New York State is where the beginnings of the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints started through many big and small miracles namely the First Vision, The Book of Mormon coming to lights, the Aaronic, and Melchizedek Priesthood being given to the Prophet, and the organization of the Church in the Whitmer Home. So many amazing miracles foundational for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Only eight months after the organization of The Church, in the Whitmer Home, the Lord said it was time to move on to a new location. In Doctrine and Covenants 37:3 the Lord said “Assemble together at the Ohio.” Kirtland Ohio became the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It became the headquarters when the young prophet Joseph Smith came and it stopped being the headquarters when the prophet moved on.
Kirtland was prepared by God for the next gathering of the Saints. The Lord had started gathering prepared Saints to Kirtland as early as 1805. Many faithful families settled in Kirtland, to name a few, there was Snow family Eliza and her brother Lorenzo (who later became prophet of the Church), Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Isaac Morley, Lyman Wight, John Murdock, Edward Partridge(the first bishop of the restored Church), and Newel and Elizabeth Ann Whitney.
Before the announcement from God, in Doctiring and Covenants, to gather in Kirtland, missionaries from the Church had made their way across Kirtland, Ohio to teach the American Indians. While passing through Kirtland Ohio the missionaries found a people prepared to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many had been praying and looking for a simple Christianity based on the teachings of the New Testament. Many of these people were members of the congregation led by Sidney Rigdon.
Sidney Rigdon had prepared his congregation to recognize the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sidney and many of his congregation joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
By the end of 1830, there were almost as many members of the church in Ohio as there were in New York.
In December 1830, Joseph Smith received the revelation that the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints should leave New York and gather in Ohio.
Joseph and Emma Smith arrived in Kirtland Ohio in February 1831, and moved into the John Johnson Farm, in Hyrum Ohio about 30 miles from Kirtland.
Joseph moved his family from Hyrum into Kirtland, where he lived in the home of Newel K. Whitney. They lived there for two years, from 1832 to 1834. The Newel K. Whitney Store served as the first location for the School of the Prophets. It also served as the bishops storehouse, run by Newel K. Whitney.
It was in Kirtland Ohio where the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that the first temple should be built. The Lord gave the Saints a detailed pattern to follow. The Saints worked for three years to complete the temple, and the Lord rewarded the Saints by opening the heavens to the them when it was all finished!
The persecution increased in Kirtland and the Lord instructed the Saints to move on. Joseph left Kirtland in 1838 to go to Missouri.
Some of the most prominent Ohio Converts:
Newel K. Whitney and Elizabeth Ann Whitney
John and Elsa Johnson
Frederick and Rebecca Williams
Oliver and Rosetta Snow
Orson and Malinda Hyde
Isaac and Lucy Morley
Lyman and Harriet Wight
More Blog Posts:
Sites in Historic Kirtland Ohio:
Kirtland Temple Quarry
Newel K. Whitney Store
Newel K. Whitney and Elizabeth Whitney’s Home
Joseph and Emma’s Home is being restored and should be finished in Fall of 2023.
”Joseph Smith’s Kirtland, Eye Witness Accounts” by Karl Ricks Andersen
Pioneer, The National Society of the sons of the Utah Pioneers presents “The Heavens are Opened” Exhibit at the Church History Museum” 2016 Volume 63, Numbers 2,3,4. (p95)