History of the Church Series | BYU Studies

History of the Church Series

Light on the "Mission to the Lamanites"
June 21, 2017
History of the Church Series
Light on the "Mission to the Lamanites"
Leland H. Gentry

This daily feature is an introduction to a full article by Leland H. Gentry. Each Wednesday we focus on an aspect of church history, beginning in New York in the early 19th century and progressing throughout the year to Utah in the 20th century. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

In September 1830, the Lord called Oliver Cowdery by revelation to "go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them" (D&C 28:8). The call came a few months after the United States Congress had passed the Indian Removal Bill, an act providing for the relocation of all tribes within United States borders to points beyond.

Peter Whitmer Jr., Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Frederick Williams also received calls to preach to the Lamanites. The 1831 expulsion of these missionaries from Indian territory and their subsequent proposal to establish territorial schools are documented in letters from the contending parties, which are reproduced at the end of this article.