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Joseph Smith-The Kirtland Temple


On January 13, 1836, a committee consisting of Joseph Smith, Jr., Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, W. W. Phelps, and David Whitmer was appointed to draft rules for the regulation of the house of the Lord in times of worship. Two days later, Joseph Smith presented to the high council in Kirtland the rules that had been drafted by this committee, after which they were approved unanimously by that body. (See Kirtland Council Minute Book, p. 203, and History of the Church 2:368-69.)

I. It is according to the rules and regulations of all regularly and legally organized bodies to have a president to keep order.

II. The bodies thus organized are under obligation to be in subjection to that authority.

III. When a congregation assembles in this house, it shall submit to the following rules, that due respect may be paid to the order of worship, viz.:

1st. No man shall be interrupted who is appointed to speak by the Presidency of the Church, by any disorderly person or persons in the congregation, by whispering, by laughing, by talking, by menacing gestures, by getting up and running out in a disorderly manner, or by offering indignity to the manner of worship, or the religion, or to any officer of said Church while officiating in his office, in anywise whatsoever, by any display of ill manners or ill breeding, from old or young, rich or poor, male or female, bond or free, black or white, believer or unbeliever. And if any of the above insults are offered, such measures will be taken as are lawful, to punish the aggressor or aggressors, and eject them from the house.

22nd. An insult offered to the presiding Elder of said Church shall be considered an insult to the whole body. Also, an insult offered to any of the officers of said Church, while officiating, shall be considered an insult to the whole body.

23rd. All persons are prohibited from going up the stairs in times of worship.

24th. All persons are prohibited from exploring the house, except waited upon by a person appointed for that purpose.

25th. All persons are prohibited from going into the several pulpits, except the officers who are appointed to officiate in the same.

26th. All persons are prohibited from cutting, marking or marring the inside or outside of the house with a knife, pencil, or any other instrument whatever, under pain of such penalty as the law shall inflict.

27th. All children are prohibited from assembling in the house, above or below, or any part of it, to play, or for recreation, at any time: and all parents, guardians, or masters, shall be amenable for all damage that shall accrue in consequence of their children's misconduct.

28th. All persons, whether believers or unbelievers, shall be treated with due respect by the authorities of the Church.

29th. No imposition shall be practiced upon any members of the Church, by depriving them of their rights in the house.