Skip main navigation
close
Skip main navigation

Historic

Sites

Isaac Morley Farm

Kirtland, Ohio

Introduction

Joseph Smith lived on the Morley Farm from March to September 1831. Isaac Morley, one of the earliest settlers of Kirtland, had joined the Church in 1830. He invited many early converts to live on his 80-acre farm and here built a small home for Joseph and Emma Smith shortly after the Prophet's arrival in Ohio.

Here, Emma gave birth to twins who soon died. Several days later, the Smiths adopted the infant twins of John Murdock, whose wife, Julia, died from complications of childbirth.

While living on the Morley Farm, Joseph received 13 revelations now included in the Doctrine and Covenants. 1 In a memorable discourse on October 25, 1831, he asked the Saints to develop among themselves perfect love so that their names might be written in "the Lamb's book of life," in other words, those who receive salvation through Jesus Christ. The fourth conference of the Church was held here in June 1831. During the conference, the first high priests of this dispensation were called. Later that year, in a priesthood 2 meeting held in an 18-by-20-foot log schoolhouse on a hill overlooking this farm, Joseph prophesied to a small group of priesthood holders that "this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world." 3

None of the original buildings remains on the Morley Farm. A portion of the original Chillicothe Trail passes through this Church-owned historic site. Many early converts and missionaries traveling to and from the East Coast of the United States used this trail.

Quotes

Joseph Smith Quotes

We have assembled together to do the business of the Lord and it is through the great mercy of our God that we are spared to assemble together, many of us have gone at the command of the Lord in defiance of everything evil, and obtained blessings unspeakable, in consequence of which our names are sealed in the Lamb's book of life, for the Lord has spoken it. It is the privilege of every Elder to speak of the things of God; and could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the veil might as well be rent today as next week, or any other time, and if we will but cleanse ourselves and covenant before God, to serve Him, it is our privilege to have an assurance that God will protect us at all times. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 8–9.)

Until we have perfect love we are liable to fall and when we have a testimony that our names are sealed in the Lamb's book of life we have perfect love and then it is impossible for false Christs to deceive us. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 9.)

Witnesses

Wilford Woodruff, 4th President of the Church, 1889–1898 

In regard to the prophecy Joseph Smith made at Morley Farm that the Church would fill the world, President Woodruff stated: "I want to bear testimony before God, angels and men that mine eyes behold the day, and have beheld for the last fifty years of my life, the fulfillment of that prophecy [made by Joseph Smith on the Morley Farm]. . . . I rejoice at seeing the progress of the work that lies before us. There is a great work before this people in the fulfillment of these prophecies that have been given. Joseph Smith was full of revelation. He foresaw this people, and this work until it was wound up." (In Conference Report, Apr. 1898, 57–58.)

Parley P. Pratt, Apostle, 1835–1857 

About this time a young lady, by the name of Chloe Smith, being a member of the Church, was lying very low with a lingering fever, with a family who occupied one of the houses on the farm of Isaac Morley. . . . President Smith and myself, with several other Elders, called to see her. She was so low that no one had been allowed for some days previous to speak above a whisper. . . . We kneeled down and prayed vocally all around, each in turn; after which President Smith arose, went to the bedside, took her by the hand, and said unto her with a loud voice, "in the name of Jesus Christ arise and walk!" She immediately arose . . . and from that minute she was perfectly restored to health. (Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt (1980), 79–80.)

Key Events

Revelations Received

  • D&C Section 45  — 

    Mar. 7, 1831. The Prophet Joseph received this revelation regarding the signs of the times during a period when many false reports were published.

  • D&C Section 46  — 

    Mar. 8, 1831. Following discussions of whether only Church members should be admitted to sacrament and confirmation meetings, the Prophet inquired of the Lord.

  • D&C Section 47  — 

    Mar. 8, 1831. John Whitmer was reluctant to accept the responsibility for a history of the Church but would do it if it was the will of the Lord. The Prophet Joseph inquired of the Lord.

  • D&C Section 48  — 

    Mar. 1831. Church leaders were concerned about how to accommodate the New York Saints who were arriving in Ohio. The Prophet Joseph inquired of the Lord.

  • D&C Section 49  — 

    Mar. 1831. Because Leman Copley, a former Shaker, had recently joined the Church, the Prophet Joseph inquired of the Lord concerning some of the teachings of this religion.

  • D&C Section 50  — 

    May 1831. Several elders asked the Prophet Joseph to inquire of the Lord concerning strange spiritual manifestations among the Saints. After joining these elders in prayer, the Prophet dictated the Lord’s answer.

  • D&C Section 52  — 

    June 7, 1831. Following a general conference when the first high priests were ordained, the Prophet Joseph inquired of the Lord what the brethren should do until the next conference.

  • D&C Section 53  — 

    June 1831. Sidney Gilbert asked the Prophet Joseph to inquire of the Lord concerning Sidney’s calling in the Church.

  • D&C Section 54  — 

    June 1831. When Leman Copley broke his agreement to consecrate his land in Thompson, Ohio, the Prophet Joseph inquired what to do.

  • D&C Section 55  — 

    June 1831. William W. Phelps, a newspaper editor, asked the Prophet Joseph to inquire of the Lord concerning him.

  • D&C Section 56  — 

    June 1831. When Ezra Thayre was not ready to go to Missouri, Thomas B. Marsh, his traveling companion, asked the Prophet what to do.

  • D&C Section 63  — 

    Aug. 1831. The Saints in Ohio desired to know more about the land of Zion. The Prophet Joseph inquired of the Lord concerning the purchasing of land and other matters.

  • D&C Section 64  — 

    Sept. 11, 1831. After the Prophet Joseph was criticized by some associates and the press, the Lord warned against faultfinding.

Readings

Online Resources at LDS.org

Online Resources at BYU

  • "A Shaker View of a Mormon Mission" – 

    Missionary efforts of Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Leman Copley, and Parley P. Pratt to the Shakers near Kirtland as a result of the revelation in D&C 49 and a conversation with Newel K. Knight Jr.

     Lawrence R. Flake, Brigham Young University Studies 20, no. 1 (1979): 94–99

 

Footnotes

[1] A collection of latter-day divine revelations and inspired declarations. The Lord gave these to Joseph Smith and several of his successors for the establishment and regulation of the kingdom of God on the earth in the last days. The Doctrine and Covenants is one of the standard works of scripture in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, along with the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Pearl of Great Price (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Doctrine and Covenants," 68).

[2] The authority and power that God gives to man to act in all things for the salvation of man (see D&C 50:26–27). Male members of the Church who hold the priesthood are organized into quorums and are authorized to perform ordinances and certain administrative functions in the Church (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Priesthood," 199).

[3] Quoted by Wilford Woodruff, in Conference Report, Apr. 1898, 57.