Latter-day Saints began moving from New York to Kirtland, Ohio, in 1831. Joseph and Emma Smith arrived in February of that year. They were graciously invited to live in the home of Newel and Elizabeth Whitney and their five children, where they stayed for a few weeks.
Joseph healed Elsa Johnson's lame arm in the Whitney home. The Prophet also received important revelations here, including the Lord's confirmation of Joseph's prophetic calling, the law of the Church, and the office and duties of a bishop.
Here, Newel K. Whitney was called as the second bishop in the Church. A three-day "Feast for the Poor," many of them newly arrived Saints, was hosted in Bishop Whitney's home in January 1836. "The Prophet Joseph and his two Counselors [were] present each day, talking, blessing, and comforting the poor, by words of encouragement and their most welcome presence."1
The Church purchased the Whitney home in the early 1980s and restored it to its original condition in 2003.
Joseph Smith Quotes
Attended a sumptuous feast at Bishop Newel K. Whitney's. This feast was after the order of the Son of God—the lame, the halt, and the blind were invited, according to the instructions of the Savior. . . . We . . . received a bountiful refreshment, furnished by the liberality of the Bishop. The company was large, and before we partook we had some of the songs of Zion sung; and our hearts were made glad by a foretaste of those joys that will be poured upon the heads of the Saints when they are gathered together on Mount Zion, to enjoy one another's society for evermore, even all the blessings of heaven, when there will be none to molest or make us afraid. (History of the Church , 2:362–63.)
Elizabeth Ann Whitney, 2nd Counselor in General Relief Society Presidency, 1880–1882
Elizabeth Ann Whitney, wife of Bishop Whitney, wrote that the feast for the poor "lasted three days, during which time all in the vicinity of Kirtland who would come were invited and entertained. . . . The Prophet Joseph and his two Counselors being present each day, talking, blessing, and comforting the poor, by words of encouragement and their most welcome presence. . . . The Prophet Joseph often referred to this particular Feast . . . and testified of the great blessing he felt in associating with the meek and humble . . . whom the Lord . . . 'delights to own and bless'." ("A Leaf from an Autobiography," Woman's Exponent, Nov. 1, 1878, 83.)
- D&C Section 41 —
Feb. 4, 1831. The Prophet Joseph found numerous problems among the Saints in Ohio. He inquired of the Lord to know how best to govern the Church.
- D&C Section 42 —
Feb. 9, 1831. Elders united in prayer with the desire to receive the law of the Lord, as promised in D&C 38:32; 41:2–3.
- D&C Section 43 —
Feb. 1831. A self-proclaimed prophetess named Mrs. Hubble deceived some Saints with her revelations. The Prophet Joseph inquired of the Lord concerning the matter.
- D&C Section 44 —
Feb. 1831. The Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon received instructions from the Lord for the next conference of the Church.
- D&C Section 70 —
Nov. 12, 1831. At the conclusion of the conferences, the Lord gave stewardship of all official Church literature and its publication to the Prophet Joseph, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, William W. Phelps, John Whitmer, and Martin Harris.
- D&C Section 72 —
Dec. 4, 1831. Several elders and members assembled to learn their duty and be taught.
Online Resources at LDS.org
- D&C 41:3
- D&C 42:14
- D&C 42:42
- D&C 42:43–45
- D&C 43:11
- "The Prophet's Arrival in Ohio" – Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1996), 21–22
- "Gathering to Ohio" – Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual (Church Educational System Manual, 2003), 89–101
Online Resources at BYU
- "The Chronology of the Ohio Revelations" –
Analysis of the manuscripts, scribes, recording errors, and general history of the revelations received in Ohio.Earl E. Olson, Brigham Young University Studies 11, no. 4 (1971): 329–49