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John Murdock Journal


I, John Murdock, was born July 15th, in the year of our Lord 1792 in the town of Kortwright, Delaware County, state of New York, being the third son of John Murdock, who was the son of Samuel Murdock, whose father emigrated with his family, from Scotland, as near as I can learn, about the middle of the eighteenth century, to America. He had three sons viz: Samuel, William, and Eliphalet. My grandfather Samuel Murdock, with his family, consisting of seven sons and four daughters viz: Hezekiah, Eli, Dan, Troop, Samuel, John, Joshua, Lydia, Submit, Betsy, and Eunice, lived in and about Bennington and Rutland Counties, Vermont and Washington County, New York, where my father married Eleanor Riggs, who was the eldest child of my Grandfather Riggs who was born in England, and married his wife, in Ireland by the name of McLaughry, and emigrated to the city of New York, North America, where he taught the higher branches of education. He had three sons and two daughters viz: Edward, Thomas, Matthew, Eleanor and Mary Ann. Eleanor, their eldest daughter, was my mother. She was possessed of a good education, and was much given to reading, and prayer, and was noted for piety, and was very ready to teach and instruct her children. She was a member of the Seceder Church, who dissented from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland. My father belonged to the same body during the lifetime of my mother; but in [on] April 7th, 1796, my mother died leaving my father with four sons. They had buried two children, besides one that was buried in the grave with my mother.

My parents were united in matrimony January 27th, the year of our Lord A.D. 1785. Their children were born as follows: James S. Murdock, March 3rd, 1786. Edward, November 11th, 1787, and an infant was born and died 1790. Polly, my sister, was born April 15th, 1791, and died January 10th, 1792. I was born July 15th, 1792. Samuel was born August 24th, 1794. This is my genealogy as far back as I am able to trace it.

After the death of my mother, which was April 7th, 1796, my father married Betsy Shepherd; but she caused him and his children rather an unhappy life during her stay with him which was from the winter of 1797 till 1813, when she died, having born him four children, viz: Sally Betsy, Eleanor Meriah, Tessie Sheperd [Shepherd], and Emiline who were born as follows: The first, Sally Betsy was born September 10th, 1799. E. M. [Eleanor Meriah], May 9th, 1801. T. S. [Tessie Shepherd], August 12, 1803. E. [Emiline], February 24th, 1807.

My father, soon after marrying my mother, removed to Kortwright, Delaware County, where he remained till after the death of my mother. Immediately after marrying Betsy Shepherd he removed to Harpersfield where he remained during the lifetime of my stepmother. My stepmother was a very high-spirited woman and very partial towards her children; which was the cause of difficulty in my father's family, and she was a smart, enterprising woman, and a very excellent housekeeper, and learned [taught] her girls to work.

My brother James, about the age of sixteen, by the consent of my father, left home to learn the blacksmith trade, but found he was not able to work at it, and then applied himself to study, and taught school for many years. My brother Edward left my father, by his consent, at about twenty years of age to learn the carpenter trade with Shuble Palmer, but finally farmed for a living. At 15 years of age my father hired me to Robert Leal for one year. My father was to have forty dollars in cash and I was to have three months schooling in the year, and about four or five months before my year was up, my brother Edward came into the neighborhood where I lived to work at his trade, it being about twenty miles from my father's house. He sent word to me by Edward to come home as soon as my year was out, but finding that I could live from home peaceably, and fearing that I could not live so at home, I resolved to not go home, but did not make my intentions known to Edward, or anybody else. Accordingly, the morning that my clothes were prepared for me to start home, I tried to obtain a small portion of my wages to carry with me for spending money, but my excuse was that I wanted to buy something along the road, but I could not obtain any from Mr. Leal, without an order from my father. Consequently, I started without any money in my pocket to seek my fortune in a world of strangers; and instead of going twenty miles up the river, I, that day, went twenty miles down the river further from home, and lodged overnight with Amos Dibble, a mill carpenter, who had built a mill for Robert Leal. The next morning, by his recommend, I hired to a man one month for five dollars. I think his name was either Townsen or Downer.

My brother Edward found out the same night that I started that I had gone from home, and sent word to my father, who after searching about three weeks, came to me one Sunday evening, as I was going to the well for a pitcher of water, but he talked very kind to me and gave me the choice to go with him or stay. I told him if I could live peaceably at home, I would rather do it. He thought I could and accordingly I went with him, for the people where I was were a wicked people, and I realized it though I was but sixteen. Soon after I went home I requested my father to let me learn the trade of leather making but he said he had let two of his sons go to trades and he would not spare me; but I could not be content under the government of my stepmother. My brother Samuel, at the age of about eight years, had gone to live with my Uncle Edward Riggs, a worthy man. He remained with him till he was twenty one, and I not being satisfied at home had a great desire to leave; and finally wished for something to happen that I might have an excuse to go; and in September, after I was seventeen years old, I fell on a scythe and became a cripple by a severe wound in my wrist, having cut two of the main leaders I came near bleeding to death; yea death stared me in the face, but I covenanted with my Heavenly Father that if he would preserve my life, I would serve him. A surgeon by the name of Gregory was sent for to dress it. He took up the two veins on his needle and gave it to my father to hold till he would tie them, and he let them slip, and they had to be taken the second time. But amidst all the pain and affliction that I endured that night I bore up under it very well until my stepmother found fault with me for being careless. I thought it a bad time to find fault, and I could not forbear weeping; but during one year I remained in my father's house. She would very often find fault with me because I was a bill of expense, and not able to work, although I did work some with both hoe and scythe by tying my hand to them. When I was eighteen I obtained liberty to go about four miles to visit my brother James, who was teaching school.

I will notice some of the operations of my mind during this year and about this time. Having lived with my Uncle Michael Sixsmith, the man who married my Aunt Mary Ann, from ten to thirteen years of age, and they being very pious, taught me to pray, and made me learn the 23rd Psalm, besides many other things; I therefore became pious, when young, and would always pray to my Heavenly Father when in trouble, or when out by night, and to pass through the woods, or any lonely place, I would pray before passing, and return thanks after I was through and I never saw the place, or time, but what I would go, if duty called me but would not be hired to go, where duty did not call. At one time I dreamed, and thought I was in a room with my young friends, and a throne appeared in the room, with a light on it, resembling a burning candle. I endeavored to show it to them, but they could not see it. I told them it was preparing for one and although when I awoke, I well remembered the dream, yet till I embraced the fullness of the gospel, I had no correct views, of the meaning of the dream, and from that, and many other circumstances, I see that the Lord by his spirit, and providence, has wrought on my mind from infancy up, to prepare me to embrace the true points of his doctrine.

The loss of my mother and the wound in my wrist, were both special provinces [providences], that caused me to search after truth. The summer that I was eighteen years old, I went to school some little, but being persecuted by my stepmother, which made me uneasy and discontented and I from that time forth decreed in my heart, that a second wife in my house, should never tyrannize over a first woman's children; but my trust was in the Lord, and when in trouble I would call on him, and he would comfort me.

As I before mentioned, I visited my brother James, the fall after I was eighteen. I laid my situation before him, and he had pity for me and he had agreed to pay one half of my board, and give me my tuition, if father would pay the other half of my board, and Thomas McClaughry, a cousin to my mother, agreed to board me for seventy five cents per week, and accordingly I left my father's house, being possessed of a very slender education, and very poorly clad, and not able to do a day's work. I went to school six months to my brother, and he paid the bill and educated me freely, a favor that I thank the Lord for, and pray the Lord to have mercy on my brother and his family and save them in his kingdom.

I was enabled to teach a school the next year, during the summer season, and went to school again to my brother in the winter, and finally recovered the use of my hand, so far as to again labor.

When I was twenty years old I went into partnership with my brother Edward on a new farm, and labored with him about six or eight months, which time my stepmother died, and my father having sold a part of his farm, and taken goods in payment therefore, and my father wishing to travel into the western country to dispose of his goods, sent for me to come home and take charge of his farm and family. I dissolved partnership with my brother and went home to my father, and took care of the family two years, and then bought the farm and gave my father a mortgage of one thousand dollars to secure the pay.

I received my deed in March and sold the farm in April for about eleven hundred dollars, and the girls became uneasy because of the persuasions of their mother's sisters, and they went to live with them, and Tessie, went to live with my father, who had bought a farm on the Cowneskey River, Tioga County, Pennsylvania. I broke up housekeeping and took a farm and summer fallowed and sowed thirty acres of wheat and rye; and sold my share to my brother Edward. I was then twenty three years old and had never stayed overnight in a tavern. I then commenced travelling to see the different parts of the country.

My first journey was to Argyle, Washington County, to visit my brother Samuel, and my mother's relatives, who were all very zealous in sectarian religion. Generally of the Presbyterian Seceder Order. But I did not unite to any sect till I was about twenty five years old. [It] was as I had been from my youth up, engaged in prayer and meditation on the things of God; and I was at work alone. One day I was engaged in meditation, and a vision passed before my mind. It appeared to me as if the judgment had sat, and the Lord was on his throne, and called the people to him one at a time and questioned them respecting their conduct in this life; and it appeared as if they answered truly for they durst not answer otherwise; for the judge knew all that was in them, and I thought that I was about the third person called, and the first question put to me was if I had commemorated the death and sufferings of the Savior, by obeying the ordinances, at which I was aroused as from sleep being insensible of the vision, and of my situation, till I found myself convicted of a lack of duty. I immediately began to look for a society that I might receive the ordinances with.

Being traditionated into sectarianism, I did not understand the vision, and did not inquire of the Lord as I ought, but united with the Lutherian [Lutheran] Dutch Church, and soon found they did not walk according to the scriptures; but as I, with my brother Samuel, about this time removed from Washington County to Delaware County. We there commenced laboring on a new farm, where we continued in partnership about two years. I there united with the [Presbyterian] Seceder Church, where my mother used to be a member, I soon became dissatisfied with their walk, for I saw it was not according to the scriptures, and I talked with their Deacon respecting disorderly members, and he told me they were accountable for their own conduct. I told him the scriptures forbid eating and drinking with such. He gave me no satisfaction.

I soon dissolved partnership with my brother Samuel, and I travelled into the western country. My brother Edward had been a member of the Calvinistic Baptist Church for some years, often tried to convince me of the truth of immersion, being the only true mode of baptism, but he, being ignorant of the scriptures, could not do it; but as I was travelling in Tioga, Pennsylvania, I stayed overnight with a Mr. Short and he put into my hands a pamphlet treating upon baptism and it gave me some light on the subject. Soon after I had the opportunity of reading the Church History, and one particular thing which I looked for was to find the ancient mode of baptism, and at length I found, according to that historian, that immersion was the ancient mode with the church and this caused me to search the scriptures to see if these things were so, for I had learned that my father, or mother, or priest, or anybody else, saying a thing was so, did not make it so. There is nothing makes it so, only its being truth. I found the scriptures to read so although immersion, or plunging is not named in them; yet to my understanding that is the whole tenor of the scriptures. I then searched closely, the Padobaptist writings to see what proof they had, and the more I searched their confessions of faith, Catechisms and Scott's Notes on the Bible and all such writings, the more I disagreed with them.

I, at length, found the Pedobaptist to not have one solitary proof positively in their favor, but in all their arguments are on the negative side of the question, dealing in suppositions like they suppose the Apostle could not immerse three thousand on the day of Pentecost, or Paul and Silas could not baptize the jailor and his household by night. And in the meanwhile allow that immersion in baptism; but say that sprinkling, or something else, will do as well; but they do greatly err not knowing the authority of the priesthood, nor the order of God. I found by the scriptures that a proper subject of baptism was one that exercised faith and repentance; and as Christ died to redeem the world from sin, consequently an infant has no need of baptism, but they that are of mature age. I being convinced of these facts, began to examine whether I was worthy of baptism. I made application and was baptized in Chagrin River, Cuyahoga County, Orange, Ohio, about ten o'clock at night by Elder Hanks a Baptist Priest.

Being thirty years old. In my travelling I came to this place this year where I abode nine years; and now I took an active part in carrying on meetings with the Baptists for awhile. But some misunderstanding taking place between me and some of the members, and finding they held so strongly to Calvinistic Doctrine which I did not believe, and finding their walk not to agree with their profession, I withdrew myself from them and stood about two years aloof from all religious sects and my wife in company with me; (for I had married my wife Julia being the eldest daughter of Orice and Phebe Clapp of Mentor of Geauga County, Ohio. She was born February 23rd, A.D. 1796. We were married December 14th, 1823, I being 31 years old and she being 27 years old; she bore me six children as follows - Orrice C., December 24th, 1824. John R., September 13th, 1825. Phebe, March 10th, 1828. An infant we buried September 1829. Joseph S. and Julia, April 30th A.D. 1831 and my wife died six hours after their birth, and Joseph Smith, the Prophet, took my two infants to bring up) during which time I frequently attended Methodist meetings and was frequently invited to preach to them. I did so and always spoke according to the light I had; and when I did not please them I would have to be silent among them awhile; and I could not agree with them.

I kept searching the scriptures and looking to find a people that lived according to them, but could not find such a people. At length word came to me that a people had risen up that were baptizing for the remission of sins, and promised any person remission of sins that would be baptized and that they had caught a whole Baptist Church in Mentor, and they would receive a drunkard or any profane person. I reasoned with myself on the subject and said it was impossible that they should have caught that whole Baptist Church in such a gross error all at one haul; but said I, they have found something in the scriptures that the rest of the religious world does not have any understanding of, and I sat me down with my Bible in my hand and opened to the 3rd chapter of John's testimony and read the words of the Savior, "Except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven; and, again, except a man be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." I queried what it was to be born of water. I concluded being born of the Spirit was to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, but to be born of water I did not understand. I said the evangelist does not make it plain and I must see what the practice of the Apostles were [was] in receiving members into the Church; and that will explain the being born of water.

Accordingly, I turned to the 2nd chapter of Acts of the Apostles and found after Peter had preached Jesus and him crucified, the truth pricked them in the heart, and I concluded they were born again, so they could [see] the Kingdom of Heaven and desired to know how to get into it agreeing with 1st Peter, 1st chapter, 23rd verse--being born again not of corrupting deeds but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth forever. They were born of the word and the word showed them the Kingdom of Heaven, and they cried out to know what they should do that they might enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Peter told them to repent and be baptized, everyone, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; this was being born of water, I thought, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; and this was being born of the Spirit; I thought, and I was so sensibly struck with the truth that I said to my wife Julia, "Here is a truth that the religious world has not seen." I read it to her and she saw it and embraced it with me. I then read the Acts of the Apostles through and found many facts agreeing with the idea; also other parts of scripture agreeing therewith.

About two weeks after, my wife's brother, Thomas Clapp, came to see us being armed with many passages of scriptures to convince me of the late discovered truth; for he was among the late converts, at Mentor. I sat and heard his story, and found him to be precisely in the same tract with myself, and understood the scriptures I did; which was the doctrine of the new sect, known by the Campbellites. It caused me to rejoice believing that I had at last found a people that believed the scriptures as they had. I was much engaged about this time searching the scriptures and many times after retiring to my bed, my mind would be exercised to that degree, that it would not be satisfied till I would get up, light my candle, and read my Bible an hour or two, and then I would go to my bed and sleep sweetly.

I, finding the people called the Campbellites, so well agreeing with my feelings, and they professed to be in search of truth as I was, therefore I united with them. I think it was in the year A.D. 1827. Elder Sidney Rigdon was one of the leaders in this part of the country; and I believe that he, with many others were honestly seeking for truth, for awhile; but when the truth came, because it did not come as they wanted, they rejected it. I continued a member with them, about 3 years, I think; but at length finding their principal leader, Alex [Alexander] Campbell, with many others, denying the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, I began to think of looking [for] me a new home. I had firmly became [become] convinced that all the sects were out of the way; so much so that I asked Brother B. Covey, supposing all the different churches to be out of the way, as we believe they are, and we find the ancient manner of building up the Church according to the scriptures, as we believe we have (for by reading we found the ancient manner of building up the Church was by baptizing for the remission of sins and laying on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.) Where is the man to commence the work of baptizing? or where shall he get his authority? Can he go to those who are out of the way and obtain authority? I told him no. If they are out of the way as we believe; they have lost all authority, and I said to him, the only way the authority can be obtained is, the Lord must either send an angel to baptize the first man, or he must give a special command to someone to baptize another.

About one month after this interview with Brother Covey, word came to me that four men had arrived at Kirtland from the state of New York, who were preaching, baptizing, and building up the church after the ancient order; it was one Sunday morning as I was going to attend an appointment to preach, that I was informed on this; I was also told that Elder Rigdon, with many others of the Campbellite Church, were baptized by them. I replied to my informer that it was an insinuation of the devil but I was immediately checked in my feelings, and I made no more harsh expressions respecting them. I attended my appointment and got along with my meeting as easy as I could and went home, and went to reading my Bible and frequently heard of the new preachers until Thursday the same week. I went to see for myself, a distance of about twenty miles. I heard the sayings of many people by the way, some for the new preachers, and some against, but I observed the Spirit that stimulated those for, and those against. I met Squire Waldo, who was a Campbellite [who?] was bitterly opposed. He tried to have me take another road, and not go to Kirtland, but I told him I was of age, and the case was an important one, of life, and death, existing between me and my God, and I must act for myself, for no one can act for me. I rode about three miles further and met another man of the same order, I had about the same kind of discourse with him and passed on.

And arrived at father Isaac Morley's about dark, and was soon introduced to those four men from New York, and presented with the Book of Mormon; I now said within myself, I have items placed before me that will prove to me whether it be of God or not viz: four men professing to be servants of the most high God, authorized to preach the gospel, and practice the ordinances thereof, and build up the Church after the ancient order; and having a book professing to have come forth by the power of God, containing the fullness of the gospel; I said if it be so their walk will agree with their profession, and the Holy Ghost will attend their ministration of the ordinances, and the Book of Mormon will contain the same plan of salvation as the Bible. I was sensible that such a work must come forth, but the question with me was, are these men that are to commence the work. I did not ask a sign of them by working a miracle, by healing a sick man, by raising a dead man, or, by casting out a devil; only I desired to know whether the Spirit would attend their ministration if the Book of Mormon was not true, neither if they were not sent forth by God. Accordingly, that night was held the first confirmation meeting that was held in Ohio. And I said within myself it is a good time for me. For thought I, this night must prove it to be true, or false; I did not find out respecting the meeting till about ten o'clock at night. And at that time they had all left but three men; and I found they wanted to go to the meeting, and did not want those in, that had not been baptized. I said to them go, for if you wish to be alone, I do not blame you. The case is one of importance. They went and I stayed alone, and read the Book of Mormon.

During the evening previous to the meeting, a Nathan Goodwell, a Campbellite came and conversed with Elder Oliver Cowdery for he was the principal one of the four, and I watched the Spirit of each one of them in their conversation, and I found that Goodwell bore down with warmth, whereas Cowdery wished not for contention, and endeavored to evade controversy, and I, seeing this, spake to Goodwell as follows, saying, Brother Goodwell I have come to Kirtland, not to contend either for or against these men, for I do not know whether they are true or false, but I have come to see what they have brought. I want to converse with you if you are willing. I said I had some questions to ask you. He said he would try to answer them.

1st, Do you not think that you and I are possessed of the form of godliness? He replied, yes. I said, you and I agree on that point.

2nd, Do you think we have the power of godliness? He stammered at the question, but concluded we had. I told him that I doubted it. But, said I, we will try it by the word, as follows. Mark 16th chapter, 14th verse, to the end of the chapter, "Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye unto all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

Luke 24th chapter, 49th verse. "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high." Acts 1st chapter, 8th verse, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Verse 12th. "Then returned they unto Jerusalem, from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. And when they were come in, they went into an upper room, where abode both Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholemew, Matthew, James, the son of Alpheus, Simon Zelotes and Judas, the brother of James. These all contained with one accord in prayer, and supplication with the women, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." Chapter 2nd, verse 1st [through 5th]. "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad the multitude came together, and were confounded because that every man heard them repeat in his own language; and they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans and now hear we every man, in our own tongue, wherein we were born."

Matthew, 28th chapter and Mark 16th chapter, say the Apostles were to preach the gospel to every creature in all the world. Luke 24th chapter, 49th verse and Acts 1st chapter, 8th verse say they were to receive power to do so, after the Holy Ghost was come upon them, and the power of the Holy Ghost, on the servant of God, is the power of godliness, for there is no man but a godly man that can profess that power with God. The history says they tarried in Jerusalem, and were engaged in prayer, till the day of Pentecost was fully come, at which time the Holy Ghost came on them, and it qualified them to preach the gospel and hear testimony to every creature which they could not do, till they received power of God to speak in other tongues. Paul said the churches which he had built up among the gentiles were not behind in any of these gifts of God.

And in 2nd Timothy, 3rd chapter, 5th verse, that in the last days men should arise, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof and he says from such turn away. Now in denying the power of godliness they will deny the gift of tongues and other gifts by the power of the Holy Ghost, and as for myself, I mean to turn away from them. He was confused, and could not answer.

I read till it was late and went into Father Morley's chamber to bed and had not been long in bed, before they returned, and some half dozen or more came into the same house, and as soon as they came into the house, although I was in bed up [in the] chamber, the spirit of the Lord rested on me, witnessing to me of the truth of the work. I could no longer rest in bed but got up and went down and found Elder Rigdon among the number, and he said to me I might go back to bed, for he would not talk to me that night, but I sat in a chair and conversed with them, and I found they appeared very tender in their feelings and I retired to bed again. I could not help secretly rejoicing on the occasion. The next morning I conversed with about half a dozen men separately who had been confirmed in the meetinghouse the night before. I found their testimony agreed on the subject that there was a manifestation of the spirit attended the ministration of the ordinance of laying on hands, and I found the items placed before me, that I before noticed, all testified that it was of God.

About ten o'clock that morning, being November 5th, 1830, I told the servants of the Lord that I was ready to walk with them into the water of baptism. Accordingly, Elder P. [Parley] P. Pratt baptized me in the Chagrin River and the spirit of the Lord sensibly attended the ministration, and I came out of the water rejoicing and singing praises to God, and the Lamb. An impression sensibly rested on my mind that cannot, by me, be forgotten. It appeared to me that notwithstanding all the profession of religion that I had previously made and all that I had done, that by my act of now being baptized I had just escaped a horrible pit of destruction. This was the third time I had been immersed, but I never before felt the authority of the ordinance, but I felt it this time and felt as though my sins were forgiven. I continued with the brethren till Sunday at which time they preached in Mayfield and baptized a number, and on Sunday evening they confirmed about thirty. I was one of the number. Elder Oliver Cowdery was administrator. I was also ordained an elder; and it was truly a time of the outpouring of the spirit. I know the spirit rested on me as it never did before and others said they saw the Lord and had visions.

I tarried till Monday morning, took breakfast, and attended prayers with the brethren, and then rode home a distance of seven miles, and it seemed as I was in vision of the spirit as I rode, for it seemed as if I could see how Israel would gather according to Isaiah 43rd chapter, 5, 6, 7th verses, "Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him."

I endeavored to bear testimony to my neighbors whom I met by the way, but they would not believe. At length I arrived home. My family gladly received me and my words, thank the Lord. And my wife and Brother Covey both believed the Book of Mormon, for I brought it home with me, and read it to them, and I was filled with the spirit as I read.

At length the first day of the next week arrived and the New York brethren held meeting in Warrensville, four miles west of my house, and I bore testimony to the truth, my wife, Brother Covey, and 3 others were baptized. Brother Ziba Peterson, held meeting in my house the evening before, and I bore testimony to my neighbors. On Monday morning the New York brethren, accompanied by F. [Frederick] G. Williams, a late convert, took leave of us and started for the upper Missouri.

At length another week passed away and Sunday arrived and I attended my appointment in Orange, and preached to the people in great plainness and some believed, and some opposed the truth, and I baptized three: Brother Judd, his wife and daughter. The next Sunday arrived, and I attended my appointment in Warrensville, I preached in great plainness to the people, and baptized three more, viz: Israel Huff's wife, Steven Burnet, and Louisa Gardner. I confirmed them by the laying on of hands, and the two last received the outpouring of the spirit so that their strength was taken from them, and they with myself and wife stayed all night at Brother C. Baldwin's, and took breakfast next morning and while attending prayer, Brother Steven was carried away of the spirit, and said he must go to see his uncle Warren Thorp, and family, before he went home for so the spirit directed him. I went with him, and he bore testimony to them of the work, but they would not believe.

We then went to his father's and my wife also. Brother Baldwin and his wife, and some others, when we came there they had just moved into their new house. I asked Mr. Burnet what he thought of these things. He said he believed it to be like the Freemasons. One got catched [caught] and he would not tell till they caught another, but after awhile supper was ready, and we sat round a long table, and Brother Steven at one end of the table, and I at the other, and Mr. Burnet asked me to give thanks, and while I was doing so, Brother Steven was overcome with the spirit, so as to lose his strength. Some removed from the table without eating, others ate awhile. His father and mother sat in tears.

At length agreed to have meeting at his house, and I preached various times and was helped in my ministry, in Orange and Warrensville, and through my ministration there was added to the Church in that place, in and about the following four months, these people viz: Myself and my wife Julia, Benjamin Covey, Caleb Baldwin, Nancy Baldwin, Charles Taylor, the above were baptized by P. [Parley] P. Pratt, and confirmed under the hands of Oliver Cowdery, and the following under my ministration, Philo Judd, Nancy Judd, Sally and Rebecca Judd, Nancy Eames, Stephen Burnet, Louisa Gardner, Nancy Huff, Isaac Eames, Louis Carpenter, Grace Carpenter, Ira Sherman, Phebe Sherman, Lance and Cyrus Barnet, Hason, Alouson Cleviland, Julia Smith, Betsy Gates, James Rich, Elias Hutchings and Sally Rhoda Gates, Benjamin Carpenter, Helen Woodard, Lydia _____, Benjamins Evans Turner and Jeddiah Hubbel, Eunice Woodard, Arenath Carpenter, Olive Hutchings, Seliman Hubbel, Benjamin Blagg, Nobles Hubbel, Hannah Bragg, Rhoda Kimball, Rither Gates, Sophia Covey, Justus Arnold and his wife, Electa Jonathan, Eunice, Phebe, Seeth, and Elisha Covey, Justus Pooler, Elan Barbar, Louisa Covey, Ludinda Hubbel, Nancy M. and Caleb T. Baldwin, William and Nancy Dunchy, Amos Cleveland, Harry Hutchins, Zenos Barnet, and some others.

I continued to labor in the ministry, preaching and building up the Church in that region from November 1830, till June 1831, when I could leave my family. And in order that I might the better leave my family, I left my own house, and moved my family to Brother C. Baldwin's, in Warrensville, in December and my wife died 30th of April and left 5 living children. Two of them but six hours old; and on the 6th of June 1831, a conference of the Elders of the Church was held in Kirtland and myself was advanced to the High Priesthood, under the hand of Joseph Smith, Junior, the Prophet, and so were others. Soon after, a number of us received a revelation to travel to Missouri, Doctrine and Covenants (Section 52:8) page 192.

Agreeably to this revelation we, Hyrum Smith and Lyman Wright [Wight], John Corrill and myself, took our journey from Kirtland June 14th and went on board the steamer Wm. [William] Penn at Fairport and arrived at Detroit Wednesday, 15th, 11 o'clock at night. Left the boat and took lodging in a tavern. We were accompanied by Mother Smith and Sister Alvira Mack to this place. We breakfasted and dined freely with a merchant's wife, sister to Alvira, and we first labored from morning till noon to get a chance to preach, but could not. I was turned out-of-doors for calling on the Wool Carver [Carder] to repent. After dinner, we took leave on the two females and the family with whom we had dined and upon our feet as a testimony against that city, Brother Lyman and John took the North Route through Oakland County, Brother Hyrum and myself took the Chicago Road through White Pigeon Prairie. We journeyed 12 miles to Pekin, Thursday 16th.

We continued in that neighborhood till Monday the 20th and preached at times. 22nd, we preached according to a former appointment. A Methodist Circuit Preacher challenged us to prove from the scriptures that baptism by immersion was true. We, accordingly, took up the subject, proved it from the scriptures and he left the house angry. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we preached one discourse and travelled 76 miles. Sunday we preached one discourse. Monday travelled 30 miles wading large streams. Tuesday preached in the evening. Wednesday preached and travelled nine miles. Thursday preached another discourse at 2 o'clock, at Pigeon Prairie one hundred and fifty miles southwest of Detroit. July 1st left Pigeon Prairie, travelled 20 miles and lodged with the Potawatamie Indians. Received supper and breakfast from them and gave them some articles we had for their kindness. Saturday, 6 miles and took breakfast and 5 more to Elk Hart Prairie. Sunday 3rd, preached one discourse. 4th travelled 12 miles. On Thursday the 7th we were at Logan's Port on the Wabash River, 115 miles S. S. West [south southwest] from White Pigeon Prairie.

Sunday 10th, preached twice Monday. 11th read and expounded the scriptures all day and preached in the evening. 12th travelled to Laffayette [Lafayette] and preached in the evening, 11 miles. Wednesday 13th, travelled 25 miles and passed through where Brother Solomon Hancock and Simeon Carter built a church and arrived at Attica on the Wabash River 70 miles S.W. [southwest] of Lozar's Port. 14th preached twice--16th preached once. Sunday 17th, preached twice, 18th once. 19th once. 20th passed through Dansville 30 m. s. w. [miles southwest] of Attica. Thursday preached once. 21st preached once and on the 23rd arrived at the old trading house on Sagamon River 47 m. s. w. [miles southwest] from Dansvill [Dansville]. 24th preached once. 25th preached at Decator [Decatur?] the seat of Sagamon C. W. 27th preached once. 28th and 29th preached twice. 30th travelled 20 miles, preached in the evening. Barton Stone, New Light Preacher, present.

31st same preacher visited us early in the morning and tried to put us down by his learning, but we told him we did not understand other languages and we believed there was sufficient in the English scriptures, if a man would obey them, to secure his salvation. Therefore, we would confine ourselves to them only and on these premises we were ready to meet him and investigate the Plan of Salvation. We shut his mouth, he could not get round it. We preached at 9 o'clock and as we had the evening before shown the first principles of the gospel--repentance and baptism for the remission of sins and the laying on of the hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. We set forth the promises of the Saviour to the Apostles. Then alleged that the same promises were to all who believed, and showed the same blessings were obtained by the same obedience, for the gospel of salvation is the same in all generations. And then bore testimony that all must repent, both professor and nonprofessor, both priests and people, and we had great liberty by the spirit. Priest Store [Stone] trembled, but would not yield. We travelled 2 miles and filled another appointment.

August 1st travelled 28 miles and crossed the Illinois River. 2nd, 30 miles to Mississippi River Louise-Ana [Louisiana] Ferry and got my feet wet by which I took a violent cold by which I suffered near unto death. 3rd, crossed the river into Missouri. Travelled 25 miles to New London, found it a very wicked place.

As we slept in a tavern, in the night Brother Hyrum lay on the far side of the bed with his hand out on our clothes, which hung on a chair by the bedside, and a person seized his wrist. Brother H. [Hyrum] cried out, "Who is there," and at the same time broke his hold, which awoke me. We heard the bedstead in the other room creak which notified us that he had gone to bed. Thursday 4th, arrived at Salt River where we preached next day, but I was sick and went to bed, and we continued there near one week and then I gave my watch in pay to Wm. [William] Ivy to carry me in a wagon to Charidon 70 miles. We stayed there 2 days.

Met Brother J. [Joseph] Smith, Jr., S. [Sidney] Rigdon and others, and received the revelation recorded in the Book of Covenants [D&C] on page 202 or 308. We also fell in company with Brother Harvey Whitlock and David Whitmore [Whitmer], and we four put our money together and bought a pony. I rode him to Lexington, 60 miles, and on the way we four slept one night in a chamber where one half of the floor was laid, and the other not and a window being open, on the opposite side of the chamber from me, and I had a raging fever and had occasion to go to the window; it being dark, I stepped off the floor and fell across the joints.

The next day when I rode into Lexington, I was so weak I fell from the horse and lay till the brethren came and picked me up. They took me into a house and left me there four days and travelled on. After which, Brother Lyman Wight and Solomon Hancock came with a horse and carried me to Thomas Hopper, where I remained in a few days and was then carried in a wagon to Brother Joshua Louis, in Jackson County, where I lay sick two or three months, so much so that 2 or 3 days was lost time to me. Although I was so very sick that I could not pray vocally, yet my belief was so firm that it could not be moved. I believe[d] that I could not die because my work was not yet done. After I had a little recovered, went to Brother Newel Knight awhile and thence to Lyman Wight's and so remained with the brethren till the 24th and 25th of January 1832, which 2 days we held a conference. Brother Partrige [Partridge] presided and on the 26th Brother L. [Lyman] Wight, P. [Parley] P. Pratt, Levi Hancock and myself had just recovered from sickness. We four travelled in nearly the same places till we passed the black water and so into Seline [Saline?] County.

February 3rd we four arrived at Wilkinson's, Feyette [Fayette] County, held meeting in the evening. Remained there till Sunday 5th. Brother Levi and I preached once and then travelled on. 8th we arrived at Ruben Gentry's, Esquire, and abode with him 2 days. We preached in the Baptist meetinghouse on the 9th. 10th, Mr. Gentry accompanied us half mile to put us in the road and in much friendship bid us farewell. Mr. G. [Gentry] notified the preceding meeting. 10th we arrived at Wm. [William] Ross, Cooper County, it was near night. He was a Methodist and when we told him our mission, he rejected us but the spirit of the Lord rested on us, and I preached the Book of Mormon and the great work of the Lord in the last days and that we had been called of God to roll his work forth, and Brother Levi bore testimony in power, Mr. R. [Ross] trembled and took us in and kept us freely all night. Sent his son and called in his neighbors. We preached to them that evening and he read much in the Book of Mormon that night and next morning till breakfast time.

The 11th, Squire Beeding carried us across the LaMonic Creek. We arrived at a Mr. Young's in Lebanon Settlement. They opposed bitterly but we warned them till they said it was sufficient. We then travelled to Mr. Ware, a Cumberland Presbyterian Preacher. He received and kept us freely till Monday morning. We preached in his meetinghouse, next day being Sunday, and about 20 persons visited us during the evening; they inquired much and did not know what to say of the Book of Mormon. 13th after breakfast we bid Mr. Ware adieu; he wished us to pray for him and I do pray the Lord to have mercy on him according to his kindness to us. 14th travelled 8 miles to Mr. Howard's, preached to them and found them believing. One mile further to Thos. [Thomas] Smiley's and preached in the evening, they were believing and bought a Book of Mormon.

15th preached in the evening. 16th preached, evening prayed with and laid hands on a woman; had some clothes washed at James Kinney's 17th. 18th preached in Jefferson City, seat of government. Paid our fare 19th. Charles Low ferried us across the creek and gave us breakfast free. While breakfast was preparing, we preached the Kingdom of Heaven to him. Thence 8 miles across the Osage River. Thence 3 miles to William Kelly's and preached to the family that evening. 20th crossed the Sasknawd R. [River] and found the others [brethren?] --Parley and Lyman. 21st travelled 10 miles and I was seized with the ague and fever. Parley and myself stopped with Loel Stark overnight. 22nd thence 2 miles to Louise David's. Parley had a fit of the ague.

23rd Parley preached in the evening, 3 exhorted. We had the ague day about. 24th travelled 5 miles and found Levi and Lyman at Rebecca Perkins'.

They went on but we tarried till Monday 27th. I had a severe fit of the ague and did not recover from it so as to get up till noon. I lay and thought on our mission and our calling of God. We had but very little money and while sick we were continually on expense. I saw we could not stand it, so I determined in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to arise and pursue my journey. I called Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] to the bed and told him my determination, and requested him to lay hands on me in the name of the Lord. I arose from my bed, we took dinner and gave the widow a Book of Mormon for her kindness and started on our journey, it being 7 miles to the next house. I had a severe headache, and would frequently sit down and have Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] lay hands on me. At length we arrived at the 7 mile house and tavern overnight. 28th Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] had a shake before he was out of bed and then arose. We took a little breakfast and travelled 20 miles. 29th travelled 16 miles. I had a shake about 10 o'clock forenoon and travelled through it. Paid 12½ cents for dinner. March 1st. Preached at An. Caldwell's. 2nd preached at Mr. Farrier's, people tender. We tarried till Sunday 4th and preached--5th travelled 20 miles and preached. 7th taught the people. 8th thence 7 miles to St. Louis 200 miles east of where we started in Jackson County. Found Brother Lyman and Levi who had visited the Catholic Bishop and other Priests, they said, and tried to get public meetings in the city but was refused. They said they had preached in the markets and corner of the streets. We 4 crossed the Mississippi and stayed at Mr. Short's. 9th we recrossed the river to St. Louis and tried to obtain the courthouse to preach in but could not, and recrossed the river. Travelled 13 miles to Eportis and preached in the evening, Brother Lyman and Levi passed on. 10th preached at the Canteen Baptist meetinghouse. 11th Sunday, preached. 7th we preached.

13th we awoke at 12 o'clock at night by the hallowing of Isaac K. McMahan who followed us 27 miles to be baptized. He insisted on being baptized immediately. We arose and travelled back with him 4 miles, and baptized him at 2 o'clock [in the] morning, and ordained him an Elder and among other teaching we taught him to go to Zion. We preached in Grenville. 15th baptized Joseph Young and preached in the evening. 16th arrived at Joseph Walerdes and preached. 17th preached in Vandalia, the seat of government of Ills. [Illinois].

18th we this morning waded the ocean bottom 2 miles across. Great part of the way knee-deep in water, and some of the way mid deep. We were two hours in crossing and nearly perished. Only travelled 5 miles that day and put up. 19th thence about 20 miles and when we were on the prairie 5 miles from any house, Brother Parley [Pratt] had a shake of ague, and when the fever came on took his strength from him so that he lay down on the prairie. I said, "Brother P. [Pratt], can you travel any further?", said he "could not." I asked, do you believe the Son will heal you? He said, "The Son would heal him according to his faith", by [but] "my faith is small." I said, "Do you want me to lay hands on you?" He said, "Yes." I fell on my knees and with many tears laid my hands on him in the name of the Lord Jesus, and prayed for him and we both arose and travelled on and gave glory to God for his goodness, and Bro. P. [Brother Pratt] gained health and strength from that time, but I was seized that night with ague and fever, which affected me much till we arrived in Ohio, in the Church in the month of June, about 12 months after leaving my children. Between Vandalia and Orange, Ohio, we preached 31 times and arrived there about the 1st of June, found my little son Joseph had died. I had left my eldest son Orrice with Benjamin Bragg and John with Philo Judd and Phebe with Syrenus Burnet. I had to pay them all full price for keeping my children during my absence. But my daughter was still doing well with Bro. [Brother] Joseph, the Prophet.

I then continued with the Church preaching to them and strengthening them and regaining my health till the month of August when I received the revelation recorded in the Book of Covenants [D&C], page 806, at which time I immediately commenced to arrange my business and provide for my children and send them up to the Bishop in Zion, which I did by the hand of Bro. [Brother] Caleb Baldwin in September. I gave him 10 dollars a head for carrying up my three eldest children. I then settled my business and on the 24th of September I visited Father Clapp's family, preached the gospel to them. They were very unbelieving and hard. I returned to the brethren in Kirtland on the 25th and on the 27th started, in company with Brother Zebedia [Zebedee] Coltrin, and on that day called on Mr. Conning's family, Father Clapp's family and Benjamin Brich's family; all unbelieving. Stayed with Bro. [Brother] Kingsbury, in Painesville, preached in the evening. He gave us each 75 cents, God bless him. Met with a Dr. Matthews, a very wicked man, and [he] reviled against us, the Book of Mormon, and the doctrine we taught. We bore testimony according to the commandment and the Lord helped us in tending to the ordinance.

September 27th Geauga County, Ohio commenced preaching the gospel and baptizing and building up the Church. Baptizing about thirty persons in that region of country in company with Zebedee Coltrin. We continued our labors till about the next April in this region of country, excepting a short time that I was at Kirtland, at school, during which time I boarded with Bro. [Brother] Joseph Smith, the Prophet.

(On the 3rd day of April 1833, Bro. [Brother] Zebedee Coltrin and myself started on a mission to the eastern country.) During the winter that I boarded with Bro. [Brother] Joseph, as just mentioned, we had a number of prayer meetings, in the prophet's chamber, in which we obtained great blessings. In one of these meetings the prophet told us if we could humble ourselves before God, and exercise strong faith, we should see the face of the Lord. And about midday the visions of my mind were opened, and the eyes of my understanding were enlightened, and I saw the form of a man, most lovely, the visage of his face was sound and fair as the sun. His hair a bright silver grey, curled in most majestic form, His eyes a keen penetrating blue, and the skin of his neck a most beautiful white and he was covered from the neck to the feet with a loose garment, pure white, whiter than any garment I have ever before seen. His countenance was most penetrating, and yet most lovely. And while I was endeavoring to comprehend the whole personage from head to feet it slipped from me, and the vision was closed up. But it left on my mind the impression of love, for months, that I never felt before to that degree.

John Murdock, Journal, BYU Archive and Manuscripts pp.1-13