Part 20 (June 1830)

  1. On the first day of June 1830, we held our first conference as an organized church. Our numbers were about thirty, besides whom many assembled with us who were either believers or anxious to learn. Having opened by singing and prayer, we partook together of the emblems of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. We then proceeded to confirm several who had lately been baptized, after which we called out and ordained several to the various offices of the priesthood. Much exhortation and instruction was given, and the holy ghost was poured out upon us in a miraculous manner. Many of our number prophesied, while others had the Heavens opened to their view and were so overcome that we had to lay them on beds or other convenient places. Among the rest was Brother Newel Knight, who had to be placed on a bed, being unable to help himself. By his own account of the transaction, he could not understand why we should lay him on the bed, as he felt no sensibility of weakness. He felt his heart filled with love, with glory and pleasure unspeakable, and could discern all that was going on in the room, when all of a sudden a vision of futurity burst upon him. He saw there represented the great work which, through my instrumentality, was yet to be accomplished. He saw Heaven opened and beheld the Lord Jesus Christ seated at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and had it made plain to his understanding that the time would come when he would be admitted into his presence to enjoy his society for ever and ever. When their bodily strength was restored to these brethren, they shouted, Hosannas to God and the Lamb, and rehearsed the glorious things which they had seen and felt while they were yet in the spirit.
  2. Such scenes as these were calculated to inspire our hearts with joy unspeakable, and fill us with awe and reverence for that Almighty Being, by whose grace we had been called to be instrumental in bringing about for the children of men the enjoyment of such glorious blessings as were now at this time poured out upon us. 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.
  3. Shortly after this conference David Whitmer baptized the following persons in Seneca Lake, namely: John Poorman, John Jolly, Julia Anne Jolly and Harriett Jolly, Jerusha [Barden] Smith, Katharine Smith, William Smith, Don C. Smith, [Peter/Orrin Porter] Rockwell, Caroline Rockwell and Electa Rockwell.
  4. Immediately after conference I returned to my own house, and from thence (accompanied by my wife, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, and David Whitmer) journeyed again on a visit to Mr. Joseph Knight’s of Colesville, Broome County. We found a number in the neighborhood still believing and now anxious to be baptized. We appointed a meeting for the Sabbath and on the afternoon of Saturday we erected a dam across a stream of water, which was convenient for the purpose of there attending to the ordinance. But during the night a mob collected and tore down our dam, which hindered us of attending to the baptism on the Sabbath. We afterward found out that this mob had been instigated to this act of molestation by certain sectarian priests of the neighborhood, who began to consider their craft in danger and took this plan to stop the progress of the truth, and the sequel will show how determinedly they prosecuted their opposition, as well as to how little purpose in the end.
  5. The Sabbath arrived and we held our meeting. Oliver Cowdery preached and others of us bore testimony to the truth of the Book of Mormon, the doctrine of repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and laying on of hands for the gift of the holy ghost, etc., etc. Amongst our audience were those who had torn down our dam and who seemed wishful to give us trouble, but did not until after the meeting was dismissed, when they immediately commenced talking to those whom they considered our friends, to try to turn them against us and our doctrines.