Mormon History, Dec 5, 1839

-- Dec 5, 1839
Washington, D.C. Joseph Smith sent a letter to his brother Hyrum Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois, reporting his visit with United States president Martin Van Buren. (1)

-- Dec 7, 1839
Washington, D.C. Joseph Smith consulted with the Illinois delegation about how to get the Churchs petition for redress brought before Congress. (1)

-- Dec 16, 1839
Nauvoo charter signed by Illinois Governor Thomas Carlin. (2)

-- (Sat) Dec 21, 1839
Smith arrives in Philadelphia by train from Washington, D.C. Parley P. Pratt also arrives in Philadelphia, having traveled there from NYC. Pratt remains in Philadelphia until Jan 1st. (3)

-- Dec 21, 1839
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joseph Smith arrived in Philadelphia by railway and spent several days preaching and visiting from house to house, among the brethren and others. (1)

[Lucy Mack Smith] Joseph Jr. reaches Philadelphia and preaches there for a week; then he and Orson Pratt go to New Jersey, return to Philadelphia on 9 January 1840, then return to Washington on 5 February for a short time. Joseph Sr. is bedfast and terminally ill. Lucy assures him by the Spirit that he will not die without his children around him. (4)

-- 1839 Winter-Spring
Most Saints fled from Missouri. (5)

-- Dec 23, 1839
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although a small branch had been organized already in Philadelphia, Joseph Smith established a more extensive organization there. (1)

-- c. (Mon) Dec 24, 1839
About this time Porter Rockwell and Elias Higbee arrive at Philadelphia with Smith's carriage from Washington, PA, where they had been some time, leaving Elder Rigdon there sick, and Dr. Robert E. Foster to take care of him. (3)

-- Dec 30, 1839
Monmouth, New Jersey. Joseph Smith left Philadelphia and spent several days visiting a branch of the Church in New Jersey. (1)

-- 1839
Church Membership at end of year: 16,460
New Converts : -1,421
Percent Change from previous year: -7.95% (6)

-- During 1839 Dec
[Lucy Mack Smith] Joseph visits Saints in Philadelphia and N.J. (7)

-- During 1839
[Black History] Apostle Parley P. Pratt refers to the "mission of the Twelve" to all nations including those on "India's and Afric's [sic] sultry plains...where darkness, death, and sorrow reign" (from The Millenium and Other Poems). (8)

1 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith
2 - Ludlow, Daniel H. editor, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Macmillan Publishing, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 4, Appendix 2: A Chronology of Church History
3 - Broadhurst, Dale R., Mormon Chronology,
4 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books
5 - Hemidakaota, "Church Chronology from 1800-2000,"
6 - Wikipedia, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Membership History,
7 - Proctor, Scott and Maurine Jensen, editors, History of Joseph Smith by His Mother: Revised and Enhanced
8 - Crapo, Richley, Chronology Pertaining to Blacks and the LDS Priesthood,

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