Discourse, 16 August 1841, as Published in Times and Seasons
JS, Discourse, [, Hancock Co., IL], 16 Aug. 1841. Featured version published in “Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, vol. 2, no. 21, 521–522. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
In a held in , Illinois, on 16 August 1841, JS delivered a discourse explaining the new role to be taken by the now that they had returned from their extended mission to . JS arrived at the conference in the afternoon and spoke to the congregation, declaring that the Quorum of the Twelve should assume their position “next to the .” JS also stated that the Twelve would take on responsibility for settling immigrants and for other “business of the at the ” to relieve the church president from that burden.
JS’s remarks were partially captured in minutes of the conference taken by . Those minutes were later published in the Times and Seasons. In comparison to the original minutes, however, the newspaper’s account is more expansive and detailed, suggesting that additional sources were used to produce the text. Because this published version is the most complete contemporaneous account of JS’s 16 August discourse, it is the version featured here. As with other JS discourse texts, this version preserves only a fraction of what JS said on this occasion.
Joseph Smith now arriving proceeded to state to the at considerable length, the object of their present meeting, and in addition to what had stated in the morning, said that the time had come when the should be called upon to stand in their place next to the first presidency, and attend to the settling of emegrants and the business of the at the [p. 521]
By mid-July 1841 approximately eight hundred recently converted immigrants from the British Isles had arrived in Hancock County, Illinois. In an effort to accommodate the influx of immigrants, JS had recently begun negotiations to purchase additional land in Warren, Illinois. (Letter from Calvin A. Warren, 31 Aug. 1841.)