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THE CHURCH GROWS
In the meantime, the organization of the church was expanding to meet the needs of a rapidly growing people. At the conference of June 6, 1831, at Kirtland, Ohio, high priests had been ordained for the first time in the church, and the elders receiving this ordination felt an added power and increased assurance.
It was already evident [says Joseph Smith] that the Lord gave us power in proportion to the work that was to be done, and strength according to the race set before us, and grace and help as our needs required. Great harmony prevailed; several were ordained; faith was strengthened; and humility so necessary for the blessing of God to follow prayer, characterized the Saints.1
The priesthood of the church was on the eve of still further important organization, which occurred during the succeeding years as fast as the necessities of the church arose and men came forward to fill the positions of trust thus created.
The special blessings of this conference, the confidence that meeting with those of kindred spirits inspired, was to be a stay and consolation to those departing on perilous journeys to Missouri where they would ofttimes find themselves alone in the midst of those who were not friendly to their work. It took courage and confidence to endure those long weeks and months before they would again be privileged to meet with those of their own faith.
Joseph Smith and his party, after their short visit in Independence and vicinity, were back in Kirtland by August, 1831, but many of the missionaries did not see their homes until months later, some not for a year or more. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon now took up a project planned and barely commenced in that memorable summer of 1830, the revision of the Scriptures. They needed a quiet place for study and work far from the many visitors and inquirers that thronged Kirtland. They found it in Hiram, a little village some thirty miles from that place.
Sidney Rigdon moved his family there, and Joseph Smith and his wife, Emma, and their twin babies, now almost five months old, found a peaceful shelter at the home of John Johnson and his wife, Elsa, where they were made welcome by the host and hostess and their family of young people, who also became interested in the work of the church. Two of their sons became members of the First Quorum2 of Twelve, and one of their daughters the wife3 of another of the same body. Lyman E.4 was a youth of not quite nineteen when he was baptized by Sidney Rigdon in February, 1831. Four years later when the Quorum of Twelve was organized, he was its youngest member, and the first chosen. After some three years of active missionary work, he was forced out, with many of the younger men of the church, accused of "merchandising" in 1838. He later took up the practice of law in Davenport, Iowa, and still later went to Keokuk and practiced there. He was always friendly to the church, and often visited at Nauvoo. He met his death by accidental drowning at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1856.
In June following Lyman's baptism, his brother Luke,5 his senior by four years, was baptized by Joseph Smith. He also became one of the Twelve, and was disaffected at the same time as his brother, John F. Boynton, the Whitmers, and Oliver Cowdery. He later returned, although he never became very active in church work again.
Perhaps what first attracted the Johnson family to the church was the famous healing of Mrs. Johnson's crippled arm. A. S. Hayden, a Disciples minister, describes this incident, and puts his own explanation upon it:
Whatever we may say of the moral character of the author of Mormonism, it cannot be denied that Joseph Smith was a man of remarkable power--over others. Added to the stupendous claim of supernatural power, conferred by the direct gift of God, he exercised an almost magnetic power--an irresistible fascination--over those with whom he came in contact. Ezra Booth of Mantua, a Methodist preacher of much more than ordinary culture, and with strong natural abilities, in company with his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and some other citizens of this place, visited Smith at his home in Kirtland in 1831. Mrs. Johnson had been afflicted for some time with a lame arm, and was not at the time of the visit able to lift her hand to her head. The party visited Smith partly out of curiosity, and partly to see for themselves what there might be in the new doctrine. During the interview, the conversation turned on the subject of supernatural gifts, such as were conferred in the days of the apostles. Someone said, "Here is Mrs. Johnson with a lame arm. Has God given any power to men now on earth to cure her?" A few moments later, when the conversation had turned in another direction, Smith arose, and walking across the room, taking Mrs. Johnson by the hand, said in the most solemn and impressive manner: "Woman, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I command thee to be whole," and immediately left the room.
The company was awe stricken at the infinite presumption of the man, and the calm assurance with which he spoke. The sudden mental and moral shock--I know not better how to explain the well-attested fact--electrified the rheumatic arm--Mrs. Johnson at once lifted it up with ease, and on her return home the next day she was able to do her washing without difficulty or pain.6
The Johnsons had a different explanation for this miracle. They really believed it to be a manifestation of the power of God, and immediately threw in their fortunes with the Latter Day Saints. At their hospitable farm home the Smiths found a quiet haven such as had been theirs in the Whitmer home in Fayette. They moved to Hiram in September, and by the first of October, with the aid of Rigdon, Joseph Smith was hard at work upon the revision of the Scriptures.
This work was interrupted rather frequently by conferences, councils, and short missionary trips. At one of these conferences, it was determined to publish a paper in the town of Independence, to be called The Evening and the Morning Star. W. W. Phelps, who was on his way back to "Zion" in the West, was to purchase a press and type as he passed through Cincinnati. This was an expensive and forward-looking venture for the young church, busy as they were in collecting enough money to buy western lands upon which to locate the people who were thronging into the church, anxious to take part in the new experiment in the West. But the revelations received through Joseph Smith were still in manuscript form, and could only be interpreted by the people as they passed by word of mouth from one to the other, or were handed about in rare copies. As these revelations contained important direction to the church, it seemed that some means of making them accessible to everyone was almost imperative. These revelations were to be published in the proposed The Evening and the Morning Star and also in book form for general distribution. This latter publication was to be known as the Book of Commandments.7
The first Sunday in October, Orson Hyde,8 a young clerk in Whitney's store, was baptized. He was another of those destined to be numbered among the first Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
The work on the Scriptures was temporarily suspended early in November, while Joseph Smith made haste to correct and prepare the material for the Book of Commandments that the manuscript might be taken by Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer to Missouri for publication, mails being far too uncertain for such valuable papers. From November 1 to November 12, a number of the brethren sat in council constantly preparing this work. And even then they later considered that their work had been too hurried for absolute accuracy.
The brethren left with the precious papers about the middle of November, and the work on the translation, or rather revision of the Scriptures was resumed, to be continued all through the winter, though with rather frequent interruptions due to missionary activity and church business.
In the meantime, under the able direction of Edward Partridge, the experiment in Missouri was progressing quite satisfactorily, in spite of occasional discouragements and disagreements. After only a few days in Independence, on August 3, 1831, Joseph Smith went out into the woods, pointed out a beautiful location, and said, "Here is where the temple is to be built." At this time the church did not own a foot of this land. It is doubtful if they knew who did own it. Certainly it did not matter. They were so sure of themselves, so positive of their mission, they knew without shadow of doubt that this consecrated spot would become their own. On December 10, 1831, for "the consideration of one hundred and thirty dollars," Bishop Partridge bought for the church, from Jones H. Flournoy and wife, a tract of land, including the spot dedicated for the temple, which has ever since been known as the Temple Lot. Upon this tract near the northeast corner he erected his own house, where meetings were often held when the weather did not permit their being held in the open on the Temple Lot. He also secured some two thousand acres of land, some by purchase, and some by original entry.
The student of history who for the first time looks upon the plat showing original entries of land in Jackson, County, and recalls the race for land that so often caused trouble and bloodshed in early days, receives no uncertain light on events that came, so soon after. Here he sees a large acreage of choice land marked Edward Partridge, next to it one labeled Lilburn W. Boggs, again and again the names appear in close proximity, foretelling a rivalry that was all too soon manifest.
Partridge's rather enormous purchases of land were not for himself, but to be allotted as inheritances to the Saints who came up to Zion to aid in the establishment of the new economic system, variously known as the "United Order," the "Zionic Plan," and the "Order of Enoch."9
Theirs was not an isolated example of the awakening of public conscience. Similar religious trends marked the beginning of a movement for public morality. Only two years later in 1833 John Joy Shipherd and Philo Penfield Stewart founded the Oberlin Colony in the forests of Northern Ohio, declaring their purpose to serve God, and to hold no more property than each could manage, operating that property as a divine trust. This idea is very much akin to the Latter Day Saint theory of stewardships, promulgated from the inception of the church until today.
To the Saints from the East, where large families were successfully reared and reasonably well educated on snug little farms of forty to sixty acres, the cry of the long-sided Kentuckians for elbow-room" was incomprehensible and showed at the least, greed and lack of thrift, while the gregarious tendency of the Latter Day Saint colonies was equally baffling to the original settlers.
A disinterested writer says, "It was late in the summer when the Saints arrived, but they immediately went to work. . . . Notwithstanding the belated season they cut hay for their cattle, sowed a little grain and carried forward the work of building log cabins. Winter came and found them somewhat unprepared, but cheerfully content to bear its inclemencies for the glory of the church. The season was an unusually cold one and there was some scarcity of food and clothing, but the devotees huddled together, sometimes with as many as ten families in one cabin, whose floor was the frozen ground, and withstood every hardship without a murmur. Their food consisted of beef and cornmeal ... and their drink was cold water--for Joseph Smith was the first probibitionist.10 . . . Notwithstanding the trials of the first year, the Mormons acquired property from the first. While the Gentiles suffered around them, they prospered constantly. They openly boasted that heaven was on their side . . . and these [neighbors] in their turn roundly declared that it was Satan who thus favored ... the Mormons. Perhaps both were wrong--an agnostic can only guess in such a dilemma--perhaps the prosperity of the Mormons was the result of combined efforts toward one end.11 With this selfstyled agnostic conclusion, most Latter Day Saints will heartily agree.
Meanwhile in Kirtland on February 10, 1832, while working upon the revision of the Scriptures, Joseph Smith received the revelation upon the "glories," showing how provision was to be made in the next world for all men, according "as their works should be," and delighting the hearts of those former Restorationists, such as Edward Partridge, who clung to their original faith in "universal restoration."
The Johnson home in Hiram had proved a quiet retreat for study and work, and Emma Smith joined her husband there, and Sidney Rigdon temporarily moved his family to the little village on the hill. In March the Smith twins,12 and all the little Rigdons developed measles, and nursing them became a real task. At the Johnson home, Emma Smith and her husband took turns watching by the bedside of the little ones. Along about midnight on March 25 (1832) Emma Smith rose (for she could never sleep long in her anxiety for the babes) and insisted upon Joseph lying down upon the trundle bed. He was awakened by her scream as he was borne out of the room by a mob of angry men. Led by a minister of another denomination they proceeded to "tar and feather" both Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Terrified, the Saints gathered at the Johnson home that night, and willing and loving hands of brethren helped to remove the tar from the flesh of the victims, but nothing could be done for the innocent baby martyr to this exhibition of cruel and barbaric folly. Little Joseph lingered for only four days. The wintry wind blowing upon the feverish little body had brought on a relapse, from which the child never recovered.
A trip to Missouri had been planned on account of certain important developments in the organization of the church, namely, the ordination of Joseph Smith at a conference at Amherst on January 25 to be president of the high priesthood (which should be ratified by the church in Missouri). Sidney Rigdon was very ill from exposure on the night of the mob, and continued delirious. Joseph was quite recovered (although bruised and lacerated) and had preached in Hiram on the day following the mob, but he was concerned over Rigdon's condition. Mrs. Rigdon was afraid to be alone, so in spite of his illness and that of the children, the whole family was taken to Kirtland, where they would be among friends.
On Friday, March 30, baby Joseph died on the eve of his birthday, for the twins would have been eleven months old next day, and on Sunday, April 1, the father, who could delay his trip to Missouri no longer, was forced to bid his wife and remaining child good-by, and start on his long trip westward.
Sidney Rigdon had been so weakened by his recent experience that the party did not plan to walk to the Ohio River as usual. Instead a brother of the church, George Pitkin took Joseph Smith, Newel K. Whitney, Peter Whitmer, and Jesse Gauze from Hiram to Steubenville, Ohio, in his wagon. They were joined at Warren by Sidney Rigdon, who left Chardon the same morning. They made the trip in two days, stopping at Wellsville the first night.
The purpose in going to Steubenville, instead of Cincinnati, was that they might call at Wheeling, West Virginia, for paper. Indeed this was one of the primary purposes of the westward trip. W. W. Phelps had written that the new printing press was all set up, and they were ready to go ahead with the printing as soon as paper could be brought from the East.
The little party took passage on a steam packet to Wheeling, from whence, having secured a stock of paper and had it loaded on the "Trenton," they were ready to start, when on the night before their departure, the boat was partially destroyed by fire. After some parley, the boat was considered fit to travel as far as Louisville, so on they went. What was their surprise on changing their precious paper to the "Charleston" at Louisville to meet Titus Billings and a band of Saints "going up to Zion." Amid happy associations the whole company made the trip to St. Louis, where on account of so many delays, Joseph Smith felt it imperative to make the journey in shorter time than usual, and leaving the party at St. Louis, took the stage for Independence, carrying as cargo his load of paper. He records with satisfaction that he made the trip by the 24th of April! Only twenty-three days from Kirtland!
A special conference had been called for April 26. On that day his ordination at Amherst, Ohio, as president of the high priesthood was formally acknowledged by the church in Missouri. The brief mention of this ordination is one of the strange slips that historians sometimes make. We do not know who ordained him, doubtless someone ordained him to a higher order in the priesthood than he himself held, as this had been done before in the history of the organization. Joseph Smith had ordained Oliver Cowdery to the Aaronic priesthood before he himself had received that priesthood, and elders had officiated the summer before in the ordination of high priests. In this emergency those involved felt the command of God was sufficient authority.
On the next day he was occupied with church business, mainly directed toward greater unity among the brethren of the church, for he felt that such unity must eventually characterize those who would establish the "United Order." "It was my endeavor," he says, "to so organize the church that the brethren might eventually be independent of every encumbrance beneath the celestial kingdom, by bonds and covenants of mutual friendship and mutual love."13
Two days were taken off from council meetings to visit the old friends of the Colesville Branch. "The Colesville branch, in particular, rejoiced as the ancient saints did with Paul."14 Of this event Newel Knight writes joyfully in his journal:
Brother Joseph did not forget his old friends of Colesville Branch, and he came the twelve miles to visit us. We welcomed him heartily, and were greatly rejoiced to see his face once more, and shake him by the hand. He remained with us two days and returned on the 30th to Independence.15
On the sixth day of May, the President of the church "gave his parting hand to the brethren in Independence, and, in company with Brothers Rigdon and Whitney, commenced a return to Kirtland, by stage to Saint Louis, from thence to Vincennes, Indiana, from thence to New Albany, near the falls of the Ohio River." Here Bishop Whitney, in attempting to jump from the stagecoach, caught his foot in the wheel and had his leg broken so they were obliged to remain in Greenville, Indiana, at the inn of a man by the name of Porter. Rigdon went on to Kirtland, but Joseph Smith stayed with his associate, who otherwise was in perfect health, but on account of this compound fracture of his leg could not be moved for four weeks.
While the two were whiling away the tedious hours as best they could, the mysterious forces, that seemed to be bringing forward at the right time just the man needed, were at work in the far northern frontier to bring to the church another who was to fill a place in the forthcoming quorum of apostles. David Wyman Patten was thirty-one years of age, stood six feet and one inch in height and weighed over two hundred pounds, a man of great physical strength, absolute fearlessness, and in a day of great faith, noted among his brethren as the possessor of the most unquestioning faith of all. No one of the apostles was more loved. He was the man who was in his future ministry to enter thousands of cabins in the woods, walk to the sickbed of those who lay dying and tell them with assurance to rise and walk, that God could heal them today, even as Jesus healed the multitudes in Galilee. Literally thousands of miracles took place under the hands of this mighty man with his simple, unquestioning, childlike faith. Alone among hostile bands, he strode through the woods, and preached his powerful sermons in country churches, schoolhouses, and frontier cabins. He did not feel alone, faith was on his right hand, and courage on his left--the two great dominant characteristics of David Patten.
In 1830 he had seen a Book of Mormon, probably in Jefferson County, New York, but held it in his hands only long enough to read the title page and the testimony of the witnesses. Two years had elapsed since then, and he was living in the wilds of Monroe County, Michigan, a devout Methodist. He had married a Michigan girl, Phoebe Ann Babcock, and they had a comfortable cabin and clearing in the woods. One day in May, 1832, he received a letter from his brother, John Patten of Fairplay, Greene County, Indiana, telling of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of the gospel. He received the letter on Sunday, and spoke of it in the Methodist prayer meeting that day. The next morning early (for Latter Day Saints had not learned to procrastinate)--
He mounted his old gray mare and started alone through the woods on a journey of three hundred miles. That country in those days was little more than a wilderness. The roads by which settlers had come from their eastern homes ran in the main, east and west, so that David's way to the south led him over hills, through valleys, and across rivers by paths almost unknown to the white man; but nature was in her glory, the birds made melody the day through, and more than all else, his own heart, swelling with gratitude, kept time to the music of the spheres . . . arrived at the home of his brother at Fairplay, he found him, before an infidel, now a devoted Christian.16
On the 15th of June, his brother, John Patten, baptized him, and on the 17th of June, Elisha H. Groves ordained him, and he was appointed on a mission to Michigan with another recent convert, Joseph Wood. David Patten lost no time in entering into his labors. On his way back to Michigan he stopped at a house to ask for his dinner, as was the custom of travelers at the time, and, finding a very sick child, explained the gospel to the parents, and saw the child instantly healed under his hands. He was not surprised.
Until the latter part of September, David spent his time in southeastern Michigan, forming a group of his converts on the River Indiana into a "branch" of the church. People came to his meetings from miles around, bringing their sick to be healed. In September he determined to go on to Kirtland, as he had as yet seen but few of the church people. He preached his farewell sermon and was starting on in haste to be on his way by sundown, when he was told there were two children sick of fever and ague who had been brought to the place of meeting by the parents, who had hoped they might be healed. Patten turned back at once and, after talking to the parents concerning his faith, administered to both children, and they were instantly healed.
Arriving in Kirtland sometime in October, after preaching by the way, be found the Prophet was absent in Indiana, and would not be back until November. Rather late, he reflected, looking at the unharvested Smith crops. And since he could not meet the man, whom above all others he desired to meet, he might as well be busy. So while he waited, he spent the weeks intervening in digging the unharvested potato crop of a man he had never seen.17
About the time Patten was making his way south to inquire about the new faith, another traveler, now almost a seasoned veteran after two years in its service, arrived in Kirtland to greet his young wife, after an absence of nearly eighteen months. Parley P. Pratt had not seen his wife, Thankful, since he left her at Whitmer's in the fall of 1830. True he had come back to Kirtland, expecting to wait until she came overland from New York and meet her there, but before her arrival, he had been called to make his way westward again in the missionary campaign of 1831. What could he say to this call that he believed divine? He went, trusting soon to be back in Kirtland, as many of his brethren did. Instead, he was detained all winter in the Colesville Branch in Missouri, laid quite low with the dreaded fever and ague.
Spring came and some of the brethren were going east-going home. He resolved to go with them, though he could scarcely stand alone. His resolution was strengthened by a rumor that had reached him from Kirtland. His wife was ill of that dread disease tuberculosis, and she would not be there to meet him if he did not go quickly. She had kept her own condition from him in her infrequent letters: he had only read there her anxiety for him. He must go to her at all costs.
It had been a fearful journey. He started in February with Levi Hancock.
I gained strength at every step, and the second evening after wading through the snow about six inches deep for some ten miles, I was enabled to address a congregation for the first time in several months.
I now parted with Levi Hancock, and had John Murdock18 for a fellow traveler. We passed down the south side of the Missouri River, among a thin settlement of people--mostly very ignorant, but extremely hospitable. Some families were entirely dressed in skins, without any other clothing, including ladies young and old. Buildings were generally without glass windows, and the door open in winter for a light. We preached and warned the people and taught them as well as we could.
While ministering in these settlements, and exposed to a heavy snowstorm, Brother John Murdock was taken sick with a heavy fever; this caused us to stop early in the day among strangers, in a small log cabin consisting of one room; we held a meeting in the evening, and then had a bed made on the floor, before the fire. Before morning Brother Murdock was much better, but I was seized with a most dreadful chill, followed by a heavy turn of fever; morning found me unable to speak or rise. As the bed was in the way, they lifted it up by the four corners, with me upon it, and placed it in the back part of the room upon another bed.19
He called his traveling companion, and whispered to him. Murdock, unobserved by the members of the household, laid hands upon him in the ceremony of healing. He rose at once, dressed, and they started on their journey, climbing a large hill in the midst of a great snowstorm without ill effects. Once in Saint Louis, they were conveyed "free of charge" across the Mississippi by friends with whom they had tarried and preached (for these men were traveling "without purse or scrip").
We arrived [he continued] at length at Vandalia, the then capital of Illinois. Here we were invited to a hotel, where we sojourned free of charge, and preached to a good audience in the Presbyterian meetinghouse. Next morning resuming our journey we crossed the Okah river on a bridge, but the bottoms for two or three miles were overflowed to various depths, from six inches to three or four feet, and frozen over, except in the main channels with a coat of ice which we had to break by lifting our feet to the surface at every step. This occupied several hours and called into requisition our utmost strength, and sometimes we were entirely covered with water. At length we got through in safety and came to a house where we warmed and dried our clothes. . . . Our feet and legs had lost all feeling, become benumbed, and were dreadfully bruised and cut with ice.
On the next day, we had to cross a plain fifteen miles in length, without a house, a tree, or any kind of shelter; a cold northwest wind was blowing, and the ground covered with snow and ice. We had made two or three miles into the plain when I was attacked with a severe return of my old complaint, which had confined me so many months in Jackson County, and from which I had recovered by a miracle at the onset of the journey--I mean the fever and ague.
I traveled and shook, and shook and traveled, till I could stand it no longer; I vomited severely several times, and finally fell down on the snow overwhelmed with fever, and became helpless and nearly insensible. This was about seven or eight miles from the nearest house.
Brother John Murdock laid his hands on me and prayed in the name of Jesus; and taking me by the hand, he commanded me with a loud voice, saying, "In the name of Jesus, arise and walk!" I attempted to arise; I staggered a few paces, and was about falling again when I found my fever suddenly depart and my strength come. I walked at the rate of about four miles an hour, arrived at a house, and was sick no more.20
In those days one was likely to meet Latter Day Saint missionaries almost anywhere. As Pratt and Murdock went on preaching by the way, following pretty closely the National Road, they were pleased to meet at Vincennes where they crossed the Wabash, Elders Peter Dustin and Calvin Beebe, who had left Independence when they did and for the same purpose, traveling and preaching by a different route.
Arriving in Kirtland, Parley found his wife thin and wan, and though she "gradually resumed her wonted cheerfulness," she never became entirely well.
In June, 1832, the first issue of The Evening and the Morning Star was printed, reaching Kirtland sometime in July, to the joy of all who read it. Not only was it the first paper printed in the church, but the first in Jackson County. There was an editorial in it, urging the Saints to see that their children had the a vantage of common schools. They had learned that need in Missouri.
In August and September the missionaries began gathering into Kirtland for a conference which convened September 22 and 23. At this conference many of the elders were sent east on missions. In early days of the church, specific missions were not usually assigned. Men appointed to missions by the church were wont to retire to some lonely wood, and there one of their number, as spokesman, asked the Lord for direction as to where they should go. They believed they were given guidance, and the result of their missions seemed to justify that belief. Of course there were many requests for missionaries to be sent, but there was never a lack of men ready to go on what they firmly believed to be the most important business in the world.
About this time Joseph Smith made a short trip east to New York, returning (November 6, 1832) the day of the birth of his son, Joseph, the first living child born to him and his wife. His father was known as Joseph, Senior, himself as Joseph, Junior; the child became Young Joseph, a fond title that was to bring comfort to the hearts of many. He was a brown-eyed boy, very much like his mother, and the father was fond of saying in a jocular way that there was a Hale storm the night Young Joseph was born.
On Tuesday, December 25, 1832, Joseph Smith gave the famous prophecy foretelling the Civil War. South Carolina had the previous month passed the famous Nullification Act. This was met by prompt and decisive action of President Jackson, and was finally temporarily settled by Henry Clay's Tariff Act of 1833, and hostilities ceased.
Joseph Smith was unconvinced that the peace would be permanent and wrote N. E. Seaton, editor of a newspaper in Rochester, New York, on January 4, 1833: "And now I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the history of our nation."21
Early in November or late in October, two men, who were to figure in the history of the church more largely than anyone at the time realized, came to Kirtland to visit the Prophet. These two men, Brigham Young22 and Heber C. Kimball,23 had been baptized earlier in the year. Both were of the shrewd Yankee type, a trifle crude at times, but full of practical wisdom and common sense. They were connected by marriage, and had been baptized with their wives and many of their neighbors at Mendon, New York. Elder Eleazer Miller, had "raised up" there a branch of over thirty souls, some of whom have became famous in the history of the church. They were John, Senior, and Mary Young, Brigham and Miriam Young, Joseph Young, Phineas H. and Clarissa Young, Lorenzo Dow and Persis Young, John P. and Rhoda Greene and their children; Joel and Louisa Sanford, William and Susan Stillson, Fanny Young, Isaac Flummerfelt, his wife and children; Ira and Charlotte Bond,24 Heber C. and Vilate Kimball, Rufus Parks, John and Betsy Morton, Nathan Tomlinson and wife, and Israel Barlow with mother, brothers, and sisters. Young and Kimball, with some others, moved to Kirtland during the next year, and began to take active interest in the missionary work, and were eventually numbered with the first Quorum of Apostles when they were chosen.
Another of the men who were to be Apostles was baptized in September, 1832, John F. Boynton.25 He was twenty-one the month of his baptism, and thus became the next to the youngest Apostle. Boynton left the church with others in 1838, went to Saint Louis, was graduated from college, and became a very wellknown geologist and lecturer. Although few who knew him ever suspected the hidden chapter in his life when he was a Latter Day Saint Apostle, and his published biographies do not mention it, nevertheless he was always the friend of Joseph Smith while he lived, and never had a word to say against any of the factions of the church throughout his life.
While the men who were a few years later to stand in one of the chief quorums of the church were slowly gathering to her ranks, choice was made of two men as counselors for the President of the church, Sidney Rigdon and Frederick Granger Williams. They were called to this office March 8, 1833, and ordained ten days later.
On February 27, 1833, a unique document was given to the church called "The Word of Wisdom." In this revelation the Saints are warned against the use of tobacco and liquor, and "hot drinks," and advised to eat meat sparingly. The Saints were promised the blessing of health if this counsel were heeded. Coming at a time of the world when the use of these things was almost unquestioned, the document is quite noteworthy. Latter Day Saints were from earliest times ardent advocates of temperance. Abstinence from liquor, tobacco, tea, and coffee in early days was made a test of fellowship. Anyone indulging in such things was brought sharply to account; usage in later years has made its observance a matter of conscience.
About this time also directions were given for making Kirtland a stake of Zion. Hitherto the people had looked forward to going to Missouri and considered Kirtland as only a temporary place of abode. Now steps were taken to build a temple, the plans for which were of divine direction.
In the meantime the church in Missouri was growing, although in the face of more or less opposition from the men among whom they were settling.
Parley P. Pratt gives us the best description we have of conditions in Zion about this time. He had decided to take his wife with him and move to western Missouri. Thankful Pratt had brought with her sixty dollars from the East and with that they planned to have enough money to pay their way. They took a stage to the Ohio River, thence by steamer to Saint Louis, and again by steamer up the Missouri. Times had gone hard with Parley Pratt. He was compelled to take a steerage passage among the poorer class, and dress "more like a laborer than a minister." Yet by some means it became known he was a minister, and he was invited to make a speech on the Nation's birthday. Time always hung heavy on a steamboat, and speaking, whether religious or political, was a popular form of entertainment in those days. Pratt hesitated. He was dressed in "gray satinet." He knew very well that preachers of that day should be clothed in broadcloth. Had not the church raised the money to fit Jared Carter out in black broadcloth before they sent him to Pontiac, Michigan, where he was to meet some of the most influential citizens? He reluctantly consented, asking that all the steerage passengers as well as deck hands be allowed the liberty of the cabin for that day. The request was granted.
"I presented myself before this motley assembly in a plain gray suit of satinet, and bowed respectfully," he tells us. "All tried to be grave, but a smile, a sneer, a look of contempt would now and then escape from some of the more genteel portion of the assembly .... I read a chapter; all was serious attention. I offered up a prayer; all was deep interest. I introduced the Book of Mormon as a record of ancient America; I dwelt upon the history and prophetic declarations, now verified by the erection of free institutions in this great country and their growing influence. I spoke of the general prosperity and resources of this country, acknowledging the hand of Providence in the same."26 In short, he gave a typical Fourth of July address. At its conclusion the clergyman in the plain gray satinet suit was invited into the cabin to remain for the rest of the voyage, and given free board. He was even offered ten dollars for a Book of Mormon, but unfortunately had none with him.
Arriving at the Colesville settlement, he spent the rest of the summer cutting hay, building, purchasing, and planting land. During August and September he put up about fifteen tons of hay, sowed fifteen acres of wheat, built a log house, and did some fencing. The winter was spent in missionary work.
It was now the summer of 1833. Immigration had poured into the County of Jackson in great numbers; and the church in that country numbered upward of one thousand souls. These had all purchased lands and paid for them, and most of them were improving in buildings and cultivation. Peace and plenty had crowned their labors and the wilderness became a fruitful field, and the solitary place began to bud and blossom as the rose.
They lived in peace and quiet; no lawsuits with each other, or with the world; few or no debts were contracted; few promises broken; there were no thieves, no robbers, or murderers; few or no idlers; all seemed to worship God with a ready heart. On Sundays the people assembled to preach, pray, sing, and receive the ordinances of God. Other days all seemed busy in the various pursuits of industry. In short, there has seldom, if ever, been a happier people upon the earth than the church of the Saints now were.
In the latter part of the summer and in the autumn, I devoted almost my entire time in ministering among the churches; holding meetings, visiting the sick, comforting the sick and afflicted, and giving counsel. A school of the elders was also organized, over which I was called to preside. This class to the number of sixty met for instruction once a week. The place of meeting was in the open air, under some tall trees, in a retired place in the wilderness, where we prayed, preached, and prophesied, and exercised ourselves in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. . . . To attend this school, I had to travel on foot, and sometimes with bare feet at that, about six miles. This I did once a week, besides visiting and preaching in five or six branches a week.27
These were the conditions in Zion at that time, as seen by one who lived and labored there.
1 Times and Seasons, Volume 5, page 416.
2 Our use as a church of the word adheres more closely to the Latin derivation of the word, than the one in commonest use among us. See Webster's unabridged dictionary, "a specially select or selected body."
3 Marinda N. Johnson, wife of Orson Hyde.
4 Lyman E. Johnson, son of John and Elsa Johnson, was born in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont, October 24, 1811.
5 Luke S. Johnson, son of John and Elsa Johnson, was born in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont, November 3, 1807. He went to Salt Like City with Brigham Young's movement and died there December 9, 1861.
6 Hayden's History of the Western Reserve, pages 240, 250. Church History, Volume 1, pages 90, 91.
7 The Book of Commandments as printed during the following months is still extant, though but few copies of the book are in existence, it is generally believed that the pages of the book were scattered through the streets of Independence when the press was destroyed July 20, 1833. William McLellin of the original Quorum of Apostles, told Robert M. Elvin that he "gathered up the leaves as they blew about the street to compile his book." Some factions of the church maintain that the book was complete at the time of the destruction of the press, and use the Book of Commandments and condemn all later publications. The Book of Commandments (whether complete or not) was used as reference up to the time the Doctrine and Covenants was accepted officially by the church.
8 Orson Hyde was the son of Nathan and Sally Hyde. Born in Oxford, New Haven County, Connecticut, January 8, 1805. His mother died when he was seven, and he was "taken to raise" by Nathan Wheeler who took him to Kirtland, Ohio, when fourteen. Although only twenty-six years old when he began his career in the church, he was not without experience as a minister. Becoming a Methodist convert and class leader at nineteen, he later was attracted by Rigdon's preaching, and under the spell of that "eloquent tongue that never stammered" became a minister of the "Reformed-Baptists" (as then called) organizing churches throughout Lorain and Huron Counties, Ohio. He at first refused to follow Rigdon into the Saints' church, and opposed it openly and publicly, but later was baptized by Rigdon on October 31, 1831.
9 It is said that Edward Bellamy, noted socialist and author, conceived the theories expressed in his Looking Backward by a study of this economic principle advanced by Latter Day Saints. John Henry Evans makes this claim in his Joseph Smith, an American Prophet, page 244; and it is confirmed by the Arizona historian, McClintock, in his Mormon Settlements. Warren Watson in Kansas City Globe Souvenir compares Joseph Smith's plan to the "mild lunacy" of Edward Bellamy.
10 Perhaps a pardonable exaggeration in Missouri in 1832.
11 Warren Watson in Kansas City Globe Souvenir, reprinted in Saints' Herald, Volume 37, pages 203, 204.
12 These twins, Joseph and Julia, were adopted by Joseph and Emma Smith, when their own newborn children did not survive their birth. They were the children of John and Julia (Clapp) Murdock, whose mother died at their birth. They were born on the same date as the Smith babies, April 30, 1831.
13 Times and Seasons, Volume 5, page 625; Church History, Volume 1, page 248.
14 Ibid.; Church History Volume 1, page 249.
15 Newel Knight's Journal in Scraps of Biography, Salt Lake City, 1883.
16 Life of David W. Patten, by Lycurgus Wilson, Deseret News, 1924.
17 Life of David W. Patten, by Lycurgus Wilson, Deseret News, 1924.
18 Father of the twins adopted by Joseph and Emma Smith.
19 Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, pages 78, seq.
20 Ibid., pages 81, 82.
21 Times and Seasons, Volume 5, page 707; Church History, Volume 1, page 261. 22 Brigham Young was born June 1, 1801 in Whitingham, Windsor County, Vermont. He was a carpenter, glazier, and painter. Baptized April 14, 1832, by Eleazer Miller.
23 Heber C. Kimball born June 14, 1801 in Sheldon, Franklin County, Vermont. Was a porter. He was baptized in April 1832, by Alpheus Gifford.
24 Ira Bond and his wife Charlotte were the parents of Myron H. Bond, for many years a prominent minister in the Reorganized Church.
25 John F. Boynton was born September 11, 1811, in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts, and was baptized in Kirtland, Ohio, by Sidney Rigdon in September, 1832.
26, 27 Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, pages 86, 87, 99, 100.
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