Incredible Last Dream of Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, had what some believe to be a prophetic dream only days prior to he and his brother, Hyrum Smith's, martyrdom, that was actually recorded by W. W. Phelps.  Very few people have ever heard of this incredible dream, prior to now. Thanks to the work of Seth Adam Smith, who you might be familiar with for his outstanding LDS videos, the account of Joseph Smith's Last Dream is now ready to be told in the most unique way...

"In the summer of 2007, while working for retired church history instructor and author Paul Thomas Smith, I came across this little-known dream of Joseph Smith. Few pieces of literature have ever touched my mind and soul as deeply as this has and I’ve longed to share this dream with others." ~ Seth

So touched by this dream was Seth, that once believed to be authentic, he decided to present this sacred account by doing what he does best -- produce a video.  But this wouldn't be just any video -- this project was special.  It took Seth nearly four years to bring the vision that he had in his mind to fruition.

First, he needed to have a visual that would depict what Joseph Smith described in his last dream.  So, he commissioned LDS artist, Jon McNaughton, to create a painting. (pictured above) He then approached actor and author,  Bruce Newbold, and invited him to do the narration for the video. And finally, he had to have exactly the right music to bring the spirit of this account to life, and so he approached Rob Gardner of Spire Music.  This work of art, will leave you breathless...

"After years of waiting, and months of work, here is “Joseph Smith’s Last Dream...”
Seth Adam Smith

On might immediately question the authenticity of such an account, and rightfully so.   Author and  church historian, Paul Thomas Smith, shares his thoughts in this video, about what he believes to be an authentic account. 

The Validity of Joseph Smith's Last Dream

To learn more about Seth Adam Smith's video, Joseph Smith's Last Dream, please visit Seth's Blog. He goes into the complete background of how he discovered this relatively unknown account, shares with you his feelings about what the interpretation of the dream probably means, (and does an excellent job at it, if I do say so myself) and goes into the research that explains why he believes that this dream actually occurred.

UPDATE: Since the release of this video, the authenticity of the dream has been challenged by Ardis H. Parshall, a historian of Mormonism, who writes on Keepapitchinin -- a history blog.  Seth has respectfully updated his blog by sharing some of her opinions and cautions.  He also requests that anyone interested in learning more please visit his updated blog post

I have also made some very slight changes to this post, at the request of Seth.  However, I respectfully choose to keep the majority intact, as I have no problem whatsoever with the way this dream was presented here on this blog.  I'm not a historian, so I can only go by the spirit that I felt in preparing this post. (although some would suggest that my feelings were simply emotional) It was good then, and remains so. 

In Seth's own words.... (which he has also updated and I share here)
So what does it all mean?  Is the account of "Josephs Smith's Last Dream" written by W. W. Phelps true?  Franky, I don't know.  Furthermore, it's simply beyond my ability (educationally and spiritually) to confiem to you that this dream is true. 
However, whether or not it's true shouldn't make much of a difference. In the end, my faith does not rest on the possible "Last Dream" of a Prophet, but on the reality of his First Vision. I do not know whether or not Joseph Smith prophetically saw himself and his brothers walking on the water, but I do know that he saw God and Jesus Christ in a grove now called sacred. 
So whether fact or fiction, "Joseph Smith's Last Dream" is a beautiful and symbolic story. For me, it represents a marvelous bookend to his mission as a Prophet. It symbolically tells the story of his martyrdom not as a horrifying tragedy but as a beautiful triumph. The story first came to me during a difficult time---when I felt as though I was treading through deep water---and it symbolically pointed me back to the Savior. As I exercised more faith in Him, I found that I was soon "able to walk upon the water." 
My intent in creating the video, was to share this beautiful story with you, and hopefully inspire you (on your troubled waters) to seek out the Savior.
The first time I read it, I wept.

I had the privilege of viewing this video, prior to its release, to offer objective feedback.  I too, was brought to tears when I heard this account for the first time.  I knew this would be something special for members of the LDS Church, who love dearly these men who so bravely gave their lives for the Kingdom of God.  

Today marks the anniversary of Joseph's prophetic dream, June 23, 1844 --  On June 27, 1844, Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration, was martyred.  By his side was his beloved and ever faithful brother, Hyrum Smith.  One month later, his brother Samuel, mentioned in the dream, died of unknown cause.

Said Gordon B. Hinckley, 15th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, concerning the prophet, Joseph Smith...

"How great indeed is our debt to [Joseph Smith]. . . . It was he who brought us a true knowledge of God, the Eternal Father, and His Risen Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . He brought us the marvelous Book of Mormon as another witness for the living reality of the Son of God. . . . Through him were restored the keys of the holy temples, that men and women might enter into eternal covenants with God and that the great work for the dead might be accomplished to open the way for eternal blessings." ~Ensign, Dec, 1997


My Testimony of the Book of Mormon



  1. I don't think that there's anything inconsistent between this dream, or vision, and others that Joseph Smith had and discussed with his brethren.

    Joseph Smith "got it", in a way that many others who joined the church did not - and have not.

    In my studied opinion, a testimony of Joseph Smith as a prophet of God must accompany a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Prophets are human, as was Joseph Smith. However, there is a lot of revisionist history floating around when it comes to Brother Joseph. To understand the man, it's best to go to source documents - to read and study for yourself and draw your own conclusions. I spent many years doing this and it only reinforced my conclusion that he was a Prophet of God. It's something that I can't deny.

  2. @LL -

    From what I've read, I agree. Seth does a nice job on his blog pointing out some of those similarities, which strongly support the validity of this dream.

    The more I study the prophet Joseph Smith's works, my testimony of him as a true prophet increases. And yet as you mentioned, the Book of Mormon alone testifies that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God.

    And I love that Joseph Smith was very honest and humble about his weakness and fallibility. D&C 10 comes to mind.

    I'm so thankful for the Joseph Smith Papers Project, so that more people can study and learn more about him. It is a great blessing.

    Thanks for sharing your testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.

  3. Some of the 'Joseph Smith papers' are edited to suit the interest of historical revisionists. I find it personally irritating, but there's no way to get around it. The testimony of truth requires no editing -- and does a substantial disservice to The Man Who Communed with Jehovah.

    The editing is considered by some to be moot. I feel that it does an intellectual disservice to our collective ability to understand.

    The Heavens were opened to Joseph Smith and there were people at the time - and today - who were threatened by what he saw. In the same way that they were unable to live the higher and more difficult law. (Alma 12: 9-11)

  4. @LL -

    Yes, I'm aware that there has been some editing. Which "source documents" do you find most helpful in studying the life of the prophet Joseph Smith?

  5. Hey! Thanks for posting this! I made some revisions to my blog post and I hope that you can incorporate some of it into this post. Thanks, Kathryn!

  6. Editing to account for spelling and punctuation is one thing. Editing for content is quite another. And trying to 'revise history' hints at moral weakness - in my opinion.

    I have a large collection of early Church history from newspaper editions (Navuoo, SLC and The Millennial Star in England) as well as the standard CHC and DHC - I prefer BH Roberts.

    Piecing together who Joseph was and what he taught isn't the easiest thing to do. But ultimately I found it worth the effort. I think that the King Follett Discourse found in the JD as well as other places to be enlightening - but ultimately the Lectures on Faith are the most practical teachings of Joseph's that I've found outside of the general fare.

    Some "source documents" have been suspect in the past and are at present, but when you're reading conference talks in the JD (most after his death - but apostles who knew him well discussed what he said--what he told them) or official publications such as newspapers that were written in the period, you get a good feel for the time and for what he said.

    Doctrines without works are not worth much. The Church/humans have a difficult time with faith, hope and charity. We didn't prove ourselves ready for the challenge of a more "Zion" people then anymore than we are now. I think it's natural for people who study the dynamic nature of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young to wish that the same fire was present today. But the mission is perfecting the Saints and spreading the Gospel - not higher law, with consequences for not obeying the higher law.

    Still, the editing irritates me.

  7. Ok, serious question and sorry in advance for the threadjack, though I guess it's not really one since the majority of comments deal with it--for both LL and Skaggs, what are some examples of "editing for content" and "to suit historical revisionists"?

    Also, certainly by now you've seen the historical response to this video on Keepapitchinin.

  8. @MBC -

    Your questions are welcome here. Running out the door right now. Yes, I saw the post late last night and have not had the chance to read it in depth. I will and will respond later today.


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