Kirtland Temple Endowment – Beginning of Week

The following “Kirtland Temple Endowment – Beginning of Week” is adapted from the History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is the first in a three-part series of posts about the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836. (See Kirtland Temple Endowment – Mid-Week and Kirtland Temple Endowment – End of Week for the remaining articles). Since this information is somewhat difficult to find online, it is hoped that this series of articles, the information listed under the temple endowmenttemple, and endowment tags, and LDS Temples may serve as reference material.

Introduction to Latter-day Saint Temple Worship

Russell M. Nelson discussed the centrality of the atonement of Christ as taught in modern day temples:

The temple is the house of the Lord. The basis for every temple ordinance and covenant—the heart of the plan of salvation—is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Every activity, every lesson, all we do in the Church, point to the Lord and His holy house. Our efforts to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead all lead to the temple. Each holy temple stands as a symbol of our membership in the Church, as a sign of our faith in life after death, and as a sacred step toward eternal glory for us and our families.1

Kirtland Temple History

A brief history of the Kirtland Temple is given by Keith W. Perkins:

The divine command that led to the building of the Kirtland Temple was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in January 1831 when the Church was beset by poverty and turmoil. At that time, the Saints were to gather to Ohio, where the Lord promised he would endow them “with power from on high” (D&C 38:32; cf. D&C 88:119; 95:3, 8, 11). Thus they began to build the first of the Latter-day Saint temples.

The Church then consisted of only a few hundred members, men, women, and children who labored together for the temple and contributed, as Eliza R. Snow wrote, “brain, bone and sinew” and “all living as abstemiously as possible” so that “every cent might be appropriated to the grand object” (Tullidge, p. 82). According to Benjamin F. Johnson, “there was not a scraper and hardly a plow that could be obtained among the Saints,” to prepare the ground for the foundation of the temple (Benjamin Johnson, My Life’s Review, p. 16). Lumber was brought from nearby forests. Stone was hewn from a local quarry.

King Solomon's Temple As the exact patterns of the Tabernacle of Moses and Solomon’s temple had been revealed from on high (Exodus 25:9; 1 Chronicles 28:11-12), so also were the design, measurements, and functions of the Kirtland Temple revealed. Its interior was to be fifty-five feet wide and sixty-five feet long and have a lower and a higher court. The lower part of the inner court was to be dedicated “for your Sacrament offering, and for your preaching, and your fasting, and your praying, and the offering up of your most holy desires unto me, saith your Lord.” The higher part of the inner court was to be “dedicated unto me for the school of mine apostles” (D&C 95:13-17).2

Purpose of the Endowment

A temple endowment,

. . . generally is a gift, but in a specialized sense it is a course of instruction, ordinances, and covenants given only in dedicated temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The words “to endow” (from the Greek enduein ), as used in the New Testament, mean to dress, clothe, put on garments, put on attributes, or receive virtue. Christ instructed his apostles to tarry at Jerusalem “until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49), a promise fulfilled, at least in part, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). In modern times, a similar revelation was given: “I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power on high; for this is the promise of the Father unto you; therefore I command you to tarry, even as mine apostles at Jerusalem” (D&C 95:8-9).

Though there had been preliminary and preparatory spiritual outpourings upon Latter-day Saints in Ohio and Missouri, the Endowment in its full sense was not received until the Nauvoo Temple era. As he introduced temple ordinances in 1842 at Nauvoo, the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that these were “of things spiritual, and to be received only by the spiritual minded” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 237). The Endowment was necessary, he said, to organize the Church fully, that the Saints might be organized according to the laws of God, and, as the dedicatory prayer of the Kirtland Temple petitioned, that they would “be prepared to obtain every needful thing” (D&C 109:15). The Endowment was designed to give “a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God” (TPJS, p. 324), “to prepare the disciples for their missions in the world” (p. 274), to prevent being “overcome by evils” (p. 259), to enable them to “secure the fulness of those blessings which have been prepared for the Church of the Firstborn” (p. 237).3

Kirtland Temple Endowment

Kirtland Temple The remaining text is the record of the Kirtland Temple endowment as found in the History of the Church:

Sunday, March 27.—The congregation began to assemble at the Temple, at about seven o’clock, an hour earlier than the doors were to be opened. Many brethren had come in from the regions round about, to witness the dedication of the Lord’s House and share in His blessings; and such was the anxiety on this occasion that some hundreds (probably five or six) assembled before the doors were opened. The presidents entered with the doorkeepers, and stationed the latter at the inner and outer doors; also placed our stewards to receive donations from those who should feel disposed to contribute something to defray the expense of building the House of the Lord. We also dedicated the pulpits, and consecrated them to the Lord.4

The doors were then opened. Presidents Rigdon, Cowdery and myself seated the congregation as they came in, and, according to the best calculation we could make, we received between nine and ten hundred, which were as many as could be comfortably seated. We then informed the doorkeepers that we could receive no more, and a multitude were deprived of the benefits of the meeting on account of the house not being sufficiently capacious to receive them; and I felt to regret that any of my brethren and sisters should be deprived of the meeting, and I recommended them to repair to the schoolhouse and hold a meeting, which they did, and filled that house also, and yet many were left out.

The assembly was then organized in the following manner, viz.: west end of the house, Presidents Frederick G. Williams, Joseph Smith, Sen., and William W. Phelps occupying the first pulpit for the Melchizedek Priesthood; Presidents Joseph Smith, Jun., Hyrum Smith, and Sidney Rigdon, the second pulpit; Presidents David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and John Whitmer, the third pulpit; the fourth was occupied by the President of the High Priests’ quorum and his counselors, and two choristers. The Twelve Apostles on the right, in the three highest seats. The President of the Elders, his counselors and clerk, in the seat immediately below the Twelve. The High Council of Kirtland, consisting of twelve, on the left in the three first seats. The fourth seat, and next below the High Council, was occupied by Elders Warren A. Cowdery and Warren Parrish, who served as scribes. The pulpits in the east end of the house, for the Aaronic Priesthood, were occupied as follows: The Bishop of Kirtland and his counselors] the first pulpit; the Bishop of Zion and his counselors, in the second pulpit; the president of the Priests and his counselors, in the third pulpit: the president of the Teachers and his counselors, and one chorister in the twelve counselors, on the right; the president of the Deacons and his counselors, in the seat below them; the seven presidents of Seventies, on the left. The choir of singers were seated in the four corners of the room, in seats prepared for that purpose.

Received by contribution–nine hundred and sixty-three dollars.

At nine o’clock a.m. President Sidney Rigdon commenced the services of the day by reading the 96th and 24th Psalms.

Psalms 96 – “O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD [is] great, and greatly to be praised: he [is] to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations [are] idols: but the LORD made the heavens. Honour and majesty [are] before him: strength and beauty [are] in his sanctuary. Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory [due unto] his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen [that] the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously. Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that [is] therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.”

Psalms 24 – “A Psalm of David. The earth [is] the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This [is] the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah.”

An excellent choir of singers, led by M. C. Davis sung the following hymn:


Ere long the veil will rend in twain,

The King descend with all His train;

The earth shall shake with awful fright,

And all creation feel His might.

The angel’s trumpet long shall sound,

And wake the nations under ground;

Throughout the vast domain of space

‘Twill echo forth from place to place.

Lift up your heads, ye Saints, in peace,

The Savior comes for your release;

The day of the redeemed has come;

The Saints shall all be welcomed home.

Behold the church! it soars on high,

To meet the Saints amid the sky,

To hail the King in clouds of fire,

And strike and tune the immortal lyre.

Hosanna! now the trump shall sound,

Proclaim the joys of heaven around,

When all the Saints together join

In songs of love, and all divine.

With Enoch here we all shall meet,

And worship at Messiah’s feet,

Unite our hands and hearts in love,

And reign on thrones with Christ above.

The city that was seen of old,

Whose walls were jasper, streets were gold,

We’ll now inherit, throned in might—

The Father and the Son’s delight.

Celestial crowns we shall receive,

And glories great our God shall give;

While loud hosannas we’ll proclaim,

And sound aloud our Savior’s name.

Our hearts and tongues shall join in one,

To praise the Father and the Son;

While all the heavens shall shout again,

And all creation say, Amen.5

President Rigdon addressed the throne of grace in a devout and appropriate manner, and the following hymn was sung:


O happy souls, who pray

Where God appoints to hear!

O happy Saints, who pay

Their constant service there

We’ll praise Him still,

And happy we

Who love the way

To Zion’s hill.

No burning heats by day,

Nor blasts of evening air,

Shall take our health away,

If God be with us there.

He is our sun,

And He our shade

To guard the head

By night or noon.

God is the only Lord,

Our shield and our defense;

With gifts His hands are stored;

We draw our blessings thence.

He will bestow

On Jacob’s race

Peculiar grace,

And glory too.6

President Rigdon then read the 18th, 19th and 20th verses of the 18th chapter of Matthew and preached more particularly from the 20th verse: “Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” He spoke two hours and a half in his usual logical manner. His prayer and address were very forcible and sublime, and well adapted to the occasion. At one time, in the course of his remarks, he was rather pathetic, and drew tears from many eyes. He was then taking a retrospective view of the toils, privations, and anxieties of those who had labored upon the walls of the house to erect them; and added, there were those who had wet them with their tears, in the silent shades of night, while they were praying to the God of heaven to protect them, and stay the unhallowed hands of ruthless spoilers, who had uttered a prophecy, when the foundation was laid, that the walls would never be reared.

Western Wall of the Second Temple In reference to his main subject, he assumed as a postulate that in the days of the Savior there were synagogues where the Jews worshiped God, and in addition to them, the splendid temple at Jerusalem, yet, when on a certain occasion, one proposed to follow Christ, whithersoever He went, He, though heir of all things, cried out like one in the bitterness of His soul in abject poverty–”The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.” This, said the speaker, was evidence to his mind, that the Most High did not put His name there, and that He did not accept the worship of those who paid their vows and adorations there. This was evident from the fact that they would not receive Him, but thrust Him from them, saying: “Away with Him, crucify Him! crucify Him!” It was therefore abundantly evident that His Spirit did not dwell in them. They were the degenerate sons of noble sires, but they had long since slain the Prophets and Seers, through whom the Lord revealed Himself to the children of men. They were not led by revelation. This, said the speaker, was the grand difficulty among them—their unbelief in present revelation.

He further remarked, that their unbelief in present revelation, was the means of dividing that generation into the various sects and parties that existed. They were zealous worshipers according to outward forms, but such worship was not required of them, nor was it acceptable to God. The Redeemer Himself, who knew the hearts of all men, called them a generation of vipers. It was proof positive to the speaker’s mind, there being Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and Essenes, all differing from one another, that they were led by the precepts and commandments of men. Each had something peculiar to himself, but all agreed in one thing, viz., to oppose the Savior; so that we discover He could, with the utmost propriety, exclaim, notwithstanding their synagogue and temple-worship: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.”

He took occasion here to remark that such diversity of sentiment ever had, and ever would obtain, when people were not led by present revelation. This brought him to the inevitable conclusion, that the various sects of the present day, from their manifesting the same spirit, rested under the same condemnation, with those who were contemporary with the Savior. He admitted there were many houses, many sufficiently large, built for the worship of God, but not one except this, on the face of the whole earth, that was built by divine revelation; and were it not for this the dear Redeemer might, in this day of science, this day of intelligence, this day of religion, say to those who would follow Him: “The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head.”

After closing his discourse he called upon the several quorums, commencing with the Presidency, to manifest, by rising, their willingness to acknowledge me as a Prophet and Seer, and uphold me as such, by their prayers of faith. All the quorums, in turn, cheerfully complied with this request. He then called upon all the congregation of Saints, also, to give their assent by rising on their feet, which they did unanimously.

The following hymn was then sung:


Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation,

No longer as strangers on earth need we roam;

Good tidings are sounding to us and each nation,

And shortly the hour of redemption will come;

When all that was promised the Saints will be given,

And none will molest them from morn until even,

And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden,

And Jesus will say to all Israel, Come home.

We’ll love one another, and never dissemble,

But cease to do evil, and ever be one;

And while the ungodly are fearing and tremble,

We’ll watch for the day when the Savior will come;

When all that was promised the Saints will be given,

And none will molest them from morn until even,

And earth will appear as the Garden of Eden,

And Jesus will say to all Israel, Come home.

In faith we’ll rely on the arm of Jehovah

To guide through these last days of trouble and gloom;

And, after the scourges and harvest are over,

We’ll rise with the just when the Savior doth come.

Then all that was promised the Saints will be given,

And they will be crowned as the angels of heaven,

And earth will appear as the garden of Eden,

And Christ and His people will ever be one.7

Adam-ondi-Ahman After an intermission of twenty minutes, during which time the congregation kept their seats, the services of the day were resumed by singing “Adam-ondi-Ahman:”

This earth was once a garden place,

With all her glories common;

And men did live a holy race,

And worship Jesus face to face,

In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

We read that Enoch walked with God,

Above the power of Mammon;

While Zion spread herself abroad

And Saints and angels sang aloud,

In Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Her land was good and greatly blest,

Beyond old Israel’s Canaan;

Her fame was known from east to west;

Her peace was great and pure the rest

Of Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Hosanna to such days to come—

The Savior’s second coming,

When all the earth in glorious bloom

Affords the Saints a holy home,

Like Adam-ondi-Ahman.8

I then made a short address, and called upon the several quorums, and all the congregation of Saints, to acknowledge the Presidency as Prophets and Seers, and uphold them by their prayers. They all covenanted to do so, by rising.

I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the Twelve Apostles, who were present, as Prophets, Seers, Revelators, and special witnesses to all the nations of the earth, holding the keys of the kingdom, to unlock it, or cause it to be done, among them, and uphold them by their prayers, which they assented to by rising.

I next called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the presidents of Seventies who act as their representatives, as Apostles and special witnesses to the nations, to assist the Twelve in opening the Gospel kingdom among all people, and to uphold them by their prayers, which they did by rising.

I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the High Council of Kirtland, in all the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and uphold them by their prayers, which they assented to by rising.

I then called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge, and uphold by their prayers, the Bishops of Kirtland and Zion, and their counselors, in all the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood, which they did by rising.

I next called upon the quorums and congregation of Saints to acknowledge the High Council of Zion, and uphold them by their prayers, in all the authority of the High Priesthood, which they did by rising.

I then called upon the quorums and all the Saints to acknowledge the president of the Elders, and his counselors, and uphold them by their prayers which they did by rising.

The quorums and congregation of Saints were then called upon to acknowledge, and uphold by their prayers, the presidents and counselors, of the Priests, Teachers and Deacons, which they did by rising.

The vote was unanimous in every instance, and I prophesied to all, that inasmuch as they would uphold these men in their several stations, (alluding to the different quorums in the Church), the Lord would bless them; yea, in the name of Christ, the blessings of heaven should be theirs; and when the Lord’s anointed go forth to proclaim the word, bearing testimony to this generation, if they receive it they shall be blessed; but if not, the judgments of God will follow close upon them, until that city or that house which rejects them, shall be left desolate.

The following hymn was then sung:


How pleased and blessed was I

To hear the people cry:

“Come, let us seek our God today!”

Yes, with a cheerful zeal,

We’ll haste to Zion’s hill,

And there our vows and honors pay.

Zion, thrice happy place,

Adorned with wondrous grace,

And walls of strength embrace thee round,

In thee our tribes appear,

To praise and pray and hear

The sacred Gospel’s joyful sound.

There, David’s greater Son

Has fixed his royal throne;

He sits for grace and judgment there;

He bids the Saints be glad,

He makes the sinner sad,

And humble souls rejoice with fear.

May peace attend thy gate,

And joy within thee wait,

To bless the soul of every guest!

The man that seeks thy peace,

And wishes thine increase,

A thousand blessings on him rest.

My tongue repeats her vows,

“Peace to this sacred house!

For here my friends and kindred dwell;”

And since my glorious God

Makes thee His blest abode,

My soul shall ever love thee well.9

The dedicatory prayer was then offered:

The following Prayer was given by Revelation to Joseph, the Seer, and was Repeated in the Kirtland Temple at the time of its Dedication, March 27, 1836.


1. Thanks be to Thy name, O Lord God of Israel, who keepest covenant and shewest mercy unto Thy servants who walk uprightly before Thee, with all their hearts; 2. Thou who hast commanded Thy servants to build a house to Thy name in this place (Kirtland). 3. And now Thou beholdest, O Lord, that Thy servants have done according to Thy commandment; 4. And now we ask Thee, Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of Thy bosom, in whose name alone, salvation can be administered to the children of men, we ask Thee, O Lord, to accept of this house, the workmanship of the hands of us, Thy servants, which Thou didst command us to build; 5. For Thou knowest that we have done this work through great tribulations; and out of our poverty we have given of our substance, to build a house to Thy name, that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest Himself to His people. 6. And as Thou hast said in a revelation, given to us, calling us Thy friends, saying, “Call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you; 7. And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently, and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books, words of wisdom, seek learning even by study, and also by faith. 8. Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; 9. That your incomings may be in the name of the Lord, that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord, that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands unto the Most High.” 10. And now, Holy Father, we ask Thee to assist us, Thy people, with Thy grace, in calling our solemn assembly, that it may be done to Thy honor, and to Thy divine acceptance; 11. And in a manner that we may be found worthy, in Thy sight, to secure a fulfillment of the promises which Thou hast made unto us Thy people, in the revelations given unto us; 12. That Thy glory may rest down upon Thy people, and upon this Thy house, which we now dedicate to Thee, that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that Thy holy presence may be continually in this house; 13. And that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord’s House, may feel Thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that Thou hast sanctified it, and that it is Thy house, a place of Thy holiness. 14. And do Thou grant, Holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house, may be taught words of wisdom out of the best books, and that they may seek learning even by study, and also by faith, as Thou hast said; 15. And that they may grow up in Thee, and receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to Thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing; 16. And that this house may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of glory and of God, even Thy house; 17. That all the incomings of Thy people, into this house, may be in the name of the Lord; 18. That all their outgoings from this house may be in the name of the Lord; 19. And that all their salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with holy hands, uplifted to the Most High; 20. And that no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into Thy house to pollute it; 21. And when Thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent, and return unto Thee, and find favor in Thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which Thou hast ordained to be poured out upon those who shall reverence Thee in Thy house. 22. And we ask Thee, Holy Father, that Thy servants may go forth from this house, armed with Thy power, and that Thy name may be upon them, and Thy glory be round about them, and Thine angels have charge over them; 23. And from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is Thy work, and that Thou hast put forth Thy hand, to fulfill that which Thou hast spoken by the mouths of the Prophets concerning the last days. 24. We ask Thee, Holy Father, to establish the people that shall worship, and honorably hold a name and standing in this Thy house to all generations, and for eternity; 25. That no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall into the same himself. 26. That no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over Thy people upon whom Thy name shall be put in this house; 27. And if any people shall rise against this people, that Thine anger be kindled against them; 28. And if they shall smite this people, Thou wilt smite them, Thou wilt fight for Thy people as Thou didst in the day of battle, that they may he delivered from the hands of all their enemies. 29. We ask Thee, Holy Father, to confound, and astonish, and to bring to shame and confusion, all those who have spread lying reports, abroad, over the world, against Thy servant, or servants, if they will not repent, when the everlasting Gospel shall be proclaimed in their ears; 30. And that all their works may be brought to naught, and be swept away by the hail, and by the judgments which Thou wilt send upon them in Thine anger, that there may be an end to lyings and slanders against Thy people; 31. For Thou knowest, O Lord, that Thy servants have been innocent before Thee in bearing record of Thy name, for which they have suffered these things; 32. Therefore we plead before Thee for a full and complete deliverance from under this yoke; 33. Break it off, O Lord; break it off from the necks of Thy servants, by Thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do Thy work. 34. Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin, forgive the transgressions of Thy people, and let them be blotted out forever. 35. Let the anointing of Thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high; 36. Let it be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost, let the gift of tongues be poured out upon Thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof, 37. And let Thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with Thy glory. 38. Put upon Thy servants the testimony of the covenant, that when they go out and proclaim Thy word, they may seal up the law, and prepare the hearts of Thy Saints for all those judgments Thou art about to send, in Thy wrath, upon the inhabitants of the earth, because of their transgressions, that Thy people may not faint in the day of trouble. 39. And whatsoever city Thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive their testimony, let Thy peace and Thy salvation be upon that city, that they may gather out of that city the righteous, that they may come forth to Zion, or to her stakes, the places of Thine appointment, with songs of everlasting joy, 40. And until this be accomplished, let not Thy judgments fall upon that city. 41. And whatsoever city Thy servants shall enter, and the people of that city receive not the testimony of Thy servants, and Thy servants warn them to save themselves from this untoward generation, let it be upon that city according to that which Thou hast spoken by the mouths of Thy Prophets; 42. But deliver Thou, O Jehovah we beseech Thee, Thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood. 43. O Lord, we delight not in the destruction of our fellow men; their souls are precious before Thee; 44. But Thy word must be fulfilled; help Thy servants to say, with Thy grace assisting them, Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours. 45. We know that Thou hast spoken by the mouth of Thy Prophets terrible things concerning the wicked, in the last days–that Thou wilt pour out Thy judgments, without measure; 46. Therefore. O Lord, deliver Thy people from the calamity of the wicked; enable Thy servants to seal up the law, and bind up the testimony, that they may be prepared against the day of burning. 47. We ask Thee, Holy Father, to remember those who have been driven by the inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, from the lands of their inheritance, and break off, O Lord, this yoke of affliction that has been put upon them; 48. Thou knowest, O Lord, that they have been greatly oppressed and afflicted by wicked men, and our hearts flow out with sorrow, because of their grievous burdens. 49. O Lord, how long wilt Thou suffer this people to bear this affliction, and the cries of their innocent ones to ascend up in Thine ears, and their blood come up in testimony before Thee, and not make a display of Thy testimony in their behalf? 50. Have mercy, O Lord, upon the wicked mob, who have driven Thy people, that they may cease to spoil, that they may repent of their sins, if repentance is to be found; 51. But if they will not, make bare Thine arm, O Lord, and redeem that land which Thou didst appoint a Zion unto Thy people! 52. And if it cannot be otherwise, that the cause of Thy people may not fail before Thee, may Thine anger be kindled, and Thine indignation fall upon them, that they may be wasted away, both root and branch, from under heaven; 53. That inasmuch as they will repent, Thou art gracious and merciful and wilt turn away Thy wrath, when Thou lookest upon the face of Thine anointed. 54. Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth, have mercy upon the rulers of our land, may those principles which were so honorably and nobly defended, viz., the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever; 55. Remember the kings, princes, the nobles, and the great ones of the earth, and all people, and the churches, all the poor, the needy, and afflicted ones of the earth, 56. That their hearts may be softened, when Thy servants shall go out from Thy house, O Jehovah, to bear testimony of Thy name, that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and Thy people may obtain favor in the sight of all; 57. That all the ends of the earth may know that we Thy servants have heard Thy voice, and that Thou hast sent us; 58. That from among all these, Thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build s holy city to Thy name, as Thou hast commanded them. 59. We ask Thee to appoint unto Zion other stakes, besides this one which Thou hast appointed, that the gathering of Thy people may roll on in great power and majesty, that Thy work may be cut short in righteousness. 60. Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before Thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which Thou hast given unto us who are identified with the Gentiles; 61. But Thou knowest that Thou hast a great love for the children of Jacob, who have been scattered upon the mountains, for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day; 62. We therefore ask Thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed; 63. And the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David. 64. And the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which Thou didst give to Abraham, their father; 65. And cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten, because of their transgression, be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fullness of the everlasting Gospel; 66. That they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed, and cease their rebellions; 67. And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before Thee. 68. O Lord, remember Thy servant, Joseph Smith, Jun., and all his afflictions and persecutions–how he has covenanted with Jehovah, and vowed to Thee, O mighty God of Jacob–and the commandments which Thou hast given unto him, and that he hath sincerely striven to do Thy will. 69. Have mercy, O Lord, upon his wife and children, that they may be exalted in Thy presence, and preserved by Thy fostering hand; 70. Have mercy upon all their immediate connections, that their prejudices may be broken up, and swept away as with a flood, that they may be converted and redeemed with Israel, and know that Thou art God. 71. Remember, O Lord, the presidents, even all the presidents of Thy Church, that Thy right hand may exalt them, with all their families, and their immediate connections, that their names may be perpetuated, and had in everlasting remembrance, from generation to generation. 72. Remember all Thy Church, O Lord, with all their families, and all their immediate connections, with all their sick and afflicted ones, with all the poor and meek of the earth, that the kingdom which Thou hast set up without hands, may become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth; 73. That Thy Church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners; 74. And be adorned as a bride for that day when Thou shalt unveil the heavens, and cause the mountains to flow down at Thy presence, and the valleys to be exalted, the rough places made smooth: that Thy glory may fill the earth; 75. That when the trump shall sound for the dead we shall be caught up in the cloud to meet Thee, that we may ever be with the Lord; 76. That our garments may be pure, that we may be clothed upon with robes of righteousness, with palms in our hands, and crowns of glory upon our heads, and reap eternal joy for all our sufferings. 77. O Lord God Almighty, hear us in these our petitions, and answer us from heaven, Thy holy habitation, where Thou sittest enthroned, with glory, honor, power, majesty, might, dominion, truth, justice, judgment, mercy, and an infinity of fullness, from everlasting to everlasting. 78. O hear, O hear, O hear us O Lord! and answer these petitions, and except the dedication of this house unto Thee, the work of our hands, which we have built unto Thy name. 79. And also this Church, to put upon it Thy name; and help us by the power of Thy Spirit, that we may mingle our voices with those bright, shining seraphs around Thy throne, with acclamations of praise, singing hosanna to God and the Lamb; 80. And let these Thine anointed ones be clothed with salvation, and Thy Saints shout aloud for joy. Amen and amen.10

The choir then sang:


The Spirit of God like a fire is burning.!

The latter-day glory begins to come forth;

The visions and blessings of old are returning,

The angels are coming to visit the earth.


We’ll sing and we’ll shout with the armies of heaven—

Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb:

Let glory to them in the highest be given,

Henceforth and forever’ amen and amen.

The Lord is extending the Saints’ understanding,

Restoring their judges and all as at first;

The knowledge and power of God are expanding;

The veil over the earth is beginning to burst.

We’ll sing and we’ll shout, etc.

We’ll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit,

To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,

That we through our faith may begin to inherit

The visions and blessings and glories of God.

We’ll sing and we’ll shout, etc.

We’ll wash and be washed, and with oil be anointed,

Withal not omitting the washing of feet;

For he that receiveth his penny appointed

Must surely be clean at the harvest of wheat.

We’ll sing and we’ll shout, etc.

Old Israel, that fled from the world for his freedom,

Must come with the cloud and the pillar amain;

And Moses and Aaron and Joshua lead him,

And feed him on manna from heaven again.

We’ll sing and we’ll shout, etc.

How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion

Shall lie down together without any ire,

And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion,

As Jesus descends with His chariots of fire!

We’ll sing and we’ll shout with the armies of heaven—

Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!

Let glory to them in the highest be given,

Henceforth and forever’ amen and amen! ((William W. Phelps.)

I then asked the several quorums separately, and then the congregation, if they accepted the dedication prayer, and acknowledged the house dedicated. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative, in every instance.

The Lord’s Supper was then administered; President Don Carlos Smith blessed the bread and the wine, which was distributed by several Elders to the Church; after which I bore record of my mission, and of the ministration of angels.

President Don Carlos Smith also bore testimony of the truth of the work of the Lord in which we were engaged.

President Oliver Cowdery testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and of the work of the Lord in these last days.

President Frederick G. Williams arose and testified that while President Rigdon was making his first prayer, an angel entered the window and took his seat between Father Smith and himself, and remained there during the prayer.

President David Whitmer also saw angels in the house.

President Hyrum Smith made some appropriate remarks congratulating those who had endured so many toils and privations to build the house.

President Rigdon then made a few appropriate closing remarks, and a short prayer, at the close of which we sealed the proceedings of the day by shouting hosanna, hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb, three times, sealing it each time with amen, amen, and amen.

President Brigham Young gave a short address in tongues, and David W. Patten interpreted, and gave a short exhortation in tongues himself, after which I blessed the congregation in the name of the Lord, and the assembly dispersed a little past four o’clock, having manifested the most quiet demeanor during the whole exercise.

I met the quorums in the evening and instructed them respecting the ordinance of washing of feet, which they were to attend to on Wednesday following; and gave them instructions in relation to the spirit of prophecy, and called upon the congregation to speak, and not to fear to prophesy good concerning the Saints, for if you prophesy the falling of these hills and the rising of the valleys, the downfall of the enemies of Zion and the rising of the kingdom of God, it shall come to pass. Do not quench the Spirit, for the first one that opens his mouth shall receive the Spirit of prophecy.

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

The number of official members present on this occasion was four hundred and sixteen, being a greater number than ever assembled on any former occasion.


  1. Nelson, Russell M. “Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings”. May 2001. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 16 December 2008.
  2. Perkins, Keith W. “Kirtland Temple”. 1992. Encyclopedia of Mormonism. 16 December 2008.
  3. Burton, Alma P. “Endowment”. 1992. Encyclopedia of Mormonism. 16 December 2008.
  4. Roberts, Brigham H., Ed. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1932–512. 410-428. This article is “adapted” because Psalm 96 and 24 were added to the body of the text.
  5. Parley P. Pratt, author.
  6. William W. Phelps, author.
  7. William W. Phelps, author.
  8. William W. Phelps, author.
  9. Watts, author.
  10. D&C 109.

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  1. J. Stapley’s avatar

    A couple of corrections:

    1) the promised endowment mentioned in the revelation delivered at the January Conference of 1831 was manifest during the June conference of that year in Kirtland. The Saints had moved to Kirtland and at the conference, the proceedings of which were a bit controversial, several were ordained to the high priesthood (the first time in the Restoration). The ordinations included promised blessings and power to heal the sick, speak in tongues and work miracles.

    Later Joseph received the revelation for the temple and a similar anticipation of power was popularized. This latter development is excellently chronicled in the recently released, Joseph Smith Papers, Journals 1: 1832-1839. I recommend that volume to those interested.

    2) What people typically refer to as the “Kirtland Endowment” is really a conflation of a bunch of events that occurred in the Temple. The Temple rituals included a washing and perfuming (January 16 and 21, 1836 – Journals 1, 166-171; Oliver Cowdery Date Book in BYU Studies), an anointing and sealing of blessings (January 21 and days after: ibid.), Temple dedication (March 27: Journal 1, 199-211), a Solemn Assembly and ritual Feet Washing (March 30: ibid., 213-216). Only the priesthood attended the Solemn Assembly and after the feet washing, there were great manifestations of power. Joseph Smith wrote in his diary of those manifestations:

    [T]he brethren continued exhorting, prophesying and speaking in tongues until 5 o clock in the morning- the Saviour made his appearance to some, while angels minestered unto others, and it was a penticost and enduement indeed, long to be remembered for the sound shall go forth from this place into all the worl[.] (ibid., 215-216)

    Joseph had preached for months that the priesthood should prepare themselves for the Solemn Assembly so that they would recieve power to heal, cast out devils, preach the word with force, etc. (his diary has many examples of these sermons). It is this bestowal of charismatic power that was the “Kirtland endowment.” Another excellent example was that of Wilford Woodruff who was not in Kirtland in 1836 and so went through the temple rituals in April 1837 in anticipation of the endowment of power. His diary is a splendid record of the proceedings. Note as well that the History of the Church account appears to have several significant inaccuracies.

    Also, the dedicatory prayer was actually prepared by five different individuals, including the first presidency (and by revelation).

  2. Greg’s avatar

    J. Stapley – Thank you for your insightful comments. The focus of this post – and the two subsequent articles – is on the events of the first week of dedicatory services at the Kirtland Temple. As you note above, there was much done in preparation for the dedicatory services. I hope to add “Kirtland Temple Endowment” material over time, but want to post these first as reference material for subsequent articles. Thank you so much for adding these comments above. They will aid others searching for material about the Pentecost at Kirtland. Also, instead of adding your second comment which amended this one, I edited your comments above to reflect the correction.

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