Mormon History 1830-1844

Samuel's Books  
Who was the "first missionary"? Traditionally it is Samuel H. Smith, thanks to his mother's history, who undertook a "mission" of a few days in June 1830 trying to sell Books of Mormon. But Solomon Chamberlain undertook the same type of mission a couple of months earlier, in April 1830. Regardless of who deserves that dubious title, there is another murky story involving the same two "missionaries"—was the Book of Mormon that Samuel loaned to Rev. Greene's wife in Mendon also the one read by the Youngs (and Heber C. Kimball?), or was there another one that Samuel sold to Phineas Young in April? (Not that it makes any difference.)
In her unceasing effort to advance the reputation of her sons, Lucy Mack Smith suggests that the conversion of the Greenes and Youngs is the result of Samuel's "sufferings" §—a reference to his otherwise unsuccessful efforts to sell copies of the Book of Mormon and being kicked out of an inn one night for trying to do so.
However, Phineas Young's history states that he obtained a copy of the book from Samuel in April, and that was the copy he read, then passed around the family §.
Details from Solomon Chamberlain's account of meeting Brigham and Phineas Young at a Methodist conference in April 1830, are included §. Solomon traveled through New York and into Canada, trying to sell copies of the Book of Mormon. For Solomon's early visions, see ¶ Other Visions
Lucy's Samuel   In the early 1840s, Lucy, prepares her family history of the church, dictating to Martha Jane Coray.    
Samuel selling Books of Mormon   On June 30, 1830 Samuel H. Smith leaves for Livonia, New York, to "preach, and make sale of the books if possible." After twenty-five miles he starts knocking on doors "in order to sell his books." Refused in his first four tries, Samuel approaches an inn that is "surrounded with every appearance of plenty." He asks the innkeeper "if he did not wish to purchase a history of the origin of the Indians."
<i>Lucy&#39;s Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Smith&#39;s Family Memoir</i>, edited by Lavina Fielding Anderson &#40;Salt Lake City: Signature Books&#41;, 2001.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Lucy, 479–480. This is traditionally portrayed as the "first mission" of Mormon history.

Rejected by innkeeper   When told the book was translated from gold plates found in the ground, the proprietor calls Samuel a damned liar and kicks him out. Samuel goes a short distance and washes his feet as a testimony against the man.
    He proceeds on a mission, the principal achievement of which is leaving a copy of the book with Rev. John P. Greene, an itinerant Methodist preacher who lives in Mendon, New York.  
Small pox kills innkeeper and family   Two weeks later, Samuel, accompanied by his parents, start out for the Greenes. Passing by the infamous inn, they notice that it is quarrantened—small pox. The innkeeper and two of his family have died. Lucy concludes:
Moral   This is a specimen of the peculiar disposition of some individuals, who would purchase their death for a few shillings, but sacrifice their soul's salvation rather than give a Saint of God a meal of victuals. According to the Word of God, it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, than for such persons.  
John P. Greene won't purchase

Rhoda likes it
  Her son, Samuel, loaned a copy of the Book of Mormon to Rev. John P. Greene. When he returned two weeks later, Rev. Greene's wife, Rhoda, tells him she has read it and is "very much pleased with it," but John isn't disposed to purchase it. Whereupon, Samuel puts on his knapsack and begins to leave, but:
<i>Lucy&#39;s Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Smith&#39;s Family Memoir</i>, edited by Lavina Fielding Anderson &#40;Salt Lake City: Signature Books&#41;, 2001.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Lucy, 497–498. Joseph Fielding Smith follows Lucy in Essentials in Church History, 104–105.

Original: Green (throughout)
Samuel inspired to leave it   … as he crossed the doorsel a strong impresion was made upon his mind that he must not take the book away {from the} with him and {so} he turned round and handing the book to Mrs Greene said I will give you this book for the spirit of God forbids my taking it away
Pray together   Rhoda is "so overcome with gratitude that she burst into tears" and asks William to pray with her. He does so and leaves his blessing on the house.
Wow!   … and she afterwards told me that she never saw a man that had such an appearance nor ever heard such a prayer in her life—My God said she it seemed as thoug the very Heavens were rent and the spirit of God was poured down upon us— This is omitted, mercifully, in the next draft. On the other hand, it speaks to Lucy's enthusiasm (and possibly a tendcy to embellish?).
Read the book with the Bible   Samuel explains she should read it with the Bible:  
Pray for witness (burning sensation)   and ask God to give you a testimony of the truth of the work and you will {have} feell a burning sensation in your breast which is the Spirit of God—
  He leaves, and when John comes home she tells him what has happened and asks him to read the book.  
John resists   [John] said she should not read it nor any such thing Omitted in the next draft.
Rhoda persists, he relents, receives testimony   Now Mr Greene said you certainly ought to do so and I will tell you how Mr Smith says you must {you} read as she then repeated samuels testimony to her   In the next draft, John resists but finally reads the book "calling upon God for the testimony of his Spirit."
Praise of Samuel   and added I do know that he would not tell an untruth for any inducement I know he must be a good man if there ever was one Mr Greene finally concluded to Seek for {the} a testimony from God of the work and was fully satisfied   Omitted in the next draft.
Baptized, give book to Phineas Young   the result was that he and his wife were baptized when he had done reading the book he gave it to Phineas Young Mr. Greenes brother [in-law] who read it and commenced preaching it forthwith.    
    Soon the book is passed to Brigham, his brother, and their sister, Mrs. Murray (Heber C. Kimball's mother-in-law).   Heber gives no indication that the Book of Mormon played any role in his conversion. Heber C. Kimball (2);
<i>Life of Heber C. Kimball, an Apostle: The Father and Founder of the British Mission</i>, Orson F. Whitney &#40;Salt Lake City: Kimball Family, 1888; second edition, 1945&#41;.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Orson's Heber, 28–29. <i>Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer</i>, Stanley B. Kimball &#40;Urbana: University of Illinois Press&#41;, 1981.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Heber (1981), 16.     … when Brigham received the work his brother Joseph was in canada preaching Methodism but his brothers Brigham {and Phineas} went straightway to him and persuaded him to stop preaching that doctrine and receive the Gospel       thus was Samuels sufferings in this instance the means of converting some of the {most Noble hearted greatest} most Substantial and the greatest men who have ever subscribed their name to the truth Men who have never faltered nor slacked their zeal through every scene of trouble and privation for the truths sake   The Greenes, Youngs, and Kimballs were not baptized for two more years.    
    Phinehas Young account   Originally published in the Deseret News, 1858 as part of the series, "History of Brigham Young."   Millennial Star, vol. 25 no. 23 (June 6, 1863), 360–361. Tomlinson house In April, 1830, having received the Book of Mormon, as I was on my way home from the town of Lima where I had been to preach, I stopped at the house of a man by the name of Tomlinson, to get some dinner.   having received the Book of Mormon seems out of place. Samuel enters, offers book   While engaged in conversation with the family, a young man came in, and walking across the room to where I was sitting, held a book towards me, saying,—"There is a book, sir, I wish you to read."       The thing appeared so novel to me that for a moment I hesitated, saying,—Pray, sir, what book have you?"      

"The Book of Mormon, or, as it is called by some, the Golden Bible.

      "Ah, sir, then it purports to be a revelation."     "Yes," said he, "it is a revelation from God."   Read with prayerful heart   I took the book, and by his request looked at the testimony of the witnesses. Said he—"If you will read this book with a prayerful heart, and ask God to give you a witness, you will know of the truth of this work."     I told him I would do so, and then asked him his name. He said his name was Samuel H. Smith.     [361] "Ah," said I "you are one of the witnesses."   Translated by gift and power of Holy Ghost  

"Yes," said he, "I know the book to be a revelation from God, translated by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, and that my brother Joseph Smith, June., is a Prophet, Seer and Revelator."

  This language seemed to me very strange, and, I thought, rather ridiculous; still said but little more to him, but thought he must be deceived, and that the book was a production got up to lead people astray; however, I thought it my duty to read it, as I had promised, and search out the errors, and, as a teacher in Israel, expose such errors and save the people from the delusion.   I bought the book and went home, and told my wife I had got a week's work laid out, and I hoped that nothing would occur to prevent my accomplishing my task. …   Phineas reads in two weeks I commenced and read every word in the book the same week. The week following I did the same, but to my surprise I could not find the errors I anticipated, but felt a conviction that the book was true.     Tells congregation he believes On the next Sabbath I was requested to give my views on the subject, which I commenced to do. I had not spoken ten minutes in defence of the book when the Spirit of God came upon me in a marvellous manner, and I spoke at great length on the importance of such a work, quoting from the Bible to support my position, and finally closed by telling the people that I believed the book.     Most believe him   The greater part of the people agreed with my views, and some of them said they had never heard me speak so well and with such power.     Father borrows book   My father then took the book home with him, and read it through. I asked him his opinion of it. He said it was the greatest work and the clearest of error of anything he had ever seen, the Bible not excepted.   B. H. Roberts: Brigham read the book that was "left at the home of his brother, Phineas Young, by Samuel H. Smith." <i>Comprehensive History of the Church of The Jesus Christ of Latter&#45;day Saints</i>, B. H. Roberts. 6 vols. &#40;Salt Lake City: Deseret News&#41;, 1930.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">CHC 1:288n15. Vilate's mother, others borrow book I then let the book to my sister Fanny Murray. She read it and declared it a revelation. Many others did the same.      
    Solomon Chamberlain    

 

Hot off the press   As soon as the book was printed, I took 8 or 10 of them and traveled for eight days, and sold one in that time.   &#34;Short Sketch of the Life of Solomon Chamberlin&#34; [1858] on the <i>New Mormon Studies CD</i>, which notes, &#34;Copies are available at various Utah and Western libraries.&#34; Holograph in the LDS Church Archives.')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Solomon Chamberlin

Solomon was born July 30, 1788 in "Old Canaan," Connecticut. For his early visions, see ¶ Member Visions. Rejected by Methodists   About this time I thot if I could see the reformed Methodist I could convince them of the truth of the Book of Mormon. I accordingly went to one of their conferences, where I met about 40 of their preachers and labored with them for two days to convince them of the truth of the Book of Mormon, and they utterly rejected me, and the Book of Mormon.   Brigham and Phineas   … at this conference was Brigham and his brother Phineas Young, they did not oppose me but used me well.   Original: Phineahas Preacher spurns Solomon and book   On my way home I stopped at their camp meeting, where I found one of their greatest preachers, whom I contended with concerning the Book of Mormon, by the name of Wm Lake, who utterly condemned it and rejected it, who spurned at me and the Book and said, if it was of God, Do you think He would send such a little upstart as you are round with it. but he soon after died a poor drunken sot.     Baptists

Soon after April 6, 1830
  While on my way home I stopped at a free will Baptist Church, and preached to a large congregation, and they received the work, but there was no one to baptize them, the Church was not yet organized, but was soon after April 6th, 1830.    
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