Mormon History 1830-1844

Beliefs & Practices

Ezra Booth Letters
Popular Methodist minister, Ezra Booth, joins the church early in 1831, goes to Missouri, and comes to the conclusion that Mormonism is a hoax and a fraud. He writes nine letters detailing his experience. They are published in the Ohio Star (Ravenna, Ohio, about 38 miles from Kirtland) between October 13 and December 10, 1831. From early December 1831 to January 8 or 10, 1832, Joseph and Sidney preach in Ravenna and the surrounding area to counteract the letters' effect.
In 1834 Eber D. Howe gives the letters wider circulation by including them in Mormonism Unvailed, the first book-length exposé of Mormonism.
Joseph a despot (1) Methodist minister Ezra Booth admits he was completely fooled by Mormonism and now considers it a duty to expose the delusion. Joseph's failed vision of a large congregation in Missouri. He settles everything by revelation. Goal of despotic society in Missouri for second coming.
Restoration claims

Miracles postponed
(2) Mormon claims of restoration. City of Zion in Missouri for second coming. Mormons to inherit treaures of enemies. Baptism, High Priesthood. Miracles postponed to Missouri. Revelations as commandments. Bible inferior. Emma wanted Joseph to quit. Martin Harris conspicuous.
Speaking in tongues

Three Witnesses
(3) Gift of tongues, Indian connection discarded. Visions once popular, now only for Joseph. Three Witnesses told what to say. Hidden treasures to benefit church.
June 3–6, 1831 conference

Vision, Man of Sin
(4) High expectations for June 3 or 4, 1831 conference. Joseph promised some would see the Savior. Joseph ordains Lyman Wight and others to the High Priesthood, then Lyman declares he has seen the Lord and Joseph delegates him to ordain the others. The "Man of Sin" is manifest and Joseph casts him out.
Joseph travels in style

Disappointment in Independence

Saints believe land free

Vision of large congregation fails
(5) None leave the church because of the unusual events of June 3–4, because they were diverted by the prospects of a visit to Missouri, the promised land. Joseph, Sidney, and Martin travel in comfort, by boat, and the rest overland on foot. They are disappointed by Independence—little civilization, unfulfilled promises of miracles and spiritual gifts. Joseph tells the Saints they must purchase the land, which they believed would be given to them. His vision of a large congregation proves false.  

Temple cornerstone
(6) Independence was selected because of its proximity to the Indians, who are to be converted. But they are not interested. Laying of the temple cornerstone is a disappointment. An expensive trip of little value. Joseph announces there is a great work to do in Kirtland, so gathering to Missouri is no longer a high priority.
Edward Partridge

Joseph's temper, manipulations

Sidney's exaggerations
(7) Edward Partridge is an honest man, but he serves at Joseph's pleasure and cannot last long—was commanded to obtain 1,000 acres for the church in Thompson, without going into debt, which couldn't be done. September 20, 1831 letter to Edward, imploring him to leave the church. Recounts their trip to Missouri—Joseph's false prophecy of a large church built up there by Oliver Cowdery, his hot temper, overbearance, use of revelations to silence critics, Sidney's exaggerations. 
Indians, New Jerusalem

Joseph's authority

Oliver's aspirations

Sister Hubble
(8) Native origins a popular topic, but only God knows. Book of Mormon claims Indians part of House of Israel and New Jerusalem to be built among them. Oliver to preach to them. Text of D&C 28. Copy of covenants to go by Oliver and companions. Joseph's exclusive prerogatives to give written commandments, name successor. Oliver's aspirations, may declare oral revelations, assigned to put down Hiram Page's revelations. Kirtland prophetess popular with some, including Sydney; put down by Joseph.
Sidney's visions

Oliver's tarnished reputation

Indians uninterested

Marry Indian women
(9) Lamanite missionaries visit Sidney, who gets a vision confirming Mormonism. He claims many visions, most ignore them. Oliver's reputation tarnished by proposing marriage to two women at the same time. Indians at Sandusky not interested. Went to Missouri but lacked commitment to get and use required documentation. Instead plan is to use storehouse license to visit Indians, also to marry Indian women.

Ohio Opposition
Kirtland 1830–1831

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