On April 6, 1830, believers gathered together in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sr., in Fayette, New York. They had gathered together to witness and participate in the official organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, this important occasion still resonates with members around the world. Here are five interesting facts you may not have known.
The Lord had provided a blueprint for organizing the church a year before the event actually occurred but instructed the prophet, Joseph Smith, to wait for the proper time. Part of Joseph’s history of the church reads, “We were…commanded to defer our ordination until such time as it should be practicable to have our brethren, who had been and who should be baptized, assembled together.”
Four men were chosen to become incorporaters of the church, according to the laws of the land, which would allow the church to be formed legally. If the church was a legal church, they could own land and perform marriages. These men were Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, David Whitmer, and Peter Whitmer, Jr.
No more than thirty people were in attendance when the church was formed, with only 6 men having been baptized by the proper authority as members.
Due to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost at the meeting, several people who had attended chose to be baptized that day, including Joseph’s father and mother. Joseph cried tears of joy, proclaiming, “Praise to my God! that I have lived to see my own father baptized into the true Church of Jesus Christ.”
Because the church had been operating with forms of spiritual leadership for quite some time before this official meeting, some did not fully appreciate the significance of the event and even experienced confusion about what date was appropriate to be designated as the forming of the church. You can read more about this here.
What does the forming of the church mean to you in your life? Let us know in the comments.