Red Brick Store

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The Red Brick Store is located along banks of the Mississippi River in Nauvoo, Illinois. The building belonged to Joseph Smith and was completed in 1841. It opened for business in January 1842. The first floor housed Joseph Smith’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On the second floor, one of two small rooms served as his private office, where he dictated revelations and translated portions of the Book of Abraham. The large upper room, also on the second floor, was used as an assembly room, which served as a meeting place for priesthood quorums, Nauvoo temple and Nauvoo House committees, the Nauvoo Legion, Relief Society, and as a Masonic lodge..

Many important events occurred at the Red Brick Store while The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was first established in Nauvoo. The Relief Society was organized here on March 17, 1842; the first endowments were administered by Joseph to nine individuals on the third level on May 4-5, 1843; and Joseph Smith completed the translation of the Book of Abraham here.

The Council of Fifty was organized in upper room on March 10, 1844; a state political convention that nominated Joseph Smith as candidate for the U.S. president was held in the store on May 17, 1844; and the Prophet Joseph Smith instructed the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to investigate the possibilities of going West in a meeting held here.[1]

Photo attributed to B. H. Roberts, circa 1886, courtesy Church History Library

“Without any banks existing in Nauvoo, the Red Brick Store also made loans, city lots were sold through the Prophet, and the collections for the building of the Nauvoo Temple took place here.

The original Red Brick Store was demolished in the late 1890s and the Community of Christ rebuilt the store in 1978-79. The building is open to the public and tours of the building are available through the Community of Christ.

On March 17, 1992, sisters from the Nauvoo Ward, Nauvoo Illinois Stake obtained permission to have a special commemorative meeting there to celebrate 150 years since the organization of the Relief Society.

External Sources