A Day To Be Remembered (organization of the church)
The reconstructed log home of Peter Whitmer in Fayette township, New York. Many important events took place in the Whitmer home: the testimony of the Three Witnesses was signed here, the Book of Mormon translation was completed here, the Church was organized here, and the Doctrine and Covenants records twenty revelations that were received here.
Shortly after Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the priesthood from heavenly messengers in 1829, they were shown in revelation *the precise day upon which, according to [God*s] will and commandment, we should proceed to organize his church once again, here upon the earth.*
Peter Whitmer, Sr., offered the use of his home for the organization meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday, 6 April, according to the revelation. At the appointed hour, close to sixty people assembled to witness the formal organization of the Church of Jesus Christ. Approximately twenty of these people had come from Colesville, a distance of approximately one hundred miles, to participate in the events of this sacred occasion.
The meeting was simple. Joseph Smith, then twenty-four years old, called the group to order and designated five associates*Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jr., Samuel H. Smith, and David Whitmer*to join him to meet New York*s legal requirements for incorporating a religious society. After kneeling in solemn prayer, Joseph asked those present if they were willing to accept him and Oliver as their teachers and spiritual advisers. Everyone raised their hands in the affirmative. Although they had previously received the Melchizedek Priesthood, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery then ordained each other to the office of elder. They did this to signify that they were elders in the newly organized church. The sacrament of the Lord*s supper was administered next. The prayers used had been received through revelation (see D&C 20:75*79). Joseph and Oliver then confirmed those who had previously been baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ and bestowed upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost.
In a revelation received on this historic day, Joseph was designated *a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ* (D&C 21:1). The Lord instructed members of the infant Church to receive Joseph*s word *as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith* (D&C 21:5).
The organization of the Church of Jesus Christ was an unforgettable occasion for those present. Joseph reported that *after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, *The Church of Jesus Christ,* organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by Him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament.* Joseph also took opportunity to teach the Saints and bear his own testimony. Several individuals were baptized on that eventful day, including Orrin Porter Rockwell, Martin Harris, and Joseph Smith*s parents. It was a time of joy and happiness in the life of the Prophet, who exclaimed, *Praise to my God! that I lived to see my own father baptized into the true Church of Jesus Christ!*