Trouble in Kirtland and Far West

“Trouble in Kirtland and Far West,” Friend, May 1987, 20

Trouble in Kirtland and Far West

Adapted from Doctrine and Covenants Stories (PBIC037A)

(See D&C 116; Essentials in Church History, pages 165–167, 172–175.)

Elders leave for missions

1 The Lord blessed the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, and they were happy. Elders who had left Kirtland to preach the gospel were successful, and many people joined the Church.

Kirtland bank problems

2 The Saints in Kirtland organized their own bank. However, the cashier was dishonest and stole a large amount of money from it, and there were other problems.

Several people leave Church

3 The depositors couldn’t get their money from the bank, and it had to be closed. Many Church members became angry and blamed Joseph Smith for the bank’s failure. His life was threatened by some who had been his friends, and several Church leaders even became enemies of the Church.

Brigham Young defended Joseph

4 Joseph was disheartened by the wickedness that prevailed, but friends and righteous leaders like Brigham Young defended him, declaring that Joseph was a prophet of God and that the Church was true.

Brigham had to flee for safety

5 The enemies of the Church then turned their anger on Brigham Young, who continued to defend Joseph, and Brigham had to flee Kirtland for his own safety.

Some desecrated the temple

6 Evil men continued to cause trouble in Kirtland. Among other things, much to Joseph’s despair, they desecrated the temple so that it wasn’t a sacred place anymore.

Joseph had to flee Kirtland

7 The wicked people in Kirtland would not repent, and they were determined to kill Joseph. He had to flee Kirtland during an extremely cold winter, and his enemies, armed with guns and knives, followed him.

The Lord protected Joseph

8 The Lord protected Joseph so that his pursuers could not find him. One night he even slept in the same house with them without their knowledge. Another time he passed his enemies on the street, and they looked at him but didn’t recognize him.

Joseph traveled to Missouri

9 Joseph traveled hundreds of miles to Far West, Missouri, to visit the Saints there. Most of them were happy to see the Prophet, but some of the Church leaders in Missouri were not obeying God’s commandments and wouldn’t repent.

Joseph sad to see leaders leave the Church

10 Joseph was heartsick that friends such as Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and others who had been valiant had to be excommunicated from the Church.


11 Other men were chosen to be leaders of the Church in Far West. One day Joseph visited a place near Far West called Spring Hill. However, its true name, Jesus told him, was Adam-ondi-Ahman. Anciently Jesus had blessed Adam and his family there, and someday Jesus, Adam, and other righteous people will meet there again.