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Excerpts From Joseph’s Smith’s Diary

Notes by Donna Morley and others where indicated.


Excerpts are written as they appeared in Smith’s journals, this includes misspelled words, and wrongful grammar. The only editing performed were a very few periods, commas, or colons where needed.

A THREAT GIVEN TO JOSEPH BY DR. HURLBUT (who would eventually leave the church): “Doctor Philastus Hurlbut came to my house. I conversed with him considerably about the Book of Mormon. He was ordained to the office of an Elder in this Church under the hand of Sidney Rigdon on the 18th of March in the same year above written. According to my best recollection, I heard him say, in the course conversing with him, that if he ever became convinced that the Book of Mormon was false, he would be the cause of my destruction....” (March 13, 1833)

JOSEPH’S THREAT AGAINST HURLBUT: “The Lord shall destroy him who has lifted his heel against me, even that wicked man Docter P. Hurlbut. (April 1, 1834)

HURLBUT TO BE PUT TO SHAME: “Also that I may prevail against that wicked Hurlbut and that he be put to shame. (April 7, 1834)



NOTE: Joseph Smith turned against Dr. Hurlbut because he (along with Eber D. Howe and Arthur B. Deming) collected numerous affidavits from Joseph Smith’s neighbors, to expose the general opinion these people had of Smith and his family. The comments made by the neighbors were not complimentary.

DEBT: “...THAT IN A SHORT TIME THE Lord would arrange his providences in a merciful manner and send us assistance to deliver us from debt and bondage.” (November 30, 1834)

NOTE:Smith wrote a "revelation from the Lord," that can be found in D&C 10:78, 80, 83) that reads:

And again, verily I say unto you, concerning your debts--behold it is my will that you shall pay all your debts....I will soften the hearts of those to whom you are in debt, until I shall send means unto you for your deliverance....I give unto you a promise that you shall be delivered this once out of your bondage."

The above is one of many false prophecies. Although there was a boost in the economy when the Kirtland Temple was built, it was very temporary. A little over two years had passed, since the revelation, and the people had not, as of yet, been "delivered," nor did their creditors have "soften hearts." It's uncertain if the Mormons were thinking of the above revelation when Smith's illegal bank, The Kirtland Society (November 2, 1836), renamed, the Anti-Banking Company. Perhaps it was in the back of their minds---after all, it was a revelation. Therefore, could the bank be their deliverance, especially for those who wanted to invest in it? Possibly. Unfortunately, the bank failed and quite a few lost their money. As a result, many left the church, questioning if Smith was truly a prophet. Smith wasn't delivered himself, either. He, too, was in debt. He left Kirtland, for awhile, trying to avoid the many lawsuits against him. [Regarding Smith's banking practices, refer to What Do I Say to Mormon Friends and Missionaries?

CHURCH DISCIPLINE: “High Council met and tried Brother Gladden Bishop. He was reproved, repented, and was re-ordained. The next was Lorenzo L. Lewis for fornication. He was cut off from the Church.” (September 24, 1835)

EGYPTIAN ALPHABET: “This after noon labored on the Egyptian alphabet....” (October 1, 1835)

         NOTE: Joseph Smith’s Egyptian alphabet has been reviewed by the world’s top Egyptologists. Each and everyone of them claim that it is “fraudulent.” [For more information on Smith’s Egyptian work see What Do I Say to Mormon Friends and Missionaries?, pgs. 82-85].

ASTRONOMY: “The system of astronomy was unfolded to us.” (October 1, 1835)

ANCIENT RECORDS: “In the afternoon waited on the Twelve [Apostles], most of them at my house....exhibited to them the ancient records in my possession and gave explanation of the same.” (October 3, 1835)

ANCIENT RECORDS AND MUMMIES: “Mr. Goodrich and his lady called to see the antient Records. also called at Doct F G Williams to see the mummies.” (October 24, 1835)


NOTE: Joseph Smith claims that these mummies dated back to Abraham’s day. Professional scholars clearly state their doubts.

PERSECUTION: “This we feel was a want of fidelity to his client, and we consider it a base insult practiced upon on the account of faith, that the ungodly might have unlawful power over us and trample us under their unhallowed felt” (October 26, 1835)

ALPHABET OF RECORDS AND MUMIES: “Exhibited the Alphabet of the ancient records to Mr. Holmes and some others. Went with him to F G Williams to see the Mumies.” (November 17, 1835)


NOTE: For information as to how Joseph Smith and the Mormon church became the owners of the ancient records (payrus scrolls) and the mummies, see either the Mormon’s History of the Church, 2:235, 348, 350 (footnotes) or Morley’s “Understanding Mormonism”, p. 81.

DEBATE: “The question was this: was or was it not the design of Christ to Establish his gospel by miracles? After an interested debate of three hours or more, during which time much talent was displayed, it was desided by the presidents of the debate in the negative, which was a righteous decision.” (November 18, 1835)

EGYPTIAN RECORDS: “I returned home and spent the day in translating the Egyptian records.” (November 1835)

TRANSLATING: “We spent the day in translating and made rapid progress (November 19, 1835)

HEBREW: At evening, President Cowdery returned from New York bringing with him a quantity of Hebrew books for the benefit of the school. He presented me with a Hebrew Bible, lexicon and grammar, also a Greek Lexicon and Webster’s English Lexicon.” (November 19, 1835)

HEBREW ALPHABET: At evening met with our Hebrew class to make arrangments about a Teacher. It was decided by the voice of the School to send to N York for a Jew to teach us the language, if we could get released from the engagement we had made with Doct Piexotto to teach the language, having asertained that he was no qualified to give us the knowledge we wish to acquire.” (November 21, 1835)

RECORDS & HEBREW: “Several brethren called to converse with me and see the records. Recd a letter from Jared Carter. Spent the day in conversing and in studying the Hebrew language.” (November 23, 1835)

MATRIMONIAL CEREMONY (Joseph had no legal right to marry the couple):