Far West

Associated Locations:

  • Far West, Missouri

Associated Dates:

  • August 1836 – Founded

“Let the city, Far West, be a holy and consecrated land unto me;

and it shall be called most holy,

for the ground upon which thou standest is holy.” (D&C 115:7)

First Missionaries sent to Europe started from Far West

“And next spring let them depart to go over the great waters, and there promulgate my gospel, the fulness thereof, and bear record of my name.  Let them take leave of my saints in the city of Far West, on the twenty-sixth day of April next, on the building-spot of my house, saith the Lord.” 1

Most Holy

Far West Monument

When the Lord refers to Far West, He mentions that the place should be called most holy.  Most holy in other scriptural passages refers to the Holy of Holies:

Exodus 26:34

And thou shalt put the mercy seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.

Exodus 26:33

And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.

Is the temple lot at Far West the Holy of Holies?  If so, it would add great significance to the Twelve (the early missionaries) being sent out from this location.

President McKay at Far West

Elder Dyer, whom President McKay subsequently ordained an apostle and later set apart as a counselor in the church presidency, offered some interesting after-thoughts on Far West:

“In connection with President McKay’s visit at Far West, it is to be noted that while there the President appeared somewhat overwhelmed. The place made a deep impression upon him; so much so that he referred to Far West a number of times in the ensuing days as a place of deep impression.

“The feeling that President McKay had at Far West registered upon me once again, but now with greater impact. The events that transpired there are significant: (a) The Lord proclaimed Far West a holy and consecrated land unto him, declaring to Joseph Smith that the very ground he stood on there was holy. (b) The Prophet Joseph Smith contended with the devil face to face for some time, upon the occasion of the power of evil menacing one of his children in the Prophet’s home just west of the temple site. Lucifer declared that Joseph had no right to be there, that this was his place. Whereupon the Prophet rebuked Satan in the name of the Lord, and he departed and did not touch the child again. (c) The overwhelming feeling that President McKay had when he visited this sacred place.

“The Answer: I have often pondered the holy significance of Far West, and even more so since President McKay’s visit. The sacredness of Far West, Missouri, is no doubt due to the understanding that the Prophet Joseph Smith conveyed to the brethren, at these early times, that Adam-ondi-Ahman, the place to which Adam and Eve fled when cast out of the Garden of Eden, is where Adam erected an altar unto God, and offered sacrifices, and that Far West was the spot where Cain killed Abel.

“This information tends to explain why the Lord declared Far West to be a holy consecrated place; and no doubt explains why Satan claimed that place as his own, as it was here that he entered into a covenant with Cain, resulting in the death of Abel, the first of mortal existence [to die] upon this earth.

“It would appear that President McKay while there felt the spirit and significance of this holy place.” 2

  1. Doctrine and Covenants 118:4–5
  2. The Life of Joseph Fielding Smith, p.340
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