Speaking in Tongues, Oct. 24, 1831

-- Oct. 24, 1831
[Ezra Booth] ... "Being carried away in the spirit" and "I know it to be so by the spirit," are well known phrases, and in common use in the Mormonite church. We will first notice the gift of tongues, exercised by some when carried away in the spirit. These persons were apparently lost to all surrounding circumstances, and wrapt up in the contemplation of things, and in communicating with persons not present. -- They articulated sounds, which but few present professed to understand; and those few, declared them to be the Indian language. A merchant, who had formerly been a member of the Methodist society, observed, he had formerly traded with the Indians, and he knew it to be their dialect. Being myself present on some of these occasions, a person proffered his services as my interpreter, and translated these sounds, which to me were unintelligible, into English language. One individual could read any chapter of the Old or New-Testament, in several different languages. This was known to be the case by a person who professed to understand those languages. In the midst of this delirium, they would, at times, fancy themselves addressing a congregation of their red brethren; and mounted upon a stump, or the fence, or from some elevated situation, would harangue their assembly, until they had convinced and converted them. They would then lead them into the water, and baptize them, and pronounce their sins forgiven. In this exercise, some of them actually went into the water; and in the water, performed the ceremony used in baptizing. These actors assumed the visage of the savage, and so nearly imitated him, not only in language, but in gestures and actions, that it seemed the soul and body were completely metamorphosed into the Indian. No doubt was then entertained but that this was an extraordinary work of the Lord, designed to prepare those young men for the Indian mission; and many who are still leaders of the church, could say, "we know by the spirit that it is the work of the Lord." And now they can say, "we know by the spirit that it was it is the work of the Devil." Most of those who were the principal actors, have since apostatized, and the work is unanimously discarded by the church. The limits, which my want of time to write, as well as your want of patience to read, compel me to prescribe for myself, will allow me only to touch on some of the most prominent parts of this newly-invented, and heterogeneous system. ... (1)

-- January (?) 1832
[Heber C. Kimball diary] "Upon one occasion Father John Young, Brigham, Joseph and myself had gathered together to get some wood for Phineas H. Young; while we were thus engaged we were pondering upon the things which had been told to us by the elders, and upon the Saints gathering to Zion; and the glory of God shone upon us, and we saw the gathering of the Saints to Zion and the glory that would rest upon them, and many more things connected with that great event, such as the sufferings and persecutions which would come upon the people of God, and the calamities and judgments which would come upon the world. These things caused such great joy to spring up in our bosoms that we were hardly able to contain ourselves; and we did shout aloud, `Hosanna to God and the Lamb!' These things increasing our desires to hear more, I took my horses and sleigh and started for Columbia, Bradford County, Pennsylvania—distance one hundred and twenty-five miles; Brigham and Phineas Young and their wives went along with me. We stayed with the Church there about six days, attended their meetings, heard them speak in tongues, interpret and prophesy, which truly caused us to rejoice and praise the Lord. We returned home confirmed in the truth, but were not yet baptized, and as we were on our way we bore testimony to the truth of those things which we had seen and heard, and to our friends and neighbors; many received our testimony and became members of the Church. (2)

-- During January , 1832
[Brigham Young] In January, 1832, my brother Phinehas and I accompanied Heber C. Kimball, who took his horses and sleigh and went to Columbia, Pennsylvania where there was a branch of the Church. We travelled through snow and ice, crossing rivers until we were almost discouraged; still our faith was to learn more of the principles of Mormonism.

We arrived at the place where there was a small branch of the Church; we conversed with them, attended their meetings and heard them preach, and after staying about one week we returned home, being still more convinced of the truth of the work, and anxious to learn its principles and to learn more of Joseph Smith's mission. The members of the branch in Pennsylvania were the first in the Church who received the gift of tongues. (3)

1 - Ezra Booth, The Ohio Star - October 27, 1831, MORMONISM -- No. III., Nelson, Portage Co.
2 - Whitney, Helen Mar, Jeni Broberg Holzapfel, and Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, A Woman's View: Helen Mar Whitney's Reminiscences of Early Church History, Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997
3 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).

LDS History Chronology: Speaking in Tongues

Mormon History Timeline: the gift of Tongues