Part 18 (April 1830)

  1. While the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer, we still continued to bear testimony and give information as far as we had opportunity, and also made known to our brethren that we had received commandment to organize the church, and accordingly we met together for that purpose at the house of the above mentioned Mr. Whitmer (being six in number) on Tuesday the sixth day of April, A.D. one thousand eight hundred and thirty.
  2. Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father, we proceeded (according to previous commandment) to call on our brethren to know whether they accepted us as their teachers in the things of the kingdom of God, and whether they were satisfied that we should proceed and be organized as a church according to said commandment which we had received. To these they consented by an unanimous vote. I then laid my hands upon Oliver Cowdery and ordained him an elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, after which he ordained me also to the office of an elder of said church. We then took bread, blessed it, and brake it with them; also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the church present that they might receive the gift of the holy ghost and be confirmed members of the church of Christ. The holy ghost was poured out upon us to a very great degree. Some prophesied while we all praised the Lord and rejoiced exceedingly. While yet together, I received the following commandment:
  3. Revelation to Joseph Smith Jr., given at Fayette, Seneca Co., NY, April 6, 1830.

  4. Behold, there shall be a record kept among you and in it you shall be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ, being inspired of the holy ghost to lay the foundation thereof and to build it up unto the most holy faith, which church was organized and established in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month and on the sixth day of the month which is called April.
  5. Wherefore, meaning the church, you shall give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receives them walking in all holiness before me, for his word you shall receive as if from my own mouth in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you, yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you and cause the heavens to shake for your good and his name’s glory, for thus says the Lord God: Him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good, and his diligence I know and his prayers I have heard, yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer, for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works. For behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing and they shall believe on his words which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifests that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart.
  6. Wherefore, it behooves me that he should be ordained by you, Oliver Cowdery, my apostle, this being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ bearing my name, and the first preacher of this church, unto the church and before the world, yea, before the gentiles, yea, and thus says the Lord God: Lo, lo to the Jews also. Amen.
  7. We now proceeded to call out and ordain some others of the brethren to different offices of the priesthood according as the spirit manifested unto us, and after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and the blessings of the holy ghost through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, the church of Jesus Christ, organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the church as recorded of in the New Testament.
  8. Several persons, who had attended the above meeting and got convinced of the truth, came forward shortly after and were received into the church. Among the rest, my own father and mother were baptized to my great joy and consolation, and about the same time Martin Harris and a Rockwell.
  9. Revelation to the church of Christ, which was established in these last days in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, given at Manchester, New York, April 1830, in consequence of some desiring to unite with the church without rebaptism, who had previously been baptized.

  10. Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing, and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning. Wherefore, although a man should be baptized a hundred times, it avails him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works, for it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old. Wherefore, enter in at the gate as I have commanded and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.
  11. The following persons being anxious to know of the Lord what might be their respective duties in relation to this work, I inquired of the Lord and received for them the following:
  12. Revelation to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith Sr., and Joseph Knight Sr., given at Manchester, New York, April 1830.

  13. Behold, I speak unto you Oliver a few words: Behold, you are blessed and are under no condemnation, but beware of pride, lest you should enter into temptation. Make known your calling unto the church and also before the world and your heart shall be opened to preach the truth from henceforth and for ever. Amen.
  14. Behold, I speak unto you Hyrum a few words, for you also are under no condemnation, and your heart is opened, and your tongue loosed, and your calling is to exhortation and to strengthen the church continually. Wherefore, your duty is unto the church for ever, and this because of your family. Amen.
  15. Behold, I speak a few words unto you Samuel, for you also are under no condemnation, and your calling is to exhortation and to strengthen the church, and you are not as yet called to preach before the world. Amen.
  16. Behold, I speak a few words unto you Joseph [Smith Sr.], for you also are under no condemnation, and your calling also is to exhortation and to strengthen the church, and this is your duty from henceforth and for ever. Amen.
  17. Behold, I manifest unto you Joseph Knight Sr. by these words, that you must take up your cross in the which you must pray vocally before the world as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your friends, and in all places. And behold, it is your duty to unite with the true church and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the laborer. Amen.
  18. On Sunday, April 11th, 1830, Oliver Cowdery preached the first public discourse that was delivered by any of our number. Our meeting was held by previous appointment at the house of Mr. Peter Whitmer Sr., in Fayette. Large numbers of people attended, and the same day the following were baptized — namely: Hiram Page, Catherine [Whitmer] Page, Christian Whitmer, Anne [Schott] Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Elizabeth [Schott] Whitmer; and on the 18th, Ditto: Peter Whitmer Sr., Mary [Musselman] Whitmer, William Jolly, Elizabeth [Stones] Jolly, Vincent Jolly, Richard B. Peterson and Elizabeth Anne Whitmer, all by Oliver Cowdery in Seneca Lake.
  19. During this month of April, I went on a visit to the residence of Mr. Joseph Knight Sr. of Colesville, Broome Co., NY, with whom and his family I had been previously acquainted, and of whose name I have above mentioned as having been so kind and thoughtful towards us while translating the Book of Mormon. Mr. Knight and his family were Universalists, but were willing to reason with me upon my religious views and were, as usual, friendly and hospitable.
  20. We held several meetings in the neighborhood. We had many friends and some enemies. Our meetings were well attended and many began to pray fervently to Almighty God that he would give them wisdom to understand the truth.