvoo], where the Saints will come to worship the God of their fathers, according to the order of His house and the powers of the Holy Priesthood, . . . and where instructions from the Most High will be received, and from this place go forth to distant lands.

History of the Church, 4:269.

 

What was the object of gathering the . . . people of God in any age of the world? . . . The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 307–8; paragraph divisions altered.

 

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Unity

He who scattered Israel has promised to gather them; therefore inasmuch as you are to be instrumental in this great work, he will endow you with power, wisdom, might, and intelligence, and every qualification necessary; while your minds will expand wider and wider, until you can circumscribe the earth and the heavens, reach forth into eternity, and contemplate the mighty acts of Jehovah in all their variety and glory.

History of the Church, 4:129.

 

We feel disposed to go forward and unite our energies for the upbuilding of the Kingdom, and established the Priesthood in their fullness and glory. The work which has to be accomplished in the last days is one of vast importance, and will call into action the energy, skill, talent, and ability of the Saints, so that it may roll forth with that glory and majesty described by the prophet [see Daniel 2:34–35; 44–45]; and will consequently require the concentration of the Saints, to accomplish works of such magnitude and grandeur.

History of the Church, 4:185–86.

 

The cause of God is one common cause, in which the Saints are alike all interested; we are all members of the one common body, and all partake of the same spirit, and are baptized into one baptism and possess alike the same glorious hope. The advancement of the cause of God and the building up of Zion is as much one man's business as another's.

History of the Church, 4:609.

 

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