A Young Folks' History of the Church by Nephi Anderson - HTML preview
Download the book in PDF, ePub, Kindle for a complete version.
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 it.
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.February 17, 1834, the first high council of the Church was organized. This body consists of twelve men who must be high priests, over which the stake presidency presides. It is a kind of court. When members of the Church have trouble one with another which neither they, nor the teachers, nor the bishop can settle, it is brought before the high council to be adjusted.
Each stake of Zion now has a high council. Here are the names of the first one organized: besides the First Presidency, Joseph Smith, Sen., John Smith, Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S. Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Samuel H. Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith and Luke Johnson.
It was shortly after this that Zion's Camp was organized and made the trip to Missouri, of which you were told in the last chapter.
After his return Joseph was again busy performing his many duties as president of the Church.
Topics.—1. Joseph at Hiram. 2. Prophecy on War. 3. Word of Wisdom. 4. The first presidency. 5. The high council.
Questions and Review.—1. To what two places were the Saints now gathering? 2. Where is Hiram? 3. What did Joseph do there? 4. Tell about the mobbing at Hiram. 5. When was the prophecy on war given? 6. How long after was it fulfilled? 7. What led to the war between the North and the South? 8. What was the "School of the Prophets?" 9. In the Word of Wisdom, what does the Lord say is not good for the body? 10. What does He say is good? 11. What promise is made to those who keep the Word of Wisdom? 12. What is the First Presidency? 13. Who were the first to fill this position? 14. Who are the present First Presidency? 15. What is the duty of the high council? 16. Name some members of the high council of your stake.