1. Baptism Colesville

Joseph Smith went to Colesville, New York, to visit members of the Church there. There were some who wanted to be baptized. So that afternoon, which was a Saturday, they built a dam in a nearby stream so that they would have a place to baptize the people. During the night, a mob came and destroyed the dam to prevent the baptisms.Popular sentiment in the area was very much against the Mormon Church. The local pastors and preachers of other churches instigated most of these feelings. The story of Emily Coburn is a good example of what many of the members in the area faced. Emily Coburn had decided to join the Church.Mormon BaptismReverend Shearer was determined to persuade her otherwise. He did not succeed, so he then tried to get her to go to her father’s house by telling her that one of her brothers would be waiting to accompany her to her father’s house. She went some of the way with the Reverend and when her brother did not come, she refused to continue. He tried to drag her along but her sister came and they were able to get away from him. The Reverend, however, was not about to give up, so he went to Emily’s father and convinced him to give him a power of attorney which he gave to Emily and violently took her to her father’s home. However, Emily was determined, and a short time later joined the Church.The dam was rebuilt, and Oliver Cowdery began to baptize those who had the desire to join the Church. Thirteen people were baptized: Hezekiah Peck and his wife, Joseph Knight Sr. and his wife, William Stringham and his wife, Joseph Knight Jr., Aaron Culver and his wife, Levi Hale, Polly Knight, Julia Stringham, and Emma Smith, Joseph’s wife. The mob returned and began mocking and ridiculing the members about their beliefs. Within just a short time, there were nearly fifty men around the small group of members. The mob threatened violence, and the group decided to go to the home of Newel Knight. The mob followed them, but no one was harmed.

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