In his Red Brick Store at Nauvoo, Illinois, the Prophet Joseph Smith prepared his successors to carry on the "great and mighty work" of God.1 Originally built in 1841, the store became headquarters for the Church shortly after its completion. A dry goods store was located on the ground floor, and Joseph's office and a meeting hall occupied the upper level.
Here, priesthood keys to govern the Church were "rolled on to the shoulders"2 of the Twelve Apostles. The Prophet spent many hours instructing these brethren during the last months of his life so that they could lead the Church in his absence.
In the upstairs room, Joseph organized the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, "not only to relieve the poor, but to save souls."3 Here the Prophet administered to some Church members sacred ordinances that would later be made available to all worthy Saints in holy temples.4 And here, Joseph Smith recorded the revelation on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage, completed the translation of the Book of Abraham, and wrote the famous Wentworth letter containing the Articles of Faith.
The building was demolished in 1890. The Community of Christ reconstructed the Red Brick Store on its original site in the late 1970s and opened it to visitors in 1980.
1. Wilford Woodruff, in Susa Young Gates, "The Temple Workers' Excursion," Young Woman's Journal, Aug. 1894, 513.
2. Deseret News, Dec. 22, 1869, 544.
3. History of the Church, 5:25.
4. See History of the Church, 5:1–2.
An organization founded by the Prophet Joseph Smith on March 17, 1842, to provide relief for the poor and needy and to save souls (True to the Faith, "Relief Society," 130).
Learn more about the importance of temples.
Read an article about the importance of Joseph Smith in our day.
Click here to visit mormon.org and learn about women in the Church.