Elizabeth and Newell Whitney Meet Joseph Smith
“One night, it was midnight—my husband and I were in our house at Kirtland, praying to the Father to be shown the way when the Spirit rested upon us and a cloud overshadowed the house. It was as though we were out of doors. The house passed away from our vision. We were not conscious of anything but the presence of the spirit and the cloud that was over us. We were wrapped in the cloud. A solemn awe pervaded us. We saw the cloud and felt the Spirit of the Lord. Then we heard a voice out of the cloud saying, ‘Prepare to receive the word of the Lord, for it is coming.’ At this we marveled greatly, but from that moment we knew that the word of the Lord was coming to Kirtland.”
In the Whitney family history, they write that “about the first of February, 1831, a sleigh containing four persons, drove through the streets of Kirtland and drew up in front of Gilbert & Whitney’s store. The occupants of the sleigh were evenly divided as to sex. One of the men, a young and stalwart personage, alighted, and springing up the steps walked into the store and to where the junior partner was standing. ‘Newel K. Whitney, thou art the man!’ he exclaimed, extending his hand cordially, as if to an old and familiar acquaintance.
Newel K. Whitney Meets Joseph Smith “‘You have the advantage of me,’ replied the one addressed, as he mechanically took the proffered hand. ‘I could not call you by name as you have me.’
“‘I am Joseph the Prophet’ said the stranger, smiling. ‘You’ve prayed me here; now what do you want of me?’ The Prophet, it is said, while in the East, had seen the Whitneys, in a vision, praying for his coming to Kirtland.
“Newell Whitney, astonished, but no less delighted, conducted the party across the street to his house on the corner, where he introduced them to his wife. She shared fully his surprise and pleasure. Elizabeth Whitney writes, ‘I remarked to my husband that this was the fulfillment of the vision we had seen of a cloud, as of glory, resting upon our house.’
“To bring the revelation about the Whitney’s receiving the word of God to pass yet more literally, during the time the Prophet resided with them, and under their very roof, a number of the revelations were given, now recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants.” (See: Elizabeth Ann Whitney, Autobiography, 1800-1882, Cited in Edward W. Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom, New York, 1877. See also: Orson F. Whitney, Saturday Night Thoughts, p.33)