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Kirtland Temple Eyewitnesses

Edward Partridge, Diary (1836)

21st [January 1836] Having previously washed once or twice, The presidency with Bishop Whitney and his counsel, myself & my counselors met for the purpose of being anointed with Holy oil. Meeting was opened by Prest. Joseph Smith Jnr. In behalf of the Presidency Bishop Whitney in behalf of himself and counselors, and myself in behalf of myself & counselors. Then the Presidency proceeded to sanctify the oil, br. Smith Jun: first anointed his father pronouncing blessings upon him, then all the president beginning at the oldest rubbed their hand over his head & face which had been anointed, then br. J. prayed to the Lord to accept of the anointing and all of the presidency with right hand uplifted to heaven said amen. Father Smith then proceeded to take the lead and pour on the oil, then br J. followed and then in rotation as before described, prophesying &. C. on one anothers heads. After the presidents bishop Whitney & his counsel were annointed after the same manner then myself & my counsel, then br. Parrish as scribe for the presidency. After this Hyrum Smith anointed father John Smith who annointed the rest of the high council of Kirtland, br. David Whitmer annointed br. Simeon Carter who anointed the high council from Zion. Hymns were sung & a number saw visions & others were blessed with the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and we shouted hosanna to the most high, the meeting was dismissed by br. J.S. Jun conferring the benedictions of heaven upon us. The 22d the forenoon was taken up in telling the visions of the proceeding evening. We met in the evening for the purpose, of anointing the traveling high council, and the 7 Presidents of the 70. The Presidents of the church, first consecrated the oil, they then proceeded to anoint br. Thomas B Marsh as the oldest of the 12. br. Marsh then proceeded to anoint the 12, after which he anointed the presidents of the 70. The Presidents of the church anointed br. Carlos Smith as president of the high priests in Kirtland. Prest. J.S. Jur. Requested Prest. Sidney Rigdon, to ask the Lord to accept the performances of the evening, and instructed us, when he was done, to shout hosannah blessed be the name of the most high God.

These things were performed ; the shout & speaking in unknown tongues lasted 10 or 15 minutes. During the evening, more especially at the time of shouting, a number saw visions as they declared unto us.

The priests, teachers, and deacons me 2 or 3 evenings, about the last of Jan., for the purpose of being anointed. Bishop Whitney and counsel and myself and my counsel met and anointed them, after the anointing was over, each man asked the Lord to bless [sic] them and seal upon them the blessings that had been pronounced upon their heads of his brethren after he was through we shouted hosanna 3 times, to God and the Lamb, amen, amen, and amen. The 6 [February] evening all the quorums met and had all the blessings sealed by the presidency of the church; at the close of the ceremony we all shouted, agreeably to the above described order.

Sunday the 27 [March 1936] met and dedicated the House of the Lord. Prest. Rigdon preached in the forenoon. Prest. J Smith Jun. made many remarks and delivered the dedication prayer. meet at 8 morn & dismissed ? past 4 afternoon Met again in the evening that is the authorities of the church. many spoke in tongues some saw visions &c. Doct. F. G. Williams saw an angel or rather the Savior during the forenoon service.

Tuesday the 29, the 9 prest. the two bishops and their counsel met in the afternoon in the house of the Lord. We cleansed our hands and faces and feet after which we had our feet washed in the name of the Lord, this took till about dusk we then partook of bread and wine a feast, we prophesied and spoke in tongues & shouted hosannas. the meeting lasted till day light.

Wednesday [March 30, 1836] all the officers of the church met at 9 oclock in the Lords house, the priests teachers & deacons in one corner the vails having been let down, and the other officers occupied the rest of the lower room, the washing of feet was performed by noon, then they began to prophesy and speak in tongues adding shouts of hosannas to God and the Lamb with amen and amen this continued till dark when they partook of a feast of bread and wine, the meeting was kept up till morning the shouts were omitted during the night.

Thursday [March] 31st we met from 8 to 9 to accommodate those who could not get in the Sunday dedication the house was about filled and similar ceremonies performed that were performed on Sunday this meeting rather surpassed the Sunday meeting both in length & goodness.

 Stephen Post, Papers (March 27-31, 1836)

March 27 1836 This day was appointed to be a day when the house of the Lord built by the Church of the Latter day Saints was to be dedicated unto the Lord of the whole earth: there was also contribution: each individual as they came into the house of the Lord donated as they could in order to defray the expense of the building as the committee had incurred much expense above what had before been contributed. The doors were opened at 8 to be closed at 9 A.M. however they were closed before 9 on account of the house being full many retired to & filled the school room, under the printing office which holds 400 to 450 & many went home. The congregation came to order & President Sidney Rigdon commenced the services of the day by reading the 96 Psalm & then the 24 Ps[alm]. Then a song of praise then a prayer by President S. Rigdon Then another song of praise then a prayer by President S. Rigdon Then another song of praise & next a discourse from S. Rigdon from Matthew VIII 18-19-20 particularly the 20 verse: after the sermon the several quorums voted & arose as they were called upon to declare that they acknowledged Joseph Smith Jun. as a prophet, seer, & revelator to Israel. There was a song of praise & a short intermission the order of the house was for the people to keep their seats: as this day was appointed as a fast day unto the Lord from morning until evening. PM. A song of praise. Joseph Smith Jun. first president of the church of Latter day Saints; took the lead & called upon the several quorums separately to acknowledge each other in their separate capacities. . . . President Joseph Smith Jun. offered up a dedication prayer unto the Lord President Sidney Rigdon offered a short prayer & then led the way followed by the whole congregation acknowledging the Lord to be King. This is the sample of the shout with uplifted hands unto the most high, by the Lord’s anointed Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna to God & the Lamb Amen! Amen & Amen. This was done three times making 9 hosannas & 9 amens. They next partook of the sacrament & then were dismissed after after [sic] some testimony during the partaking by the congregation of the bread & wine in remembrance of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith Jun. testified of the Angel of the Lord appearing unto him to call him to the work of the Lord, & also of being ordained under the hands of the Angel of the covenant. President Hyrum Smith & President O. Cowdery testified of the truth of the work which was made known to them by the power of God. Carlos Smith President of the High Priests testified of the truth of the book. President F.G. Williams arose & testified that in the A.M. an angel of God came into the window (at the back of the pulpit) while Pt. Rigdon was at prayer 7 took his seat between him & Father Joseph Smith Sr. & remained there during the prayer. The ordained members of the church are requested to meet in the Lords house this evening to receive instruction previous to their going forth to proclaim the gospel. The congregation were now dismissed. The eve assembled in the house of the Lord Joseph Smith Jun. read the 6 chap. Chron. & showed us the order of dedicating a house to God anciently. This evening was designed as a continuation of our Pentecost, Angels of God came into the room, cloven tongues rested upon some of the servants of the Lord like unto fire & they spake with tongues & prophesied….

March 28…It was ascertained and told to us last eve that there was 1000 persons in the house of the Lord yesterday & they contributed as they went in $960. I will mention here that two of the Apostles Brigham Young & David Patten sang each a song of Zion in tongues & each spake in tongues & Elder Patten interpreted Brother Young’s tongue which he spake….There was about 316 ordained members met in the house of the Lord Sunday eve & we received instruction from Joseph Smith Jr. relative to our preaching & to our endowment this eve the Spirit of the Lord rested on the congregation many spake in tongues many prophesied, angels were in our midst , & ministered unto some. Cloven tongues like unto fire rested upon those who spake in tongues & prophesied when they ceased to speak the tongues ascended.

Wed. [March] 30 this day between the hours of 8 & 9 the ordained members met in the house of the Lord to attend to the last ordinance of the endowment viz: the ordinance of the washing of feet. This ordinance is administered to none but those who are clean from blood of the generation in which they live. I did not expect much to receive the ordinance as I had not laboured much in the vineyard, but I had endeavored to do as well as I could. However when we came together the Word of the Lord was that we all should receive the ordinance. O the goodness & condescension of God. The washing was commenced by the Presidents who first washed the 12 & the 7 Presidents of the Seventies the 12 & 7 then commenced washing until the whole were washed. The order of the house was that we tarry until tomorrow morning in the house of the Lord & not go out only in case of necessity. After the washing the Brethren commenced prophesying for the Spirit of prophecy was poured out upon the congregation: the house was divided into parts by curtains & they prophesied spake and sang in tongues in each room. We fasted until even when we partook of bread & wine in commemoration of the marriage supper of the Lamb. Now having attended through the endowment I could form an idea of the endowment anciently for Gods ordinances change not.

Thursday [March] 31 This morning I came home, partook of some breakfast & then went to another dedication meeting for those who could not be accommodated Sunday the house was filled, the services were the same & some more was contributed to the house of the Lord.

William W. Phelps, Letter to Sally Phelps(April 1-3, 1836)

Sally: The house of the Lord at Kirtland, Ohio, was Dedicated on Sunday, the 27 of March, 1836. The congregation to the number of about 1000, convened in the house at 8 oclock A.M. There was probably as many more without the house. Opened the meeting by singing. "Er long the vail will rend in twain". Starting Prayer by President Rigdon. A Angel same in on the first seat during the prayer. Sung "O happy souls who pray". . . . President Rigdon preached from the 18, 19, & 20 verses of <8 chap> Matthew, about 2 hours. After this President J. Smith Jr. was acknowledged prophet and Seer, by the different Quorums, and by all the congregation of the Saints by rising alternately. The remaining presidents [was] then acknowledge the same by the same sung "Now let us rejoice in day Salvation" Hosanna. Intermission 15 ms Recommenced by singing "This earth was once a garden place". Adamondi-Ahman." Here the presidents, and all the quorums were acknowledged in their several offices as the seer and prophet had been. and it was one of the solemnest as well as sublimest scenes I ever witnessed. Sung "How pleased and blesst was I" President Smith then delivered the following prayer [See D&C 109.] sung "Hosanna to God and the Lamb Several then bore record after the sacrament was administered. The scene now became animating: the whole congregation Shouted "Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna, to God and the Lamb. Henceforth and forever; Amen, Amen, And Amen" three times. One song of Zion sung in tongues, and the services concluded. A meeting of the Elders was held in the evening when much speaking in tongues was witnessed.

On Tuesday, the 29th, the washing of feet among the president & Bishops and their councilors to place: it was a solemn scene; at night they partook of the sacrament, as the Passover, having fasted all day they feasted on bread and wine; were filled with the spirit of their endowment, and prophesied many terrible things: The meeting continued till day light in the morning: At 8 oclock the Several Quorums of the church, embracing all the ordained members came in and, let be remembered that on that 30th day of March, 1936, their feet were washed, and the commenced prophecying and shouting Hosanna to God and the Lamb. At Evening the sacrament was administered, as the feast of the Passover for the first time in more than 1800 years: then spake they with tongues and prophesied. On Thursday the 31st March, a second Dedication was held for the Lord’s House. It was a sublime scene, surpassing the first in sublimity and solemnity as well as in order. The singing was grand. The Addresses were the best that could be and majesty exceeded anything I have witnessed in the last days. On Friday, April 1, the elders began to go forth to bind up the [Saints?] and seal up their testimony: and though the going was very hard, not a word was heard, every [man] was anxious to be in the field. May God bless them in their labors. The whole has been a grand solemn scene. Now may the Lord speed his work, and cut it short in righteousness. Amen. April 1, 1836

On Sunday, April 3, the twelve held meeting and administered the sacrament. It was a glorious time. The curtains were dropt in the afternoon. And There was a manifestation of the Lord to Br Joseph and Oliver, [by?] which they [learned?] thus the great & terrible day of the Lord as mentioned by Malachi, was near, even at the doors. Could not get ready to start for Missouri, on Monday--had to wait to raise Money to purchase land: Monday & Tuesday went heavily though I attended a feast at Father Johnson’s on Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday was set apart as day of prayer, to end The feast of the Passover. and in honor of the Jubilee of the church: it being Six years to this day:

The Elders had been leaving for Mo. Every day since last Thursday, and myself and Br P.&C.&M. hated to stay so long, but we could not help it.

This last letter is from your husband, Sally, who, to save you the postage, as well as, to have a little More of your sweet "Satisfaction", brings it to you in person hoping you will receive both in welcome & Forever

WW Phelps

Source: Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844, 344-52 (slightly edited).