Initiation to the School of the Prophets

By revelation, in January 1833 Joseph Smith began the School of the Prophets in a small upper room in the Newel K. Whitney store in Kirtland, Ohio. To initiate them into the School, the Lord revealed “the ordinance of the washing of feet” (D&C 88:139) to make them “clean from the blood of this generation” (D&C 88:138) and purify them for the presence of God.

Notes for the opening day of the School read: “Wednesday Janry 23d Meet agreeable to adjournment. Conference opened with Prayer by the President and after much speaking praying and singing, all done in Tongues proceded to washing hands faces & feet in the name of the Lord as commanded by of God each one washing his own after which the president guirded himself with a towel and again washed the feet of all the Elders wiping them with the towel… at the close of which scene Br F G Williams being moved upon by the Holy Ghost washed the feet of the President … The President said after he had washed the feet of the Elders, as I have done so do ye wash ye therefee [therefore] one anothers feet pronouncing at the same time through the power of the Holy Ghost that the Elders were all clean from the blood of this generation.”

Wonderful spiritual manifestations happened at the organization meeting of the School, and in subsequent meetings held in the months that followed. The instructions and actions from the original 1833 School of the Prophets would form the foundation for later temple-centric teachings revealed through Joseph Smith and found in the holy temple today. 

This original painting was created for my Repicturing the Restoration project published in 2020 by BYU’s Religious Studies Center & Deseret Book. 

“Initiation to the School of the Prophets” 32×24 oil on board, 2018 (comes in a black 4″ old world frame, 40×32)


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