Joseph Smith Documents from October 1835 through January 1838

The 118 documents found in this volume of The Joseph Smith Papers cover a period of Joseph Smith’s life, October 1835–January 1838, that was punctuated both by moments of elation and moments of upheaval. The volume opens in the hopeful months leading up to the completion of the first Latter-day Saint temple, the in , Ohio. Church members worked diligently and sacrificed much to complete the temple, and they were rewarded with spiritual outpourings in early 1836. Joseph Smith’s journal for this period includes such exclamations as, “This has been one of the best days that I ever spent.”
The exuberance soon dissipated, however. Word reached of renewed threats of violence in the church’s settlements in , Missouri, forcing the Saints there to once again abandon their homes and find another place to settle. Church debts mounted in both and , and from late 1836 through the end of 1837, Joseph Smith was heavily involved in temporal and financial matters. Compounding his difficulties, the economic problems led many disaffected church members to challenge Smith’s authority as a prophet. The volume closes with the Kirtland church in chaos and Smith facing legal and physical threats. At the command of revelation, he departed Kirtland and rode through the night, bound for Missouri. There he would resettle his family in , a new gathering place for the Saints.
The majority of documents found in this volume, as with previous volumes of the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers, are letters, minutes of meetings, and revelations. A wide range of other document types is also found here, including ecclesiastical charges, a conversation with an infamous visitor, a marriage license and a marriage certificate, rules and regulations for the temple, deeds, mortgages, promissory notes, an application for a federal land patent, and selections from the Elders’ Journal, a church-run periodical with Joseph Smith as its founding editor. Two unusual documents warrant particular mention. Smith and several associates—notably , , , and —spent substantial time in the late summer and fall of 1835 studying recently acquired Egyptian papyri. Their efforts produced several texts, two of which are presented in this volume: the first is a portion of what would later be referred to as the Book of Abraham; the second is a manuscript that was fashioned as an Egyptian alphabet.
The first six months documented here emphasize the role Joseph Smith played, as president of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, in organizing the church and preparing its members for the dedication of the and the blessings they expected to receive there. Smith is seen pursuing various endeavors, such as entertaining visitors to , translating inspired texts, dictating revelations, studying Hebrew, and dealing with internal church business. Several documents detail his efforts to maintain harmony among church leaders and his own family members, particularly his brother . The Kirtland community also continued to develop as the population grew and church members built the physical landscape to match their ideal of a Zion community. But it is the House of the Lord in Kirtland that most occupies Smith’s documentary record in this period; more than a third of the documents created between October 1835 and April 1836 relate to his efforts to prepare the church and its members for the promised endowment of spiritual power that his revelations taught would occur in the completed temple.
A January 1831 revelation had instructed church members to gather to and promised, “There you shall be endowed with power from on high.” Another revelation dictated by Joseph Smith in December 1832 called on church members to “establish, an house, even an house of prayer an house of fasting, an house of faith, an house of Learning, an house of glory, an house of order an house of God.” The initial building work began on 7 June 1833 but was halted in fall 1833 because builders lacked sufficient materials and because church leaders decided to focus on redeeming Zion—that is, helping the Saints regain the land in , Missouri, from which they had been violently expelled. Despite the shifted focus, Smith dictated a revelation instructing the elders of the church that they “should receive their endowment from on high” in the . Construction on the religious edifice resumed in spring 1834 and proceeded continuously, if slowly at times, until it was completed. Many Saints contributed to the building of the temple, and perhaps best summed up the general sentiment of the Saints in 1835 and early 1836 when she wrote, “There was but one main spring to all our thoughts and that was building the Lords house.”
As construction on the neared completion, Joseph Smith’s instruction and the revelations he dictated encouraged church members and leaders to unify themselves, repent, and live by the principles of equality and humility. In January and February 1836, Smith oversaw a series of meetings intended to prepare men who held priesthood office to be endowed with power. Death and disciplinary removal had brought several changes in the church’s administrative structure in the previous thirteen months, as had the creation of new offices such as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Quorum of the Seventy. On 13 January 1836 the church’s “grand council,” which consisted of the presidencies of and , the Quorum of the Twelve, and the high councils and bishoprics of Kirtland and Missouri, met to organize the church’s leadership structure. They set the quorums of the priesthood in order, ordained several men to priesthood offices, and established rules “for the regulation of the house of the Lord in times of worship.” Joseph Smith’s journal noted his optimism and joy following the meeting: “There has been an entire unison of feeling expressed in all our proceedings this day, and the Spirit of the God of Israel has rested upon us in mighty power, and it has been good for us to be here, in this heavenly place in Christ Jesus, and altho much fatiegued with the labours of the day, yet my spiritual reward has been verry great indeed.” The Saints believed they needed increased preparation and unity to receive the endowment of power, and Smith’s journal indicates that in his estimation, they were approaching that state of readiness.
Several church leaders gathered on 21 January 1836 to further prepare themselves. Drawing from Old Testament examples, Smith and others met that afternoon to perform a ritual of washing and perfuming their bodies, “preparatory to the annointing with the holy oil.” Later that day, several were “annointed with the same kind of oil and in the man[ner] that were Moses and Aaron, and those who stood before the Lord in ancient days,” and were then blessed by the laying on of hands. Joseph Smith was blessed by his and then under the hands of “all of the presidency,” after which the “heavens were opened.” According to Smith’s journal, he and others beheld “vissions and revelations,” and “angels ministered unto them.” His account of those heavenly manifestations included a description of the celestial kingdom, supplementing an 1832 vision that depicted the separation of the afterlife into three kingdoms of heavenly glory: celestial, terrestrial, and telestial. In his 1836 vision, Smith reported, he saw in the celestial kingdom both individuals then living—including the presidency and his parents—and deceased individuals such as his brother Alvin. Joseph Smith also described a series of visions involving members of the Twelve and the redemption of Zion. In addition, bishop recorded that a number of those present at the 21 January evening meeting “saw visions & others were blessed with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost.” Between 21 January and 6 February, Smith instructed men of the priesthood to anticipate more visions as they performed washings, anointings, and other blessings leading to the endowment of power.
Then, on Sunday morning, 27 March 1836, a crowd of approximately one thousand men and women filled the completed to capacity for the dedicatory service. Joseph Smith’s prayer of dedication, written out beforehand with the assistance of other members of the church presidency, echoed language from the December 1832 revelation that called on the Saints to build the temple, and it also spoke of the 1833 violence against the Latter-day Saints in . The prayer asked that the House of the Lord be a place where the glory of God could rest upon his children. , who was in attendance, later stated, “The ceremonies of that dedication may be rehearsed, but no mortal language can describe the heavenly manifestations of that memorable day. Angels appeared to some, while a sense of divine presence was realized by all present, and each heart was filled with ‘joy inexpressible and full of glory.’”
Two days later, on the morning of 29 March, Joseph Smith and other church officials began two days and nights of meetings in the to receive instruction about Zion and to participate in the ordinance of foot washing. This purification ritual, described in the New Testament, was viewed by the participants as the culmination of the Saints’ spiritual preparation and ceremonial order. called it “a solemn scene” to witness members of the church presidency, the presidency, and the two bishoprics of the church ceremoniously cleanse one another’s feet. They also partook of the Lord’s Supper of bread and wine and then spent the night in the House of the Lord “prophesying and giving glory to God.” The next day, 30 March, three hundred men, including church officers and others ordained to the priesthood, met Smith inside the temple to participate in a solemn assembly during which they too received the foot-washing ordinance, the sacrament, and instruction. In the afternoon, church leaders including Joseph Smith “commenced prophesying.” The “Spirit of prophecy was poured out upon the congregation,” and the men in attendance gave “shouts of hosannas to God and the Lamb with amen and amen.” During the meeting, Smith stated that he “had now completed the organization of the church” and that the church officers and ordained men “had passed through all the necessary ceremonies” and had, therefore, received the long-awaited endowment of power from on high. The participants in this solemn assembly viewed themselves as armed with new knowledge and instruction from the prophet and as authorized “to go forth and build up the kingdom of God.” In the following weeks most of the ordained men left to proselytize and to raise money for land in Missouri.
The solemn assembly and endowment of power were not the end of the spiritual outpourings that accompanied the completion of the . Joseph Smith reported a manifestation he and experienced one week after the dedication—a vision of immense theological and eschatological importance for the Latter-day Saint faith. According to Smith’s journal, Jesus Christ, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared in succession to the two men in the temple and bestowed upon them “the Keys of this dispensation.” These keys included the authority to gather “Israel from the four parts of the Eearth and the leading of the ten tribes from the Land of the North” and the authority “to turn the hearts of the Fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers,” as had been prophesied in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon.
Believing that the long-promised endowment of spiritual power had now been bestowed, Joseph Smith turned to other unfinished business, the most important of which was redeeming Zion in , Missouri. Following counsel given in a June 1834 revelation, he had encouraged Latter-day Saints to settle in as a step toward regaining Mormon lands in Jackson County. However, just three months after the dedication of the in , and unbeknownst to Smith at the time, the threat of displacement again loomed over church members in . As the Mormon population in Clay County swelled, other residents had grown increasingly uneasy. By spring 1836, hundreds of Latter-day Saint families lived in the county, where they owned approximately sixteen hundred acres of land, and more than one hundred additional families arrived in the summer. In addition, reports circulated among Missourians that Latter-day Saints planned to undertake a second Camp of Israel expedition, patterned after the 1834 expedition Smith led in an attempt to restore the Saints to their Jackson County lands. The St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican reported that upwards of fifteen hundred Mormons, traveling in groups of between twenty and two hundred individuals, planned to come with arms to Clay County. In an article entitled “Another Mormon Invasion,” the newspaper encapsulated the discontent of Clay County residents: “No doubt can remain but that the peace of this section is again to be disturbed by a military array of ragamuffins” under the command of Joseph Smith, whom the article called “the modern Mohamed.” As had occurred earlier in Jackson County, the tensions in Clay County between Mormons and other residents were fueled in part by fear that Mormons were opposed to slavery and would seek alliances with American Indians. According to church member , “The old feelings, and excitement of Jackson County now began to show itself in Clay.”
Violence erupted by late June. Anderson Wilson, a citizen who organized forces against the Saints, recounted that “there were Several outrages Committed on the night of the 28 [June 1836] Six of our party went to a mormon town Several mormons Cocked their guns & Swore they would Shoot them after Some Scrimiging two white men took a mormon out of Company & give him 100 lashes & it is thought he will Die of this Beating.” Latter-day Saint remembered that in the early summer of 1836, “it appeared that war was even at our doors.”
Local citizens and community leaders met in the town of to devise a resolution to the impending conflict. On 29 June, citizens organized a “Committee of nine” to negotiate the departure of the Latter-day Saints from the county. Four of the committee members had previously assisted the Saints in their efforts to obtain redress and justice for their exile. The committee met the same day, drafted a set of resolutions calling for the removal of the Latter-day Saints from the county, and presented these resolutions to church officers.
Under the guidance of , the church leaders responded on 1 July. “For the sake of friendship,” they said, “and to be in a covenant of peace with the citizens of ,” they acquiesced to the committee’s request to leave. This pacifist reaction likely prevented violence and bloodshed comparable to that experienced during the episode nearly three years earlier, when church leaders did not immediately comply with demands for members to leave their homes and property. On 2 July 1836, church representatives met with the citizens’ committee, which resolved to “assist the Mormons in selecting some abiding place for their people where they will be in a measure the only occupants and when [where] none will be anxious to molest them.” The Clay County committee suggested the church remove to , where they would be the first white settlers and therefore able to exercise local self-determination under the federal government’s supervision. Instead, church leaders, who had been scouting new locations north and east of Clay County for a more permanent settlement place since at least May 1836, favored a “mill seat on ” approximately thirty miles north of , Missouri. That location would eventually be known as . By the end of 1836, and other Clay County citizens introduced a bill in the state legislature that, when passed, designated the region around Far West as , a state-sanctioned haven for Mormon settlers. Church members flooded into the area, and by July 1837 Far West included a population of fifteen hundred, almost all of whom were church members.
and others in wrote to Joseph Smith and fellow church leaders in on 1 July 1836 to inform them of the agreement they had made to vacate the county. The church presidency replied in two letters dated 25 July, declaring the Saints innocent of wrongdoing in the conflict but indicating that it made good sense for them to leave the county peaceably. That same day, Smith departed Kirtland for the eastern with his brother , , and , likely seeking a solution to the church’s financial troubles in Kirtland and Missouri. They spent most of August in the , Massachusetts, area, where they preached, raised funds, and reportedly searched for a buried treasure.
His trip east being financially unsuccessful, Smith returned to in September 1836 with a renewed focus on temporal, mercantile, and financial affairs. This focus is manifest in the documents created from October 1836 through spring 1837, which are devoted almost exclusively to pecuniary matters. In October 1836, on his own and in partnership with others, Smith purchased approximately 440 acres of land in Kirtland. These acquisitions seem to have been motivated by a desire to make land available for church members newly arriving in Kirtland and, perhaps, to provide real estate backing for the establishment of a bank in Kirtland.
Joseph Smith and other leaders of the church organized the Safety Society Bank on 2 November 1836, and expectations were high. A bank, if successful, could provide considerable financial aid to the Latter-day Saints by supplying residents with a local currency and a source of credit, thereby establishing a stronger foundation for the local economy and a better means to provide liquidity for land purchases, construction, and mercantile activity. When a bank was established in a frontier community, it was often eagerly supported by the local residents, but they often lacked the necessary capital. As a result, investors from the eastern frequently funded new banks. Many frontier banks were operated by men who, like Joseph Smith and the Mormon leaders in Kirtland, had little or no banking experience and who came from diverse backgrounds. Given such circumstances, bank closures and failures were a known risk in nineteenth-century America.
Though the question of federal involvement in banking was a highly partisan and divisive issue in the 1830s, most financial transactions—particularly after the closure of the Second Bank of the in 1836—were managed by banks that were officially recognized and regulated at the state level. Some states restricted banking services to a single bank operated by the state government, while other states, like , granted charters to private community banks. The Ohio legislature had granted a considerable number of bank charters in the early 1830s, but it began issuing fewer charters by the 1835–1836 legislative session. In the 1836–1837 session, when was seeking state authorization for the Safety Society, the legislature did not approve any bank charters. By January 1837, uncertain whether they would be able to obtain a charter, Joseph Smith and his contemporaries decided to restructure their institution and rename it the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company. The officers and stockholders drew up new articles of agreement to replace the original bank constitution on 2 January, and in the days following the reorganization, the society opened and began conducting banking services in an unofficial capacity. The institution continued, unsuccessfully, to seek a bank charter from the state.
By spring 1837 the optimism that came with the banking venture had all but ended. The Safety Society was heavily underfunded and barely had its doors open before it was putting an even greater strain on Joseph Smith’s already precarious financial situation. Enemies of the church worked against the Safety Society, and church members themselves became divided over the institution and Smith’s role in it. Hoping to quiet critics, Smith spoke on the temporal affairs of the church at a 6 April 1837 meeting, while his brother asked church members to support the Safety Society.
Notwithstanding such appeals, unrest among church members spread, while external opposition increased. Amid allegations made by a staunch opponent, , Joseph Smith left by 13 April, fearing for his life. His whereabouts for the next few weeks are largely unknown. wrote two poignant letters to her husband during his absence, detailing the problems and anxieties she and her three young children faced. “I wish it could be possible for you to be at home,” she wrote, encouraging him to return and asking that he remember his children, “for they all remember you.” She continued, “I could hardly pacify and when they found ou[t] you was not coming home soon.” Still, she assured her husband, “I shall do the best I can in all things, and I hope that we shall be so humble and pure before God that he will set us at liberty to be our own masters in a few things at least.” Emma’s letters featured in this volume provide some insight into the increasingly challenging conditions faced by church members in .
At about the same time Joseph Smith was away from , the national financial panic of 1837 reached its climax and began to adversely affect the economy. Important banking institutions in and failed in the spring of 1837, and the ramifications reverberated outward. Prosperity in the 1830s had allowed investors, primarily from the eastern , to engage extensively in land speculation, purchasing land on the western frontier and then selling it to farmers or other investors at much higher rates. In an effort to curb this practice and to reduce the use of banknotes and other paper currency, United States president Andrew Jackson issued an executive order in July 1836 known as the Specie Circular, which stipulated that government lands could be purchased only with specie—that is, gold or silver coin—and not with paper money. Specie shortages followed, and other government interventions left prominent banking houses unable to fulfill their financial obligations to investors, primarily those in Britain. Drained of their gold and silver, banks announced that they would no longer redeem notes with specie. These and other economic developments, such as a downturn in the international cotton trade, resulted in the financial panic of 1837 and a subsequent depression that continued into the 1840s. Fearing economic collapse, the public made runs on banks, and in response, financial institutions in suspended redemption of their banknotes for specie on 10 May 1837. Banks in other states quickly did likewise, severely curtailing people’s access to specie. This in turn led creditors to prematurely demand repayment and left individuals throughout the country unable to meet the debts they had amassed under the assumption of continued economic success.
Encouraged by the prosperity of 1836 and the availability of credit, many church members, including Joseph Smith, had purchased land or begun new business ventures. In partnership with , Smith opened a mercantile store in , Ohio. These investments and those of many other Kirtland church members—including investments in the Kirtland Safety Society—foundered in part because of the Panic of 1837, which caused devalued currency, inflation, declining land values, and a general downturn. By summer 1837, the store in Chester had closed. Saints throughout Kirtland were affected by the decline in the local economy and the difficulty they faced in finding work and feeding their families. In a July 1837 letter to his son, noted the inability of several individuals in Kirtland to repay him, writing: “I have not Re[ceive]d money from any of those we held [promissory] notes against since you Left[.] Br. D Wood I fear will not be able to pay us very soon if at all.”
Joseph Smith and his financial partners faced frequent litigation in the summer and fall of 1837 regarding their outstanding debts. The church president was involved in at least twenty-two different lawsuits between June 1837 and January 1838. These cases involved debts in the form of unpaid promissory notes for land, mercantile goods, loans, or other purchases made by Smith and his associates. Much of the litigation was brought against Smith in the June term of the Court of Common Pleas, where he was a party to seven different cases. To offset debts owed by their mercantile firms, Smith, , , , , and signed an agreement on 11 July 1837 mortgaging the to the firm Mead, Stafford & Co. Using their greatest asset—the object of the past four years of labor and the spiritual core of the Latter-day Saint community—as collateral demonstrated the desperate financial situation in which Joseph Smith and his associates found themselves. In order to avoid further litigation, the mercantile firms involving church leaders renegotiated their outstanding debts with several merchants in New York City and , New York, during the month of September 1837.
By the end of the turbulent year, the Safety Society had ceased its operations and financial hardships had befallen many of the Saints. Extant sources offer little credible documentation of monetary losses caused by the Kirtland Safety Society’s closure, but it is clear that only a few individuals invested sizable funds in the institution. Joseph Smith invested the most money, several thousand dollars, and no one lost more in the collapse of the Safety Society than he did. The devaluation of society notes and the unwillingness of other banks to accept the notes as payment contributed to the financial hardships in Kirtland, but most individuals there were more adversely affected by the broader Panic of 1837, which caused the price of goods to increase and land values to decrease drastically. wrote to her husband, , in January 1838 that “land will not sell for any thing.”
The spiritual exuberance that attended the dedication of the just eighteen months earlier seemed a distant memory. The debts, litigations, doubts, and accusations resulting from Joseph Smith’s financial entanglements, including his role as an officer of the Safety Society, further divided church members, with some remaining supportive and others unwilling to follow his direction. Many documents in this volume dating from May 1837 through January 1838 demonstrate the turmoil within the church and in Smith’s life. In May 1837 he faced opposition from various church members, including and . Some had specific complaints related to the bank or land transactions, but dissenters also indicted him more broadly for his involvement as a religious leader in financial matters, challenging his authority over temporal affairs. In June 1837 , one of the Twelve Apostles, denounced Joseph Smith as a “fallen prophet.” By the end of July the dissent seemed to be lessening, particularly within the Quorum of the Twelve as worked to correct and reconcile several apostles who had challenged Smith’s leadership. Boynton and others, meanwhile, continued to disagree with Smith. In spite of the difficulties in this period, however, Smith organized an ambitious proselytizing endeavor. Led by , missionaries departed for in June 1837, and they became the first Latter-day Saints to preach overseas.
In late summer 1837, the church president confronted the dissenters directly: he called the church together at a conference on 3 September to vote to support or disapprove its current leadership. The conference voted to sustain Smith as church president and supported the remainder of the presidency, but voted against high council members , , and as well as apostles , , and , all of whom had been involved in dissent against Smith’s leadership. The three dissenting high counselors were removed from office, but Boynton and Luke and Lyman Johnson all retained their positions in the Twelve after they made a public confession on 10 September 1837.
The day after the conference, Smith sent word of the proceedings and changes in the church hierarchy to the Saints in , Missouri. Shortly after that, he traveled to Far West to oversee church business there, which included convening a conference similar to the 3 September gathering in . This marked Smith’s first visit to the new town. He presided over meetings wherein decisions were made about church officers, land, and plans for a new in Far West. These meetings brought direction and a sense of unity to the church’s operations in , but Smith’s visit was not without controversy. Even though was the “second elder” of the church and a longtime friend of Smith’s, the two men’s relationship was deteriorating during fall 1837, and during Smith’s stay in Far West, Cowdery aired grievances that had divided the two.
Joseph Smith returned to in early December 1837 only to discover that in his absence, dissent had revived and become more threatening. Kirtland resident Hepzibah Richards wrote that the situation was a continuation of earlier events and that if the dissent had “appeared to be quelled it now appears that it was only preparing to operate with greater virulence.” wrote his son that the dissenters were “striving to Distroy” the church “with a great Deal more Zeal than they ever had to build [it] up,” and that their “greatest enmity” was against those they had called friends. By late December the Kirtland high council had excommunicated twenty-eight Saints, and by 1 January 1838 John Smith estimated that altogether church councils had “cut off Between 40 & 50 from the ch[urc]h.” Divisions in Kirtland became more pronounced in January 1838 as dissenters and other opponents threatened to kill Joseph Smith and other members of the First Presidency. Though Smith had long contemplated moving to , it was not until a 12 January 1838 revelation directed him and the First Presidency to leave Kirtland with their families that he ultimately left the place he and other Latter-day Saints had built with their precious resources. Following this revelation and seeking to escape the threatened violence, Smith and hastily departed Kirtland the evening of 12 January. Their families later met them in , Ohio, and by 16 January they had begun their journey to . On 21 January, penned a terse letter to Smith. The cold tone of Cowdery’s letter, the last document featured in this volume, exposes the deep division and discontent that had emerged between the former friends and is indicative of continuing disunion in the church’s leadership at the time Smith departed Kirtland for Far West.
Violence in escalated after Joseph Smith’s departure. During the evening of 15 January, the was set on fire and the building and its contents were destroyed. Dissenters and non-Mormon opponents had organized and threatened church members with additional violence mere days after the church president left. Of the conditions in the city, Hepzibah Richards wrote her brother , “We feel that we are in jeopardy every hour.” During spring and summer 1838, many Saints in Kirtland followed the church president west, including a company of more than five hundred known as the Kirtland Camp, which departed Kirtland on 6 July 1838. Still, Kirtland was not wholly abandoned. A local church presidency was appointed, consisting of , , and , and agents remained to take care of the land and other church properties, settle debts, and oversee the preparation and facilitation of the migration of more Latter-day Saints to .
The texts that document these critical years of Joseph Smith’s life come from disparate places. Approximately half of the documents featured in this volume come from two sources: a record book kept by church scribes called Minute Book 1, and Joseph Smith’s 1835–1836 journal. Minute Book 1 is the source for twenty-six of the documents, including minutes of meetings led by Smith and an assortment of documents dealing with organizational, administrative, and disciplinary matters. Twenty-six other texts come from Joseph Smith’s journal, which was kept by various scribes including , , and . The texts taken from the journal represent a variety of document types such as revelations, blessings, letters, minutes, and a discourse. Because they were copied into the journal, many of these documents were published in the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers; here in the Documents series, they are presented and contextualized as individual texts. Unfortunately, there is no extant journal for Joseph Smith from April 1836 to January 1838, a period that is one of the most poorly documented in the history of the early church. The remainder of the documents featured in this volume come from archival collections or from a range of other sources including periodicals, letterbooks, other Latter-day Saints’ diaries, and county deed ledgers. Given the paucity of extant sources, the documents presented here are among the best contemporary sources for researching and understanding this period of Mormon history.
The twenty-eight months covered by this volume of The Joseph Smith Papers reveal a tempestuous and unsettled time for Joseph Smith and the church he led. Smith and the Saints experienced spiritual elation surrounding the dedication of the , followed by a series of intense trials. The church president struggled against major challenges to his leadership and left Kirtland for amid threats of violence. The documents presented in this volume provide greater details and insights into these and other events in Joseph Smith’s life. This turbulent period can be better understood by studying these texts within their historical context, a task each document introduction undertakes. Although there is a scarcity of documents and other records, leaving important questions from this time period unanswered, the documents found in this volume and the discussion of their historical context illuminate the highs and lows of the period and shed light on the complex figure of Joseph Smith.
  1. 1

    JS, Journal, 13 Jan. 1836.  

  2. 2

    Revelation, 12 Jan. 1838–C; JS History, vol. B-1, 780.  

  3. 3

    On the acquisition of the Egyptian papyri by Smith and others, see Historical Introduction to Certificate from Michael Chandler, 6 July 1835.  

  4. 4

    See Introduction to Part 1: 2 Oct.–1 Dec. 1835; see also Historical Introduction to Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. Early July–ca. Nov. 1835–A [Abraham 1:4–2:6]; and Historical Introduction to Egyptian Alphabet, ca. Early July–ca. Nov. 1835–A.  

  5. 5

    For more information on the name of the church at this time, see Minutes, 3 May 1834.  

  6. 6

    See, for example, Conversations with Robert Matthews, 9–11 Nov. 1835; Book of Abraham Manuscript, ca. Early July–ca. Nov. 1835–A [Abraham 1:4–2:6]; and Certificate from Joshua Seixas, 30 Mar. 1836.  

  7. 7

    Plat of Kirtland, OH, not before 2 Aug. 1833; Map of Kirtland City, between ca. 6 Apr. and 18 May 1837.  

  8. 8

    Noting the significance of the work he was involved in, Newel Knight wrote in his journal that “it has been long since the Lord has had an house upon the Earth” and noted that in the House of the Lord the Saints would receive the endowment of power. (Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 24 May 1835.)  

    Knight, Newel. Autobiography and Journal, ca. 1846. CHL. MS 767.

  9. 9

    Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32].  

  10. 10

    Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:119]; see also Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:8].  

  11. 11

    Historical Introduction to Minutes, 6 June 1833; Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:11–40].  

  12. 12

    Revelation, 22 June 1834 [D&C 105:33].  

  13. 13

    See Historical Introduction to Minutes and Discourses, 7–8 Mar. 1835; Johnson, “A Life Review,” 11, 17–18; Johnson, Reminiscences and Journals, 18; Millet, Reminiscences, 3; JS, Journal, 15–17 Apr. 1834; and Ames, Autobiography, [10].  

    Johnson, Benjamin Franklin. “A Life Review,” after 1893. Benjamin Franklin Johnson, Papers, 1852–1911. CHL. MS 1289 box 1, fd. 1.

    Johnson, Joel Hills. Reminiscences and Journals, 1835–1882. 3 vols. Joel Hills Johnson, Papers, 1835–1882. CHL. MS 1546, fds. 1–3.

    Millet, Artemus. Reminiscences, ca. 1855 and ca. 1872, as copied in 1936. CHL. MS 1600.

    Ames, Ira. Autobiography and Journal, 1858. CHL. MS 6055.

  14. 14

    Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 14, [3].  

  15. 15

    JS, Journal, 5 Oct. 1835; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1835; Revelation, 3 Nov. 1835; Historical Introduction to Revelation, 8 Nov. 1835; Discourse, 12 Nov. 1835; Letter from Orson Hyde, 15 Dec. 1835.  

  16. 16

    Minutes, 28–29 Aug. 1834; Minutes, 24 Sept. 1834; Minutes, Discourse, and Blessings, 14–15 Feb. 1835; Minutes and Blessings, 28 Feb.–1 Mar. 1835; Minutes, 17 Feb. 1834.  

  17. 17

    Minutes, 13 Jan. 1836.  

  18. 18

    JS, Journal, 13 Jan. 1836.  

  19. 19

    See Minutes, 13 Jan. 1836; Minutes, 15 Jan. 1836; and Minutes, 16 Jan. 1836.  

  20. 20

    Cowdery, Diary, 21 Jan. 1836; see also Exodus 40:7–15, 30–32; and Ezekiel 16:9. Of this process, William W. Phelps wrote to his wife, Sally Waterman Phelps, “We are preparing to make ourselves clean, by first cleansing our hearts, forsaking our sins, forgiving every body, all we ever had against them; ano[in]ting washing the body; putting on clean decent clothes, by annointing our heads, and by keeping all the commandments.” (William W. Phelps, Far West, MO, to Sally Waterman Phelps, Jan. 1836, William W. Phelps, Papers, BYU.)  

    Cowdery, Oliver. Diary, Jan.–Mar. 1836. CHL. MS 3429. Also available as Leonard J. Arrington, “Oliver Cowdery’s Kirtland, Ohio, ‘Sketch Book,’BYU Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 410–426.

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

  21. 21

    Cowdery, Diary, 21 Jan. 1836; Whitmer, History, 83; JS, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836; see also Exodus 40:9–15, 30–32.  

    Cowdery, Oliver. Diary, Jan.–Mar. 1836. CHL. MS 3429. Also available as Leonard J. Arrington, “Oliver Cowdery’s Kirtland, Ohio, ‘Sketch Book,’BYU Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 410–426.

  22. 22

    JS, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836.  

  23. 23

    Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:50–113].  

  24. 24

    Visions, 21 Jan. 1836 [D&C 137]; JS, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836.  

  25. 25

    Partridge, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836.  

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

  26. 26

    JS, Journal, 22–23 and 28 Jan. 1836; 6 Feb. 1836; see also Letter from the Presidency of Elders, 29 Jan. 1836; JS, Journal, 1 and 6 Feb. 1836; Kirtland Elders Quorum, “Record,” 11 Feb. 1836; Minutes, 12 Feb. 1836; and Minutes, 3 Mar. 1836.  

    Kirtland Elders Quorum. “A Record of the First Quorurum of Elders Belonging to the Church of Christ: In Kirtland Geauga Co. Ohio,” 1836–1838, 1840–1841. CCLA.

  27. 27

    Minutes and Prayer of Dedication, 27 Mar. 1836 [D&C 109]; Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:1–126].  

  28. 28

    Tullidge, Women of Mormondom, 95; see also 1 Peter 1:8. A second dedicatory event was held four days later, and as at the first dedication, “the spirit of God rested upon the congregation and great solemnity prevailed.” (JS, Journal, 31 Mar. 1836.)  

    Tullidge, Edward W. The Women of Mormondom. New York: Tullidge and Crandall, 1877.

  29. 29

    Minutes, 30 Mar. 1836; Post, Journal, 30 Mar. 1836; see also John 13:4–17; and Discourse, 12 Nov. 1835. While it was the final ceremony for the endowment of power at this time, foot washing had been instituted by the Latter-day Saints at the organization of the School of the Prophets in January 1833. (Minutes, 22–23 Jan. 1833; see also Doctrine and Covenants 7:45–46, 1835 ed. [D&C 88:138–141].)  

    Post, Stephen. Journals, 1835–1879. Stephen Post, Papers, 1835–1921. CHL. MS 1304, box 6.

  30. 30

    William W. Phelps, [Kirtland, OH], to Sally Waterman Phelps, Liberty, MO, Apr. 1836, William W. Phelps, Papers, BYU; JS, Journal, 29 Mar. 1836.  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

  31. 31

    JS, Journal, 29 Mar. 1836; Partridge, Journal, 29 Mar. 1836.  

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

  32. 32

    Minutes, 30 Mar. 1836; Post, Journal, 30 Mar. 1836; Partridge, Journal, 30 Mar. 1836.  

    Post, Stephen. Journals, 1835–1879. Stephen Post, Papers, 1835–1921. CHL. MS 1304, box 6.

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

  33. 33

    Minutes, 30 Mar. 1836.  

  34. 34

    William W. Phelps, [Kirtland, OH], to Sally Waterman Phelps, Liberty, MO, Apr. 1836, William W. Phelps, Papers, BYU.  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

  35. 35

    Visions, 3 Apr. 1836 [D&C 110]; see also Malachi 4:5–6; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 505 [3 Nephi 25:5–6].  

  36. 36

    See Revelation, 22 June 1834.  

  37. 37

    Partridge, Journal, ca. May 1836.  

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

  38. 38

    Murdock, Journal, 27 July 1836.  

    Murdock, John. Journal, ca. 1830–1859. John Murdock, Journal and Autobiography, ca. 1830–1867. CHL. MS 1194, fd. 2.

  39. 39

    For more on the Camp of Israel expedition of 1834, see “Joseph Smith Documents from April 1834 through September 1835.” On plans for a second Camp of Israel expedition, see JS, Journal, 24 Sept. 1835; and Historical Introduction to Revelation, 18 Oct. 1835.  

  40. 40

    “Another Mormon Invasion,” Missouri Republican, (St. Louis), 17 May 1836, [2].  

    Missouri Republican. St. Louis. 1822–1919.

  41. 41

    See Letter to John Thornton and Others, 25 July 1836. For more on the violence in and the expulsion of church members from Jackson County, Missouri, see “Joseph Smith Documents from February 1833 through March 1834.”  

  42. 42

    Pettegrew, “History of David Pettegrew,” 26.  

    Pettegrew, David. “A History of David Pettegrew,” no date. David Pettegrew, Papers, 1840–1857. CHL. MS 22278, box 1, fd. 1

  43. 43

    Anderson Wilson, Clay Co., MO, to Samuel Turrentine, Orange Co., NC, 4 July 1836, Wilson Family Papers, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill; see also Parkin, “History of the Latter Day Saints in Clay County,” 242–279.  

    Wilson Family Papers, 1835–1849. Southern Historical Collection, Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

    Parkin, Max H. “A History of the Latter-day Saints in Clay County, Missouri, from 1833 to 1837.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1976.

  44. 44

    Holbrook, Reminiscences, 41.  

    Holbrook, Joseph. Reminiscences, not before 1871. Photocopy. CHL. MS 5004. Original in private possession.

  45. 45

    See Application for Land Patent, 22 June 1836; and Letter to John Thornton and Others, 25 July 1836.  

  46. 46

    The four community leaders were John Thornton (a former Ray County judge) and attorneys David R. Atchison, William T. Wood, and Alexander Doniphan. (See Historical Introduction to Letter to John Thornton and Others, 25 June 1834.)  

  47. 47

    “Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:353–355; Historical Introduction to Letter to John Thornton and Others, 25 July 1836.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  48. 48

    “Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:359–361; see also Letter to William W. Phelps and Others, 25 July 1836.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  49. 49

    “Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:361.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  50. 50

    “Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:354.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  51. 51

    Partridge, Journal, ca. May 1836; see also Historical Introduction to Application for Land Patent, 22 June 1836.  

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

  52. 52

    An Act to Organize the Counties of Caldwell and Daviess [29 Dec. 1836], Laws of the State of Missouri [1836], 46–47; Alexander Doniphan, Jefferson City, MO, to William W. Phelps, Shoal Creek, MO, 8 Jan. 1837, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL.  

    Laws of the State of Missouri, Passed at the First Session of the Ninth General Assembly, Begun and Held at the City of Jefferson, on Monday, the Twenty-First Day of November, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty-Six. 2nd ed. St. Louis: Chambers and Knapp, 1841.

    Phelps, William W. Collection of Missouri Documents, 1833–1837. CHL. MS 657.

  53. 53

    Letter from William W. Phelps, 7 July 1837.  

  54. 54

    See Letter to William W. Phelps and Others, 25 July 1836; see also “Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:359–360.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  55. 55

    See Letter to William W. Phelps and Others, 25 July 1836.  

  56. 56

    See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 6 Aug. 1836 [D&C 111].  

  57. 57

    Revelation, 6 Aug. 1836 [D&C 111].  

  58. 58

    This figure represents the acres of land documented in extant Geauga County deed records. There may have been additional land purchased by Smith and his associates. (See Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Peter French, 5 Oct. 1836.)  

  59. 59

    Many banks in the United States were backed to various degrees by real-estate investments. Traditionally, banks secured their loans by real estate and sold bonds to state governments and other investors based on the mortgages they held. In January 1837 Willard Richards wrote, in relation to the Kirtland Safety Society, that “private property is holden & Kirtland bills are as safe as Gold,” expressing his confidence in the security of the society’s notes backed by real estate. In a July 1837 editorial in the Messenger and Advocate, Warren A. Cowdery claimed that “the private property of the stockholders was holden in proportion to the amount of their subscription, for the redemption of the paper issued by the bank.” (Bodenhorn, History of Banking in Antebellum America, 41, 124; Willard Richards, Kirtland, OH, to Hepzibah Richards, Hamilton, NY, 20 Jan. 1837, Levi Richards Family Correspondence, CHL; Warren A. Cowdery, Editorial, LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1837, 3:535; see also Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Peter French, 5 Oct. 1836; Historical Introduction to Deed to Caroline Grant Smith, 11 Dec. 1836; and Historical Introduction to Minutes, 22 Dec. 1836.)  

    Bodenhorn, Howard. A History of Banking in Antebellum America: Financial Markets and Economic Development in an Era of Nation-Building. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

    Levi Richards Family Correspondence, 1827–1848. CHL. MS 12765.

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  60. 60

    See Constitution of the Kirtland Safety Society Bank, 2 Nov. 1836.  

  61. 61

    Golembe, State Banks and the Economic Development of the West, 222–223.  

    Golembe, Carter H. State Banks and the Economic Development of the West 1830–1844. New York: Arno, 1978.

  62. 62

    Stevens, “Bank Enterprisers in a Western Town,” 150–156.  

    Stevens, Harry R. “Bank Enterprisers in a Western Town, 1815–1822.” Business History Review 29 (June 1955): 139–156.

  63. 63

    Rolnick and Weber, “Free Banking, Wildcat Banking, and Shinplasters,” 16–19.  

    Rolnick, Arthur, and Warren E. Weber. “Free Banking, Wildcat Banking, and Shinplasters.” Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Quarterly Review 6 (Fall 1982): 10–19.

  64. 64

    For more on the Bank War between Andrew Jackson and Nicholas Biddle, president of the Second Bank of the United States, see Hammond, Banks and Politics in America, 369–450; Howe, What Hath God Wrought, 375–386; and Sellers, Market Revolution, 321–326, 332–337.  

    Hammond, Bray. Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1957.

    Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848. The Oxford History of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

    Sellers, Charles. The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815–1846. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

  65. 65

    Golembe, State Banks and the Economic Development of the West, 52, 251–255.  

    Golembe, Carter H. State Banks and the Economic Development of the West 1830–1844. New York: Arno, 1978.

  66. 66

    Warren A. Cowdery described the Society as a “bank, or monied institution,” that was “considered a kind of joint stock association.” (Warren A. Cowdery, Editorial, LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1837, 3:535; see also Articles of Agreement for the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, 2 Jan. 1837.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  67. 67

    Articles of Agreement for the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, 2 Jan. 1837.  

  68. 68

    See Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837; “About Matters in Kirtland,” Ohio Observer (Hudson), 2 Mar. 1837, 198; and Articles of Agreement for the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, 2 Jan. 1837.  

    Ohio Observer. Hudson. 1827–1855.

  69. 69

    See Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837.  

  70. 70

    Discourse, 6 Apr. 1837; Woodruff, Journal, 6 Apr. 1837.  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  71. 71

    See Historical Introduction to Letter from Newel K. Whitney, 20 Apr. 1837; Letter from Emma Smith, 25 Apr. 1837; and Letter from Emma Smith, 3 May 1837.  

  72. 72

    Letter from Emma Smith, 3 May 1837.  

  73. 73

    Sellers, Market Revolution, 354–355.  

    Sellers, Charles. The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815–1846. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

  74. 74

    Golembe, State Banks and the Economic Development of the West, 118–120, 150.  

    Golembe, Carter H. State Banks and the Economic Development of the West 1830–1844. New York: Arno, 1978.

  75. 75

    Lepler, Many Panics of 1837, 197–198, 209–210, 222–223; Rousseau, “Jacksonian Monetary Policy, Specie Flows, and the Panic of 1837,” 457–488.  

    Lepler, Jessica M. The Many Panics of 1837: People, Politics and the Creation of a Transatlantic Financial Crisis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

    Rousseau, Peter L. “Jacksonian Monetary Policy, Specie Flows, and the Panic of 1837.” Journal of Economic History 62 (June 2002): 457–488.

  76. 76

    See Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Peter French, 5 Oct. 1836; Letter from Emma Smith, 25 Apr. 1837; and Historical Introduction to Notes Receivable from Rigdon, Smith & Co., 22 May 1837.  

  77. 77

    Warren A. Cowdery, brother of Oliver Cowdery and then editor of the Messenger and Advocate, noted that these were calamities “common to our whole country” and that “causes of a similar nature have combined to produce nearly the same effect throughout our whole country.” (Warren A. Cowdery, Editorial, LDS Messenger and Advocate, June 1837, 3:522.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  78. 78

    See Historical Introduction to Notes Receivable from Rigdon, Smith & Co., 22 May 1837.  

  79. 79

    Warren A. Cowdery, Editorial, LDS Messenger and Advocate, June 1837, 3:520–522; John and Clarissa Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, 1 Jan. 1838, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL; Crosby, Reminiscences, 1836.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

    Crosby, Caroline Barnes. Reminiscences, no date. In Jonathan Crosby and Caroline Barnes Crosby Papers, 1848–1882. CHL.

  80. 80

    John and Clarissa Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, West Township, OH, 28 July 1837, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL.  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

  81. 81

    Transcript of Proceedings, 5 June 1837, Patterson & Patterson v. Cahoon et al. [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Record Book U, pp. 126–128; Transcript of Proceedings, 5 June 1837, Kelley v. Rigdon, JS, and Cowdery [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Record Book U, pp. 97–101; Transcript of Proceedings, 24 Oct. 1837, Seymour & Griffith v. Rigdon & JS [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Record Book U, p. 383; Transcript of Proceedings, 24 Oct. 1837, Newbould v. Rigdon, JS, and Cowdery [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Record Book U, pp. 351–353; Transcript of Proceedings, 24 Oct. 1837, Eaton v. JS & Cowdery [Geauga Co. C.P. 1837], Record Book U, pp. 277–278, Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH; Trial Record, 31 July–15 Sept. 1837, Rigdon, JS, and Cowdery for the use of JS v. Woodworth [J.P. Ct. 1837], Cowdery, Docket Book, 135.  

    Geauga Co., OH, Court of Common Pleas, Record Book U. Geauga County Archives and Records Center, Chardon, OH.

    Cowdery, Oliver. Docket Book, June–Sept. 1837. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

  82. 82

    Of the seven cases, only one was a criminal case, brought by Grandison Newell. (See Historical Introduction to Letter from Newel K. Whitney, 20 Apr. 1837; and Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837.)  

  83. 83

    See Historical Introduction to Mortgage to Mead, Stafford & Co., 11 July 1837.  

  84. 84

    See Introduction to Part 6: 20 Apr.–14 Sept. 1837; and Historical Introduction to Power of Attorney to Oliver Granger, 27 Sept. 1837.  

  85. 85

    Smith and Rigdon withdrew as officers of the Kirtland Safety Society by July 1837, and possibly in early June. (See Introduction to Part 6: 20 Apr.–14 Sept. 1837; JS History, B-1, 764; and Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837.)  

  86. 86

    See Daniel Allen, Reminiscences, ca. 1865, [1].  

    Allen, Daniel. Reminiscences, ca. 1865. Typescript. CHL.

  87. 87

    Joseph Smith personally invested at least $6,000 in the institution, none of which was withdrawn. He also took out $4,200 in loans from local banks, which he likely intended for the society. Smith and his family also suffered financial consequences due to the devaluation of notes. (Kirtland Safety Society, Stock Ledger, 13–14, 273–274; Introduction to Part 5: 5 Oct. 1836–10 Apr. 1837.)  

  88. 88

    Warren A. Cowdery, Editorial, LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1837, 3:535–536.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  89. 89

    Vilate Murray Kimball, Kirtland, OH, to Heber C. Kimball, Preston, England, ca. 19–29 Jan. 1838, Heber C. Kimball, Collection, CHL; see also Stephen Burnett, Orange Township, OH, to Lyman Johnson, 15 Apr. 1838, in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 64–65.  

    Kimball, Heber C. Collection, 1837–1898. CHL. MS 12476.

  90. 90

    Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 23 May 1837; Warren Parrish, Kirtland, OH, 5 Feb. 1838, Letter to the Editor, Painesville (OH) Republican, 15 Feb. 1838, [3].  

    Painesville Republican. Painesville, OH. 1836–1841.

  91. 91

    Kimball, “History,” 55; see also Warren Parrish, Kirtland, OH, 5 Feb. 1838, Letter to the Editor, Painesville (OH) Republican, 15 Feb. 1838, [3]; and Thomas B. Marsh, Independence, MO, to Wilford Woodruff, Scarborough, ME, ca. Apr. 1838, in Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 36.  

    Kimball, Heber C. “History of Heber Chase Kimball by His Own Dictation,” ca. 1842–1856. Heber C. Kimball, Papers, 1837–1866. CHL. MS 627, box 2.

    Painesville Republican. Painesville, OH. 1836–1841.

  92. 92

    Historical Introduction to Revelation, 23 July 1837 [D&C 112]; Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837.  

  93. 93

    See Recommendation for Heber C. Kimball, between 2 and 13 June 1837.  

  94. 94

    Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837; Minute Book 1, 10 Sept. 1837.  

  95. 95

    Letter to John Corrill and the Church in Missouri, 4 Sept. 1837.  

  96. 96

    Minutes, 6 Nov. 1837; Minutes, 7 Nov. 1837; Minutes, 10 Nov. 1837; see also Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, in LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 14–16; and License for John Whitmer, 9 June 1830.  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  97. 97

    Hepzibah Richards, Kirtland, OH, to Willard Richards, Bedford, England, 18 Jan. 1838, Willard Richards, Papers, CHL.  

    Richards, Willard. Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490.

  98. 98

    John and Clarissa Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, Shinnston, VA, 15 Jan. 1838, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL.  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

  99. 99

    John and Clarissa Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, 1 Jan. 1838, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL.  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

  100. 100

    Revelation, 12 Jan. 1838–C.  

  101. 101

    JS History, vol. B-1, 780. Joseph Smith, his family, and others who were traveling with them arrived in Far West on 14 March 1838. (JS, Journal, 13 Mar. 1838.)  

  102. 102

    Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 21 Jan. 1838; see also Oliver Cowdery, Far West, MO, to Warren A. Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, 21 Jan. 1838, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 80–83.  

    Cowdery, Oliver. Letterbook, 1833–1838. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

  103. 103

    John and Clarissa Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, Shinnston, VA, 15 Jan. 1838, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL; Hepzibah Richards, Kirtland, OH, to Willard Richards, Bedford, England, 18 Jan. 1838, Willard Richards, Papers, CHL; Vilate Murray Kimball, Kirtland, OH, to Heber C. Kimball, Preston, England, ca. 19–29 Jan. 1838, Heber C. Kimball, Collection, CHL.  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

    Richards, Willard. Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490.

    Kimball, Heber C. Collection, 1837–1898. CHL. MS 12476.

  104. 104

    Hepzibah Richards, Kirtland, OH, to Willard Richards, Bedford, England, 18 Jan. 1838, Willard Richards, Papers, CHL.  

    Richards, Willard. Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490.

  105. 105

    Kirtland Camp, Journal, 6 July 1838.  

    Kirtland Camp. Journal, Mar.–Oct. 1838. CHL. MS 4952.

  106. 106

    Hepzibah Richards, Kirtland, OH, to Willard Richards, Bedford, England, 18 Jan. 1838, Willard Richards, Papers, CHL; see also “Ecclesiastical Organizational Charts.”.  

    Richards, Willard. Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490.

  107. 107

    In addition to the 118 documents featured in this volume, the appendix at the end of the book presents four written blessings originally pronounced by Joseph Smith in 1833 but expanded when Oliver Cowdery copied them into a record book in October 1835. Smith’s role in the expansion is unclear. (See Appendix.)