Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Daniel Stanton

Daniel Stanton was a member of the Morley Family in Kirtland Township, Geauga County, Ohio when most of the Family, including Stanton, joined Mormonism. I argued in Hearken O Ye People that Stanton was an ordained Teacher when he baptized Joseph Hancock into Mormonism. I based this argument on the following details. In Joseph Hancock’s brief biography (Andrew Jenson, ed., Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia vol. IV, SLC, UT: Deseret News Press, 1936, 705-706) published shortly after his death, it notes he “was baptized by Daniel Stanton at Mayfield, Ohio, in 1830.” A number of members of the Hancock family joined the Church in the last months of 1830 or first few months of 1831 and there is nothing to suggest Joseph Hancock or his family was inaccurate in this claim of an 1830 baptism. In fact, a number of baptisms took place in Mayfield during November 1830 and the 1830 date is entirely consistent with other sources. In Cannon and Cook's Far West Record ( SLC, UT: Deseret Book Company, 1983, 7) they list Stanton as an ordained Teacher at the June 3, 1831 conference and indicate he was ordained an Elder three days later (p.9). Thus, I concluded Stanton was  a Teacher when performing an 1830 baptism.

I have since had occasion to check the original minutes that are transcribed and published in Cannon and Cook's Far West Record and have learned that the ordering of names in the published version is incorrect.

They should read beginning on the bottom of page 6:


Martin Harris,
Daniel Stanton,
Solomon Chamberlain,
on down to Benjamin Bragg
and then Caleb Balwin down to Major N[oble] Ashley.

The teachers should read:

Hezekiah Peck
Hiram Page
Christian Whitmer
Then it continues on with William Smith
Down to Jacob Chamberlain on the right column of the published material.

This means that Daniel Stanton was most likely a Priest when he baptized Joseph Hancock rather than a Teacher. 

In addition, I note in the book that Joseph Hancock was ten years old when he was baptized. I based this on the date of his birth as provided in  Susan Easton Black, Membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: 1830-1848, Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, entry for Solomon Hancock. However, Hancock's biography as published by Andrew Jenson, as cited above, indicates he was thirty years old in 1830.  

Monday, February 22, 2010

2nd Chapter of the Book of Nephi

This is the first of a collection of "Chronicles, Notes, and Maxims" written by a leader of the Owenite Community south of Kirtland, Dr. Samuel Underhill. The originals are in the Stark County Historical Society and transcriptions made by Richard Cherok are on file at the Massillon Public Library, Massillon, Ohio. Based on other dated materials written before and after it, Underhill produced this sometime from February to July, 1831. Given the context of events then occurring within the Mormonite community to which this is addressed, I believe it was written in late February.

Collection #12 of Chronicles, Notes, and Maxims:

"2nd Chapter of the Book of Nephi

1. Now Nephi made a cave in Mount Zulak and he put on sackcloth for a garment and he loved not the world any more.
2. And he turned his eyes towards heaven and he sighed deeply & gazing steadfastly he fell into a deep sleep.
3. And he dreamed that an angel came unto him and touched him saying speak thou to the people touching the things that are afar off.
4. For behold those hast forsaken the world and looked upwards therefore will I make thy name known to the nations & thy fame shall be great.
5. See thou let no razor touch thy head or thy beard and let thy meat be locusts and wild honey.
6. Put no confidence in women but turn thine eyes from them for they lie in wait to decieve.
7. They will put on a smile for a few days and cajole the thoughtless; there will they love thine enemy.
8. Their tongue is a deadly poison; yet Nephi we have no she angels in heaven.
9. Thou shall be as one of us if thou art faithful to speak all that I command thee.
10. But know thou O Nephi that men of Behal will say in the day when these things shalll be made known that this story is of human invention and they shall despise thy sayings.
11. And this shall be a testimony of these truths when men shall despise them even the pharisees of the day.
12. And now be strong for the things I command thee for surely nothing shall fail of all which I shall say unto thee.
13. And nephi awoke and his knees smote one against another and he said woe is me for an angel hath spoken strange things unto me."

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Finally, A Kick Off After Long Delays

This blog is finally up an going after long delays. I was told today that Amazon has officially sent out a notice that my book on Kirtland, Ohio's Latter-day Saint history is available for purchase. (I imagine delivery will still be a couple of weeks away.) The book went to press almost four years ago and over the ensuing years I've come to appreciate aspects of the story I had not understood in the same way earlier. Although there was opportunity to insert parts of that story into the book during the editing process, I finally had to recognize that I couldn't deal with parts of the Kirtland experience in the book and had to do it elsewhere. That's the primary motivation for this site. I'll include other parts of the Latter-day Saint experience as they seem relevant.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


There are many exceptional blogs online now that address issues related to Latter-day Saint history and belief. I don't intend to replace those. This is intended as a location where I can share expanded source material from something I've published where scholars and other students of the Latter-day Saint tradition can see the larger document placing something I've cited in a publication in its original context. Think of this as expanded footnotes included in a digital library.