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A Young Folks' History of the Church
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The Church At Kirtland
During the time that the Saints were having such a hard time in Missouri, the Church in
and around Kirtland was growing in numbers and strength. Joseph with many of the
elders went on missionary trips to various parts of the United States and Canada, and
many new branches of the Church were organized.
In September, 1831, Joseph moved to the town of Hiram, about thirty miles from
Kirtland. While living here, he was busy translating the scriptures, preaching the gospel,
and holding meetings. Thirteen of the revelations found in the Doctrine and Covenants
were given at Hiram. One of these revelations, called the Vision, tells of the three glories
which are in store for the children of God, besides many other grand teachings which
some day you will want to read. (Section 76.)
But wicked men continued to tell false things about Joseph and the Church. Many people
believed these stories, and the result was that the brethren were often annoyed and badly
treated. On the night of March 25th, 1832, Joseph and Sidney Rigdon were dragged from
their homes by an angry mob into the woods. Sidney was so misused that he was left for
dead. Joseph was beaten and stripped of his clothes, and his body was covered with tar.
The mob also tried to force poison from a bottle into his mouth, but in this they failed.
Notwithstanding this ill treatment, Joseph was able the next day, it being Sunday, to
preach to a large meeting and to baptize three new converts.
Shortly after this, Joseph made his second visit to Missouri. After his return, he settled
again at Kirtland, where he continued to receive many revelations and to do much for the
building up of the Church.
On December 25, 1832, Joseph received a revelation wherein it was stated that the time
would come when there would be a great war between the Northern States and the
Southern States. Even the place of its beginning was told, namely, South Carolina.
In February, 1833, a school was opened in Kirtland for the elders of the Church. It was
called the "School of the Prophets," and there the brethren met and were instructed in the
principles of the gospel.
A revelation called the Word of Wisdom was given on the 27th of the same month. You
will find it in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 89, and every one of you should read
On March 18th a very important meeting was held in Kirtland. On that date Joseph
ordained Sidney Rigdon to be his first counselor, and Frederick G. Williams to be his
second counselor, and these three now became the First Presidency, which is the highest
authority in the Church. You have been told something of Sidney Rigdon. Elder Williams
held his position nearly five years, when he apostatized, and Hyrum Smith was chosen in
his stead. At the death of Joseph Smith, Sen., who was patriarch of the Church, Hyrum
was chosen to fill his position and William Law was called to the office of second
counselor to Joseph. Law held this position until about two months before the Prophet's
death when he was cut off from the Church.