Episode 92: The Kirtland Temple

Kirtland Temple

Barbara and John Hamer and Barbara Walden join John Larsen to discuss the Kirtland temple.

House of the Lord: The Story of Kirtland Temple

Episode 92

14 comments on “Episode 92: The Kirtland Temple”

  1. Glenn Reply

    Very enjoyable discussion guys. Barbara, you were fantastic! I have to ask, though — and maybe this is just me being my typical skeptical self — if you aren’t perhaps being just a teensy weensie bit guilty of romanitically recreating the 1830 kirtland saints in the ecumenical image of the 21st century CoC saints — maybe just a little? I know they invited other preachers in to preach over their pulpits from time to time, but from what I have read about their attitude towards the Cambelites and the nearby Shakers in the union villiage, they were pretty far from the Kumbaya feeling I get that always makes me want to pick up and move over into the CoC anytime Hamer comes on to the podcast. Seriously — I love the messages of peace and inclusion I always hear from you guys. It made me want to light a candle and say a prayer to Bill Murray.

    Two more comments/questions, and then I’ll finish (so stop sighing, Tom).

    1. Barbara, can you talk about any spiritual experiences that people have had when they have toured the Kirtland temple? My wife and I went through Kirtland probably about 10 years ago when our oldest was very little. We were in one of the upper rooms, and she looked in the back and said, “who is that lady?” but of course ther was no one standing there (that we could see — nudge nudge). I also remember her laughing a lot and saying something about a silly light that was bouncing up and down like tigger in one of the corners on the upper stories. I don’t put as much stock into the story as my wife does, but I still imagine that you would hear a lot of similar stories from people coming through the temple who sort of expect that kind of thing in a place like that. So can you talk about that at all?

    2. Also, you didn’t mention Artemis Millet, who was an ancestor of mine (rumor has it he was once thrown out of a window by a big ugly guy named Vincent Knight — not really — Artemis would have kicked his ass). The story that I have heard is that Joseph Smith, upon realizing that none of the current Kirtland saints had the architectural know-how to design a building of that size, was told of a man in Canada named Artemis Millet who could do it. Joseph turned to Brigham and said, “I want you to go to Canada, convert Artemis and his family, tell them to come to Kirtland, and bring $1000 dollars.” Can you confirm how accurate that story is?

    3. And finally, John — your opening comments TOTALLY threw down the gauntlet brother. Mysteries of Godliness, man. Sheesh!

    • Deb_rawle Reply

      Artemus Millett was my relative. I have visited his graveside several times with my family. He was born on September) 1, 1790 in Westmoreland, New Hampshire his parents names were Ebenezer and Catherine. Ebenezer moved his family to Vermont when Artemus was ten. Ebenezer died later on. Artemus was just 16. When Artemus was nineteen he rented out the family farm and went to Shelbourne, Vermont and learned masonry work. His mom and sisters stayed behind. After that, Artemus moved to Loisville, New York and did lumbering on the St.
      Lawrence River .The next year Artemus went back to his family; his mom and his one
      sister were still there ,because one of his sisters got married while he was gone.
      He sold the farm and took his families belongings and went to Shelbourne again. One
      summer his brother, his wife, his child, mother, and sister went to Oswego ,New
      York where Artemus was working as a mason on a huge tannery. Here he became friends
      with Brigham Young who also was working on the tannery. Artemus continued to do his
      masonry business.
      A few years later, Artemus moved his family to Ernesttown ,Ontario ,Canada. The prophet Joseph Smith was walking where the Kirkland Temple was going to be built. He wondered aloud who should superintend its construction, That’s when Brigham Young recommended his friend Artemus. Brigham went to Oregon to find Artemus and soon he was reunited with his good friend. Brigham began teaching Artemus about the book of Mormon and about The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. Brigham told Artemus that Joseph Smith had sent him to baptize Artemus and his family. Artemus was told to bring $1,000 to help with the building of the Kirtland, Ohio Temple. So Artemus took $1,000 and moved to Kirtland to be the master mason of the temple. He also
      went on to be the master mason of the Nauvoo Temple. After the Nauvoo Temple was
      completed, Artemus was called on a mission to Highland County, Ohio with Oliver
      Granger. They served there about a year. After the saints were driven out of Nauvoo, Artemus took his family and joined the move to Utah. While on the Mormon Trail, he lost his wife, but later remarried. When he reached Utah, the prophet Brigham Young sent Artemus to Southern Utah to help settle the land. He later went on to help with the construction of the Manti Temple.

      Artemus died in 1874 at the age of 84.

  2. Swearing Elder Reply

    John – If you go to Kirtland, there’s a wonderful state park nearby. Punderson: http://www.pundersonmanorstateparklodge.com/ They have a grand lodge, cabins, and camping too. There’s a lake and golfing and you’re in the middle of Amish country. We spent a long weekend there once, but managed to forget to visit the Kirtland temple (oops).

    Speaking of which, this was a fascinating session.

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  6. bgarff Reply

    I just came across this article from BYU Studies (link below). The name Artimus Millet has been stuck in my head since I heard Truman Madsen tell the story (as only he could) on his Joseph Smith audio tapes. The paper analyzes extant accounts of Millets conversion and move to Ohio. It wasn’t as simple as, “go get him and have him bring $1,000”, but he did go to Ohio, and he did follow the body of the saints to Utah and beyond.


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