Wilford Woodruff gave the following account: "On Sunday night (April 26, 1834) the Prophet called on all who held the Priesthood to gather into the little log school house they had there. It was a small house, perhaps 14 feet square. But it held the whole of the Priesthood of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who were then in the town of Kirtland, and who had gathered together to go off in Zion's camp. That was the first time I ever saw Oliver Cowdery, or heard him speak; the first time I ever saw Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, and the two Pratts, and Orson Hyde and many others. There were no Apostles in the Church then except Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. When we got together the Prophet called upon the Elders of Israel with him to bear testimony of this work. Those that I have named spoke, and a good many that I have not named, bore their testimonies.

"When they got through the Prophet said, 'Brethren I have been very much edified and instructed in your testimonies here tonight, but I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe upon its mother's lap. You don't comprehend it.'

"I was rather surprised. He said 'it is only a little handful of Priesthood you see here tonight, but this Church will fill North and South America�it will fill the world.' Among other things he said, 'it will fill the Rocky Mountains. There will be tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints who will be gathered in the Rocky Mountains, and there they will open the door for the establishing of the Gospel among the Lamanites, who will receive the Gospel and their endowments and the blessings of God. This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build temples to the Most High. They will raise up a posterity there, and the Latter-day Saints who dwell in these mountains will stand in the flesh until the coming of the Son of Man. The Son of Man will come to them while in the Rocky Mountains."

Heber to England

“Man Was Also in the Beginning with God”

D&C 93

Matthew McBride

Early Prophecy of Saints Going to the Rocky Mountains

Lorenzo D Young

On August 6, 1842, Joseph Smith wrote: "I had a conversation with a number of brethren in the shade of the building on the subject of our persecutions in Missouri and the constant annoyance which has followed us since we were driven from that state. I prophesied that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our persecutors or lose their lives in consequence of exposure to disease, and some of you will live to go and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains."

There are also recollections by other church members of Joseph mapping the path the pioneers would take to the Salt Lake Valley. For example, George H. Goddard, a Mormon Pioneer, testified that he was present in the Nauvoo Masonic Hall when Joseph Smith drew a map on the floor with a piece of chalk the Great Basin of western America, indicating the course they would follow across the plains and into the West.

Another church member, Hopkins C. Pendar, reported that "Joseph Smith just before he was killed, made a sketch of the future home of the Saints in the Rocky Mountains and their route or road to that country as he had seen [it] in vision; a map or drawing of it."

Mosiah Hancock wrote in his journal about Joseph Smith visiting his father, Levi's, home, just prior to his demise in Carthage. Mosiah writes, ". . . the Prophet came to our home and stopped in our carpenter shop and stood by the turning lathe I went and got my map for him. 'Now,' said he, 'I will show you the travels of this people.' He then showed our travels thru Iowa, and said, 'Here you will make a place for the winter; and here you will travel west until you come to the valley of the Great Salt Lake! You will build cities to the North and to the South, and to the East and to the West; and you will become a great and wealthy people in that land.'


Wilford Woodruff, Conference Report, April 1898, p.57

Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith (Aug. 6, 1842.) (Millennial Star, Vol. xix., page 630)

"The Life Story of Mosiah Lyman Hancock"

E. Cecil McGavin, "Nauvoo the Beautiful" (Salt Lake City, 1946)

Hyrum L. Andrus, BYU Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, p.141


Created with images by Altus Photo Design - "Kirtland Ohio Temple"

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