History of the Word of Wisdom, Nov 8, 1838

-- Nov 8, 1838
[Joseph Smith] General Wilson surroundes Adam-ondi-Ahman. Joseph and some of the other prisoners in Independence leave for Richmond. Their guards become drunk, but no escape is attempted. (1)

-- During 1838
(David Whitmer) Whitmer also objected to high priest ordinations, though he himself had been so ordained by Oliver Cowdery at the age of twenty-six. "This error was introduced at the instigation of Sidney Rigdon. The office of high priests was never spoken of, and never thought of being established in the church until Rigdon came in. … Rigdon … would persuade Brother Joseph to inquire of the Lord about this doctrine and that doctrine, and of course a revelation would always come just as they desired it."

Jealous of Rigdon's popularity, Whitmer wrote, "Rigdon was a thorough Bible scholar, a man of fine education, and a powerful orator. He soon worked himself deep into Brother Joseph's affections, and had more influence over him than any other man living. … Brother Joseph rejoiced, believing that the Lord had sent to him this great and mighty man Sidney Rigdon, to help him in the work. Poor Brother Joseph! He was mistaken."

February 5: A Far West meeting of the "whole Church in Zion" voted to remove David Whitmer, John Whitmer, and W. W. Phelps from their positions as "Presidents of the Church" in Missouri. David Whitmer was accused of persisting "in the use of tea, coffee, and tobacco." All three men allegedly encouraged the sale of Jackson County lands, a transgression which Joseph Smith had earlier declared "a denial of our faith, as that is the place where the Zion of God shall stand, according to our faith and belief in the revelations of God."

April 13: Found guilty of "possessing the same spirit with the dissenters," David Whitmer was excommunicated for failure to observe the Word of Wisdom, neglecting meetings, writing unfavorable letters about Joseph Smith, and signing his name to official Far West documents after being removed from the presidency there.

Fifty years after the fact, Whitmer said, "If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to separate myself from among the Latter-day Saints for as they sought to do unto me, so should it be done unto them." (2)

-- Apr 6, 1839 (Saturday)
Joseph Smith, jun., and fellow-prisoners were started from Liberty jail, to Gallatin, Daviess County, Mo., where they arrived on the 8th, and were again subjected to a mock trial before a drunken court and jury. (3)

-- Apr 9, 1839
Gallatin, Missouri. Joseph Smith's trial commenced before a drunken grand jury and judge. (4)

[Joseph Smith] Joseph's trial begins before a drunken grand jury. Judge Morin visits him in Millport that evening and recommends that they escape to avoid enduring persecution. (5)

1 - Wikipedia, Joseph Smith Chronology, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_Joseph_Smith,_Jr.
2 - Van Wagoner, Richard and Walker, Steven C., A Book of Mormons, http://amzn.to/newmormonstudies
3 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
4 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith, http://amzn.to/BYUStudies-JSChron
5 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom