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Sermon delivered at Nauvoo Thursday Fast Meeting on July 30, 1840
Source: John Smith Diary, LDS Archives

Fast Day - Thursday

Thurs 30 Went to Nauvoo attend fast & Prayer Meeting for the Purpose of calling on the lord that he would pacify the Elements &c that health may be restored to the Saints.

Speaking Evil of the Lord's Anointed

Joseph said that inasmuch as the Saints will leaving of Speaking evil of one another & not Speaking evil of the Seer which Speaking evil of the archangel or the holy Keys which he held & the archangel & if the church would cease from these bickerings & murmerings & be of one mind the Lord would visit them with health & every needed good, for said he this is the voice of the Spirit. furthermore if the Saints are sick 1 or have sickness in their families, and the Elders do not prevail

Power by Fasting and Prayer

every family should get power by fasting & prayer & anointing with oil & continue so to do their sick shall be healed this also is the voice of the Spirit.


1. Malaria was endemic in the region. The swamp land of the area made the settlement dangerous to immigrants. See note 1 at 13Apr43. During the year of best-kept mortality records in Nauvoo, 1844, malaria was a significant cause of death, accounting for 85 of the 285 deaths that year. It also contributed to mortality from other causes, since its victims were physially weakened. See M. Guy Bishop, et al., "Death at Mormon Nauvoo, 1843-1845," Western Illinois Regional Studies 9 (1986) 70-83. Children and the elderly were particularly susceptible and infant mortality rates were high, reaching 25%. One woman, Nancy Tracy, commented that it "seemed almost impossible to raise a child in Nauvoo." ["A Sketch of the Life of Nancy Naomi Tracy," p. 25, Utah State Historical Society Library.]

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