Oliver Cowdery and Hyrum Page went to Toronto to raise money for the printing of the Book of Mormon; however they were unsuccessful.
Phineas Young received a Book of Mormon from Samuel Smith, brother of the Prophet, in April 1830, and a few months later travelled to upper Canada. He spoke to a group of Methodist Ministers in Kingston and gave the first known testimony of the restored Church in Canada.
In Boston Mills, Peel County, the first school house was built in 1830, and also served as a Church of the Mormon Mission.
After hearing the gospel, Brigham Young travelled to Kingston, which was in upper Canada. He presented the gospel to his brother, Joseph Young, who was a circuit rider for the Methodists in the Kingston area. Joseph readily accepted the gospel. Phineas, Joseph, and his father were baptized on April 5, 1832, in Columbia, Pennsylvania.
Six elders were called to visit Canada to establish branches. They were Joseph Young, Phineas Young, Elial String, Eleazer Miller, Enos Curtis and one yet unidentified.
After seeing the Prophet Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Joseph Young and their brother-in-law John P. Green went on a mission of Joseph's circuit in February 1833. They crossed the St. Lawrence on the ice from Gravelly Point to Kingston. Through the Spirit, they converted and baptized 45 at West Loborough (now Storrington, Frontenac County). They then returned to the United States.
On April 1, Brigham Young and Joseph Young went on a second mission to Canada. They preached at Lyon's town baptizing thirteen people. From there Brigham went to Theresa and Indian River Falls, near Ogdensbury, where David W. Patten was preaching, and baptized Warren Parrish, and his wife, and Brother Patten's mother, brother and sisters.
From there Brigham Young went on to the Earnstown-West Loborough areas. On July 1st he gathered a group of nearly 30 saints from around Kingston and took them Kirtland.
The Prophet Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Freeman Nickerson travelled to Mount Pleasnt, upper Canada, to the home of Freeman Nickerson's son. Four days later, Freeman A. Nickerson (son) and family, Lydia Bailey and others were baptized. The branch was organized and Freeman was ordained an Elder and appointed branch president. At another fireside meeting, Moses Nickerson, brother of Freeman, said, "I would be so glad if someone who had been baptized couldf receive the gift of tongues as the ancients did and speak to us."
Joseph Smith is reported to have then said, "If one of you will rise up and open your mouth, it shall be filled, and you shall speak in tongues." It is reported that Lydia Bailey then rose up and spoke in tongues. The Prophet Joseph Smith said of this meeting that "the Spirit was given in great power to some and peace to others. May God carry on his work in this place until all shall know him."
Moses Nickerson wrote to Sidney Rigdon the following: "Your labours while here in Canada have been the beginning of a good work; there are 34 more attached to the Church at Mount Pleasant, all of whom appear to live up to their profession, five of them have spoken in tongues. The scriptures have been opened to my view beyond expectations. Send missionaries. Send those that you have confidence in, or none; the work requires competent workmen."
Kirtland Stake High Council Meeting: The Prophet Joseph Smith called Lyman E. Johnson, Milton Holmes, Zebedee Coltrin, Jared Carter and Phineas Young to travel to Canada.
Shortly after the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was organized, six of them went to Canada, "preaching, baptizing and collecting means for purchase of lands in Missouri and the completion of the Kirtland Temple."
In June of 1835, these six members of the Twelve gathered at Loborough, upper Canada, and held a conference.
"And from thence (Kirtland), whomsoever I will shall go forth among all nations, and it shall be told them what they shall do; for I have a great work laid up in store, for Israel shall be saved, and I will lead them whithersoever I will, and no power shall stay my hand."
(Doctrine and Covenants 38:33)
Parley P. Pratt was visited by Elder Heber C. Kimball and others. Parley wrote of this occasion:
"I arose and opened the door, when Elder Heber C. Kimball and others entered my house, and being filled with the Spirit of prophecy, they blessed me and my wife, and prophesied as follows:
"Brother Parley, thy wife shall be healed from this hour, and shall bear a son, and his name shall be Parley; and he shall be a chosen instrument in the hand of the Lord to inherit the priesthood and to walk in the steps of his father. He shall do a great work in the earth in ministering the work and teaching the children of men. Arise, therefore, and go forth in the ministry, nothing doubting. Take no thought for your debts, nor necessities of life, for the Lord will supply you with abundant means for all things."
"Thou shalt go to upper Canada, even to the City of Toronto, the capital, and there thou shalt find a people prepared for the fullness of the gospel, and they shall receive thee, and thou shalt organize the Church among them, and many shall be brought to the knowledge of the truth and shall be filled with joy; and from the things growing out of this mission, shall the fullness of the gospel spread into England, and cause a great work to be done in that land. You shall not only have means to deliver you from your present embarrassments, but you shall yet have riches, silver and gold, till you will loath the counting thereof."
My place of destination was Toronto, around on the north side of Lake Ontario. If I went by land I would have a circuitous route, muddy and tedious by foot. The lake had just opened and streamers had commenced travelling between the two places; two dollars would convey me to Toronto in a few hours, and save some days of laborous walking, but I was a stranger in Hamilton and also in the province; and money I had none. Under these circumstances I pondered what I should do. I had many times received answers to prayer in such matters; but now it seemed hard to exercise faith, because I was among strangers and entirely unknown. The Spirit seemed to whisper toe to try the Lord, and see if anything was too hard for Him, that I might know and trust Him under all circumstances. I retired to a secret place in a forest and prayed to the Lord for the money to enable me to cross the lake. I then entered Hamilton and commenced to chat with some of the people. I had not tarried many minutes before I was accosted by a stranger, who inquired my name and where I was going. He also asked me if I did not want some money, I answered yes. He then gave me ten dollars and a letter of introduction to John Taylor, of Toronto."
Concerning Toronto this same apostle later wrote:
"But the Spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I said, In the name of Jesus Christ, in the strength of the God of Elijah, this city shall be warned, till every ear shall tingle and every heart be penetrated; their iniquities be brought to light, and the Lord's people gathered to the standard of truth which shall be raised in this city and shine forth to all the regions round about."
From the city of Toronto, Mormonism spread to the surrounding area. A Mr. Joseph Fielding reluctantly accepted Elder Pratt into his home. Fielding's two sisters Mary (later Mrs. Hyrum Smith) and Rachel ran from their house to one of the neighbors lest they should give welcome and countenance to Mormonism. However the family did listen and in a few days they were all baptized. Elder Pratt recorded, "We also baptized a branch of the Church, for the people there drank in the truth as water and loved it as they loved life."
Those baptized about this time were Isabella Walton, John Taylor and family, John Snyder, John Goodson, Joseph Fielding, his wife and sisters Mary and Rachel, James Wardlow and family, Isaac Russell and family, John Larson and family, and many others.
The gospel was received by many, so much so that the ministers became very worried and wrote reports of the progress of the Mormon Church in newspapers, and thought it important enough to fill whole pages of the newspapers, despite the existence of other controversial matters with concerning the churches of the time.
Joseph Smith, accompanied by Sydney Rigdon, Thomas Marsh, O.P. Rockwell and Brigham Young left Kirtland on July 27, 1837, to visit the branches in Canada. The Church had been growing quickly, and much opposition and bitterness were openly manifested towards it. On the day after their departure, Joseph was arrested six times for alleged violations of the law. After being dismissed on all accounts, he returned to Kirtland for the night and made a second start the next day. Smith, Rigdon and Marsh proceeded, on to Canada "to preach, baptize and bless the saints and strengthen the branches." Conferences were held in Whitby County and in Scarborough.
The Constitution, Toronto's newspaper at the time, said on August 2, 1837 of this visit, "We understand that Mr. Smith, a famed chief of the new sect called "Mormons," who suffered much persecution in Missouri, and the great preacher, Mr. Rigdon, are in town."
While John Taylor, the appointed president of the saints in Toronto area, was preaching in the neighboring towns, Sampson Avard, who recently arrived from Kirtland, presented a letter (from apostates in Kirtland) claiming the right to preside over the Church in that district. He proceeded to reorganize the branches in Canada without consulting anyone. When John Taylor returned from preaching, he noted Avard's letter and stepped down. When the Prophet Joseph Smith arrived in Toronto, he denounced Avard and his scheme to usurp power. He then called John Taylor in for advice, and proceeded to reorganize the affairs of the Church in that district. Taylor was ordained a high priest and resustained as president of the district. As Taylor travelled with Joseph Smith in regulating the affairs of different branches, they had many opportunities to visit together.
John Taylor said, "This was as great a treat to me as I ever enjoyed. I had daily opportunity of conversing with them, of listening to their instructions, and participating in the rich stories of intelligence that flowed continually from the Prophet Joseph."
Following this tour of Joseph Smith and others, the work spread rapidly, signs followed the believers, the sick were made well, and many prophesied.