The Freedom Branch
It is my will that my servant Warren A. Cowdery should be appointed and ordained a presiding high priest over my church, in the land of Freedom and the regions round about…
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Doctrine and Covenants 106:1
In 1834, four years after the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Prophet Joseph Smith announced by direct revelation from on high the appointment of a branch president for Freedom. No other congregation in these latter days can point to such a Scriptural initiation.

Oliver Cowdery’s older brother Warren, a recent convert, was this frontier town’s postmaster and physician, nevertheless the Lord told him, in this revelation, to devote his whole time to this ecclesiastical calling and to its associated missionary endeavors. When his congregation removed in a body to Ohio, our family went with it.
Miess
President Miess
On May 24, having identified the current branch president (President Miess—I may have heard his given name, but neither used it nor retained it), and Mary Blum, a historically-inclined local member, I’d sent them our research agenda. On Sunday, the 31st, we attended the worship service of the Freedom Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a significant historical and family-historical event for us, and the pleasant young presiding officer introduced us around.

After the meeting, we consulted briefly with Mary Blum and then proceeded to Elton, where we renewed our acquaintance with Wade and Kristie Holmes and with their home, our primary family shrine in the region, and from there across Elton Creek to the cemetery and Grandpa Oliver’s grave.
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