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Historic

Sites

Newel K. Whitney Store

Kirtland, Ohio

Introduction

In the fall of 1832, Joseph Smith moved from Hiram, Ohio, back to Kirtland. Bishop Newel K. Whitney prepared an apartment for the Prophet's family in his store, and Joseph lived here until the winter of the following year. The Whitney Store served as headquarters for the Church during that time.

Many revelations now included in the Doctrine and Covenants were received by the Prophet in this place, including the Word of Wisdom, the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and the command to build a temple in Kirtland. Joseph also completed much of his inspired translation of the Bible here.

During the winter of 1832–33, the School of the Prophets was held in an upper room of the store. The school was organized to teach gospel doctrine and principles and to prepare members for ministry in the Church. 1 On one sacred occasion, members of the school beheld a vision of God the Father and the Son.

The Church purchased the Whitney Store in the 1980's and restored it to its original condition in 1984. This historic site won a U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in 1988.

Quotes

Joseph Smith Quotes

This winter [1832–33] was spent in translating the Scriptures; in the School of the Prophets; and sitting in conferences. I had many glorious seasons of refreshing. The gifts which follow them that believe and obey the Gospel, as tokens that the Lord is ever the same in His dealings with the humble lovers and followers of truth, began to be poured out among us, as in ancient days. (History of the Church, 1:322.)

In a meeting of high priests on March 18, 1833, Joseph "exhorted the brethren to faithfulness and diligence in keeping the commandments of God, and gave much instruction for the benefit of the Saints, with a promise that the pure in heart should see a heavenly vision; and after remaining a short time in secret prayer, the promise was verified; for many present had the eyes of their understanding opened by the Spirit of God, so as to behold many things. . . . Many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the Savior, and concourses of angels, and many other things, of which each one has a record of what he saw." (History of the Church, 1:334–35.)

Witnesses

Newel K. Whitney, Bishop at Kirtland 

About the first of February, 1831, a sleigh containing four persons drove through the streets of Kirtland and drew up in front of the store of Gilbert and Whitney. One of the men, a young and stalwart personage alighted, and springing up the steps walked into the store and to where the junior partner was standing. "Newel K. Whitney! Thou art the man!" he exclaimed, extending his hand cordially, as if to an old and familiar acquaintance. "You have the advantage of me," replied the merchant, . . . "I could not call you by name as you have me." "I am Joseph the Prophet," said the stranger, smiling. (History of the Church, 1:146.)

Louisa Y. Littlefield, Early Member of the Church 

When wagon loads of grown people and children came in from the country to meeting [at Kirtland], Joseph would make his way to as many of the wagons as he well could and cordially shake the hand of each person. Every child and young babe in the company were especially noticed by him and tenderly taken by the hand, with his kind words and blessings. ("Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith," Juvenile Instructor, Jan. 1, 1892, 24.)

Key Events

Revelations Received

  • D&C Section 78  — 

    Mar. 1832. The Prophet Joseph instructed priesthood leaders concerning the law of consecration and establishing a storehouse for the poor.

  • D&C Section 84  — 

    Sept. 22–23, 1832. Elders were returning and reporting on their missions in the eastern states (see D&C 75).

  • D&C Section 85  — 

    Nov. 27, 1832. This section is an extract from a letter the Prophet wrote to William W. Phelps, who had been appointed to assist Bishop Edward Partridge in administering the law of consecration.

  • D&C Section 86  — 

    Dec. 6, 1832. During the translating and editing of the translation of the Bible, this revelation was given to the Prophet Joseph as an explanation of the parable of the wheat and the tares.

  • D&C Section 87  — 

    Dec. 25, 1832. The Prophet Joseph received this prophecy on war at a time when troubles among the nations and within the United States itself were on the minds of the Saints.

  • D&C Section 88  — 

    Dec. 27–28. The Prophet Joseph instructed high priests on how to receive revelation. Each of the brethren then prayed to the Lord that they all might be of one heart and mind and receive His will. This revelation, known as "the Olive Leaf," followed.

  • D&C Section 89  — 

    Feb. 27, 1833. Widespread use of tobacco by the brethren attending the School of the Prophets and the filthy conditions that resulted led the Prophet to inquire of the Lord. This revelation is known as "the Word of Wisdom."

  • D&C Section 90  — 

    Mar. 8, 1833. This revelation was given as an answer to the prayers of the Prophet and the brethren and was a continuing step in establishing the First Presidency.

  • D&C Section 91  — 

    Mar. 9, 1833. The Bible that the Prophet used for the inspired translation contained the Apocrypha—writings not included in the current King James Version of the Bible. Upon inquiry the Lord revealed that it was not necessary to translate them.

  • D&C Section 92  — 

    Mar. 15, 1833. Frederick G. Williams had been called as a member of the First Presidency. The Lord directed that Brother Williams should be part of the united firm.

  • D&C Section 93  — 

    May 6, 1833. The Prophet was working on the translation of the Old Testament.

  • D&C Section 94  — 

    May 6, 1833. In a meeting a committee was appointed for raising funds to build a printing house and a place for the School of the Prophets to meet. Shortly after, this revelation was given.

  • D&C Section 95  — 

    June 1, 1833. Hyrum Smith, Jared Carter, and Reynolds Cahoon were the committee appointed to gather funds for the Church’s building projects. They issued a circular encouraging the Saints to fulfill the divine command to build the house of the Lord.

Readings

Online Resources at LDS.org

Online Resources at BYU

 

Footnotes

[1] See D&C 88:127.