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Joseph Smith--A Choice Seer
The Prophet’s Arrival in Ohio
On a cold day in February 1831, the Prophet Joseph Smith and his wife, Emma, then six months pregnant with twins, completed the 250-mile journey from New York to Kirtland, Ohio. They arrived in a sleigh at the Gilbert and Whitney store. The following excerpt records the meeting of Newel K. Whitney with the Prophet:
“One of the men [on the sleigh], a young and stalwart personage, alighted, and springing up the steps, walked into the store and to where the junior partner was standing.
“‘Newel K. Whitney! Thou art the man!’ he exclaimed, extending his hand cordially, as if to an old and familiar acquaintance.
“‘You have the advantage of me,’ replied the one addressed, as he mechanically took the proffered hand … —‘I could not call you by name, as you have me.’
“‘I am Joseph, the Prophet,’ said the stranger, smiling, ‘You’ve prayed me here; now what do you want of me?’”1
Some time before, Newel and his wife, Elizabeth, had uttered a fervent prayer for guidance. In answer, the Holy Spirit descended upon them and a cloud overshadowed their house. From out of the cloud a voice proclaimed, “Prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming!”2 Shortly thereafter, the missionaries who were called to teach the Indians came to Kirtland, and now the Prophet had arrived.
Orson F. Whitney, a grandson of Newel, later related his feelings about this event: “By what power did this remarkable man, Joseph Smith, recognize one whom he had never before seen in the flesh? Why did not Newel K. Whitney recognize him? It was because Joseph Smith was a seer, a choice seer; he had actually seen Newel K. Whitney upon his knees, hundreds of miles away, praying for his coming to Kirtland. Marvelous—but true!”
-Our Heritage: A Brief History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1996), 21-22
God’s ways of educating our desires are, of course, always the most perfect. . . . And what is God’s way? Everywhere in nature we are taught the lessons of patience and waiting. We want things a long time before we get them, and the fact that we wanted them a long time makes them all the more precious when they come. In nature we have our seedtime and harvest; and if children were taught that the desires that they sow may be reaped by and by through patience and labor, they will learn to appreciate whenever a long-looked-for goal has been reached. Nature resists us and keeps admonishing us to wait; indeed, we are compelled to wait. [GD, pp. 297–98]
“Every person who lives in this world wields an influence, whether for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone; it is not alone what he does. It is what he is. ...Every person radiates what he or she really is. ...It is what we are and what we radiate that effects the people around us.”