Historic Liberty Jail
Historic Liberty Jail, located in Liberty, Missouri, is a reconstruction of a jail that once stood in the city. The reconstructed jail is housed within a visitors’ center. It is presented as a cutaway, giving visitors a view inside. A brief audio presentation tells the story of the jail. On December 1, 1838, the Prophet Joseph Smith and five other men were falsely accused of treason and imprisoned in the original Liberty Jail. One of those men, Sidney Rigdon, was released from the jail in early February 1839. The others—Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin, and Alexander McRae—remained there until early April 1839. For Joseph Smith and his imprisoned companions, Liberty Jail was a place of intense suffering and glorious revelation.
In Liberty Jail, Joseph Smith and his companions endured many trials, not the least of which was the knowledge that their family members and friends were enduring intense persecution throughout western Missouri. Toward the end of their confinement, Joseph prayed to God for understanding and deliverance. He received a revelation that he sent in a letter to the Saints. Portions of that letter are now recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 121, 122, and 123. President Joseph Fielding Smith dedicated the re-created jail and the surrounding visitors’ center on September 15, 1963. For information about how to visit Liberty Jail, click or tap here.
Contemplate the suffering of Joseph Smith and other captives in Liberty Jail. Ponder the power of the revelations Joseph received there.
Explore places of revelation, adversity, gathering, and memorial for Latter-day Saints in Missouri.
Gain a clearer picture of early Church history. Examine the Church’s growth and challenges in Ohio and Missouri from 1830 to 1839.
Learn about Latter-day Saints’ early journeys to Ohio and Missouri and later to Iowa and Illinois.
Portions of a letter Joseph Smith wrote to the Saints while he was imprisoned in Liberty Jail are included in three sections of the Doctrine and Covenants.
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