According to Charles O. Card, where is the Land Desolation?
a. The Salt Lake Valley
b. Helped the Smith’s finish their home and tried to take it out from under the Smith family
In the process of completing the house, the Smiths employed a carpenter by the name of Calvin Stoddard, who apparently took a covetous liking to the commodious home. At the time the Smiths were to make their last payment on the property, they received an extension allowing them to harvest their crops and get their wheat to the mill. When Joseph, Sr., and his son Joseph left town to raise the money, Stoddard and two neighbors used a legal technicality to accuse them of running away to avoid payment. On the basis of this false testimony, the land agent gave Stoddard title to the property for the amount still owing. Friends of the Smiths heard of this deception, and Stoddard was soon forced to sell his title to a Mr. Durfee, the high sheriff of the county. Durfee then rented the home and farm back to the Smiths, but they never gained title to it. A surprising sequel to the story is that Calvin Stoddard fell in love with Joseph’s sister, Sophronia, whom he married in 1827.
James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 34.