This week in Church history

175 years ago

Newel K. Whitney "was appointed by revelation, and ordained by Joseph Smith to be the Bishop of Kirtland and the eastern branches of the church" on Dec. 4, 1831, according to A Comprehensive History of the Church by B.H. Roberts.

The call of Bishop Whitney, the Church's second bishop, succeeding Bishop Edward G. Partridge, is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants Section 72. The section heading says that it also contains "additional information as to a bishop's duties."

In Elder Roberts' history, a note states: "Though in natural gifts few men were better qualified for such a position, (Bishop Whitney) nevertheless distrusted his ability, … In his perplexity, he appealed to the Prophet:

"'I cannot see a bishop in myself, brother Joseph; but if you say it's the Lord's will, I'll try.'

"'You need not take my word alone;' answered the Prophet kindly, 'Go and ask Father for yourself"' (A Comprehensive History of the Church: 1:271).