WE SHALL RETURN

Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon Leave Kirtland January 12th, 1838

Original art Canvas, 20 sq. ft. (48" x 60")  by Artist Frank M. Thomas

 
Historical Background:
    After the Saints completed construction of the Kirtland Temple, in 1836, increased persecution and mob violence against the Saints and their leaders escalated into 1837 and 1838. It was fueled by anti-Church religious leaders from around the Ohio countryside. Some of the Prophet's most difficult trials came during this period of time. And it was becoming no longer safe for Latter-day Saints to continue living in Kirtland. The Prophet's life, under constant threat, was now in extremely grave danger. He was "warned by the Spirit" to leave immediately, in the evening of the 12th of January.

Joseph and Sidney quickly saddled their horses, bade their families goodbye and started their long moonlight ride south, down the Chilicothe Road, past their beloved Temple. The Prophet's journal entry described the circumstances surrounding his departure: "A new year [1838] dawned upon the Church in Kirtland in all the bitterness of the spirit of apostate mobocracy; which continued to rage and grow hotter and hotter, until Elder Rigdon and myself were obliged to flee from its deadly influence, as did the Apostles and Prophets of old, and as Jesus said, "when they persecute you in one city, flee to another."

"On the evening of the 12th of January, about ten o'clock, we left Kirtland, on horseback, to escape mob violence, which was about to burst upon us under the color of legal process to cover the hellish designs of our enemies, and to save themselves from the just judgment of the law.   

"We continued our travels during the night, and at eight o'clock on the morning of the 13th, arrived among the brethren in Norton Township, Medina County, Ohio, a distance of sixty miles from Kirtland. Here we tarried about thirty-six hours, when our families arrived; and on the 16th we pursued our journey with our families, in covered wagons towards the city of Far West, in Missouri...The weather was extremely cold."

Large numbers of people began immediately to follow their Prophet to Missouri. Their safety increasingly threatened by remaining in Kirtland, they abandoned homes, possessions, lands, taking only what they could carry in their wagons. Within seven months (by July 1838) more than 1600 Latter-day Saints had headed west out of their city; leaving less than 100 Church members remaining in Kirtland among the anti-Mormon populace. (The prophetic scourge later pronounced upon the region and people who drove the Saints from "the Ohio" [19 January 1841] [D&C 124:83] was already beginning to take effect......A still later prophecy given in Nauvoo, Illinois, by Hiram Smith, promised "that yet your children may possess the Kirtland lands, but not until many years shall pass away.")

In the year 1979, while serving as President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Ezra Taft Benson broke ground for the first LDS Church meetinghouse in Kirtland since completion of the temple in 1836. He declared, "The scourge that was placed upon the people in that prophecy [D&C 124:83] is being lifted today." [14 October 1979] "Those many years have, I feel, passed away..."

Artist Frank Thomas' wife Patreecia Leavitt is directly descended from John & Elsa Johnson, Jeremiah & Sarah Leavitt and James Davenport, all 1830's Latter-day Saint residents of Kirtland, associates of the Prophet Joseph Smith.   Indeed, those many years have passed and the children are returning or have returned "to the Ohio."   Having served as an LDS Church missionary in Kirtland, she knows she is truly one of those children.

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Canvas Art Print Offerings:


14" x 17.5" (signed by artist/rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$88.20
                                                      shipped.......................+$14.50



 

14" x 17.5" (signed by artist/stretched - ready to frame)......................$114.45 
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18" x 22.5" (signed by artist/rolled - ready to stretch)..........................$145.80 
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18" x 22.5" (signed by artist/stretched - ready to frame)......................$171.00                                                    shipped.............+$20.50

 

24" x 30" (signed by artist/rolled only - ready to stretch)...................$259.20                                                     
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32" x 40" (signed by artist/rolled only - ready to stretch)...................$460.80 
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40" x 50" (signed by artist/rolled only - ready to stretch)...................$720.00                                                     
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