Finances and Faith in the Kirtland Crisis of 1837
by Elizabeth Kuehn
While I will cover nineteenth-century economics and the Kirtland bank briefly in my presentation today, I also want to focus on the period of spiritual crisis in Kirtland in 1837 and ways I hope we can learn from the Kirtland experience for our current moment of spiritual crisis.
The crisis within the Mormon community of Kirtland has been inseparably connected to the founding and subsequent failure of the church’s Kirtland bank. However, there is too often a direct causal connection assumed between the bank and the 1837 crisis. The focus of my presentation today is to demonstrate the complexity of this period of history, contextualize both the bank and the crisis, and address several prevailing assumptions about each.
Although most Kirtland narratives place the bank amid the financial devastation of 1837, the Kirtland Safety Society Bank was organized in November 1836. As such, understanding developments in Kirtland in 1836 is key.
- Question: Was Joseph Smith commanded by the Lord to go to Salem, Massachusetts to hunt for treasure in the cellar of a house?
- The Kirtland Safety Society
- What was the purpose of the Kirtland Safety Society?
- The failure of the Kirtland Safety Society
- Question: How can you know if an answer to prayer, a personal revelation, is true?
- Question: Why did Joseph Smith say that David Patten would serve a mission when he was killed only six months later?
- The Nature of Prophets and Prophecy