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KIRTLAND, Ohio — Kirtland was a bustling community that rivaled nearby Cleveland in the 1830s. The seven-year period of 1831-1838 when the Church was headquartered here was a time of unparalleled spiritual outpouring. Here, the First Presidency was organized, the first stake was organized, priesthood quorums were organized and the first temple of this dispensation was dedicated. In the upper room of the Newel K. Whitney store, in the room of the School of the Prophets, the first missionary training effort began.

During the next century, after the early members left the area, some buildings were destroyed by fire, others were flooded. Still others were altered to become taverns.

When the Mormon Saints dug the foundation trench for their first temple, only 150 members lived in Kirtland, Ohio. The temple was dedicated in an eight-hour service on March 27, 1836. A reported "one thousand persons" attended the gathering, which introduced such traditional dedication rites as the hosanna shout and singing of the hymn "The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning." Following a two-and-a-half hour sermon given by Church leader Sidney Rigdon, Smith offered a dedicatory prayer that had been prepared by a committee of church leaders, which he indicated was "given to him by revelation." Two other church leaders, Brigham Young and David W. Patten, were reported to have been inspired to speak in tongues following the prayer.


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