Source: The Orson Pratt Journals, comp. Elden J. Watson (Salt Lake City: Elden Jay Watson, 1975), pp. 7-96.
As stated in my genealogy, I was born September 19, 1811, in Hartford, Washington County, New York. When I was about three or four years old, my parents removed from Hartford to New Lebanon, Columbia County, where I was sent to school for several months each year, until the spring of 1822. During this interval I often had many serious impressions in regard to God and a future state. And being very young, my parents instructed me to read the Bible, which I often did, with much interest, asking a great variety of questions concerning what I found written. It was seldom that I attended any religious meetings, as my parents had not much faith in them, and were never so unfortunate as to unite themselves with any of the religious sects.
In the spring of 1822, being in my eleventh year, I went to live with a farmer whose name was Justin Jones; this was in the neighborhood of my parents. I continued at this place until the autumn of 1823. The preceding winter, I also went to school. I next engaged to labor at farming for Mr. Church at Canaan, Four Corners, Columbia County, New York, and continued with him about seventeen or eighteen months; three or four of which I went to school, and became quite familiar with all the rules in Daball’s arithmetic. In the spring of 1825, I accompanied my oldest brother to Hurlgate, Long Island, about six miles from New York City. Here I engaged myself for one year to Mr. Greenock, a farmer; three months of which I went to school, and studied arithmetic and bookkeeping. In the spring of 1826, I was recommended by Mr. Greenock to a large cabinetmaking establishment in New York City, where I intended to remain until of age; but after tarrying a few months, I was taken violently sick and brought very low, so that my recovery, for some time, was considered doubtful. When my strength permitted, I went into the country, to Hurlgate, and tarried with my brother Anson, until the spring of 1827, when I returned to Canaan, about 150 miles north of New York City, and engaged myself to labor for seven months, on a farm for Mr. Noise; at the expiration of which, I accompanied my brothers Parley and Nelson Pratt to Lorain County, Ohio. We performed the journey by canal and boat from Albany to Buffalo, and thence by schooner up Lake Erie. I boarded with Mr. Redington during the winter and went to school.
In the spring of 1828, I started east in search of employment, came to the village of Chagrin, now called Willoughby, Ohio, where I labored a few months at a hotel; the most of my time being occupied at farming. I also labored a few months at farming for Mr. Norris, a few miles east of Painesville. In the autumn of this year, I performed a lengthy journey of some six or seven hundred miles to the state of Connecticut, where I labored a short time; and then took a steamboat for New York City, and thence to Long Island, and resided, during the winter, with my brother Anson.
In the spring of 1829, I again returned to Canaan, and commenced farming for Mr. Haight. The following winter I spent four months at a boarding school or academy, during which I made myself thoroughly acquainted with geography, grammar, and surveying.
In the spring of 1830, I engaged myself to Mr. Joshua Lord, with whom I tarried and labored on a farm, until the following October. This was in Canaan only one or two miles from the old homestead of my grandfather, Obadiah Pratt.
From the age of ten to nineteen I saw much of the world, and was tossed about without any permanent abiding place; but through the grace of God, I was kept from many of the evils to which young people are exposed; the early impressions of morality and religion, instilled into my mind by my parents, always remained with me; and I often felt a great anxiety to be prepared for a future state; but never commenced, in real earnest, to seek after the Lord, until the autumn of 1829. I then began to pray very fervently, repenting of every sin. In the silent shades of night, while others were slumbering upon their pillows, I often retired to some secret place in the lonely fields or solitary wilderness, and bowed before the Lord, and prayed for hours with a broken heart and contrite spirit; this was my comfort and delight. The greatest desire of my heart was for the Lord to manifest his will concerning me. I continued to pray in this fervent manner until September, 1830, at which time two elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came into the neighborhood, one of which was my brother Parley. They held several meetings which I attended.
Being convinced of the divine authenticity of the doctrine they taught, I was baptized September 19, 1830. This was my birthday, being nineteen-years old. I was the only person in the country who received and obeyed the message. Shortly after my baptism the elders left.
In October, 1830, I traveled westward over two hundred miles to see Joseph Smith, the Prophet. I found him in Fayette, Seneca County, New York, residing at the house of Mr. Whitmer. I soon became intimately acquainted with this good man, and also with the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. By my request, on the 4th of November, the Prophet Joseph inquired of the Lord for me, and received the revelation published in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 1vi (now Section 34.)
“My son Orson, hearken and hear and behold what I, the Lord God, shall say unto you, even Jesus Christ your Redeemer;
2 the light and the life of the world, a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not;
3 Who so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would believe might become the sons of God. Wherefore you are my son;
4 And blessed are you because you have believed;
5 And more blessed are you because you are called of me to preach my gospel–
6 To lift up your voice as with the sound of a trump, both long and loud, and cry repentance unto a crooked and perverse generation; preparing the way of the Lord for his second coming.
7 For behold, verily, verily I say unto you, the time is soon at hand, that I shall come in a cloud with power and great glory,
8 And it shall be a great day at the time of my coming, for all nations shall tremble.
9 But before that great day shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood; and the stars shall refuse their shining, and some shall fall, and great destructions await the wicked.
10 Wherefore, lift up your voice and spare not, for the Lord God hath spoken. Therefore prophesy and it shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.
11 And if you are faithful, behold, I am with you until I come–
12 And verily, verily I say unto you, I come quickly. I am your Lord and your Redeemer. Even so. Amen.”
On the 1st day of December, 1830, I was confirmed and in accordance with the word of the Lord, I was ordained an elder under the hands of the Prophet. My first mission was to Colesville, Broome County, New York, where I commenced to open my mouth in public meetings, and teach the things of God, as the Holy Ghost gave me utterance. The same month I returned from Colesville to Fayette, accompanied by Hyrum Smith. On the 2nd of January, 1831, I attended a conference at the house of Father Whitmer; and soon after Elder Samuel H. Smith and myself commenced laboring for one of the Saints, by the name of Joseph Coe, to assist him in making preparations to remove to Ohio according to the revelation given at the conference on the 2nd of January. And in a few weeks, Elder Samuel H. Smith and myself started on foot for Kirtland, Ohio, a distance of several hundred miles, to which place Joseph, the prophet, had just previously moved.
During the spring of 1831, I traveled on a short mission of about one month with Lyman Wight, going about one hundred miles, west of Kirtland, preaching the gospel wherever we were led by the spirit of truth. After which I united in the ministry with my brother Parley and preached some in Rome and also in Thompson where the Saints from Colesville were temporarily located; in the latter place I tarried some five or six weeks and labored with my hands.
In June a revelation was given commanding many elders to travel two by two from Ohio to the western boundaries of Missouri, among whom my brother Parley and myself were called by name, and commanded to travel together. On our way we held about fifty meetings and baptized five in Peru, Delaware County, Missouri; the next day I was taken with the chills and fever which confined me to my bed a few weeks.
About the first of October, though still weak and feeble, I started on foot for Ohio, in company with Asa Dodds, preaching by the way, as commanded of the Lord through the Prophet.
Brother Dodds stopped in Indiana, but I continued my journey, although suffering much from the ague. Towards the close of the year I arrived in Hiram, Portage County, Ohio, where the Prophet then resided.
About the 1st of January, 1832, I went to Kirtland, attended many meetings, visited disorderly members with Elder Cahoon, called church meetings and excommunicated several. I then returned to Hiram, united in the ministry with Elder Lyman E. Johnson, and started for Lorain County, Ohio, where we preached in the regions around, until the general conference held at Amherst, Lorain County, on the 25th of January. At this conference, the Prophet Joseph was acknowledged President of the high priesthood, and hands were laid on him by Elder Sidney Rigdon, who sealed upon his head the blessings which he had formerly received. I was appointed to preside over the elders and was set apart and ordained by Sidney Rigdon. At this conference, by the request of the priesthood, the Prophet inquired of the Lord, and a revelation was given and written in the presence of the whole assembly, appointing many of the elders to missions, among whom, Elder Lyman E. Johnson and myself were named and appointed on a mission to the Eastern States. (See Doctrine and Covenants, Section 1xxxviii now Section 75.)
The next day after conference we left Amherst, and in a few days found ourselves in Hiram.
February 2nd, 1832. On this day, by the counsel of the Prophet, I was ordained a high priest under the hands of Sidney Rigdon.
February 3rd. Elder L. [Lyman] E. Johnson and myself started on our eastern mission, traveling, as usual, on foot, without purse or scrip, and carrying our change of clothing in our hands. We traveled in an easterly direction through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City, to Hurlgate, on Long Island, preached thirty times in towns and villages on the way, where they previously had never heard the gospel. In the town of Blakesley, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, we baptized four, and ordained one of them, namely, Asbury Secor, a priest. At Hurlgate, near the last of March, I baptized and confirmed my oldest brother, Anson Pratt. From this place we traveled north, visited Canaan, Columbia County, New York; saw my parents. We then traveled northeast through the southern part of Vermont into New Hampshire, proceeded up the eastern shore of the Connecticut River to Bath, preaching wherever we were led by the Spirit; while journeying from Long Island to Bath held five meetings.
We tarried twenty-six days in the regions round about Bath, held twenty-one meetings, and baptized fifteen, among whom were Orson Johnson, Hazen Aldrich, Amasa Lyman, John Duncan, and Daniel S. Miles.
May 14. We traveled north, and came to the town of Charleston in Vermont; tarried ten days; preached seven times in this region, baptized fourteen, among whom were Winslow Farr, William Snow and Zerubbabel Snow. In these parts the Lord wrought by our hands many miracles of healing.
May 25. We went about thirty miles northwest to the town of Troy; tarried nineteen days; held sixteen meetings in these regions; baptized eighteen in the town of Jay, and then started back to Charleston.
June 15. Arrived among our brethren in Charleston; tarried eleven days, held six meetings; baptized eleven, one of whom was John Badger. Then went south a few miles and held eleven meetings; here the Lord healed a lame woman whom we baptized.
July 4. Again visited Bath; tarried three days; preached twice; baptized four; ordained Hazen Aldrich an elder.
July 9. Started again for Charleston; tarried six days, attended three meetings; baptized one, ordained John Badger an elder, William Snow a priest, and Winslow Farr a teacher and then traveled to the town of Jay, and held two meetings; we next returned to Bath, held two meetings, and ordained John Duncan a teacher.
July 30. We departed from Bath and went to the town of Benson, about five days’ journey; we tarried in this region about twenty-five days, held fourteen meetings in various towns and villages; baptized two, and attended a conference.
[August 10. We met in conference the tenth of August: There were fourteen elders and several priests and teachers present. Great union dwelt among us; two were ordained to the priesthood; two others were ordained, one an elder,and the other a priest. Brethren, O. [Orson] Pratt and L. [Lyman] Johnson, were there; they have planted three or four churches since last February, and have baptized in all about seventy. Brother Collins and others from Essex County, New York, (where there are about forty disciples), were also present. (Letter from Simeon Carter to Brother Sidney, EG&MS p. 46)]
August 28. We started a journey of over one hundred miles to the south part of Connecticut where we arrived on the first of September; commenced preaching in the towns round about; tarried twenty-three days; held eleven meetings in the town of Madison, and six in the town of Killingsworth; baptized ten; and ordained one of them, namely Willard Woodstock, an elder.
September 24. Started on a return journey to Benson; arrived in five days; tarried in Benson a few days; held four meetings.
October 2. Went on board of a vessel and sailed seventy miles down Lake Champlain; landed at Port Kent on the west shore, and then traveled about thirty miles to Moerstown, New York, where we found one of our brethren, Ira Ames; held three meetings in this region.
October 8. Recrossed the lake into Vermont; the next day preached in Franklin village; two days more brought us to the town of Jay, where we held three meetings.
October 15. Started for Bath; called at Charleston and held two meetings.
October 20. Arrived in Bath, stopped five days; held six meetings in the neighboring towns; baptized one, and ordained John Duncan a priest; and William Snow from Charleston being present, we ordained him an elder.
October 26. I started in company with Elders L. [Lyman] E. Johnson, Hazen Aldrich, and William Snow and traveled west some three or four hundred miles a portion of which we rode on a canal boat, where I preached to the passengers.
November 8. Arrived in Spafford, Onondago County, New York, at which place there was a branch of the Church; here we tarried six days; held five meetings, one of which was a conference; eleven elders present; baptized eight, among whom were Allen Holcomb, whom we ordained an elder, Libbeus T. Coon and Mahew Hilman. Elder L. [Lyman] E. Johnson here united in the ministry with Hazen Aldrich and started for Ohio. I united in the ministry with Elder William Snow and started eastward, preached in the villages of Vesper, Tully, and Fabius, in the latter place tarried six days; baptized two, namely, Samuel and Jemima Newcomb.
November 23. Traveled eleven miles; preached twice in Casinovia; then traveled six days to the town of Day, Saratoga County, where we tarried seventeen days; held fifteen meetings.
December 20. We started for Bolton on the west shore of Lake George; here was a branch of the Church; we tarried ten days; held ten meetings; baptized ten persons.
December 31. Ordained Silas T. Gardner an elder, and then started for Benson in Vermont; held one meeting in Benson; and then pursued our journey to Bath about 100 miles distant.
January 8, 1833. Arrived in Bath; I tarried nine days; William Snow having gone to Charleston; held five meetings, then visited the church at Charleston; held one meeting; returned to Bath and held two meetings.
[January 23, 1833. The following letter was written by Orson Pratt to the editor of The Evening and the Morning Star. (E&MS p. 78)
Bath, New Hampshire, January 23, 1833.
Dear brethren, we have traveled in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut; and we baptized four in Blakely, Pennsylvania; and also my brother on Long Island; eight in Madison, Connecticut; twenty in Bath, New Hampshire; twenty seven in Charleston, Vermont; and eighteen in Troy, Vermont. We went to a conference which was held in Spafford, New York, on the tenth of November, where Brother Lyman (Johnson) baptized eight: he then, in company with Brother Hazen Aldrich, started for Ohio; and I, in company with Brother William Snow, started for Bath and Charleston, and baptized twelve by the way.
We have ordained several elders, since last February, and they bid fair to be faithful, and may do much good.
Brother Orson (J.) has returned from Missouri.
Brother Hazen has baptized four in Colebrook, New Hampshire. There are calls on the right hand and on the left, for faithful laborers in this region. Your brother in Christ, Orson Pratt.]
January 28. Started for Ohio.
February 2. Arrived in Bolton; tarried four days, held three meetings; baptized two; ordained John Tanner a priest, and then pursued my journey several hundred miles west. Within about 150 miles of Kirtland, I fell in company with D. [David] W. Patten and Reynolds Cahoon, tarried and held four meetings with them, and then proceeded on my journey to Kirtland, where I arrived February 17, 1833, having been absent on this eastern mission one year and fourteen days, during which we traveled on foot near 4,000 miles, attended 207 meetings mostly in places where they had not heard the word; baptized 104 persons and organized several new branches of the Church.
February 18. Washed my hands and feet as a testimony unto the Lord that I had warned this wicked generation, and that my garments were clean of their blood, and on the same day I was admitted into the School of the Prophets. During my attendance at this school, I boarded with the Prophet Joseph [Smith], from whom I received much good instruction. On the Sabbath days I continued preaching in various places.
Elder Lyman E. Johnson and myself, having received a commandment, through the Prophet, to visit the churches and preach in the Eastern States, left Kirtland on the 26th of March to fill our mission. We arrived in Bath, New Hampshire, on the 7th June, having attended forty-four meetings by the way, and baptized thirteen.
June 8. Met in conference in Bath; present, high priests 4; elders, 8; priests, 2. At this conference, Elders Willard Woodstock, Harlow Redfield, William Snow and Hazen Aldrich were ordained high priests; Henry Harriman was ordained an elder, and Daniel Carter, a member, was ordained a priest, the ordinations being administered under my hands. During the next six days we held meetings in the towns round about.
June 11th, 1833. Brother Lyman Johnson and I left Bath and went to the village of Flanders, and I preached upon the subject of more revelations and miracles and the new covenant.
On the 12th preached about five miles distant in the town of Waterford upon the subject of more revelations and miracles.
On the 13th preached in the town of St. Johnsbury upon the scattering of Israel and more revelations and miracles at their gathering.
[June 14. – Elder Lyman E. Johnson went to Charleston, and continued laboring in St. Johnsbury and the adjoining towns. (MS 27:72)]
June 14th. We concluded to separate for a season. Brother Lyman [Johnson] went to Charleston and continued laboring in the adjoining towns, and I tarried at St. Johnsbury, and held a meeting in the afternoon of the same day and preached the gospel.
June 15th. I went to visit Mr. Harvey’s family and conversed with and found them some believing. A young woman was there whose name was Emily Harvey. She had been sick about 12 weeks and vomited much blood; and it was supposed by many that she could not live many days. She was desirous that I should pray for her that she might be healed, at the same time covenanting before God to obey the gospel. Therefore I prayed for and laid my hands upon her in the name of Jesus Christ and she was immediately healed.
The same day I held a meeting in St. Johnsbury, east village, and but few attended.
The 16th being the Sabbath, I held two meetings in the town of Kirby; and preached the gospel and prophecies. The same day I preached in St. Johnsbury upon the thousand years of rest.
[June 18. – I baptized six, namely, Gardner Snow, Willard Snow, Lucina Snow, Jacob Gates, Mary Gates and Emily Harvey, the last person named having been healed three days before by the power of God. After this I held thirty-five meetings in different counties in northern Vermont, and baptized eight; returned to St. Johnsbury. (MS 27:72: see also HR p.163)]
On the 18th I attended a meeting in the same place. Brother Zerubbabel (Snow), having returned from the west, preached. After meeting I baptized six whose names are as follows: Gardner Snow, Willard Snow, Lucina Snow, Jacob Gates and Emily Harvey; the last named person having been healed three days before, by the power of God.
In the evening we came together and held a confirmation meeting.
June 19th. I called at the house of Mr. Jenkins and prayed with and laid my hands upon two persons, one of whom was sick and the other lame. The same day I went to Danville and tarried with Mr. Dudley Swaysey.
June 20th. I preached at the Varney schoolhouse upon the first principles of the gospel.
On the 21st I preached at Goss’s schoolhouse upon the scattering of Israel and the miracles that are to be wrought at their gathering.
June 22nd. Preached at the Varney schoolhouse upon the gifts in the Church of Christ.
The 23rd being the Sabbath, I held two meetings in Mr. Roberts’ barn, and a large congregation of people attended. I preached upon the restoration of Israel and the blessings on Joseph. I was invited to tarry through the night with Mr. Kelsey, whose wife lay sick of a disease with which she had been afflicted five or six years. She covenanted to obey the gospel if the Lord would heal her. I prayed for and laid my hands upon her in the name of Jesus, and she began to recover, and a few days after was baptized.
On the 24th I preached at the Vincent schoolhouse in St. Johnsbury upon the difference between faith and knowledge. There was a priest present who opposed.
June 25th, I preached in the same place upon the 29th Chapter of Isaiah and the new covenant. I was again opposed by the priest.
On the 26th preached in Mr. Roberts’ barn upon the priesthood.
June 27th. Preached at Varney schoolhouse upon the thousand years of rest.
The 28th. Preached at Goss’s schoolhouse upon the new covenant. After meeting I baptized two, viz., Joseph Swasey and Dudley Swasey.
June 29th. Preached at Stephens’ schoolhouse upon the first principles of the gospel.
The 30th being the Sabbath, I held two meetings at the courthouse in Danville Village, and preached upon the first principles of the gospel and the gifts.
July 1st. Preached at Leavensworth schoolhouse in the town of Wheelock upon the first principles of the gospel.
On the 2nd I preached in the town of Lindon at Squabble Hollow upon the subject of more revelations and miracles, the 29th chapter of Isaiah and the two sticks.
July 3rd. Preached at the Leavensworth schoolhouse upon the difference between faith and knowledge. After meeting I was sent for to visit the sick. I prayed for and laid my hands upon a sick person by the name of Swasey.
July 4th. I went to visit Mrs. Kelley who was sick with a disease with which she had been afflicted nine or ten years. After I had prayed I laid my hands upon her in the name of Jesus, and she was healed.
July 5th. Preached at Varney’s schoolhouse, and one was baptized, viz., Lucena Caples. About this time Dudley Swasey denied the faith and became a great opposer.
July 6th. Preached at the Kelsey schoolhouse upon more revelations and miracles and something concerning the priesthood.
The 7th being the Sabbath, I started in company with Brother Lyman [Johnson] and went to Craftsbury Village. I preached upon the priesthood and more revelations and miracles, the 29th of Isaiah and the two sticks.
July 8th. I went to Albany Centre and Brother Lyman [Johnson] went to labor in another region.
July 9th. I preached at Albany Centre upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 10th. Preached at the Fuller schoolhouse in Irisburg upon the first principles of the Gospel.
On the 11th preached at the log schoolhouse in Irisburg upon the gifts.
July 12th. Preached at Albany Centre upon the gifts.
July 13th. Preached at the Mayfield schoolhouse in the town of Craftsbury upon the gifts.
The 14th being the Sabbath, preached in the same place upon the prophecies, expounding the 29th, 49th and last chapters of Isaiah, the 37th of Ezekiel, the blessings on Joseph, etc., also the scattering of Israel and the 11th of Romans.
July 16th. Preached at the fuller schoolhouse in Irisburg upon more revelations and miracles, the 29th and 49th chapters of Isaiah, and the 57th of Ezekiel.
On the 18th preached in Jay upon the 2nd chapter of Daniel, on the gifts and the priesthood.
[July 19. – Started for Charleston. (MS 27:72)]
July 20th. Preached in Potter (or Potten), Canada, upon the gathering of Israel and more revelations and miracles, the 29th and 49th chapters of Isaiah and the two sticks.
The 21st being the Sabbath, preached in Jay in the forenoon upon the two places of gathering, the second coming of Christ, the thousand years of rest, the new heavens and earth. In the afternoon I held a meeting with the brethren and administered the sacrament.
July 22nd. Baptized four, viz.: Samuel Hadlock, Almira Hadlock, Robert Huntress, Hulday Huntress. The same day I left Jay for Charleston and went from thence to St. Johnsbury.
[July 24. – Attended Conference at Charleston. Elder Orson Johnson and John Badger were ordained high priests. Winslow Farr, Isaac Aldrich and Roswell Evans, were ordained elders; Gardner Snow, Willard Snow and Joseph Swasey, were ordained priests; and Horace Evans was ordained a teacher, the ordinations being under the hands of Lyman E. Johnson. After attending five meetings, I left for Danville. (MS 27:72)]
[July (2)6. – Preached in St. Johnsbury and baptized Sally Snow. (MS 27:72)]
July 26th. Preached at that place upon the difference between faith and knowledge, and baptized Sally Snow.
[The 28th, preached and baptized Susan Briant. After this held sixteen meetings in the towns around and baptized seventeen, the most of whom lived in Danville. Many were healed, through the ordinances, by the power of God. (MS 27:72)]
The 28th being the Sabbath, I preached in the forenoon at the same place upon the new covenant, and read the teachings of Christ on the gathering of Israel; and baptized Susan Briant. On the same day I went to the village at Lindon Corner and preached upon the scattering of Israel and the 29th chapter of Isaiah.
July 30th. Preached at the Varney schoolhouse in Danville upon the second chapter of second Thess., and upon the government of the Church; and one came forward and was baptized, viz., Abram Leach, a lame man.
August 1st. Preached at Danville Village upon the fulfillment of prophecy from Abram to the present day and more revelation at the gathering of Israel.
August 2nd. Preached at Stephens’ schoolhouse upon the new covenant.
August 4th. Being the Sabbath preached in the forenoon at Varney’s Barn upon the parable of the vineyard; and in the afternoon preached upon the necessity of a new translation of the Bible and also something concerning the priesthood; and after meeting baptized and confirmed two, viz.: Abigail Swasey and Aphia Dow. Then I was invited to go and visit a sick woman. After conversing with her and also those who were present I prayed for and laid my hands upon her and she was some better. The same hour her husband and also another man arose and we went to the water and they were baptized and confirmed. Their names were Asa Glines and Reuben Daniels.
August 5th. Preached in Barnet at the Clefford schoolhouse upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 6th. Preached at Danville Village in the courthouse upon the 29th and 49th and last chapters of Isaiah and the 37th chapter of Ezekiel.
August 7th. Prayed for and laid my hands upon a young woman who was sick, and the Lord healed her; and a few days after she was baptized.
August 8th. Preached at the Clefford schoolhouse in Barnet upon the gifts.
August 9th. Preached at the Dickson schoolhouse in Danville upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 10th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Kelseys upon the resurrection and millennium or thousand years of rest.
August 11th. Being the Sabbath preached at the Varney schoolhouse upon the future state of the righteous and the wicked, the different degrees of happiness and misery, and then went to the water and baptized eight, viz.: John Sprague, Addi Kelley, Moses Bacheldor, Abigail Randal, Martha Nichols, Philura Caples, Lucinda Sanborn, and Roxana Glines. In the afternoon I went to the Danford schoolhouse in Danville and preached upon the priesthood.
August 15th. Preached at the Dickson schoolhouse in Danville upon the subject of more revelations and miracles at the gathering of Israel and the 29th of Isaiah.
August 16th. Preached at the Clefford schoolhouse in Barnet upon the Millennium.
August 18th being the Sabbath, held a meeting with Brother Lyman (E. Johnson) at Brother Robert’s house in the forenoon. In the afternoon I preached at the Varney schoolhouse upon the two places of gathering, the Jews to gather in unbelief, the Saints at Mount Zion. After preaching baptized three, viz.: Jacob Rust, Nancy Whittle, and Matilda Caples. The next day left Danville for Charleston.
August 21st. Attended a prayer meeting in Charleston.
August 24th. Attended a conference at which there were several ordained to various offices under the hand of Brother Lyman E. Johnson. Two elders, Orson Johnson and John Badger, were ordained high priests; three priests, Winslow Farr, Isaac Aldrich and Roswell Evans, were ordained elders; three members, Gardner Snow, Willard Snow and Joseph Swasey, were ordained priests, and one member, Horace Evans, was ordained teacher. In the afternoon of the same day the whole church met together and improved upon their gifts.
August 25th being the Sabbath, I preached in Charleston upon the subject of the Millennium and in the afternoon of the same day I attended a prayer meeting. August 26th. In the forenoon the Church at Charleston, with some other brethren from other towns, met together and called upon the Lord, and the Lord heard their prayers and moved upon his servant, Lyman [Johnson], by the power of the Holy Ghost, to seal them up unto eternal life, and after this the brethren arose on by one and said that they knew that their names were sealed in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and they all did bear this glorious testimony save two or three. The same day we left Charleston and I traveled to the town of Wheelock.
August 27th. I held a meeting at Levensworth schoolhouse and preached upon the 29th chapter of Isaiah, the two sticks, and the blessings on Joseph.
[Aug. 31. – Ordained Jacob Rust an elder; tarried three days longer; held three meetings and baptized three, and then went to Bath; held five meetings in the adjoining towns, and baptized three. (MS 27:72)]
August 31st. Held a meeting with the church at Brother Roberts’ and instructed them concerning the order of the Church; and all the brethren and sisters present seemed to be much engaged. During the meeting, after obtaining the voice of the Church, I ordained Brother Jacob Rust an elder in the Church of Christ, and then administered the sacrament.
September 1st, being the Sabbath, I preached at the Varney schoolhouse and the meeting continued upwards of three hours. I preached upon the subject of miracles being wrought for the confirmation of believers and also upon the priesthood and the necessity of the continuation of the gifts in the Church of Christ. After I got through there were one or two men arose and opposed the truth, but all the rest of the congregation were generally favorable; and the opposition of these few individuals only served to strengthen the faith of the people in the truth. There were three who came forth and were baptized, viz.: James Thompson, Marinda Ruse and Sister Kelley. We then held a confirmation meeting.
September 2nd. Went to Bath.
September 4th. Brother Lyman [Johnson] and I went to Sandoff and held a meeting and preached upon more revelations and miracles at the gathering of Israel and gifts in the Church.
September 5th. Held a meeting in the same place and preached upon the new covenant and after meeting baptized two, viz.: Sophronia Sawyer and Mary Sawyer; and in the evening held a confirmation meeting.
September 6th. In the forenoon baptized Isaac Jones; and in the afternoon held a meeting at Mr. Spooners, and preached on the blessings of Joseph, the two sticks, the 29th chapter of Isaiah.
September 7th. Went to Bath.
[Sept. 8. – Held two meetings in Bath. Brother Horace Cowan ordained an elder under the hands of Lyman E. Johnson. (MS 27:72)]
September 8th. Being the Sabbath we held a meeting in the forenoon and also one in the afternoon, and Brother Lyman (E. Johnson) ordained Brother Horace Cowen, an elder, and laid hands upon the little children and blessed them in the name of the Lord, and administered the sacrament, and sealed up the church unto eternal life.
[Sept. 9. – I left Bath for Kirtland; held some meetings by the way. (MS 27:72)]
September 9th. I departed from Bath for Kirtland.
September 13th. Arrived at Bolton.
September 14th. Attended a prayer meeting in the evening.
September 15th. Being the Sabbath I preached upon the gathering of the Jews in unbelief, the gathering of the Saints, and baptized one, viz.: Abby Jane Smith.
September 16th. I left Bolton for Kirtland and providentially came across [brother?] ether Lyman in Utica. We both took the stage until we came near to Geneseo. We then went to visit the Church in that place and some of the brethren received not our teachings, among whom was Brother Landen, a high priest.
September 22nd. Being the Sabbath preached upon the gathering of the Jews in unbelief, the vision, etc.
September 23rd. We continued our journey.
[Arrived in Kirtland September 28th, having been absent six months, during which I travelled about 2000 miles, attended 125 meetings, and baptized upwards of 50 persons. (MS 27:72)]
September 28th. We arrived in Kirtland, having been absent six months, during which time I had traveled about 2,000 miles, attended 125 Meetings and baptized upwards of fifty persons.
September 29th. Being the Sabbath attended a meeting at Kirtland. Brother Oliver Cowdery preached.
[I remained in Kirtland about two months, labored on the house of the Lord and printing office thirty days; the most of the time boarded with the Prophet. (MS 27:72)]
I tarried in Kirtland until the twenty-seventh of November, during which time I labored 30 days upon the house of the Lord and printing office, and five and a half days for Brother Joseph, at whose house I boarded (with the exception of one week that I boarded at Father Johnson’s). I did chores night and morning for my board at Brother Joseph’s. Received one pair of cowhide boots of the committee, price $3.50. During the time that I tarried in Kirtland I attended several councils and meetings and preached once in Kirtland upon the gathering of the Jews and also Saints.
[Nov. 27. – Elder Lyman E. Johnson and myself started to visit some of the eastern churches, having been set apart by a Council of High Priests for that purpose. (MS 27:73)]
November 27th. Brother Lyman and I, having been set apart by a council of high priests to visit the churches, accordingly took our leave of Kirtland and went to Springfield.
December 1st. Preached in Springfield upon the gospel.
December 2nd. Went to Elk Creek and attended a church meeting, Brother Zebedee being present. Two were cut off from the Church.
December 3rd. Went to Springfield.
December 4th. We attended a church meeting in Springfield and settled some difficulties among the brethren.
December 5th. Attended another church meeting in the same place and cut off from the Church Brother Tiler.
December 6th. Preached at Elk Creek.
December 8th. Being the Sabbath preached at the same place upon the two places of gathering. [Dec. 11. – Held a conference in the evening at Elk Creek; settled some difficulties between the elders; Amasa Lyman ordained a high priest–under the hands of Lyman E. Johnson. From Kirtland to this place we had held seven meetings. (MS 27:73)]
December 11th. Held a conference in the evening and regulated some difficulties existing between Henry Dighton and Harrison Sagers, and also between Zebedee Coltrin and Moses Martin.
Brothers Harrison and Moses were found to be under condemnation, but after confessing, were permitted to retain their offices. Brother Lyman E. Johnson also ordained Brother Amasa Lyman to the office of high priest.
December 12th. Brother Lyman, Amasa and I left Elk Creek and came to Westfield.
December 15th. Being the Sabbath preached unto the church in Westfield upon the Word of Wisdom; in the afternoon preached at the lake; in the evening met with our brethren and held a prayer meeting.
[Dec. 16. – We went to Silver Creek; tarried eight days; held eight meetings in the adjoining towns, then left for Geneseo, where we held a conference,and preached much in the adjoining regions. After which I went to Waterloo, near where the Church was first organized, where I arrived on the 17th of January 1834. (MS 27:73)]
December 16th. Left Westfield and traveled about one mile. We met Brother John Murdock on his return from Shenango Point, and he turned about and went with us to the east. We came to the church at Silver Creek the same day.
December 17th. Brother Lyman left Silver Creek in company with Brother Amasa for Pennisburg, and Brother John and I tarried at Silver Creek waiting for some clothes to be made.
December 18th. We preached at Fayette Village upon the first principles of the gospel.
December 19th. Preached at Stebbins’ schoolhouse upon the first principles of the gospel.
December 20th. Preached at Forrestville Village.
December 21st. Preached at Fayette Village upon the new covenant and something concerning the priesthood.
December 22nd. Being the Sabbath we attended meeting in Fayette in the forenoon and heard a Methodist preacher by the name of I. H. Jacket preach against the Church of Christ; in the afternoon we held a meeting among the brethren and they renewed their covenants before God to be more faithful, and we administered the sacrament and held a prayer meeting in the evening.
December 23rd. Held a meeting in Fayette Village in defense of the truth in which we investigated the several arguments brought forth against it the day preceding by the Methodist priest.
December 24th. Being the Sabbath we attended a meeting with our brethren at Geneseo. We went into the schoolhouse before meeting began; but Brother Landen did not ask us to preach, but preached himself. However, Brother John did say a few words to the congregation after Brother Landen had got through. After meeting we went to visit Brother Landen and found that he still rejected the vision and said that it was of the devil. In the evening Brother Murdock preached upon the priesthood.
December 30th. Brothers Lyman and Amasa arrived.
December 31st. We met in conference at which the following official members were present, viz.: high priests: Lyman Johnson, Orson Pratt, John Murdock, Amasa Lyman; elders: Joseph Young, Roger Orton, Chester L. Heth, Oliver Granger; priests: Hiram Straten; teacher: Edward Bosley. Conference organized by appointing Lyman Johnson Moderator and Orson Pratt clerk. Opened with prayer by Brother Lyman and then proceeded to examine into the case of Brother Ezra Landen, a high priest. We had previously visited Brother Landen and endeavored to reason with him but in vain. He also had been warned to attend the conference but would not attend and treated us with contempt and ridicule. After his case was duly examined by the conference and some points of the revelations read and explained touching his situation, the conference were requested to give their decision. They unanimously gave their voices against him and he was cut off from the Church. The same day we demanded his license but he refused to give it up.
Brother Hiram Straten, a priest, was sharply rebuked by the conference for being unwise in many things. The conference decided that seven or eight of the official members present should go two by two and visit several members of the Church in this vicinity and examine into their situation and notify them to appear at the next meeting appointed on the Thursday following. The conference closed.
January 1st, A. D., 1834. This day I felt some of the effects of the fever and ague.
January 2nd. The Church met according to previous appointment. Four high priests and three elders were present. After the meeting was opened we explained the reasons why E. Landen was cut off. The following persons requested their names to be taken from the Church record of names, viz.: Lester More, Daniel More, Letitia Bosby, Aaron Clark, Rodman Clark, Polly Kelly. The Church therefore were called upon to raise their hands against them and they were cutoff.
January 3rd. Attended a meeting at the Brick Schoolhouse in Avon. Brother Amasa preached.
January 5th. Being the Sabbath, preached at the schoolhouse near Brother Orton’s upon the vision.
January 6th. Held a church meeting and the following persons were cut for disbelieving the work and bad conduct: Hannah More, Albert More, Masy More, John Bosely, Ruby Landen, John Heth.
January 9th. Attended a prayer meeting at Brother Bosley’s.
January 10th. Preached near Wadsworth Mills upon the new covenant.
January 11th. Met in church meeting. Eight were cut off, viz.: Wm. More, John B. Dicker, Christeen Dicker, Polly Clark, Mariah Clark, Elias Orton, Robert Hawes and Polly Hanes.
January 12th. Being the Sabbath preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Beaman’s upon the two places of gathering. In the afternoon attended a meeting at the schoolhouse near Brother Orton’s. Brothers Lyman and Amasa preached.
January 14th. I preached at the village of Lima upon the scattering and gathering of Israel, proving from the scriptures that there must be more revelations and miracles and that the Lord would lift up a standard and set a sign among them; I also said something about the two sticks.
January 15th. Preached at Mendon village upon the first principles of the gospel and the power of godliness.
January 16th and 17th. I rode on horseback to Brother Chamberlain’s near Waterloo, near where the Church was first organized.
January 18th. Preached at the schoolhouse near his house upon more revelations and miracles, and also the gifts in the Church of Christ.
January 19th. Being the Sabbath, preached again in the same place upon the two places of gathering, the Second Coming of Christ, the Millennium, and the Saints coming into possession of the earth to inherit it forever and ever.
[Jan. 20, 1834. – I started for Kirtland, preaching by the way. (MS 27:73)]
January 20th. Brother Chamberlain committed to my trust one hundred dollars to be sent to Kirtland for the assistance of the brethren, and the same day I rode to Lima. In the evening attended a meeting, and Brother John preached.
January 21st. Rode to Brother Bosleys.
January 23rd. We met in a church meeting and two were cut off at their own request, viz.: Levi Bartlet and Elizabeth Bartlet.
January 26th. Being the Sabbath we attended a meeting among the brethren at Geneseo. I preached upon the Word of Wisdom.
January 29th. I left Geneseo and came to Warsaw. Brother Isaac Whitley gave me $9.20 towards getting me a cloak.
February 1st. Left Warsaw in company with Brother Lyman and came to the Church at China, and in the evening held a meeting.
February 2nd. Being the Sabbath, presided at China.
February 3rd. Left China for the West. Arrived at Silver Creek on the 5th.
February 6th. Brother Lyman took the stage for Kirtland. I tarried at Silver Creek and preached among the brethren the same evening.
February 7th. I preached at Stebbins’ schoolhouse upon the literal fulfillment of the prophecies from the days of Abram down to the present time, upon Jew and Gentile, and also more revelations and miracles at their gathering.
February 8th. Preached at Bush’s schoolhouse upon the first principles of the gospel and the fourth chapter of Ephesians. There were two or three priests present, one of whom (being a Methodist) arose up after I had got through and opposed. After he had sat down I again arose in order to expose his folly, but he being ashamed and enraged would not await for me to get through; but arose up and began to speak in order to make a noise, and thus break up the meeting. On account of this I was obliged to stop before I had answered his arguments, and nearly all the people in the house appeared to be disgusted with his proceedings.
February 9th. Being the Sabbath, I preached among the brethren upon Christ’s Second Coming, the thousand years of rest, and the Saints inheriting the earth forever and ever. In the afternoon administered the sacrament; in the evening attended a prayer meeting.
February 11th. Took the stage for Kirtland.
[February 13. – Arrived in Kirtland, Elder Lyman E. Johnson having arrived a few days before me. I had been absent two months and a half, travelled about 1000 miles, and attended 37 meetings. (MS 27:73)]
February 13th. Arrived in Kirtland and attended a council the same evening. I had been absent about two months and a half; had traveled about 1,000 miles, and attended 37 meetings.
February 16th. Being the Sabbath, attended a meeting in Kirtland.
February 17th. Attended a council.
February 19th. Attended a council.
February 20th. Attended a council.
[February 20. – The high council met this evening to determine concerning the elders going out to preach.
Minutes of the High Council.
The president opened the council by prayer.
At a church meeting, held in Pennsylvania, Erie County, and Springfield township, by Orson Pratt and Lyman E. Johnson, high priests, some of the members of that church refused to partake of the sacrament because the elder administering it did not observe the Word of Wisdom to obey it. Elder Johnson argued that they were justified in so doing, because the elder was in transgression. Elder Pratt argued that the church was bound to receive the supper under the administration of an elder, so long as he retained his office or license. Voted that six councilors should speak upon the subject.
The council then proceeded to try the question, whether disobedience to the Word of Wisdom was a transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding office in the Church, after having it sufficiently taught him.
Councilors Samuel H. Smith, Luke S. Johnson, John S. Carter, Sylvester Smith, John Johnson and Orson Hyde, were called to speak upon the case then before the council. After the councilors had spoken, the president proceeded to give the decision:
No official member in this church is worthy to hold an office, after having the Word of Wisdom properly taught him, and he, the official member, neglecting to comply with or obey it; which decision the council confirmed by vote.
The president then asked if there were any elders present who would go to Canada, and preach the gospel to that people; for they have written a number of letters for help. And the whole council felt as though the Spirit required the elders to go there. It was, therefore, decided by the council, that Lyman E. Johnson and Milton Holmes should travel together into Canada; that Zebedee Coltrin and Henry Herriman travel together into Canada; and that Jared Carter and Phineas Young travel together, if they can so arrange their affairs at home as to be liberated.
It was also decided that Elder Oliver Granger should travel eastward as soon as his circumstances would permit, and that he could travel alone on account of his age; it was also decided that Elder Martin Harris should travel alone whenever he travels; that Elders John S. Carter and Jesse Smith travel east together as soon as they can; and that Elder Brigham Young should travel alone, it being his own choice; also that James Durfee and Edward Marvin should travel together eastward; that Sidney Rigdon and John P. Greene go to Strongville, that Orson Pratt and Harrison Sagers travel together for the time being; and that there should be a general conference held at Saco, in the state of Maine, on the 13th day of June, 1834.
It was furthermore voted that Elder Orson Hyde, accompanied by Elder Orson Pratt, go east to obtain donations for Zion, and means to redeem the farm on which the house of the Lord stands.
The Church and council then prayed with uplifted hands, that they might be prospered in their mission.
ORSON HYDE, OLIVER COWDERY, CLERKS
[February 22. – I preached about four miles east of Cleaveland [Cleveland]. (MS 27:73)]
February 22nd. Held a meeting about four miles east of Cleveland. Preached upon the first principles of the gospel.
[February 23. – Preached at Newbury Centre [Center]. (MS 27:73)]
February 23rd. Being the Sabbath preached at Newbury Centre [Center] upon the scattering and gathering of Israel and more revelations and miracles.
[February 24. – I travelled to Kirtland. This day the Prophet received a revelation, wherein Orson Hyde and myself were appointed to travel together, to assist in gathering up the strength of the Lord’s House, preparatory to the redemption of Zion. (See Doctrine and Covenants, section 101, paragraph 7.) (MS 27:73)]
February 24th. Travelled to Kirtland and found that the Lord had appointed in a revelation that Orson Hyde and I should journey together, to assist in obtaining brethren, and means for the redemption of Zion according to the revelations previously given. (See Doctrine and Covenants 103:40.)
[February 26. – We left Kirtland; travelled eastward above two weeks, preaching by the way. Arrived in Geneseo March 15th. (MS 27:73)]
February 26th. We left Kirtland and came to Painesville and held a meeting the same evening. Orson Hyde preached.
February 27th. We left Painesville and came to Thompson. On the way we endeavored to obtain some assistance from the world for the relief of our suffering brethren in Zion, but they refused to render any assistance. We therefore washed our feet against them.
February 28th. Orson Hyde went to Painesville to fulfill some appointments which he had made there. I tarried in Thompson having a very bad cold.
March 2nd. I preached in the church at Thompson.
March 3rd. I met Orson Hyde at Centerville and we pursued our journey to Springfield, from thence to Elk Creek, from thence to Westfield, where we heard Brother Sidney preach, from thence to Villenovia.
March 9th. Being the Sabbath we preached in Villenovia upon the thousand years of rest and the reign of the Saints upon the earth forever. In the evening Orson Hyde preached in the same place.
March 10th and 11th. We came to the China church.
March 13th. Held a meeting with the brethren and laid before them the necessity of obeying the parable in the revelations and there were three or four of the middle-aged and young men who said that they would go on to Zion this spring if they could. We then left China and came to Geneseo where we arrived on the 15th and attended a council held by the elders in which they investigated the case of Mr. Landen and saw that he continued to be rebellious.
March 16th. Being the Sabbath, I attended two meetings. Brothers Sidney and Parley preached.
[March 17. – Attended council held at Father Beaman’s house, in which I was appointed to travel with Elder John Murdock. (MS 27:86)]
March 17th. We attended a council held at Father Beaman’s, at which I was appointed to journey with Brother John Murdock. In the afternoon, attended a meeting held among the brethren for the purpose of obtaining volunteers for Zion.
[On this date the Prophet Joseph Smith records: There was also the same day, March 17, a conference of elders at Avon, Livingston County, New York, at the house of Alvah Beaman, which I attended. There were present also Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, John Murdock, Orson Pratt and Orson Hyde, high priests; and six elders. I stated that the object of the conference was to obtain young and middle-aged men to go and assist in the redemption of Zion, according to the commandment; and for the Church to gather up their riches, and send them to purchase lands according to the commandment of the Lord; also to devise means, or obtain money for the relief of the brethren in Kirtland, say two thousand dollars, which sum would deliver the Church in Kirtland from debt; and also determine the course which the several companies shall pursue, or the manner they shall journey when they shall leave this place.
It was voted by the council, that Fathers Bosley and Nickerson, Elder McWithey, and Brother Roger Orton, should exert themselves to obtain two thousand dollars, for the present relief of Kirtland. They all agreed to do what they could to obtain it, firmly believing that it could be accomplished by the first of April. It was also decided that Elder Orson Hyde should tarry and preach in the regions round about, till the money should be obtained, and then carry it with him to Kirtland, accompanied by Elders Sidney Rigdon and Lyman Wight. Elders John Murdock and Orson Pratt were appointed to journey to Kirtland, preaching by the way; and Elders Parley P. Pratt and Henry Brown to visit the churches in Black River country, and obtain all the means they could to help Zion. (DHC 2:44)]
[March 20. – We started westward, preaching almost every day. Baptized two in the town of Greenwood. (MS 27:86)]
March 20th. Brother John Murdock and I left Geneseo and came to the village of Dansville. About dark we called upon the family of a man by the name of Parkman for lodging during the night, but they refused to keep us. Therefore we washed our feet as a testimony against them.
March 21st. We called at a house in Arkport Village for the purpose of obtaining a meeting in that place, but the woman of the house rejected our testimony, and said that if the Book of Mormon was good she could not receive it. Therefore we washed our feet as a testimony against her.
March 22nd. We preached at a schoolhouse near Mr. Kellerson’s in the town of Hornersville. Said a few words upon the second coming of Christ and proved to the people wherein the Gentiles would stumble concerning his second coming.
March 23rd. Being the Sabbath we preached at the schoolhouse near the Brick Tavern upon the first principles of the gospel.
March 24th. We held a meeting at Mr. Rixford’s in the town of Greenwood in the afternoon and preached upon the first principles of the gospel. In the evening preached at Mr. Tenpening’s upon the gifts.
March 25th. We visited the people from house to house and conversed with them; in the evening preached at Mr. Haw’s in the town of Troopsburg.
March 26th. Brother John preached a funeral sermon and I preached again at Mr. Rixford’s upon the 29th chapter of Isaiah, the 37th of Ezekiel or the two sticks, and the 11th of Romans. After meeting one man arose and said he believed and wished to obey.
March 27th. We went to the house of Stephen Richmond and read the articles and covenants and laws of the Church and conversed with them, there being several of the neighbors present, and there were two who came forward repenting and confessing their sins, and were baptized and confirmed and received the Holy Spirit. The same day we left Greenwood and came to Androver and put up for the night at Mr. Shoemaker’s and there was a Methodist prayer meeting appointed at the schoolhouse nearby and we went in to the schoolhouse and told them we were preachers of the gospel and they requested us to preach. We therefore gave them a proclamation of the first principles of the gospel.
March 28th. We continued our journey and came a few miles west of Angelica and called for lodging at four of five houses before we could obtain it.
March 29th. Came to Farmersville.
[March 30. – Arrived in the town of Freedom; tarried in this region twelve days; held eleven meetings; baptized 22, one of whom, Heman Hyde, April 10th, we ordained a Teacher. (MS 27:86)]
March 30th. Being the Sabbath we came to Freedom and stopped at Mr. Hyde’s, and found that Brother Rich from Kirtland was preaching at the schoolhouse west of Dr. Cowdery’s. We gave out an appointment for the afternoon and preached upon the priesthood unto a large and attentive congregation.
March 31st. We preached at Centreville village upon the gifts.
April 2nd. Preached at Fish Lake schoolhouse upon the 4th Chapter of Ephesians and read the Articles and Covenants and laws, and the 48th chapter of the Book of Commandments. After meeting there were four baptized, viz.: Joseph Fountain, Caroline Fountain, Amasa Cheney and Olive Cheney. In the evening we held a confirmation meeting and confirmed those mentioned above.
April 3rd. We baptized and confirmed two, viz.: Hannah Cheney and Polly Lawson. In the evening preached at Centreville upon the scattering and gathering of Israel, the 29th and 49th chapters of Isaiah, the two sticks and more miracles and revelations at their gathering.
April 4th. We visited the people from house to house and conversed with them.
April 5th. We baptized and confirmed two, viz.: Aaron Cheney and Lucy Sparkes. In the evening held a meeting and blessed the little children.
April 6th. Being the Sabbath in the forenoon we attended a meeting and heard Mr. Lock, a Methodist Priest, preach against the truth. In the afternoon we preached in the same place unto a large congregation upon the former and latter-day Kingdom of Christ, the last of Zachariah, the gathering of the Saints, etc, and after meeting we baptized four, viz.: Orson Cheney, Dimon Ferson, Lawson Smith and Margaret Smith. In the evening we went to Mr. Hyde’s and had some conversation with a sectarian priest.
April 7th. Baptized one in the morning, viz.: Nehemiah Sparks. In the evening held a meeting at the Fish Lake schoolhouse for the purpose of confirming those who were baptized the day before and before we attended to the ordinance of laying on of hands there were five more who came forward and were baptized, viz.: Samuel Miles, Joel Miles, Heman Hyde, Wm. Hyde, Eunice Sawyer,and after confirming all those who had not been confirmed, we closed the meeting.
April 8th. Preached at the schoolhouse.
April 9th. Held a prayer meeting and after meeting baptized three, viz.: Mahitable Cheney, Adelia Metcalf, Delia Metcalf.
April 10th. Met with the church and confirmed the above named persons and blessed some of the little children, and ordained Brother Heman Hyde a teacher, and administered the sacrament.
[April 11. – Continued our journey towards Kirtland, occasionally preaching by the way. (MS 27:86)]
April 11th. Baptized and confirmed one, viz.: Polly Hyde, and then left Freedom and came to Father Nickerson’s.
April. 13th. Being the Sabbath, held two meetings with the brethren and administered the sacrament.
April 17th. Left Father Nickerson’s and came to Dunkirk where we tarried one day waiting for the steamboat. We then concluded that it was our duty to go by land.
April 19th. We left Dunkirk and came to Westfield.
April 20th. Being the Sabbath we preached at Westfield and administered the Sacrament.
April 21st. We left Westfield and came to Kirtland. Arrived at Kirtland the 24th, having been absent nearly two months, during which we traveled about 800 miles, attended thirty-four meetings, and baptized twenty-four persons.
[April 24. – Arrived in Kirtland, having been absent nearly two months, during which we travelled about 800 miles, attended thirty-four meetings, baptized twenty-four persons. (MS 27:86)]
[April 26. – I copied revelations for the Prophet Joseph. (MS 27:86)]
April. 26th. I copied revelations for Brother Joseph (the Prophet.)
April 27th. Being the Sabbath attended meeting in Kirtland and spoke a few words from the 20th of Ezekiel and also that as the power of God was made manifest on the one hand the power of the devil would be on the other hand.
April 28th, 29th and 30th. I was preparing myself to go to Zion.
[May 1. – Being appointed to take charge of a company of twenty persons, we started for Zion with four wagons. The Prophet overtook us in a few days with a larger company, and we continued our journey to Clay County, Missouri. (MS 27:86)]
May 1st, 1834. Being appointed to take charge of a company of twenty persons, I left Kirtland for Zion with four wagons and encamped the first night about two miles north of Aurora. We departed from Aurora and encamped about two miles south of Middleburg. The next day came to New Portage.
May 4th. Being the Sabbath we held two meetings among the brethren. I preached in the forenoon upon the Second Coming of Christ and Millennium, and the Saints inheriting the earth forever. Brother John preached in the afternoon.
May 6th. Brother Joseph [Smith] arrived with about one hundred of the strength of the Lord’s house, who had volunteered to go up to Zion. The next day the brethren consecrated their moneys and put it in a general fund. We then left New Portage and traveled a few miles west and encamped, where we were organized into small companies consisting of about thirteen each, over whom captains were appointed for the purpose of taking charge of them and purchasing provisions and seeing that all things were conducted with prudence, order and propriety. I was appointed of my brethren to take the charge of one company. After we were organized we pursued our journey and received instructions from time to time, of Joseph, who was appointed to lead the camp of Israel; and behold the presence of the Lord was with us by day and by night and his angel went before us to prepare the way. Joseph often spake unto us from the mouth of the Lord and thus we were blessed and counseled from on high throughout our journey. We continued to receive additions to our numbers almost daily of brethren who came from different branches of the Church of Christ scattered throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, until the camp of Israel, when we arrived in the western boundaries of the state of Missouri, amounted to upwards of 200, who were young men and middle aged, and they were indeed of the strength of the Lord’s house, well armed and equipped as the law directs and for self defense. The Lord promised that if we would keep his commandments and hearken unto the counsel of his servant, Joseph [Smith], in all things that we should be preserved from the pestilence, plague, and the hands of our enemies, but if not, judgment should come upon us; and behold, inasmuch as we were faithful, the promises of the Lord were verified in very deed insomuch that all of our lives were spared until we arrived in the county of Clay. Our camp was often visited by spies from Jackson County who were seeking to know our numbers and to find our leaders and take all the advantage of us possible, but the Lord gave unto us wisdom insomuch that they obtained no advantage or power over us, although they often threatened that we should be met by our enemies and destroyed by the way; yet we were preserved through the mercy of our God until we arrived at Salt River in the state of Missouri.
[July 3, 1834. The Prophet Joseph Smith records:
On the third of July, the high priests of Zion assembled in the yard of Colonel Arthurs, where Lyman Wight lived, in Clay County, and proceeded to organize a high council, agreeable to the revelation and pattern given at Kirtland, for the purpose of settling important business that might come before them, which could not be settled by the bishop and his council. David Whitmer was elected president, and William W. Phelps and John Whitmer assistant presidents. The following high priests, viz.: Christian Whitmer, Newel Knight, Lyman Wight, Calvin Beebe, Wm. [William] E. McLellin, Solomon Hancock, Thomas B. Marsh, Simeon Carter, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John Murdock, and Levi Jackman, were appointed councilors; and the council adjourned to Monday. Frederick G. Williams was clerk of the meeting.
I authorized General Lyman Wight to give a discharge to every man of the camp who had proved himself faithful, certifying that fact and giving him leave to return home.
From this time I continued to give instruction to the members of the high council, elders, those who had traveled in the camp with me, and such others as desired information, until the 7th, when the council assembled according to adjournment at the house of Elder Lyman Wight; present, fifteen high priests, eight elders, four priests, eight teachers, three deacons, and several members. After singing and prayer, I gave the council such instructions in relation to their high calling, as would enable them to proceed to minister in their office agreeable to the pattern heretofore given; read the revelation on the subject; and told them that if I should now be taken away, I had accomplished the great work the Lord had laid before me, and that which I had desired of the Lord; and that I had done my duty in organizing the high council, through which council the will of the Lord might be known on all important occasions, in the building up of Zion, and establishing truth in the earth.
It was voted that those who were appointed on the 3rd, should be confirmed in their appointments.
I then ordained David Whitmer, president, and W. [William] W. Phelps and John Whitmer, assistants; and the twelve councilors. The twelve councilors then proceeded to cast lots, to know who should speak first, and the order of speaking, which resulted as follows, viz.:
1 Simeon Carter,
2 Parley P. Pratt,
3 Wm. [William] E. McLellin,
4 Calvin Beebe,
5 Levi Jackman,
6 Solomon Hancock,
7 Christian Whitmer,
8 Newel Knight,
9 Orson Pratt,
10 Lyman Wight,
11 Thomas B. Marsh,
12 John Murdock.
(DHC 2:122-124; see also HR 663)]
July 7, 1834. I was ordained one of the standing high council in Zion, under the hands of President Joseph Smith.
[July 12. History of the Church contains the following:
On the 12th the High Council of Zion assembled in Clay County, and appointed Edward Partridge, Orson Pratt, Isaac Morley and Zebedee Coltrin to visit the scattered and afflicted brethren in that region, and teach them the ways of truth and holiness, and set them in order according as the Lord shall direct; but it was decided that it was not wisdom for the elders generally to hold public meetings in that region.
It was also decided that Amasa Lyman assist Lyman Wight in his mission of gathering the strength of the Lord’s house, to which labor I had appointed him. [DHC 2:136)]
July 19. Bishop Partridge and myself having been appointed by the high council to visit the scattered Saints throughout Clay County, and set the Church in order, commenced our mission. We held eight meetings in different parts of the country.
July 31. We reported the results of our mission to the high council, which accepted the same. After which the council selected John Corrill, Simeon Carter, Parley P. Pratt and myself to visit the Church throughout the county and hold public meetings, which we accordingly did.
[July 31. History of the Church contains the following:
The High Council of Zion assembled, and heard the report of Edward Partridge, Orson Pratt, Zebedee Coltrin, and Isaac Morley, concerning the mission appointed them at the previous council.
President David Whitmer gave the council some good instructions, to the effect that it was their duty to transact all business in order, and when any case is brought forward for investigation, every member should be attentive and patient to what is passing in all cases, and avoid confusion and contention, which are offensive in the sight of the Lord. He also addressed the elders, and said it was not pleasing in the sight of the Lord for any man to go forth and preach the gospel of peace, unless he is qualified to set forth its principles in plainness to those whom he endeavors to instruct; and also he should be informed as to the rules and regulations of the Church of the Latter-day Saints; for just as a man is, and as he teaches and acts, so will his followers be, let them be ever so full of notions and whims. He also addressed the congregation, and told them it was not wisdom for the brethren to vote at the approaching election; and the council acquiesced in the instructions of the president.
William W. Phelps proposed to the council to appoint a certain number of elders to hold public meetings in that section of country (Clay County), as often as should be deemed necessary, to teach the disciples how to escape the indignation of their enemies, and keep in favor with those who were friendly disposed. Simeon Carter, John Corrill, Parley P. Pratt and Orson Pratt were appointed by the unanimous voice of the council and congregation to fill the mission.
Council adjourned on the evening of the first of August; but previous to adjourning, the council gave the following letter to the elders appointed to visit the churches in Clay County:
To the Latter-day Saints who have been driven from the land of their inheritance, and also those who are gathering in the regions round about, in the western boundaries of Missouri. The high council established according to the pattern given by our blessed Savior Jesus Christ, send greeting:
DEAR BRETHREN–We have appointed our beloved brother and companion in tribulation, John Corrill, to meet you in the name of the Lord Jesus. He, in connection with others also duly appointed, will visit you alternately for the purpose of instructing you in the necessary qualifications of the Latter-day Saints; that they may be perfected, that the officers and members of the body of Christ may become very prayerful and very faithful, strictly keeping all the commandments, and walking in holiness before the Lord continually; that all that mean to have the destroyer pass over them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them, may live according to the “word of wisdom,” that the Saints, by industry, diligence, faithfulness, and the prayer of faith, may become purified, and enter upon their inheritance, to build up Zion, according to the word of the Lord.
We are sure if the Saints are very humble, very watchful, and very prayerful, that few will be deceived by those who have not authority to teach, or who have not the spirit to teach according to the power of the Holy Ghost, and the scriptures. Lest any man’s blood be required at your hands, we beseech you, as you value the salvation of souls, who are within, to set an example worthy to be followed by those who are without the kingdom of our God and His Christ, that peace by grace, and blessings by righteousness, may attend you, until you are sanctified and redeemed.
Dated, Clay County, August 1, 1834. (DHC 2:137-139)]
August 21. The high council gave their sanction for me to travel eastward towards Kirtland, preaching by the way. I accordingly united in the ministry with my brother, Wm. [William] D. Pratt, and in a few days left, traveling on the north side of the Missouri River. Overexertion in traveling brought on the fever and ague, which continued to afflict me at intervals for months. Sometimes I lay down upon the wet prairies, many miles from any house, being unable to travel. Wm. [William] D. Pratt stopped at Vandalia, Illinois. At Terre Haute I preached a few times, and baptized George W. Harris and his wife; about the last of November I united in the ministry with Elder John Murdock, and continued my journey eastward, preaching in many places. In a few days we arrived at Sugar Creek, Indiana, where we found Lorenzo D. Barnes and Lewis Robbins, who had just arrived from Zion. After holding a few meetings in this region, and baptizing a few, I united with Elder Barnes to travel.
January 2, 1835. We left Sugar Creek; preached in many places for the next eighteen days.
[During the above mentioned eighteen days Elders Pratt and Barnes spoke twice in the courthouse at Brookville, Indiana. The following account was reprinted in the Latter-day Saints Messenger and Advocate:
The following is taken from the Brookville (Ia.) [Iowa]) Enquirer; and we copy it into the Advocate to show our friends the different feeling with which the elders of this Church are received. All we have to say now on the extract, is that the editor could not have been a sectarian–We judge him to be a Republican, and a gentleman.
“The Latter-day Saints, or Mormons.
On last Saturday evening, for the first time, in this place, a gentleman, and minister belonging to this new sect, preached in the courthouse, to a very respectable audience; and discoursed briefly on the various subjects connected with his creed; explained his faith and gave a brief history of the Book of Mormon–united it with the Holy Bible, etc.
By request, he tarried over Sabbath, and at 2 o’clock again opened public worship by an able address to the throne of the Most High. He spoke for about an hour and a half to a very large audience, during which time he explained many important passages of the prophecies contained in the Old and New Testaments, and applied them according to their literal meaning. He was not lame in the attempt, and in a succinct and lucid manner imparted his belief to the audience.
He believes the Book of Mormon to be a series of revelations, and other matters appertaining to the Ephraimites, Lamanites, etc., whom he believes to have been the original settlers of this continent; and that an ancient prophet caused the plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated to be buried nearly two thousand years ago, in what is now called Ontario County; New York. He is also of the belief that Joseph Smith was cited to the plates by an angel from heaven, and endowed with the gift to translate the engraving upon them into the known language of the country.
This book, he is of opinion, is an event intended to prepare for the great work, the second appearance of Christ, when he shall stand on the Mount of Olives, attended by Abraham and all the Saints, to reign on the earth for the space of a thousand years.
After he had closed his discourse, on Sabbath afternoon, he remarked that if `no one had anything to say, the meeting would be considered as closed.’ Reverend Daniel St. John, a clergyman of the universal order, ascended the pulpit and in his usual eloquent strain held forth for a considerable time; taking exceptions to some of the positions of the preceding speaker–more particularly as regarded his belief as to the second appearance of Christ, and his doctrine of future rewards and punishments. An interesting debate of about three hours ensued in which each had four hearings, and at the request of the audience, a division of the house was called for on the merits of the argument, and carried in favor of the Latter-day Saint by an overwhelming vote.
Though in some things he characterized the fanatic; yet, in the main, his doctrines were sound and his positions tenable. We would do injustice to the gentleman were we to omit stating, that in all the discourses, of the like character, that we have ever heard it has never fallen to our lot to hear so much harmony in the arrangement of quotations from the sacred book. No passage could be referred to that would in the least produce discord in his arguments. The whole of his discourses were delivered in a very clear and concise manner, rendering it obvious that he was thoroughly acquainted with the course he believed he was called upon to pursue, in obedience to his Master’s will.
If a man may be called eloquent who transfers his own views and feelings into the breasts of others–if a knowledge of the subject, and to speak without fear–are a part of the more elevated rules of eloquence, we have no hesitancy in saying ORSON PRATT was eloquent; and truly verified the language of Boileau: `What we clearly conceive, we can clearly express.'” (M&A 1:77)
January 20. Arrived in Cincinnati.
January 22. Crossed the Ohio River, visited a small branch of the Church on Licking River, tarried with them two weeks, preaching almost every evening; baptized a few.
[February 6. – Went to Cincinnati, and commenced preaching in that city and in the towns round about. Tarried one month; baptized some. (MS 27:87)]
Febrary 6, 1835. Left the small church on Licking River in Kentucky and came to Cincinnati and called on Brother Morrison with a determination to preach in the city if a house could be obtained with little difficulty. Brother Morrison obtained a large and commodious schoolhouse situated on the corner of Vine and Sixth Streets by paying $1.00 per night for the use of the same with firewood and light.
February 12th. On Thursday evening we appointed a meeting and gave general notice to several congregations. Thursday evening came and a large congregation assembled and we laid before them the order of the ancient gospel. The people listened with great attention. We left another appointment in the same house for the next week on Friday evening.
[February 16. The following letter appears in the Latter-day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate:
Cincinnati, Ohio, February 16, 1835.
Brother O. [Oliver] Cowdery.
I have had the opportunity of perusing, from time to time, your interesting paper, as I have been travelling from church to church, from country to country, and from state to state, holding forth the words of eternal life–the glorious light of heaven among a people who sit in darkness and in the dominion of death, and it is with great satisfaction that I read of the success of my brethren in the ministry, in spreading light and truth, notwithstanding the opposition which they have to encounter: for notwithstanding the earth has been veiled with a thick veil of darkness for centuries and error has spread much divided “and operated unspent,” till nations and kingdoms have been inundated by its overwhelming influence, yet the days have come when a light has broken forth in darkness; truth again is beginning to shine, and they who are honest in heart will behold its heavenly light and rejoice; yea, many have beheld it, and not only beheld, but embraced, and are greatly rejoicing that God is unchangeable, that his Spirit is the same today as yesterday and forever, and that the voice of inspiration is again heard in the land as in olden times. Who could have supposed five years ago that truth would have spread so rapid for whether we look to the east, or to the west, to the north or to the south, we perceive its mighty progress, upheld by the hand of Omnipotence–it moves in majesty and power, and continues its steady course, pulling down the strong holds of Babylon, and leaving her mighty towers, exposing the creeds, systems and inventions of men, exhibiting the extreme ignorance, follies and errors of all sects, which causes their priests to rage and their mighty ones to tremble.
I left Clay County, Missouri, the last of August. Since that time I have preached to many congregations, mostly in villages; however I have baptized but few–I was unable to travel and preach for several weeks last fall in consequence of sickness.
I baptized three at Sugar Creek Iowa.–the church in that place numbers nineteen. Two in the village of Terrehaut, Iowa and seven in Campbell County, Kentucky, eight miles from Cincinnati: the church in that place now numbers eighteen.
Give my respects to all enquiring brethren and especially to my aged parents, if they are living in that place.
I remain your brother in the gospel,
O. [Orson] PRATT (M&A 1:89)
February 18th. On Wednesday we preached at the house of Sister Muttings in the town of Fulton, three miles from Cincinnati upon the subject of the reign of Christ on the earth a thousand years.
Febrary 20th. We filled our appointment in Cincinnati. Preached upon the scattering and gathering of the house of Israel and the great manifestation of the power of God which will be shown forth at the time of their restoration. We left another appointment in the same place for the next Tuesday evening.
February 22nd. Being the Sabbath we held a church meeting in Fulton and settled some difficulties existing between some of the members of the Church in that place. In the evening we preached in the same place upon the gathering of the Jews in unbelief and also the gathering of the Saints to Zion.
February 24th. We filled our appointment in the city and preached upon the means which God would use for the restoration of the house of Israel. Said something about the blessings which were given to the tribe of Joseph and also the 29th of Isaiah.
February 25th. We preached in Fulton upon the difference between faith and knowledge and also that signs and wonders most generally served to harden the hearts of those who would not believe through the testimony of the word in testimony of which we referred the congregation to the unbelief of the Egyptians notwithstanding all the signs which they beheld, and also to the signs which would be manifested previous to the Second Coming of the Saviour; yet that that day would come as unexpectedly as the flood came upon the antediluvians even as a thief in the night when they were crying peace and safety.
February 27th. We preached in the village of Commingsville about six miles from the city upon the first principles of the gospel and something concerning the spiritual gifts.
February 28th. Preached in the same village upon the scattering and gathering of Israel and the miracles which would be wrought at their restoration.
March 1st. Being the Sabbath, preached again in the same village upon the falling away of the Church, the losing of their authority to administer ordinances, and also the restoration of the Church or gospel according to John’s revelations, 14 Chapter, and Daniel’s prophecy, 2 Chap. In the evening went to hear a Campbellite preach. At the close of the meeting, before many of the people were dispersed, I was requested to have some conversation with the preacher who was quite a talented man after that order. I answered in the presence of the congregation that I was willing to meet him or any other respectable man before the public and enter into an investigation of the subject of spiritual gifts, and I would pledge myself to prove from the scriptures that miracles, gifts of healings, prophecies, revelations, and all the spiritual gifts which were in the Church in the days of the Savior and Apostles were necessary for the Church of Christ now, and that there never was nor ever will be a true church on the earth in a state of mortality without them. He then stated in the presence of the people that he would find a man to meet me. We agreed that the place of debate should be about four miles distant in the village of Carthage, the residence of Mr. Walter Scott and Doctor Wright. He also agreed to send me a letter to Cincinnati the next day (Monday) which would inform on what day Mr. Scott or Wright or some other man would meet me at the above mentioned place.
March 2nd. We preached in a schoolhouse on Plumb St. between Front and Colombia streets, Cincinnati, unto a large and attentive congregation upon the gospel and gifts.
March 3rd. Accordingly on Tuesday morning I went to the post office and gained the letter which reads as follows:
“Carthage, Ohio, March 2nd, 1835. Mr. Pratt:
When the Apostles bore testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God confirmed this testimony by miracles. Your impudent story lacks this confirmation. Indeed you have nothing new to tell us, unless it be the lately engendered falsehoods of Joseph Smith, and it would be as far impossible for God to confirm them as it would be for him to lie.
Do you know what a miracle is? I am bold to say you do not; nor would I believe that a person guilty of such willful slander of the religion that I profess does know what a miracle is, even if he were to seem to perform one.
You may come to Carthage, or you may go to Missouri, or where you please. I have nothing to do with Joseph Smith the imposter, who palmed the imposition on you. I have nothing to do with you, who are imposed upon. I would not believe the Book of Mormon, though you would apparently perform a miracle, which I am firmly persuaded you, nor any other man living, can do. L. H. Jameson.”
I must confess that I was somewhat surprised on reading this letter that Mr. Jameson, after saying publicly that he would produce a man to meet us and investigate the aforementioned subject, should then back out without producing, in his letter, so much as one reason for so doing; but filling it up with slander and statements that he cannot prove.
March 4th. Held a meeting in Fulton and two who came up from the city were baptized and confirmed, viz: Ann Morrison and Jane Bliven. In the evening we preached in Kentucky at Brother Clark’s upon the gospel and gifts.
[March 4th. To the above quoted letter of February 16th, Orson Pratt adds the following postscript dated March 4th:
P. S. March 4th. Since writing the above we have preached three times in Cincinnati, three times in Fulton, and three times in the village of Commingsville, six miles from the city. We have had large congregations and many are astonished at the doctrine–some believe, many disbelieve and others obey.–We have this day baptized two who reside in Cincinnati. There are now 22 or 23 members of this church in Fulton and Cincinnati. We expect to leave this place soon for the village of Batavia about 20 miles distant.
Brother Barns and myself preached twice in the court house at Brookville, Indiana–we were kindly received by the people of that village, and were solicited to tarry longer, but we could not conveniently: it was the first time the people in that place had heard concerning the principles of our faith, and it was somewhat marvelous to them, perhaps rendered more so in consequence of a short debate which lasted about three or four hours, principally upon the Second Coming of Christ.
The debate of which I speak was between myself and a preacher of the Universalist order, (Mr. St. Johns,) the people were very well-satisfied and were desirous to know more concerning the doctrine. We obtained one subscriber for the Advocate and left the Appeal of our brethren with the Editors of Brookville Enquirer, who said they would print it–since we have been in Cincinnati we have received the above named paper and also a short letter from its editors, requesting me to return and give them another hearing, but as it will be out of my power or at least very inconvenient for me to visit that place for some length of time, if ever, I will insert their letter in this and you may publish it in the Advocate if you please that if it should happen that any of the elders of this church were passing through that village, they might call and preach- -and no doubt they would be kindly received.
“Brookville Feb. 1, 1835.
Mr. Orson Pratt–
Sir: there is a general wish through this country, that you would call and give us another hearing when opportunity will permit–send us a letter and we will give public notice when you will attend; and we have no hesitation in saying, that you will be heard by the largest congregation ever assembled in this country. Your expenses during your stay, will be defrayed.
Yours respectfully. (signed) Edit’s of Brookville Inquirer.” (M&A 1:89-90)]
[March 6.–We started for another field of labor, and commenced preaching in Newbury and in the adjoining towns; tarried about six weeks, preaching almost every day. (MS 27:87)]
March 6th. We left Fulton and came to Newtown. Preached in the evening upon the gospel and gifts.
March 7th. Left Newtown and came to the village of Batavia and in the evening in the schoolhouse belonging to a Methodist man we preached upon the first principles of the gospel.
March 8th. Preached in the same place upon the spiritual gifts.
March 10th. Preached in the evening to a small congregation in the courthouse.
March 11th. Left Batavia and came to Newbury.
March 12th. Preached in the schoolhouse near Mr. Brown’s upon the first principles of the gospel.
March 13th. Preached in the same place upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the falling away of the Church of Christ and its restoration in the last days. (Rev. 14. Dan. 2.)
March 14th. Preached in Newbury Village upon the first principles of the gospel, recorded in the 2nd chapter and also 8th [chapter] of Acts, and also the spiritual gifts, 16 Mark, Joel, quoted by Peter in 2nd chapter of Acts; 1 Cor. 12, 13; Eph. 4.
March 15th. Being the Sabbath preached in the schoolhouse near Mr. Brown unto a large congregation upon the prophecies, the scattering and gathering of Israel, 11 Rom. More miracles to be wrought at their restoration. In the evening preached to a large congregation in the schoolhouse near Mr. McGee’s upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the 20th chapter of Isaiah.
March 16th. Preached in the village of Milford unto a large assembly upon the first principles of the gospel.
March 17th. Preached at Newbury upon the means which the Lord would use for the restoration of Israel, in 16 chapter Isaiah; 49:66; Eze., 2 sticks. Read in the Book of Mormon concerning the standard raised and sign set for the gathering of Israel and also the prophecy of ancient Joseph, quoted by Lehi, page 65.
March 18th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Brown’s upon the new covenant.
March 19th. Attended a meeting at a schoolhouse near Mr. Kugler’s. Brother L. Barnes preached upon the first principles of the gospel.
March 20th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. McGee’s upon the gathering of the Jews in unbelief; also said something about the gathering of Saints to Zion, the blessings pronounced upon the tribe of Joseph.
March 21st. Preached in Newbury upon the Second Coming of Christ to reign on earth, the resurrection. Brother Barnes went the day before to get a meeting in the neighborhood of Perscus Mills if he could.
March 22nd. Being the Sabbath, after attending Methodist preaching in Newbury I went to Milford and preached upon the spiritual gifts and gave them a history of the Book of Mormon. While I was preaching Brother Barnes came in and after meeting he told me that he had preached in the forenoon at Perscus Mills.
March 23rd. Brother Barnes left me for Perscus Mills and in the evening I preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Kugler’s store, upon the two sticks and the blessings on Joseph, and a short history of the prophecies which had been fulfilled.
March 24th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. McGee’s upon the first principles of the gospel.
March 25th. Brother Barnes returned having held two meetings, one at Perscus Mills and one at Hills Schoolhouse.
March 26th. Preached at Newbury on the Second Coming of Christ, the reign of the Saints on the earth for a thousand years, the new heavens and earth, the reign of the Saints on the earth forever. After preaching gave liberty for anyone to manifest their desires, and there was one young woman arose and said she desired to obey the gospel. We therefore left an appointment at the schoolhouse near Mr. Brown’s Saturday following.
March 28th. Saturday met a small congregation at the above named schoolhouse and after exhorting the people I read the Articles and Covenants of the Church, the laws, etc. We then went to the river Miami and immersed one, viz: Margaret Magrew.
March 29th. Being the Sabbath preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. McGee’s upon the new covenant with Israel in the last days, and after we were through we gave liberty and one, Mr. I. Denison, a Methodist, arose and after making a few observations took a newspaper which contained a slanderous report concerning Mr. Smith and Harris. One gentleman objected to his reading it in meeting. He then wanted someone of the congregation to read it. I told the people I was willing to have it read and that I would read it. I accordingly took the paper and after making a few remarks began to read, explaining some of the falsehoods contained in it. Mr. Denison seemed to be much enraged and after I had got through took the paper and began to read it over again, thinking that I had not read to suit him, but the congregation were ashamed of him and would not stay to hear, and even some of them who were opposed, took up our favor. In the evening quite a number of people collected at Mr. Magrew’s and after exhorting and speaking for a few minutes, we united in prayer, after which I laid my hands upon Margaret and confirmed the gift of the spirit upon her.
March 30th. Went about five miles to Mr. Daniel Holmes. In the evening preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. H. upon the first principles of the gospel.
March 31st. Preached about 1 1/2 miles distant in a dwelling house belonging to Mr. Galaney upon the spiritual gifts. After we were done speaking we were asked several questions by a very bitter opposer which I answered.
April 1st, 1835. Preached in the schoolhouse near Mr. Holmes’ upon the falling away of the church, a history of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and its contents, in short the angel having the gospel, Rev. 14 chapter; the little stone hewn from the mountain, Dan. 2 chapter.
April 2nd. We went to Newbury and attended Methodist preaching. The priest read a newspaper story about the Mormons and warned them to beware of awful delusion. In the evening we preached in Newbury and a very crowded congregation came together and I preached upon the impropriety of judging a doctrine from flying reports, and after we got through speaking there were two Methodist priests who arose to contend with us, one at a time, still contending for the correctness of their newspaper story. We spoke several times between us. I challenged them or any other person to meet us on any day before the public and expose the errors of our doctrine either from scripture or reason. This they were not willing to do. Therefore after the congregation had been detained till about 11 o’clock at night they were dismissed and I had reason to believe that the people were more believing in the gospel and the things which we had spoken than they were before the opposition.
April 5th. Being the Sabbath preached at McGee’s schoolhouse on the subject of the priesthood, the angel flying through the midst of heaven with the gospel, the little stone. Dan. 2nd.
April 6th. Preached at the dwelling house near Mr. Galaney’s on the prophecies that have been fulfilled and on more revelation and miracles to be given wrought at the restoration of Israel. Samuel Hill, a Methodist priest, opposed us when we had finished our discourse, but his folly was made manifest.
April 7th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. D. Holmes’ upon the blessings given to Joseph, Gen. 49, Deut. 33, Chron. 5, Ezk. 37, and the two sticks. Read the chapter on the 66th page of the Book of Mormon; the decrees of God concerning the land, the first part of the Book of Ether.
April 9th. Preached at Mr. H. South’s on the first principles of the gospel.
April 12th. Being the Sabbath, attended a meeting at the schoolhouse near Mr. Brown’s. Brother L. Wight preached. We then went to the water and I baptized one, viz: Martha McGee. In the evening Brother Wight preached at Newbury.
April 13th. Preached at H. South’s on the spiritual gifts.
April 14th. Preached at the house of Mr. Golding’s on the subject of the means for the gathering of Israel. Isaiah 49, 40. Jer. 16; Eze. 37.
April 15th. Preached at the schoolhouse, about four miles south of D. Holmes’ store.
April 16th. Preached at the same place on the gospel and gifts.
April 18th. I attended a meeting near Brown’s. Brother Wight preached. In the evening Brother Wight confirmed one member.
April 19th. Being the Sabbath, Brother Wight preached in Newbury, in the forenoon. I preached in the afternoon upon the difference between faith and knowledge, and also the fruits of the kingdom among the Jews and also among Gentiles.
[April 20.–We started for Kirtland. While in the streets of Columbus, Ohio, I saw a man passing, whom I felt impressed to speak to. He was a Saint, and the only one in the city. I stopped at his house, and there read a late number of the Messenger and Advocate. Found that I had been chosen one of the Twelve Apostles, and was requested to be in Kirtland on the 26th of April. (MS 27:87)]
April 20th. I in company with Brother Barnes, left Newbury for Kirtland. After traveling three days we stopped and preached upon the first principles of the gospel about 15 miles from Columbus. The next day we arrived in Columbus at which place we inquired of a man who I felt impressed to speak to, who was standing in the streets, the direct road to Mt. Vernon, and found that he was a brother. Therefore we tarried with him all night, at which place I saw a late number of the Messenger and Advocate; found that I had been chosen one of the Twelve Apostles, and was requested to be at Kirtland on the 26th of April.
[The above mentioned notice appears in the March number of the Messenger and Advocate and reads as follows:
We are requested to inform Elders Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Pratt, that they are desired to attend a meeting of the elders in this place on the 26th of April next. We hope that circumstances may render it convenient for them to attend, as their presence is very desirable (Editor) (M&A 1:90)]”
[April 24.–Took the stage, and arrived in Kirtland on the 26th, about 10 o’clock in the forenoon; walked into the meeting, and learned that they had been prophesying that I would arrive there, so as to attend that meeting, although no one of them knew where I was. I was much rejoiced at meeting with the Saints. (MS 27:87)]
April 24th. Friday I left Brother Barnes at Columbus and took the stage for Kirtland at which place I arrived on the 26th of April about 10 o’clock in the forenoon. I found a large congregation collected in the stone meetinghouse; walked into the meeting and learned that they had been prophesying that I would arrive there, so as to attend that meeting, although no one of them knew where I was. I was much rejoiced at meeting with the Saints. I was invited to take my seat as one of the Twelve. Elder Rigdon preached and after the forenoon meeting four were baptized. In the afternoon Elder Thomas Marsh and myself made a few remarks to the congregation. Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer laid their hands upon us and ordained us to the Apostleship as two of the Twelve, and pronounced blessings upon us as they were moved by the power of the Holy Ghost. We entered into a covenant to keep the commandments of God in all things, and do the work of the ministry whereunto we were called through the grace of God assisting us.
[In a discourse delivered August 11th, 1867 in the Bowery, Great Salt Lake City, Orson Pratt recounted these events as follows:
In that early day the Prophet Joseph said to me that the Lord had revealed that twelve men were to be chosen as Apostles. A manuscript revelation to this effect, given in 1829 before the rise of this Church–was laid before me, and I read it. Joseph said to me, although I was young, weak, inexperienced, especially in public speaking, and ignorant of many important things which we now all understand, that I should be one of this Twelve. It seemed to me a very great saying. I looked upon the Twelve Apostles who lived in ancient days with a great deal of reverence–as being almost superhuman. They were, indeed, great men–not by virtue of the flesh, nor their own natural capacities, but they were great because God called them. When Joseph told me that I would be one of the Twelve, I knew all things were possible with God, but it seemed to me that I would have to be altogether changed to occupy such a great position in the Church and Kingdom of our God.
But I will pass over the first years of the organization of the Church and come down to the time when the Twelve were chosen. It was in the year 1835. In the preceding year a few of us, by commandment and revelation from God, went up to the state of Missouri in company with the Prophet Joseph Smith. By the direction of Joseph I was requested to stay in Clay County for a few months, to visit the Saints scattered through those regions, to preach to and comfort them, and to lay before them the manuscript revelations, for they were not then fully acquainted with all the revelations, which had been given. After having accomplished this work and proclaimed the gospel to many branches of the Church in the western part of Missouri, I returned again a thousand miles to the state of Ohio, preaching by the way, suffering much from the chills, and the fever and ague, while passing through those low sickly countries, wading swamps and sloughs, lying down on the prairies in the hot sun, fifteen or twenty miles from any habitation, and having a hearty shake of the ague, then a violent fever, thus wandering along for months before getting back to Kirtland, Ohio, where the Prophet lived. In the meantime, however, I built up some few branches of the Church, and then started for the capital of the state of Ohio–the city of Columbus. I entered the city, a stranger, on foot, and alone, not knowing that there was a Latter-day Saint within many miles, but, while passing along the crowded streets, I caught a glimpse of the countenance of a man who passed, and whirling around instantly, I went after him, and inquired of him if he knew whether there were any people called “Mormons” in the city of Columbus. Said he: “I am one of that people, and the only one that resides in the city.” I looked upon this as a great marvel. “How is it,” said I, “that here in this great and populous city, where hundreds are passing to and fro, that I should be influenced to turn and accost the only Latter-day Saint residing here.” I look upon it as a revelation, as a manifestation of the power of God in my behalf. He took me to his house, and, when there, presented me with a paper published by our people in Kirtland. In that paper I saw an advertisement, in which Brother Pratt was requested to be at Kirtland on such a day and at such an hour, to attend meeting in the temple, that he might be ready to take his departure with the Twelve who had been chosen. The day and hour designated were right at hand; the Twelve were chosen, and were soon to start on their first mission as a council. I had been travelling among strangers for months, and had not seen the paper.
I saw that I had not time to reach Kirtland on foot, as I had been accustomed to travel, and consequently could not thus comply with the request; but, with a little assistance, I got into the very first stage that went out, and started posthaste for Kirtland, and landed at Willoughby, or what was then called Chagrin three miles from Kirtland, to which I travelled on foot, reaching there on Sunday morning at the very hour appointed for the meeting, which I entered, valise in hand, not having had time to deposit it by the way. There I met with Joseph, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris, and others of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, besides several of the Twelve who had been chosen and ordained a short time previous. They were meeting on that day in order to be fully organized and qualified for their first mission as a council. And, strange to relate, it had been prophesied in that meeting, and in prior meetings, I would be there on that day. They had predicted this, although they had not heard of me for some time, and did not know where I was. They knew I had been in Missouri, and that I had started from there, several months before, but the Lord poured out the spirit of prophecy upon them, and they predicted I would be there at that meeting. When they saw me walk into the meeting, many of the Saints could scarcely believe their own eyes, the prediction was fulfilled before them so perfectly. I look at these things as miraculous manifestations of the Spirit of God. (JD 12:85-87)]
[Heber C. Kimball records this event as follows:
Sunday morning April 5 (sic) 1835.–The Twelve had not all as yet been together, for the last three mentioned (Orson Pratt, Thomas B. Marsh and Parley P. Pratt) were not present at the time of choosing, and as the time drew near that we should travel to the East, we appointed this day to bear our testimony unto our brethren and friends. We were all assembled together with the exception of Brother Orson Pratt who had not yet been with us.–At this time while we were praying, and wishing for his arrival, while opening the meeting he entered the house, we rejoiced at his presence, and thanked the Lord for it. (T&S 6:869)]
[April 26. –I was ordained one of the Twelve Apostles in this last dispensation, under the hands of David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery. (MS 27:87)]
April 29th. I was blessed under the hands of Joseph Smith, Senior.
April 30th. The Twelve met at the schoolhouse at 4 o’clock in the afternoon and agreed to leave Kirtland for Fairport at 2 o’clock in the morning of May 4th for the purpose of taking a steamboat for the East to attend the several conferences appointed from Ohio to the state of Maine.
May 2nd, 1835. A large assembly of the officers of the Church of the Latter-day Saints convened at the schoolhouse in Kirtland, viz: the Presidency of the Church, the Twelve Apostles, the greatest part of the 70 disciples, and also the most of the standing High Council of Kirtland, the Bishop’s Council of Kirtland and also the Bishop’s Council of Zion; and many other officers of the Church. Joseph the Seer gave many instructions to the conference concerning the duties of their several offices and callings and especially the duties of the Twelve Apostles and 70 disciples. I baptized one upon the same day.
May 3rd. Sunday morning I baptized three in Kirtland. In the forenoon attended the meeting in the stone meetinghouse. Six of the Twelve Apostles spoke to the congregation and then dismissed them for one hour. In the afternoon we came together and partook of the sacrament, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus. I was called upon to confirm the four persons whom I had baptized and Elder Lyman Johnson to confirm two whom he had baptized; which after prayer we accordingly did. After the remainder of the Twelve had all spoken, Elder Sidney Rigdon made a few observations and then called upon those of the congregation who were satisfied with the choice which the Lord had made of the Twelve to manifest it by rising from their seats, which the congregation universally did. He then bade them farewell. The meeting was brought to a close.
[May 4.–I left with the Twelve on a mission through the middle and eastern states. (MS 27:87)]
May 4th. The next morning at half past 2 o’clock we (the Twelve) and two others left Kirtland for Fairport, where we arrived a little after sunrise, and went immediately on board of a steamboat which left the port a few minutes after we got on board. Thus the Lord in his mercy provided a boat for us at the very moment we arrived which was according to our prayers. We had a speedy and prosperous voyage insomuch that before sundown we landed at Dunkirk where we tarried all night.
May 5th. We left Dunkirk, two by two in order to preach in the regions around about three or four days. Elder Marsh and myself traveled west about one-half day’s journey and called upon Mr. Bump whose wife belonged to the Church of the Latter-day Saints. We appointed a meeting at his house for the evening. A few came out to hear. Elder Marsh preached to them.
May 6th. We went 1 1/2 miles north to Mr. Lilley’s. His wife and one of his children belonged to our society. We gave out an appointment for evening. The people came together and we preached the first principles of the gospel to them. After we had closed our discourse there was one man who opposed, calling for a sign.
May 7th. We preached at Brother Thayer’s upon the subject of the gospel.
May 8th. We went to Westfield.
May 9th. Our conference commenced. We inquired into the situation of the several branches of the Church which compassed the Westfield Conference and also into the standing of the elders from those branches. Made some arrangements for the redemption of Zion.
May 10th. Had public preaching both in the forenoon and afternoon. Elders Marsh and Patten preached. After meeting we repaired to the water and baptized five.
May 11th. The Church came together and after the council had given them some instruction relative to the redemption of Zion they (the Church) proceeded to appoint an honorable and wise man according to the revelation in whose hands they could deposit their monies for the purchasing of lands in Zion. There were several small branches in the region round about which were considered as the Westfield Conference. The church at Westfield, however, did not appoint but one man, having the branch at Vilenovia to appoint one man. The afternoon, had public preaching by B. [Brigham] Young and there were seven who offered themselves for baptism and were baptized by the hands of O. [Orson] Hyde.
May 12th. Brother Lyman Johnson and myself left Westfield and came to Laonia in the evening. Preached something concerning the first principles of the gospel and also concerning the effects of the spirit as recorded in the last chapter of Mark and in the second chapter of Acts.
May 13th. We pursued our journey to Perrisburg and tarried all night with Brother Knight.
May 14th. We continued our journey to the East and after we had gone about four (miles) I had a small turn of the ague. Notwithstanding I continued to travel but after going about two miles further the ague left me and the fever came on and I was obliged to lay by. Elder Johnson went on to Freedom which was about 35 miles distant in order to get some of the brethren to send for me with a wagon.
May 16th. I had another turn of the ague and fever in the morning and about 10 o’clock a brother in Freedom drove up in a wagon and although I was very sick I got into the wagon and rode to Freedom where I arrived in the evening and had the hands of three or four of the elders laid upon me in the name of the Lord and began to amend.
May 17th. Sunday. Elder Johnson preached in the forenoon and I in the afternoon upon the vision of Joseph and Sidney.
[May 18th. The following letter appears in the June 1835 issue of the Messenger and Advocate:
Freedom, Cateraugus County, New York May 18, 1835.
Elder O. [Oliver] Cowdery:–
In perusing the journal of my travels and preaching during the past winter and present spring, I noticed some conversation which passed between myself and L. H. Jameson, a Campbellite preacher. Some of the particulars of which; I will communicate to you in this letter, and if you consider it worthy of a place in the Advocate, you may publish it. It is well known to some, if not many, that the Campbellites profess to be the reformers of modern times; the restorers of the ancient order of things, and the harbingers of the Millennium. It is also well known that their advocates are very forward in protesting against the improprieties of all the sects of the present day, (which they can do with all propriety;) they are very anxious to meet them in public debate; very famous for their controversies, and sometimes quite expert in their arguments, and come off shouting victory: but no sooner do they come in contact with the elders of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, than they set up a most prodigious cry of Delusion! False Prophet! Imposture! and almost every other evil epithet which they can invent–and if perchance they are requested to take the scriptures and from them bring forward some testimony and show to the people wherein consists the great delusion and thus satisfy the minds of the public, they will immediately fly off in a tangent, and refer the people to some bundle of falsehoods or nonsense, published in some newspaper, or pamphlet, or Millennium Harbinger–endeavoring thereby to make the people think it must be a delusion!–But as it happens, many of the inhabitants of our country are of more noble principles, and men of too good sense to believe a system to be true or false, upon no other testimony than mere assertion, or a slanderous report.
I now proceed to give you a short relation of the conversation which I had with Mr. Jameson in a public congregation, in the village of Commingsville, six miles from the city of Cincinnati, and four from the village of Carthage, Ohio, on the 1st of March, 1835.
After delivering three discourses to the people in Commingsville, upon the subject of the doctrine believed by the Church of the Latter-day Saints, I was requested to have some conversation with Mr. Jameson, who was expected to preach that evening in the village. I was informed that he was a very talented man, almost if not quite equal to Mr. Walter Scott, the editor of the Evangelist: I answered that I was willing to converse with any reasonable man upon the subject of religion. I also understood that he was generally open and free to investigate the same with any of the sects. Therefore, I attended his meeting with a determination, if necessary, to converse with him at the close of the same. After the dismission of the meeting most part of the congregation tarried, and I was requested by some one to speak for myself; I replied before the congregation, that I was willing to meet him, or Mr. Scott, or any other man of character and respectability, in the village of Carthage, or any other place in that vicinity, and investigate, publicly, the subject of spiritual gifts; and I would pledge myself to prove from the scriptures that miracles, gifts of healing, prophecies, revelations, and all the spiritual gifts which were in the Church, in the days of the Savior and Apostles, were necessary for the Church of Christ now; and that there never was nor never would be a true church on the earth, in a state of mortality without them. Mr. Jameson said that he would find a man to meet me; and as I had some appointments in Cincinnati, he agreed to inform me by letter, more concerning the meeting and the day on which we should meet, etc. The congregation then broke up and returned to their homes; while on their way some said one thing, and some another: some said that he would get Mr. Scott, or Dr. Wright to meet me; others said that he would meet me himself, while others said they believed he would back out, etc. Two or three days after this, I called at the post office in Cincinnati, and took out a letter which reads as follows: “Carthage, Ohio, March 2, 1835.
MR. PRATT:–When the Apostles bore testimony to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God confirmed their testimony by miracles; your impudent story lacks this confirmation. Indeed you have nothing new to tell us, unless it be the lately engendered falsehoods of Joseph Smith–and it would be as far impossible for God to confirm them as it would be for him to lie. Do you know what a miracle is? I am bold to say you do not, nor would I believe that a person guilty of such willful slander of the religion that I profess, does know what a miracle is, even if he were to seem to perform one. You may come to Carthage, or you may go to Missouri, or where you please, I have nothing to do with Joseph Smith, the imposter who palmed this imposition on you–I have nothing to do with you who are imposed upon–I would not believe the Book of Mormon, though you should apparently perform a miracle, which I am firmly persuaded you, nor any other man living, can do.
L. H. JAMESON.”
I must confess that I was somewhat surprised on reading this letter, that Mr. Jameson, after saying publicly that he would find a man who would investigate the aforementioned subject with me, should then creep out so dishonorably, without producing in his letter, so much as one reason for so doing–but filling it up with the cry of imposition and imposter, etc. But this is nothing very marvelous, for doubtless he learned the cry from Mr. Campbell’s Millennial Harbinger, which is famous for crying false prophet.
I remain your brother in testimony of the word of God.
To O. [Oliver] Cowdery, Esq. (M&A 1:139-140)]
May 22nd. The Twelve met in conference according to previous appointment and proceeded to do such business as came before us. Saturday and Sunday there was public preaching.
May 25th. There were six or eight of the twelve who came to Porthee where there is a small branch of the Church and there was a general meeting given for Saturday and Sunday at Brother Wm. [William] Mark’s. Previous to this meeting Elder Boynton and myself attended four meetings, two of which were held in the village of Portage and the other two in a schoolhouse near Mr. Owen’s tavern. In these meetings we preached upon the first principles of the gospel and gifts and the people listened with attention. There were four of the Twelve that attended the meetings on Saturday (30th) and Sunday (June 1st). Elders P. [Parley] Pratt and J. [John] Boynton preached on Saturday.
June 1st. Sunday I preached in the forenoon upon the history of the Book of Mormon and also the prophecies which had been fulfilled upon Israel and Gentiles down to the present day and also the gathering and scattering of Israel and the power of God that would be manifested. The forenoon meeting was dismissed and two came forward and were baptized, one of which had been a Christian Brother. In the afternoon P. [Parley] Pratt preached a short discourse and called for a contribution. The people contributed $3.50, after which the Church partook of the sacrament. In the evening Elder Boynton preached to a small congregation.
June 2nd. The next day Elder Boynton and myself preached in a schoolhouse near Mr. Owen’s tavern upon the falling away of the Church, the Restoration of the Gospel by an angel, the second chapter of Daniel.
June 3rd. The next day we left the place for Lyons at which place we held the conference previously appointed.
June 7th. Sunday we preached at the schoolhouse. We left Lyons for Sackett’s Harbor. Went on board (a) steamboat at Oswego and landed at S. H. about 12 o’clock at night (Tuesday).
June 10th. Wednesday went out about 16 miles from S. H.
June 11th. Thursday preached at Sister Calvin’s house upon the effect of the spirit.
June 12th. Friday preached at the same place to the church upon the redemption of Zion and the Word of Wisdom.
June 13th. Saturday preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Bates’ upon the corruption of the present sectarian churches.
June 14th. Sunday preached at the barn near Sister Calvin’s upon the prophecies which had been fulfilled and those which remain to be fulfilled, the gathering of the Jews in unbelief, the gathering of the Saints to Zion. These subjects were discussed in two discourses, one the forenoon, the other in the afternoon.
June 15th. Monday preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Tifts tavern upon the first principles of the gospel.
June 16th. Tuesday preached at Tifts tavern upon the gifts and went to the water and baptized three, viz: Wm. [William] Earl, Charity Earl and Phynanda Hollenbeck.
June 17th. Wednesday preached at the schoolhouse near Wm. [William] Bates upon the Millennial reign, the Saints inheriting the earth forever, etc.
June 18th. Thursday went to S. Harbor. Brother Wm. [William] M’Lellin [McLellin] preached. After meeting I baptized one, viz: Sally M. Bates.
[June 18th, 1835. I baptized Sarah Marinda Bates, near Sacketts Harbor, whom I received in marriage upwards of one year after. During the latter part of July, the month of August, and the forepart of September, I preached almost every day in New Hampshire, in towns where they had not before heard; baptized a few, and then returned to Kirtland. (MS 27:87)]
June 19th. Friday. I attended the conference on Pillow Point.
June 20th. Saturday. Brother M’Lellin [McLellin] preached in the afternoon.
June 21st. Sunday. Two discourses were preached and three were baptized, the sacrament administered and four were confirmed by the laying on of hands.
June 25th. Left Pillow Point in company with four of the Twelve in a wagon which brought us to Pottsdam Village where I preached in the evening of the 26th upon the first principles of the gospel.
June 27th. The next day came to Stockholm where were a few members of the Church of L. D. S. [Latter-day Saints]. Several meetings were held in the regions round about and five were baptized. One of the brethren brought us in a wagon near to Plattsburg. From thence I crossed the lake to St. Albans, from thence to Jay where I held two public meetings and one church meeting and administered the sacrament. From thence I came to Charleston and preached once, thence to Dansville. Preached once at the Varney schoolhouse, twice at Dansville courthouse. Preached upon the Saints inheriting the earth forever. Preached once at Sheffield Hollow upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 16th. Attended a high council at Danville. Seven of the council were present.
July 17th. Attended a conference at St. Johnsbury. A large number of brethren and official members were present from all the surrounding branches. The Twelve sat in council and transacted such business as came before us. Public meetings were held in the same place the two days following. Nine came forward and were baptized. Two or three days after conference I left St. Johnsbury and came to Lebanon meetinghouse. Called upon Esq. Huntington who on the 26th inst., being the sabbath, went with me to see Mr. Hone, a minister of the Universal order. I went to hear him preach two discourses. The same day obtained leave to preach in the Methodist chapel at 5 o’clock in the afternoon a large congregation came together. I preached upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 28th. Preached at Greensborough schoolhouse in the town of Hannover upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 29th. Preached at Lebanon Village upon the coming forth of the book of Mormon, 29 chapter of Isa. Only a few attended.
July 30th. Preached at the Greensborough schoolhouse upon the spiritual gifts.
July 31st. Preached at Mr. Danian’s tavern in the hall upon the first principles of the gospel. Some of the students of Dartmouth College attended.
August 2nd. Being the Sabbath preached at the house of Mr. Truman’s upon the spiritual gifts and different members of which the body, or Church of Christ, was composed (1 Cor. 12.). The same day by the request of some of Mr.Truman’s family I prayed for and laid my hands upon two men who had been afflicted for a great number of years.
August 3rd. Preached at the Greensborough schoolhouse. Told the people of the falling away of the Church, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the angel having the gospel to be preached, the destructions that awaited the gentiles unless they repented.
August 4th. Preached at a schoolhouse in the village of Norwich in Vermont upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 5th. Preached at the hall in Mr. Daman’s tavern upon the spiritual gifts (12 chap. of 1 Cor.)
August 6th. Went to attend an appointment in the hall at Lebanon Village. Some few people came round the door but in consequence of no lights being brought I did not preach to them.
August 7th. Preached at Norwich upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the prophecies that have been fulfilled in the scattering of Israel and apostacy of the gentiles (Rom. 11 chap.) the grafting in of Israel in the last days, the cutting off of the gentiles, the miracles to be wrought at the gathering of Israel.
August 8th. Preached at Hannover upon the blessings on Joseph, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the two sticks, etc.
August 9th. Being the Sabbath preached at Norwich upon the means to be used for the gathering of Israel.
August 10th, 1835. Left Lebanon and came to Salisbury.
August 12th. Wednesday evening the 12th, preached at the Academy to a large congregation upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 13th. Preached at a schoolhouse near Deacon True’s upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 14th. Preached at the Academy upon the gifts given to the true Church.
August 15th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Schibner’s upon the gifts.
August 16th. Preached at the same place upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the blessings on Joseph, 48, 49 Gen., 33 Deut., 1 Chron 5, Isaiah 29., Ezk. 37, the two sticks, read 12 chapters of 2 Nephi and the ministry of Christ to the Nephites, his teachings concerning the manner of baptism. In the afternoon of the same day preached in the schoolhouse at Salisbury, North Village, upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 17th. Went to Concord and preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Barnet Elliot’s upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 18th. Preached in the same place upon the spiritual gifts.
August 19th. Preached in the same place upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and gave a short sketch of its history. Read the testimony of the three witnesses, explained the 29th chapter of Isaiah.
August 20th. Preached at the Academy upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the 29th chapter of Isaiah.
August 21st. Preached at the schoolhouse near Deacon True’s upon the prophecies which have been fulfilled, the 11 [11th chapter?] of Romans and more miracles to be wrought at the gathering of Israel.
August 22nd. Preached at the same place upon the means for the gathering of Israel (Gen. 16, Isa. 48) Isaiah last chapter, the standard spoken of by Nephi, the sign spoken of by the Savior in the Book of Mormon. After I finished my discourse I had liberty and three Methodist priests arose one by one and opposed. I answered them one by one. After meeting the people generally were more believing than what they were before.
August 23rd. Being the Sabbath I preached in the forenoon about three hours in the meetinghouse near Deacon True’s upon the regularly commissioned officers in the kingdom of God. Said something about the first principles and that there could not but one church be correct and we could not be saved and reject a servant of God. In the afternoon preached in the schoolhouse in Salisbury upon the spiritual gifts and officers in the true Church.
August 24th. Went to Mr. Elliot’s in Concord. Preached in the schoolhouse near Mr. Elliot’s upon the prophecies, gave a short history of those which had been fulfilled upon Israel and gentiles explained the 11th chapter of Romans, and more miracles to be wrought when Israel is gathered.
August 25th. Preached at the courthouse in Concord unto a large assembly, principally men, upon the first principles of the gospel. After I closed the meeting I told the people that I was a stranger and expected that they would keep me freely, but no one invited me to tarry with them during the night, therefore I went to the tavern.
August 26th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Johnson’s tavern. Said something about the first principles of the gospel, the spiritual gifts I Corinthians 13, Ephesians 4.
August 27th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Elliot’s upon the means to be used at the gathering of Israel, the sign and standard to be raised, the stick of Joseph, etc.
August 28th. Preached at the courthouse upon the spiritual gifts promised to the true Church, the officers in the Church, etc.
August 29th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Johnson’s tavern upon difference between faith and knowledge, etc.
August 30th. Being the Sabbath preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Elliot’s upon the authority of administering ordinances. After meeting baptized one, viz: B. (?) Elliot.
August 31st. Preached at the courthouse upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, 29 chapter of Isaiah, the two sticks [of] Ezekiel.
September 3rd. Preached at Boscowen at a schoolhouse near Mr. Putney’s upon the first principles of the gospel.
September 4th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Sleeper’s upon the first principles and gifts.
September 5th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Putney’s upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the 29th chapter of Isaiah, etc.
September 6th. Being the Sabbath preached at the same schoolhouse both in the forenoon and afternoon upon the scattering and gathering of Israel, the more revelations to be given them as well as miracles to be wrought.
September 7th. Preached at the schoolhouse in the village of Hopkinton near Hills Bridge upon the first principles of the gospel.
September 8th. Received a letter from Elder Boynton stating that it was necessary to return to Kirtland as soon as possible, that the council had agreed to meet at Buffalo on the 24th of September at sunrise in the morning without fail. The same evening preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Elliot’s upon the Second Coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven to reign with all the raised Saints 1,000 years on the earth and also that the Saints would inherit the earth together.
September 9th. Baptized and confirmed two in the morning, viz: Eliza Stephens, Sarah Colby, and then started west. In two days came to a small branch of the Church in Andover, not far from 70 miles distant from Concord.
September 11th. Preached to a few in the evening.
September 13th. Preached at the schoolhouse in the forenoon near Mr. Blood’s in Andover upon the reasons why the Jews were cut off and that the gentiles would be cut off if they did not repent, and also more miracles and revelations at the gathering of Israel. In the afternoon preached at the house of Sister Wards upon the Millennium.
September 14th. Left Andover for Kirtland where I, in company with the rest of the Twelve, met in conference on the 26th of September.
[September. 25th. – Arrived in Kirtland. (MS 27:87)]
October 1st. Commenced boarding at President Rigdon’s.
[October 14th. – Started on a mission to the Ohio River, preaching by the way; tarried two or three weeks in Beaver County, Pennsylvania; held sixteen meetings; baptized a few and raised up a small branch of the Church, and ordained Dr. Sampson Avard an elder, to take charge of them, and then returned to Kirtland where I arrived on the 16th of November. (MS 27:87)]
October 14th. Left Kirtland in company with Wm. [William] Pratt and came to Huntsburg.
October 15th. Preached upon the prophecies which had been fulfilled down to this age.
October 16th. Preached at Brother Gardner’s.
October 17th. Preached at Joseph Leper’s upon the kingdom of Christ, Daniel 2 chapter, 44 verse, Revelation, the angel.
October 18th. Preached at the red schoolhouse upon the gathering of Israel, the means for their gathering, the power that would be manifested at that time, administered the sacrament, etc.
October 19th. The next day we left Huntsburg and went to Freedom, Beaver County, Pennsylvania. In two or three days after we arrived at Freedom, Wm. [William Pratt] left me and went to Kirtland but I continued in the regions round about between two or three weeks during which time I held 16 meetings, two in the village of Fallst on the gospel and gifts, the last of which I was opposed by a Methodist priest. I left another appointment but afterwards I understood the committee of the schoolhouse was not willing to have anymore meetings in the house. I therefore withdrew my appointment and went away alone, by myself, and washed my feet against all those in that village who had objected to me, and also against some others who had refused to give me food to eat and a place to lay my head while on my journey through the state of New York, in September last, and also when on my journey from Huntsburg to Beaver County, Pennsylvania. I also held three meetings in the courthouse in the village of Beaver, preached upon the first principles of the gospel, the Book of Mormon, the gathering of Jews and Saints. And also held four meetings in the village of Bridgewater. Was opposed by a Methodist Presiding Elder and Doctor Winters who pretended to be a Baptist priest, but I understood his character was bad. This meeting continued till about 12 o’clock at night. All their arguments were very slander [slanderous] and by the force of truth they vanished like the dew before the sun. Held seven meetings in Freedom. The people in this village were generally very believing and received me kindly although I was opposed in several meetings by a Methodist class leader. The last meeting I held in this village three came forward and were baptized, two of whom resided in the village of Bridgewater about two miles distant. In the evening confirmed them and ordained one (viz: Doctor Sampson Avard) to the office of an elder. He formerly had preached among the Campbellites. Parted with two Books of Mormon, four books [of] Doctrine and Covenants and obtained 14 subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate and left the people with Elder Avard to continue the work. I came to Kirtland where I arrived on the 16th of November.
November 17th. I again commenced boarding at President Rigdon’s.
November 18th. Commenced going to school and also the study of Kirkham’s English Grammar.
[November 18. The following letter appears in the November 1835 issue of the Messenger and Advocate:
Kirtland, Ohio, November 18, 1835.
Sometime the last of October I left Kirtland, and travelled about 100 miles southeast until I came to Beaver County, Pennsylvania. There I held 16 meetings, two in the village of Fallston, three in the village of Beaver, four in the village of Bridgewater, and seven in the village of Freedom: in these villages I found many who were willing to listen to the word of life, and also many who were exceedingly opposed, but more especially the priests of Baal, and their followers. I was encountered by two Methodist priests, and one of their class leaders, and also by Doctor Winters, who had been a Baptist priest, but his character and standing in society, I was informed, was considerably below par; but their opposition only showed the weakness of their system–established the faith of some, while others were stirred up to investigate. Thus truth loses nothing by opposition, for notwithstanding the tongue of the slanderer is loosed, falsehoods circulated to the four winds, the cry of blasphemy heard among all the sects, yet, truth, remains truth still, though the prince of darkness may rage; his subjects use all their crafty inventions, yet all their efforts will be in vain, for truth is from heaven; its glory is unsullied: its light is eternal, and will shine though all their engines of wickedness may be put in operation against it. Its light cannot be quenched; its progress cannot be stayed, while it is apparently smothered in one place, it will shine forth with increased brilliancy in another. I baptized three in Freedom, one of which (Sampson Avard) I ordained an elder, he formerly had belonged to the Campbellites, and had preached among them. After parting with two Books of Mormon; four books of Revelations [Revelation], and obtaining 14 subscribers for the Messenger and Advocate, I left them with Elder Avard to continue the work. There is a prospect of many embracing the gospel in those parts: May the Lord bless Elder Avard and send some one of his servants to assist him.
I remain your friend and brother,
O. [Orson] PRATT
John Whitmer, Esq. (M&A 2:223-224)]
[In December I taught an evening grammar school in Kirtland, also during the winter studied Hebrew about eight weeks; received a certificate from Professor Seixas, testifying to my proficiency in the language, and certifying to my capabilities to teach the same. This was the winter and spring of our endowments in the Kirtland Temple. (MS 27:87)]
December 1st. Commenced boarding at Lyman Johnson’s at $1.25 per week.
December 2nd. Elder Lyman Johnson and myself attended and preached the sermon of Sister Gates, the daughter of Thomas Gates. In the evening delivered a lecture upon grammar and proposed to teach an evening school for one to four evenings in a week.
December 3rd. Commenced the evening school. Taught about 15 nights when in consequence of other business of more importance I closed. During the winter I attended the Hebrew School about 8 weeks in which time I made greater progress than what I could have expected in so short a period. I obtained a certificate from J. Seixas, our instructor, certifying to my capability of teaching that language. During the winter we had some very great and glorious meetings. We were commanded to wash our bodies with pure water and to be anointed with holy oil which we accordingly did and the power of the Lord rested down upon the authorities of the Church. Many saw heavenly visions. The lower court of the House of the Lord was finished and dedicated on the 30th of March 1836. All the authorities of the Church who had been anointed came together in the House of the Lord and received the washing of feet. We received great blessings from the hand of God this day. Many saw visions; many had great and marvelous things prophesied upon their heads.
[April 6, 1836. Left Kirtland on an eastern mission, went to Canada West, preached about two months; baptized several. (MS 27:87-88)]
On the 6th of April I left Kirtland in company with several brethren. We went to Painsville [Painesville], hired a team to carry six of us to Erie. There three of the brethren took the Wersing stage and left us. They were expecting to go to Nova Scotia. The next morning Brothers F. Nickerson and P. [Parley] Pratt and myself took the stage to Buffalo. We traveled on foot, proceeded to Blackrock, there crossed the Niagara river–went to the falls. We then continued our journey to the village of Beaversville. There obtained a schoolhouse and gave out an appointment for preaching. P. P. [Parley P. Pratt] preached and left another appointment for the evening but Elder F. Nickerson and myself went on about four miles and to a small congregation. We then came to Mount Pleasant where I commenced preaching. Preached once in the schoolhouse upon the first principles of the gospel, the gospel and the order of the Church. Preached four times at Brother Stevens’, once at Brother Flanner’s, once at Brother Nickerson’s upon the Second Coming of Christ, three times at the schoolhouse near Mr. Fairchild’s upon the first principles of the gospel, the gifts and order of the Church, the falling away of the same, the two chapter of Daniel, the 6th verse of the 14th chapter of Revelation, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the blessings on Joseph, the two sticks, the 29th [chapter] of Isaiah. During the meantime I sent an appointment to the village of Brantford but the schoolhouse door was locked and after waiting a short time I went back to Mount Pleasant. In a few days after, Elder F. Nickerson and myself went to same village again. Saw one of the trustees of the schoolhouse, obtained permission to leave an appointment, which was generally circulated, for the next evening. We then returned to Mount Pleasant.
April 28th. The next evening, the 28th of April, I went alone to fill the appointment. Went to the schoolhouse, found it crowded with men, but no females. I went in to the pulpit and was about to commence the meeting when a man by the name of Lewis Burwall, a Methodist by profession and one of the trustees of the schoolhouse arose in a spirit of opposition and requested me to answer a few questions before I preached. He proceeded to ask me what church I belonged to. I answered the Church of the Latter-day Saints. He wished to know if we did not call ourselves Mormons. I answered no, but we were generally known by that name. He wished to know if I believed in the Book of Mormon. I replied, yes, with all my heart. He then said he had read the book and made some very harsh expressions and desired of me if I could speak in tongues, etc. I answered him that we professed as a church to be earnestly seeking for all the gifts of the gospel mentioned in the scriptures but he insisted on my answering him yes or no. I replied that I did not consider myself bound at that time to answer any question as I had given out that appointment on purpose for preaching and that I would endeavor if the people would listen, to tell them what we as a church believed in, and after I was through they should have the privilege of replying. But he insisted on knowing what we believed in before I preached. About this time the most part of the congregation began to stamp their feet and hiss at Burwall and the congregation began to be divided: the more part determined to hear preaching while the remainder said that I should not preach without answering the questions. I replied that I would tell them my belief in my discourse. By this time the whole house was in an uproar, some crying one thing some crying another; some crying delusion, imposture, others crying, let us hear then judge, while others were crying liberty of conscience. The congregation began to contend very sharply one with another and became very angry, that they came to blows and began to knock down. The noise was such for one or two hours that it might have been heard some distance, while I stood in the pit very calm and composed, lifting my heart in silent prayer that the Lord would deliver me out of their hands unhurt. Some threatened to lay violent hands upon me while others said they would not permit me to be hurt. At length a few gentlemen present opened one of the pulpit doors, took me by the hand and we went through the midst unhurt. The congregation soon finding that I had left the pulpit followed on after me nearly through the village, when I saw myself so thronged that I concluded the only way for me to get out of their midst would be to go into a tavern and pass out the back door, which I accordingly did, assisted by some few gentlemen. I left the village that night and traveled to Mount Pleasant. The next day great excitement prevailed throughout the village and the more part of the people were determined to have a meeting. They accordingly appointed a meeting in a very large wagon house and sent up to Mount Pleasant for me to come down. I, accordingly, in company with three or four brethren went down. A very large congregation had collected who listened with great attention. I addressed them upon the first principles of the gospel. After I got through three or four arose in opposition, but about all they could do was to call for signs and their folly was exposed before the people. In a few after I preached again in the village but few attended –preached upon the coming forth of [the] Book of Mormon and the prophecies relating to it, Isaiah 29, Ezekiel 37, the angel with the everlasting gospel. Opposed by Mr. Burwall but his arguments were easily exposed. In the meantime Brother Nickerson and myself went to visit a Baptist priest in the town of Boston. Desired to have a privilege of preaching to the people who were in that place, who were principally Baptist, but he refused and said he would take the responsibility upon his own head and suffer the consequences in the general judgment. We therefore left him and washed our feet against him. We preached five times in Scotland upon the first principles of the gospel, the gifts, the prophecies which had been fulfilled and those to be fulfilled viz: the gathering of Israel, the Second Coming of the Savior and the Millennium. Large congregations attended. I was opposed the first meeting by two priests, one Methodist, the other a Presbyterian. The meeting continued from 2 o’clock till nearly sundown. The people saw the weakness of their arguments and desired to hear more.
May 8th. Baptized 2 in Scotland viz: Cyrus Hunt and Lucinda Hunt.
May 15th. Baptized more in the same place, viz: Charles Eddy, Noel Elsworth, John Mansfield, Mary N. Harvey, Andelia Buttch and Lucy Styles. During the meantime I went to Malihide, found the Church in that place much engaged. Preached three times upon the first principles of the gospel, the prophecies which had been fulfilled, the gathering of Israel, the power of God which should at that day be manifested. Baptized two on the 13th of May in Malihide viz: Edward Johnson and Rachel Harris. Laid hands upon three who were sick who received some benefit.
May 16th. Baptized two in Mount Pleasant, viz: Samuel Clark and Mariah Gates. While I tarried in this vicinity I laid hands upon some who were afflicted who professed to receive some benefit. I washed my feet as a testimony against Mr. Harris, a Baptist preacher who resided in the town of Boston, also against Mr. Prindle, a Methodist preacher and his son-in-law Mr. Smith; and a Presbyterian priest who opposed me in the town of Burford; and also against Mr. Burwall and several others who opposed me and against a man in the village of Hamilton who opposed, at which place I preached in the courthouse on the 19th May.
May 20th. Brother F. Nickerson and myself took the steamboat from Hamilton to Toronto at which place Elder P. [Parley] P. Pratt had been and was preaching and had baptized some. The same day we left Toronto and went into the country about nine miles where we found Elder P. [Parley P. Pratt] at which place he had baptized some. The same evening I attended a meeting to hear a Methodist preacher oppose the Book of Mormon.
May 21st. My brother preached and exposed the weakness of his arguments. After meeting several who came from the city went forward in the ordinance of baptism.
May 22nd. Being the Sabbath I preached in the forenoon. After meeting some more went forward in baptism which was administered by Elder Pratt. In the afternoon my brother preached and administered the sacrament, the members being all present both those from Toronto and those who resided in the place, and after the sacrament all were confirmed by the laying on of our hands.
[Orson Pratt is mentioned briefly in a letter from Parley P. Pratt to O. [Oliver] Cowdery which was published in the May 1836 issue of the Messenger and Advocate:
Kirtland, May 26, 1836.
Dear Brother Cowdery:
Sir, having just returned from a short mission in Upper Canada, I take the liberty of addressing a few lines to you for insertion in the Messenger and Advocate, praying that it may be edifying to the readers of that useful and interesting paper.
I left Kirtland April 5th, in company with Elders, O. [Orson] Pratt and F. Nickerson; and after a long and tedious journey, through mud and rain, we arrived in Upper Canada, where I took leave of the other two brethren, and pursued my course for Toronto, the capital of the province, at which place I arrived on the 19th of April.
. . . At 4 o’clock P.M. a multitude assembled at the barn, I then replied publicly to the Reverend gentlemen’s arguments of the preceding evening. After I closed my discourse, we went to the water and I baptized nine persons, who, apparently, came with contrite spirits, believing with all their hearts; expressing a full determination to serve the Lord to the end.–The next day being Sunday, May 22d, the numbers of those who had been baptized having increased to twenty five, and brethren O. [Orson] Pratt and F. Nickerson being present and assisting, we laid our hands upon them and confirmed them in the name of the Lord Jesus, for the gift of the Holy Ghost. In the ordinances of the day, we were blessed with joy and peace and with the powers of the Holy Ghost. Thus grew the word of God and prevailed mightily. May the Lord bless them and add to their numbers, daily, such as shall be saved.
Yours in the bonds of the everlasting covenant
To the Editor of the Messenger and Advocate.
P. [Parley] P. PRATT. (M&A 2:319-320)]
May 24th. I preached at Mr. Easton’s barn upon the first principles the gospel. Brother N. [Nickerson] and I laid hands on a sick person.
May 25th. I preached at the schoolhouse near Brother Fielding’s.
May 26th, Preached in Mr. Easton’s barn upon the spiritual gifts and officers necessary to constitute the Church of God. We were opposed by a Baptist preacher. The person upon whom we had laid our hands told me she felt better immediately.
May 27th. Preached in the same place upon the manner in which the plates from which the Book of Mormon was taken was found and translated and also its contents in short; read the witnesses attached to it. Spoke of the falling away of the Church and how it must be restored according to the revelations of John 14 chapter and 6th verse and 2d chapter of Daniel. I was opposed by a Methodist and Baptist preachers who did not oppose with scripture but by calling me an imposture [impostor] and calling for a miracle, etc. I replied to them both. The congregations were disgusted with their proceedings. The next morning washed my feet as a testimony against them. May 28th. Preached at the house of Brother Snyder in the city of Toronto.
May 29th. I preached at the house of Sister Walton upon the Second Coming of Christ. In the afternoon administered the sacrament. Nearly all the members sent either prayed or spoke of the goodness of God.
May 30th. Preached at Mr. Easton’s barn.
[May 30th. The following notice appears in the June 1836 issue of the Messenger and Advocate: Brother John Harvey writes us from Canada, under date of May 30th, stating that Elder O. [Orson] Pratt had been preaching in Branford, Mount Pleasant, and Mallahide, Upper Canada, and that he had baptized six in the former place, and two in Mallahide. He further adds, that there were many more believing. We knew Elder Pratt had not at that time been long, in that place, for he had been but a little time absent from this. (M&A 2:330)]
May 31st. Preached about three miles east upon the first principles of the gospel. June 1st. Preached at Mr. Easton’s barn.
June 2nd. Preached about four miles distant to the east upon the spiritual gifts and officers necessary to constitute the Church of Christ.
June 3rd. Went to Toronto.
[June 4–Took the steamer for Oswego; commenced preaching in Jefferson and the regions adjoining; baptized many, and raised up some new branches. (MS 27:88)]
June 4th. Took the steamboat in the evening and went to Oswego at which place I arrived on Sunday afternoon and traveled about ten miles to the east.
June 6th. Went to the town of Mexico where there was a small branch of the Church. Called upon a family, and took dinner, who were favorable to the Church and then proceeded on my journey to Henderson where I arrived on Tuesday the 7th. Went to Brother Bates. Found them all well. I was very much enjoyed to see them as I had been absent about one year, and more especially as I had previously formed an acquaintance with their daughter with whom I had held a correspondence by letter and with whom I shortly expected to enter into the sacred bonds of matrimony.
June 9th. Preached at the yellow schoolhouse near Brother Bates’ upon faith and knowledge, etc.
June 10th. Elder Luke Johnson who had been laboring a few weeks in those parts came to Brother Bates. We held a meeting about three miles distant in afternoon. In the evening Elders Johnson and Dudher and myself and Brother Bates came together in order to deal with Elder Blakesly who was also present, who was guilty of some very improper conduct towards one of the sisters, such as telling her that she had won his affections and that he loved her as much as he did his own wife, requesting her break her engagements with a young man with whom she had some acquaintance and remain single saying that he did not think that his own wife would live a great while. The above I learned from the sister’s own mouth who felt much disgusted at his conduct and desired that he should be dealt with. Elder Blakesly did not deny the above but at first said his motives were pure, but afterwards acknowledged that he had done very wrong. We told him that his conduct had been such that we considered him unworthy to hold a license for a period of time and that it was necessary for him to make his acknowledgment to the family whom he had offended and also to the Church and some individuals who did not belong to the Church who had resided in Mexico at which place he had not been sufficiently reserve in his conduct towards the sister mentioned; and in other branches where his conduct had not been such as becomes an elder. He agreed to do as required and the same evening made his confession to the family whom he had offended. We took his license from him until he should make satisfaction among the different branches of the Church where he had offended and also until he should be sufficiently chastened.
June 12th. Sunday. Preached at the yellow schoolhouse upon the qualification and endowment of the apostles in their preaching on the day of Pentecost. In the afternoon I preached at the meetinghouse near Henderson Village upon the spiritual gifts and officers necessary to constitute the true Church.
June 13th. Went to Sackett’s Harbor at which (place) myself and Elder Johnson preached.
[June 13th. In a letter to the editor of the Messenger and Advocate Elder Heber C. Kimball makes the following mention of Orson Pratt:
Kirtland, December 8, 1836.
To the Editor of the Messenger and Advocate
I have thought fit to write a short summary of my labors in the vineyard for the season past.
I left this place on the 10th of May last; and at 11 o’clock A.M. the same day I left Fairport in a steamboat bound for Buffalo, where I arrived the next morning.
From that place I passed on to the East preaching where their doors were open; and baptizing for the remission of sins, such as believed with all the heart.
June 13th I arrived at Sacketts Harbor, where I found Brethren Luke Johnson and Orson Pratt, laboring with their mights, for the cause of God.
Those elders who have been traveling among strangers, in distant lands, well know the strength and joy it gives to meet with our brethren, who are fellow laborers with us.
Yours, as ever
H. [Heber] C. KIMBALL (M&A 3:439-440)]
June 14th. I preached at Jerico a short discourse upon the Second Coming of Christ.
June 15th. I preached at Burville proving from the scriptures that but one church could be the true church and that church must have inspired men in it and that all mankind must receive the doctrine which they preached in order to be saved.
June 16th. Preached at LeRayville upon the first principles of the gospel.
June 17th. Preached at Antwerp upon the effects of the spirit as preached by Peter on the day of Pentecost.
June 19th. Being the Sabbath I preached in the forenoon. I preached large congregation in Rutland hollow upon the prophecies which have been fulfilled, the 11th chapter of Romans and more miracles to be wrought at the restoration of the house of Israel. Elder Johnson preached in the afternoon.
June 20th. Preached at Antwerp upon the spiritual gifts.
June 21st. Preached at Mr. Cross’ barn upon the first principles of gospel.
June 22nd. I had an appointment about four miles distant from Antwerp, no one attended.
June 23rd. Preached in Antwerp Village upon the officers necessary to constitute the true church. After meeting baptized one, viz: Nancy Whitford.
June 24th. Preached at Mr. Cross’ barn showing that there could not be but one true church and all must unite to that in order to be saved.
June 25th. Went to visit a sick woman and prayed for and laid hands upon her. In the afternoon went about three miles to visit Mr. Nobles, a sick man; prayed and laid hands upon him.
June 26th. Being the Sabbath preached in Antwerp Village in the forenoon and also in the afternoon upon the faith once delivered to the Saints, the falling away of the Church, the losing of the authority of the priesthood, the restoration of the Church by ministering of an angel, Revelation 4th chapter. In the afternoon at 5 o’clock the members of the Church with several others that were favorable met together. The sacrament was administered and also confirmation was administered to three.
June 27th. Elder Dutcher and myself laid hands upon Mrs. Hamlim who was sickly and then went to LeRayville. Preached in the afternoon upon the spiritual gifts. After meeting one offered herself for baptism. Elder Ducher (sic) administered the ordinance.
June 28th. Went to Rutland Hollow, from there I went to Burville, thence to Jerico at which place I arrived on the 29th and preached in the afternoon on the spiritual gifts.
June 30th. Went to Brother Bates in Henderson.
July 3rd. Preached to a crowded congregation at the yellow schoolhouse in person.
[July 4. I was married to Sarah M. Bates, Elder Luke Johnson officiating. 27:88)]
July 4th. In the forenoon went to the water and baptized seven, four of whom from the town of Mexico, some being invited to attend a wedding at Brother Bates. In the afternoon I was married to Sister Sally M. Bates, the ceremony being performed by Elder Luke Johnson. After the ceremonies of the wedding were over in the evening, attended to the confirmation of those names (which) as follows: Johnathan Harrington, Julia Harrington, being connections of Brother Bates; Joseph Main, Martha Main, the above were from Mexico; Orsuns Bates, Phebe Mariah Bates and Mariellus L. Bates of Henderson, being the two sons and daughter-in-law of Brother Bates.
May 7th. Myself and companion rode to Jerico. I preached in the afternoon at Jerico upon the falling away of the Church and the restoration of the gospel by another angel.
July 8th. We rode to LeRayville. I preached in the afternoon at Evans Mills upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 9th. We rode to Antwerp.
July 10th. I preached in Antwerp upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, its contents in short, the blessings of Joseph.
July 12th. Had an appointment at the Quaker settlement. Only two attended. I did not preach.
July 13th. Preached about five miles from Antwerp in a small schoolhouse upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 14th. Preached in Antwerp upon the Second Coming of Christ.
July 15th. Preached about seven miles from Antwerp upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 16th. Preached again about five miles from Antwerp in a small schoolhouse upon the spiritual gifts.
July 17th. Being the Sabbath preached in the forenoon at Antwerp upon 11th chapter of Romans and more miracles at the gathering of Israel. In the afternoon went to LeRayville and heard Baptist priest by the name of Warner preach against new revelations and miracles, etc. After he got through I replied but he and several others did not tarry to hear the reply.
July 18th. I preached at Evans Mills upon the spiritual gifts.
July 19th. Preached at Mr. Jordan’s upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 20th. Preached at the schoolhouse in Martin St. upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, its contents in short.
July 21st, Preached at Mr. Hatch’s upon the falling away of the Church and its restoration, Revelation 14, 6th verse.
July 22nd. Laid hands upon a woman who had been deaf 38 years. In the afternoon preached at Mr. Jordan’s upon the spiritual gifts.
July 24th. Preached at Evans Mills upon the Second Coming of Christ, the Resurrection.
July 25th. Preached at Martin St. upon the 29th chapter of Isaiah, the 37th of Ezekiel concerning the two sticks, the blessings of Joseph.
July 26th. Preached at Mr. Hendersons at the Hudle upon the first principles of the gospel.
July 28th. Preached at Mr. Jordan’s upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, its contents, Isaiah 29 – Ezekiel 37, 2 sticks.
July 30th. Preached at Theresa Falls upon the first principles and gifts.
July 31st. Attended in the forenoon and heard Mr. Phelps, a Methodist preacher, preach against some principles which I had laid before the people the day before. In the afternoon preached at 2 o’clock at Parker’s schoolhouse upon the Church of Christ never being built up in two different denominations. At 5 o’clock preached at Theresa Falls in which discourse I answered to the discourse of the Methodist priest and preached upon the different members which constituted the Church of Christ, 1 Corinthians 13, Ephesians 4th chapter. In the evening went again to hear Mr. Phelps, the Methodist preacher, preach against my afternoon’s discourse.
August 2nd. Preached at Theresa Falls and answered the objections and exposed the misrepresentation of his, Mr. Phelps’, discourse sabbath evening.
August 3rd. Preached at the Parker’s schoolhouse upon Romans 11th chapter, Revelation 14th chapter 6th verse and more miracles to be wrought, revelation to be given at the restoration of Israel.
August 4th. Baptized and confirmed three at Theresa Falls, viz: Alonzo Cheesman, Minerva Cheesman and Lydia Cook.
August 5th. Started for Henderson where I arrived on the 6th.
August 9th. Left Henderson for the northern part of the country.
August 12th. Preached at a stone schoolhouse near Mr. Hunt’s upon the first principles of the gospel.
August 14th. Preached at the village called the Ox-bow upon the spiritual gifts.
August 15th. Preached the schoolhouse near Mr. Cross’ upon the coming of the Book of Mormon, the 29th chapter of Isaiah.
August 16th. Preached at the schoolhouse in Willny near Mr. Wright’s upon the prophecy of Joel quoted by Peter.
August 17th. Preached at the Lewis schoolhouse in Willny upon the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the angel committing the gospel, the 29th chapter of Isaiah.
August 18th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Mr. Wright’s upon the gifts 12 and 13 of 1 Corinthians, Ephesians 4th. After meeting baptized two, viz: Polly Bond, Esther Wright.
August 19th. Confirmed the above two by the laying on of hands and preached at Lewis’ schoolhouse upon the prophecies which have been fulfilled and the 11th chapter of Romans.
August 20th. Baptized and confirmed in Antwerp one, viz: Asahel Trumbult. In the afternoon preached at a stone schoolhouse near Mr. Hunt’s upon the prophecies which have been fulfilled, the 11th chapter of Romans.
August 21st. Preached at the same place upon the angel bringing to light the gospel, the gathering of the Jews in unbelief, the gathering of the Saints to Mount Zion.
August 22nd. Preached at Theresa Falls upon the coming forth of the Book Of Mormon, the 29th [chapter] of Isaiah.
August 23rd. Preached at the Parker schoolhouse and urged the necessity of ascertaining the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon.
August 24th. The next day went to Henderson.
August 26th. Went to Jerico.
August 27th. Attended a conference at Blancharts Corners. The elders in Jefferson County were present, also Elder Luke Johnson. At this conference I was appointed president. There were two elders and two teachers ordained. The elders were Brother Stephens and John Park. Elder J. Patten preached in the afternoon.
August 28th. Being the Sabbath I preached in the forenoon upon the Second Coming of Christ. In the afternoon Elder Johnson preached. We administered the sacrament and confirmed by the laying on of hands 13 who had been baptized during our conference.
August 29th. I went to Henderson.
September 1st. Traveled from Henderson to Champion. Preached at Brown’s meetinghouse upon the first principles of the gospel.
September 4th. Preached at Mr. Pinkney’s meetinghouse upon the first principles of the gospel.
[September 5th. The following letter appears in the October 1836 issue of the Messenger and Advocate:
Burville, Jefferson County, New York, September 5, 1836
Brother O. [Oliver] Cowdery,
Sir, I left Kirtland on the 6th day of April after a few day’s travel through the mud and rain arrived in the province of U. C. here I commenced lifting a warning voice, testifying against their iniquities, exposing their religious systems by contrasting them with the system of the Bible which not unfrequently produced no small stir, for the craftsman, not of the great goddess Diana, but of great Babylon, brought no small gain unto themselves by making not silver shrines but religious systems by which through covetousness and feigned words they could make merchandise of the people. And when they saw their doctrines exposed by the all-powerful word of God and uncovered in the sight of men, they were ready to cry out in their hearts as their works manifest, saying we know by this our craft we obtain our wealth moreover we see and hear that not alone in Canada but almost throughout all the United States, these Mormon Elders have persuaded and turned away much people, saying, that our systems and doctrines which uninspired men have invented, are false that we ought to believe in the doctrine of the New Testament which teaches that the Church (or body) of Christ, is composed of the following members, viz: apostles, prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, discerners of spirits, speakers with tongues, interpreters of tongues, etc., so that not only this our craft is in imminent danger, but the great mystery Babylon will be ruined and come to nought whom the whole world worshipeth.
I will now give you an example of their exceeding great zeal in opposing the doctrine of the New Testament which they call Mormonism.
On the 27th of April last Elder F. Nickerson and myself went to the village of Brantford, U. C. and obtained the privilege from one of the trustees of the schoolhouse of leaving an appointment for the next evening, which was circulated through the town. The next evening I went down alone to Mount Pleasant to fill the appointment; went to the schoolhouse found it crowded with men but no females, I went into the pulpit and was about to open the meeting by reading a chapter in the Bible when a man by the name of Lewis Burwell a Methodist by profession arose and requested me to answer a few questions previous to preaching. He then proceeded as follows. To what church do you belong? Answer. To the Church of Latter-day Saints slanderously called Mormons. Do you believe in the Book of Mormon? Yes sir, with all my heart. He then said he had read the book and made some very harsh expressions, desiring to know of me if I could speak with tongues prophesy, etc. I replied that I had not come to boast of what I or the church to which I belonged could do, but to hold forth the gospel and the promises and blessings which it proposes to all the faithful and obedient, but he insisted on my answering him yes or no, I replied that I did not consider myself under the least obligation to answer any of his questions till after my discourse, in which I would set forth our sentiments as a society in plainness, after which he or any gentleman present should have the privilege of taking exceptions and exposing publicly every erroneous principle, but he insisted on knowing what our church believed before preaching. About this time the congregation began to stamp with their feet and hiss, they also began to be divided the more part were determined to hear, while the remainder said that I should not preach, and the whole house was in an uproar some crying one thing and some another, some not crying liberty of conscience as loud as they could hallow; while others were yelling delusion, impostor, etc., and they began to contend the one with another very sharply, becoming angry they proceeded to blows, two or three were knocked down in the schoolhouse, the noise was such for one or two hours that it might have been heard some distance, but I stood in the pulpit very much composed lifting my heart in silent prayer that the Lord would deliver me out of their hands unhurt; some threatened to lay violent hands upon me while others said they would protect me, but one man laid hands upon me who reached over the pulpit and gave me a sudden pull against the side of the same; at length some gentlemen present kindly assisted me in escaping they opened one of the pulpit doors took me by the hand and we passed through their midst. The whole congregation, however, followed us through the main street of the village and seeing myself surrounded by a multitude, part friends and part foes, I concluded the better way of escape would be to go into a tavern and pass out the back door, which I accordingly did, being accompanied with two men as guides. I travelled that night to Mount Pleasant on foot and alone pondering upon the scene through which I had passed and the corruptions of this generation, the next day the people in Brantford sent an express requesting me to come the next evening and preach with an assurance that I should be protected. I accordingly went had a crowded house and good attention, after my discourse gave liberty four arose, one at a time and brought forth their objections till they run themselves out of arguments and some of the assembly began to hiss at them, the meeting was closed and the people departed without any disturbance.
Thus we can see the zeal of the religious denominations of our land in opposing what they call Mormonism.
I tarried in the province not far from two months held 34 meetings, baptized 12 and then took my journey to Jefferson County, New York, in which vicinity I have held fifty-six meetings baptized 14 attended one conference in the same county at which there were 13 more that came forward in baptism, two elders and two teachers were ordained. The truth seems to be progressing in these parts.
ORSON PRATT (M&A 3:396-397)]
In a few days, returned to Henderson and began to make preparations to move my family to the West. In the meantime held two or three meetings in Henderson, three in Adam Village and several meetings in Pahermo, Oswego County.
[The forepart of October I closed my mission in those parts, and started with my wife and a few of the Saints for Kirtland, where we arrived on the 12th of October. (MS 27:88)]
Along the forepart of October, left Sackett’s Harbor in a steamboat with my family and several other members of the Church for the West. Arrived in Kirtland not far from the 12th of October. Hired a room upstairs for $1 per month during fall and winter. Traded considerably in stoves and ironware. What leisure time I had I attended to my studies, viz: Algebra and astronomy. Went through Day’s Algebra by course to the two last sections.
[Towards the last of autumn I commenced the study of algebra without a teacher, occupying leisure hours in the evening. I soon went through Day’s Algebra. (MS 27:88)]
[January 2nd, 1837. On this date Orson Pratt attended a meeting of the “Kirtland Safety Society.” Minutes of the meeting were published in the March 1837 issue of the Messenger and Advocate. Orson Pratt’s signature is one of 187 appended to that document. (M&A 3:475-477. This article is reprinted without the signatures in DHC 2:470-472.)]
In the spring and summer, planted and tilled a little upwards of one acre of corn which I gave to my parents. Also planted a garden of a little less than 1/4 of an acre.
On the 11th day of July there was born unto me a son which I called Orson. During my stay in Kirtland I preached four or five times. About the middle of August I moved myself and family to Henderson. I labored with my hands till about [the] 1st of October. In the meantime preached the funeral discourse of a small child. The most of the discourse was upon faith.
[October 2 – Having provided a home for my family, I started into the vineyard labored during the fall and winter in the counties southeast from Jefferson County, New York; baptized a few. (MS 27:88)]
October 2, 1837. Left Henderson with an intention of laboring in the vine preached the evening in the village of Mansville upon F.P.G.
October 3. The next day went east to Williamstown at which place resided Elder Truman Gillet, Jr., who had embraced the gospel in Ohio and had removed his family to this county but never had preached but once in this vicinity. He requested me to tarry and preach in the regions round about which I concluded to do. I preached two (times) in the schoolhouse near Mr. Carr’s upon the first principles and also the gifts, once at Williamstown center upon the Second Coming of Christ and revelation. Appointed a meeting in the schoolhouse in the Allen district. None attended, probably in consequence of the appointment not being sufficiently circulated. There were, however, three or four young men or boys who came to make disturbance. While Elder T. Gillet and myself were returning from the schoolhouse, (we) were ridiculed and mocked by them. They also threw stones at us, perhaps not with an intention of hitting us, but we passed on as though we heeded them not. Preached once about 1/2 mile east of Williamstown Center at a schoolhouse upon the F.P.G. But a few attended, some of whom listened attentively, but others, principally all boys or young men, came to make disturbance, hallowing, cursing and swearing, throwing stones upon the schoolhouse, etc. Preached twice at the schoolhouse near Mr. Barns upon the F. P. and gifts, the prophecy of Joel cited by Peter, the Second Coming. Mr. Minison opposed saying that the affirmative had not been proved in relation to the spiritual gifts, that they were not necessary; whereas that they were called to prove the negative, that they were not necessary. I replied that the affirmative had been proved and that too by an abundance of scripture and again repeated several passages proving therein necessity. Then he arose and said that baptism by water was not a commandment and not necessary and not a saving ordinance and not essential to salvation. I replied by repeating several passages of scripture proving that baptism was a complete and necessary and that all ordinances instituted of heaven were saving and essential. I then closed the meeting and left another appointment which the people did not attend. None of the people were liberal enough to ask me to tarry with them at any of those three appointments, therefore I had to travel about three miles for entertainment.
Preached once at the schoolhouse about two miles from Mr. Arnold’s upon the gifts. Preached eight times at the schoolhouse near Mr. Nickols upon the first principles, gifts, falling away and restoration of the Church by the ministry of another angel, the second chapter of Daniel, the history of the Book of Mormon, its coming forth and the purpose thereof, the two sticks mentioned by Ezekiel, the blessings of Joseph, the 29th [chapter] of Isaiah, the new covenants, etc., (in the meantime returned home to see my family, preached at the schoolhouse near Father Bates upon the kingdom being taken from the Jews and given to the gentiles because they had ceased to bring forth the fruits thereof–the falling away of the Church.)
November 1st. Left Williamstown and went to Palemino.
November 3rd. Preached in the schoolhouse near Mr. Haim’s upon the Second Coming of Christ.
November 4th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Brother Reed’s upon faith.
November 5th. Preached at the schoolhouse near Brother Harrington’s upon the will of God being done on the earth as it is in the heavens, viz: that the Church must be organized with the officers and gifts. In the evening preached in the house of Mr. Kenyans upon F.P.
November 6th. Preached at the red schoolhouse one mile east of Kolos, upon F.P.
[Early in the spring I took my family and went to the city of New York, and was appointed to preside over a large branch of the Church in that city. I preached diligently among them some six or seven months; baptized many. In the meantime I again visited Henderson, left my wife at her father’s, and returned to New York; (MS 27:88)]
[In May of 1838 Elder Heber C. Kimball returned from England and in his journal records the following:
We landed and went into the city of New York with several of the passengers, who purchased some refreshments, and after we returned, bade us partake with them, and we all rejoiced together; we then bowed before the Lord and offered up the gratitude of our hearts for all his mercies, in prospering us on our mission, and bringing us safely across the mighty deep, to behold once more the land of our nativity, and the prospect of soon embracing our families and friends.
Sunday, (May) 13th, we went in search of Brother Fordham, whom we found after some trouble. He was glad to see us, and immediately took us to the house of Brother Wandel Mace, where we were glad to see our beloved Brother Orson Pratt, who was then laboring in that city, and who, with his brother Parley P. Pratt, had been instrumental in bringing many into the kingdom there. And now I had the pleasure of witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecy I delivered to Brother Fordham when I started for England.
We accompanied Brother Orson Pratt to the house where the Saints assembled to worship. We found about eighty persons assembled, all of whom had recently joined the Church. After singing and prayer, I was requested to give an account of our mission to England, which I did. In the evening Elders Russell and Hyde preached, afterwards some came forward and offered themselves as candidates for baptism. The short time we were in New York was spent very agreeably with the Saints. (LHCK 201-202)
[On July 8, 1838, in Far West, Missouri, the following revelation was received in answer to the question, Show unto us thy will O Lord concerning the Twelve.
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord, let a conference be held immediately, let the Twelve be organized, and let men be appointed to supply the place of those who are fallen.
2. Let my servant Thomas [B. Marsh] remain for a season in the land of Zion, to publish my word.
3. Let the residue continue to preach from that hour, and if they will do this in all lowliness of heart, in meekness and humility, and long-suffering, I, the Lord, give unto them a promise that I will provide for their families, and an effectual door shall be opened for them, from henceforth; 4. And next spring let them depart to go over the great waters, and there promulgate my gospel, the fullness thereof, and bear record of my name.
5. Let them take leave of my Saints in the city Far West, on the 26th day of April next, on the building spot of my house, saith the Lord.
6. Let my servant John Taylor, and also my servant John E. Page, also my servant Wilford Woodruff, and also my servant Willard Richards, be appointed to fill the places of those who have fallen, and be officially notified of their appointment. (D&C 118; DHC 3:46-47)]
[The following is found in the August 1838 edition of the Elders’ Journal:
Far West July 9th 1838
A Council of the Twelve Apostles of the last days, assembled at Far West, agreeable to a revelation given July 8 1838.
Council called to order, T. [Thomas] B. Marsh presiding.
Persons present belonging to said quorums. T. [Thomas] B. Marsh, D. [David] W. Patten, B. Youngs [Brigham Young], P. [Parley] P. Pratt, Wm. [William] Smith.
Council opened by prayer by president. Resolved, 1st that the persons who are to fill the place of those fallen, be immediately notified, to come to Far West. Also those of the Twelve who are not present.
Resolved, 2nd that T. [Thomas] B. Marsh notify W. [Wilford] Woodruff, and P. [Parley] P. Pratt, notify O. [Orson] Pratt, and President [Sidney] Rigdon notify Willard Richards who is now in England.
And voted, that T. [Thomas] B. Marsh, publish the same in the next Journal.
President Rigdon then gave some instructions, concerning the provisions necessary to be made for the families of the Twelve, while laboring in the cause of the Redeemer; advising them to instruct their converts to move without delay to the places of gathering, and their (sic) to strictly attend to the law of God. T. [Thomas] B. MARSH, president.
G. [George] W. Robinson, Clerk. (EJ 62)]
[The following notice is published in the same issue of the Elders’ Journal:
Elders O. [Orson] Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor of Canada, and John E. Page are requested to come immediately to Far West, to prepare for a great mission.
Far West, August 3rd, 1838. (EJ 62)] Source: Orson Pratt, A Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, and of the Late Discovery of Ancient American Records (Edinburgh, 1840) FACTS IN RELATION TO THE LATE DISCOVERY OF ANCIENT AMERICAN RECORDS
Mr. Joseph Smith, Jr., who made the following important discovery, was born in the town of Sharon, Windsor County, Vermont, on the 23rd of December, A. D. 1805. When ten years old, his parents, with their family, moved to Palmyra, New York; in the vicinity of which he resided for about eleven years, the latter part in the town of Manchester. Cultivating the earth for a livelihood was his occupation, in which he employed the most of his time. His advantages for acquiring literary knowledge were exceedingly small; hence, his education was limited to a slight acquaintance with two or three of the common branches of learning. He could read without much difficulty, and write a very imperfect hand, and had a very limited understanding of the ground rules of arithmetic. These were his highest and only attainments while the rest of those branches, so universally taught in the common schools throughout the United States, were entirely unknown to him.
When somewhere about fourteen or fifteen years old, he began seriously to reflect upon the necessity of being prepared for a future state of existence; but how, or in what way, to prepare himself was a question as yet undetermined in his own mind. He perceived that it was a question of infinite importance, and that the salvation of his soul depended upon a correct understanding of the same. He saw that if he understood not the way, it would be impossible to walk in it except by chance, and the thought of resting his hopes of eternal life upon chance or uncertainties was more than he could endure. If he went to the religious denominations to seek information, each one pointed to its particular tenets, saying–This is the way, walk ye in it–while at the same time the doctrines of each were, in many respects, in direct opposition to one another.
It also occurred to his mind that God was not the author of but one doctrine, and therefore could not acknowledge but one denomination as His Church; and that such denomination must be a people who believe and teach that one doctrine (whatever it may be) and build upon the same. He then reflected upon the immense number of doctrines now in the world which had given rise to many hundreds of different denominations. The great question to be decided in his mind was–if any one of these denominations be the Church of Christ, which one is it? Until he could become satisfied in relation to this question he could not rest contented. To trust to the decisions of fallible man, and build his hopes upon the same, without any certainty and knowledge of his own, would not satisfy the anxious desires that pervaded his breast. To decide without any positive and definite evidence on which he could rely, upon a subject involving the future welfare of his soul, was revolting to his feelings. The only alternative that seemed to be left him was to read the scriptures and endeavor to follow their directions.
He accordingly commenced, perusing the sacred pages of the Bible with sincerity, believing the things that he read. His mind soon caught hold of the following passage: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” [James 1:5] From this promise he learned, that it was the privilege of all men to ask God for wisdom, with the sure and certain expectation of receiving liberally, without being upbraided for so doing.
This was cheering information to him, tidings that gave him great joy. It was like a light shining forth in a dark place to guide him to the path in which he should walk. He now saw that if he inquired of God there was not only a possibility but a probability; yea, more a certainty that he should obtain a knowledge which of all the doctrines was the doctrine of Christ, and which of all the churches was the church of Christ. He, therefore, retired to a secret place in a grove but a short distance from his father’s house, and knelt down and began to call upon the Lord.
At first, he was severely tempted by the powers of darkness which endeavored to overcome him. But he continued to seek for deliverance until darkness gave way from his mind and he was enabled to pray, in fervency of the spirit and in faith. And, while thus pouring out his soul, anxiously desiring an answer from God, he at length saw a very bright and glorious light in the heavens above; which at first, seemed to be at a considerable distance. He continued praying, while the light appeared to be gradually descending towards him; and as it drew nearer, it increased in brightness and magnitude so that by the time that it reached the tops of the trees, the whole wilderness for some distance around was illuminated in a most glorious and brilliant manner. He expected to have seen the leaves and boughs of the trees consumed as soon as the light came in contact with them; but, perceiving that it did not produce that effect, he was encouraged with the hopes of being able to endure its presence.
It continued descending slowly until it rested upon the earth and he was enveloped in the midst of it. When it first came upon him, it produced a peculiar sensation throughout his whole system; and immediately, his mind was caught away from the natural objects with which he was surrounded; and he was enrapt in a heavenly vision, and saw two glorious personages who exactly resembled each other in their features or likeness. He was informed that his sins were forgiven. He was also informed upon the subjects which had for some time previously agitated his mind, viz.–that all the religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines; and consequently, that none of them was acknowledged of God as His Church and Kingdom. And he was expressly commanded to go not after them, and he received a promise that the true doctrine–the fullness of the gospel–should at some future time be made known to him. After which the vision withdrew, leaving his mind in a state of calmness and peace indescribable.
Some time after having received this glorious manifestation, being young, he was again entangled in the vanities of the world, of which he afterwards sincerely and truly repented.
And it pleased God on the evening of the 21st of September, A. D. 1823, to again hear his prayers. For he had retired to rest as usual, only that his mind was drawn out in fervent prayer, and his soul was filled with the most earnest desire “to commune with some kind messenger who could communicate to him the desired information of his acceptance with God,” and also unfold the principles of the doctrine of Christ, according to the promise which he had received in the former vision.
While he thus continued to pour out his desires before the Father of all good, endeavoring to exercise faith in his precious promises “on a sudden, a light like that of day, only of a purer and far more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room. Indeed, the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire. This sudden appearance of a light so bright, as must naturally be expected, occasioned a shock or sensation visible to the extremities of the body. It was, however, followed with a calmness and serenity of mind, and an overwhelming rapture of joy that surpassed understanding, and in a moment, a personage stood before him.”
Notwithstanding the brightness of the light which previously illuminated the room, “yet there seemed to be an additional glory surrounding or accompanying this personage, which shone with an increased degree of brilliancy, of which he was in the midst; and though his countenance was as lightning, yet it was of a pleasing, innocent, and glorious appearance; so much so, that every fear was banished from the heart and nothing but calmness pervaded the soul.”
“The stature of this personage was a little above the common size of men in this age; his garment was perfectly white, and had the appearance of being without seam.”
This glorious being declared himself to be angel of God, sent forth by commandment, to communicate to him that his sins were forgiven and that his prayers were heard; and also, to bring the joyful tidings, that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel concerning their posterity was at hand to be fulfilled; that the great preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel in its fullness to be preached in power unto all nations; that a people might be prepared with faith and righteousness, for the millennial reign of universal peace and joy. He was informed that he was called and chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God, to bring about some of his marvelous purposes in this glorious dispensation. It was also made manifest to him that the “American Indians” were a remnant of Israel; that when they first emigrated to America they were an enlightened people, possessing a knowledge of the true God, enjoying his favor and peculiar blessings from his hand; that the prophets and inspired writers among them were required to keep a sacred history of the most important events transpiring among them, which history was handed down for many generations, till at length they fell into great wickedness, the most part of them were destroyed, and the records (by commandment of God to one of the last prophets among them) were safely deposited to preserve them from the hands of the wicked who sought to destroy them.
He was informed that these records contained many sacred revelations pertaining to the gospel of the kingdom, as well as prophecies relating to the great events of the last days; and that to fulfill his promises to the ancients who wrote the records, and to accomplish his purposes in the restitution of their children, and etc., they were to come forth to the knowledge of the people. If faithful, he was to be the instrument who should be thus highly favored in bringing these sacred things to light; at the same time, being expressly informed, that it must be done with an eye single to the glory of God, that no one could be entrusted with those sacred writings who should endeavor to aggrandize himself by converting sacred things to unrighteous and speculative purposes. After giving him many instructions concerning things past and to come, which would be foreign to our purpose to mention here, he disappeared and the light and glory of God withdrew, leaving his mind in perfect peace while a calmness and serenity indescribable pervaded the soul.
But before morning, the vision was twice renewed, instructing him further, and still further, concerning the great work of God about to be performed on the earth.
In the morning, he went out to his labor as usual but soon the vision was renewed–the angel again appeared–and having been informed by the previous visions of the night concerning the place where those records were deposited, he was instructed to go immediately and view them.
Accordingly, he repaired to the place, a brief description of which shall be given in the words of a gentleman by the name of Oliver Cowdery who has visited the spot:
“As you pass on the mailroad, from Palmyra, Wayne County, to Canandaigua, Ontario County, New York, before arriving at the little village of Manchester, say from three to four, or about four miles from Palmyra, you pass a large hill on the east side of the road. Why I say large is because it is as large perhaps as any in that country.
“The north end rises quite suddenly until it assumes a level with the more southerly extremity and I think, I may say, an elevation higher than at the south a short distance, say half or three-fourths of a mile. As you pass towards Canandaigua, it lessens gradually until the surface assumes its common level, or is broken by other smaller hills or ridges, watercourses and ravines. I think I am justified in saying that this is the highest hill for some distance round, and I am certain that its appearance, as it rises so suddenly from a plain on the north, must attract the notice of the traveller as he passes by.”
The north end,” which has been described as rising suddenly from the plain, forms “a promontory without timber but covered with grass. As you pass to the south you soon come to scattering timber, the surface having been cleared by art or wind; and a short distance further left, you are surrounded with the common forest of the country. It is necessary to observe that even the part cleared was only occupied for pasturage. Its steep ascent and narrow summit not admitting the plough of the husbandman with any degree of ease or profit. It was at the second mentioned place where the record was found to be deposited, on the west side of the hill not far from the top down its side; and when myself visited the place in the year 1830, there were several trees standing–enough to cause a shade in summer but not so much as to prevent the surface being covered with grass which was also the case when the record was first found.
“How far below the surface these records were `anciently placed’ I am unable to say. But from the fact that they had been some fourteen hundred years buried, and that, too, on the side of a hill so steep, one is ready to conclude that they were some feet below, as the earth would naturally wear, more or less, in that length of time. But they, being placed toward the top of the hill, the ground would not remove as much as at two-thirds perhaps. Another circumstance would prevent a wearing of the earth: in all probability, as soon as timber had time to grow, the hill was covered”, “and the roots of the same would hold the surface. However on this point, I shall leave every man to draw his own conclusion, and form his own speculation.” But, suffice to say, “a hole of sufficient depth was dug. At the bottom of this was laid a stone of suitable size, the upper surface being smooth. At each edge was placed a large quantity of cement, and into this cement at the four edges of this stone were placed erect four others, their bottom edges resting the cement, at the outer edges of the first stone. The four last named, when placed erect, formed a box: the corners, or where the edges of the four came in contact, were also cemented so firmly that the moisture from without was prevented from entering. It is to be observed also that the inner surfaces of the four erect or side stones were smooth. This box was sufficiently large to admit a breastplate, such as was used by the ancients to defend the chest, and etc., from the arrows and weapons of their enemy. From the bottom of the box, or from the breastplate, arose three small pillars composed of the same description of cement used on the edges, and upon these three pillars were placed the records. This box, containing the records, was covered with another stone, the bottom surface being flat, and the upper crowning.”
When it was first visited by Mr. Smith, on the morning of the 22nd of September, 1823, “a part of the crowning stone was visible above the surface, while the edges were concealed by the soil and grass.” From which circumstance, it may be seen, “that however deep this box might have been placed at first, the time had been sufficient to wear the earth so that it was easily discovered, when once directed, and yet not enough to make a perceivable difference to the passerby.” “After arriving at the repository, a little exertion in removing the soil from the edges of the top of the box, and a light pry, brought to his natural vision its contents.”
“While viewing and contemplating this sacred treasure with wonder and astonishment, Behold! the angel of the Lord, who had previously visited him again stood in his presence, and his soul was again enlightened as it was the evening before, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and the heavens were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about and rested upon him. While he thus stood gazing and admiring, the angel said, “Look!” And as he thus spake, he beheld the Prince of Darkness, surrounded by his innumerable train of associates. All this passed before him, and the heavenly messenger said, “All this is shown, the good and the evil, the holy and impure, the glory of God, and the power of darkness, that you may know hereafter the two powers, and never be influenced or overcome by that wicked one. Behold, whatsoever enticeth and leadeth to good and to do good is of God, and whatsoever doth not, is of that wicked one. It is he that filleth the hearts of men with evil, to walk in darkness and blaspheme God; and you may learn from henceforth, that his ways are to destruction, but the way of holiness is peace and rest. You cannot at this time obtain this record, for the commandment of God is strict, and if ever these sacred things are obtained, they must be by prayer and faithfulness in obeying the Lord. They are not deposited here for the sake of accumulating gain and wealth for the glory of this world; they were sealed by the prayer of faith, and because of the knowledge which they contain they are of no worth among the children of men, only for their knowledge. “On them is contained the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land; and when it shall be brought forth by the power of God, it shall be carried to the Gentiles, of whom many will receive and after will the seed of Israel be brought into the fold of their Redeemer by obeying it also. Those who kept the commandments of the Lord on this land, desired this at His hand, and through the prayer of faith obtained the promise, that if their descendants should transgress and fall away, that a record should be kept, and in the last days come to their children. These things are sacred, and must be kept so, for the promise of the Lord concerning them must be fulfilled. No man can obtain them if his heart is impure because they contain that which is sacred. . .”
“By them will the Lord work a great and marvelous work; the wisdom of the wise shall become as naught, and the understanding of the prudent shall be hid, and because the power of God shall be displayed, those who profess to know the truth but walk in deceit, shall tremble with anger, but with signs and with wonders, with gifts and with healings, with the manifestations of the power of God, and with the Holy Ghost shall the hearts of the faithful be comforted. You have now beheld the power of God manifested and the power of Satan. You see that there is nothing desirable in the works of darkness, that they cannot bring happiness; that those who are overcome therewith are miserable while, on the other hand, the righteous are blessed with a place in the kingdom of God, where joy unspeakable surrounds them. There they rest beyond the power of the enemy of truth where no evil can disturb them. The glory of God crowns them, and they continually feast upon his goodness, and enjoy his smiles.
Behold, notwithstanding you have seen this great display of power, by which you may ever be able to detect the evil one, yet I give unto you another sign, and when it comes to pass then know that the Lord is God, and that he will fulfil his purposes, and that the knowledge which this record contains will go to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people under the whole heaven. This is the sign: when these things begin to be known, that is, when it is known that the Lord has shown you these things, the workers of iniquity will seek your overthrow. They will circulate falsehoods to destroy your reputation and also will seek to take your life, but remember this: if you are faithful, and shall hereafter continue to keep the commandments of the Lord, you shall be preserved to bring these things forth. For in due time he will give you a commandment to come and take them. When they are interpreted, the Lord will give the holy priesthood to some, and they shall begin to proclaim this gospel and baptize by water, and after that, they shall have power to give the Holy Ghost by the laying on of their hands. Then will persecution rage more and more, for the iniquities of men shall be revealed, and those who are not built upon the rock will seek to overthrow the Church. But it will increase the more opposed, and spread farther and farther, increasing in knowledge till they shall be sanctified, and receive an inheritance where the glory of God will rest upon them. And when this takes place, and all things are prepared, the ten tribes of Israel will be revealed in the north country, whither they have been for a long season; and when this is fulfilled will be brought to pass that saying of the prophet, And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.’
“But notwithstanding the workers of iniquity shall seek your destruction, the arm of the Lord will be extended, and you will be borne off conqueror if you keep all his commandments. Your name shall be known among the nations, for the work which the Lord will perform by your hands shall cause the righteous to rejoice and the wicked to rage; with the one it shall be had in honor, and with the other in reproach; yet, with these it shall be a terror, because of the great and marvelous work which shall follow the coming forth of this fullness of the gospel. Now, go thy way, remembering what the Lord has done for thee, and be diligent in keeping his commandments and he will deliver thee from temptations and all the arts and devices of the wicked one. Forget not to pray, that thy mind may become strong that when He shall manifest unto thee, thou mayest have power to escape the evil, and obtain these precious things.”
[We here remark, that the above quotation is an extract from a letter written by Elder Oliver Cowdery, which was published in one of the numbers of the “Latter-day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate.” Although many more instructions were given by the mouth of the angel to Mr. Smith, which we do not write in this book, yet the most important items are contained in the foregoing relation.
During the period of the four following years, he frequently received instruction from the mouth of the heavenly messenger. And on the morning of the 22nd of September, A. D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the records into his hands.
These records were engraved on plates which had the appearance of gold. Each plate was not far from seven by eight inches in width and length, being not quite as thick as common tin. They were filled on both sides with engravings, in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book, and fastened at one edge with three rings running through the whole. This volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters or letters upon the unsealed part were small, and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, as well as much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found “a curious instrument, called by the ancients the Urim and Thummim, which consisted of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. This was in use, in ancient times, by persons called seers. It was an instrument, by the use of which received revelation of things distant or of things past or things future.”
In the meantime, the inhabitants of that vicinity, having been informed that Mr. Smith had seen heavenly visions and that he had discovered sacred records, began to ridicule and mock at those things. And after having obtained those sacred things, while proceeding home through the wilderness and fields, he was waylayed by two ruffians, who had secreted themselves for the purpose of robbing him of the records. One of them struck him with a club before he perceived them; but being a strong man, and large in stature, with great exertion he cleared himself from them, and ran towards home, being closely pursued until he came near his father’s house, when his pursuers, for fear of being detected, turned and fled the other way.
Soon the news of his discoveries spread abroad throughout all those parts. False reports, misrepresentations, and base slanders, flew as if upon the wings of the wind in every direction. The house was frequently beset by mobs and evil designing persons. Several times he was shot at, and very narrowly escaped. Every device was used to get the plates away from him. And being continually in danger of his life, from a gang of abandoned wretches, he at length concluded to leave the place, and go to Pennsylvania; and accordingly, packed up his goods, putting the plates into a barrel of beans, and proceeded upon his journey. He had not gone far, before he was overtaken by an officer with a search warrant, who flattered himself with the idea that he should surely obtain the plates; after searching very diligently, he was sadly disappointed at not finding them.
Mr. Smith then drove on but before he got to his journey’s end, he was again overtaken by an officer on the same business, and after ransacking the wagon very carefully, he went his way, as much chagrined as the first at not being able to discover the object of his research. Without any further molestation, he pursued his journey until he came into the northern part of Pennsylvania, near the Susquehanna River, in which part his father-in-law resided.
Having provided himself with a home, he commenced translating the record, by the gift and power of God, through the means of the Urim and Thummim; and being a poor writer, he was under the necessity of employing a scribe to write the translation as it came from his mouth. In the meantime, a few of the original characters were accurately transcribed and translated by Mr. Smith, which, with the translation, were taken by a gentleman by the name of Martin Harris, to the city of New York where they were presented to a learned gentleman by the name of Anthon, who professed to be extensively acquainted with many languages, both ancient and modern. He examined them but was unable to decipher them correctly; but he presumed that if the original records could be brought, he could assist in translating them.
But to return. Mr Smith continued the work of translation, as his pecuniary circumstances would permit, until he finished the unsealed part of the records. The part translated is entitled, “The Book of Mormon,” which contains nearly as much reading as the Old Testament. . . .
. .Mormon had made an abridgement, from the records of his forefathers, upon plates, which abridgement he entitled the “Book of Mormon;” and, (being commanded of God,) he hid up in the hill Cumorah, all the sacred records of his forefathers which were in his possession, except the abridgement called the “Book of Mormon,” which he gave to his son Moroni to finish. Moroni survived his nation a few years, and continued the writings, in which he informs us, that the Lamanites hunted those few Nephites who escaped the great and tremendous battle of Cumorah, until they were all destroyed, excepting those who were mingled with the Lamanites, and that he was left alone, and kept himself hid, for they sought to destroy every Nephite who would not deny the Christ. He furthermore states, that the Lamanites were at war one with another, and that the whole face of the land was one continual scene of murdering, robbing, and plundering. He continued the history until the four hundred and twentieth year of the Christian era, when, (by the commandment of God,) he hid up the records in the hill Cumorah, where they remained concealed, until by the ministry of an angel they were discovered to Mr. Smith, who, by the gift and power of God, translated them into the English language, by the means of the Urim and Thummim, as stated in the foregoing.
After the book was translated, the Lord raised up witnesses to bear testimony to the nations of its truth, who, at the close of the volume, send forth their testimony, which reads as follows:–
[Testimony of the Three Witnesses and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses was reproduced as printed in the Book of Mormon] . . .
Also, in the year 1829, Mr. Smith and Mr. Cowdery, having learned the correct mode of baptism, from the teachings of the Savior to the ancient Nephites, as recorded in the “Book of Mormon,” had a desire to be baptized; but knowing that no one had authority to administer that sacred ordinance in any denomination, they were at a loss to know how the authority was to be restored, and while called upon the Lord with a desire to be informed on the subject, a holy angel appeared and stood before them, and laid his hands upon their heads, and ordained them, and commanded them to baptize each other, which they accordingly did.
In the year 1830, a large edition of the “Book of Mormon” first appeared in print. And as some began to peruse its saced pages, the spirit of the Lord bore record to them that it was true; and they were obedient to its requirement, by coming forth, humbly repenting before the Lord, and being immersed in water, for the remission of sins, after which, by the commandment of God, hands were laid upon them in the name of the Lord, for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
And on the sixth of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” was organized, in the town of Manchester, Ontario County, state of New York, North America. Some few were called and ordained by the spirit of revelation and prophecy, and began to preach and bear testimony, as the spirit gave them utterance; and although they were the weak things of the earth, yet they were strengthened by the Holy Ghost, and gave forth their testimony in great power, by which means many were brought to repentance, and came forward with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and were immersed in water confessing their sins, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Thus was the word confirmed unto the faithful by sigsn following. Thus the Lord raised up witnesses, to bear testimony of his name, and lay the foundation of his kingdom in the last days. And thus the hearts of the Saints were comforted, and filled with great joy. In the foregoing, we have related the most important facts concerning the visions and the ministry of the angel to Mr. Smith; the discovery of the records; their translation into the English language, and the witnesses raised up to bear testimony of the same.
We have also stated when, and by whom they were written; that they contain the history of nearly one-half of the globe, from the earliest ages after the flood, until the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era; that this history is interspersed with many important prophecies, which unfold the great events of the last days, and that in it also is recorded the gospel in its fulness and plainness, as it was revealed by the personal ministry of Christ to the ancient Nephites. We have also given an account of the restoration of the authority in these days, to administer in the ordinances of the gospel; and of the time of the organization of the Church; and of the blessings poured out upon the same while yet in its infancy.
We now proceed to give a sketch of the faith and doctrine of this Church.
First, we believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost, who bears record of them, the same throughout all ages and forever.
We believe that all mankind, by the transgression of their first parents, and not by their own sins, were brought under the curse and penalty of that transgression, which consigned them to an eternal banishment from the presence of God, and their bodies to an endless sleep in the dust, never more to rise, and their spirits to endless misery under the power of Satan; and that, in this awful condition, they were utterly lost and fallen, and had no power of their own to extricate themselves therefrom.
We believe, that through the sufferings, death, and atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind, without one exception, are to be completely, and fully redeemed, both body and spirit, from the endless banishment and curse, to which they were consigned, by Adam’s transgression; and that this universal salvation and redemption of the whole human family from the endless penalty of the original sin, is effected, without any conditions whatsoever on their part; that is, that they are not required to believe, or repent, or be baptized, or do anything else, in order to be redeemed from that penalty; for whether they believe or disbelieve, whether they repent or remain impenitent, whether they are baptized or unbaptized, whether they keep the commandments or break them, whether they are righteous or unrighteous, it will make no difference in relation to their redemption, both soul and body, from the penalty of Adam’s transgression. The most righteous man that ever lived on the earth, and the most wicked wretch of the whole human family, were both placed under the same curse, without any transgression or agency of their own, and they both, alike, will be redeemed from that curse, without any agency or conditions on their part. Paul says, Rom. v. 18, “Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon ALL men to condemnation; even so, by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon ALL men unto the justification of life.” This is the reason, why ALL men are redeemed from the grave. This is the reason, that the spirits of ALL men are restored to their bodies. This is the reason that ALL men are redeemed from their first banishment, and restored into the presence of God, and this is the reason that the Savior said, John xii. 32, “If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw ALL men unto me.” After this full, complete, and universal redemption, restoration, and salvation of the whole of Adam’s race, through the atonement of Jesus Christ, without faith, repentance, baptism, or any other works, then, all and every one of them, will enjoy eternal life and happiness, never more to be banished from the presence of God, if they themselves have committed no sin: for the penalty of the original sin can have no more power over them at all, for Jesus hath destoyed its power, and broken the bands of the first death, and obtained the victory over the grave, and delivered all its captives, and restored them from their first banishment into the presence of his Father; hence eternal life will then be theirs, if they themselves are not found transgressors of some law.
We believe that all mankind, in their infant state, are incapable of knowing good and evil, and of obeying or disobeying a law, and that, therefore, there is no law given to them, and that where there is no law, there is no transgression; hence they are innocent, and if they should all die in their infant state, they would enjoy eternal life, not being transgressors themselves, neither accountable for Adam’s sin.
We believe that all mankind, in consequence of the fall, after they grow up from their infant state, and come to the years of understanding, know good and evil, and are capable of obeying or disobeying a law, and that a law is given against doing evil, and that the penalty affixed is a second banishment from the presence of God, both body and spirit, after they have been redeemed from the FIRST banishment and restored into his presence.
We believe, that the penalty of this second law can have no effect upon persons who have not had the privilege, in this life, of becoming acquainted therewith; for although the light that is in them, teaches them good and evil, yet that light does not teach them the law aginst doing evil, nor the penalty thereof. And although they have done things worthy of many stripes, yet the law cannot be brought to bear against them, and its penalty be inflicted, because they can plead ignorance thereof. Therefore they have been ignorantof, but by the law of their conscience, the penalty thereof being a few stripes.
We believe that all who have done evil, having a knowledge of the law, or afterwards, in this life, coming to the knowledge thereof, are under its penalty, which is not inflicted in this world, but in the world to come. Therefore such, in this world, are prisoners, shut up under the sentence of the law, awaiting, with awful fear, for the time of judgment, when the penalty shall be inflicted, consigning them to a second banishment from the presence of their Redeemer, who had redeemed them from the penalty of the first law. But, inquires the sinner, is there no way for my escape? Is my case hopeless? Can I not devise some way by which I can extricate myself from the penalty of this second law, and escape this second banishment? The answer is, if thou canst hide thyself from the all-searching eye of an Ominpresent God, that he shall not find thee, or if thou canst prevail with him to deny justice its claim, or if thou canst clothe thyself with power, and contend with the Almighty, and prevent him from executing the sentence of the law, then thou canst escape. If thou canst cause repentance, or baptism in water, or any of thine own works, to atone for the least of thy transgressions, then thou canst deliver thyself from the awful penalty that awaits thee. But, be assured, O sinner, that thou canst not devise any way of thine own to escape, nor do anything that will atone for thy sins. Therefore, they case is hopeless, unless God hath devised some way for thy deliverance; but do not let despair seize upon thee: for though thou art under the sentence of a broken law, and has no power to atone for thy sins, and redeem thyself therefrom, yet there is hope in thy case; for he, who gave the law, has devised a way for they deliverance. That same Jesus, who hath atoned for the original sin, and will redeem all mankind from the penalty thereof, hath also atoned for thy sins, and offereth salvation and deliverance to thee, on certain conditions to be complied with on thy part.
We believe that the first condition to be complied with on the part of sinners is, to believe in God, and in the sufferings and death of his Son Jesus Christ, to atone for the sins of the whole world, and in his resurrection and ascension on high, to appear in the presence of his Father, to make intercessions for the children of men, and in the Holy Ghost, which is given to all who obey the gospel.
That the second condition is, to repent, that is, all who believe, according to the first condition, are required to come humbly before God, and confess their sins with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and to turn away from them, and cease from all their evil deeds, and make restitution to all they have in any way injured, as far as it is in their power.
That the third condition is, to be baptized by immersion in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for remission of sins; and that this ordinance is to administered by one who is called and authorized of Jesus Christ to baptize, otherwise it is illegal, and of no advantage, and not accepted by him; and that it is to be administered only to those persons, who believe and repent, according to the two preceding conditions.
And that the fourth condition is, to receive the laying on of hands, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the gift of the Holy Ghost; and that this ordinance is to be administered by the apostles or elders, whom the Lord Jesus hath called and authorized to lay on hands, otherwise it is of no advantage, being illegal in the sight of God; and that it is to be administered only to those persons, who believe, repent, and are baptized into this church, according to the three preceding conditions. These are the first conditions of the gospel. All who comply with them receive forgiveness of sins, and are made partakers of the Holy Ghost. Through these conditions, they become the adopted sons and daughters of God. Through this process, they are born again, first of water, and then of the spirit, and become children of the kingdom–heirs of God–Saints of the Most High–the Church of the First-born–the elect people, and heirs to a celestial inheritance, eternal in the presence of God. After complying with these principles, their names are enrolled in the book of the names of the righteous.
They are then required to be humble, to be meek and lowly in heart, to watch and pray, to deal justly; and inasmuch as they have the riches of this world, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, according to the dictates of wisdom and prudence; to comfort the afflicted, to bind up the broken-hearted, and to do all the good that is in their power: and besides all these things, they are required to meet together as often as circumstances will admit, and partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the broken body, and shed blood of the Lord Jesus; and, in short, to continue faithful to the end, in all the duties enjoined upon them by the word and spirit of Christ.
“It is the duty and privilege of the Saints thus organized upon the everlasting gospel, to believe in and enjoy all the gifts, powers, and blessings which flow from the Holy Spirit. Such, for instance, as the gifts of revelation, prophecy, visions, the ministry of angels, healing the sick by the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus, the working of miracles, and in short, all the gifts as mentioned in scripture, or as enjoyed by the ancient Saints.” We believe that inspired apostles and prophets, together with all the officers as mentioned in the New Testament, are necessary to be in the Church in these days.
We believe that there has been a general and awful apostasy from the religion of the New Testament, so that all the known world have been left for centuries without the Church of Christ among them; without a priesthood authorized of God to administer ordinances; that every one of the churches has perverted the gospel; some in one way, and some in another. For instance, almost every church has done away “immersion for remissions of sins.” Those few who have practiced it for remission of sins, have done away the ordinance of the “laying on of hands” upon baptized believers for the gift of the Holy Ghost. Again, the few who have practiced this last ordinance, have perverted the first, or have done away the ancient gifts, and powers, and blessings, which flow from the Holy Spirit, or have said to inspired apostles and prophets, we have no need of you in the body in these days. Those few, again, who have believed in, and contended for the miraculous gifts and powers of the Holy Spirit, have perverted the ordinances, or done them away. Thus all the churches preach false doctrines, and pervert the gospel, and instead of having authority from God to administer its ordinances, they are under the curse of God for perverting it. Paul said, Galatians 1:8?, “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
We believe that there are a few, sincere, honest, and humble persons, who are striving to do according to the best of their understanding; but, in many respects, they err in doctrine, because of false teachers and the precepts of men, and that they will receive the fulness of the gospel with gladness, as soon as they hear it.
The gospel in the “Book of Mormon,” is the same as that in the New Testament, and is revelated in great plainness, so that no one that reads it can misunderstand its principles. It has been revealed by the angel, to be preached as a witness to all nations, first to the Gentiles, and then to the Jews, then cometh the downfall of Babylon. Thus fulfilling the vision of John, which he beheld on the Isle of Patmos, Rev. XIV 6, 7, 8: “And I saw,” says John, “another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying, with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”
Many revelations and prophecies have been given to this church since its rise, which have been printed and sent forth to the world. These also contain the gospel in great plainness, and instructions of infinite importance to the Saints. They also unfold the great events that await this generation; the terrible judgments to be poured forth upon the wicked, and the blessings and glories to be given to the righteous. We believe that God will continue to give revelations by visions, by the ministry of angels, and by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, until the Saints are guided unto all truth, that is, until they come in possession of all the truth there is in existence, and are made perfect in knowledge. So long, therefore, as they are ignorant of anything past, present, or to come, so long, we believe, they will enjoy the gift of revelation. And when in their immortal and perfect state–when they enjoy “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:–when they are made perfect in one, and become like their Saviour, then they will be in possession of all knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence: then all things will be theirs, whether principalities or powers, thrones or dominions; and, in short, then they will be filled with all the fulness of God. And what more can they learn? What more can they know? What more can they enjoy? Then they will no longer need revelation.
We believe that wherever the people enjoy the religion of the New Testament, there they enjoy visions, revelations, the ministry of angels, and etcetera. And that wherever these blessings cease to be enjoyed, there they also cease to enjoy the religion of the New Testament.
We believe that God has raised up this church, in order to prepare a people for his second coming in the clouds of heaven, in power, and great glory; and that then the Saints who are asleep in their graves will be raised, and reign with him on earth a thousand years.
And we now bear testimony to all, both small and great, that the Lord of Hosts hath sent us with a message of glad tidings–the everlasting gospel, to cry repentance to the nations, and prepare the way of his second coming. Therefore repent, O ye nations, both Gentiles and Jews, and cease from all your evil deeds, and come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, and be baptized in water, in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost, for remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, by the laying on of hands of the apostles or elders of this church; and signs shall follow them that believe, and if they continue faithful to the end, they shall be saved. But woe unto them, who hearken not to the message which God has now sent, for the day of vengeance and burning is at hand, and they shall not escape. Therefore, remember, O reader, and perish not!