The Peter Whitmer home is an important site in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of the numerous spiritual and Church events which occurred there. The Whitmer family had willingly allowed the prophet Joseph Smith and his wife Emma to live with them. This allowed Joseph Smith to focus on completing the translation of the Book of Mormon the assistance of his scribe Oliver Cowdery. In 1829, the translation of the Book of Mormon was completed in the Whitmer home. Also, near the Whitmer home, the three witnesses were shown the Gold Plates and given a command to bear record of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
The most significant event is that this was the place where the Mormon Church was officially organized on April 6, 1830. This is what occurred at the organization of the Church according to the prophet Joseph Smith,
- We had received a commandment to organize the Church; and accordingly we met together for that purpose, at the house of Mr. Peter Whitmer, Sen., (being six in number,) on Tuesday, the sixth day of April, A. D., one thousand eight hundred and thirty. Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father, we proceeded, according to previous commandment, to call on our brethren to know whether they accepted us as their teachers in the things of the Kingdom of God, and whether they were satisfied that we should proceed and be organized as a Church according to said commandment which we had received. To these several propositions they consented by a unanimous vote. I then laid my hands upon Oliver Cowdery, and ordained him an Elder of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"; after which, he ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church. We then took bread, blessed it, and brake it with them; also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the Church present, that they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be confirmed members of the Church of Christ. The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us to a very great degree--some prophesied, whilst we all praised the Lord, and rejoiced exceedingly (History of the Church 1:74-75).
Also in Joseph’s account is another important event in the Church, the first blessing and passing of the sacrament in this dispensation. While staying in the Whitmer home, Joseph Smith also received numerous revelations, which can now be found in sections 14-18, 20, 21, and 29-40 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Visitors can take free tours through the Peter Whitmer home every day of the week except certain holidays.