180 years ago today - Jan 30, 1838
Oliver Cowdery meets with David, John, and Jacob Whitmer, Frederick G. Williams, Lyman Johnson, and W. W. Phelps "to take into consideration the state of the Church." They say they are opposed to the manner in which "some of the Authorities of the- [church] have for the time past, and are still, endeavoring to unite ecclesiastical and civil authority, and force men under the pretense of incurring the displeasure of heaven to use their earthly substance contrary to their interest and privilege." Cowdery says local authorities are "endeavoring to make it a rule of faith for said church to uphold a certain man or men right or wrong." He and his friends are determined to separate themselves from such a society and find a new place to gather where they could "live in peace." The WESTERN RESERVE CHRONICLE in Warren, Ohio reports: "The Mormon Society at Kirtland is breaking up. Smith and Rigdon, after prophecying the destruction of the town, left with their families in the night, and others of the faithful are following.- An exposure of the proceedings of the Society is in course of preparation by one Par[r]ish, the former confidential secretary of the prophet Smith." Warren Parrish's expose, published the following month in the PAINESVILLE TELEGRAPH, is a devastating disclosure of the failed financial workings of the church. Of Rigdon and Smith he concludes: "I believe them to be confirmed infidels who have not the fear of God before their eyes.- They lie by revelation, swindle by revelation, cheat and defraud by revelation, run away by revelation, and if they do not mend their ways, I fear they will at last be damned by revelation."