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Independence Missouri Temple

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Independence Missouri Temple Wiki

Description

The Independence Missouri Temple Lot is located in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. It is the first site dedicated for the construction of a temple in the Latter Days.

The original plot dedicated for a temple is a 2.5-acre section of the Temple Lot. Currently it is an open, grass-covered field. It is occupied in its northeast corner by a few trees and the headquarters of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot).

History

Announcement

March 1831, Joseph Smith received a revelation. A New Jerusalem was to be established in the United States. [1] A second revelation, given June 1831, said the New Jerusalem was to be on the western border of Missouri. [2][3]

20 July 1831, Joseph presented a third revelation on the subject. More  precise details were given:

“Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is 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.

And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold the place which is now called Independence is the center place, and the a spot for the temple is lying westward upon a lot which is not far from the court house.

Wherefore it is wisdom that the land should be purchased by the saints; and also every tract lying westward, even unto the line [the Missouri-Kansas border] running 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 inheritance. [4]

Joseph’s vision of acquiring every tract of land between Independence and the Kansas border was not universally popular. Settlers throughout Jackson County, including what is now downtown Kansas City, became angry with the plan. Anger stirred against the Latter-day Saints.

Groundbreaking

The Temple lot was dedicated on Wednesday, August 3, 1831 by Joseph Smith, Jr..[5] Joseph, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Frederick G. Williams, William W. Phelps, Martin Harris, and Joseph Coe laid the northeast cornerstone for the planned temple.

On December 19, 1831 Edward Partidge purchased 63 acres (250,000 m2), including the Temple Lot. During the purchase, Joseph prophesied:

“The temple shall be reared in this generation, for verily this generation shall not pass away until an house shalt be built unto the Lord and a cloud shall rest upon it.”[2][6]

Rising Tension

In July 1833,  W. W. Phelps published an article in The Evening and the Morning Star. It was a copy of a Missouri law setting out requirements freed slaves needed to meet to move to Missouri.[7]The Saints had been experiencing friction with their neighbors in Jackson County before this event. Phelp’s publication proved to be the last straw —particularly slave owners. Enraged that the Mormons were apparently bent upon showing that there was an alternative to slavery in Missouri, they burned the newspaper plant and tarred and feathered Bishop Edward Partridge and church Elder Charles Allen.[8]

Eviction from Jackson County

The saints were forced out of Independence and Jackson County late in 1833.[9]

The Latter-Day Saints moved across the Missouri River to Clay County, Missouri. They then moved again to Caldwell County, Missouri with its county seat at Far West. They were then expelled from Missouri altogether during the 1838 Mormon War.[10] In March 1839, Joseph told the Saints to “sell all the land in Jackson county, and all other lands in the state whatsoever.” His surrender to the State Militia at Far West ended the conflict.[11] The Temple Lot was sold to Martin Harris, but Harris did not record the deed.[2]

Post Eviction Timeline

1833 November 5First arson incident

The first meetinghouse constructed on the Temple Lot was the home of Edward Partridge. It served as a schoolhouse, a Sunday meetinghouse, and a Conference Center. It was burned by arson along with an estimated “200 homes” belonging to Members.[12]
 

1833 November 7

Saints expelled from Independence at gunpoint.
 

1839

Joseph surrenders to the local militia. Instructs saints to sell property and leave.
 

1844

Martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith in June.
 

1845 April 6

Brigham Young expresses a desire to reassert church control of the Temple Lot:
 
“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 generation.”[2]
 

1845 April 26

Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt and Wilford Woodruff, in Winter Quarters Nebraska, debate what they should do about their claim on the property. In preparation to the planned journey to the Salt Lake Valley, they accept a $300 quit claim offer on the deed.[2]

1847

In 1847 the city of Independence formally incorporated, including the Temple Lot. “Hedrickite” offshoot returns to Independence to build the temple.

1847 March 3

“Hedrickites” held its first worship meeting in Independence on Sunday, March 3, 1867.

1882 Acquisition by the Hedrickites

Unable to get the entire greater Temple Lot, “Hedrickites” buy the Temple Lot itself. They erect the first house of worship on it.[2] (A June, 2009 lecture about the history of the Temple Lot states ground was broken for the first house of worship on the site on April 7, 1884—not in 1882—and the structure was completed in 1889).[13]

1887 June 9

RLDS Church lays claim to the entire 63-acre (250,000 m2) greater Temple Lot, after acquiring the deed from the heirs of Oliver Cowdery. This includes the Temple Lot, purchased by the Hedrickites. In 1891, the RLDS Church sues the Hedrickites. They win at trial in March, 1894,[14] but lose on appeal in a Federal appeals court.[15]

1898 July – Second arson incident

In July 1898, 46-year-old William David Creighton Pattyson,[16]was arrested and briefly detained after attempting to remove a fence placed around the Temple Lot.[17] Pattyson reportedly demanded that church officials sign ownership of the property over to him, claiming he was the “One Mighty and Strong”.[18]He was detained by police but then released a few days later.

1898 September 5

 
Pattyson damaged the tiny headquarters building by setting it afire. He then walked to the police station and turned himself in.
[17] After he testified in court appearances in late November and December 1898, The New York Times reported Pattyson was found ‘guilty but insane.’[16] He was sentenced to confinement in a mental institution in St. Joseph, Missouri.
According to local news reports[19]and Pattyson’s own report upon his release,[19] he was found “not guilty by reason of insanity, then committed to the mental institution because the sitting Judge felt Pattyson did not deserve criminal incarceration.

1927 February 4 – Attempts to build a temple

Otto Fetting, an apostle of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) (Hedrickites), claimed that John the Baptist had visited him. During this visit construction of a temple on the Temple Lot had been urged.[20] Fetting’s claim was officially endorsed by the leading quorum of the church and by most of the laity.[21]

1929 April 6

Ground was broken for temple. Temple intended be completed within seven years.[2]The proposed structure was to be 180′ (55 m) x 90′(27 m).[2]

1929 May 22

Ground was staked for the corners of the temple. Then angel allegedly appeared. It was commanded “[t]he 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.”[2] Excavations revealed stones originally buried by Joseph Smith, in line with the new survey markers.[22]

These two stones are currently in the Temple Lot headquarters building. Their original position is marked by two other engraved stones embedded in the lot. The outer corners of the temple are marked by similar stones.

1929 October

Fetting left the church over a doctrinal dispute,[21] taking many members with him. These members founded the Church of Christ (Fettingite) and the Church of Christ with the Elijah Message.

1949

The Temple Lot church solicited donations for its temple from individuals and even from other Latter Day Saint organizations.
[23]Little money was forthcoming (none from the other organizations). Construction never progressed beyond excavating for the structure’s foundation. This hole was filled in by the city of Independence in 1946, after the Temple Lot church had finally abandoned all efforts on the project[24] The Temple Lot church relandscaped the area. Currently a grassy field, with a few trees and the Temple Lot headquarters building at its northeast end occupy the site. No further plans for construction of a temple on the site have been announced.

1991 January 15 –Third arson incident

A man described as a former member set fire to the Temple Lot meetinghouse (itself constructed in 1905 to replace an earlier structure, also damaged by fire.)[25] The fire, set on 1 January 1990, damaged the upper floor.[26][27][28][29] The rest of the building was razed, and a new one constructed. This structure serves as the church headquarters, conference site, museum and a meetinghouse for the local Temple Lot congregation.

Original Temple plans

Representation of original Independence Temple DesignIn June 1833, Joseph set out the Plat of Zion, which laid out how the community was to be structured. At the center of the planned city were to be 24 “temples” — 12 for the high priesthood and 12 for lesser priesthood. The specific name for the temple to be built on Temple Lot was “The House of the Lord for the Presidency.” The description laid out the design of the interior, where to place benches, pulpits, and fireplaces, as well as interior dimensions. It denoted a space for a vestibule on the east end, height of the individual floors, as well as where the aisles should be and how the ceiling should be built.[30][31]

Description

Dimension 61′ x 87′ x 28″ high (14″ per floor
Stairway 10′ wide
Inner Court 61′ x 78’*
Aisles 2 at 4′ wide
Middle pews 11′ 10″  x 3′
Side Pews 14′ 6″ x 3′
Corner pews 5 each at 12′ 6″
West Fireplaces 9′
East Fireplaces 8′ 8″
[30]

*Note that the inner court dimension plus the stairway, does not fit within the overall dimension. This would necessitate a revision a few months later.

The Pulpits of the Temple

 

8 feet wide, 3 coves each for speakers to stand at, 4 pulpits on tiers
East End
President and his council #1 (Highest, east end) 4′ high at floor
Bishop and his Council #2 3′ high at floor
High Priests #3 2′ high at floor
Elders #4 (Lowest, east end) 1′ high at floor
Benches to either side of pulpits, Also Elevated
#1 32″
#2 24″
#3 16″
#4 8″
Corner Benches for choir
#1 6″
#2 12″
#3 18″
#4 24″
#5 32″
West End Benches
Presidency of the Lesser Priesthood #1
Priests #2
Teachers #3
Deacons #4
[backrefname=”jsp1″]

The Windows

  • North and South side:
  • 5 windows each story
  • 48 panes, 7″x9″, 6 panes across, 98 panes high
  • Stone lintels, Gothic top
[30]

General Information

  • 14″ per story
  • Foundations of stone, 2 rows of stone above ground.
  • Brick walls on stone foundation.
  • East and west end are to have five windows, (2 each floor) with the center window spanning both floors, and with side lights.
  • Doors 5′ x 9′ high, Inline with interior aisles, also with Gothic Tops, east end only (Windows inline on west end.)
  • roof 1/4 pitch, painted shingles
  • Fanlight in attic space
  • Belfry on east end with bell of very large size
[30]

Revised Plans

A few months alter, another set of plans was sent, along with an updated plan for the city. Received around August or September 1833, the plan lengthened the temple, added more windows, and clarified a few errors.[32]

Description

Dimension 61′ x 97’x at least 15′ high
Stairway 10′ wide
Inner Court
Aisles 2 at 4′ wide
Middle pews 2 sections 45’x14′ 14 benches each
Side Pews 2 Sections 45’x14′ 14 benches each
Corner pews 4 sections 12’x14′ 5 benches each
West Fireplaces 9′
East Fireplaces 9′
8 feet wide, 3 coves each for 3 highest for speakers to stand at, 4 pulpits on tiers
East End
President and his council #1 (Highest, east end) 4′ high at floor
Bishop and his Council #2 3′ high at floor
High Priests #3 2′ high at floor
Elders #4 (Lowest, east end) 1′ high at floor
Benches to either side of pulpits, Also Elevated, 6′ x 9′
#1 32″
#2 24″
#3 16″
#4 8″
Corner Benches for choir
#1 6″
#2 12″
#3 18″
#4 24″
#5 32″
West End Benches
Presidency of the Lesser Priesthood #1
Priests #2
Teachers #3
Deacons #4
[32]

Windows

 

  • North and South side:
  • 9 windows each story
  • 48 panes, 7″x9″, 6 panes across, 98 panes high
  • Gothic top
[32]

General Information

  • Minimum 15″ per story
  • Foundations of stone, 4 rows of stone above ground.
  • Brick walls on stone foundation.
  • East and west end are to have five windows, (2 each floor) with the center window spanning both floors, and with side lights.
  • Doors 5′ x 9′ high, Inline with interior aisles, also with Gothic Tops, east end only (Windows inline on west end.) Also with side lights.
  • roof changes to shallower pitch, painted shingles
  • Fanlight in attic space
  • Belfry on east end with bell of very large size
[32]

 

Sources and Links for Independence Missouri Temple

External links

Additional Articles

Sources/Citation

  1. [1] Joseph Smith, Jr., “Doctrine and Covenants 42:67,” 9 and 23 February 1831. Accessed 29 September 2016.
  2. [2]Michael Marquardt, “The Independence Temple of Zion”, 1997. Accessed 29 September 2016.
  3. [3] Joseph Smith, Jr., “Doctrine and Covenants 45:63-75,” 7 March 1831. Accessed 29 September 2016.
  4. [4] Joseph Smith, Jr.,” Doctrine and Covenants 42:67,” 20 July 1831. Accessed 29 September 2016.
  5. [5]Satterfield., Rick, “Indepndence Temple,” LDSChurchTemples.com. Accessed 29 September 2016
  6. [6] Joseph Smith, Jr., “Doctrine and Covenants 84:4-5,” 22-23 September 1832. Accessed 29 September 2016.
  7. [7]This law required free blacks to have a certificate of citizenship from another state before entering Missouri.
  8. [8]David Persuitte (2000, 2d ed.). Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon (New York: McFarland) p. 234
  9. [9] “Evening and Morning Star Volume 2, Number 14”. Centerplace.org. Retrieved 2010-03-16
  10. [10]During this period, Joseph Smith laid a cornerstone for a temple at Far West. Brigham Young dedicated a site at Adam-ondi-Ahman, although no work was begun. Both sites are within 100 miles (160 km) and to the north of the the Temple Lot . These two temples were never built. The Church currently owns the sites and has visitor areas at each.
  11. [11]Joseph Smith Jr., “History of the Church vol. 3” p274-275. Accessed 31 May 2017.
  12. [12]http://bishoppartridge.blogspot.com/2012/06/chapter-eleven-expulsion-from-jackson.html
  13. [13]R. Jean Addams, “The Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and Their Quest to Build a Temple in Zion” cesnur.org, 11 June 2009. Accessed 2 October 2016.
  14. [14]Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints v. Church of Christ, 60 F. 937 (W.D. Mo. 1894).
  15. [15]Church of Christ in Missouri v. Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 70 F. 179 (8th Cir. 1895).
  16. [16]“Fanatic Burns a Mormon Church”, New York Times. 1898-12-01, p. 5.
  17. [17]The Kansas City Star, 1998-09-05, p. A-3.
  18. [18]Court testimony by defendant W. D. C. Pattyson in November and December 1898
  19. [19]“Photos from utahcollections | Zooomr Photo Sharing”. Zooomr.com. 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  20. [20]Mike Connell, “Small branch of Mormonism has ties to Port Huron”, [Port Huron, Mich.] Times-Herald, January 6, 2008.
  21. [21]A Temple in Jackson County. Retrieved on 2009-08-03
  22. [22]This event was noted in the Temple Lot church’s newsletter, Zion’s Advocate, and occurred on or about May 22, 1929.
  23. [23]Jackson County Temple Lot Saga. Retrieved on 2009-08-03. The architect stated that the temple would require $500,000 to complete. The Temple Lot church had less than $1,000 in its temple fund, and never exceeded $5,000 in total donations.
  24. [24]Jackson County Temple Lot Saga. Retrieved on 2009-08-03.
  25. [25]Kansas City Star Tuesday, January 15, 1991, page B-2: “Independence: Church fire trial begins.”“…During a pretrial hearing Monday, Judge Edith L. Messina denied a defense motion to suppress tape recordings of telephone conversations between Smith and police. In the recordings, which were played at the hearing, Smith identifies himself and tells police that he wants to make a statement concerning violations of the U.S. Constitution.”
  26. [26]James Walker, “Former Member Burns ‘Temple Lot’ Church After Joining Mormons”, Watchman Expositor, vol. 7, no. 2 (1990), Watchman Fellowship ministry.
  27. [27]Blakeman, Karen and Beverly Potter (1990-01-02). “Ex-church member dances as vintage sanctuary burns”. Kansas City Times. p. A-1, A-7.
  28. [28]“Missouri Man Charged in Arson and Burglary of Historic Building”, Deseret News, 1990-01-04, p. B5.
  29. [29]Arson Charges Filed Against Man in Church Fire”, Lawrence Journal-World, January 3, 1990.
  30. [30]Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833,” The Joseph Smith Papers. Accessed 30 October 2016.
  31. [31] “An Explanation of the Plat of the City of Zion”, 25 June, 1833. byu.edu, accessed 29 September 2016.
  32. [32]Revised Plan of the House of the Lord, circa 10 August – circa 4 September 1833,” The Joseph Smith Papers. Accessed 30 October 2016.
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