Moments with the Prophets: Militiaman in Kirtland

    “Moments with the Prophets: Militiaman in Kirtland,” Tambuli, Aug. 1983, 13

    Moments with the Prophets:

    Militiaman in Kirtland

    Several members of the Snow family, including 17-year-old Lorenzo, clambered into the carriage and drove off toward the Johnson farm, four miles away. The year was 1831, and recently a new religious group known as Mormons had sprung up in the area.

    Word had been circulated that the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith, was to speak at a meeting at the Johnson place and the Snows, curious perhaps, decided to attend.

    The Prophet was standing in the doorway of the house, addressing the group. Lorenzo later recorded his impressions thus: “He was only 25 years of age and was not, at that time, what would be called a fluent speaker. His remarks were confined principally to his own experiences, especially the visitation of the angel, giving a strong and powerful testimony in regard to these marvelous manifestations.”

    Lorenzo concluded that Joseph Smith had not been deceived. Either the Mormon leader had, indeed, talked with the Father and the Son or he was an outright fraud. The boy was not religiously inclined at the time, and did not bother to find which of the possibilities was true.

    About four years later, he set out to enroll at Oberlin College, Ohio, in hopes of furthering his military ambitions. On the way, he met and traveled with David W. Patten, a Mormon apostle.

    Subsequently, Lorenzo went to Kirtland, Ohio, where his sister Eliza, who had joined the Church, had gone to live. He became closely associated with the Prophet and, after a time of investigation and study, was baptized in June 1836.