It is the special duty of the Seventies to travel and preach the gospel under the direction of the Twelve.
As early as May, 1833, the Lord told Joseph that the Saints should build a house to his name. July 23, the foundation was laid. The Saints in Kirtland were not many, neither were they rich, and it was therefore a great task for them to build such a house as the temple. However, they gave donations of what they had and worked willingly with all their might, until at last it was finished and dedicated to the Lord on Sunday, March 27, 1836.
[Illustration: The Kirtland temple.]
During the meetings many glorious blessings were received. Angels were seen by many of the Saints, Brigham Young spoke in tongues, others prophesied, and many saw glorious visions. At the evening meeting George A. Smith arose and prophesied, when a noise was heard like the sound of a mighty wind which filled the temple. All the people arose at once and the Prophet Joseph told the Saints that the temple was filled with angels, as he could see them. The people living near the temple, seeing a bright light resting on the building and hearing a strange sound within, came rushing up to see what was the matter.
Nearly every day there were meetings held in the temple. The next Sunday after the dedication, Joseph and Oliver were praying in the sacred house when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared unto them. He stood on the breastwork of the pulpit, and Joseph describes Him as a most glorious personage. Jesus told them that He had accepted the temple and promised them great blessings if they would continue to keep his commandments.
After this vision had closed, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared unto them and each of them gave to Joseph and Oliver many blessings concerning the gospel.
You would think that after all these blessings from the Lord the Saints would never turn away from the truth; but sad to say this was not the case. During the years 1837 and 1838 many of the brethren in Kirtland began to buy and sell land and set up stores and banks for the purpose of making money. Now, there would have been nothing wrong in all this if they had done all their business honestly; but the trouble was that many wanted to get rich so fast that oftimes they would cheat each other. This of course was inspired by the evil one, who did his best to stop the progress of the Church. It was a very hard trial for Joseph and those of his brethren who stood by him to see so many leading men fall away into wickedness.
Again, you may also wonder how men who have been in the company of the Prophet and who have seen angels and heavenly visions can deny the faith, but the fact is they sometimes do. The whole secret is this:
No matter how much a person has seen or how much he knows, if he sins and does not repent, the Spirit of God will leave him, and he will be in the dark. It then becomes an easy matter for him to fall away from the Church.