Minutes, , Geauga Co., OH, 4 May 1833. Featured version copied [between 4 and ca. 6 June 1833] in Minute Book 1, p. 20; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
In late December 1832 and early January 1833, JS dictated two revelations that led to the establishment of the , an organization designed to instruct “in all things, that is expedient for the officers; or in other words, them who are called to the ministry in the Church.” Meetings of the school, which began in late January 1833, were generally held in a room on the second floor of ’s . An 8 March 1833 revelation reiterated in the voice of the Lord the importance of organizing the School of the Prophets so members “may be perfected in their minstry for the salvation of .” Shortly thereafter, however, many of the students of the school were sent on missions to raise money to purchase the property. explained that the decision to purchase the as well as other properties “made it necessary to call the out of school for the purpose of going again into the world and procuring means for Paying for the farms.” The anticipated return of these elders apparently led to the decision to move forward with plans to construct a separate building in which to hold the school’s meetings.
As reflected in the minutes featured here, a conference of held on 4 May 1833 appointed a committee of three men—, , and —to procure funds for the construction of the building by subscription, meaning that funds would be sought from donations made by individual church members. On 1 June 1833, the committee sent a letter to church congregations, seeking donations to “establish an house and prepare all things necessary whereby the Elders may gather into a school called the school of the prophets and receive that instruction that the Lord designs they should receive.”
Brigham Young later explained that the first School of the Prophets was held in “a small room over Joseph Smith’s kitchen” in Newel K. Whitney’s store. (Brigham Young, Discourse, 8 Feb. 1868, in George D. Watt, Discourse Shorthand Notes, 8 Feb. 1868, Pitman Shorthand Transcriptions, CHL; see also Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 8 Feb. 1868, 12:157–158.)
Pitman Shorthand Transcriptions, 1998–2013. CHL.
Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1855–1886.
A of assembled in May the 4th 1833 and appointed moderator who opened the conference with prayer after which arose and stated the necessity of building a school house for the purpose of accomodating the who should come in to receive their education for the ministry according to a revelation given on that subject March 8— 1833 voted unanimously that a committe[e] be appointed to superintend getting subscription for the purpose the following persons were appointed a committe[e] by the voice of the conference Viz there being no further business the conference closed
As one of the definitions of subscription, Webster’s 1828 dictionary lists “the act of contributing to any undertaking.” (“Subscription,” in American Dictionary.)
An American Dictionary of the English Language: Intended to Exhibit, I. the Origin, Affinities and Primary Signification of English Words, as far as They Have Been Ascertained. . . . Edited by Noah Webster. New York: S. Converse, 1828.
On 1 June the committee sent a letter to the churches that contained an account of this meeting and explained, “We have meet in conference and there agreed to form a subscription and circulate the same through the Churches and also appointed Hyram SmithReynolds Cahoon and Jared Carter a committe to superintend this business viz of circulating subscriptions to establish a fund to build a house and to aid the Elders to attend this school and subscription are now in circulation among us.” (Hyrum Smith et al., Kirtland, OH, to “the Churches of Christ,” 1 June 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, p. 37.)