Liberty Jail, located in Liberty, Missouri, is a reconstruction of a jail where the Prophet Joseph Smith received divine revelations of comfort in March 1839. The reconstructed jail is housed within a Latter-day Saint visitors’ center that interprets these revelations about the persecutions and sufferings of the Saints and the peace promised to those who endure in faith.
The reconstructed Liberty Jail 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 recreated jail and the surrounding visitors’ center on September 15, 1963.