“Independence Is the Center Place”

Doctrine and Covenants 56:3

3 And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse.

Elder Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjödahl wrote:

“Independence is designated as the center place, and the temple site is pointed out on ‘a lot not far from the courthouse.’ Zion, it may be added, has not been removed, though her children have been scattered [see D&C 90:37; 101:17].

“On the 2nd of August, 1831, the Prophet assisted the Colesville Saints, who had just arrived from Thompson, O[hio], to lay the first log for a house, as a foundation of Zion in Kaw Township, twelve mites southwest of Independence. The log was carried by twelve men, each representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the land was dedicated by Sidney Rigdon for the gathering of the Saints. On the 3rd day of August the temple site was dedicated. This sacred act of the holy priesthood is as binding today as it was then.

“Brigham Young, before the Saints were driven out of the state of Missouri, was shown in a vision that they were scattered in all directions, but that they eventually returned to Jackson County from the west. He says, ‘When this people return to the Center Stake of Zion, they will go from the west’ [“Remarks,” Deseret News, Dec. 28, 1864, 99].”

(The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, rev. ed. [1951], 328.)