The Essential Joseph Smith
Foreword by Marvin S. Hill
“It Has Gone Abroad that I Was No Longer a Prophet,” A Sermon Delivered on 23 July 1843
(from Scott H. Faulring, ed., An American Prophet’s Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith
[Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1987], pp. 398-400)
[p.200]It has gone abroad that I was no longer a prophet. I said it Ironically. I supposed you would all understand. I[t] was not that I would renounce the idea of being a prophet but that I would renounce the idea of proclaiming myself such, and saying that I bear the testimony of Jesus.
No greater love than that a man lay down his life for his friends. I discover 100s and 1000s ready to do it for me.
In the midst of business, and find the spirit willing but the flesh is weak subject to like passions with other men. Although I am under the necessity of bearing the infirmities of other men, &c. On the other hand the same characters when they discover a weakness in brother Joseph, blast his character &c. All that law &c. [which has been revealed] through him to the church, he [Joseph] cannot be bourne with a moment.
Men mouth my troubles when I have trouble [but when] they [have problems they] forget it all. I believe in a principle of reciprosiprocity. If we live in a devilish world &c.
I see no faults in the church. Let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether to heaven or hell or any other good place—good society. What do we care if the society is good? Don’t care what a character is if he’s my firend. A friend, a true friend, and I will be a friend to him. Friendship is the grand fundamental principle of Mormonism, to revolution[ize and] civilize the world, [to] pour forth love. Friendship [is] like [the metals bonded in] Bro[ther Theodore] Turly[‘s] Blacksmith shop. I do not dwell upon your faults. You shall not upon mine. After you have covered up all the faults among you the prettyest thing is [to] have no faults at all. Meek, quiet, &c. [If] [p.201]Presbyterians [have] any truth, embrace that. Baptist, Methodist, &c. Get all the good in the world. Come out a pure Mormon.
Last Monday Morning certain men came to me. “Bro[ther] Joseph[,] Hyrum is no prophet. He cant lead the church” You must lead the church. If you resign[, etc.] I felt curious and said here we learn in [the church about] a priesthood after the order of Melchisedeck—Prophet, Priest and King, and I will advance from Prophet to Priest and then to King not to the kingdoms of this Earth but of the most High God.
If I should would there be a great many dissappointed in M[iss]o[uri]? Law and prophets &c. Suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force. Heaven and Earth shall pass away &c. says Christ. He was the rock &c. Gave the law &c. Ex[odus] 30:31 v[erse] and thou shalt annoint A[a]ron &c. Last chap[ter] Ex[odus], 15[th] [verse] and thou shalt anoint them &c. A tittle of law which must be fulfilled, forever hereditary, fixed on the law of A[a]ron down to Zachariah the father of John. Zachariah had no child. Had not God gave him a son? Sent his angel to declare a son name[d] John with the keys. John [was a] King and lawgiver.
The kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence &c. The kingdom of heaven continueth in authority until John. The authority taketh it by absolute power. John having the power, take[s] the kingdom by authority.
How do you know all this knowledge? By the gift of the H[oly] G[host. Jesus] arrested the kingdom from the Jews[, saying] of these stony Gentiles[,] these dogs[, he was] to raise up children unto Abraham.
John [said] I must be baptized by you. [Jesus said you must baptize me.] Why, to answer my decrees. John refuses. Jesus had no legal administrator before John. No Salvation between the two lids of the Bible without a legal administrator.
Tis contrary to a Governor’s oath to send a man to M[iss]o[uri] where he is prescribed in his religious opinions.
Jesus was then the legal administrator and ordained his apostles.
I will resume the subject at some future time.