Liverpool was England’s chief port and also the port of embarkation through which practically every emigrant from England passed. Over a hundred thousand Saints sailed from Liverpool to gather in Zion. Situated on the east bank of the Mersey River, it was the exporting harbor for all the rest of Lancashire, the center of British manufacturing.
Elders John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff and Theodore Turley, the first of the Apostle missionaries to arrive in England, met in a special council Friday, January 17, 1840, with Joseph Fielding and Willard Richards of the presidency of the British Mission, and decided on their fields of labor. It was agreed that Elders Taylor and Fielding should go to Liverpool. In Liverpool, Elder Taylor was the first LDS missionary to proselyte. Elders Taylor and Fielding raised up a branch of about thirty members before the arrival from America of the other brethren of the twelve. This number rapidly increased and at the beginning of the year 1841 numbered more than two hundred souls. In March, 1842, the headquarters of the mission were transferred to Liverpool.
A few days after Christmas in 1840, Brigham Young went on to Liverpool where he remained through most of January and February and where, in January, he completed indexing and publishing the Book of Mormon.
Tuesday, February 4, at 3:00 in the afternoon at the seashore was the time and place set for the first baptisms in Liverpool. Ten people were baptized that day in the chilly waters of the Irish Sea.
For more information visit our England Tour Page. Learn about the 400th Anniversary Bible Translation Commemoration.
January 29, 1839 (Tuesday) - The Elders met at Far West to complete measures for the removal of the poor from Missouri, and pledged themselves to assist each other until all were removed.
January 26, 1840 – The first preaching in Liverpool, England occurred by Elder John Taylor during the Apostolic Mission to England.
31 January 1844 (Wednesday) - The Prophet Joseph Smith contributed several books to the Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute for the Saints to increase their understanding.
January 1946 - Ezra Taft Benson is appointed president of European Mission.
January 1962 - Derek Alfred Cuthbert, first resident of the United Kingdom to be called as an LDS Church general authority while living in Britain, helped establish Deseret Enterprises, an agency that directed the distribution of materials for the LDS Church in Britain and on the European continent.
Far more amazing visions and miracles took place in Kirtland than all other LDS sites combined! There is so much information that we have had to dedicate an entire tour to this area with Kirtland renowned expert Karl Ricks Anderson. There is far too much information for one entry. This week marks the anniversary of a very important vision that took place at the Kirtland Temple which will be this week’s highlight. (See this weeks Glimpse of Past entry for more details)
Kirtland was the first temple of the Church and was constructed 1833-1836, by just a few hundred poor saints under conditions of great sacrifice. “For thou knowest that we have done this work through great tribulation; and out of our poverty we have given of our substance to build a house to thy name” (D&C 109:5). There were tremendous manifestations of the Spirit during construction, at the dedication and thereafter. Lorenzo Snow enumerated blessings received in the temple during this period: There we had the gift of prophecy – the gift of tongues – the interpretation of tongues – visions and marvelous dreams were related – singing of heavenly choirs was heard, and wonderful manifestations of the healing power, through administrations of the Elders, were witnessed. The sick were healed – the deaf made to hear – blind to see and the lame to walk, in very many instances. It was plainly manifest that a sacred and divine influence – a spiritual atmosphere pervaded that holy edifice (KRA p 170). On January 21, 1836, Joseph Smith, his father, the First Presidency, the presidency of the Church in Missouri, the bishoprics in Kirtland and Missouri, and the Prophet’s scribe, Warren Parish, saw a vision of the Father and the Son as is recorded in D&C 137. In April 1836, Joseph and Oliver received Priesthood Keys from Moses, Elias, and Elijah (D&C 110). Also, there were at least four visits from the Savior (KRA p 174).
January 21, 1836 (Thursday) - The Presidency of the Church, and the councils of Kirtland and Zion, met in the evening in the Lord’s House, at Kirtland, and attended to the ordinance of anointing with oil and blessing each other. The visions of heaven were opened, angels administered to them, and the house was filled with the glory of God. Joseph the Prophet “beheld the celestial kingdom of God and the glory thereof,” the “transcendent beauty of the gate through which the heirs of that kingdom will enter, the throne of God whereon was seated the Father and Son,” and the beautiful streets of the kingdom. He also saw Fathers Adam and Abraham. On seeing his brother Alvin, who died before the Church was organized, the Prophet marvelled, but the voice of the Lord told him that all who had died without a knowledge of the gospel, who would have received it if they had been permitted to tarry, should be heirs of the celestial kingdom of God. (See History of Joseph Smith.) (Doctrine and Covenants 137:1-10.)
January 25, 1832 (Wednesday) - A conference was held at Amherst, Loraine Co., O., at which a number of Elders were called by revelation on special missions and to preach the gospel in different parts of the country. (Doc. and Cov., Sec. 75.)
January 23, 1833 (Wednesday) - The conference was held at Kirtland. “After much speaking, singing, praying and praising God, all in tongues,” the brethren “proceeded to the washing of feet, as commanded of the Lord,” according to the practice recorded in John 13:4-15. (See History of Joseph Smith.)
January 24, 1841 (Sunday) - Hyrum Smith succeeded his father, Joseph Smith, sen., as Patriarch to the Church, and Wm. Law was appointed a Counselor in the First Presidency, succeeding Hyrum Smith, in that capacity, according to revelation.
A most important place in Mormon Missouri history. Here, after their arrest at Far West, Joseph Smith and others were put on trial under Judge Austin King, who was no better than a mobster himself. The lawyer who defended Joseph was one of the truly great men in American history, Alexander Doniphan, whose statue is prominent in the town square. This same Doniphan, in an effort to stop the persecution of the Mormons, succeeded as a member of the Missouri legislature in having two counties created just for the Mormons. I.e. Caldwell (Far West area) and Davies (Adam-ondi-Aham). As a brigadier general in the Missouri Militia, he prevented the execution by firing squad of Joseph and Hyrum at Far West by refusing to carry out that order from the commanding general. He also represented Joseph Smith as his lawyer while he was in the Liberty Jail.
After their arrest at Far West, Joseph Smith and others were taken to Independence and put on display in a most humiliating manner. This was before being tried or convicted of anything. They were then taken to Richmond and incarcerated while awaiting trial with a number of others arrested at the same time. This lead to the rebuking of the guards incident recorded by Parley P. Pratt in his autobiography and presented in Richmond as a part of our Missouri tour.
The Richmond Old Mormon Cemetery has several important graves: Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer Sr.; Mary Whitmer (only woman to see the plates), Jacob Whitmer (one of the eight witnesses).
Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer came here to live after they apostatized from the church. Oliver practiced law in Richmond and is buried in the old Mormon Cemetery. David Whitmer is buried in the large city cemetery on Highway 10.
January 18, 1827 (Thursday) - Joseph Smith, jun., married Emma Hale, a daughter of Isaac Hale, while in the employ of Josiah Stoal, in Chenango County, N. Y.
January 16, 1838 (Tuesday) – The Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, with their families, began their journey to Far West, Missouri, in covered wagons to join with the Saints there. Their families had arrived in Norton Township, Ohio, about 36 hours after Joseph and Sidney were forced to flee Kirtland, Ohio, in the middle of the night. Their pursuers continued to look for them for several days. Once they were in the same house with their pursuers staying in the room next to the Prophets family. Another time they were stopped by them, but the men decided they were not who they were looking for.
January 19, 1841 (Tuesday) - The Saints were commanded by revelation to build a Temple at Nauvoo, Ill., and also a “boarding house” for the accommodation of strangers, which subsequently became known as the Nauvoo House. The general authorities of the Church and other officers were named in the revelation, which also contains important explanations on the order of the Priesthood. (Doc. and Cov., Sec. 124.)
January 16, 1844 (Tuesday) – The Nauvoo city council met with Francis M. Higbee and worked out a reconciliation between the Prophet Joseph and Higbee. The Prophet forgave him for the slanderous letter he had written and Francis Higbee stated he was the Prophet’s “friend for ever, and his right-hand man.”
January 16, 1981 (Friday) – Esther W. Eggertsen Peterson, a national consumer rights advocate and consumer affairs advisor to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, becomes the first Latter-day Saint to be honored with the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. She was awarded the honor by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
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Jan 2, 1830 (Saturday) – Abner Cole, editor of The Reflector, begins publishing pirated extracts from the Book of Mormon, which is in the process of being printed at the Grandin press building, the same building used by Cole to print his newspaper. This marks the first time Book of Mormon text appears in print.
January 5, 1831 (Wednesday) - Oliver Cowdery and fellow-missionaries arrived in Jackson County, Missouri, where they commenced their mission among the Lamanites on its western border.
January 1841 - The first number of the Gospel Reflector, a semi-monthly periodical published in the interest of the Church, was issued in Philadelphia, Pa.; Benjamin Winchester, editor.
Jan 2, 1882 (Monday) – President John Taylor moves into the Gardo House build as the official residence of the President of the Church.
Jan 2, 1954 (Saturday) – President David O. McKay leaves New York for London en route to the South African, South American, and Central American missions, making him the first President of the Church to visit these areas.
January 4, 1905 (Wednesday) - The Dr. Groves Latter-day Saints hospital in Salt Lake City was dedicated by Pres. Joseph F. Smith; the hospital was opened for the reception of patients Monday Jan. 9, 1905.