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Historic

Sites

Peter Whitmer Farm, Fayette

New York

Introduction

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in the Peter Whitmer home at Fayette, New York, on April 6, 1830, at the Lord's command. Joseph Smith had come to stay at the Whitmer home in June 1829 to escape persecution in Pennsylvania. Within a month of his arrival, the Prophet completed the Book of Mormon translation, the angel Moroni showed the golden plates to the Three Witnesses, and the Lord revealed procedures for establishing His Church.

On April 6, about 60 friends and family members crowded into the 20-by-30-foot home to witness the organization of what was then called the Church of Christ. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were sustained as the first and second elders in the Church. On that occasion, they offered prayers, blessed and passed the sacrament, and received divine revelation. Following the service, several in attendance were baptized, including the Prophet's parents.

Joseph received many revelations while living at the Whitmer home. The first three conferences of the Church were held here, and missionaries were sent from this place to the western frontier of the United States, baptizing many people in Ohio and some in Missouri.

In 1831, the Whitmers moved to Ohio. The Church purchased 100 acres of the Whitmer farm in 1926. The Whitmer home was rebuilt on its original site and dedicated in 1980 by President Spencer W. Kimball.

Quotes

Joseph Smith Quotes

Brethren and sisters, be faithful, be diligent, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints; let every man, woman and child realize the importance of the work, and act as if success depended on his individual exertion alone; let all feel an interest in it, and then consider they live in a day, the contemplation of which animated the bosoms of kings, Prophets, and righteous men thousands of years ago. (History of the Church, 4:214.)

Such scenes as these [the first Church conference in June 1830] were calculated to inspire our hearts with joy unspeakable, and fill us with awe and reverence for that Almighty Being. . . . To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things as observed by the holy Apostles of old; to realize the importance and solemnity of such proceedings; and to witness and feel with our own natural senses, the like glorious manifestations of the powers of the Priesthood, the gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost, and the goodness and condescension of a merciful God unto such as obey the everlasting Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within us sensations of rapturous gratitude, and inspire us with fresh zeal and energy in the cause of truth. (History of the Church, 1:85–86.)

Witnesses

Lucy Mack Smith, Mother of the Prophet Joseph Smith 

"Joseph stood on the shore when his father came out of the water and as he took him by the hand," remembered Lucy Mack Smith, "he cried out Oh! my God I have lived to see my father baptized into the true Church of Jesus Christ! and covered his face in his father's bosom and wept aloud for joy as did Joseph of old when he beheld his father coming up into the land of Egypt." (Lucy Mack Smith, "The History of Lucy Smith," ca. 1845, Church Archives, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah; punctuation modernized.)

Spencer W. Kimball, 12th President of the Church, 1973–1985 

On the 150th anniversary of the organization of the Church, President Kimball spoke in a broadcast from the restored Whitmer home in Fayette: "The mission of the Church today, as it has been from the beginning, is to teach the gospel of Christ to all the world in obedience to the commandment . . . 'Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost' (D&C 68:8)." ("Proclamation," Ensign, May 1980, 52.)

Key Events

 

Revelations Received

  • D&C Section 14  — 

    June 1829. David Whitmer, John Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer Jr. were anxious to know their duties concerning the work of the Lord. Joseph Smith inquired through the Urim and Thummim on their behalf.

  • D&C Section 15  — 

    June 1829. David Whitmer, John Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer Jr. were anxious to know their duties concerning the work of the Lord. Joseph Smith inquired through the Urim and Thummim on their behalf.

  • D&C Section 16  — 

    June 1829. David Whitmer, John Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer Jr. were anxious to know their duties concerning the work of the Lord. Joseph Smith inquired through the Urim and Thummim on their behalf.

  • D&C Section 17  — 

    June 1829. Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris wanted to know if they were to be the Three Witnesses spoken of in the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith inquired through the Urim and Thummim.

  • D&C Section 18  — 

    June 1829. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were anxious to know more about the priesthood and made it a matter of humble prayer.

  • D&C Section 20  — 

    Apr. 1830. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery instructions on Church government and organization, including the precise day upon which they should organize His Church once more upon the earth.

  • D&C Section 21  — 

    Apr. 6, 1830. The Prophet Joseph Smith dictated this revelation by the Spirit during the meeting to organize the Church.

  • D&C Section 28  — 

    Sept. 1830. The Prophet Joseph was concerned over Hiram Page’s use of a seer stone.

  • D&C Section 29  — 

    Sept. 1830. Given in the presence of six elders, this revelation came at a time when many were interested in the doctrine of Zion, or the New Jerusalem.

  • D&C Section 30  — 

    Sept. 1830. The Prophet Joseph received revelations for David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer Jr., and John Whitmer based on their actions during the Hiram Page incident.

  • D&C Section 31  — 

    Sept. 1830. Thomas B. Marsh desired to know the will of the Lord concerning himself.

  • D&C Section 32  — 

    Oct. 1830. Several elders, including Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer Jr., wondered if the number of missionaries assigned to teach the gospel to the Lamanites could be increased.

  • D&C Section 33  — 

    Oct. 1830. Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet, newly ordained elders, desired to know the will of the Lord concerning them.

  • D&C Section 34  — 

    Nov. 4, 1830. Orson Pratt traveled 200 miles (320 km) to see the Prophet Joseph Smith and to learn the Lord’s will for himself.

  • D&C Section 35  — 

    Dec. 1830. Sidney Rigdon, who had recently been baptized, asked the Prophet Joseph to reveal the Lord’s will concerning him.

  • D&C Section 36  — 

    Dec. 1830. Edward Partridge asked the Prophet Joseph to inquire of the Lord on his behalf.

  • D&C Section 37  — 

    Dec. 1830. The Church in New York had been under constant harassment, and the lives of Church leaders were in danger. As the Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon worked on an inspired translation of the Bible, the Lord gave this commandment to move to Ohio.

  • D&C Section 38  — 

    Jan. 2, 1831. Many Saints were poor and desired to know more about the move to Ohio.

  • D&C Section 39  — 

    Jan. 5, 1831. James Covill, a Baptist minister for about 40 years, promised to obey any command the Lord gave him through the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Prophet inquired of the Lord on his behalf.

  • D&C Section 40  — 

    Jan. 1831. When James Covill rejected the command of the Lord, the Lord gave this revelation to the Prophet Joseph and Sidney Rigdon.

Readings

Online Resources at LDS.org