As a woman of many visions, Abigail Calkins Leonard (1795-1880) had a close relationship to God and conversed with him regularly. In her endeavor to seek for a community of Saints to worship God, she entertained many ministers from various denominations in her home with her husband.
After many meetings in their home, a particular group of Methodist Elders would occasionally stop by to talk of religion while also forming and structuring their local Church. Over time, Abigail would no longer entertain the thought of joining them, as she felt that these particular ministers "cared more for the fleece than the flock." Yet the meetings in her home had caused her to ask a simple question that she took to the divine in prayer and in a forest. The question was simple:
"What is it that separates two Christians?"
She was resolved to not get up from her knees until an answer came. No sooner had she spoken than she records that "a voice called to me saying, 'These are built up for gain.' Then, beyond, I could see a great light, and a voice from above called out: 'I shall raise up a people, whom I shall delight to own and bless'." This answer was sufficient for her to return to her home.
Not many days afterward, Abigail and her husband entertained a large group of people from their community in their home, allowing all those who wished to speak the time to address those in attendance. Abigail records that she took to the stand to declare:
"Today I come out from all names, sects, and parties, and take upon myself the name of Christ, resolved to wear it to the end of my days."
A few days more afterward, Abigail had another vision that demonstrated to her that no local congregation would truly bring her the truth and blessings from God that she desired. Within a week Abigail and her husband heard of a traveling minister discussing the ministry of angels and of a new book -- The Book of Mormon.
As she recorded:
"Not long after this, I heard of the 'Book of Mormon,' and when a few of us were gathered at a neighbors we asked that we might have manifestations in proof of the truth and divine origin of this book, although we had not yet seen it... I requested that I might know the truth of this book, by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, and I immediately felt its presence. Then, when the Book of Mormon came, we were ready to receive it and its truths. The brethren gathered at our house to read it, and such days of rejoicing and thanksgiving I never saw before nor since. We were now ready for baptism."