Church presidency (including JS), Blessing, to , , Geauga Co., OH, 7 Feb. 1836. Featured version copied in Alvin Winegar, Emigration Record Book, [ca. 1850s]; handwriting probably of John Winegar; private possession; photocopy in Alvin Winegar, Papers, CHL.
Handmade book measuring 9¼ × 7¾ inches (24 × 20 cm). The book is not paginated, and the number of pages is unknown. The covers are constructed of heavy brown paper. primarily used the book as an emigration record book while migrating to Utah Territory in 1852; the book also contains a company roster, Winegar family genealogy, and the blessing Winegar received from the First Presidency in , Ohio, in 1836.
Joseph Smith Papers staff accessed the original in 2005 from a Winegar descendant; subsequent attempts to access the original and obtain additional physical information were unsuccessful.
likely joined the along with his parents, Rhoda and Samuel Winegar, in the town of , Erie County, Pennsylvania, sometime in early 1833. In March 1834, JS and passed through Springfield and nearby , recruiting volunteers and raising money for the expedition to . Eighteen-year-old Alvin and his father soon volunteered to join the expedition and subsequently marched to Missouri. Along with many of the other participants in the expedition, Alvin likely returned home by early 1835. He was in , Ohio, by early February 1836.
On 7 February, received his blessing from a member of the , likely JS. JS’s journal entry for 7 February indicates that he spent the majority of that day engaged in church meetings. Following an “evening meet[ing] with the presidency in the loft of the , in company with the presidency of the ,” JS “blessed one of the Zion brethren”—presumably Winegar. , who temporarily served as JS’s scribe from 25 January to 8 February 1836, recorded the blessing. Although that original is no longer extant and was not copied into any of the church’s official blessing books, a copy of the blessing—likely written in the handwriting of Winegar’s son John—was preserved and retained in private possession.
Winegar was born in the town of German, New York, on 13 May 1816. According to the journal of Evan Greene, Rhoda and Samuel Winegar were baptized by either Greene or John F. Boynton on 20 June 1833. In a list near the end of his journal, Greene also noted that Alvin’s siblings Almira and John were baptized on the same day. (“Names of Those Baptised,” in Greene, Diary, vol. 1, 1833–1835.)
Greene, Evan Melbourne. Diaries, 1833–1852. CHL. MS 1442.
“Festival of the Camp of Zion,” Deseret News, 12 Oct. 1864, 13; Bradley, Zion’s Camp 1834, 275–280; “A Synopsis of Remarks Made by Prests. Brigham Young and Geo. A. Smith,” 14 June 1874, pp. 1–3, in Historian’s Office, Reports of Speeches, 1845–1885, CHL. For more on the Camp of Israel expedition—later referred to as “Zion’s Camp”—see Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101]; Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103]; and Minutes, 24 Feb. 1834.
Deseret News. Salt Lake City. 1850–.
Bradley, James L. Zion’s Camp 1834: Prelude to the Civil War. Logan, UT: By the author, 1990.
Historian’s Office. Reports of Speeches, 1845–1885. CHL.
Winegar’s whereabouts following the 1834 expedition are largely unknown. He was in Kirtland at the time of this blessing and married Mary Judd in Henry County, Indiana, on 31 August 1837; their first child, John, was born in Clay County, Missouri, on 28 September 1838. (Henry Co., IN, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Marriage Records, 1823–1951, vol. C, p. 298, microfilm 1,870,202, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah, 1255.)
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Esshom, Frank. Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah: Comprising Photographs, Genealogies, Biographies. Salt Lake City: Utah Pioneers Book, 1913.
Many members of the Camp of Israel expedition who were not ordained to a leadership calling during spring 1835 received blessings, often referred to as Zion blessings, during the subsequent years. Many of these blessings were recorded in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1; others, such as Lorenzo Barnes’s blessing, were recorded in private journals. (Patriarchal Blessings, vol. 1; Blessing to Lorenzo Barnes, 3 Jan. 1836.)
A blessing— Pronounced by the upon the head of — Feby 7th 1836.
We lay our hands upon thy head in the name of Jesus and ask our Heavenly Father to bestow many blessings upon thee, both in this life— and in that which is to come— we many blessings in time upon thee, and in Eternity an exceeding rich reward. Thou wast willing to lay down thy life for thy brethren and the Lord shall cho[o]se thee for his own— Even as a vessel in the House of God— The Lord shall seal blesings for thee in Heaven— and look upon them and none shall fail— thy mind shall be strengthened— faith encreased— receive much wisdom— power and understanding— must offer all that thou hast a sacrifice to thy God, even all thy mind and strengt[h]— and give thy self up to him without reserve. body and spirit— go at his command and he will loose thy tongue and make thee a swift Messenger— an instrument of much good on the Earth— see great disolations come upon the wicked and glory to the righteous— and his power manifested in blessings and in cureings— Shall be lifted up and shout hosannah among the heavently hosts— see the Heavens opened. The charriots of Israel and the Horsemen thereof— and great shall be thy rejoicings— Shall receive the holy in due time, which shall never be taken from thee in time or in Eternity— Stand upon the Earth till the son of man comes— see the end of this generation— do much good in proclaiming the gospel carried to Nations afar off— preach in all languages and tongues— power to resist the power of floods and flames— overcome the destroyer— and the pestilence shall not harm thee— — open the blind eyes— unstop the deaf ears— Cause the dumb Tongue of the dumb to sing for joy— many shall seek to touch thy garments— and others shall send handkerchiefs, and Aprons to thee and be healed by this means. Thou shalt have all the power that thou needest to fill thy Ministry[.] Angels shall minister unto thee— and thy saviour shall stand before thee, and thou shalt be able to Certify to the Nations of things which thou hast seen, and doest most assuredly know. The Heavenly Hosts shall be round about thee, to deliver thee out of all thy afflictions— and thy soul shall Shout Hosannah to God and the Lamb and nothing shall prevail against thee to harm thee— These blessings dear brother if thou art faithful Shall rest upon thy head and be <all> fulfilled— for we seal them upon the[e] in the name of Jesus by the authority of the Holy Priesthood even so Amen.—— Ohio—— / scribe. JWsr last scribe. [p. ]
Similar language was used in sermons about the Camp of Israel expedition and in other blessings given to its participants. While addressing former members of the expedition on 14 February 1835, JS remarked, “Those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, it was the Will of God, that they should be ordained to the ministry.” Other Zion blessings expressed similar language, including blessings for Sherman Gilbert, Charles Kelly, Salmon Warner, and Hyrum Smith. (Minute Book 1, 14–15 Feb. 1835; 1 Mar. 1835; 17 Aug. 1835; see also Park, “Thou Wast Willing to Lay Down Thy Life for Thy Brethren,” 27–37.)
Park, Benjamin E. “‘ Thou Wast Willing to Lay Down Thy Life for Thy Brethren’: Zion’s Blessings in the Early Church.” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 29 (2009): 27–37.
JS and others used the phrase “shout Hosanna to God and the Lamb” elsewhere during this period. In a 21 January 1836 journal entry, JS recorded a vision in which “the power of the highest rested upon, us the house was filled with the glory of God, and we shouted Hosanah to God and the Lamb.” The phrase also appeared in a hymn penned by William W. Phelps sometime in 1835 and was included in the church’s first hymnal. The hymn—referred to as “Hosanah to God and the Lamb” in JS’s journal—was sung following the dedication of the House of the Lord in Kirtland on 27 March. (JS, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836 and 27 Mar. 1836; see also Visions, 21 Jan. 1836 [D&C 137]; and Hymn 90, Collection of Sacred Hymns, 120.)