Amherst, a township about 50 miles southwest of Kirtland, Ohio, was the setting of a major matter of business in the early Church. At a conference there on Jan. 25, 1832, Joseph Smith was sustained by unanimous vote and ordained President of the High Priesthood.
In Church History and Modern Revelation (2:45-46), Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: "Who it was that ordained him Joseph SmithT is not stated, but it was by his brethren according to appointment. This action was in perfect harmony with later revelations given to the Church. (Section 107.) His brethren who also held the Melchizedek Priesthood, by command of the Lord, could with all authority perform this sacred ordination. . . ."Those called to the several offices have to be upheld and sustained by the voice of the members of the Church. We have learned, also that the first office which Joseph Smith held in the Church was that of an elder. This was the appointment by revelation which came on the 6th day of April, 1830. Then in June 1831, he, by command of the Lord, received the ordination of the office of high priest, when the first high priests were ordained. Now, at the Amherst conference, he was ordained president over, or of, the High Priesthood, and by virtue of that office he presided over all the Priesthood of the Church. (See Section 107.) This position, each president of the Church, in turn, holds by virtue of the vote of the members of the Church."
Although Church history contains numerous references to Amherst, only one recorded revelation - Section 75 - was received there.
The Amherst branch was organized Jan. 25, 1831, one year before the conference of Jan. 25, 1832. The branch was disbanded by the late 1830s.
Amherst today has a population of nearly 15,000. About 70 Latter-day Saints, representing 18 families, live in Amherst. They attend the Lorain Ward, about one mile north of Amherst.