A Day Chosen by the Lord

A Day Chosen by the Lord

The log cabin was small and homey, a chimney rising from one end and two windows and a door on the front.

Around it the fertile fields of Fayette, New York, were greening. Nearby trees were awakening to spring, shading the fresh, new blossoms struggling to lift their heads to the sun. Parked around the cabin were the horses, buggies, and wagons that had carried the many men and women who were gathered there on that Tuesday morning. It was April 6, 1830, the day chosen by the Lord for the official organization of His church in the last days (see D&C 20:1–2).

Inside the main room of the cabin, the Prophet Joseph Smith, only twenty-four years old, asked five of the men present to join him in legally organizing the new church so that the requirements of the law could be met. Then, after all those present had knelt together in solemn prayer, Joseph asked them if they would accept him and Oliver Cowdery as their teachers and leaders. They agreed. Joseph turned to Oliver, laid his hands on his head, and ordained him an elder in the Church. Oliver in turn ordained Joseph. In a confirming revelation, the Lord called Joseph “a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church” (D&C 21:1).

The sacrament was blessed and passed. Others were ordained and confirmed. The gift of the Holy Ghost was given to many, and its presence filled the hearts of all. The small cabin overflowed with gladness and hope.

Among those who accepted baptism into the Church that day were Joseph’s parents, Joseph Smith, Sr., and Lucy Mack Smith. The young prophet was so moved by this and by the joy of the occasion that he went alone into the woods and wept.

The Church of Jesus Christ was again upon the earth. A prophet of God stood at its head. Its members were few and humble, some with little formal education, but that Tuesday they faced the future with great courage, and they were eager to learn the things of God and to serve Him and His church. Mistakes would be made and some would stumble, but the work would go forward, for the Lord promised them, and us, “I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing” (D&C 21:9).

[photos] Photographed by Vivian Paulsen

[photo] The main room on the first floor has a rock fireplace. It is believed that this is the room where the Church was organized.

[photo] The Peter Whitmer, Sr., farmhouse has been rebuilt on the original site of the Whitmer log house. It is 20′ x 30′ (6 m x 9 m), with two rooms on the main floor and two rooms on the second floor.

[photo] The second room on the main floor is a bedroom.

[photo] There are two bedrooms on the second floor. In one of them much of the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph sat on one side of a curtain and spoke the words aloud to Oliver Cowdery, who sat on the other side and wrote them down.

[photo] Next to the farmhouse is the Fayette Ward chapel, which also houses the visitors’ center for the Peter Whitmer, Sr., farm. It was dedicated on April 6, 1980, on the 150th anniversary of the organization of the Church.