27467

Journal, 1835–1836

The following is a revelation191

Now D&C 108.  


given to Lyman Sherman

22 May 1804–ca. 15 Feb. 1839. Born at Monkton, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Elkanah Sherman and Asenath Hurlbut. Married Delcena Didamia Johnson, 16 Jan. 1829, at Pomfret, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, Jan. 1832. Located at Kirtland,...

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this day 26 Dec 1835
Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Lyman

22 May 1804–ca. 15 Feb. 1839. Born at Monkton, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Elkanah Sherman and Asenath Hurlbut. Married Delcena Didamia Johnson, 16 Jan. 1829, at Pomfret, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, Jan. 1832. Located at Kirtland,...

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your sins are forgiven you because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive councel of him whom I have appointed
Therefore let your soul be at rest concerning your spiritual standing, and resist no more my voice, and arise up and be more careful henceforth in observing your vows which you have made and do make, and you shall be blessed with exceding great blessings. Wait patiently untill the time when the solemn assembly

A special church meeting or conference convened to conduct church business, administer sacred ordinances, and receive spiritual power and instruction. In November 1831, the Saints were directed by revelation to gather as a body in solemn assemblies. A December...

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shall be called of my servants then you shall be numbered with the first of mine elders

Presiding officers of the church; also, leading elders of the church. A December 1832 revelation directed the first elders, or “first labourers,” to preach the gospel and instructed them to create a school to prepare for their ministry. A June 1834 revelation...

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and receive right by ordination

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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with the rest of mine elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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whom I have chosen
Behold this is the promise of the father unto you if you continue faithful—
and it shall be fulfilled upon you in that day that you shall have right to preach my gospel wheresoever I shall send you from henceforth from that time, Therefore strengthen your brethren in all your conversation in all your prayers, and in all your exhortations, and in all your doings, and behold and lo I am with you to bless you and deliver you forever Amen

27 December 1835 • Sunday

Sunday morning 27th at the usual hour, attended meeting at the School house

Two-story structure measuring thirty by thirty-eight feet, built during fall and winter of 1834. Located immediately west of temple lot on Whitney Street (now Maple Street) in Kirtland. School of the Elders met here from winter 1834–1835 to Jan. 1836. Ground...

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, President Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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delivered a verry able and interesting discource— in the after part of the day Br. [p. 90]
The following is a revelation191

Now D&C 108.  


given to  Lyman Sherman

22 May 1804–ca. 15 Feb. 1839. Born at Monkton, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Elkanah Sherman and Asenath Hurlbut. Married Delcena Didamia Johnson, 16 Jan. 1829, at Pomfret, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, Jan. 1832. Located at Kirtland,...

View Full Bio
this day 26 Dec 1835
Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servant  Lyman

22 May 1804–ca. 15 Feb. 1839. Born at Monkton, Addison Co., Vermont. Son of Elkanah Sherman and Asenath Hurlbut. Married Delcena Didamia Johnson, 16 Jan. 1829, at Pomfret, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, Jan. 1832. Located at Kirtland,...

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your sins are forgiven you because you have  obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to  receive councel of him whom I have appointed
Therefore let your soul be at rest concerning  your spiritual standing, and resist no more my  voice, and arise up and be more careful henceforth  in observing your vows which you have made  and do make, and you shall be blessed  with exceding great blessings. Wait patiently  untill the time when the solemn assembly

A special church meeting or conference convened to conduct church business, administer sacred ordinances, and receive spiritual power and instruction. In November 1831, the Saints were directed by revelation to gather as a body in solemn assemblies. A December...

View Glossary
 shall be called of my servants then you  shall be numbered with the first of mine  elders

Presiding officers of the church; also, leading elders of the church. A December 1832 revelation directed the first elders, or “first labourers,” to preach the gospel and instructed them to create a school to prepare for their ministry. A June 1834 revelation...

View Glossary
and receive right by ordination

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
with  the rest of mine elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
whom I have chosen
Behold this is the promise of the father  unto you if you continue faithful—
and it shall be fulfilled upon you in that  day that you shall have right to preach  my gospel wheresoever I shall send you  from henceforth from that time, Therefore  strengthen your brethren in all your conversation  in all your prayers, and in all your exhor tations, and in all your doings, and behold  and lo I am with you to bless you and  deliver you forever Amen

27 December 1835 • Sunday

Frederick G. Williams handwriting ends; Warren Parrish begins.  


Sunday morning 27th at the  us[u]al hour, attended meeting at the  School house

Two-story structure measuring thirty by thirty-eight feet, built during fall and winter of 1834. Located immediately west of temple lot on Whitney Street (now Maple Street) in Kirtland. School of the Elders met here from winter 1834–1835 to Jan. 1836. Ground...

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, President [Oliver] Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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delivered  a verry able and interesting discource—  in the after part of the day Br. [p. 90]
PreviousNext
JS viewed himself as divinely commissioned to gather God’s people in the last days and prepare them for Jesus Christ’s second coming and millennial reign. By 1835, the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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, a temple in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, became the centerpiece of this commission and hence of this journal. The Latter-day Saints were commanded in revelations dated as early as December 1832 to establish “a house of God” and were chastised in June 1833 for not having begun the endeavor.1

Revelation, 27 and 28 Dec. 1832 and 3 Jan. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 7:36, 1835 ed. [D&C 88:119]; Revelation, 1 June 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 95:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 95:2–3].  


Construction began 6 June 1833 after JS and colleagues saw in vision the completed structure.2

Angell, Autobiography, 14–15.  


As writing in this journal began, construction was nearing completion. The newly established Quorum of the Twelve and Quorum of the Seventy were returning from preaching assignments and joining with church officers from Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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and Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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as well as with traveling elders. All converged on Kirtland to prepare with increasing intensity for the “solemn assembly” to be held in the House of the Lord, where they were to be “endowed with power from on high.”3

Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Doctrine and Covenants 102:3, 1844 ed. [D&C 105:11]. For an account of the solemn assembly, see the journal entry for 30 March 1836.  


Thus empowered, they could better fulfill key elements of their mission: preaching God’s message for the last time throughout the world prior to the imminent Second Coming; gathering converts to Missouri, where they would find safety in Zion from the destruction that was to overtake the wicked; and ministering to the Saints. After a hiatus of more than nine months, JS renewed his journal keeping during this period of organization, purification, and preparation.
The longest of any of JS’s journals published herein, this volume records his activities in and around Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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during the half year from late September 1835 to early April 1836. It is the last journal that contains JS’s own handwriting: seven entries—four manuscript pages. Entries were sometimes made one or more days after the fact, but an entry was made for every day from the journal’s beginning to its end, providing a continuity lacking in JS’s previous journal and reflecting a time of relative stability for the church in Kirtland. JS is not embattled, defending his people and projects against enemies; rather, he is gathering and preparing his people for what they expect to be a pivotal experience. Blessings, rebukes, and counsel recorded here manifest the hopes and expectations of JS and others in church leadership.
While JS, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, and Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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penned entries for the first two weeks of the journal, most of the remainder of the journal was kept by Warren Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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, often mentioned in the journal as “my scribe.” Parrish was hired as scribe for JS on 29 October 1835. His duties included keeping JS’s journal and minutes of church meetings and copying certain materials into JS’s 1834–1836 history, which Oliver Cowdery had begun the prior year. Parrish’s first recorded journal entry is for 8 October 1835, suggesting that journal keeping was three weeks behind when he started. Parrish inscribed entries covering the next six weeks. The journal was in Parrish’s possession during at least part of the time he was inscribing it, and the practice may have been for the assigned scribe to retain possession during his tenure. JS recorded four reflective entries for December 19–22 and indicated in the last of those entries that Parrish was ill. JS then passed the journal to Williams, whose entries covered four days ending 26 December 1835. Parrish resumed scribal duties for four weeks’ entries, but then his ill health forced him to relinquish journal keeping to Sylvester Smith

25 Mar. 1806–22 Feb. 1880. Farmer, carpenter, lawyer, realtor. Born at Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy Marshall. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, ca. 1815. Married Elizabeth Frank, 27 Dec. 1827, likely in Chautauque...

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, who recorded the next two weeks’ entries. On 7 February 1836, Parrish then resumed his work, recording entries for the next eight weeks, with occasional help from an unidentified scribe who copied or kept minutes of church meetings. In early April, Parrish was preparing to leave Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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to proselytize, like many others who had sought empowerment in Kirtland for that purpose.4

Woodruff, Journal, 19 Apr. 1836.  


Apparently Parrish’s scribal responsibilities for the journal and for JS’s 1834–1836 history were delegated at this time to Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

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, older brother of Oliver Cowdery. Cowdery used the first two months of material from the journal, 22 September to 18 November 1835, as the basis for a new section of the 1834–1836 history and also wrote the final two entries in the journal. Parrish’s mission departure was delayed until May.5

Woodruff, Journal, 27 May 1836.  


It was apparently during this delay that Parrish retrieved the history and the journal from Cowdery and added a final two months of material from the journal, 18 November 1835 through 18 January 1836, to the history—probably before leaving for his missionary assignment. Parrish made no additional entries to the journal before returning it to JS. Thus the journal ended with Cowdery’s entries.
Much of the material in the journal seems to have been dictated by JS to the scribe or recorded as JS spoke to various gatherings. For example, the entry for 21 January 1836 is apparently a dictation because it reports a vision seen only by JS. JS may have had the scribe read back his dictations to him in order to make corrections, as he had sometimes done six years earlier in dictating his translation of the Book of Mormon. In the 21 January entry, the scribe writes, “I am mistaken,” and a paragraph in the entry corrects a statement made earlier in the entry. A few days later, Parrish

10 Jan. 1803–3 Jan. 1877. Clergyman, gardener. Born in New York. Son of John Parrish and Ruth Farr. Married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Patten of Westmoreland Co., New Hampshire, ca. 1822. Lived at Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, 1830. Purchased land at...

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wrote to JS that he could not continue to keep the journal for a time. He explained, “Writing has a particular tendency to injure my lungs while I am under the influence of such a cough”—a possible indication that his scribal duties required reading aloud.6

JS, Journal, 25 Jan. 1836.  


The journal reveals aspects not only of the inner spiritual life and the religious fellowship that JS shared with church members and leaders but also of his relations with adherents of other religious persuasions. Various entries describe his interactions with Presbyterians, Methodists, a Baptist, a Universalist, and a Unitarian. The journal records a visit JS received from two followers of the British religious reformer Edward Irving as well as a visit from JS’s contemporary Robert Matthews

1788–ca. 1841. Carpenter, joiner, merchant, minister. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Raised in Anti-Burgher Secession Church. Married Margaret Wright, 1813, at New York City. Adopted beliefs of Methodism and then Judaism. Moved to Albany, ca...

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—better known as the Prophet Matthias. During his visit with Matthews, JS shared the foundational religious experiences of his youth, including rare accounts of his visit from the angel Moroni and of his first vision of Deity.
The journal also records several other revelations and visions. Of particular theological significance is the aforementioned 21 January 1836 vision of the “celestial kingdom” of heaven, with its revelation that “all who have died with[out] a knowledge of this gospel, who would have received it, if they had been permitted to tarry, shall be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God.”7

JS, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836.  


This foreshadows the Latter-day Saint doctrine of redeeming the dead through vicarious ordinances.
A number of entries in this journal relate to JS’s revelatory translation of Egyptian writings. In July 1835, JS and associates had purchased from a Michael Chandler four Egyptian mummies and some papyri unearthed at Thebes. Chandler had exhibited the artifacts in Cleveland

Cuyahoga Co. seat of justice, 1833. Situated on south shore of Lake Erie, just east of mouth of Cuyahoga River. First settled, 1797. Incorporated as village, 1815; incorporated as city, 1836. Became center of business and trade at opening of Ohio and Erie...

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and other locations and had heard of JS’s claims as a translator. This journal provides glimpses of JS’s early efforts in transcribing and translating material from the papyri and recounts that JS exhibited the papyri to associates and visitors. Journal entries refer to them as the “records of antiquity,” the “Egyptian manuscripts,” the “Egyptian records,” the “sacred record,” the “ancient records,” the “records of Abraham,” or simply “the records.” JS’s efforts led to publication in 1842 of a work that he introduced as “purporting to be the writings of Abraham.”8

“The Book of Abraham,” Times and Seasons,1 Mar. 1842, 3:703–706; 15 Mar. 1842, 3:719–722; 16 May 1842, 3:783–784 [Abraham 1–5].  


The events of this journal, as in JS’s 1832–1834 journal, unfold in the shadow of the dual priorities of redeeming Zion and preparing the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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. A revelation that JS announced in June 1834, prior to the close of the Mormons’ armed expedition to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, laid out the course of action the Latter-day Saints were to pursue regarding their future in that state. The “redemption of Zion” in Missouri would not take place until church officers had been further instructed in their duties and empowered in the House of the Lord in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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.9

Revelation, 22 June 1834, in Doctrine and Covenants 102, 1844 ed. [D&C 105].  


In the third entry in this journal, JS himself recorded further plans and preparations for Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. As the time for the promised endowment neared, so did the anticipated return to Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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. The dispossessed Missouri Saints were again to petition Governor Daniel Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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for support in reoccupying their Jackson County lands. JS and other church officers expressed determination to reenter Jackson County in spring 1836, at the risk of their lives if necessary. JS reported the beginning of efforts that same day to enlist a large volunteer army for this purpose10

JS, Journal, 24 Sept. 1835.  


—optimistic plans, fed perhaps by growth in church membership in the two years since their small “Camp of Israel” expedition had failed to accomplish the same goal. Less than two weeks later, he advised members of the Quorum of the Twelve to anticipate moving their families to Missouri.11

JS, Journal, 5 Oct. 1835.  


Latter-day Saints corresponded with Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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, asking for his assistance and even suggesting that United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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president Andrew Jackson be asked to rectify the Saints’ 1833 eviction from their Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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property by vigilantes. In January 1836, Dunklin effectively foreclosed the possibility of aid from either the state or the federal government in the near future. He ruled out any request for federal intervention on constitutional grounds and again advised the Saints to pursue restoration of their property through the established legal system.12

Daniel Dunklin, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps et al., Kirtland, OH, 22 Jan. 1836, in JS History, vol. B-1, addenda, 3nH.  


Soon after receiving Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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’s letter, the Latter-day Saints modified their short-term plans for Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. By March 1836, they had apparently dropped the idea of assembling a large army, at least for the present. Church leaders moved their focus for the near future away from Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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and instead commissioned agents to find a new location in Missouri and to purchase lands there on which to settle.13

Whitmer, History, 83.  


The church’s presidency intended to move to Missouri to direct the relocation.14

JS, Journal, 13 Mar. 1836.  


During the time covered in the journal, the immediate attention of Latter-day Saints was focused on northeastern Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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. Prerequisite to their major relocation in Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, church leaders from Missouri and elsewhere gathered to Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, the site of the temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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that bore the name “the House of the Lord,” wherein the much-anticipated endowment and solemn assembly were to empower church officers in their ministry. Building the temple in Kirtland—which JS often referred to as the “chapel” or simply “the house”—had been a focal point since summer 1833, when a letter from JS, Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, and Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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reported that there were only one hundred fifty Saints in Kirtland.15 In autumn 1834, JS himself helped quarry stone for the building.16

JS History, vol. B-1, 553; Heber C. Kimball, in Journal of Discourses, 6 Apr. 1863, 10:165.  


By late 1835, the nine hundred Mormons in Kirtland, plus the two hundred living nearby, included skilled individuals recruited specifically for the building project, freeing JS to pursue spiritual, educational, and administrative matters. A temple committee composed of JS’s brother Hyrum

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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, Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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, and Jared Carter

14 June 1801–6 July 1849. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married Lydia Ames, 20 Sept. 1823, at Benson. Moved to Chenango, Broome Co., New York, by Jan...

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oversaw construction of the House of the Lord. The construction workers were compensated in part through goods available at the “committee store

Established by temple building committee to support those working on Kirtland temple.

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.”
Preparation for the promised endowment required much more than completion of the temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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. JS’s vision for a church prepared for its expansive mission included an extensive and well-organized priesthood hierarchy. After adding three assistants to the church’s presidency in December 1834,17

Entries for 5 and 6 Dec. 1834, in JS History, 1834–1836, 17–20.  


JS further expanded his cadre of leaders. Drawn almost exclusively from the ranks of the 1834 expedition to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, the Quorum of the Twelve and the Quorum of the Seventy, organized in February 1835, were assigned primarily to minister outside Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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and Missouri, the two centers of the church. JS gave the new officers short-term assignments to preach in the East and seek financial support for Zion in Missouri and the temple in Ohio.18

JS, Kirtland, OH, to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 4 Aug. 1835, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 90–93.  


Beginning in January 1836, JS worked to have every office and organization mentioned in the revelations fully staffed—to “set the different quorems in order.”19

JS, Journal, 30 Jan. 1836.  


With the entire array of priesthood leadership from both Ohio and Missouri in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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to prepare for empowerment, many of the regular Kirtland council meetings included the Missouri leadership, especially Missouri president David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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and his counselors William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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and John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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. These three also often joined with the church’s presidency in Kirtland—JS, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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, and Joseph Smith Sr.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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—in a council of presidents that conducted much of the church business.
Preparation of church officials for carrying out their responsibilities required ministerial training. This was accomplished in the Elders School, which was a revival of the earlier School of the Prophets. In early January 1836, an additional school was opened offering two months’ intensive study of biblical Hebrew under the tutelage of scholar Joshua Seixas

4 June 1802–1874. Hebraist, textbook writer, teacher. Probably born at New York City. Son of Gershom Mendez Seixas and Hannah Manuel. Married Henrietta Raphael of Richmond, Henrico Co., Virginia. Taught Hebrew at New York and Charlestown, Massachusetts. His...

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. This instruction ran concurrently with the Elders School and involved many of the same students. JS himself participated as an enthusiastic student of Hebrew.
JS insisted that in addition to being fully staffed and properly organized and trained, the church leadership must have unity and harmony.20

See Revelation, 27 and 28 Dec. 1832 and 3 Jan. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 7, 1835 ed. [D&C 88]; and Instruction on priesthood, ca. Apr. 1835, in Doctrine and Covenants 3:11–12, 1835 ed. [D&C 107:27–33].  


A prerequisite to the endowment was a sanctification process that in turn required collegiality and love. JS faced significant challenges from within the hierarchy and his own family as he sought to establish this unity. During the apostles’ 1835 mission, JS and other leaders in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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chastised the Quorum of the Twelve by letter for offensive statements two of them had made about Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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. The Twelve also had reportedly failed to emphasize donations for temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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construction while seeking funds for Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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lands and other church needs. JS concluded later that the latter concern, based on a complaint by an observer in New York

Dutch founded New Netherland colony, 1625. Incorporated under British control and renamed New York, 1664. Harbor contributed to economic and population growth of city; became largest city in American colonies. British troops defeated Continental Army under...

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, was unwarranted. After the Twelve returned to Kirtland there were feelings to reconcile, apologies to make, and clarifications required concerning the role of the Twelve. The flurry of accusations and confessions in council meetings recorded in this journal were meant to heal breaches and promote harmony by airing and then resolving all disagreements.
To JS’s great dismay, his confrontations with his volatile younger brother William

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

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, an apostle in the church, contrasted starkly with JS’s ideals. The two strong-willed Smiths clashed in fall 1835. Harmony was not restored until Joseph Smith Sr.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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convened a family New Year’s gathering to bring about reconciliation. Passages in this diary about their interaction offer revealing insights into the personalities and temperaments of JS and William.
After resolving differences among church leaders, the officers were ready to receive the rituals associated with the temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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and the anticipated endowment. This was a new development. The previous fall JS had told members of the Quorum of the Twelve that they were soon to attend the organization of a school of the prophets that would involve a solemn assembly and the ordinance of foot washing—patterned after Jesus’s ministration to his disciples after the Last Supper and mandated in the same revelation that first called for a temple to be built.21

JS, Journal, 5 Oct. 1835; Revelation, 27 and 28 Dec. 1832 and 3 Jan. 1833, in Doctrine and Covenants 7:45–46, 1835 ed. [D&C 88:138–141].  


This would have repeated the procedures followed at the organization of the initial School of the Prophets in 1833. Instead, JS organized the Elders School on 3 November 1835 without a solemn assembly, and the foot-washing ordinance was performed during a solemn assembly in the House of the Lord at the conclusion of a set of newly instituted ordinances. Before the Lord could “endow his servants,” recorded John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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, “we must perform all the ordinances that are instituted in his house.”22

Whitmer, History, 83.  


To this end, washing, anointing, and blessing the presidents of quorums began 21 and 22 January 1836. In the coming weeks, these rituals were administered in hierarchal order to each church officer in the House of the Lord. The ordinances were accompanied by exclamations of “hosanna” in unison. Visions and other spiritual manifestations were noted by numerous participants.
On 27 March 1836, before a general audience of church members, JS dedicated the newly completed House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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. His dedicatory prayer and the accompanying hymns and sermons expressed the vision he and his associates shared for the unfolding of God’s plan for the earth and the role they were to play as God’s authorized representatives. Not only their worldview and proximate goals but also their perceived challenges and obstacles were delineated in the journal’s report.
Two days after the dedication of the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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, JS and the presidency sought revelation about the proposed move to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. They emerged from an all-night session in the House of the Lord to announce that the key to redeeming Zion lay in proselytizing and gathering converts to Missouri.23

JS, Journal, 29 and 30 Mar. 1836.  


As for the presidency, their immediate concern was raising funds to purchase Missouri land.24

JS, Journal, 2 Apr. 1836.  


Apparently their planned move was postponed until after such purchases could be made.
Now that the temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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was dedicated to the Lord, the long-awaited solemn assembly was finally held. On 30 March 1836, three days after the dedication, about three hundred priesthood officers met in the House of the Lord and received a ritual washing of feet, an ordinance of purification before receiving the endowment of power. JS announced the celebration of a jubilee for the church. While preparing the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to initiate a Passover feast, he instructed the officers that “the time that we were required to tarry in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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to be endued would be fulfilled in a few days.” Soon afterward, according to several accounts, many who were gathered in the solemn assembly experienced a powerful spiritual outpouring. They remained in the House of the Lord through the night, prophesying, speaking in tongues, and seeing visions. Many felt that the promise of an endowment of spiritual power had been fulfilled, and elders began leaving Kirtland the following day to perform missions.
For those officers who remained, the jubilee and the Passover were a week of visiting, feasting, prophesying, and pronouncing blessings on one another. During the Sunday worship service held 3 April 1836, the day for which the final entry in the journal was made, JS and Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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secluded themselves behind drawn curtains at the podium of the House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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. There, the journal indicates, they experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus Christ, who stated that he accepted the edifice as his house. Afterward, according to this account, Moses, Elias, and Elijah also appeared and conferred priesthood keys and authority for essential ministries over which they each had responsibility. The jubilee ended 6 April 1836, the first day of the church’s seventh year.

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