excerpts – Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed

Joseph Smith's Red Brick StoreFOREWORD

by Todd Compton

This is an important book, documenting a key chapter in Latter-day Saint history that few Mormons know about. The Quorum of Anointed (also known as the Holy Order) was the secret, elite group which founding prophet Joseph Smith organized and to which he revealed for the first time the ordinances of washing and anointing, the endowment, and the “fullness of the priesthood”—the foundation of modern LDS temple ritual. This is the first full-length record of the quorum to appear in print and will be a key source for studying the development of LDS history and ritual. It sheds light on many aspects of Mormonism. For example, it provides background for an important chapter in the history of Mormon polygamy. The documents are also an important source for Mormon feminist writers, as Joseph Smith allowed women to enter this quorum and thus to participate in temple ritual, which in Old Testament times defined the essence of priesthood. The documents provide a striking first-hand picture of the contrast between the late Joseph Smith and early Brigham Young administrations, the first such succession in LDS history. This history also adds valuable biographical information for any number of important Nauvoo Mormons, from Joseph and Brigham to many less prominent but equally intriguing figures such as Emma Smith, Hyrum Smith, William Law, William Marks, Cornelius Lott, and Newel K. Whitney.

Nauvoo, Illinois, will always be fascinating, and elusive, for Mormon researchers and readers because so much was going on behind the scenes. Joseph Smith undoubtedly stood at the center of things; around him revolved a number of social circles, many of them secret, that only occasionally intersected. There was the extremely secret inner circle of those who had been introduced to, and were beginning to practice, plural marriage; there was the Council of Fifty, the sub rosa political kingdom of the church, which would privately crown Joseph Smith king of the theocratic kingdom of God. Then there were the circles of the official church, publicly united, but behind the scenes divided deeply over Joseph’s practice of plural marriage: the First Presidency, including two counselors, Sidney Rigdon and William Law, in the process of rejecting polygamy; the Nauvoo stake presidency and high council, again including many members who would never accept polygamy such as stake president William Marks and high councilor Austin Cowles; the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, led by Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, who accepted polygamy as a revelation from God while others, John Taylor and Orson Pratt, had initial difficulties with it; the women’s Relief Society, led by Emma Smith, who was generally an opponent of polygamy and did not know of many of her husband’s plural marriages; and her counselors, Elizabeth Whitney, the mother of one of Joseph’s wives, and Sarah Cleveland, herself a wife of Joseph. Finally, there was the circle documented in this book, the Holy Order, the Quorum of the Anointed, sometimes simply called the priesthood, intersecting with all these groups. Joseph Smith remains a controversial figure—viewed by believing Mormons, then and now, as receiving revelations directly from God; viewed by many non-Mormons, then and now, as a gifted, even inspired myth-maker who perhaps sincerely believed his own revelations. Nauvoo Mormonism was enormously complex; but to have one of those esoteric circles documented so thoroughly brings us that much closer to a full understanding of that moment in history.

Anyone interested in Mormon history, believer or skeptic, non-Mormon or Mormon, should find this record of immense value. Those devoted to temple work (one of the major emphases of contemporary Mormonism) will find here the beginnings of the washings and anointings and endowment ordinances still practiced by the church today. This marks the beginning of temple work in what Mormons believe is “the dispensation of the fullness of times.”

Primary documents often present illuminating behind-the-scenes records of public events. In this book, we participate in the excitement of attending these Quorum of the Anointed meetings, vicariously through the medium of historical documents, as we imagine what it felt like for the select few early Saints to attend, to fellowship with other elite Saints, to receive these new doctrines and ordinances from their prophet. As in all history, the documents solve many puzzles and raise new questions.

As an example of how this record dovetails with my own research into Nauvoo polygamy, when I examined the dates for all of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages, I found that there was a gap between August 1842 and February 1843. I speculated that the apostasy and departure of John C. Bennett may have accounted for this temporary cessation of plural marriages in Nauvoo.1 From June 28, 1842, the last certain meeting of the quorum that year, until May 26,1843, there was a simultaneous cessation in meetings of the Anointed Quorum, caused, we now know, by Bennett’s apostasy (see the entry for June 28 and notes). This break corresponds neatly with the break in plural marriages, strengthening the interpretations of past researchers and historians. The editors of this volume suggest that the Quorum of the Anointed, to which Joseph Smith introduced the LDS temple rites, was closely connected to his introduction of plural marriage to his most trusted disciples. The Quorum of the Anointed facilitated the teaching of secrecy; and Joseph’s polygamy, which could have had disastrous legal implications and caused adverse publicity if it became public knowledge, was one of the main reasons secrecy was needed. In addition, sometimes the reward of entering the quorum gave Mormons motivation for accepting polygamy.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this history for contemporary readers will be its relation to the development of Mormon feminism. In contemporary “mainstream” Mormonism, women are generally viewed as separated from priesthood. Yet in the Anointed Quorum meetings, we find, under the jurisdiction of the prophet, women admitted into an important priesthood quorum, one of its names being in fact “priesthood.” The history of the quorum impacted Margaret Toscano’s article, “The Missing Rib: The Forgotten Place of Queens and Priestesses in the Establishment of Zion.”2 D. Michael Quinn’s “Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843” also made use of the Holy Order’s history.3 Evidence from the Holy Quorum and elsewhere has never connected women with the totality of ecclesiastical priesthood experience; for instance, no woman was ever brought into the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.4 Nevertheless, scholars such as Margaret and Paul Toscano and Michael Quinn have shown that many aspects of priesthood, such as attendance in a priesthood quorum, were shared with women through their membership in the Holy Order. Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed will continue to publicize this, one of the most significant events in Nauvoo Mormonism. Heber C. Kimball’s rough prose preserves a striking example: “My self and wife Vilate was announted [anointed] Preast and Preastest [Priestess] unto our god under the Hands of B. Young and by the voys [vows] of the Holy Order” (Jan. 20, 1844). Brigham wrote in his diary on November 1, 1843, “Mary A. young admited in to the p[r]iest orderer Priesthood.”

Before I read the present volume, the Quorum of the Anointed was known to me only through a few limited or unpublished secondary treatments. Bringing all of these primary sources together and making them available to the general readership of Utah and Mormon history is a landmark publishing event.

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After Joseph Smith (1805-44) organized the church of Christ in April 1830, the new denomination was both embraced and ridiculed for its claims of new scripture and modern revelation. For some, such concepts fell outside traditional Christianity; for others, they were signals that God once again had a living church on the earth over which Joseph Smith presided as prophet. Yet observers across the spectrum found little unusual in the church’s first ordinances: baptism by immersion and the laying on of hands. Additionally, believers partook of bread and wine as emblems of Christ’s flesh and blood, as did other Christians.

In time, however, Joseph Smith added rites and ceremonies unlike those of contemporary Christianity, although he proclaimed them to be restorations of ancient ordinances of salvation. In 1833, he began to introduce these innovations piecemeal as, according to his own explanation, he slowly came to understand them. In 1840, he introduced baptism for the dead. The next year, he began to marry couples for eternity. By 1842, this progression of doctrine and ordinance resulted in the endowment ceremony, including washing and anointing. In 1843, he inaugurated the last of his temple-related ordinances: the second anointing or “fullness of priesthood.”

The concept of “endowment of power” had been taught soon after the organization of the church, although its meaning and significance developed over time. In December 1830, Joseph received a revelation announcing that “it is expedient in me that they [the church]” should leave western New York and “assemble together at the Ohio” (D&C 37:3). The next month, the Saints learned why: “that ye might escape the power of the enemy, and be gathered unto me a righteous people, without spot and blameless— … Wherefore, for this cause I gave unto you the commandment that ye should go to the Ohio; and there I will give you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on High” (D&C 37:3; 38:31-32).

The ground floor of Joseph Smith's store. Drawing by Lisle G. Brown: original in private possession and used by permission.Joseph’s followers understood that they had begun to attract enemies, and God’s warning to leave New York was clear. Less clear was the meaning of the promised gift of power. Weeks later, this idea received additional attention in another revelation: “Ye are to be taught from on high. Sanctify yourselves and ye shall be endowed with power, that ye may give [instruction in the glories and mysteries of the kingdom] even as I have spoken” (D&C 43:16,12-13). The promised endowment was fulfilled, at this early stage, in Kirtland, Ohio, on June 3, 1831. On this occasion, male members of the church received what was called the higher priesthood, an event accompanied by a spiritual outpouring in preparation for their callings as missionaries.

The second floor of Joseph Smith's store. On the second floor, those initiated into the Anointed Quorum were first washed and anointed in Joseph's office. The endowment ceremony/ritual was then presented in the Assembly Room, which was divided by curtains into different departments required for the ritual. Drawings by Lisle G. Brown: originals in private possession and used by permission.The next year, new ordinances were introduced which, in time, would become associated with an expanded endowment. On December 27, 1832, Joseph received this revelation: “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, and a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God” (D&C 88:119). He was also told to establish a “school of the prophets” where those called to the ministry would receive “instruction in all things that are expedient for them.” In this school would be introduced a new ordinance: “Ye shall not receive any among you into this school save he is clean from the blood of this generation; … and he shall be received by the ordinance of the washing of feet, for unto this end was the ordinance of the washing of feet instituted. And again, the ordinance of washing feet is to be administered by the president, or presiding elder of the church” (vv. 127, 138-40).

On January 23, 1833, Joseph washed the feet of the members of the School of the Prophets, re-enacting the New Testament scene where Jesus washed the feet of his disciples in an act of humility (John 13). The 1833 event took place in a room above Newel K. Whitney’s general store. The minutes imply eternal blessings to those taking part:

Opened with Prayer by the President [Joseph Smith] and after much speaking praying and singing, all done in Tongues preceded to washing hands faces feet in the name of the Lord … each one washing his own after which the president girded himself with a towel and again washed the feet of all the Elders wiping them with the towel. … The President said after he had washed the feet of the Elders, as I have done so[,] do ye[;] wash ye therefore one anothers feet pronouncing at the same time through the power of the Holy Ghost that the Elders were all clean from the blood of this generation but that those among them who should sin wilfully after they were thus cleansed and sealed up unto eternal lite should be given over unto the buffettings of Satan until the day of redemption. Having continued all day in fasting & prayer before the Lord at the close they partook of the Lords supper.1

This School of the Prophets consisted of eighteen founding members, all men, who met from January to April 1833.2 As new members joined, they too participated in the washing of feet. The rite not only served to elevate the status of this group of priesthood holders, it had the spiritual significance of “cleans[ing] and seal[ing] up unto eternal life.” The ordinance served to unify the men, setting them apart as a cohesive group with a strong spirit of brotherhood. It also functioned as a precedent for other ordinances that would develop in Kirtland and later in Nauvoo, Illinois.

The notion of “sealing”—whereby priesthood ordinances performed on Earth are recognized in Heaven—surfaced in the Book of Mormon. At its publication in March 1830, the Book of Mormon referred to “power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven” (Hel. 10:7). The next year Joseph elaborated that “the order of the High-priesthood is that they have power given them to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.”3 This sealing power fulfilled the prophecy Book of Mormon prophet Moroni made to Joseph in 1823: “Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers; and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming” (D&C 2:1-3). Thirteen years later, Old Testament prophet Elijah conveyed this authority to Joseph, announcing: “The keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors” (D&C 110:16).

Four months after the first meeting of the School of the Prophets, construction began on the Kirtland House of the Lord or Kirtland temple. As the building neared completion three years later in early 1836, Joseph was ready to introduce a new endowment to the highest leaders, now organized as a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and various presidencies and councils. The previous fall, Joseph had announced that “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; and in it we must attend to the ordinance of washing of feet.”4 Although this solemn assembly would be held in conjunction with the temple dedication in March 1836, the washing of feet had been renewed two months earlier. This ritual–now a part of the anticipated “endowment”–included and went beyond the washings of 1833 and was accompanied by ceremonial anointings with oil. Apostles and other church leaders became the focus of these ordinances beginning on January 21, 1836. In receiving the ordinance, participants were washed and perfumed in the attic above the church’s printing office. That evening, they moved to the unfinished temple where their washings were “sealed” with an anointing. These ceremonies continued through early February.5

The Kirtland washings and anointings were followed by the temple dedication and solemn assembly. Apparently, these ceremonies were initially to be performed only on this occasion, as one participant recorded: “Brother Joseph Smith ses [says] whoever is Her[e] at the endowment wil always regois [rejoice] and whoever is not will away [always] be Sorry[. T]his thi[n]g will not take place a gain whil[e] time last[s].”6 The idea of restricting the endowment soon changed, however, as the ordinances were repeated the next year, according to Wilford Woodruff, “for those that were not endowed in Kirtland the strong hold of the daught[ers] of Zion in the spring of 1836 & as I was absent at that time my day is now come & my time at hand for those blessings.” The next day, Woodruff recorded a format similar to that followed the previous year: after being washed earlier in the day, the company retired to “the upper part of the Lords house at early candle light to receive our anointing.”7

The importance of this endowment was illustrated again the next year. John Taylor, who had not joined the church by 1836, was ordained an apostle two years later. As he and others were en route to serve proselyting missions in England in late 1839, they stopped in Kirtland where he now received his endowment at a time when the majority of Saints had left town.8 As before, the group cohesiveness achieved among the Twelve as a result, in part, of the ritualized empowerment remained even as the various elements and eternal significance of the endowment continued to evolve.

After the Saints left Ohio, they moved briefly to established Mormon communities in Missouri before conflicts with non-Mormon settlers resulted in their expulsion from the state. They were next welcomed as refugees in Illinois and soon began to establish themselves in Commerce, Hancock County, which they renamed Nauvoo. As they built a city to rival Chicago in size, new doctrines would bring both peace and conflict for Joseph and his successor, Brigham Young.

As he had in Ohio and Missouri, Joseph unveiled plans for a temple–a building three times the size of its Kirtland predecessor. In the fall of 1840, he purchased four acres for the edifice, and construction began shortly thereafter.9 In a revelation on January 19, 1841, the temple received attention as a holy place where the new ordinance of proxy baptisms for the dead, initially performed in the Mississippi River,10 could be undertaken:

Verily I say unto you, how shall your washings be acceptable unto me, except ye perform them in a house which you have built to my name? For, for this cause I commanded Moses that he should build a tabernacle, that they should bear it with them in the wilderness, and to build a house in the land of promise, that those ordinances might be revealed which had been hid from before the world was. Therefore, verily I say unto you, that your anointings, and your -washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, are ordained by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name. And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people; For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of times. (D&C 124:37-41)

In addition to the familiar references to washings and anointings, the revelation hinted at greater ordinances to be revealed in connection with the temple. This understanding was reinforced by the physical layout of the temple wherein ordinances would be revealed in stages, the first being an expansion of the earlier rituals of Rutland.

Events in Nauvoo, at first unrelated to the future ordinances alluded to, played a role in shaping them by the time Joseph was ready to reveal them. As construction on the temple progressed, the church sought to establish, within the new city, a lodge of Freemasons. Masonry had flourished in America before falling into disfavor in the 1820s and 1830s due to William Morgan’s exposé and his mysterious disappearance.11 Yet by 1840, it was already enjoying a revitalization, and a new Grand Lodge had been organized in Quincy, Illinois, with LDS convert James Adams as Deputy Grand Master. Over the previous two centuries, Masonry had developed from a network of crafts guilds into a fraternity that emphasized personal study, self-improvement, and service. One of the organization’s important benefits from a Mormon standpoint was the pledge of protection that members swore to each other.12

Joseph supported the idea of a Nauvoo lodge for the prestige it would bring to the city and church. Initially, requests to the Grand Lodge in June 1841 were denied, yet four months later Abraham Jonas of the Columbus Lodge approved the Saints’ application. In December 1841, eighteen Masons met to organize the lodge at the home of Joseph’s older brother, Hyrum Smith. Jonas officially installed the lodge and its officers on March 15,1842. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, Joseph’s counselor in the First Presidency, were both initiated on this occasion in a room above Joseph’s Red Brick Store. Mormons took such an interest in Masonry that more than 500 joined or were elevated within the first five months, causing Nauvoo’s Masons to outnumber all others in the state.13

Two months after becoming a Mason, Joseph began to reveal his expanded endowment to a few trusted individuals. As in Kirtland, he revealed the ritual before the temple was finished, a move which proved to be farsighted as he was killed prior to the temple’s completion.14 He chose the room above his store—the same room in which he had been initiated into Masonry—as the stage for the endowment ceremony. It consisted of rituals and instructions regarding man’s relationship to God and his eternal destiny. Joseph asked a few friends, all Masons, to prepare the room for presentation of the endowment, a task they carried out on May 3, 1842. Lucius Scovil said Joseph “told us that the object he had was for us to go to work and fit up that room preparatory to giving endowments to a few Elders that he might give unto them all the keys of power pertaining to the Aaronic and Melchisedec Priesthoods.”15 The scenery used to help visualize the stages of man’s progression through life was similar to that used later after the temple was completed, with potted plants and shrubbery representing the Garden of Eden. Mormon historian Andrew F. Ehat, who has studied the Nauvoo endowment, explains: “What they brought in as additional furnishings to organize the other subrooms (representing the Creation, the World, the Terrestrial and the Celestial orders of progression) we are not informed; we do know that they worked under the Prophet’s detailed and total supervision, finishing by midday. They were then dismissed.” According to archaeologist Robert T. Bray, the northwest corner of the room featured a painted mural of a pastoral scene.16 Joseph dedicated the room for administering the ordinances before performing them.17

The next day, May 4, Joseph and nine other men assembled in the room to take part in the ceremony for the first time. Eight of those gathered were to receive the endowment from Joseph and Hyrum Smith: James Adams, Heber C. Kimball, William Law, William Marks, George Miller, Willard Richards, Newel K. Whitney, and Brigham Young. Joseph and Hyrum themselves would receive it from the others the next day.

As Joseph’s scribe later recorded, this first endowment consisted of Joseph’s

instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments, and the communications of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days [Adam], and 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 of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim [God] in the eternal worlds.18

According to LDS historian Glen M. Leonard, the men’s washings and anointings were

followed by instructions and covenants setting forth a pattern or figurative model for life. The teachings began with a recital of the creation of the earth and its preparation to host life. The story carried the familiar ring of the Genesis account, echoed as well in Joseph Smith’s revealed book of Moses and book of Abraham. The disobedience and expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden set the stage for an explanation of Christ’s atonement for that original transgression and for the sins of the entire human family. Also included was a recital of mankind’s tendency to stray from the truth through apostasy and the need for apostolic authority to administer authoritative ordinances and teach true gospel principles. Participants were reminded that in addition to the Savior’s redemptive gift they must be obedient to God’s commandments to obtain a celestial glory. Within the context of these gospel instructions, the initiates made covenants of personal virtue and benevolence and of commitment to the church. They agreed to devote their talents and means to spread the gospel, to strengthen the church, and to prepare the earth for the return of Jesus Christ.19

Brigham Young explained that the group first assembled in “a little side room” to be washed, anointed to become kings and priests, and receive a new name and ceremonial clothing, including a specially marked undergarment to be worn thereafter. Next, the men moved into the larger room where a veil had been hung. There they received “our instructions as we passed along from one department to another, giving us signs, tokens, penalties with the Key words.”20 These words were intended to enable one to “gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.”21 The instructions related to man’s journey on the plan of salvation, along with tests of that knowledge and a method of praying. In fact, one of the primary purposes of the endowment was to teach initiates the “true order of prayer,” thereby endowing them with power to ask questions of God with confidence that their prayers would be answered.

The men who gathered above Joseph’s store that day were all members of Nauvoo’s Masonic lodge. Some had been Masons before the local lodge was formed or before they became Latter-day Saints.22 Joseph’s explanation of the similarities between the two ceremonies, according to Heber C. Kimball, was that “masonary was taken from presthood but has become degenerated.”23 Nineteenth-century accounts of the two rituals show that they contain a handful of nearly identical words and gestures.24 For those believing in the restoration of all that had ever been revealed to man, such parallels pointed to the ancient origins of Free Masonry.25 “Little room for doubt can exist in the mind of an informed objective analyst,” concluded Mervin Hogan, himself both a Mason and a Mormon, “that the Mormon Temple Endowment and the rituals of ancient Craft Masonry are seeming intimately and definitely involved.”26 In noting such similarities, however, historian D. Michael Quinn has cautioned: “The Mormon endowment or Holy Order had the specific purpose of preparing the initiate for ‘an ascent into heaven,’ whereas Freemasonry did not.”27 “Smith drew upon Masonic rites in shaping the temple endowment,” added David John Buerger; “still, the temple ceremony cannot be explained as wholesale borrowing, neither can it be dismissed as completely unrelated.”28 As Leonard pointed out, another clear contribution to the endowment narrative was Joseph’s study of the Bible and the Book of Abraham.

On May 5, the leading men of Nauvoo met again, this time to endow Joseph and Hyrum.29 All together, this elite group consisted of some of the highest ranking and most trusted leaders of the LDS church. Hyrum was assistant church president; William Law a member of the First Presidency; Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards apostles; William Marks the Nauvoo stake president; and Newel K. Whitney the Presiding Bishop. James Adams and George Miller held important positions of local leadership. By participating in these ordinances those two days in early May, the men set themselves apart from the rest of the church and formed the beginnings of the Holy Order, the men (and later women) whose initiation and special status within the church gave them access to special power.

The Anointed Quorum met on at least two subsequent occasions (and perhaps as many as four) before the end of 1842. Apparently only one other individual, Vinson Knight, was initiated that year, although this is not certain.30 Those who left accounts of the gatherings recorded that they often received instruction, discussed items of business and current interest, and engaged in prayer. For example, on June 26 and 28,1842, their talk focused on “the situation of the pine country & Lumbering business” in Wisconsin where lumber was being cut for construction of the temple. On each occasion, quorum members “united in solemn prayer,” asking, for example, for aid in dealing with legal matters that faced the church and for protection of a quorum member who was to leave the next day to bring his family to Nauvoo.31

After a few more gatherings in July and possibly September 1842, the Anointed Quorum did not meet again until May 1843. This gap may be credited to certain events that effectively placed much of church affairs, including construction of the temple, on hold. John C. Bennett, who had moved to Nauvoo in September 1840, had quickly risen to prominence in the community. Within five months he was mayor of Nauvoo, chancellor of the University of Nauvoo, and major general of the Nauvoo Legion. Two months later, he was sustained as acting counselor to Joseph Smith. But church leaders soon learned that Bennett had secretly appropriated Joseph’s new doctrine of plural marriage to his own ends. Joseph had begun revealing his plural wife doctrine to other church leaders, including members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in mid- to late 1841. Joseph branded Bennett’s activities as adultery, and Bennett left the church shortly after the organization of the Anointed Quorum in May 1842.

During the fall of 1842, Bennett published a book-length exposé of Nauvoo plural marriage, the church’s political ambitions, and the Anointed Quorum. Although many of his claims were based on hearsay, others reflected first-hand knowledge. This situation posed a dilemma for Joseph Smith, who wanted to keep knowledge of plural marriage and the Anointed Quorum private. Public discussion over Bennett’s charges of “spiritual wifery” forced Joseph to denounce Bennett’s allegations while remaining committed to the doctrines he had been teaching.32

The situation intensified as Anointed Quorum members Hyrum Smith, William Law, and William Marks, who apparently were unaware of Joseph’s polygamy, attempted to rid the church of such teachings. Joseph’s private secretary, William Clayton, recorded on May 23, 1843: “Conversed with H[eber] C. K[imball] concerning a plot that is being laid to entrap the brethren of the secret priesthood by Brother H[yrum] and others.”33 Apparently in the next day or two, Hyrum approached Brigham Young with suspicions: “I have a question to ask you,” he began. “[Y]ou and the twelve know some things that I do not know. I can understand this by the motions, and talk, and doings of Joseph, and I know there is something or other, which I do not understand, that is revealed to the Twelve. Is this so?” Young responded: “I do not know any thing about what you know, but I know what I know.” Hyrum continued: “I have mistrusted for a long time that Joseph has received a revelation that a man should have more than one wife, and he has hinted as much to me, but I would not bear it. … I am convinced that there is something that has not been told me.” Brigham then responded:

[B]rother Hyrum, I will tell you about this thing which you do not know if you will sware with an uplifted hand, before God, that you will never say another word against Joseph and his doings, and the doctrines he is preaching to the people. He replied, “I will do it with all my heart;” and he stood upon his feet, saying, “I want to know the truth, and to be saved.” And he made a covenant there, never again to bring forward one argument or use any influence against Joseph’s doings. Joseph had many wives sealed to him. I told Hyrum the whole story, and he bowed to it and wept like a child, and said, “God be praised.” He went to Joseph and told him what he had learned, and renewed his covenant with Joseph, and they went heart and hand together while they lived, and they were together when they died, and they are together now defending Israel.34

Hyrum’s conversion to plural marriage may have prompted the resurgence of the Anointed Quorum, which met for the first time in at least eight months on May 26, 1843. The interval between Clayton’s diary entry, Hyrum’s conversation with Young, and the quorum’s reunion was only three days. Clayton recorded that day (May 26) that “Hyrum received the doctrine of priesthood,” meaning that he accepted plural marriage.35

Andrew Ehat suspects that discussion of Hyrum’s conversion to plural marriage occurred outside the Anointed Quorum because William Law, who never accepted plural marriage, was present at the quorum meeting. Ehat writes: “According to his testimony, William Law never knew from Joseph Smith that plural marriage was a practice of the Church until D&C 132 was recorded. This was seven weeks after the 26 May meeting.”36 Joseph may have broached the topic indirectly. Michael Quinn, another historian of the Anointed Quorum, believes that Hyrum’s conversion prompted Joseph to re-endow everyone who had been endowed the previous year with the exception of William Marks and George Miller who were absent. Whether or not Joseph instructed quorum members in plural marriage at this time, Hyrum’s acceptance of it served to revitalize the quorum and Joseph’s plans for it. According to Quinn, Hyrum’s change of heart resulted two months later in Joseph’s decision to designate his brother as his successor. Quinn sees this May 26, 1843, meeting as a turning point for the quorum: “Hereafter events in the Quorum of Anointed and other groups associated with the secret practices of Nauvoo were often more crucial than events occurring within open, public forums.”37

On this occasion, the quorum renewed the practice of praying together in a circle, a ritual which would become a prominent part of quorum meetings and which was considered the pinnacle of the endowment ritual—the means by which the “endowment of power” was manifested.38 Some of the diary entries referring to gatherings of the Holy Order become simply, as an example, “prayer meeting at J[oseph’s].”39

Two days after May 26, another ceremony was introduced to the Anointed Quorum: marriage sealings for eternity.40 On May 28, Joseph Smith and James Adams were sealed to their spouses, Emma Hale Smith and Harriet Denton Adams. This was an important moment, as Emma Smith, much like Hyrum, had opposed her husband’s teachings on plural marriage; yet prior to her sealing, she would have had to reconcile herself to the doctrine, a requirement for all hoping to receive the ordinance.41 Unlike Hyrum’s change of heart, Emma’s was temporary.42 The next day, Hyrum, Brigham Young, and Willard Richards were sealed to their spouses.43

Four months later, on September 28, the demographics of the quorum began to change. For the first time, women were initiated as regular members, beginning with Emma, who received her endowment on or just before that date. The previous year, Joseph had organized the all-female Relief Society; using Masonic terminology, he had instructed the women in his vision of their organization to let their presidency serve as “a constitution,” proposing that “the society go into a close examination of every candidate … that the Society should grow up by degrees.” He added that God would “make of this Society a kingdom of priests as in Enoch’s day.”44

At the Anointed Quorum’s September 28, 1843, meeting, Joseph “was by common consent and unanimous voice chosen President of the quorum and anointed and ord[ained] to the highest and holiest order of the priesthood (and companion [Emma]).”45 This ordinance, called the second anointing or “fullness of the priesthood,” fulfilled the promise of the first anointing.46 According to Glen Leonard, this “crowning ordinance” was “a promise of kingly powers and of endless lives. It was the confirmation of promises that worthy men could become kings and priests and that women could become queens and priestesses in the eternal worlds.”47 “For any person to have the fullness of that priesthood,” Brigham Young explained, “he must be a king and priest. A person may have a portion of that priesthood, the same as governors or judges of England have power from the king to transact business; but that does not make them kings of England. A person may be anointed king and priest long before he receives his kingdom.”48 Such members, wrote twentieth-century apostle Bruce R. McConkie, “receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means that the Lord seals their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life. … [T]heir exaltation is assured.”49 During the ordinance, explains historian Lyndon W. Cook, a husband is “ordained a priest and anointed a king unto God,” while wives are “anointed priestesses and queens unto their husband.”50 “These ordinances,” Ehat adds,

depending on the person’s ecclesiastical position, made the recipient a “king and priest,” “in,” “in and over,” or (as only in Joseph Smith’s case) “over” the Church. Moreover, the recipient had sealed upon him the power to bind and loose on earth as Joseph explained in his definition of the fulness of the priesthood. Another blessing growing out of the promise of the sealing power was the specific blessing that whatever thing was desired, it would not be withheld when sought for in diligent prayer.51

“There is no exaltation in the kingdom of God,” concluded Church Historian and later church president Joseph Fielding Smith, “without the fulness of priesthood.”52

Throughout the remainder of 1843, the Anointed Quorum continued to expand the number of eternal sealings and second anointings. The quorum also continued to address the most important issues confronting the church. For example, on November 12, after Alpheus and Lois Cutler received their second anointing: “I [Joseph Smith] spoke of a petition to Congress, my letter to [James A.] Bennett, and intention to write a proclamation to the kings of the earth.” On December 3, with “all present except Hyrum and his wife,” William W. Phelps read Joseph’s appeal to the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont, who Joseph hoped would help bring the State of Missouri to justice for the wrongs it had committed against the Saints. Joseph’s written appeal “was dedicated by prayer after all had spoken upon it.”53 As Quinn points out, for the first time in LDS history, men and women together took part in theocratic issues during these meetings of November and December 1843. This precedent would continue.54

This is not to suggest that the Anointed Quorum had administrative or legislative authority. It is important to note that the quorum, composed of men and women, possessed authority by virtue of their anointing and endowment that was seen as spiritual in nature. For instance, the appeal to the Green Mountain Boys was made a matter of prayer. The quorum did vote on matters affecting the group, however. When William Law rejected plural marriage, he stopped attending quorum meetings. As a result, he was expelled in early 1844. Bathsheba Smith, a member of the quorum, remembered: “I was present when William Law, Joseph Smith’s counselor, was dropped from that quorum by each one present voting yes or no in his [or her] turn.”55 In summarizing the activities of the quorum, Quinn wrote: “All available evidence shows that the Holy Order’s only administrative function pertained to the conduct of the endowment ordinances from 1843 to 1845,” and he stressed that “even when male members of the Anointed Quorum conducted administrative business, they sometimes made a distinct separation between meeting in their church capacity to discuss administrative matters and meeting as the Quorum of Anointed to have a prayer circle about the matters discussed.”56

By the end of 1843, the quorum counted more than thirty-eight individuals and had met on at least thirty-two occasions, mostly to endow new members, advance others in the ordinances, and attend to the true order of prayer. Eighteen women had been initiated into the quorum and had received their endowments. Fifteen members had received the second anointing, while as many as seventeen couples had been sealed for eternity.

An important aspect of the quorum, which became more noticeable as it grew, was family relatedness (see Table 1). The quorum not only included a number of Joseph’s blood relatives and others who had married into his family, but also relatives through plural unions, which broadened Joseph’s family connections. Eventually, some thirty-nine initiates (44 percent of all quorum members) shared ties to Joseph through birth or marriage. This helped to strengthen existing bonds of loyalty and increased the trust Joseph hoped to foster and maintain within the group.

[Introduction continues for another fourteen (14) pages with tables and references.]

* * * * *


The Year

Sunday, May 1, 1842
The Grove, Nauvoo, Illinois

[Joseph Smith speaking:] There are signs in heaven, earth, and hell. The Elders must know them all to be endowed with power,to finish their work and prevent imposition. The devil knows many signs but dos not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus.No one can truly say he knows God until he has handled something, and this can only be in the Holiest of Holies.

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

Tuesday, May 3, 1842Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store
[W]ith his [Joseph Smith’s] family1

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

Passed the day mostly with my [Joseph Smith’s] family.

History of the Church, 5:1.2

… I [Lucius N. Scovil(le)]3 can testify that on the 3rd day of May, 1842, Joseph Smith the Prophet called upon five or six, viz: Shadra Roundy,4 Noah Rogers,5 Dimick B. Huntington, Daniel Cairns,6 and myself (I am not certain but that Hosea Stout7 was there also) to meet with him (the Prophet) in his business office (the upper part of his brick store). He told us that the object he had was for us to go to work and fit up that room preparatory to giving endowments to a few Elders that he might give unto them all the keys of power pertaining to the Aronic and Melchisedec Priesthoods.

We therefore went to work making the necessary preparations, and everything was arranged representing the interior of a temple as much as the circumstances would permit, he being with us dictating everything. He gave us many items that were very interesting to us, which sank with deep weight upon my mind, especially after the temple was finished at Nauvoo [Illinois], and I had received the ordinances in which I was among the first, as I had been called upon to work in the [Nauvoo] Temple as one of the hands during the winter. Some weeks previous to the dedication he told us that we should have the privilege of receiving the whole of the ordinances in due time. The history of Joseph Smith speaks for itself. But I can and do testify that I know of a surety that room was fitted up by his order which we finished in the forenoon of the said 4th of May, 1842. …

—Lucius N. Scovil[le], Letter to the Editor, “The Higher
Ordinances,” dated January [February] 2, 1884, Deseret News
February 15,1884, p. 2.

In Nauvoo [Illinois] In [18]40 or [18]41 W[ilha]m Felshaw,8 Samuel R[o]lfe,9 [and] Dimick B Huntington10 prepared the masonic lodge room in the brick store chamber for the first endewments[;] took some bars of lead to hold up the tre[e]s of the garden and a piece of carpet for a curtain[,] Joseph Smith giving directions how to prepare all things[.] the masonic lodge met nights and he [Joseph Smith] used the room days for endowments [.] one night after work was over in the lodge [and he] was through working old brother [Asahel] Perry11 the tyier sayed a brother wishes to enter let him enter[;] George A Smith was the master[.] Joseph Smith entered strode up and down the lodge saying hallahjuh halolujah hullahujah sayed h[e] I have done what king Solamon King Hiram & Hiram Abbif12 could not do[:] I have set up the Kingdom no more to be thrown down forever nor never to be given to another people … D[imick] B Huntington’s words the night of 12 of Dec[ember] 1878 S[alt] L[ake] City.

—Statement, undated, photocopy in Mary Brown Firmage
Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee
Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Wednesday, May 4, 1842
Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store

In council in the Presidents & General offices with Judge [James] Adams. Hyram Smith Newel K. Whitney. William Marks. W[illia]m Law. George Miller. Brigham Young. Heber C. Kimball & Willard Richards.13 & giving certain instructions concerning the priesthood. &c on the Aronic Priesthood to the first continuing through the day.

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

Strange Events, June [May] 1842.1 [Heber C. Kimball] was aniciated [initiated] into the ancient order[,] was washed and annointed and Sealled and ordained a Preast, and so forth in company with nine others, Viz. Jos[e]ph Smith, Hiram Smith, W[illia]m. Law, W[ilha]m. Marks, Judge [James] Adams, Brigham Young, Willard Richards, George Miller, N[ewel].K. Whitney.

—Heber C. Kimball, Diary, following entry dated October 19,
1843 (written after January 17, 1847).

4 Wednesday May 4—I [Joseph Smith] spent the day in the upper part of the Store (IE.[,] in my private officer] so called, because in that room I keep the my sacred writings, translated ancient records, and received revelations) and in my general business office, or Lodge room (IE[,] where the Masonic fraternity met occasionally for want of a better place), in council with Gen[eral] James Adams, of Springfield [Illinois], Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney, & Geo[rge]. Miller, (leave these blank) W[illia]m Marks, W[illia]m Law & & Pres[iden]ts Brigham Young Heber C. Kimball & Willard Richards,14 instructing them in the principles and order of the priesthood, attending to washings & anointings, & endowments, and the communications of keys, pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of days & all those plans & principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fulness of those blessings which has been prepared for the church of the firstborn, and come up into and abide in the presence of God in the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the Ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to thiese council brcthr [this] Council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all Saints, of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, them and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the [Nauvoo] temple and all the houses which they have been or shall hereafter be commanded of god to build, and wait their time with patience, in all meekness and faith, & perserverance unto the end. knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are always governed by the principles of Revelation.

—Rough Draft, “Manuscript History of the Church,” Willard

Richards, scribe (written ca. 1845), LDS Archives.

I [Joseph Smith] spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is in my private office (so called because in that room I keep my sacred writings, translate ancient records, and receive revelations) and in my general business office, or lodge room (that is where the Masonic fraternity meet occasionally, for want of a better place), in council with General James Adams, of Springfield [Illinois], Patriarch Hyrum Smith, Bishops Newel K. Whitney and George Miller, and President Brigham Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments, and the communications of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of the Melchisedek Priesthood, setting forth the order pertaining to the Ancient of Days, and 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 of the First Born, and come up and abide in the presence of the Eloheim in the eternal worlds. In this council was instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days. And the communications I made to this council were of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of the Saints; therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the [Nauvoo] Temple, and all the houses which they have been, or shall hereafter be, commanded of God to build; and wait their time with patience in all meekness, faith, perserverance unto the end, knowing assuredly that all these things referred to in this council are. always governed by the principles of revelation.

—History of the Church, 5:1-2.

I [Brigham Young] met with Joseph [Smith], Hyrum [Smith], Heber [C. Kimball], Willard [Richards], Bishops [Newel K.) Whitney and [George] Miller, and Gen[eral]. James Adams, in Joseph’s private office, where Joseph taught the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days, and received my washings, anointings and endowments.

Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 116.

Pres[iden]t [Brigham] Young was filled with the spirit of God & revelation & said when we got our washings and anointings under the hands of the Prophet Joseph [Smith] at Nauvoo [Illinois] we had only one room to work in with the exception of a little side room or office where we were washed and anointed had our garments placed upon us and received our New Name. and after he Joseph Smith] had performed these ceremonies[,] he gave the Key Words signs, togkens [tokens] and penalties.15 then after we went into the large room over the store in Nauvoo. Joseph divided up the room the best that he could[,] hung up the veil, marked it gave us our instructions as we passed along from one department to another giving us signs, tokens, penalties with the Key words pertaining to those signs and after we had got through Bro[ther] Joseph turned to me [Brigham Young] and said Bro[ther] Brigham this is not arranged right but we have done the best we could under the circumstances in which we placed …

—L. John Nuttall, Diary, entry dated February 7,1877,
Archives and Manuscripts, L. Tom Perry Special Collections,
Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University,
Provo, Utah.

Thursday, May 5, 1842
Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store

Judge [James] Adams left for Springfield [Illinois] the others continued in Council as the day previous & Joseph [Smith] & Hyrum [Smith]

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

General [James] Adams started for Springfield [Illinois], and the remainder of the Council of yesterday continued their meeting at the same place, and myself [Joseph Smith] and Brother Hyrum [Smith] received in turn from the others, the same that I had communicated to them the day previous.

History of the Church, 5:2-3.

I [Brigham Young] attended Council as, yesterday, and we administered to brother Joseph [Smith] the same ordinances.

Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 116.

Many of the Apostles and Elders having returned from England, Joseph [Smith] washed and anointed as Kings and Priests to God, and over the House of Israel, the following named persons, as he said he was commanded of God, viz: James Adams (of Springfield [Illinois]), William Law, William Marks, Willard Richards, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Newel K. Whitney, Hyrum Smith and myself [George Miller]; and conferred on us Patriarchal Priesthood. This took place on the 5th and 6th [sic; 4th and 5th] of May, 1842.

—George Miller, Autobiography, in “De Tal Palo Tal Astilla,”
compiled by H. W. Mills, Annual Publications, Historical Society of
Southern California
10 (1917), Part 3:120-21.

Brother Joseph [Smith] feels as well as I [Heber C. Kimball] Ever see him. one reason is he has got a Small company, that he feels safe in thare ha[n]ds. and that is not all[,] he can open his bosom to[o] and feel him Self safe[.] I wish you was here so as to see and hear fore your Self. we have received some pressious things through the Prophet [Joseph Smith] on the preasthood that would caus your Soul to rejoice [.] I can not give them to you on paper fore they are not to be riten. So you must come and get them fore your Self …. Thare is a similarity ofpreast Hood in masonary.16 Bro[ther] Joseph ses masonary was taken from preasthood but has become degenerated but menny things are perfect.17

—Heber C. Kimball, Letter to Parley and Mary Ann Pratt,
dated June 17,1842, LDS Archives.

Sunday, June 26, 1842
Joseph Smith’s Homestead

Joseph [Smith] attended meeting, & council at his house at 6 o clock P.M. present Hyrum Smith. Geo[rge] Miller N[ewel]. K. Whitney. W[illia]m Marks. Brigham Young. Heber C. Kimball. & Willard Richards. To take into consideration the situation of the pine country & Lumbering business and other subjects of importance in the church; after consulation thereon the Brethren united in Solemn prayer that God would make known his will concerning the pine country, & that he would deliver his anointed, his people from all the evil designs of [Missouri] Governor [Lilburn W.] Boggs,18 & the powers of the state of Missouri, & of [Illinois] Governor [Thomas] Carlin.19 & the authorites of Illinois, & of all presidents, governors. Judges Legislators & all in authority, and of John C. Bennett.20 & all mobs & evil designing persons.—so that his people might continue in peace & build up the city of Nauvoo [Illinois]. & that his chosen might be blessed & live to man’s appointed age. & that their households. & the household of faith might, continually be blessed with the fost[er]ing care of heaven.—& enjoy the good things of the earth abundantly.—adjourned to Monday evening[.]

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

I [Joseph Smith] attended meeting and council at my house at six o’clock p.m.; present Hyrum Smith, George Miller, Newel K. Whitney, William Marks, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and Willard Richards, to take into consideration the situation of the Pine country, and lumbering business, and other subjects of importance to the Church; after consultation thereon the brethren united in solemn prayer that God would make known His will concerning the Pine country, and that He would deliver His anointed, His people, from all the evil designs of Governor [Lilburn W.] Boggs, and the powers of the state of Missouri, and of Governor [Thomas] Carlin and the authorities of Illinois, and of all Presidents, Governors, Judges, Legislators, and all in authority, and of John C. Bennett, and all mobs and evil designing persons, so that His people might continue in peace and build up the city of Nauvoo [Illinois], and that His chosen might be blessed and live to man’s appointed age, and that their households, and the household of faith might continually be blest with the fostering care of heaven, and enjoy the good things of the earth abundantly. Adjourned to Monday evening.

History of the Church, 5:44-45.

Six, p.m., I [Brigham Young] attended Council at brother Joseph [Smith]’s, to take into consideration the situation of the pine country and lumbering business, and other subjects of importance to the Church; after which we spent a season in prayer that the Lord would deliver us from the power of our enemies, and provide means for us to build houses as he had commanded his people.

Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 118.

Monday June 27, 1842
Joseph Smith’s Homestead

When the council assembled in the evening Brothers. [Edward] Hunter.21 [Charles or James] Ivins22 [Edwin D.] Wooley.23 [Robert] Pierce24 & others being present, the adjourned council was postponed till Tuesday evening[.]25

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

When the council assembled in the evening, Brothers [Edward] Hunter, [Charles or James] Ivins, [Edwin D.] Woolley, [Robert] Pierce and others being present, the adjourned council was postponed till Tuesday evening …

History of the Church, 5:4-5.

Tuesday June 28, 1842
Joseph Smith’s Homestead

[T]he adjourned council of Sunday evening met at the upper Room at Joseph [Smith’]s & were agreed that a reinforcement go immediately to the pine country Led by Bro[ther] Ezra Chase.26 & after uniting in Solemn prayer, to God. for a blessing on themselves & famiilies & the church in general. & for the building up of the [Nauvoo] Temple. & Nauvoo House. & city: for deliverance from their enemies. & the spread of the work of Righteousness: & that Bro[ther] [Willard] Richards (who was expecting to go east tomorrow for his family,) that he might have a prosperous Journey, have power of [and?] over the winds & elements, & all opposition & dangers, his life & health be preserved & be speedily returned to this place with his family, that their lives & he[a]lth might be preserved & that they might come up in peace to this place. & that Bro[ther] Richards might be prospered according to the desire of his heart in all things in relation to his household. & the church. & that the spirit of God might rest upon him continually so that he may act according to the wisdom of heaven, continually, the council disposed.

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

The adjourned council of Sunday evening met in my [Joseph Smith’s] upper room, and were agreed that a reinforcement go immediately to the Pine country, led by Brother Ezra Chase. The council dispersed after uniting in solemn prayer to God for a blessing on themselves and families, and the Church in general, and for the building up of the [Nauvoo] Temple and Nauvoo House and city; for deliverance from their enemies, and the spread of the word of righteousness; and that Brother [Willard] Richards (who was expected to go East tomorrow for his family) might have a prosperous journey, have power over the winds and elements, and all opposition and dangers, his life and health be preserved, and be speedily returned to this place with his family, that their lives and health might be preserved, and that they might come up in peace to this place, and that Brother Richards might be prospered according to the desire of his heart, in all things in relation to his household, and the Church, and that the Spirit of God might rest upon him continually, so that he may act according to the wisdom of heaven.27

—History of the Church, 5:46.

Wednesday, September 21, 1842
Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store
In the large room over the store.28

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”

In the large room over the store.

—History of the Church, 5:165.

Monday, September 26, 1842
Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store In the large room over the Store.29

—Joseph Smith, Diary, in “Book of the Law of the Lord.”



[to Preface]

1. In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 2.

2. Sunstone, July 1985. See also Margaret Toscano’s article, “Put on Your Strength, O Daughters of Zion: Claiming Priesthood and Knowing the Mother,” in Maxine Hanks, ed., Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992), and Margaret and Paul Toscano, Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990), chaps. 16 and 17.

3. Quinn’s article appeared in Hanks, Women and Authority.4. See Gregory A. Prince, Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), 201-10.

[to Editor’s Introduction]

1. Qtd. in Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1985), 186.

2. Known members included Zebedee Coltrin, Levi Hancock, Martin Harris, Solomon Humphrey, Orson Hyde, Lyman Johnson, John Murdock, Orson Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith Sr., Samuel H. Smith, Sylvester Smith, William Smith, Ezra Thayer, Newel K. Whitney, and Frederick G. Williams (see Cook, Revelations of the Prophet, 186-87).

3. Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record: Minutes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1844 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 20-21. See also D&C 68:2, 12.

4. Joseph Smith Jr. et al., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Period I. History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, by Himself, 6 vols., ed. B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: Published by the Church/Deseret Book, 1902-12), 2:309; a seventh volume was published in 1932 (hereafter History of the Church).

5. See David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994), 11-20.

6. Roger Orton, Letter to “Deer Father,” Jan. 1836, qtd. in Gregory A. Prince, Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), 130.

7. Scott G. Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 9 Vols. (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1984), 1:128-29.

8. Buerger, Mysteries of Godliness, 34. For the Mormon removal from Kirtland, Ohio, see Davis Bitton, “The Waning of Mormon Kirtland,” BYU Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 455-64, and Milton V. Backman Jr., The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830-1838 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 342-67.

9. See Glen M. Leonard, Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, a People of Promise (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2002), 235-43.

10. For a study of this ordinance, see M. Guy Bishop, ‘”What Has Become of Our Fathers?’ Baptism for the Dead in Nauvoo,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 23 (Summer 1990): 85-97. See also Susan Easton Black and Harvey Bischoff Black, eds., Annotated Record of Baptisms for the Dead, 1840-1845, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, 7 vols. (Provo, Utah: Center for Family History and Genealogy, 2002).

11. See William Morgan, Illustrations of Freemasonry (Baltavia, NY: Author, 1826).

12. There are many studies dealing with Freemasonry, both generally and in connection with Mormonism. See, e.g., Robert F. Gould, Gould’s History of Freemasonry throughout the World, 6 vols. (New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 1936); Douglas Knoop and G. P. Jones, The Genesis of Freemasonry: An Account of the Rise and Development of Freemasonry in Its Operative, Accepted, and Early Speculative Phases (Manchester, Eng.: University of Manchester Press, 1947); John Hamill, The Craft: A History of English Freemasonry (Wellingborough, Eng.: Crucible, 1986); Roy A Wells, The Rise and Development of Organized Freemasonry (London: Lewis Masonic, 1986); and Kent Logan Walgren, Freemasonry, Anti-Masonry, and Illuminism in the United States, 1734-1850: A Bibliography, 2 vols. (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press). For studies on Mormonism and Masonry, see Kenneth W Godfrey, “Joseph Smith and the Masons,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 64 (Spring 1971): 79-90; Reed C. Durham Jr., “Is There No Help for the Widow’s Son?” typescript 1974, privately circulated; Mervin B. Hogan, Mormonism and Freemasonry: The Illinois Episode, in Little Masonic Library, 2:267-327 (Richmond, VA: Macoy Publishing & Masonic Supply Co., 1977); Robin L. Carr, Freemasonry in Nauvoo, 1839-1846 (Bloomington, IL: Masonic Book Club and the Illinois Lodge of Research, 1989); and especially Michael W Homer, ‘”Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry’: The Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 27 (Fall 1994): 1-113.

13. Homer, “Similarity of Priesthood,” 185.

14. According to Orson Hyde, Joseph Smith said prior to December 1843 that “there is something going to happen; I don’t know what it is, but the Lord bids me to hasten and give you your endowment before the temple is finished” (Times and Seasons 5:651).

15. In the Deseret News Semi-Weekly, Feb. 15, 1884, 2.

16. Robert T. Bray, Archeological Investigations at the Joseph Smith Red Brick Store (Columbia: University of Missouri, 1973), 73-74, qtd. in Roger D. Launius and F. Mark McKiernan, Joseph Smith, Jr.’s Red Brick Store (Macomb: Western Illinois University, 1985), 28.

17. Andrew F. Ehat, “Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Succession Question,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1982, 27. Ehat’s study is essential reading for anyone interested in the Nauvoo endowment. Also insightful are Lisle G. Brown, “Temple Ordinances as Administered in Nauvoo, Illinois, 1840-1846,” The Research Report 1 (Mar./Apr. 1990): 1-21; and Lisle G. Brown, “The Ordinances of Godliness: A Paradigm of Mormon Sacerdotal Ceremonies,” The Research Report 1 (Nov/Dec. 1989): 1-15.

18. History of the Church, 5:2.

19. Leonard, Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, 258-59.

20. L. John Nuttall, Diary, Feb. 7, 1877, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

21. Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool, Eng.: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1855-86), 2:31.

22. Ehat, “Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 42-43.

23. Heber C. Kimball, Letter to Parley and Mary Ann Pratt, June 17, 1842, Archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah (hereafter LDS Archives). An additional possible Masonic connection is the manner in which the ordinances were conferred. “It may not be coincidental that the Holy Order consisted of nine men,” writes Michael Homer in his study of Mormonism and Masonry. “A Royal Arch Chapter, also known as the Holy Order of the Royal Arch, consists of at least nine Master Masons, and was the next logical step on Freemasonry for those who had advanced to the third degree” (“Similarity of Priesthood,” 38).

24. See Buerger, Mysteries of Godliness, 53-55.25.

25. The view that Masonry originated during the construction of King Solomon’s temple has been largely abandoned by modern scholars, and most Mormons today do not believe that the divinity of the endowment depends on the ancient origins of Masonry. As LDS sociologist Armand L. Mauss notes: “That the Masonic ceremony itself changed and evolved even in recent centuries does not necessarily invalidate Joseph Smith’s claim that he was restoring, by revelation, an even more ancient temple ceremony to which the Masonic one bore certain resemblances. On the other hand, neither does that claim constitute a declaration of the total independence of the Mormon temple ceremony from any external cultural influences, including Masonry. … Since prophets and religions always arise and are nurtured within a given cultural context, itself evolving, it should not be difficult to understand why even the most original revelations have to be expressed in the idioms of the culture and biography of the revelator” (“Culture, Charisma, and Change: Reflections on Mormon Temple Worship,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20 [Winter 1987]: 79-80).

26. Mervin B. Hogan, Freemasonry and Mormon Ritual (Salt Lake City: Author, 1991), 22.

27. D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1994), 115.

28. Buerger, Mysteries of Godliness, 56. See also Matthew B. Brown, The Gate of Heaven: Insights on the Doctrines and Symbols of the Temple (American Fork, UT: Covenant, 1999), 299-311, “Appendix: The LDS Temple and Freemasonry.”

29. Ehat notes the fact that this order of receiving the endowment had precedent in previously revealed ordinances: “This procedure for first conferring priesthood power is reminiscent of 1829 when Joseph Smith received the Aaronic and then the Melchizedek Priesthood. After he and Oliver Cowdery, his assistant in the Book of Mormon translation, had received these two different ordinations from heavenly messengers, … Joseph Smith was instructed to administer the ordinances to Oliver Cowdery, and then Oliver Cowdery was in turn instructed to administer the ordinances to Joseph Smith. These experiences established in Mormon theology a rule for the only exception to the general rule that one cannot administer an ordinance one has not received” (“Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 25-26).

30. The source for Vinson Knight’s initiation is John C. Bennett. In his exposé of Mormonism, Bennett cited a letter he received from George W. Robinson on August 8, 1842, with the claim. Knight died days earlier on July 31, 1842, so his initiation would have occurred sometime between May 6 and his death. Although not mentioned in any descriptions of quorum meetings, Knight is included in the list of members in this book. His status as bishop of Nauvoo’s Lower Ward, as well as his being an early polygamist, make him a probable candidate. For Bennett’s reference to Knight, see Bennett, A History of the Saints; or, An Exposé of Joe Smith and Mormonism (Boston: Leland & Whiting, 1842), 247-48.

31. See Joseph Smith, Diary (kept by William Clayton), in “Book of the Law of the Lord,” June 26 and 28, 1842, in The Papers of Joseph Smith, Volume 2: Journal, 1832-1842, ed. Dean C. Jessee (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992).

32. For a study of plural marriage during Joseph Smith’s lifetime, see George D. Smith, “Nauvoo Roots of Polygamy, 1841-1846: A Preliminary Demographic Report,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 27 (Spring 1994): 1-72. Other historical studies through the Utah period are Richard S. Van Wagoner, Mormon Polygamy: A History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1986), and Kathryn M. Daynes, More Wives than One: Transformation of the Mormon Marriage System, 1840-1910 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002). For Joseph’s plural marriages, see Todd M. Compton, In Sacred Loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997).

33. George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1991), 105.

34. Brigham Young, qtd. in Ehat, “Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 57-59.

35. Smith, Intimate Chronicle, 106.

36. Ehat, “Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 62.

37. Quinn, Origins, 54-55.

38. See D. Michael Quinn, “Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles,” BYU Studies 19 (Fall 1978): 79-105.

39. Willard Richards, Diary, Nov. 12,1843, LDS Archives.

40. Joseph Smith had actually begun marriage sealings for eternity in April 1841 when he married his first documented plural wife, Louisa Beaman. See Gary James Bergera, “The Earliest Eternal Sealings for Civilly Married Couples Living and Dead,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 35 (Fall 2002): 41-66.

41. See Ehat, “Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 74-75.

42. Emma Smith accepted plural marriage after being told she could select her husband’s wives. Shortly before her sealing to Joseph, she had chosen sisters Emily and Eliza Partridge and Sarah and Maria Lawrence as Joseph’s wives. Emma was not aware that Joseph had already married at least sixteen women, including the Partridge sisters, two months earlier. By the time Joseph dictated the revelation sanctioning polygamy (D&C 132) in July 1843, Emma had a change of heart. Ironically, it was Hyrum Smith who read the revelation to her, after which he reported to Joseph: “I have never received a more severe talking to in my life. Emma is very bitter and full of resentment and anger” (qtd. in Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith [Garden City, NY: Doubleday 1984], 142-52).

43. 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, 1986), 381.

44. Nauvoo Female Relief Society, Minutes, Mar. 17, 1842, qtd. in Buerger, Mysteries of Godliness, 51 (Buerger’s emphasis). These allusions to Masonry prompted Bennett to accuse Joseph of establishing a lodge of female Masonry. See the reference in Quinn, “Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles,” 85-86.

45. See Faulring, American Prophet’s Record, 416.

46. For more, see David John Buerger, ‘”The Fulness of the Priesthood’: The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 16 (Spring 1983): 10-44.

47. Leonard, Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, 260-61.

48. History of the Church, 5:527.

49. Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 109-10.

50. Lyndon W. Cook, Joseph C. Kingsbury: A Biography (Provo: Grandin Book Co., 1985), 94.

51. Ehat, “Introduction of Temple Ordinances” 95-96.

52. In Bruce R. McConkie, comp., Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1956), 3:132.

53. Faulring, American Prophet’s Record, 429-30, emphasis added.

54. Quinn, Origins, 116.

55. Bathsheba W. Smith, “Recollections of Joseph Smith,” Juvenile Instructor 27 (June 1, 1892): 345.

56. Quinn, “Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles,” 90-91.

[to chapter 1]

1. While this uncharacteristically brief entry is silent on the preparations underway at the Red Brick Store, the scribe may have been unaware of the purpose of the renovation or decided not to report on it.

2. The published History of the Church is preferred when it does not differ significantly from its manuscript versions.

3. Lucius Nelson Scovil[le] (1806-89) was junior warden (or junior assistant to the worshipful master) of Nauvoo’s Masonic lodge. He served a mission to Britain in 1846 and later served in the Eastern States. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

4. Shadrack Roundy (1788-1872) converted to Mormonism in 1831. He was a member of the Nauvoo Legion beginning in 1841 and later served as a policeman and bodyguard to Joseph Smith. He entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, where served on the Salt Lake High Council (1847-48) and later as bishop of the Salt Lake City 16th Ward (1849-56). He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

5. Noah Rogers (1797-1846) was baptized into the LDS church in 1837 and served a mission to Vermont with Addison Pratt. He was also a missionary to Tahiti and president of the Society Islands Mission from 1844 to 1845. He died while traveling west with the Saints. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

6. Daniel Cam (1802-72) resided in Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became bishop of the first German-speaking branch of the LDS church. In 1851 he was called as a mission president in Germany. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

7. Hosea Stout (1810-89) fought in the Battle of Crooked River in Ray County, Missouri (October 1838), and after settling with the LDS church in Nauvoo, Illinois, was clerk of the high council and chief of police. He occupied the latter position again in Winter Quarters and later in the Salt Lake Valley. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

8. William Felshaw (1800-67) was a member of Nauvoo’s Masonic lodge, a member of Nauvoo’s 4th Ward, and an early Mormon polygamist. He traveled with his family to Salt Lake City in 1851 and settled in Fillmore, Utah. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

9. Samuel Rolfe (1794-1867) was a founding member of Nauvoo’s Masonic lodge. He later helped to settle Lehi, Utah. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

10. Dimick (also Dimmock) Baker Huntington (1808-79) was official tyler (doorkeeper) of Nauvoo’s Masonic lodge and brother to two of Joseph Smith’s plural wives: Zina D. H. Jacobs (m. October 27, 1841) and Prescendia L. H. Buell (m. Dec. 11, 1841). He served as a missionary to Native American tribes tor forty years. After the Latter-day Saints moved west, he was one of the first settlers in Provo, Utah. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

11. Asahel Perry (1784-1869) was a member of Nauvoo’s Masonic lodge. He subsequently settled in Springville, Utah. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

12. According to Masonic teachings, Hiram Abiff, also known as the widow’s son, was the master builder of King Solomon’s temple. Because he was murdered for refusing to reveal the secret with which he had been entrusted, his death is commemorated in various Masonic rituals.

13. Of the ten men present, only William Law and William Marks never accepted plural marriage. “About 4 years ago next May,” Heber C. Kimball stated in December 1845, “nine [actually ten] persons were admitted in to the Holy order 5 are now living—B [righam]. Young—W[illard]. Richards George Miller—N[ewel]. K. Whitney & H[eber], C. Kimball two [actually three] are dead [i.e., James Adams, Hyrum Smith, and Joseph Smith], and two are worse then dead [i.e., William Law and William Marks]” (William Clayton, Diary, Kept for Heber C. Kimball, Dec. 21, 1845).

14. By the time this narrative was composed, both William Law and William Marks had left the LDS church.

15. This refers to several specific elements of the endowment ceremony. Similarities between the endowment and early nineteenth-century Masonic ritual are most evident in these symbols. The particulars of these elements were viewed as especially sacred by endowment initiates.

16. Willard Richards wrote some three months earlier: “MARCH 15th. This day the Masonic lodge of Nauvoo was installed on the hill near the Temple, in the grove. Thousands of people present. [March] 16th President Joseph [Smith] and Sidney [Rigdon] are initiated by Grand Master Jonas, of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Masonry had its origin in the Priesthood. A hint to the wise i[s] sufficient” (Letter to Levi Richards, dated March 7,1842, but reporting events after that date, in Joseph Grant Stevenson, ed., Richards Family History [Provo, UT: Stevenson’s Genealogical Center, 1991], 3:90, courtesy H. Michael Marquardt).

17. “Many have joined the masonic Institution,” recorded Joseph Fielding, who subsequently joined the Quorum of the Anointed, and “this seems to have been a Stepping Stone or Preparation for something else, the true Origin of Masonry, this I have also seen and rejoice in it” (Diary, Dec. 1843, LDS Archives). One of Joseph’s confidants, Benjamin F. Johnson, added that “[h]e [Joseph Smith] told me Freemasonry, as at present, was the apostate endowments” (My Life’s Review: Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Johnson [Provo: Grandin Book, 1997; 1st ed., 1947], p. 85). “Those who were recipients of these ordinances,” explains Ehat (“Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 24-25), “were aware that these ordinances resembled non-Mormon rituals. In fact, the resemblance to Freemasonry was one case of which Joseph Smith made particular mention. Joseph Smith taught that these ordinances would serve as a standard by which the subcelestial impurities of surviving remnants of earlier Gospel dispensations could be judged. To quorum members, therefore, parallels (such as Freemasonry) provided confirmation of the breadth of the restoration impulse and was an evidence of Joseph Smith’s divine calling as a prophet. The endowment was a new and everlasting way of entering covenants with God, a new revelation renewing an ancient order of priesthood covenants and power.” David John Buerger agreed that “[w]hile it is uncertain exactly why Freemasonry was initially embraced, its activities undoubtedly provided fraternal benefits and its ceremonies clearly provided part of the specific wording for the Nauvoo temple endowment, although most nineteenth-century Masonic rituals have no resemblance to early temple ceremonies. It is significant that, following conferral of endowment rites on Nauvoo adults and their subsequent relocation to Utah, Masonry never regained the prominence among Mormons it received in Nauvoo” (The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship [San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994], 58).

18. Lilburn W. Boggs (1796-1860) was fifth governor of Missouri (1837-41). In 1838 he expelled the Mormons from. Missouri and issued an extermination order against them. In 1842 he was shot and wounded at home by an unknown assailant. Orrin Porter Rockwell was charged with the crime, with Joseph Smith as an accessory. Rockwell was jailed for a time and released. Four years later Boggs left Missouri and settled in California.

19. Thomas Carlin (1789-1852) served as governor of Illinois (1838-42) during the earliest years of the Latter-day Saint sojourn in Nauvoo.

20. John Cook Bennett (1804-67) held several professorships and helped to found a medical college at Willoughby University in 1834 before joining the Mormons in Nauvoo six years later. In 1841 he was elected mayor of Nauvoo, appointed acting Assistant President to Joseph Smith, chancellor of the University of Nauvoo, and major general of the Nauvoo Legion. In 1842 he was charged with adultery, withdrew from the church, and became disaffected from Joseph Smith. That same year he published an attack on Mormonism tided History of the Saints; or, An Expose of Joe Smith and Mormonism. For a time he affiliated with James J. Strang, one of several would-be successors to Joseph Smith. Bennett died in Iowa. For more, see Andrew F. Smith, Saintly Scoundrel: The Life and Times of Dr. John Cook Bennett (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997).

21. Edward Hunter (1793-1883), converted to Mormonism in 1840 and was a member of the Nauvoo City Council that closed down the Nauvoo Expositor in early June 1844. He served as a bishop in Nauvoo, Winter Quarters, and Salt Lake City. In 1851 he was appointed third Presiding Bishop of the LDS church and remained in office until 1883, also serving as a counselor to Brigham Young for one year. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

22. James Ivins (1797-1877) was born in New Jersey and became a prominent land owner in Nauvoo. Charles Ivins (1799-1875) was excommunicated from the LDS church for apostasy in May 1844. The previous month, he was appointed bishop of a splinter group established by William Law, Joseph Smith’s former counselor. According to Willard Richards, Ivins “aided and abetted” the mob that killed Joseph and Hyrum Smith in late June 1844 (History of the Church, 7:146). Neither Ivins was ever a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

23. Edwin D. Woolley (1807-81) converted to the LDS church in 1837 and was an early settler in Nauvoo. He arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1848 and for several years served as business manager to Brigham Young. He was also a member of the Utah territorial legislature and Salt Lake County recorder. He helped organize the Deseret Telegraph Company and served as bishop of the Salt Lake City 13th Ward from 1853 until his death. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

24. Robert Pierce (1797-1884) resided in the Nauvoo 4th Ward. He was never a member of the Quorum of the Anointed.

25. Quinn (Origins, 493) does not believe this was a meeting of the Quorum of the Anointed since Edward Hunter, Edwin D. Woolley, Charles or James Ivins, and Robert Pierce had not yet been initiated. Ehat (“Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 52) feels that the quorum intended to meet but abandoned its plans when the above uninitiated men showed up at the same time.

26. Ezra Chase (1796-1873) converted to the LDS church in 1839 and was later a member of the Nauvoo 3rd Ward. He was called in July 1843 as one of several missionaries to preach throughout Illinois in an attempt to “disabuse the public mind over my [Joseph Smith’s] arrest” on charges of complicity in the attempted assassination of Lilburn W. Boggs (History of the Church, 5:484-85). He was endowed in the Nauvoo temple on December 15,1845, and later came to Utah with Lorenzo Snow’s company of immigrants.

27. “By July 1842,” notes Ehat (“Introduction of Temple Ordinances,” 53-54), “while the other members of the [Anointed] Quorum had accepted eternal and plural marriage, Hyrum Smith, William [Smith,] and William Marks had resisted Joseph Smith’s effort to broach the subject with them. Their crusade against the embarrassing activities of [John C.] Bennett narrowed their perspective, and Joseph Smith soon learned that he should not try then to convert them. This helps explain why in the year after Joseph Smith first gave these endowment blessings to the Quorum he did not invite others to become members of the group, did not yet invite the wives of these men to receive these ordinances, and did not administer any of the more advanced ordinances. The reason Joseph Smith held back can only be understood by appreciating the indirect effect Bennett had on the Quorum. This story is the key to why the Quorum for a year remained on such a plateau.”

28. This may or may not imply a meeting of the Quorum of the Anointed.

29. This may or may not imply a meeting of the Quorum of the Anointed.