Mormon History 1830-1844

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Missionaries in Kirtland, 1830
Dating the activities of Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Jacob Whitmer in and around Kirtland, Ohio in 1830 is difficult due to conflicting reports, which are given below. Many believe Sidney Rigdon was baptized on November 15, rather than the 8th as described below.
 
 
October [27 or 28], 1830 Arrival  
Henry H. Clapp: Wednesday   The four Mormons came to Mr. Rigdon's Wednesday evening (I think). Then Thursday morning he came to my father's with the wonderous announcement, as related by Mr. Hayden in his history, page 210. I was present at the time of the incident, and it will not soon be effaced from my memory. I do not remember to have ever seen a man so completely put to route as he was at the comment of my brother, "It's all a lie!" H[enry] H. Clapp to [James T. Cobb], Jan. 28, 1879, Salt Lake Tribune, May 16, 1879. Source

history:
<i>Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio</i>, A. S. Hayden &#40;Cincinnati: Chase & Hall, 1876&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Hayden history

Wednesday was October 27.
 
 
Josiah Jones: Thursday In the last part of October, 1830, four men appeared here by the names of Cowdery, Pratt (h), Whitmer and Peterson … These men appeared in the town of Mentor at Elder Sidney Rigdon's on Thursday evening about the 6th [sic] of October last. ¶ History of the Mormonites [1831]

The last Thursday of October was the 28th.
 
 
Matthew Clapp: end of October

Deceptive missionaries
About the last of October, 1830, four men, claiming to be divinely inspired, came from Manchester and Palmyra … They came to the brethern of the reformation in Mentor, saluted them as brethern, and professed to rejoice at finding a people walking according to the scriptures of truth. … M.S.C. [Matthew S. Clapp], letter to the editor,
<I>Painesville Telegraph</I>
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">PT, Feb. 15, 1831. Link to source at
Uncle Dale&#39;s Readings in Early Mormon History website.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">UDR.

reformation: Sidney's congregation in Mentor were part of the ecumenical disciples of Christ, also known as Reformed Baptists or Campbellites. Sidney had a falling out with Alexander Campbell in August 1830. Sidney condemns Book of Mormon They took up their abode with the pastor of the congregation, (Sidney Rigdon,) who read their book and partly condemned it—

Endorses it just two days later

but, two days afterwards, was heard to confess his conviction of its truth.  
  October 31 (Sunday)   Euclid meeting   Josiah Jones at Euclid with Isaac Morley On Sunday following the elder with two or three of these men attended a meeting at Euclid. I also attended and here I was first informed by I. Morley that such men and such a book had appeared. ¶ History of the Mormonites

Sunday following: October 31
 
November 3   Kirtland meeting   Josiah Jones: Kirtland Methodist meetinghouse The next Wednesday evening they held a meeting at the Methodist meetinghouse in this place … ¶ History of the Mormonites

this place: Jones was a Kirtland resident
 
November 4   Baptize seventeen of the Morley family Josiah Jones: baptized 17 The next day we heard that after they went home, or to the family where they put up, they baptized seventeen into the faith which they published. ¶ History of the Mormonites  
  Matthew Clapp: 17
Immediately they made a party—seventeen persons were immersed by them in one night. M.S.C. [Matthew S. Clapp] to the editor, <I>Painesville Telegraph</I>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">PT, Feb. 15, 1831. Source  
November 5 (Friday) Sidney protests   Matthew Clapp: Sidney opposes missionaries At this Mr. Rigdon seemed much displeased, and when they came next day to his house, he withstood them to the face —showed them that what they had done was entirely without precedent in the holy scriptures—for they had immersed those persons that they might work miracles as well as come under the said covenant—showed them that the apostles baptized for the remission of sins—but miraculous gifts were conferred by the imposition of hands. M.S.C. [Matthew S. Clapp], letter to the editor, <I>Painesville Telegraph</I>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">PT, Feb. 15, 1831. Source   Oliver asks Sidney if he doesn't think God would send an angel to confirm the truth.      
      John Murdock baptism   John Murdock: baptized by Parley P. Pratt, rejoices   About ten o'clock that morning, being November 5th, 1830, I told the servants of the Lord that I was ready to walk with them into the water of baptism. Accordingly, Elder P. [Parley] P. Pratt baptized me in the Chagrin River and the spirit of the Lord sensibly attended the ministration, and I came out of the water rejoicing and singing praises to God, and the Lamb. An impression sensibly rested on my mind that cannot, by me, be forgotten. It appeared to me that notwithstanding all the profession of religion that I had previously made and all that I had done, that by my act of now being baptized I had just escaped a horrible pit of destruction. This was the third time I had been immersed, but I never before felt the authority of the ordinance, but I felt it this time and felt as though my sins were forgiven. John Murdock &#40;1792&#45;1871&#41;, &#34;Abriged [sic] Record ... Taken from His Journal by Himself&#34; [1792&#45;1864]. Carbon copy of typescript. BYU Special Collections, BX 8670.1 .M941a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock abridged record. Source    
  Baptized, confirmed, ordained   I therefore was baptised by Elder Pratt confirmed by a member by Elder Cowdry Ordained an Elder by the same in Mayfield Nov. 5th 1830 I then returned to my family having been absent four days John Murdock journal [1830&#45;1859]. Microfilm of holograph. LDS Church Archives, MS 1194 folders 2&#45;3. Reference to &#34;Church of L.D.S.&#34; on the first page suggests the journal was written after May 3, 1834, when the name of the church was changed from the Church of Christ to Church of the Latter Day Saints. There is also a reference to the 1835 D&C on p. 9.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock journal, 1.    
  November 5–6   Family meeting, Sidney weeps   Josiah Jones: Friday–Saturday at the farm To return—on Friday evening they held meeting at the family, and on Saturday evening also, at which time I attended, and saw Elder Rigdon much affected and shedding tears. the family: elsewhere in his article Jones refers to this as the "Big Family" at Isaac Morley's farm in Kirtland.

¶ History of the Mormonites
   
November 7 (Sunday)   Sidney confesses in Kirtland, elders preach at schoolhouse   Matthew Clapp: Sidney confesses in Kirtland   … he had an appointment to preach in the Methodist chapel at Kirtland. He arose to address the congregation apparently much affected and deeply impressed. He seemed exceedingly humble, confessed the sins of his former life, his great pride, ambition, vainglory, &c. &c.   M.S.C. [Matthew S. Clapp] to the editor, <I>Painesville Telegraph</I>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">PT, Feb. 15, 1831. Source

preceding day: day preceding Sidney's baptism.
   
Josiah Jones: Sidney tries to preach

Elders at schoolhouse

Sidney recants
The next day, Sunday, Elder Rigdon had an appointment to preach in this place, and attended having these four men with him; he opened the meeting as usual, and arose to address the congregation but was so affected that he could not; he said all that he had to say to us was to repent and humble ourselves before God. After a short exhortation he sat down and the new teachers exhorted us at the school house; at this meeting or in the daytime Elder Rigdon told us that for two years past his preaching had been of no use to us; it was more to please our fancy and tickle our ears, than to affect our hearts. ¶ History of the Mormonites

Sidney "preached alternately at Mentor and Kirtland." H[enry] H. Clapp to [James T. Cobb], Jan. 28, 1879, qtd. in "Sidney Rigdon's Conversion to Mormonism," Salt Lake Tribune, May 16, 1879. Source

  Henry H. Clapp: Sidney recants in schoolhouse   … on Sunday—it being his regular appointment at Kirtland—a number of us went over from Mentor to hear him (not to hear Mormonism). The house was an ordinary school house, would perhaps accommodate a hundred persons. It was reasonably filled but not crowded. He then made the most pitiable effort to which I ever listened to place himself in an honorable position before the public, but utterly failed. During his short address, (probably not more than 15 or 20 minutes,) he affected to exhibit great sorrow and contrition for the inutility of his past preaching, "that he feared it had only tickled their ears, etc." I cannot speak for all that were there, but I saw no signs of sympathy with any except those already enlisted in Mormonism. As for myself, the whole thing was such an evident piece of hypocrisy that I turned away sick and disgusted. I had heard all I wished and returned home. H[enry] H. Clapp to [James T. Cobb], Jan. 28, 1879, qtd. in "Sidney Rigdon's Conversion to Mormonism," Salt Lake Tribune, May 16, 1879. Source  
      Parley, Sidney, Oliver in Mayfield   Levi Hancock

Sidney recants in Mayfield

Thomas Hancock, others baptized
On Sunday Levi Hancock hears Parley P. Pratt (h) preach at Mr. Jackson's in Mayfield. He is followed by Sidney Rigdon who "said he had bin trying to preach the gospel for a long time and now he had done he thought he should never try to preach again and confessed he was completely used up and advised the people not to contend against it what they had heared." After Sidney, Oliver speaks, then Parley calls for baptisms. Levi's father, Thomas Hancock, and sister (Clarissa Hancock Alger) "and some few beside" are baptized. ¶ Levi Hancock  
  November 8 (Monday)   Sidney Rigdon baptism   Josiah Jones: Sidney baptized On Monday, Elder Rigdon was rebaptized, and additions have continued to be made almost daily to them since that time. ¶ History of the Mormonites  
  M.S.C.: Sidney baptized, changed man The Monday following he was baptised. … After he was baptized, he professed to be exceedingly joyful, and said he would not be where he was three days ago for the universe. When reminded of the scriptural objection which he had made against praying for that which was not promised, he imputed his reasoning to pride, carnality, and the influence of the evil one. In short, the whole man seemed changed, so much so that Mrs. Rigdon said that Mr. Rigdon's appearance was enough to convince any one of the truth of their religion. Mr. R. and, indeed the whole of that sect, seem rather disposed to boast of their humility and piety. Mr. R. was formerly very irascible, but now thinks he cannot be ruffled, he was formerly haughty, but now affects great humility. The males among them wear a peculiar kind of hat[s], by which they distinguish themselves, and exhibit their humility. M.S.C. [Matthew S. Clapp] to the editor, <I>Painesville Telegraph</I>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">PT, Feb.15, 1831. Source  
      Levi hears Oliver preach in Mayfield   Levi Hancock: Mayfield meeting Levi proposes to get up an audience for Oliver in Mayfield if he will come. Oliver agrees and a meeting is held at Mr. Jackson's. ¶ Levi Hancock  
  November 11 (Thursday) Oliver preaches in Mayfield, "several" baptisms     Oliver, Ziba, and Peter arrive, hold meetings, baptize and confirm. ¶ Levi Hancock  
  November 9 or 12   Levi Hancock baptized in Kirtland   November 9 (extrapolated) Levi Hancock returns to Mayfield on November 8, the day after his father is baptized, and learns Parley has returned to Kirtland. The next day, the 9th, he and one of Mr. Jackson's sons go to Kirtland, and Levi is baptized. After he is baptized, Levi is invited to a meeting at Isaac Morley's. Not knowing where the farm is, he follows others to the location and spends the night listening to other converts talk about Oliver and his companions. ¶ Levi Hancock November 12 (stated) However, Levi's 1878 autobiography expressly states he was baptized November 12, confirmed November 13, and started on a mission November 14. Levi Hancock Autobiography and Journal [1878], MS 2711, Church Archives.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Levi Hancock [1878], 107.    
  November 14 (Sunday) Lyman Wight family baptized in Kirtland   Lyman Wight: baptized, confirmed, ordained in six days Myself and family were baptized by P. Pratt on the 14th of November, 1830, in Chagrin River, at Kirtland, Ohio. I was confirmed on the 18th by O. Cowdery, and on the 20th ordained an elder by the same. ¶ Lyman Wight Journal  
  November 14   John Murdock learns of arrival   John Murdock: hears about elders on a Sunday word came to me that four men had arrived at Kirtland from the state of New York, who were preaching, baptizing, and building up the church after the ancient order; it was one Sunday morning as I was going to attend an appointment to preach, that I was informed on this; I was also told that Elder Rigdon, with many others of the Campbellite Church, were baptized by them. John Murdock &#40;1792&#45;1871&#41;, &#34;Abriged [sic] Record ... Taken from His Journal by Himself&#34; [1792&#45;1864]. Carbon copy of typescript. BYU Special Collections, BX 8670.1 .M941a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock abridged record. Source

Sidney was baptized on a Monday, probably November 8.
 
  November 18 Lyman Wight confirmed   Lyman Wight: confirmed   I was confirmed on the 18th by O. Cowdery, and on the 20th ordained an elder by the same. ¶ Lyman Wight Journal  
  November 18 (Thursday)   John Murdock to farm, confirmation meeting   John Murdock: 20 miles Thursday to investigate   … Thursday the same week. I went to see for myself, a distance of about twenty miles. I heard the sayings of many people by the way, some for the new preachers, and some against … John Murdock &#40;1792&#45;1871&#41;, &#34;Abriged [sic] Record ... Taken from His Journal by Himself&#34; [1792&#45;1864]. Carbon copy of typescript. BYU Special Collections, BX 8670.1 .M941a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock abridged record. Source Four missionaries at Isaac Morley's And arrived at father Isaac Morley's about dark, and was soon introduced to those four men from New York, and presented with the Book of Mormon … I did not ask a sign of them by working a miracle, by healing a sick man, by raising a dead man, or, by casting out a devil … Excluded from late night confirmation meeting Accordingly, that night was held the first confirmation meeting that was held in Ohio. … I did not find out respecting the meeting till about ten o'clock at night. And at that time they had all left but three men; and I found they wanted to go to the meeting, and did not want those in, that had not been baptized. I said to them go, for if you wish to be alone, I do not blame you. The case is one of importance. They went and I stayed alone, and read the Book of Mormon. Confirmation meetings were usually held on Sundays, which in this case would be November 7. Oliver Cowdery's demeanor During the evening previous to the meeting, a Nathan Goodwell, a Campbellite came and conversed with Elder Oliver Cowdery for he was the principal one of the four, and I watched the Spirit of each one of them in their conversation, and I found that Goodwell bore down with warmth, whereas Cowdery wished not for contention, and endeavored to evade controversy …   Receives witness in bed I read till it was late and went into Father Morley's chamber to bed and had not been long in bed, before they returned, and some half dozen or more came into the same house, and as soon as they came into the house, although I was in bed up [in the] chamber, the spirit of the Lord rested on me, witnessing to me of the truth of the work.   Finds Sidney, who refuses to talk

Talks with others
I could no longer rest in bed but got up and went down and found Elder Rigdon among the number, and he said to me I might go back to bed, for he would not talk to me that night, but I sat in a chair and conversed with them, and I found they appeared very tender in their feelings and I retired to bed again. I could not help secretly rejoicing on the occasion. Sidney won't talk because he is upset?  
  November 20 Lyman Wight ordained   Lyman Wight: ordained   … on the 20th ordained an elder by the same [Oliver Cowdery]. ¶ Lyman Wight Journal  
  November 21 (Sunday)   Elders baptize in Mayfield, confirm Sunday evening   John Murdock: Mayfield baptisms, Sunday confirmation meeting   I continued with the brethren till Sunday at which time they preached in Mayfield and baptized a number, and on Sunday evening they confirmed about thirty. I was one of the number. Elder Oliver Cowdery was administrator. I was also ordained an elder; and it was truly a time of the outpouring of the spirit. I know the spirit rested on me as it never did before and others said they saw the Lord and had visions. John Murdock &#40;1792&#45;1871&#41;, &#34;Abriged [sic] Record ... Taken from His Journal by Himself&#34; [1792&#45;1864]. Carbon copy of typescript. BYU Special Collections, BX 8670.1 .M941a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock abridged record. Source  
  November 22 John Murdock returns home   John Murdock: returns home I tarried till Monday morning, took breakfast, and attended prayers with the brethren, and then rode home John Murdock &#40;1792&#45;1871&#41;, &#34;Abriged [sic] Record ... Taken from His Journal by Himself&#34; [1792&#45;1864]. Carbon copy of typescript. BYU Special Collections, BX 8670.1 .M941a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock abridged record. Source  
  November 29 Elders preach in Warrensville, leave for Missouri   John Murdock: elders arrive for meeting in Warrensville, baptize three At length the first day of the next week arrived and the New York brethren held meeting in Warrensville, four miles west of my house, and I bore testimony to the truth, my wife, Brother Covey, and 3 others were baptized. Brother Ziba Peterson, held meeting in my house the evening before, and I bore testimony to my neighbors. John Murdock &#40;1792&#45;1871&#41;, &#34;Abriged [sic] Record ... Taken from His Journal by Himself&#34; [1792&#45;1864]. Carbon copy of typescript. BYU Special Collections, BX 8670.1 .M941a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock abridged record. Source Later, John mentions Parley baptized and Oliver confirmed John's wife Julia, Benjamin Covey, Caleb Baldwin, Nancy Baldwin, and Charles Taylor in the Orange/Warrensville area.  
November 29 Elders leave for Missouri   John Murdock: elders leave with F. G. Williams On Monday morning the New York brethren, accompanied by F. G. Williams, a late convert, took leave of us and started for the upper Missouri. John Murdock &#40;1792&#45;1871&#41;, &#34;Abriged [sic] Record ... Taken from His Journal by Himself&#34; [1792&#45;1864]. Carbon copy of typescript. BYU Special Collections, BX 8670.1 .M941a.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Murdock abridged record. Source  
  November [29] Sidney leaves for New York   M.S.C. About three weeks after Mr. R[igdon] was baptized by Oliver Cowdery, he went to the state of New York, to see Joseph Smith, jr. while Cowdrey, with his three companions, proceeded on to the western Indians. M.S.C. [Matthew S. Clapp] to the editor, <I>Painesville Telegraph</I>')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">PT, Feb. 15, 1831. Source  
  Late November–Early December Strongsville, Cuyahoga county, Ohio     On his return from Missouri to Kirtland in March 1831, Parley P. Pratt, stays with the Coltrin family, who had been baptized during the missionaries' journey to the Indian Territory. <i>Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt</i>, edited by Scot Facer Proctor and Maurine Jensen Proctor &#40;Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000&#41;. Originally published as <i>Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt</i>, edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. &#40;New York: Published for the Editor and Proprietor by Russell Brothers, 1874&#41;.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Parley P. Pratt, 67–69.  
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1830 Chronology
Kirtland 1830–1831
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