Kirtland, OH


Kirtland, OH

Top Left:  Kirtland Temple

The Kirtland Temple was the first temple built in this dispensation (D&C 88:119; 95). In this temple, Joseph Smith saw a vision of the celestial kingdom (D&C 137). It was dedicated on March 27, 1836 (D&C 109). On April 3, 1836, the Savior appeared and accepted the temple as a place in which He would reveal His word to His people (D&C 110:1–10). Following this appearance, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received visits from Moses, Elias, and Elijah, all of whom gave them certain priesthood keys and important information (D&C 110:11–16). This temple served the Saints for some two years before they had to flee Kirtland because of persecution.

Top Right:  Isaac Morley Farm

Joseph Smith lived on the Morley Farm from March to September 1831. Isaac Morley, one of the earliest settlers of Kirtland, had joined the Church in 1830. He invited many early converts to live on his 80-acre farm and here built a small home for Joseph and Emma Smith shortly after the Prophet’s arrival in Ohio.

Here, Emma gave birth to twins who soon died. Several days later, the Smiths adopted the infant twins of John Murdock, whose wife, Julia, died from complications of childbirth.

While living on the Morley Farm, Joseph received 13 revelations now included in the Doctrine and Covenants. In a memorable discourse on October 25, 1831, he asked the Saints to develop among themselves perfect love so that their names might be written in “the Lamb’s book of life,” in other words, those who receive salvation through Jesus Christ. The fourth conference of the Church was held here in June 1831. During the conference, the first high priests of this dispensation were called. Later that year, in a priesthood meeting held in an 18-by-20-foot log schoolhouse on a hill overlooking this farm, Joseph prophesied to a small group of priesthood holders that “this Church will fill North and South America—it will fill the world.”

None of the original buildings remains on the Morley Farm. A portion of the original Chillicothe Trail passes through this Church-owned historic site. Many early converts and missionaries traveling to and from the East Coast of the United States used this trail.

Bottom:  Newel K. Whitney Store

In the fall of 1832, Joseph Smith moved from Hiram, Ohio, back to Kirtland. Bishop Newel K. Whitney prepared an apartment for the Prophet’s family in his store, and Joseph lived here until the winter of the following year. The Whitney Store served as headquarters for the Church during that time.

Many revelations now included in the Doctrine and Covenants were received by the Prophet in this place, including the Word of Wisdom, the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and the command to build a temple in Kirtland. Joseph also completed much of his inspired translation of the Bible here.

During the winter of 1832–33, the School of the Prophets was held in an upper room of the store. The school was organized to teach gospel doctrine and principles and to prepare members for ministry in the Church. On one sacred occasion, members of the school beheld a vision of God the Father and the Son.

The Church purchased the Whitney Store in the 1980’s and restored it to its original condition in 1984. This historic site won a U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in 1988.