Scripture Stories
Chapter 41: Trouble in Kirtland: 1837–1838

“Chapter 41: Trouble in Kirtland: 1837–1838,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories (2002), 158–60

“Chapter 41,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 158–60

Chapter 41

Trouble in Kirtland


couple in wagon

The Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, were happy. The Lord blessed them.

elder preaching gospel

Some elders left Kirtland and went to teach the gospel in other areas. Many people listened to the elders and joined the Church.

people at bank in Kirtland

Then trouble started in Kirtland. Joseph Smith and other Church leaders started a bank where many Saints kept their money.

man stealing money from bank

Some of the Saints wanted to get a lot of money. One man who worked at the bank was not honest. He stole some money.

men experiencing sorrow

Joseph Smith told other men to take good care of the money, but the bank continued to have problems. Soon it had to be closed because all the money was gone. This was a hard time for many banks in the United States, and many others were also closed.

angry Saints

Many of the Saints were angry because they couldn’t get their money back. Some of them said it was Joseph Smith’s fault that the bank closed. Some of Joseph’s best friends said bad things about him. Some people even wanted to kill him.

leaders leaving the Church

Some leaders of the Church were angry too. Some of them didn’t want to be members of the Church anymore. A few of them became enemies of the Church.

Brigham Young speaking to people

Other Church leaders loved Joseph and helped him. Brigham Young was one of the good leaders. He told the Saints that he knew Joseph was a prophet of God. Some people were mad at Brigham Young for supporting the Prophet, and he had to leave Kirtland so they could not hurt him.

mobs attacking members in Kirtland

The enemies of the Church made a lot of trouble in Kirtland. They stole things from the Saints and damaged their homes. They also hurt the Saints and threatened to kill some of them.

mobs arguing about Joseph

Some elders of the Church held meetings in the Kirtland Temple where they criticized Joseph Smith and talked about replacing him with a new leader. Later some people used guns and knives to try to take over the temple. It soon became unsafe for Joseph to stay in Kirtland, so he left in January 1838 and went to Missouri.

members leaving Kirtland

Because of continued persecution in Kirtland, Church leaders began making plans for the Saints to leave. In July 1838, more than 500 Church members left Kirtland. In October, after a hard journey of nearly 1,000 miles, they arrived in Far West, Missouri. Joseph Smith and many other Church members were living there.