This was the anniversary of the day that Brothers Joseph and Hyrum were killed and myself shot. We met together (the Quorum of the Priesthood,) to pray, several of the Twelve were present; when I returned in the evening, Mrs. Taylor showed me a copy of a vision that Mother Lucy Smith had, stating that her son William was head over the Church; the following is a copy:
Brothers and Children, I was much troubled and felt as if I had the sins of the whole world to bear, and the burthen of the Church; and I felt that there was something wrong. I called on the Lord to show me what was wrong, and if it was me. I called upon him until I slept.
I then heard a voice calling on me saying awake, awake, awake, for thy only son that thou hast living, they for his life have laid a snare. My aged servant Joseph who was the first patriarch of this Church, and my servant Hyrum who was the second patriarch, my servant Joseph who was Prophet and Seer, and my servant Samuel, William, and Don Carlos they were the first founders, fathers, and heads of this Church, raised up in these last days, and thou art the mother, and thy daughters have helped, and they are the daughters in Israel, and have helped raise up this Church.
Arise, Arise, Arise, and take thy place you know not what has been in the hearts of some; but he said thou shalt know. He told me what it was; but I shall not tell. (I saw William in a room full of armed men and he having no weapons. They would have crushed him down, if it had not been for the power of God; and many of the family would have been cut off, the Lord having softened their hearts.
Two amongst them had blacker hearts than the rest, and I know who they were, and I will tell them if they will come to me. Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball know it is so, and dare not deny it.) Call upon the Twelve, let all things be set in order, and keep their hearts pure from this time henceforth, the voice saith be merciful, and then Zion shall arise and flourish as a rose. What I was told I cannot tell. Thou art the mother in Israel, and tell thy children all to walk uprightly. Thy son William he shall have power over the Churches, he is father in Israel over the patriarchs and the whole of the Church, he is the last of the lineage that is raised up in these last days. He is patriarch to regulate the affairs of the Church. He is President over all the Church, they cannot take his apostleship away from.
The Presidency of the Church belongs to William, he being the last of the heads of the Church, according to the lineage, he having inherited it from the family from before the foundation of the world. Thou art a mother in Israel. Thy spirit arose and said in eternity, that it would take a body to be a mother of [the] Prophet who should be raised up to save the last dispensation.
And, the spirit said unto me be faithful (and that I had been faithful.) And tell the Church to be faithful. And the spirit said I should live until I was satisfied with life.
Brothers and Children, I want you to take notice the burthen of the Church [rests on William.] 2nd Vision. Joseph came to me and said 'that day is coming when I shall wave the sceptre of power over my enemies. Be patient my brothers and sisters, the day is coming when you shall have eternal life and be rewarded for all your troubles.' 3rd Vision. Father came to me and I said Father have you come. And he said 'Yes.' I said tell me where you have been? And he said 'I have been all around here. I have come to you again to tell you one thing certain, which I have told you many times before. It is my prayers and the prayers of our sons that you live to take care of William and my daughters, and see that they have their rights and standing where they ought to have it. He turned to go away, and I said I will go with you. He said you must stay.
The following persons were present at the time this vision was related: William Smith, Mrs. Taylor, A. Milliken, Mrs. Milliken W.J. Salisbury, Mrs. Salisbury, David Elliott, Mrs. McLery, Robt. Campbell, Mrs. Kelly, Elias Smith, Mrs. Sherman, Joseph Cain, Bro. Stringham, Chas. Kelly, Bro. McLery,
['The John Taylor Nauvoo journal, January 1845-September 1845,' BYU Studies 23:3 (1983) edited by Dean C. Jessee (formatting added)]