The Independence Temple of Zion

© 1997 by H. Michael Marquardt. All rights reserved.

The Puritans who settled in America had a feeling of being the Chosen People, living in a land of promise as a new Israel. The idea of a western New Jerusalem was mentioned in the last 17th century by Samuel Sewall when he asked "why the Heart of America may not be the seat of the New Jerusalem." Cotton Mather thought that the New Jerusalem would be westward, beyond the confines of New England.1

While some looked for a New Jerusalem in the state of New York, others spiritualized the idea and saw the cause of Zion in the revivals of the 1820s. Such expressions as "growing zeal for the prosperity of Zion," "enquiring the way to Zion" and "wishes well to the cause of Zion" were expressions of the revival movement and referred to the building up of the church.2

Out of this background came the Book of Mormon. According to this record Jesus Christ gave instructions to the forefathers of the American Indians concerning the New Jerusalem to be built on this land. The Gentiles [who believe] "shall assist my people, the rem[n]ant of Jacob [Indians]; and also, as many of the house of Israel as shall come, that they may build a city, which shall be called the New Jerusalem."3

The development of this idea in the Book of Mormon occurs in the books of 3 Nephi and Ether. This land [of America] shall be a New Jerusalem with Jesus Christ being in the midst of the Indian people.4 A city would be built "called the New Jerusalem" and this would become an earthly city that the Gentiles would assist the Indians to build.5

In the book of Ether it is explained that America "became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord."6

and that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of Heaven, and the Holy Sanctuary of the Lord. Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land . . . wherefore the remnant of the house of Joseph [Indians] shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old7

After the earth passes away "there shall be a new heaven and a new earth" and then the New Jerusalem comes down out of heaven.8 In Ether the New Jerusalem becomes identifiable with the heavenly city of Revelation chapter 21 coming down "out of heaven."9

In September 1830, five months after Joseph Smith, Jr. organized the restoration Church of Christ, one of the eight witnesses to the Book of Mormon, a man named Hiram Page claimed to receive revelations "concerning the upbuilding of Zion" and other matters through a certain peepstone.10 "Finding, however, that many especially the Whitmer family and Oliver Cowdery were believing much in the things set forth by this stone" Joseph Smith inquired of God concerning this matter and Page was told that what had been written was not of him.11 In a revelation originating at Fayette, New York, Oliver Cowdery, the second elder next to Joseph Smith, was called to "go unto the Lamanites [Indians] and preach" the gospel, and cause the church to be established among them.12 Concerning the city called New Jerusalem they were told that "it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold I say unto you, that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites."13

Later three others (including Peter Whitmer, Jr.) were called to accompany Oliver Cowdery on this mission. Cowdery himself stated that he was going "to rear up a pilar as a witness to where the Temple of God shall be built, in the glorious New-Jerusalem."14

While the mission to the Indians was in progress Joseph Smith continued his revision of the Bible working on the book of Genesis. During the month of December 1830 he dictated what was called the "Prophecy of Enoch" which contained a story about another holy city (know as the city of Enoch) build in Old Testament times and taken from the earth into heaven. The city was described in this way:

And the Lord called his people, Zion, because they were of one heart and of one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there were no poor among them. And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days, that he built a city that was called the city of Holiness, even Zion.15

Enoch beheld in vision that "Zion in [the] process of time was taken up into heaven." The elect were to be gathered "from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare; an holy city, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion; a New Jerusalem."16 In addition, the promise was made that in the last days Enoch's city of Zion "should again come on the earth."17

After receiving a letter from Oliver Cowdery, Joseph received in March 1831 another revelation which instructed church members to gather their riches (money) so they could purchase an inheritance that would be designated later:

it shall be called the New Jerusalem, a land of peace, a city of refuge, a lace of safety for the saints of the most high God . . . And it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gathered out from among all nations, and shall come to Zion singing, with songs of everlasting joy.18

Following a church conference in June 1831 at Kirtland, Ohio, certain men were instructed to convene the next conference in Missouri where missionaries to the Indians had gone. Missouri was "the land which I will consecrate unto my people, which are a remnant of Jacob [Indians], and them who are heirs according to the covenant. . . . if ye are faithful, ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, which is now the land of your enemies. But behold I the Lord will hasten the city in its time."19

The region westward unto the "borders of the Lamanites" was where the saints were to obtain inheritance and the physical location of their city of Zion -- the New Jerusalem.20

When Joseph Smith arrived at Independence he had been traveling for almost a month. Soon after, on 20 July 1831, Joseph had the following revelation written concerning the location of the temple to be built in the New Jerusalem:

the land of Missouri which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints Wherefore this is the land of promise and the place for the city of Zion yea and thus saith the Lord your God if ye will receive wisdom behold the place which is called Independence is the center place and the spot for the temple is lying westward upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse Wherefore it is wisdom that the Land should be purchased by the saints and also every tract lying westward even unto the line run[n]ing directly between Jew [Native Americans] and Gentile and also every tract bordering by the prairies inasmuch as my disciples are enabled to buy lands behold this is wisdom that they may obtain it for an everlasting inheritance21

In Oliver Cowdery's account of the dedication ceremony for the place where the temple was to be built he recorded:

The day following [3 August 1831] eight Elders viz. Joseph Smith Jr., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Frederick G. Williams, Wm. W. Phelps, Martin Harris, and Joseph Coe. assembled together where the temple is to be erected. Sidney Rigdon dedicated the ground where the city is to Stand: and Joseph Smith Jr. laid a stone at the North east corner of the contemplated Temple in the name of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth. After all present had rendered thanks to the great ruler of the universe. Sidney Rigdon pronounced this Spot of ground wholy [sic] dedicated unto the Lord forever: Amen.22

John Whitmer mentioned that the stone laid was the "cornerstone of the Temple."23

After Joseph Smith and others returned to Kirtland, Bishop Edward Partridge made a purchase of land in the area near Independence including the spot where the contemplated temple was to be erected. This purchase was made on 19 December 1831 and included a little over 63 acres.24

While Joseph Smith and six elders gathered together in Kirtland he received a revelation concerning the gathering of the saints:

to stand upon mount Zion which shall be called the city New Jerusalem, which city shall be built begin[n]ing at the Temple lot which is appointed by the finger of the Lord in the western boundaries of the State of Misso[uri] and dedicated by the hand of Joseph [Smith, Jr.] and others with whom the Lord was well pleased, verily this is the word of the Lord that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gath[e]ring of the saints begin[n]ing at this place, even the place of the Temple, which Temple shall be reared in this generation, for verely this generation shall not pass away untill an house shalt be built unto the Lord and a cloud shall rest upon it . . . which house shalt be built unto the Lord in this generation upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.25

The saints in Missouri were not living the commandments that has been given through Joseph Smith. Joseph rebuked them stating: "if Zion will not purify herself so as to be approved of in all things in his sight he will seek another people."26

During this period the thought was that only one temple would be built at the center place. But in June 1833 a draft containing a drawn plat of the city of Zion with explanations regarding the city center and plans for a number of houses called temples was sent to Missouri. This included a draft for "the house of the Lord which is to be built first in Zion."27 On the plat were marked numbers for 24 "temples," that were to be twenty-four buildings for the purpose of "houses of worship" and "schools." The twenty-four temples were divided into two groups, one set of twelve temples were for the high priesthood and the second group of twelve temples were for the lesser priesthood. The draft of the temple to be built for the presidency of the high priesthood was in all essential features like what is known as the Kirtland Temple. It was to have two meeting rooms with pulpits at each end. Veils could be lowered whenever necessary and the congregation could view each series of pulpits by means of reversible seating just like the temple commanded to be built in Kirtland.28

In the summer of 1833 a revelation was given which says in part:

Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that a house should be built unto me in the land of Zion, like unto the pattern which I have given you. Yea, let it be built speedily, by the tithing of my people. . . . for a place of instruction for all those who are called to the work of the ministry in all their several callings and offices29

The saints were soon persecuted in Independence and were asked to leave Jackson County. Oliver Cowdery hurried to Kirtland arriving on 9 August 1833. He together with Frederick G. Williams, made corrections of the city plat of Zion and also the plan for the "house for the presidency" which was to be "built first in Zion."30 This temple was to be ten feet longer that the previous draft made. Instead of five side windows for each story on the two sides of the building, these new plans added four more windows which made nine. The new city of Zion plat was drawn by F. G. Williams and the area for the storehouse in the earlier draft was removed, the lots for homes made smaller, changes in the location of the twelve temples for the lesser priesthood were made and street names added to the plat. The five named streets were: Zion, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Chapel and Kirtland streets.31

After the expulsion of the saints from Jackson County in November 1833 and later from the state of Missouri the question dealing with selling lands which were owned in Jackson County became very important for the faith of the dispersed saints. In March 1839 Joseph Smith "counseled to sell all the land in Jackson county, and all other lands in the state whatsoever."32

When the saints settled in their new town of Nauvoo, Illinois, further instructions dealing with the building of this new city were recorded as a revelation to the church. At the April 1841 conference the revelation was read by John C. Bennett from the manuscript volume "Book of the Law of the Lord." Concerning those who hinder the saints from performing their work God would "require that work no more" but accept their offering.33 As it related to the work that was commanded prior to the establishment of the Nauvoo Stake of Zion the revelation stated: ". . . I have accepted the offering of those men who I commanded to build up a city and a house unto my name in Jackson county, Missouri . . ."34

After the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, president of the council of Twelve Apostles, spoke in a conference on 6 April 1845:

And when we get into Jackson county to walk in the courts of that house, we can say we built this temple: for as the Lord lives we will build up Jackson county in this generation35

For over fifty-five years after this statement by Brigham Young, Latter Day Saint leaders have made remarks to the effect that the major temple of Independence would be built in their own generation.36

In May 1848 a quit claim deed was made by Lydia Partridge, the widow of Edward Partridge (who died in 1840), and three daughters to James Pool for the sixty-three acres. A summary of a meeting previous to this date indicates that Martin Harris had obtained the deed at an earlier date but did not have the deed recorded.

At council meeting held in the Recorder's Office, Winter Quarters, Neb. April 26, 1848, President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt and Wilford Woodruff being present, the propriety of selling the Temple lot in Jackson County, Mo., was discussed. The lot had been deeded to Martin Harris, but he had neglected getting the deed recorded; the title was now in the hands of the heirs of the late Bishop Edward Partridge, and a certain party was offering $300 for a quit claim deed to the same. After a lively discussion, the brethren decided to advise the Partridge heirs to make the transfer, and thus to obtain means to emigrate to the Valley.37

The portion of the sixty-three acres where it is believed that Joseph Smith had laid the stone for the single temple in 1831 became in time part of the Woodson and Maxwell Addition to the City of Independence. Lots numbered 15 through 22, that included where the temple had been planned, were eventually purchased and obtained by Granville Hedrick, president and trustee-in-trust for the Church of Christ, known as the Temple Lot church.38

The RLDS church in August 1891 filed a bill of equity against the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) for possession of what was known as the Temple Lots or Lot. This became the now famous Temple Lot Case.39 The outcome was that the RLDS church obtained judgment on the 2 1/2 acre temple lot. This decision was appealed by the Church of Christ, and the RLDS church was denied possession since the Church of Christ had the only record title in forty years, paid taxes on the property since 1867 and erected a house of worship in 1882. Even though the lots were not actually occupied for the full term of ten years before the suit commenced, the court could not see clouding the record title to much other valuable property within the city.40

Church of Christ (Temple Lot) Temple Building Efforts

On 4 February 1927 Apostle Otto Fetting of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) reported that a messenger had appeared to him and gave him a message to the Church of Christ. He recorded the message in part as: "The temple will be built, if not by the people in charge, the Lord will raise up a people that will build it." Also that "the revelation that was given for the building of the temple was true and the temple soon will be started."41 In a later appearance the messenger identified himself as John the Baptist.42 This temple was to be ninety feet in width and one hundred and eighty feet in length.43 Instructions were given that the building of the temple should start in 1929 and "The Lord will give you seven years in which to complete the work."44 Later after the area was staked out for where the temple was to be built the messenger said: "The building that you have staked is ten feet too far east and if you will move the stakes then it shall stand upon the place that has been pointed out by the finger of God."45 On 6 April 1929 the sod was broken for the temple, excavation was begun, and then some members of the church questioned some instructions given by the messenger. Eventually the work was stopped and no temple was built during the appointed period.46

Later the excavation was covered over and in 1967 a marker was placed designating this 2 1/2 acres as the location of the future temple of Zion. Shortly after the revelatory document of W. Wallace Smith regarding a start toward an RLDS temple, the late Apostle Clarence L. Wheaton, of the Temple Lot church, wrote the following:

Thus we see that the ground is laid in the public press and through this purported revelation for the RLDS Church to by- pass the Spot originally dedicated by the Lord through the prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. on on [sic] August 3, 1831, and thus divert the attention of the unwary believers of this generation of the Restoration to some other place on the 63.43 acres which was later acquired by Edward Partridge and which contained the site originally dedicated for the Temple.47

Wheaton, writing concerning the sale of this land, stated that "It is not for sale at any price . . . to the LDS Church in Utah, nor to any other division of the Restoration. We hold [it] as a sacred trust before the Lord."48 The historic 1967 marker has been removed and a new house of worship was dedicated in 1992 because the prior eighty-seven year old church building was destroyed by an arsonist.

RLDS Independence Temple

In April 1968 W. Wallace Smith, president of the RLDS church, presented to the Councils, Quorums and the church a document dealing in part with a start toward building the temple in Independence.

The time has come for a start to be made toward building my temple in the Center Place. It shall stand on a portion of the plot of ground set apart for this purpose many years ago by my servant Joseph Smith, Jr. The shape and character of the building is to conform to ministries which will be carried out within its walls. These functions I will reveal through my servant the prophet and his counselors from time to time, as need for more specific direction arises.49

Further instruction was given as guidance for the church "that there is no provision for secret ordinances now or ever" in the temple.50

The First Presidency of the RLDS church did not envision a temple architecturally similar to the Kirtland Temple which they own. They stated:

It would be a great mistake to conceptualize a building in the late twentieth century in the same architectural terms as those which dictated the construction of the Kirtland Temple. It would be inappropriate to think of such a building in terms of the architecture of the Middle Ages or of ancient times. Today's temple must contribute to the achievement of the church's mission in today's world. This principle has significance for every aspect of temple purpose, function, design and construction.51

By 1970 the idea of the Independence temple being a part of a "Temple complex" had developed. The Auditorium was already serving this purpose and further plans were being made.52 In a document presented to the RLDS conference in 1972 directions included the "study toward defining the purpose and selecting a place for erecting a temple in my name for the teaching of my priesthood."53

As conceived in 1974 the World Headquarters complex would include such facilities as "the Temple, Temple School, a World Court of Cultures, a Restoration Plaza and Headquarters Office Building." As outlined by the Presiding Bishopric:

The site identified for the Temple structure is defined as being bounded by Lexington Street on the north, Union Avenue on the east, Walnut Street on the south, and River Boulevard on the west.54

This area is east of the property owned by the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and north of the LDS Visitor Center. More directions concerning what was envisioned regarding the function of a contemporary temple were received at the 1984 World Conference.

The temple shall be dedicated to the pursuit of peace. It shall be for reconciliation and for healing of the spirit. It shall also be for a strengthening of faith and preparation for witness. . . . Therefore, let the work of planning go forward, and let the resources be gathered in, that the building of my temple may be an ensign to the world of the breadth and depth of the devotion of the Saints.56

Ground was broken for the temple on 6 April 1990 with the dedication held in April 1994. President Wallace B. Smith gave guidance to the church in the following words:

Be of good cheer, O my people. Your labors and your sacrifices by which the Temple in Independence has been built are fully acceptable to me. Let all who have worked and prayed for such an accomplishment rejoice in the fulfillment of the promises which were given in times past, but have now become a blessing for all generations.57

LDS Temple Building Efforts

Orson F. Whitney, an Apostle in the LDS church commented:

Is the State of Utah the proper monument of the "Mormon" people? No. . . . The monument to "Mormonism" will stand in Jackson County, Mo. There the great City will be built: There Zion will arise and shine, "the joy of the whole Earth," and there the Lord will come to His temple in His own time, when His people shall have made the required preparation.57

In December 1967, after a visit to Missouri the previous year by David O. McKay (LDS church president), Joseph Fielding Smith and Alvin R. Dyer, it was announced that a visitors center would be built on part of the property owned by the LDS church which had been a part of the sixty-three acres that Edward Partridge purchased in 1831. The final approval of the LDS Visitors Center was made in April 1968.58 It was in October 1967 that Alvin R. Dyer was ordained an apostle in the LDS church, although he did not become a member of the Quorum of Twelve. Later he was set apart as a counselor in the First Presidency and as stated by Ezra Taft Benson, :He had the blessing pronounced on him that he was to be a watchman over the consecrated lands in Missouri." He served in this office until the death of David O. McKay in January 1970.59

This center was dedicated on 31 May 1971 and has served in that function since. Alvin Dyer envisioned an Administrative Temple Complex "wherein there shall be as the center of that complex the temple of the New Jerusalem."60

Many Latter-day Saints expect that Independence will be "the exact center of Zion, where a complex of twenty-four temples would stand in the last days." [61] Whether or not the early plans of Joseph Smith's City of Zion will be followed only the future will tell.

Apostle Spencer W. Kimball was very interested in bringing the gospel to the Indians. In 1963 he spoke as follows:

I've known people who have been promised in their patriarchal blessings that they would live to see the temple built and some of them are dying and haven't seen the temple built. Do you know why? In my estimation, the Lord's time table is directed a good deal by us. We speed up the clock or we slow the hands down and we turn them back by our activities or our procrastinations. And do you know why I think people who are actually promised that they would live to see the temple built are dying before the completion of the temple? Because we haven't converted the Indians in large enough numbers; never shall we go to Jackson County until we have converted and brought into this church great numbers of Lamanites. Now you just as well set that down as a basic fact.62

In summary, a temple was built in Independence by the RLDS church and serves the purposes for which it was erected. It is probable that in the near future the LDS church will also build a temple. The Church of Christ (Temple Lot) could erect one but being smaller in number and lacking resources it would take many years to accomplish.63


NOTES

1. Alan Heimert, "Puritanism, the Wilderness, and the Frontier," The New England Quarterly 26 (September 1953):380-81. See also Gustav H. Blanke with Karen Lynn, "God's Base of Operations: Mormon Variations on the American Sense of Mission," Brigham Young University Studies 20 (Fall 1979):83-92. James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard wrote: "The Puritans saw themselves as a chosen people, commissioned by God to build a New Jerusalem, or a City of Zion, in America -- an exemplary community that all could observe and emulate" (The Story of the Latter-day Saints [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976]:9).

2. Rev. George Lane, "Revival of Religion on Ontario District," The Methodist Magazine (New York) 8 (April 1825):161, letter dated 25 January 1825; The Christian Herald (Portsmouth) 8 (March 1825):7 and Wayne Sentinel (Palmyra, NY) 2 (2 March 1825):4. The minutes of the Geneva Presbytery states: "In the congregation of Palmyra [NY], the Lord has appeared in his glory to build up Zion." (Geneva Presbytery Minutes, Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, D:27. For an extract of this record see Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 4 (Spring 1969):65.

3. Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the hand of Mormon, Upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. By Joseph Smith, Junior, author and proprietor (Palmyra [New York]: Printed by E. B. Grandin for the author), 1830, p. 501; Latter-day Saints (cited hereafter as LDS) 3 Nephi 21:23; Reorganized Latter Day Saints (cited hereafter as RLDS) 10:1. The 1830 edition is cited hereafter as Smith, with page number then followed by versification by both LDS and RLDS churches.

4. Smith, 497; LDS 3 Nephi 20:22 (see also 21:25); RLDS 9:58-59 (see also 10:4).

5. Smith, 501; LDS 3 Nephi 21:23; RLDS 10:1.

6. Smith, 566; LDS Ether 13:2; RLDS 6:2.

7. Smith, 566; LDS Ether 13:3-4, 8; RLDS 6:3-4, 8.

8. Smith, 566; LDS Ether 13:9, 10; RLDS 6:9, 10.

9. Revelation 21:2, 10.

10. Manuscript History of the Church, Book A-1 [written in 1839], archives of the historical department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, (hereafter cited as LDS archives), A-1:54; Brigham H. Roberts, ed., 7 vols., History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1959), 1:109-110, (cited hereafter as History of the Church); Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith: Autobiographical and Historical Writings (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1989), 1:263, 323.

11. Ibid. See also Book of Commandments (Zion [Independence, Missouri]: Published by W. W. Phelps and Co., 1833) [in press], chapter 30, verse 11, also in LDS Doctrine and Covenants, section 28:11 (cited hereafter as LDS D&C) and RLDS Doctrine and Covenants, section 27:4b (cited hereafter as RLDS D&C).

12. Book of Commandments 30:7; LDS D&C 28:8; RLDS D&C 27:3a, b. "Lamanites" is a Book of Mormon term for the American Indians. See Richard L. Bushman, "New Jerusalem, U.S.A. The Early Development of the Latter-day Concept on the American Frontier," (Honors Thesis in History, Harvard College, 1955), 8-10.

13. Book of Commandments 30:8-9; LDS D&C 28:9; RLDS D&C 27:3c, d.

14. Statement signed by Oliver Cowdery and dated 17 October 1830, cited in a letter of Ezra Booth to Rev. Ira Eddy, dated 24 November 1831 and published in (Ravenna) Ohio Star 2 (8 December 1831):3; also quoted in Brigham Young University Studies 11 (Summer 1971):477. See also Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984), 169.

15. Joseph Smith's revision of the Bible, known variously as the Inspired Version, Joseph Smith Translation (hereafter as JST) and Joseph Smith Revision, Genesis 7:23-25 in The Holy Scriptures (Independence, Missouri: Herald Publishing House, 1991), published by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; LDS Moses 7:18-19; RLDS D&C 36:2h-3a; Old Testament Dictated Manuscript, 16, RLDS archives; The Evening and the Morning Star 1 (August 1832):2, Independence, MO.

16. Genesis 7:27, 70 (JST); LDS Moses 7:21, 62; RLDS D&C 36:3d, 12f-g; compare with Book of Commandments 29:8-9; LDS D&C 29:7-8; RLDS D&C 28:2c-d. "And it came to pass, that Zion [the city of Enoch] was not, for God received it up into his own bosom; and from thence went forth the saying, Zion is fled" (Genesis 7:78 [JST]; LDS Moses 7:69; RLDS D&C 36:14e). For additional study on the concept of Zion see Maurice L. Draper, ed., Restoration Studies I (Independence: Herald Publishing House, 1980), 269-95.

17. Genesis 9:21 (JST). The coming together of the city of Enoch (Zion) and the New Jerusalem is further described in a revelation to Joseph Smith: "The Lord hath brought down Zion [of Enoch] from above. The Lord hath brought up Zion [the New Jerusalem] from beneath" (LDS D&C 84:100; RLDS D&C 83:17b; The Evening and the Morning Star 1 [January 1833]:3).

18. Book of Commandments 48:59, 67; also published in The Evening and the Morning Star 1 (June 1832):2; see LDS D&C 45:66, 71; RLDS D&C 45:12c, 14. On 9 February Joseph Smith mentioned the New Jerusalem that was to be built. See Book of Commandments 44:9, 29, 47, 51; LDS D&C 42:9, 35, 62, 67; RLDS D&C 42:3b, 10c, 17b, 18c.

19. Book of Commandments 54:1, 43-44; LDS D&C 52:2, 42-43; RLDS D&C 52:1b, 9e-f.

20. Book of Commandments 56:9; LDS D&C 54:8; RLDS D&C 54:2b. See revelation given in May 1831 which also mentions the "borders of the Lamanites" (Kirtland Revelations Book, 92, LDS archives).

21. Kirtland Revelations Book, 89-90; LDS D&C 57:1-5; RLDS D&C 57:1a-g. On the courthouse see Max H. Parkin, "The Courthouse mentioned in the Revelation on Zion," Brigham Young University Studies 14 (Summer 1974):451-57. On additional background see Pearl Wilcox, The Latter Day Saints on the Missouri Frontier (Independence: author, 1972), 15-42.

22. As copied into "The Book of John Whitmer Kept by Commandment," chapter 9, page 32, RLDS archives; published in Journal of History 1 (January 1908):59-60 and in Bruce N. Westergren, ed., From Historian to Dissident: The Book of John Whitmer (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), 86-87. The land and site of the temple was outside the Independence city boundary and at the time of the dedication the property was owned by the state of Missouri. Sidney Rigdon had been instructed previously to "consecrate and dedicate this land, and the spot of the temple" (Book of Commandments 59:70; LDS D&C 58:57; RLDS D&C 58:13a).

23. Westergren, From Historian to Dissident, 85. At a conference held on 26 October 1831 in Ohio, Oliver Cowdery recorded "that the directions which himself & his br[other]. David Whitmer had received this morning respecting the choice of the twelve [apostles] was that they would be ordained & sent forth from the Land of Zion" (The Conference Minutes and Record Book of Christ's Church of Latter Day Saints, 15. Manuscript in possession of LDS church and published in 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 Co., 1983], 26).

24. Arthur M. Smith, Temple Lot Deed, 3rd ed., (Independence: Board of Publications, Church of Christ, 1963), 5; see also Jackson County, Deed Record, Book B:1-3; Deseret News, Church Section, 23 January 1932, p. 1; Richard Price and Pamela Price, The Temple of the Lord (Independence: authors, 1982), 32-38.

25. Manuscript in the Newel K. Whitney Collection, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. See also Kirtland Revelations Book, 20-21, 23; LDS D&C 82:2-5, 31; RLDS D&C 83:1b-2b, 6a.

26. Joseph Smith Letterbook 1:19, LDS archives; History of the Church 1:316. Compare with LDS D&C 84:56-59; RLDS D&C 83:8b-c.

27. Joseph Smith Letterbook 1:41; History of the Church 1:359.

28. Joseph Smith Letterbook 1:38-41; Manuscript History of the Church, Book A-1:303-307; History of the Church 1:357-59. See article by Richard H. Jackson, "The Mormon Village: Genesis and Antecedents of the City of Zion," Brigham Young University Studies 17 (Winter 1977):223-40. This article is based upon the first draft of the City of Zion sent to Independence. For plans on the Kirtland Temple in Kirtland, Ohio, see Kirtland Revelations Book, 59-60; LDS D&C 95; RLDS D&C 92. See also Ronald E. Romig and John H. Siebert, "The Genesis of Zion and Kirtland and the Concept of Temples," Restoration Studies IV (Independence: Herald Publishing House, 1988), 99-123.

29. LDS D&C 97:10-11, 13; RLDS D&C 94:3a, 3c. See also Sidney Rigdon, F. G. Williams and Joseph Smith, Jr. to "Beloved Brethren" in Missouri, 6 August 1833, Joseph Smith Collection, LDS archives; Kirtland Revelations Book, 62.

30. On persecution in Jackson County, see Warren A. Jennings, "Zion is Fled: The Expulsion of the Mormons from Jackson County, Missouri" (PhD dissertation, University of Florida, 1962). Concerning modifications to the plans of the Independence Temple in Zion see T. Edgar Lyon, "The Sketches on the Papyri Backings," Improvement Era 71 (May 1968):18-23; most of this article was reprinted with photographs in Jay M. Todd, The Saga of the Book of Abraham (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1969), 352-64. A partial printing of the updated temple plan is printed in Alvin R. Dyer, The Refiner's Fire (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 2nd ed., 1968), 99-100. Oliver Cowdery wrote: "Those patterns previously sent you per mail. by our brethren were incorrect in some respects being drawn in greta haste." A comparison of both temple plans is in Laurel B. Andrew, The Early Temples of the Mormons (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1978), 33-35. An incomplete drawing of the City of Zion plat with named streets is in Manuscript History of the Church, Book A-1:304.

31. The new sketch of the City of Zion "Drawn by F. G. Williams" is housed in the LDS archives. See Ronald E. Romig and John H. Siebert, "Jackson County, 1831-1833: A Look at the Development of Zion," Restoration Studies III (Independence: Herald Publishing House, 1986), 286-304. Page 297 contains a photo of the revised plat of the City of Zion (August 1833).

32. History of the Church 3:274-75. Joseph Smith had counseled in August 1833 that "not one foot of land perchased should be given to the enimies of god or sold to them but if any is sold let it be sold to the chirch we cannot git the consent of the Lord that we shall give the ground to the enemies" (As quoted in Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984], 288, spelling is as in original handwritten letter located in LDS archives). See additional references on selling land in History of the Church 1:450-51 and 2:39.

33. "Gen. Bennett then read the revelations from 'The Book of the Law of the Lord,' which had been received since the last general conference . . ." (Times and Seasons 2 [15 April 1841]:346).

34. Times and Seasons 2 (1 June 1841):427; LDS D&C 124:51. Lyndon W. Cook commenting on LDS D&C 84; RLDS D&C 83 wrote: "Verses 1-5 concern themselves with the building of the New Jerusalem in Jackson County, Missouri (particularly the construction of a temple). This divine injunction was rescinded in 1841. (See D&C 124:49 and 51)" (The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith [Provo, Utah: Seventy's Mission Bookstore, 1981], 176).

35. Times and Seasons 6 (1 July 1845):956.

36. Not only in Nauvoo but also in Utah leaders of the LDS church stated that the temple would be built in their generation.

37. Journal History of the Church, 26 April 1848, LDS archives. Microfilm copy at Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. See Price and Price, The Temple of the Lord, 52-53. For the minutes of the council meeting of 26 April 1848 see Ibid., 44-46. At this meeting Brigham Young said: "The Temple lot in Jackson Co. is in the care of heirs of Bro. Partridge. A man offers [$]300 for Quit Claim Deed. Bro. Kelting will turn out the [$]300. The land was deeded to Martin Harris. He has not put the deed on record." J. A. Kelting stated: "There were 60 acres in the 1st place - sold to M. Harris. He wrote to Independence that he had sold that land - but there are no deeds, or ever made their appearance." In a letter written by William E. McLellin he asked, "I wonder if Martin still has the deed to that lot" (William E. McLellin Correspondence, no date, RLDS archives).

38. Arthur M. Smith, Temple Lot Deed, 7-12; B. C. Flint, An Outline History of the Church of Christ Temple Lot (Independence: Board of Publications, Church of Christ, Temple Lot, 1953), 111.

39. Abstract of Evidence, Temple Lot Suit (Lamoni, Iowa: Herald Publishing House, 1893); reprinted ed., The Temple Lot Case (Salt Lake City: Modern Microfilm Co., 1964). Transcripts of the entire Temple Lot suit are located in the LDS archives and the RLDS archives. For more information concerning the Temple Lot Case see Clarence L. Wheaton, Historical Facts Concerning the Temple Lot (Independence: Church of Christ, 1954); Tom Bennett, "The Church in Court (Temple Lot Case)," Saints Herald 120 (November 1973):23-26, 39; Joel S. Wight, "The Courts and Sectarianism," Saints Herald 121 (March 1974):16-17, 38 and Ronald E. Romig, "The Temple Lot Suit after 100 years," John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 12 (1992):3-15.

40. Church of Christ at Independence, MO., et al. v. Reorganized Church, Federal Reporter 70:189. The opinion of the court was delivered by Circuit Judge Thayer. See Question Time (Independence: Herald House, 1967), 2:174-75.

41. Otto Fetting, The Word of the Lord (Independence: The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, 1971 edition) 1:4, 2. See Julius C. Billeter, The Temple of Promise (Independence: Zion's Printing and Publishing Co., 1946), 131-46.

42. Fetting, The Word of the Lord 6:1 (1 September 1928).

43. Ibid., 6:2.

44. Ibid., 5:5 (22 March 1928).

45. Ibid., 10:2 (23 March 1929).

46. William A. Sheldon, "A Presentation Delivered to the Eden Heights RLDS School," Zion's Advocate 55 (October 1978):159; B. C. Flint, An Outline History of the Church of Christ Temple Lot, 141; Zion's Advocate 6 (May 1929). A description and plan for the temple appeared in Zion's Advocate 7 (1 November 1930).

47. Clarence L. Wheaton, "An Address to All Believers of the Restoration," Zion's Advocate 45 (June 1968):88. Wheaton also wrote in this article the following: "No question should exist in the mind of any fair minded persons as to the exact location of the site for the Temple. It is right on the acreage owned and occupied by the Church of Christ, north of the RLDS Auditorium, and there, if ever, is the place where the House of the Lord, or temple, provided for in the revelation through Joseph Smith, Jr., in July 1831 (D&C 57:1) will be built. Other so-called temples may be built elsewhere, but they will not be the one provided for in this revelation" (90).

48. Saints Herald 119 (July 1972):51. Eldred G. Smith, Patriarch to the LDS church, in an address given on 3 October 1969 said: "Land in Independence, Missouri, has been dedicated for a temple to be built some time in the future, and I would like to thank those who are taking good care of that property. The Lord bless them for so doing" (Improvement Era 72 [December 1969]:60).

49. RLDS D&C 149:6a (1 April 1968); Roy A. Cheville, "The Temple in Today's Church Life," Saints Herald 116 (March 1969):5.

50. RLDS D&C 149A:6 (4/5 April 1968). Roy A. Cheville wrote: "A temple theory of the Reorganized Church should emphasize edification rather than exaltation, dedication rather than adoration, 'life before death' rather than 'life after death.' It would be for the developing of flesh-and-blood Saints who live here and now rather than celestialized Saints for lands and times hereafter" (Saints Herald 116 [April 1969]:20).

51. Saints Herald 115 (1 June 1968):364. See also RLDS D&C 147:7 (11 March 1964).

52. Saints Herald 117 (May 1970):16. See also Saints Herald 120 (April 1973):9 and 121 (March 1974):5.

53. RLDS D&C 150:8 (16 February 1972/11 April 1972). See also a series of articles by Steven C. Kellogg, "Temples of the Restoration," Saints Herald 118 (September 1971):10-12, 30-31; (October 1971):15-17, 48-49; (November 1971):18-20, 32-34.

54. Saints Herald 121 (May 1974):7. See "Plans for RLDS Temple Slowly Coming to Light," The Kansas City Star, 20 August 1978, p. 3A.

55. RLDS D&C 156:5-6 (3 April 1984). See also "A Start to Be Made," Saints Herald 129 (1 August 1982):3 and 132 (July 1985):8. Gordon B. Hinckley of the LDS First Presidency, speaking concerning the LDS temple to be built in Littleton, Colorado said: "It will be a house of peace" (Deseret News, 20 May 1984, p. B3).

56. RLDS D&C 159: 6 (10 April 1994).

57. Address given 9 April 1916, as quoted in Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, rev. ed., 1960), 147.

58. Daniel T. Muir, letter to the editor, Saints Herald 115 (1 August 1968):4, announced in the Independence Examiner, 7 December 1967.

59. Ensign 7 (May 1977):119. Dyer died on 6 March 1977.

60. Alvin R. Dyer, "The Center Place of Zion," Speeches of the Year, 7 February 1967 (Provo: Extensions Publications), 8. Lauritz G. Petersen wrote: "There are, however, some hand-drawn plans for the 'Temple of the Presidency.' These plans were used as suggestions for the size of the visitors' center now completed in Independence, Missouri" (Brigham Young University Studies 12 [Summer 1972]:406n15).

61. Zion's Builder, A Monthly Publication of the Central States Mission, September 1967, reverse of cover. See also Dyer, Refiner's Fire, 101-104; Hyrum Andrus, Doctrines of the Kingdom (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, Inc., 1973), 300-306.

62. From a copy of the December 1963 talk obtained from President Kimball's secretary as quoted in Book of Mormon Student Manual (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2nd ed., 1981), 427-28. Kimball speaking to the Lamanites [Indians] said: "You must flourish, and you must become a great people so that you can go back to Jackson County with us and we with you, and we will build there the magnificent temple which Orson Pratt said will be the most beautiful building that ever was built or that ever will be built. . . . They must be leaders in their communities, because not too far away there is going to be a great migration to Jackson County, Missouri, and there we are going to build the great temple" (426-27).

63. William A. Sheldon, a member of the Council of Apostles, of the Church of Christ, wrote in 1985: "There are no present plans to begin erecting a temple on the Temple Lot" (Sheldon to H. Michael Marquardt, 6 March 1985).


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