Dating of rocky smith
He seemed absorbed in gazing upon something at a great distance and said, "I am gazing upon the valleys of those mountains." I had before seen him [Joseph Smith] in a vision [i.e., while seeing or reporting a divine vision or revelation], and now saw while he was talking his countenance change to white; not the deadly white of a bloodless face, but a living brilliant white.He seemed absorbed in gazing at something at a great distance, and said: "I am gazing upon the valleys of those mountains." This was followed by a vivid description of the scenery of these mountains, as I have since become acquainted with it.
But, to claim that the account of him discussing and even prophesying a move to the west rests on nothing but "forgery" is to distort and ignore too many sources, from too broad a time period, over what is essentially a peripheral issue. Thus, whatever the facts, it seems unlikely that a crude "forgery" is at work. Johnson said, ..Prophet had foreshadowed the close of his own earthly mission, and the near approach of the time when the Saints in tribulation would find a place of refuge in the far-off vales of the Rocky Mountains, which has already taken place; and also relating still to the future, when a path will be opened for the Saints through Mexico, South America, and to the center Stake of Zion.
They also described him discussing this idea in a variety of setting, which argues against an accumulated "folklore." It is strange to see critics argue that Joseph would not prophesy about this—in their view, Joseph was always larding his ideas with prophetic pronouncement.
And, is it any stretch to think that he would say that the people would grow "mighty" there.
--at least to those who were watching the signs of the times--the Prophet Joseph had told us that many of us would live to go the "Rocky Mountains', and there become a mighty people, therefore we were looking forward to this time.
Some of us was afraid we would not have time to finish the [Nauvoo] temple before these things came upon us, they were coming so fast.