Gathering to Ohio

Church History in the Fulness of Times Teacher Manual, (2001), 16–17


  1. 1.

    The Lord extended significant promises to his people on condition that they gather to Ohio.

  2. 2.

    In gathering to Ohio, the Church encountered numerous difficulties of both a temporal and spiritual nature that were successfully met with the blessings of the Lord.

    Suggested Approaches

  • Tell of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s arrival in Kirtland in January 1831 when he met Newel K. Whitney (see student manual, pp. 90–91). Have students look at the picture of the Newel K. Whitney store, and then share with them several of the important things that took place there. For a time the Whitney store was the headquarters of the Church and the Prophet’s residence.

  • Review the reasons the Lord directed his people to move to Ohio by discussing the promises they would receive there:

    Doctrine and Covenants 38:18–20 An eventual inheritance in the earth.

    Doctrine and Covenants 38:32; 41:2–3 The Lord’s law to his Church to be given.

    Doctrine and Covenants 38:32 An endowment from on high.

    Doctrine and Covenants 38:33; 39:15 Missionaries to be sent to all nations.

    Doctrine and Covenants 38:39 The riches of eternity.

    Doctrine and Covenants 39:15 Blessings heretofore unknown.

  • Discuss some of the challenges the Church faced during its first months in Ohio and how the Lord blessed the Saints to be able to meet those difficulties. Some of the following questions may help your discussion:

    • Based on what you read in the student manual, what significant challenges and difficulties did the Church encounter when the Saints moved to Ohio?

    • Why would the Lord allow members of the Church to experience these problems when he commanded them to go and extended great promises to them?

    • Why would Satan sponsor false spiritual manifestations among the Saints during the early days in Ohio?

    • How did the Prophet Joseph Smith respond when he encountered these difficulties in Ohio?

    • What evidence is there that the Lord was able to turn the Saints’ problems to their benefit during this period?

  • Point out that 63 of the 138 sections contained in the Doctrine and Covenants were received in Ohio. Briefly discuss some of the revelations received and events that occurred during the Church’s first months in Ohio. These revelations include section 42, the law of the Church; section 45, signs of the Second Coming; and section 50, understanding spiritual manifestations.

    Theme Sources

  • History of the Church, 1:140–88.

  • Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:236–51.

  • Readings in LDS Church History, 1:93–96.

  • William O. Nelson, “To Prepare a People,” Ensign, Jan. 1979, pp. 18–22.

    Reviews the history of the revelations regarding the Lord’s economic plan for his Saints and their implimentation. Defines the Lord’s law of consecration (this law, restored in the early days of the Church, still applies to us).

  • Stanley B. Kimball, “The First Road West: From New York to Kirtland, 1831,” Ensign, Jan. 1979, pp. 29–30.

    Contains annotated maps that detail the three different routes New York Saints followed in moving to Ohio.

  • Dean Jessee, “‘Steadfastness and Patient Endurance’: The Legacy of Edward Partridge,” Ensign, June 1979, pp. 41–47.

    Examines the legacy of Edward Partridge and his immediate family. Suggests their most enduring legacy was their devotion and faith in the face of considerable adversity.

    Additional Sources

  • Milton V. Backman, Jr., The Heavens Resound (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983), pp. 52–100.

    Provides information about early criticism of Latter-day Saint doctrines, examples of counterfeit spiritual experiences, and the coming forth of the law of consecration.

  • Max H. Parkin, “The Nature and Cause of Internal and External Conflict of the Mormons in Ohio between 1830 and 1838,” master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1966, pp. 33–88.

    Discusses the “spiritual abnormalities” that occurred among the early Saints in and around Kirtland and their impact on members and nonmembers alike.

  • Karl Ricks Anderson, Joseph Smith’s Kirtland Eyewitness Accounts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989).

    A collection of eye-witness accounts that deal with aspects of the Kirtland experience. Pages 1–20 deal with the coming of Joseph Smith and the New York Saints to Ohio.