[Illustration: Map of Fayette and Kirtland]
When Joseph managed to get hold of Newel’s hand, he became still and spoke to Joseph, asking him to cast the devil from him.
“If you know that I can, it shall be done,” replied Joseph, whereupon he commanded the evil one in the name of Jesus Christ to depart. Newel became all right again at once, and was greatly blessed by the Spirit of God. The people present wondered greatly at what they had seen, and many of them afterwards joined the Church.
This was the first miracle performed in the Church. Jesus had said to his apostles in his day: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. * * * And these signs shall follow them that believe: in my name shall they cast out devils,” etc. Thus we see the same signs following the believer in our day the same as in the days of the first apostles.
On the first of June, 1830, the first conference, of the Church was held in Fayette. There were about thirty members present besides many others who came to hear. The Spirit of God was greatly enjoyed at this meeting. Many prophesied, while others had beautiful visions of the heavens opened to their eyes.
Topics.—1. Organization of the Church. 2. First meeting, sermon and conference. 3. First miracle.
Questions and Review.—1. When and where was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized? 2. Name the first six members. 3. What was done at that meeting? 4. How many members are there in the Church today? 5. How did you become a member of the Church? 6. Describe the first miracle. 7. How was the evil one cast out in former days? (See Acts 16: 16, 18.) 8. What proof was given that Joseph and his brethren were true believers. (See Mark 16: 16, 17.) 9. When was the first conference of the Church held?
Persecution of Joseph.
By this time you will see that when the Lord set his hand to begin the great latter-day work, the evil one was also present, trying to hinder its progress. At the very beginning there were only Joseph and a few friends to work against, but now the Church was fast becoming established in the land, and if it were to be stopped some strong effort would have to be made. So the evil one inspired men to gather in large crowds or mobs to annoy and do harm to the members of the Church and their friends.
Shortly after the conference mentioned in the last chapter, Joseph and a number of other elders went to Colesville to hold meetings and baptize some believers. The brethren built a dam in a creek on Saturday where they were to baptize on Sunday, but during the night a mob tore the dam away. However, meeting was held on Sunday, and early on Monday morning the dam was repaired and the baptisms were attended to; but before they were through, the mob gathered and followed the Saints to their homes, making all kinds of threats. That evening as they were going to hold a meeting, a constable arrested Joseph Smith on the charge of making disorder, setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon, etc.