Minutes, , Geauga Co., OH, 8 Aug. 1835. Featured version copied [not before 25 Feb. 1836] in Minute Book 1, p. 95; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
On 8 August 1835, JS and a in , Ohio, met to bless several individuals who were designated as “sons of Zion.” These blessings seem to have been part of a larger effort to bless individuals who had accompanied JS on the expedition to in summer 1834. A June 1834 revelation had told these participants that they were no longer required to redeem at that time; the revelation explained that God had “prepared a great and blessing” for them. Although the endowment and subsequent blessings did not occur until the completion of the in Kirtland in 1836, JS convened a meeting of the Camp of Israel participants in February 1835 to recognize them for their service, after which blessings were periodically given. These blessings took several forms. Some were given to camp members as they were being as or members of the . Other blessings were given independently of any ordination and became known as “Zion blessings.” Both types of blessings were frequently recorded in church records. copied many of the ordination blessings into Minute Book 1, and some of the Zion blessings were entered into the church’s patriarchal blessing book, even though they were not considered patriarchal blessings. The minutes of the 8 August 1835 meeting suggest that there may have also been a record book used solely to record ordination blessings and Zion blessings, but no such record book is extant.
entered the minutes of the 8 August 1835 meeting into Minute Book 1. But the entry appears to be incomplete, as it ends in the middle of a sentence and nearly half the page below the text was left blank, as though Cowdery planned to return and complete the minutes at a later time.
Burgess, Harrison. Autobiography, ca. 1883. Photocopy. CHL. MS 893. Also available as “Sketch of a Well-Spent Life,” in Labors in the Vineyard, Faith-Promoting Series 12 (Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1884), 65–74.
See, for example, Blessing for Charles C. Rich, 24 Apr. 1836, in Patriarchal Blessings, 1:37–38; and Blessing for Harpin Riggs, in Patriarchal Blessings, 1:42. Some individuals, such as Harpin and Burr Riggs, were ordained members of the Seventy in March 1835 but received Zion blessings at a later date as well. (Minutes, Discourse, and Blessings, 1 Mar. 1835; Blessing for Burr Riggs, 7 June 1835, in Patriarchal Blessings, 1:26–27; see also Park, “Zion’s Blessings in the Early Church,” 27–37.)
Patriarchal Blessings, 1833–. CHL. CR 500 2.
Park, Benjamin E. “‘ Thou Wast Willing to Lay Down Thy Life for Thy Brethren’: Zion’s Blessings in the Early Church.” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 29 (2009): 27–37.
This “book of ordination blessings” is apparently neither Minute Book 1 nor the patriarchal blessing book, as the blessing for “Father Duncan,” which is mentioned in these minutes, appears in neither of these books.
Minutes of a held in Aug. 8th 1835 Presidents Joseph Smith, & Presiding. Meeting opened by prayer of .
Proceeded to lay hands on the following sons of and bless them as follows. Father Duncan & 6 which is recorded in the book of ordination blessings which see,—— [13 lines blank] [p. 95]
JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). Historian’s Office, History of the Church, 1839–ca. 1882. CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.
The term “sons of Zion” was used as a name for the Seventy in the minutes of a meeting held on 17 August. The term was also used in the blessings of several individuals who were designated seventies at that meeting. However, as used here, the name seems to refer more generally to those who had gone on the Camp of Israel expedition. (Minutes, 17 Aug. 1835; see also Blessing for Burr Riggs, 7 June 1835, in Patriarchal Blessings, 1:26–27; Blessing for Charles C. Rich, 24 Apr. 1836, in Patriarchal Blessings, 1:37–38; and Blessing for Harpin Riggs, in Patriarchal Blessings, 1:42.)