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SUNDAY, March 27, 1836, was a great day in Kirtland, for on that day the temple was dedicated with appropriate ceremonies. Considering the circumstances of the people, the erection of this building was a wonderful accomplishment. How the people's hearts must have swelled for joy when they beheld completed this house which they had builded by so much toil, suffering, and sacrifice! It stands to-day a magnificent monument of the industry, liberality, and faithfulness of a humble but devoted people. It is a splendid illustration of what earnest men and women can do, even under the most adverse and discouraging circumstances, when they possess the will and determination.
This historic building stands on elevated ground south of the east fork of the Chagrin River about three miles southeast of Willoughby, Ohio, about nine miles southwest of Painesville, and about six miles in direct line from Lake Erie.
The building is built of stone, plastered without and within. It is three stories high exclusive of the basement.
The first and second stories are auditoriums, each fifty-five by sixty-five feet on the inside, exclusive of the vestibule on the east end, through which is the entrance to the building, and in which are the stairways. The lower room was to be dedicated for "sacrament offering, and for your preaching; and your fasting, and your praying, and the offering up your most holy desires unto me, saith your Lord." The second room was to be dedicated for the school of the apostles. In each of these rooms are eight pulpits,
four in each end. Those in the west end were intended for the Melchisedec priesthood, and those in the east end for the Aaronic priesthood. The third story is divided into small rooms.
The outside walls are about two feet thick; the outside of the building is fifty-nine by seventy-nine feet.
The minutes of the dedication as published in the Messenger and Advocate at the time are as follows:-
"Kirtland, Ohio, March 27, 1836.
"Previous notice having been given, the Church of the Latter Day Saints met this day in the house of the Lord to dedicate it to him. The congregation began to assemble before eight o'clock a. m. and thronged the doors until nine, when the Presidents of the church, who assisted in seating the congregation, were reluctantly compelled to order the doorkeepers to close the doors; every seat and aisle was crowded. One thousand persons were now silently and solemnly waiting to hear the word of the Lord from the mouth of his servants in the sacred desk. President S. Rigdon began the services of the day, by reading the ninety-sixth and twenty-fourth Psalms. An excellent choir of singers, led by M. C. Davis, sung the following hymn:-
"'Ere long the vail [veil] will rend in twain.' . . .
"President Rigdon then, in an able, devout, and appropriate manner, addressed the throne of grace. The following hymn was then sung:-
"'O happy souls who pray.' . . .
"The speaker (S. Rigdon) selected the eighth chapter of Matthew, the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth verses from which he proposed to address the congregation, confining himself more closely to the twentieth verse. He spoke two hours and a half in his usual forcible and logical manner. At one time in the course of his remarks he was rather pathetic than otherwise, which drew tears from many eyes. He was then taking a retrospective view of the toils, privations, and anxieties of those who had labored upon the walls of the house to erect them. And added, there were those
who had wet them with their tears, in the silent shades of night, while they were praying to the God of heaven to protect them and stay the unhallowed hands of ruthless spoilers, who had uttered a prophecy when the foundation was laid that the walls would never be reared. This was only a short digression from the main thread of his discourse, which he soon resumed.
"Here it may not be improper to give a synopsis of the discourse for the satisfaction of our readers who were not privileged as we were with hearing it. The speaker assumed as a postulate, what we presume no one was disposed to deny; viz.: that in the days of the Savior there were synagogues, where the Jews worshiped [worshipped] God, and in addition to them, the splendid temple at Jerusalem. Yet, when on a certain occasion one proposed to follow him whithersoever he went, he, though heir of all things, cried out like one in the bitterness of his soul in abject poverty, 'The foxes have holes,' etc. This, said the speaker, was evidence to his mind that the Most High did not put his name there, and that he did not accept the worship of those who paid their vows and adorations there. This was evident from the fact that they would not receive him, but thrust him from them, saying, 'Away with him! crucify him! crucify him!' It was therefore abundantly evident that his Spirit did not dwell in them. They were the degenerate sons of noble sires; but they had long since slain the prophets and seers through whom the Lord revealed himself to the children of men. They were not led by revelation, this, said the speaker, was the grand difficulty among them-their unbelief in present revelation. He further remarked that their unbelief in present revelation was the means of dividing that generation into the various sects and parties that existed. They were sincere worshipers, but their worship was not required of them, nor was it acceptable to God. The Redeemer himself, who knew the hearts of all men, called them a generation of vipers. It was proof positive to his mind, that there being Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and Essenes, and all differing from each other, that they were led by the precepts and commandments of men. Each had
something peculiar to himself, but all agreed in one point viz.: to oppose the Redeemer. So that we discover he could with the utmost propriety exclaim, notwithstanding their synagogue and temple worship, 'The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.' He took occasion here to remark that such diversity of sentiment ever had and ever would obtain when people were not led by present revelation. This brought him to the inevitable conclusion that the various sects of the present day, from their manifesting the same spirit, rested under the same condemnation with those who were coeval with the Savior. He admitted there were many houses, many sufficiently great, built for the worship of God; but not one except this, on the face of the whole earth, that was built by divine revelation; and were it not for this, the dear Redeemer might in this day of science, this day of intelligence, this day of religion, say to those who would follow him, 'The foxes have holes, the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.'
"Here his whole soul appeared to be fired with his subject. Arguments, strong and conclusive, seemed almost to vie with each other for utterance. Indeed, there was no sophistry in his reasoning, no plausible hypothesis on which the whole rested, but on the contrary, plain scripture facts. Therefore his deductions and inferences were logical and conclusive.
"The comparison drawn between the different religious sects of ancient and modern times was perfectly natural and simple, yet it was done in that confident, masterly manner, accompanied with those incontrovertible proofs of his position, that was directly calculated to cheer and gladden the hearts of the saints, but to draw down the indignation of the sectarian world upon him; and we have no doubt, had our speaker uttered the same sentiments, with the same proof of their correctness, had there been those present that we might name, his voice would doubtless have been drowned, as was that of the ancient apostle in the Athenian temple, when his auditors cried incessantly for about two hours 'Great is Diana of the Ephesians.'
"But to conclude, we can truly say no one unacquainted with the manner of delivery and style of our speaker can from reading form any adequate idea of the powerful effect he is capable of producing in the minds of his hearers; and to say on this occasion he showed himself master of his subject and did well, would be doing him injustice; to say he acquitted himself with honor or did very well, would be detracting from his real merit; and to say that he did exceeding well, would be only halting praise.
"After closing his discourse he presented Joseph Smith, Jr., to the church as a prophet and seer. The Presidents of the church, then all in their seats, acknowledged him as such by rising. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative.
"The question was then put and carried, without a manifest dissenting sentiment, to each of the different grades or quorums of church officers respectively, and then to the congregation.
"The following hymn was then sung:-
"'Now let us rejoice in the day of salvation' . . .
"Services closed for the forenoon.
"Intermission was about fifteen minutes, during which none left their seats except a few females, who from having left their infants with their friends were compelled to do so to take care of them. The p. m. services commenced by singing the following hymn:-
"'This earth was once a garden place.' . . .
"President J. Smith, Jr., then rose, and after a few preliminary remarks presented the several Presidents of the church, then present, to the several quorums respectively, and then to the church as being equal with himself, acknowledging them to be prophets and seers. The vote was unanimous in the affirmative in every instance. Each of the different quorums was presented in its turn to all the rest, and then to the church, and received and acknowledged by all the rest, in their several stations, without a manifest dissenting sentiment.
"President J. Smith, Jr., then addressed the congregation
in a manner calculated to instruct the understanding rather than please the ear, and at or about the close of his remarks he prophesied to all that inasmuch as they would uphold these men in their several stations, alluding to the different quorums in the church, the Lord would bless them; yea, in the name of Christ, the blessings of heaven shall be yours. And when the Lord's anointed go forth to proclaim the word, bearing testimony to this generation, if they receive it, they shall be blessed; but if not, the judgments of God will follow close upon them, until that city or that house that rejects them shall be left desolate. The following hymn was then sung;-
"'How pleased and blest was I.' . . .
"He then offered the dedication prayer, which was as follows:-
"'Thanks be to thy name, O Lord God of Israel, who keepest covenant and showest mercy unto thy servants, who walk uprightly before thee with all their hearts: thou who hast commanded thy servants to build an house to thy name in this place. (Kirtland.) And now thou beholdest, O Lord, that so thy servants have done, according to thy commandment. And now we ask thee, holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of thy bosom, in whose name alone salvation can be administered to the children of men; we ask thee, O Lord, to accept of this house, the workmanship of the hands of us, thy servants, which thou didst command us to build; for thou knowest that we have done this work through great tribulation: and out of our poverty we have given of our substance to build a house to thy name, that the Son of Man might have a place to manifest himself to his people.
"'And as thou hast said, in a revelation given unto us, calling us thy friends, saying, "Call your solemn assembly, as I have commanded you; and as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom: seek learning, even by study, and also by faith.
"'"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing,
and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God; that your incomings may be in the name of the Lord; that your outgoings may be in the name of the Lord; that all your salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with uplifted hands to the Most High."
"'And now, holy Father, we ask thee to assist us, thy people with thy grace in calling our solemn assembly, that it may be done to thy honor, and to thy divine acceptance, and in a manner that we may be found worthy, in thy sight, to secure a fulfillment of the promises which thou hast made unto us thy people, in the revelations given unto us: that thy glory may rest down upon thy people, and upon this thy house, which we now dedicate to thee, that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that thy holy presence may be continually in this house; and that all people who shall enter upon the threshold of the Lord's house may feel thy power and be constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of thy holiness.
"'And do thou grant, holy Father, that all those who shall worship in this house may be taught words of wisdom out of the best books, and that they may seek learning, even by study, and also by faith; as thou hast said; and that they may grow up in thee and receive a fullness of the Holy Ghost, and be organized according to thy laws, and be prepared to obtain every needful thing: and that this house may be a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of glory, and of God, even thy house: that all the incomings of thy people, into this house, may be in the name of the Lord; that all their outgoings from this house may be in the name of the Lord; that all their salutations may be in the name of the Lord, with holy hands, uplifted to the Most High; and that no unclean thing shall be permitted to come into thy house to pollute it.
"'And when thy people transgress, any of them, they may speedily repent and return unto thee, and find favor in thy sight, and be restored to the blessings which thou hast
ordained to be poured out upon those who shall reverence thee in this thy house.
"'And we ask thee, holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them; and from this place they may bear exceeding great and glorious tidings in truth unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hand to fulfill that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of thy prophets concerning the last days.
"'We ask thee, holy Father, to establish the people that shall worship and honorably hold a name and standing in this thy house, to all generations, and for eternity, that no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall into the same himself; that no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over thy people, upon whom thy name shall be put in this house; and if any people shall rise against this people, that thine anger be kindled against them; and if they shall smite this people, thou wilt smite them-thou wilt fight for thy people as thou didst in the day of battle, that they may be delivered from the hands of all their enemies.
"'We ask thee, holy Father, to confound and astonish, and bring to shame and confusion all those who have spread lying reports abroad over the world against thy servant or servants, if they will not repent when the everlasting gospel shall be proclaimed in their ears; and that all their works may be brought to nought [naught], and be swept away by the hail, and by the judgments which thou wilt send upon them in thine anger, that there may be an end to lyings and slanders against thy people; for thou knowest, O Lord, that thy servants have been innocent before thee in bearing record of thy name, for which they have suffered these things; therefore we plead before thee for a full and complete deliverance from under this yoke. Break it off, O Lord; break it off from the necks of thy servants by thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do thy work!
"'O Jehovah! have mercy upon this people, and as all
men sin, forgive the transgressions of thy people and let them be blotted out forever. Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high: let it be fulfilled upon them as upon those on the day of Pentecost; let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof. And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory.
"'Put upon thy servants the testimony of the covenant, that when they go out and proclaim thy word they may seal up the law and prepare the hearts of thy saints for all those judgments thou art about to send, in thy wrath, upon the inhabitants of the earth, because of their transgressions, that thy people may not faint in the day of trouble.
"'And whatever city thy servants shall enter and the people of that city receive their testimony, let thy peace and thy salvation be upon that city, that they may gather out of that city the righteous, that they may come forth to Zion or to her stakes, the places of thine appointment, with songs of everlasting joy; and until this be accomplished let not thy judgments fall upon that city.
"'And whatever city thy servants shall enter and the people of that city receive not the testimony of thy servants, and thy servants warn them to save themselves from this untoward generation, let it be upon that city according to that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of thy prophets; but deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood. O Lord, we delight not in the destruction of our fellow men: their souls are precious before thee; but thy word must be fulfilled. Help thy servants to say, with thy grace assisting them, "Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours."
"'We know that thou hast spoken by the mouth of thy prophets terrible things concerning the wicked, in the last days, that thou wilt pour out thy judgments, without measure; therefore, O Lord, deliver thy people from the calamity of the wicked; enable thy servants to seal up the law and bind up the testimony, that they may be prepared against the day of burning.
"'We ask thee, holy Father, to remember those who have been driven by the inhabitants of Jackson County, Missouri, from the lands of their inheritance, and break off, O Lord, this yoke of affliction that has been put upon them. Thou knowest, O Lord, that they have been greatly oppressed and afflicted, by wicked men, and our hearts flow out in sorrow because of their grievous burdens. O Lord, how long wilt thou suffer this people to bear this affliction, and the cries of their innocent ones to ascend up in thine ears, and their blood to come up in testimony before thee, and not make a display of thy power in their behalf?
"'Have mercy, O Lord, upon that wicked mob, who have driven thy people, that they may cease to spoil, that they may repent of their sins, if repentance is to be found; but if their will not, make bare thine arm, O Lord, and redeem that which thou didst appoint a Zion unto thy people!
"'And if it cannot be otherwise, that the cause of thy people may not fail before thee, may thine anger be kindled and thine indignation fall upon them, that they may be wasted away, both root and branch, from under heaven; but inasmuch as they will repent, thou art gracious and merciful and will turn away thy wrath when thou lookest upon the face of thine anointed.
"'Have mercy, O Lord, upon all the nations of the earth; have mercy upon the rulers of our land. May those principles which were so honorably and nobly defended; viz., the Constitution of our land, by our fathers, be established forever. Remember the kings, the princes, the nobles, and the great ones of the earth, and all people; and the churches; all the poor, the needy and the afflicted ones of the earth, that their hearts may be softened when thy servants shall go out from thy house, O Jehovah, to bear testimony of thy name, that their prejudices may give way before the truth, and thy people may obtain favor in the sight of all, that all the ends of the earth may know that we thy servants have heard thy voice, and that thou hast sent us, that from among all these thy servants, the sons of Jacob, may gather out the righteous to build a holy city to thy name, as thou hast commanded them.
"'We ask thee to appoint unto Zion other stakes besides this one, which thou hast appointed, that the gathering of thy people may roll on in great power and majesty, that thy work may be cut short in righteousness.
"'Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee, concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the Gentiles. But thou knowest that we have a great love for the children of Jacob who have been scattered upon the mountains; for a long time in a cloudy and dark day.
"'We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed, and the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David, and the children of Judah may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham, their father, and cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten, because of their transgression, to be converted from their wild and savage condition, to the fullness of the everlasting gospel, that they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed and cease their rebellions. And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee.
"'O Lord, remember thy servant Joseph Smith, Jr., and all his afflictions and persecutions, how he has covenanted with Jehovah and vowed to thee, O mighty God of Jacob, and the commandments which thou hast given unto him, and that he hath sincerely strove to do thy will. Have mercy, O Lord, upon his wife and children, that they may be exalted in thy presence, and preserved by thy fostering hand. Have mercy upon all their immediate connections, that their prejudices may be broken up and swept away as with a flood, that they may be converted and redeemed with Israel and know that thou art God. Remember, O Lord, the presidents, even all the presidents of thy church, that thy right hand may exalt them with all their families, and their immediate connections, that their names may be perpetuated
and had in everlasting remembrance from generation to generation.
"'Remember all thy church, O Lord, with all their families, and all their immediate connections, with all their sick and afflicted ones, with all the poor and meek of the earth, that the kingdom which thou hast set up without hands may become a great mountain and fill the whole earth, that thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness and shine forth fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners, and be adorned as a bride for that day when thou shalt unveil the heavens and cause the mountains to flow down at thy presence, and the valleys to be exalted, the rough places made smooth, that thy glory may fill the earth.
"'That when the trump shall sound for the dead, we shall be caught up in the cloud to meet thee, that we may ever be with the Lord, that our garments may be pure, that we may be clothed upon with robes of righteousness, with palms in our hands and crowns of glory upon our head, and reap eternal joy for all our sufferings. O Lord, God Almighty, hear us in these our petitions, and answer us from heaven, thy holy habitation, where thou sittest enthroned with glory, honor, power, majesty, might, dominion, truth, justice, judgment, mercy, and an infinity of fullness from everlasting to everlasting.
"'O hear, O hear, O hear us, O Lord, and answer these petitions, and accept the dedication of this house unto thee, the work of our hands, which we have built unto thy name; and also this church to put upon it thy name. And help us by the power of thy Spirit, that we may mingle our voices with those bright shining seraphs around thy throne with acclamations of praise, singing hosanna to God and the Lamb: and let these thine anointed ones be clothed with salvation, and thy saints shout aloud for joy. Amen and Amen.'
"The choir then sung a hymn.
"'The Spirit of God like a fire is burning.' . .,
"President Smith then asked the several quorums separately
and then the congregation, if they accepted the prayer. The vote was in every instance unanimous in the affirmative.
"The eucharist was administered. D. C Smith blessed the bread and wine and they were distributed by several elders present, to the church.
"President J. Smith, Jr., then arose and bore record of his mission. D. C. Smith bore record of the truth of the work of the Lord in which we are engaged.
"President O. Cowdery spoke and testified of the truth of the Book of Mormon and of the work of the Lord in these last days.
"President F. G. Williams bore record that a holy angel of God came and sat between him and J. Smith, Sr., while the house was being dedicated.
"President Hyrum Smith (one of the building committee) made some appropriate remarks concerning the house, congratulating those who had endured so many toils and privations to erect it, that it was the Lord's house built by his commandment and he would bless them.
"President S. Rigdon then made a few appropriate closing remarks, and a short prayer, which was ended with loud acclamations of Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna to God and the Lamb, Amen, Amen and Amen! three times. Elder B. Young, one of the Twelve, gave a short address in tongues; Elder D. W. Patten interpreted and gave a short exhortation in tongues himself; after which, President J. Smith, Jr., blessed the congregation in the name of the Lord, and at a little past four p. m. the whole exercise closed and the congregation dispersed.
"We further add that we should do violence to our own feelings and injustice to the real merit of our brethren and friends who attended the meeting, were we here to withhold a meed of praise, which we think is their just due, not only for their quiet demeanor during the whole exercise, which lasted more than eight hours, but for their great liberality in contributing of their earthly substance for the relief of the building committee, who were yet somewhat involved. As this was to be a day of sacrifice, as well as of fasting, there
was a man placed at each door in the morning to receive the voluntary donations of those who entered. On counting the collection it amounted to nine hundred and sixty-three dollars."-Messenger and Advocate, vol. 2, pp. 274-281.
Tuesday, March 29,1836, there was a meeting of some of the leading men held in the temple, at which time the ordinance of washing of feet was attended to, and the Lord's supper administered.
On the 30th official members of the church to the number of about three hundred met and attended to the ordinance of feet washing, continuing all night in session.
On Thursday, the 31st, the dedication services of the previous Sunday were repeated for the benefit of those who could not be admitted for want of room on Sunday.
Of a meeting held in the temple on April 3,1836, and other items, Joseph writes:-
"Sunday, 3d. Attended meeting in the Lord's house, and assisted the other presidents of the church in seating the congregation, and then became an attentive listener to the preaching from the stand. Thomas B. Marsh and David W. Patten spoke in the forenoon to an attentive audience of about one thousand persons. In the afternoon, I assisted the other presidents in distributing the elements of the Lord's supper to the church, receiving them from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate in the sacred desk this day. After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the vails [veils] being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us:-
"The vail [veil] was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit before us, and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold in color like amber. His eyes were as a flame of fire, the hair of his head was white like the pure snow, his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun, and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:-
"'I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth; I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. Behold, your sins are forgiven you, you are clean before me, therefore lift up your heads and rejoice, let the hearts of your brethren rejoice, and let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name, for behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here, and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house; yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, and do not pollute this holy house; yea, the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out, and the endowment with which my servants have been endowed in this house; and the fame of this house shall spread to foreign lands; and this is the beginning of the blessing which shall be poured out upon the heads of my people. Even so. Amen.'
"After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us, and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the Ten Tribes from the land of the north.
"After this Elias appeared, and committed the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham, saying, that in us and our seed all generations after us should be blessed.
"After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us, for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:-
"Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi, testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse. Therefore the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands, and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.'
"Monday, the 4th. The elders began to spread abroad in all parts of the land, preaching the word.
"Saturday, the 9th. Myself and the principal heads of the church, accompanied the wise men of Zion; namely, Bishop Partridge and his counselors, Isaac Morley and John Corrill, and President W. W. Phelps, on their way home, as far as Chardon; and after staying all night, blessed them in the morning and returned to Kirtland."-Millennial Star. vol. 15, pp. 729 and 739.
Resuming the history, Joseph writes:-
"The remainder of this month, and May also, was devoted to the spiritual interests of the brethren, and particularly in devising ways and means to build up Kirtland; and in fact the city began to spring into existence like the opening buds of the forest.
"May 10. Brother Heber C. Kimball came to me for counsel, to know whether he should go into the vineyard to proclaim the gospel, or go to school. I told him he might do either that he should choose, for the Lord will bless you, or you shall be blessed. He chose to go into the vineyard; he likewise immediately started, and went down through the State of New York into the State of Vermont, to his native country. He stopped a short time, and then returned back to the city of Ogdensburg, on the St. Lawrence River, where he built up a church of twenty members. When about leaving that place, my father, and Uncle John Smith, came to him, and blessed the church with patriarchal blessings. When they came to Brother Kimball they were very much depressed in spirits, for when they came through the town of Potsdam, their brother, Jesse Smith, having a spirit against them, in consequence of their religion, swore out an execution against my father, and levied upon his horse and wagon; and to settle the affair and get out of his clutches. my uncle, Silas Smith, (who had returned to that place on private business,) stepped forward and paid fifty dollars, in order that they might pursue their journey home. . . .
"My cousin, Elias Smith, arrived from St. Lawrence
County, New York, with the information that his father and family, and Uncle Silas and family, were on their way to Kirtland, and that my grandmother was at Fairport.
"May 17. I went, in company with my brother Hyrum, in a carriage to Fairport, and brought home my grandmother, Mary Smith, aged ninety-three years. She had not been baptized, on account of the opposition of Jesse Smith, her eldest son, who has always been an enemy to the work. She had come five hundred miles to see her children, and knew all of us she had ever seen; was much pleased at being introduced to her great-grandchildren, and expressed much pleasure and gratification on seeing me.
"My grandfather, Asael Smith, long ago predicted that there would be a prophet raised up in his family, and my grandmother was fully satisfied that it was fulfilled in me. My grandfather Asael died in East Stockholm, St. Lawrence County, New York, after having received the Book of Mormon, and read it nearly through; and he declared that I was the very prophet that he had long known would come in his family.
"On the 18th, my uncle Silas Smith and family arrived from the East. My father, three of his brothers, and their mother, met the first time for many years. It was a happy day, for we had long prayed to see our grandmother and uncles in the church.
"On May 27, after a few days' visit with her children, which she enjoyed extremely well, my grandmother fell asleep without sickness, pain, or regret. She breathed her last about sunset, and was buried in the burial ground near the temple, after the funeral address had been delivered by Sidney Rigdon. She had buried one daughter, Sarah; two sons, Stephen and Samuel; and her husband, who died October 30,1830, and left five sons and three daughters still living. At the death of my grandfather, who had kept a record, there were one hundred and ten children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. My uncle Stephen, and aunt Sarah, were buried side by side in the burial ground in Royalton, Windsor County, Vermont. Stephen died July 25, 1802,
aged seventeen years, three months, and eleven days."-Millennial Star, vol. 15, pp. 741 and 742.
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