The Whitmer family and Whitmer Home played a crucial part in the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Through the help of Heavenly Father Joseph Smith was sent the perfect people to help him get things done. One of the first and main players in the restoration was Oliver Cowdery and he brought in the Whitmers. The Whitmer Family through their faith, and action gave the prophet Joseph Smith a safe place to finish translating the Book of Mormon, a home and ultimately headquarters for the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The Whitmer’s son David was friends with Oliver Cowdery and they had both heard about Joseph Smith and ‘the gold Bible’. Oliver Cowdery decided to check out if the rumors were true and was converted to the gospel message. Oliver wrote to David and told him about his discoveries and what he had learned. David Whitmer was anxious to find out for himself and was also converted to the message. Both Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were key players in the Restoration.
When Joseph Smith was translating The Book of Mormon in Harmony, Pennsylvania tensions got high in the area and they were no longer safe. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery wrote a letter to David Whitmer and asked if they could stay at his home while the translation moved forward. David had a lot of work on his land to do, and could not leave right away, but received heavenly help and was able to get to Harmony and help Joseph Smith.(read the story here).
Joseph Smith, Oliver and David arrived on the Whitmer farm in early June 1829. They were able to finish translating The Book of Mormon at the Whitmer Home. Approximately 30 percent of the books translation took place at the Whitmer home in Fayette, New York.
They had eight children: Christian, Jacob, John, David, Cathrine, Peter Jr. Nancy, and Elizabeth Ann.
All of the Whitmer son’s, along with the son-in-law Hyrum Page became part of the eight witnesses to the golden plates.
David Whitmer was one of the three witnesses of the golden plates along with Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris.
Oliver Cowdery married Elizabeth Ann Whitmer, the youngest daughter.
The Whitmer Home became the Church Headquarters, so to speak, at the beginning of the Church. It was a double log house, one and a half stories. The Church purchased the site in 1926 and the current replica of the Whitmer Home was built in 1979-1980.
Sydney Rigdon described the Whitmer Home as “a little old log house about 20 feet square.”
The Whitmer Home was where the Lord chose as the place for His church to be organized in the Latter-Days. A simple log cabin, with a simple young man as the prophet. Nothing grand, nothing magnificent, but good people in a simple place trying to do what the Lord wanted them to do.
Founding Meeting at the Whitmer Home
Whitmer home is the location of the founding meeting of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Church was formally organized on April 6, 1830.
The apostle Orson Pratt said said the Whitmer Home would “no doubt, be celebrated for ages to come as the one chosen by the Lord in which to make known first elements of the organization of His Kingdom in the latter-days.”
David Whitmer estimated that the home was filled with 50 people who participated founding meeting.
After the church was organized the first three conferences of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints were held in the Whitmer Home.
Joseph Smith received 20 revelations at or near the Whitmer Home. The revelations were later condensed into 18 sections of The Doctrine and Covenants.
What happened to the Whitmers?
The Whitmers ended up leaving The Church in 1838. The Whitmers never renounced their faith in the divine origin of the Book of Mormon or in Joseph Smith’s earliest revelations.
More Blog Posts:
Women Witnesses of the Book of Mormon-Mary Whitmer also saw The Book of Mormon.
Places to visit:
Priesthood Restoration Site
Joseph and Emma’s Home in Harmony
2016 Volume 63 Numbers 2,3,4 Pioneer The national society of the sons of the Utah pioneers presents “The Heavens are opened” exhibit at the Church History Museum. (P.82-88)