Minute Book 1
Minute Book 1, [ca. 3 Dec. 1832–30 Nov. 1837]; handwriting of , , , Marcellus F. Cowdery, , , and ; 259 pages; CHL. Includes dockets, redactions, copy notes, use marks, and archival stamping and marking.Medium-size blank book. The paper, which is ruled with thirty-four blue-green horizontal lines (now faded), measures 12 × 7½ inches (30 × 19 cm). The book originally contained 149 leaves (now 143 leaves), consisting of twelve gatherings of twelve leaves each, two front flyleaves, and three back flyleaves. The text block is sewn all along over recessed cords. The front and back covers of the volume are pasteboard. The book has a tight-back case binding with a brown calfskin quarter-leather binding, the bound volume measuring 12⅜ × 7¾ × 1 inches (31 × 20 × 3 cm). The outside covers are adorned with shell marbled paper, with a red, green, and black body and veins of black. The back pastedown bears the inscriptions “c”, “c/i”, and “pep”—possibly original merchandising notes.A single leaf—the conjugate of the leaf bearing pages 15 and 16—was removed from the first gathering of the book, but this occurred before the adjacent leaves were inscribed or paginated. Page 1 is the first lined page. Minutes were inscribed in the book on pages 1–219 and 226–265. Pages 220–225 were left blank, except for their page numbers. Following page 265, the remaining twenty-one pages and the three back flyleaves were left blank. At some point, began a table of contents, which was continued by but never completed; this table of contents is inscribed on all four pages of the two front flyleaves. The minute book was kept with quill pens. The entries and pagination were inscribed in ink that is now brown. Pages 39–55 include entry-dividing lines inscribed in red ink. There is also residue from an adhesive wafer on pages 156 and 157, indicating a sheet of paper was attached there at one time.At some point, probably in the early 1840s, the front cover of the volume was labeled “Conference | A” in black ink. The “A” is written in a formal style that matches the covers of other early manuscript books in the Church History Library’s holdings. Copy notes and use marks, in¬scribed in graphite, were made by later scribes who used the minute book when compiling JS’s 1838–1856 history. At some point, probably in Utah, a white paper label was pasted on the spine; the label is now only partially extant, with the remaining inscription illegible. Another white paper label, also only partially extant, was pasted over this. It reads: “Kirtland Coun”. The rest of the label, which would have included approximately two more words, is missing. The pastedown on the inside of the book’s front cover bears an archival identification number inscribed in black ink and a more recent Historian’s Office library sticker. The spine also bears a more recent sticker with an identification number. Ink has bled through on several of the pages. The book has also suffered some wear and staining in the front and back.The volume is listed in the 1846 Historian’s Office inventory as “Book of Conference A” and referred to as a high council record in subsequent Historian’s Office inventories from the 1850s. In 1988, the Church History Department transferred Minute Book 1 to the First Presidency’s Office. The minute book was transferred to the Church History Library in 2009. Archival records and the markings mentioned above indicate continuous institutional custody.Sixteen different clerks took down the original minutes that were later copied into Minute Book 1, which was begun as part of a new effort in more permanent church record keeping. It appears that the book was begun in early December 1832, about two weeks after JS began his own personal journal and apparently began keeping a letterbook in which to copy outgoing correspondence. Frederick G. Williams began the minute book, which was later continued by Warren A. Cowdery and others in Ohio. Entries in the minute book are occasionally out of chronological order. The entries for October 1832–January 1833 were inscribed by Williams. None of these were inscribed before 3 December 1832, the date of the first entry in the book. However, the uneven copying style of the early entries suggests that the book was an active register beginning in early December, with original minutes being regularly copied into the book as they came to hand. In addition to minutes, the volume also contains scattered notes on matters related to the church affairs addressed in the minutes.
On 12 February 1834 JS held a council meeting with high priests and elders at his home in , Ohio. To those gathered he observed, “I shall now endeavor to set forth before this council, the dignity of the office which has been conferred upon me by the ministering of the Angel of God, by his own will and by the voice of this church. I have never set before any council in all the order in which a council ought to be conducted, which, perhaps, has deprived the councils of some, or many blessings.” Along with other instructions, JS related that “in ancient days, councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the spirit was obtained; which has not been observed in this church to the present.” (Minute Book 1, 12 Feb. 1834, 27–29.)The record of this occasion is one of many found in Minute Book 1, also known as the “Kirtland Council Minute Book” or the “Kirtland High Council Minutes.” This and its companion, Minute Book 2 (also known as the “Far West Record”), are now published as part of the Administrative Records series on this website. These volumes illuminate many of the principles and practices that ordered early church governance and administration. They illustrate the early Saints’ determination to respond to revelation and divine guidance while simultaneously acknowledging the doctrine of common consent. Furthermore, these records demonstrate JS’s personal endorsement of and participation in a conference or council system of church government.Entries for various conferences and councils recorded in Minute Book 1 stand as witness to several seminal events in early church history. Among these were the receipt of the revelation known as the “Olive Leaf” in late December 1832 and early January 1833; the organization of the School of the Prophets on 22–23 January 1833; the ordination of and as presidents of the high priesthood on 18 March 1833; revelations concerning construction of the ; the organization of the first standing high council in February 1834; church courts held in the aftermath of the Camp of Israel (Zion’s Camp) march in August 1834; the calling, ordination, and blessing of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventies in February 1835; the acceptance by the church of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants in August of that year; preparation for the dedication of the Kirtland House of the Lord in winter and early spring 1836; and events related to the Kirtland Safety Society, its demise, and the concomitant dissension within the Kirtland stake of Zion in 1837. Some of these minutes, especially those where JS was a participant in the meeting, will also appear with individual introductions in the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers.In the texts of the various minute entries, and occasionally in separate entries accompanying them, the register records ordinations, blessings, disciplinary councils, testimonies, Pentecostal outpourings, callings and releases, missionary appointments, and fund-raising activities. Thus, Minute Book 1 provides a rich survey of JS’s interactions with associates and others during many dramatic, and often challenging, episodes beginning in October 1832 and concluding in November 1837. Sixteen different clerks took original minutes that were later copied into the volume by , , , , Marcellus Cowdery, , , and .Minute Book 1 was initiated during a remarkable upsurge in record keeping, beginning with the calling of and later as church historians in 1830 and 1831. Revelations and commandments recorded in Revelation Book 1 were sent to to be published on the church’s first press in late 1831, and Revelation Book 2 was in use in by February 1832. Sometime in 1832, probably between July and September, JS and worked together on a brief history of JS’s early visionary experiences. JS purchased the small volume that contains his first journal in November 1832 and began penning entries that same month. That fall another record, containing retained copies of early church correspondence and now designated Letterbook 1, was commenced. In January of the following year, in an epistle recorded in Letterbook 1, JS wrote to encouraging him as editor of the church’s first periodical, The Evening and the Morning Star, then printed in , Missouri, to set “forth the rise and progress and faith of the church,” that is, to begin publishing items on the history of the church.This upwelling was quite unusual for the time. As scholar Dean C. Jessee has observed, “So primitive were some aspects of record keeping in nineteenth-century America that much of the early Latter-day Saint experience was a pioneering effort. . . . Although Mormon record keeping was inaugurated by [an] 1830 revelation, details for carrying out that commandment were largely hammered out on the anvil of experience in the years that followed.” (Dean C. Jessee, “The Reliability of Joseph Smith’s History,” Journal of Mormon History 3 : 27.) Thus, during a brief span in the early 1830s, JS, along with those working under his direction, commenced the systematic collection and recording of critical documents pertaining to church governance and administration. Throughout the remainder of JS’s lifetime minute-taking, revelation-recording, correspondence-copying, journal-keeping, and history-writing activities would remain imperative commitments.
|P1||Ordination of Dec 3, 1832|
|1||Councel on case Dec— 1832|
|1||Conference appointed by the Bishop to be held in Bath Mass. Oct 10— 1832|
|2||Ordination Dec 5— 1832|
|2||Councel for Curtis Hodges & Dec 18— 1832|
|3,||Ordination 19 Dec 1832|
|3||Recd a revelation councel of on the occasion &c 27 Dec 1832|
|4||resigned &c Dec 29— 1832|
|4||& Philemon Ducett councel for &c January 2d 1833.|
|5||ordination Nov 16— 1832|
|5||for employing as assistant Scribe Jany. 9th 1833|
|5||On the subject of Rebelion in Zion & writing an Epistle &c Janry 13— 1833|
|6||Ordination of Janry 14— 1833|
|6||Conference of High Priests to organize the scholl [school] of th[e] prophets|
|8||ordination of Gibson Smith and finished reviewing the new testement|
|9||ordination of Samuel Burwell and|
|10||ordination Feb 17— 1833|
|10||ordination 10 Feb 1833|
|10||ordination Feb 15— 1833|
|10||ordination 15— 1833|
|10||Trial of 13 Feb— 1833|
|11||Councel for Sundry Breth to Journy to the east Feb 12—1833|
|11||ordination of — 12 Feb 1833|
|11||The Case of Bro Lake his commission taken from him|
|10||Trial of 26 Feby 1833 in which he was cut off from the c[hurch]|
|11||Ordination of Horace Cowin to be a priest 12 March 1833—|
|11||Reception of into the United Firm 15 March 1833—|
|12||Ordination of 18 March 1833|
|12||Excommunication of 1st. time 3 June 1833—|
|13||Decision in Medina Co. against & others|
|"||Ordination of to the High Priesthood|
|14||Certain Elders, (Viz.) , & others came to enquire &c|
|15||Mission of & to|
|"||" " & S. & East|
|"||" " & &c.|
|"||" " & — to|
|"||" " to visit his brother|
|"||" " & to|
|16||" " J. Smith Junr & to go as led by the spirit|
|"||ordained & to purchase land in|
|"||to purchase &c.|
|17||ordination of &|
|18||— council concerning the purchase of certain farms &c|
|19||" " " Brick Yarh [Yard]|
|"||" " the raising of money for the use of a house for <meetings>|
|20||— " — " building of a school house|
|"||elected clerk— — —|
|" <21>||Appial of to the High council|
|do.||David Copley licence taken|
|"||Plot of the city of Zion|
|"||Trial of J. Higby [James Higbee]|
|23||, & others enquire of the Lord.|
|24||Council To establish a press in|
|<"> 25||" advice to to move to|
|25||— Exclusion of J[ames] Blanchard & others|
|"||— Trial of E[zekiel] Rider &— Story|
|26||— Complaint against Brother Elliott & others|
|"||— Exclusion of W[esley] Hurlbut|
|27||— Conference Minuts|
|"||— Trial of — — —|
|29||— accused, confession &c.|
|"||— Church Council chosen 7 to be a quorum|
|" <32>||— Organization of Church council|
|36||— Council concerning the alteration of constitution. Blessings|
|38||— Trial of Brother Curtis Hodges Senr|
|39||— Council concerning the observance of the word of wisdom|
|40||" ' certain Elders going to|
|41||— Mission of & for certain purposes|
|"||Audience to & from Zion|
|42||Council in Livingston Co. N.Y.|
|43||— " " Medina Co. Ohio|
|47||— Thomas Tripp’s case|
|48||— — case|
|49||— Conference at .|
|52||— , case|
|54||— Council on a publication in the Star ()|
|55||— Investigation of the conduct of J. S. Junr. Going to and f ,|
|57||— General investigation of & settlement of all difficulties|
|58||— Trial with &c.|
|72||Ordination of T[homas] Colborn Mission to|
|73||— Conference at|
|75||— , concerning his acting as High councillor|
|=||Publishing a Book of Doctrine & Covenants avails of &c.|
|77||— Councils— concerning J. H. Tippits [Tippets] &c.|
|81||— " — — Oliver Walker of Indianna|
|82||— — — — — Brethren in Bolton N. Y.|
|84||— — — — — — — & others|
|86||— — — — — The Twelve &c.|
|89||— Conference at|
|92||— Letter to Rev. J. Hewett [John Hewitt]|
|"||— ’s report|
|93||— Trial of|
|96||— — — —|
|97||— — — —|
|98||General Assembly to review the Book of Doctrine & Covenants|
|"||to be paid for his time as patriarch|
|108||. recorder of the Church|
|109||— Complaint against Henry Green|
|113||— Trial of Elder|
|119||— council concerning the conduct or teachings of the Twelve|
|"||" " —|
|122||— " " —|
|124||— — — — — appealed case|
|125||— — —|
|126||— charges against &|
|127||— " " & wife|
|129||— Conference in|
|130||— T[r]ial of —|
|131||— Trial of|
|135||— Charges against — Trial &c.|
|137||— President of Elders to furnish a list of his quorum|
|" '||— Resolutions relative to subsequent ordinations|
|140||— Report of committee on Resolutions|
|143||— — Clerks to sign licences|
|144||— Withdrawal of amendment by dissenting members of <the 12>|
|" '||— — Ordination of certain Elders|
|146||Ordination of certain Elders—|
|149||— Calling of the 12 Apostles— Ordination Blessings &c,|
|158||— Charge to the 12|
|164||— Calling and ordination of the 70|
|192||— Blessing of those who have labored and consecrated for building the|
|197||— Ordination of some of the 70— no date|
A conference of Elders convened in on the 3d day of December AD 1832 for the purpose of ordaining Bro } Present Joseph Smith Jr and , then proceded to ordain brother to be a Priest in the church of Christ which was done by the hand of Bro Joseph and prayer by — —
Clk of Con
Joseph Smith Jr, Prsd
A councel of high Priests held in — December 5, AD 1832, at the request of brother who desired to know the will of the Lord respecting him, the councel opened by prayer br Joseph Smith Jr. and appointed bro Clerk, after hearing a statement from of his situation, It was ordered in councel that should devote himself entirely to the work of the ministry commencing in Parkman and taking Br of Parkman as his companion in travel and labouring in such places and regions as the lord may direct by his spirit
There being no further business the councel closed by prayer— —
Clk of Con
Joseph Smith Jr— Prsd
October 10— 1832
This day the bishops councel appointed a conference to be held in Grafton county New Hampsire on the eighth day of June AD 1833—
Clk [p. 1]
The conference <councel> held in on the 5 day of December AD 1832 decided that Brother should be ordained an Elder in the <Church of> Christ according to his desire; accordingly it was done by the hand of Brother on the 9th day of Dec 1832
December 18th 1832
This day a councel of Elders was called by Bro Curtis Hodges & and after opening the <conference> by Prayer Bro Hodge arose and said it was his desire to proclaim the gospel stating that his situation was such that he could leave home and that his family was so situated that they did not need his assistence & desired to know his duty and what course to take &c as it was his determination to labour in the vineyard— After hearing Bro Hodges statement the councel decided that he should delegently seek for a companion to go with him in the ministry and go forth according to the dictates of the spirit
next and stated that his object in comming here was to get councel as he had previously been ordained & having a witness of the spirit that it was of God and was willing to go forth and proclaim the gospel but stated to the councel that his family stood in need of his labor for their support if no other way could be devised, after investigating the subject [p. 2] the council decided that should go and act according to the dictates of the spirit, as his temporal business was as yet unsetled and would probably remain so some length of time no further business.
Dec 19th. 1832
A conference this day assembled and ordained an Elder in the Church of Christ by the hand of —
A conference of High Priests assembled in the translating room in Ohio on the 27th. day of Dec. AD 1832——
Present— —2d, — — Joseph Smith Jr.— — — — — — & commenced by prayer, Then Bro Joseph arose and said, to receive revelation and the blessing of heaven it was necessary to have our minds in on god and exercise faith and become of one heart and of one mind. therefore he recommended all present to pray seperatly and vocally to the Lord for to reveal his will unto us concerning the upbuilding of Zion, & for the benifit of the saints and for the duty and employment of the Elders— Accordingly we all bowed down before the Lord, after which each one arose and spoke [p. 3] in his turn his feelings, and determination to keep the commandments of God, And then proceded to receive a revelation concerning the <subject> of our above stated 9 oclock PM the revelation not being finished the conference adjourned till tomorrow morning 9 oclock AM—.
28th. meet according [to] adjournment and commenced by Prayer thus proceded to receive the residue of the <above> revelation and it being finished and there being no further business before the conference closed the meeting by prayer in harmony with the brethren and gratitude to our heavenly Father for the great manifestation of his holy spirit during the setting of the conference
Clk of Con
December 29th 1832 Ohio— — — — —
This day Brother came forward and gave up his Licence to the and confessed that he had not magnified his office but had transgressed and been out of the way
January 2d. 1833 This day a conference of Elders assembled by the request of Bro & Philemon Duceth who desired to know the will of the Lord concerning them, it was decided by the conference that they should tavel together and go east all being agreed, and then commended them to the grace of God by Prayer, and then adjourned
Clk of conf [p. 4]
A conference of Elders assembled November 16th. 1832— and ordained Bro an Elder by Bro Joseph Smith J
January 9th 1833
This day we the members of the united firm of N K Whitney &c agreed to allow Brother Three hundred dollars pr year for his services as assistant scribe to be paid by the firm
January 13— 1833,
This day a Conference of High Priests assembled by request of Bro , Present , J Smith Jr — , & , Elders , & John Reed
arose and stated his object in calling the meeting & opened by prayer,
The first itim that came before the conference for their consideration was on the subject of the Revelation given 22 & 23d Sept 1832 relative to the saints in Zion— It was resolved that Bro & be a committe to write an Epistle to them <on that subject> and also on the subject of Letters wr[it]ten by Bros & in the name of the conference This conference sanctioned a letter writen to of on the 11 inst by Bro Joseph Smith J It was also resolved that the President of the High Priest hood should see to the conducting of the meetings on the sabbath days when present, & the in his absence
Resolved also that prayer be offered up by all the members of the conference that the epistle written [p. 5] might have the desired effect, also that Bros & have the prayers of the conference for the holy spirit to direct them in writing the said Epistle to the brethren in Zion No further business the conference adjourned till Tomorrow evening, closed by prayer—
[January] 14 meet agreeable to adjournment and after opening the meeting by Prayer the conference unanimously sanctioned the Epistle which was writen agreeable to the afforesaid resolution as presented by Bro & . There being no further business, the conference closed by Prayer—
14 Janry 1833
conference meet and ordained Bro to be a Priest in the church of Christ by the hand of Bro
January 21, 1833— — — —
A conference convened in the Translating room and ordained Brother a Priest in this Church of Christ under the hand of ——
January 22d 1833
conference of high priests convened on <in> the councel room high priests present Joseph Smith Jun President cheif scribe and high counceler assistant scribe and counceler Bishop Bishops counceler, [p. 6] ; Elders, — — — — —
Conference opened with prayer by the President, after prayer the President spake in an unknown Tongue he was followed by Br and he by Bro after this the gift was poured out in a miraculous manner until all the Elders obtained the gift together with several of the members of the Church both male & female Great and glorious were the divine manifestation of the Holy Spirit, Praises were sang to God & the Lamb besides much speaking & praying all in tongues. The conference adjourned at a late hour in the night to meet next morning at 9 oclock closed by with prayer by the President
Wednesday Janry 23d Meet agreeable to adjournment. Conference opened with Prayer by the President and after much speaking praying and singing, all done in Tongues proceded to washing hands faces & feet in the name of the Lord as commanded by of God each one washing his own after which the president guirded himself with a towel and again washed the feet of all the Elders wiping them with the towel, his presenting himself the President asked of him a blessing before he would wash his feet which he obtained by the laying on of his s hands, pronouncing upon his head that he should continue in his Priests office untill Christ come——
at the close of which scene Br being moved upon by the Holy Ghost washed the feet of the President as a token of his— [p. 7] fixed determination to be with him in suff[er]ing or in rejoicing, in life or in death and to be continually on his right hand in which thing he was accepted, The President said after he had washed the feet of the Elders, as I have done so do ye wash ye therefore one anothers feet pronouncing at the same time through the power of the Holy Ghost that the Elders were all clean from the blood of this generation but that those who among them who should sin wilfully after they were thus cleansed and sealed up unto eternal life should be given over unto the buffettings of Satan until the day of redemption Having continued all day in fasting & prayer before the Lord at the close they partook of the Lords supper which was blessed by the president in the name of the Lord all eat and drank and were filled then sang an hymn and went out—
Janry 29— 1833
A conference of high Priest convened at Bro and ordained Bro Gibson Smith an Elder
2 day of Febry 1833,
This day completed the translation and the reviewing of the New testament and sealed up no more to be broken till it goes to Zion
Clk— [p. 8]
2d Febry 1833
A conference convened at the Translating room and ordained an Elder in this church of Christ under the hand of ——
4 of Febry 1833
A Conference convened in the translating room and ordained to be an Elder in this Church of Christ under the hand of .
4th Febry 1833——
A Conference convened in the translating room and ordained Samuel Burwell an Elder in this church of Christ under the hand of
An epistle to the Church in
—— February 6th 1833
To the church of Christ in Geauga County Ohio
We salute you by this one epistle in the bonds of love rejoicing in your [p. 9]
Febry 17th. 1833—
a conference of Elders assembled in the school room and ordained to be an Elder in this church of Christ under the hand of Joseph Smith Jr
A conference of Elders met in an in the school room and ordained — under the hand of to be an elder Feby 10— 1833
Feby 15— 1833
A Councel of Elders assembled in the school room and ordained and to be Elders in this Church of Christ under the hand of Joseph Smith Jr
13th Feby 1833
A councel of High Priests assembled in the School room to investigate the case of Brother who was accused of not magnifying his calling as a high Priest in the Church of Christ but had been guilty of neglect of duty and abusing the Elders and treating their admonition and advice with contempt after taking the case into consideration agreed to make satisfaction but did not show much humility The conference adjourned by prayer
26th of Feby 1833
a conference of high Priests was called [p. 10] again on the case of Broth. who was accused of neglecting to make satisfaction to the Church as he agreed and disgraceing the High Priesthood by neglect of duty and saying he did [not] care how soon he was cut off from the Church &c &c It was the unanimous voice of all the Elders present that he is not worthy of a place in the Church of Christ and was adjudged Guilty and accordingly cut off from being a member of this Church of Christ——
12 March 1833—
This day a Councel of High Priests assembled in the SChool room and ordained Horace Cowin to be a preast under the hand of and that he should Journey with to the East & that & Journey to gether to the East & Journey together to the east and also ordained by
15 March 1833——
A councel called on the case of Broth Lake from Worster who came here professing to have recei[ve]d Revelations, and on investigating his case it was unanimously agreed that said Lake was under the influence of an evil spirit and took his licence as priest from him
March 15th 1833
Thirsday received a revelation making known that should be received into the United firm in full partnership agreeable to the specification of the bond [p. 11]
18 March 1833
ordination of by the hand of to <be> an Elder——
, 18th March 1833
3 June 1833
A Conference of high Priests convened in at the Translating room opened the conference by prayer first case before the conference was that of who was accused of unchristian conduct with the female sex while on a mission to the east it was decided that his commission be taken from him and that he be no longer a member of the Church of the Church of Christ
The next case before the conference was to assertain what should be the dimention or size of the house that is to be built for a hou[se] of worship and the school of the prophet and received a revelation on the size of the house the word of the lord was that it shall be fifty five feet wide and sixty five feet long— in the inner court and the conference appointed Bro Joseph Smith Jr and to obtain a draft or construction of the inner court of the house
Clk P T. [p. 12]
May 2d 1833
A p[r]esiding held in Madina County Ohio presided after examination into the standing of Aron Smith — — Hays Eleders and it was decided that their was illegal and that the churches should not receive them as nor as peist recorded in the above date by the decision of the whole
|<Joseph Smith Jr>||< of the High Priesthood>|
A conference of high Priests met in on the 4th of June 1833.— in the translating room and took into consideration how the should be disposed of the councel could not agree who should take the charge of it but all agreed to enquire of the lord accordinly we received a revelation which decided that broth should take the charge thereof and also that brother be admited as a member of the united firm accordingly he was ordained unto the high Priesthood and admited.
Clk P.T. [p. 13]
Those brethren having come to and on the 19th day of March 1833 a conference was called to inquire into their motive in coming into to &c Brother Joseph wood & arose and stated that they came in from their mission for the purpose of settling their private business to prepare the way for them to go forth to proclaim the Gospel— — — — —
Next arose Bro Daniel and said he came to know the will of the Lord concerning him also said he came to know the will of the Lord and to do some business also said he came to obtain information
Broth also arose and said he came for information and desired to know his duty After calling upon the Lord to direct in councel it was agreed that and Bro Daniel should Journey together to the east & proclaim by the way, and thatBro Wood and Journey together to the east after settling their business——
and Brother after finding that he had no special business was sharply reproved and desired not running to not having any business without paying for his bord and that all who go forth to proclaim use their influence to procure relief for the poor in
Clk. P T [p. 14]
March 23d 1833
The following persons were designated to journey to gether by the Spirit — — — —
|)||to go to N Yor[k]|
|)||go to from thence eastward|
} to g[o] west see to the affairs of his family thence as the spirit directs
|)||Eastward preach by the way and go to the Churches that they have raised up &c——|
|)||East as far as and & the Churches round about and Labour with them|
, go home and preach by the way and strengthen the churches
to provid for his family and Labor with his hands
|)||Journey eastward to and find and make known to him what the Lord is doing in this place|
} Should return and find his brother and bring him to understanding and remain where he now lives till provision can be made for him
|)||go to and preach by the way——|
|Joseph Smith)||to visit the several churchs as shall be given by the spirit|
|)||Shall be ordained to purches [purchase] land for the saints in|
} to be actively employed in transacting the business of the firm——
to remain with his father family and strengthen his brethren and that they obtain an inheritence near and that they should provide for his schooling
to go now and provide all the means in his power to bring about the purchaces in
18 March 1833
This day an assembly of the high Priests meet at the School room of the prophets and were organized in due form by solemn prayer to the most high by then proceded to ordain to be an elder under the hand of after which arose and desired that he and Should be ordained to the office that they had been called Viz to the of President of the high Priesthood and to be equal in holding the keys of the Kingdom with Brother Joseph Smith Jr according to a revelation given on the th day of March 1833 in say[ing] [p. 16] thus, and again verely I say unto thy my brethren and their sins are forgiven them also and they are accounted equal in holding the keys of this <last> kingdom, and again I give unto you a commandment that you continue in this ministry and presidency and when you have finished the translating of the prophets you shall from thenceforth preside over the affairs of the Church and the School from time to time as shall be manifest by the comfo[r]ter receive revelation to unfold the mysteries of the Kingdom and set in order the Church, Acordingly Bro Joseph proceded to and ordained them by the Laying on of the hands to be equal with him in holding the Keys of the Kingdom and also to the Presidency of the high Priesthood. After which several exertations were given to faithfulness and obedience to the commandments of God and much useful instruction given for the benefit of the saints with a promise that the pure in heart that were present should see a heavenly vision, and after remaining for a short time in secret prayer the promise was verified to many present having the eyes of their understandings opened so as to behold many things after which the bread and wine were distributed by Bro Joseph after which many of the brethren saw a heavenly vision of the saviour and concourses of angels and many other things of which each one has a record of what they saw &c
Ck PT. [p. 17]
23d of March 1833—
A councel of High Priests & Elders assembled in the school room at 9 oclock agreeable to previous arangments.
After opening the councel by prayer by Broth Joseph it was agreed that bro and brother should procede to make purchase of certain farms or to obtain, or to obtain their terms of sail [sale], and and that Bro be appointed to obtain the price of and the brethren agreed to continue in prayer and fasting for the ultimate success of their mission after an absence of about three hours & returned and made report as follows, That would sell his farm for four thousand dollars and that, would sell his farm for twenty one hundred dollars. and also returned and reported that would sell his farm for five thousand dollars and after the report of the brethren it was put to vote whether it was the property should be purchased and deceded [decided] in the affirmative it was then agreed that bro and should superintend the purchasing of said farms and to have the prayer of the brethren and that they should be ordained to that office accordingly ordained them as general agents to be set apart. [p. 18] to act as such in this eastern branch of the Church There being no further business the councel closed by prayer.
2d April 1833——
A councel of High Priests assembled in the school room and appointed Bro— to be an agent to super[in]tend and employ some person or persons to carry on the brick yard on the and also letting out the farm This councel also directed Broth to purchase the tannery belonging to Arnold Mason in no further business the councel closed
30 of April 1833
A conference of High Priests convened in the school room. the meeting commen[c]ed with prayer by Bro Joseph the councel being organized in due form Bro Joseph said that it was necessary that a subscription should be opened to procure money to pay for the use of the house that meetings were held in the past season. accordingly the conference appointed bro to circulate a subscription paper for that purpose
next thing in question was the expediency of going to parkman and to take the charge of that branch of of the Church, it was deceded that [p. 19] he should have letters of reccommendation and an Epistle to that church and take the oversight thereof and as soon as is convenient move to that place
it was also decided that Sister Should not immediately procede on her Journey to Zion but to wait untill William Hobart gets ready and go in company with him no further business the conference closed
A conference of High Priest 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 Elders 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 be appointed to superintend getting subscription for the purpose the following persons were appointed a committe by the voice of the conference Viz there being no further business the conference closed
Clk PT. [p. 20]
This day called a conference of High priests 6th June 1833— Bro Joseph opened by prayer, being nominated a Clerk for the presidency of the High priesthood, seconded and duly chosen by vote, and took his seat to act.— The occasion of the conference being called, was this. to council the committee who were appointed to take the oversight of the building of the . These are the names of the committee & . It was voted by the conference that the committee proceed immediately to commence building the or obtaining materials, Stone Brick Lumber &c.
I, , having been tried before the Bishops council of High Priests in a charge of Unchristian like conduct with the female sex. and myself being absent at the time and considering that Strict justice was not done me. I do by these presents most solemly enter my appeal unto the Presidents council of high priests for a re hearing according to the privilige gurranteed to me in the laws of the Church which council is now assembled in the School room in the 21st June 1833— It was motioned seconded and voted that Bro be granted a re-hearing— Bro Joseph, the President, opened the council by prayer— The council then proceeded to ordain two High Priests to make out the number, twelve, that the council or <church> court might be organized. and were ordained by the hands of Bro by the voice of the council, s case was laid before the Court & the testimony against him given by & and duly investigated. It was decided that should be forgiven because of the liberal confession which he made. This council decided that the Bishops council decided correctly before, and that ’s crime was sufficient to cut him off from the church, but on his confession, he was restored—
Joseph Smith Jr—
June 21st 1833 Bro Daniel Copley’s priests licence and [p. 21] membership were taken from him by the Presidents Court because he refused to fulfil his mission according to the council of the High Priesthood of the holy order of God
Bro case was called in question this day before a general Council and upon the testimony of Bro Gee of , who testified that Bro said that he had deceived Joseph Smith; God, or the Spirit by which he is actuated &c &c The council proceeded to cut him off from the Church, There was also corrobberating testimony brought against him by Bro [Curtis] Hodges 23 June 1833——
The names of the Temples to be built on the painted squares as represented on the plot of the City of Zion which is now about to be forwarded thither. Nos 10, 11, & 12, are to be called, House of the Lord for the presidency of the High and most holy priesthood after the order of Melchizadeck which was after the order of the son of God upon Mount Zion City of the New Jerusalem. Nos. 7, 8, & 9 The Sacred Apostolic Repository for the use of the Bishops. Nos, 4, 5, & 6 The holy evangelical House for the High Priesthood of the holy order of God. Nos 1, 2, & 3 The house of the Lord for the Elders of Zion, an ensign to the nations. Nos 22, 23 & 24 House of the Lord for the presidency of the high Priesthood after the order of Aaaron, a Standard for the people. Nos 19, 20, 21 House of the Lord for the high Priesthood after the order of Aaron, the Law of the Kingdom of heaven, Messenger to the people. Nos. 16, 17, & 18 House of the Lord for the Teachers in Zion, messenger to the Church. Nos 13, 14, & 15 House of the Lord for the Deacons in Zion, helps in government. Underneath must be written on each House— Holiness To the Lord 24 June 1833—
A Council of Elders of the Church of Christ holden at June 24th. AD 1833. Namely Bro Chester [p. 22] S Heath Levi Gifford counsellors, and a number of other Brethren, Namely George Balasek Priest Shepen foot Deacon Bro Joseph Paul accuser Chairman, Bro Heath Clerk. Then proceeded to business after opening by prayer Bro Paul entered a complaint against Bro James Higby [Higbee] an Elder, for circulating false and slanderous reports and not observing the order of the Gospel, with evidence that was unimpeachable to substantiate the same to the satisfaction of said council which was done, and likewise from Bro Higbys own mouth and the spirit he showed, it was evident and declared Guilty by the council and that he be cut off from the Church till he repent and be Baptized for the remission of sins.— The council then demanded his licence & the church Book which he utterly refused, therefore, resolved that the proceedings of this council be sent to , and the same noted among the churches——
Chester L Heath, Clk
Copied 29 June 1833 by Clerk for the Presidency
13th July 1833
A councel of Elders was holden Present Jacob Wood James Lake Joseph Smith Jr , — — — —
Brother James Lakes case was called who desired to know the will of the Lord whether he should procede on to Zion or remain in it was decided that he should remain in no further business the councel adjourned
Joseph Smith Clk PT
Clk PT [p. 23]
11 Sept 1833—
This day the following members of— of the United firm residing in to wit . Joseph Smith J and and also delegate to represent the residue of the said firm residing in Jackson County Missouri meet in councel to take into consideration the expediency of establishing a printing press in this place
First Resolved that <by> unanimous consent that a press be established and conducted under the firm of F G.W & Co
Secondly Resolved that the above firm publish a paper as soon as arrangments can be made entitled The Latter day Saints messenger and advocate
Resolved also that the Star formerly published in , Missouri by the firm of W W, Phelps & Co— be printed in this place by the firm of F.G, Williams & Co to be conducted by one of the said firm untill it is transfered to it former Location— — — — — —
Sept 28th 1833—
This day a councel of Elders convened for the purpose of taking into consideration the case of brother who sent his two sons to to assertain the will of the Lord whither he should go to Zion or move to this place— [p. 24] opened the councel by prayer
After the case was fairly laid before the councel it was unanimously agreed by all present that it was the will of the Lord for all who are able and willing to build up and strengthen the stake in should do so therefore this is our councel to our beloved that he moove to fro the above named purpose
This day a council of Elders met in to take into consideration the cases of James Blanchard and Alonzo Rider, who, on account of their repeated transgressions, and promissing to reform and never fulfilling, were cut off from the Church of Christ, and letters to this effect, were sent unto them immediately, informing them of their Excommunication, themselves not being present
Dec 26. 1833—— Also the case of Bro. Nelson Acre was taken into consideration, and he was cut off from the church, on account of his absenting himself from the meetings, and saying that he wanted no more of the church and that he desired to be cut off &c &c— A letter informing him of his exclusion was immediately written him. By order of the council himself not being present.
|Dec 26. 1833—}||Clk|
This day at evening, a Bishops court was called to take into consideration the case of Bro. Ezekiel Rider an Elder of the Church, who had brought said many hard things against , the Bishop of the church— he said that was not fit for a Bishop and that he treated the Brethren, who came into the Store, with disrespect that he was overbearing and fain would walk on the necks of the Brethren &c—— [p. 25]
Bro. Story was also in a similar transgession. They were both rebuked sharply by & Bro Joseph who told them that this church must feel the wrath of God except they repent of their sins, cast away their murmurings and complainings one of another. &c. &c. Bro. Rider & Bro. Story confessed their wrongs. and all forgave one another & closed by praying to the Lord for his blessings to rest upon us
|Dec 26. 1833||, Clk|
This day a Bishops court was called to notice some complaints made against Bro Elliot & wife Haggart & wife and Bro. Babbit & wife and bro The accused were all present. But the accusing were not present, consequently the court adjourned “sine die”
|27 Dec 1833}||, Clk|
Wesley Hulbert was cited to appear before the Bishop’s Court this evening, at ’s to answer to a charge or complaints made against him by Alfred Fisk and others, that he, the said Hulbert had denied the faith and had spoken reproachfully of the church. Said that he did not believe Joseph Smith was a true Prophet &c. The court and witnesses met according to appointment, but the said Hulbert did not appear altho he was in the place and <might> have appeared as well as not. consequently he was cut off from the church
|2nd. January 1834——||. Clk.|
This 9th. day Feby 1834. a conference of the High Priests, Elders, Priests, Teachers and Deacons of the church of christ in , Medina Co. Ohio, was called together at Bro Keeler’s. Bro. Joseph opened the conference by prayer. Bro. A Palmer was requested to arise and relate the proceedings of a former conference, that we might have all the circumstances and situation of the church before us. Brother Palmer referred us to Bro Bosworth for the information we desired. The case [p. 26] of Bro. was taken into consideration whither he should remove from to or not; it was decided that he should not remove. The work of the building of the in was also taken into consideration it was decided that the brethren in this place should assist in erecting the house all that is in their power, that the Elders of the Church may be endowed with power from on high according to the promise of God, that the work of the father may roll forth. It was also advised that the brethren in this place, build a temporary house to meet in for the present, knowing that a steak [stake] of Zion will not be established in this place at present, and by building a cheap house in this place, the brethren can be able to do more towards building the in .
Thursday Evening, February 12. 1834. This evening the high priests and Elders of the Church in at the house of bro. Joseph Smith Jun. in Council for church business. The council was organized, and opened by bro. Joseph Smith Jun in prayer. Bro. Joseph then rose and said: I shall now endeavour to set forth before this council, the dignity of the office which has been conferred upon me by the ministring of the Angel of God, by his own voice and by the voice of this church. I have never set before any council in all the order in which a council ought to be conducted, which, perhaps, has deprived the councils of some, or many blessings.
He said, that no man was capable of judging a matter in council without his own heart was pure; and that we frequently, are so filled with prejudice, or have a beam in our own eye, that we are not capable of passing right descissions, &c.
But to return to the subject of the order; In ancient days councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or by the voice of the council by the spirit was obtained: which has not been [p. 27] observed in this church to the present. It was understood in ancient days, that if one man could stay in council another could, and if the president could spend his time, the members could also. But in our councils, generally, one would be uneasy, another asleep, one praying another not; one’s mind on the business of the council and another thinking on something else &c. Our acts are recorded, and at a future day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right and injure our fellow beings, they may there perhaps condemn us; thus they are of great consequence; and to me the consequence appears to be of force beyond any thing which I am able to express &c. Ask yourselves, brethren, how much you have exercised yourselves in prayer since you heard of this council; and if you are now prepared to sit in judgment upon the soul of your brother.— Bro Joseph then went on to give us a relation of his situation at the time he obtained the record, the persecution he met with &c. He also told us of his transgression, at the time he was translateing the Book of Mormon. He also prophecied that he should stand and shine like the sun in the firmament when his enemies and the gainsayers of his testimony should be put down and cut off and their names blotted out from among men. After the council had received much good instruction from Bro. Joseph. The case of Bro. against whom certain charges were preferred by bro. . One was that he told Esqr that Joseph drank too much liquor when he was translating the Book of Mormon and that he wrestled with many men and threw them &c. Another charge was, that he exalted himself above bro. Joseph, in that he said bro. Joseph knew not the contents of the book of Mormon until it was translated. but that he himself knew all about it before it was translated. said he did not tell that bro. Joseph drank too much liquor while translating the book of Mormon, but this thing took place before the book of Mormon was translated. He confessed that his mind was darkened and that he had said many things inadvertently calculateid to wound the feelings of his brethren and promised to do better. The council forgave him and gave him much [p. 28] good advice. Bro Rich was called in question for transgressing the word of wisdom and for selling the revelations at an extortionary price while he was gone East with father Lions which thing Bro. Rich confessed before the council and the council forgave him upon his promising to do better and reform his life.—
Council then concluded by prayer by Bro.
This day, Feb. 17 1834, a conference of High Priests assembled in at the House of bro. Joseph Smith Jun. They proceeded to organize the Presidents church council, consisting of twelve high priests, and this according to the law of God. The names of those who were chosen as counsellors were Joseph Smith Junr. and President, , , , , , , , , , , and , counsellors. Bro. Joseph opened the council by solem prayer. He then arose and called upon the high priests, Elders, priests, teachers and deacons that were present twelve who had not been nominated as counsellors to pass their vote whether they were satisfied with the appointments or nomination of the twelve to compose the church council. It was the unanimous voice of all present that those who had been nominated, as above, should compose a standing council in . It was also voted that when any one <or more> of the standing counsellors were absent, their vacancy should be filled by any high priests whom the majority of the council should nominate or choose,
Providing that no council Shall be held unless seven of the above named counsellors are present, or their successors. The above named counsellors all manifested a willingness to act according to their appointments, the Lord being their helper. Bro acted in the place of . There were nine high priests present and acted in the appointment of the above named counsellors, also seventeen Elders, and four priests with thirteen private members. Bro Joseph then said he would show the order of councils in ancient days (See 27 & 28 pages) as shown to [p. 29] him by vision. The law and by which to govern the council in the church of Christ. Jerusalem was the seat of the church council in ancient days. The apostle, Peter, was the president of the council in ancient days and held the Keys of the Kingdom of God, <on the earth> was appointed to this office by the voice of the Savior and confirmed <acknowledged> in it by the voice of the Church. He had two men appointed as counsellors with him, and in case Peter was absent, his counsellors could transact business, <or either one of them. The President could also transact business alone.> It was not the order of heaven in ancient councils to plead for and against the guilty as in our judicial courts (so called) but that if every counsellor when he arose to speak, should speak precisely according to evidence and according to the teaching of the spirit of the Lord, that no counsellor should attempt to screen the guilty when his guilt was manifest That the person acused before the high council had a right to one half the member of the council to plead his cause, that is six in order that his case might be fairly presented before the President that a decission might be rendered according to truth and righteousness. If the case was not a very difficult one to investigate, two of the Counsellors only, spoke, one for the accused and one against <on one side and one on the other> according to evidence. If the case was more difficult, according to the judgment of the Council, two were to speak on each side, and if more difficult, three might speak on each side, and three only. Those who spoke in council were chosen by the council and that too by casting lots. Those who were thus chosen to speak, took their regular turn, in speaking. Bro Joseph said that this organization was an ensample to the high priests in their councils abroad, and a copy of their proceedings be transmitted to the seat of the goverment of the church to be recorded on the general record. In all cases, the accuser and the acused have a perfect right to speak for themselves before the council. The councils abroad, have a right and it is their duty to appoint a president for the time being for themselves. If in case the parties are not satisfied with the decission of the council abroad, they have a right to an appeal to the Bishops court, and from thence to the presidents council which is an end of all strife [p. 30]
The remaining six counsellors who do not speak in council, are to hear patiently the reasoning of the others and correct all errors which they may discover, and after decission is rendered by the president, if these remaining counsellors can throw any farther light upon the subject, so as to correct the decission of the president, they have the liberty so to do, otherwise it stands and the majority of the council must rule. It was then voted by all present that they desired to come under the present order of things which they all considered to be the will of God. Many questions have been asked during the time of the organization of this council and doubtless some errors have been committed, it was, therefore, voted by all present that Bro Joseph should make all necessary corrections by the spirit of inspiration hereafter drew no. one by lot. drew No 2. drew No 3. drew No 4. drew No 5. drew No 6. , and speak for and on the part of the accuser. , and , speak for and on the part of the accused. The remaining six counsellors are to sit and hear patiently and correct errors if they discover them. The council drew No 7. drew No 8, drew No 9, drew No 10, drew No 11, drew No 12, The council adjourned then, until wednesday at 10 o’clk A.M.——
The above items have been corrected according to the resolution passed <in the same>, and the following is the correction.—— [p. 31]
Feb 17. 1834.
This day a <general> council of <24> high Priests assembled at the house of Joseph Smith Junr. <by revelation> and proceeded to organize the high council of the Church of Christ, which is <was> to consist of twelve high priests, and one, or three presidents, as the case may <might> require. This <high> council is <was> appointed by revelation, for the purpose of settling important difficulties which may <might> arise in the church, which can <could> not be settled by the Church, or the bishop’s council to the satisfaction of the parties
Joseph Smith Junr.
were acknowledged presidents, by the voice of the council; and
|, high priests, were|
|chosen to be a standing council for the Church, by the unanimous voice of the council.|
The above named counsellors were then asked whether they accepted their appointments, and whether they would act in that office according to the law of Heaven: to which they all answered, that they accepted their several appointments, and would fill their offices according to the grace of God bestowed upon them.
The numbers composeing the council, who voted in the name, and for the church in appointing the above named counsellors, were forty three; As follows: Nine high priests, Seventeen elders, four priests, and thirteen members.
Voted, that this <the high> council cannot have power to act without seven of the above named counsellors, or their regularly appointed successors, are present; these seven shall have power to appoint other high priests whom they may consider worthy and capable to act in the place of absent counsellors. [p. 32]
Voted, that whenever any vacancy shall occur by the death, removeal from office for transgression, or removal from the bounds of this church goverment of any one of the above named counsellors, it shall be filled by the nomination of the president, or presidents and sanctioned by the voice of a general Conference <Council of high priests> convened for that purpose to act in the name of the church.
The president of the church, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by the voice of the Saviour, and acknowledged in his administration, by the voice of the church; and it is according to the dignity of his office that he should preside over the high council of the church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other presidents, appointed after the same manner that he himself was appointed; and in case of the abscence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the council without an assistant: and in case that he himself is abscent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.
Whenever a high council of the church of Christ, is regularly organized according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve counsellors to cast lots by numbers and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commenceing with Number One, and so in succession to number twelve
Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case; in the church, the twelve counsellors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; If it is not, two <only> of the counsellors shall speak upon it according to the form above written; but if it is thought to be <a> more difficult, <one> four shall be appointed, and if still more difficult, six: but in no case not over that number shall <shall be more than six be> be appointed to speak. The accused in all cases has a right to one half of the council to prevent insult or injustice; and the counsellors appointed to speak before the council, are to present the case after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the council, and every man is to speak according to equity [p. 33] and justice.
Those counsellors who draw even numbers, that is, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, are the individuals who are to stand up in the behalf of the accused and prevent insult or injustice.
In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have a privilege of speaking for themselves before the council, after the evidences are heared, and the counsellors who are appointed to speak on the case, have finished their remarks.
After the evidences are heard; the counsellors, accuser and <the> accused, have spoken, the president shall give a decision according to the understanding which he shall have of the case, and call upon the twelve counsellors to sanction the same by their voices.
But should the remaining counsellors who have not spoken*, or any one of them, after hearing the evidences and pleadings impartially, discover an error in the decision of the president, they can manifest it, and the case shall have a re-hearing; and if after a careful rehearing, any additional light is thrown upon the case, the descision shall be altered accordingly; but in case no additional light is given, the first decision shall stand; the majority of the council haveing power to determine the same.
In cases of difficulty respecting doctrine, or principle; if there is not a sufficiency written to make the case clear to the mind of the council, the president may inquire and obtain the mind of the Lord by revelation.
The high priests, when abroad, have power to call and organize a council after the manner of the foregoing, to settle difficulties when the parties, or either of them shall request it, <and the said council of high priests shall have power to appoint one of their own number to preside over such council> by appointing or chooseing one of their number to preside over the council for the time being.
It shall be the duty of said council to transmit, immediately, a copy of their proceedings, with a full statement of the testimony with <accompanying> their decision, to the high council [p. 34] at the seat of the government of the church.
Should the parties, or either of them, be dissatisfied with the decision of said council, they may appeal to the high council at the seat of the general government of the church, and have a re-hearing, which case shall there be conducted according to the former pattern written, as though no such descision had been passed <made>.
This council of high priests abroad, is only to be called on the most difficult cases of church matters; and no common or ordinary case is to be sufficient to call such councils. The travelling or located high priests abroad, have the power to say whether it is necessary to call such a council or not.
*The twelve counsellors then proceeded to cast lots or ballot, to ascertain who should speak first, and the following was the result, viz:
|drew No. 1||drew No 7|
|——||" " 2||" " 8|
|——||" " 3||" " 9|
|——||" " 4||" " 10|
|——||" " 5||" " 11|
|——||" " 6||" " 12|
Council then adjourned to meet on wednesday the 19th. Inst. at 10 Oclk A.M.
*Resolved, that the president or presidents at the seat of general church government, shall have power to determine whether any such case as may be appealed, is justly entitled to a re-hearing after examineing the appeal and the evidences and statements accompanying it. [p. 35]
Feb. 19. 1834.
The council assembled pursuant to adjournment. Joseph Smith Jnr. opened the council by reading the 3rd. Chap of of Joel’s prophecy, and prayer. After which he arose before the council, and said, that he had laboured the day before with all the strength and wisdom that he had given him in making the corrections necessary in the last council minutes which he would now read before this council. He asked the council for their attention, that they might rightly judge upon the truth and propriety of these minutes, as all were equally interested in them &c. He als[o] urged the necessity of prayer, that the spirit might be given, that the things of the spirit might be judged thereby; because the carnal mind cannot discern the things of God &c. He then proceeded to read the minutes and afterwards made some remarks, when it was decided by the members of the council present, that it might be read a second time. then proceeded to read the minutes or constitution of the high council the second time, remarking at the time, that it could not be justly urged to be read at this time, as the hour was passed which was appointed for the council to assemble. An impropriety by some was discovered in the commencement of the minutes, as it says, a council of high priests, and afterwards says, that elders, priests and private members acted in said council. Said objections were corrected, and the minutes read the third time by . The questions were then asked, whether the present council acknowledged the same, and receive them for a form, or and constitution of the high council of the church of Christ hereafter. The document was received by the unanimous voice of the council, with this provision, that, if the president should hereafter discover any lack in the same he should be privileged to fill it up.
The number present who received the above named document, was twenty six high priests, eighteen elders, three priests, one teacher and fourteen private members, making in all, sixty two
After much good instruction, Joseph the president, laid his [hands?] [p. 36] upon the heads of the two assistant presidents and pronounced a blessing upon them, that they might have wisdom to magnify their office, and power over all the power of the adversary. He also laid his hands upon the twelve counsellors and commanded a blessing to rest upon them, that they might have wisdom and power to counsel in righteousness upon all subjects that might be laid before them. He also prayed that they might be delivered from those evils to which they were most exposed, and that their lives might be prolonged on the earth.
then laid his hands upon the head of his son, Joseph, and said: Joseph, I lay my hands upon thy head, and pronounce the blessings of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest hold the keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven until the coming of the Lord, Amen. He, also, laid his hands upon the head of his son and said. , I lay my hands upon thy head and pronounce the blessing of thy progenitors upon thee, that thou mayest remain a priest of the most high God, and like Samuel of old, hear his voice saying, Samuel, Samuel, Amen.
, also, laid his hands upon the head of his son and said, my Father in Heaven, I ask thee to bless this my son according to the blessings of his forefathers, that he may be strengthened in his ministry according to his holy calling, Amen.
The president then gave the assistant presidents a Solem charge to do their duty in righteousness and in the fear of God. He also charged the twelve counsellors in a similar manner, all in the name of Jesus Christ. We then, all raised our hands to heaven in token of the everlasting covenant, and the Lord blessed us with his spirit. He then said the council was organized according to the ancient order, and also according to the mind of the Lord
The Case of , a high priest, against Curtis Hodges Sen., an elder in the church, was laid before the council [p. 37] as contained in the following declaration.
Feb 19. 1834.
To the president of the high council of the church of Christ: The following charges, I prefer against brother Curtis Hodges Sen. an elder of this Church.
First, an error in Spirit, and secondly an error in address, or communication: which was in loud speaking, and a want of clearness in articulation, which was calculated to do injury to the cause of God; and also of contending or persisting that that was a good, or propper spirit which actuated him to thus speak: all of which, I consider unbecomeing an elder in this church and request a hearing before the high council
Bro. Hodges plead not quilty of the above charges.
Father Lions was called on for evidence to substantiate the above charges, and his testimony was pointed against bro. Hodges. Bro. Story was then called on to tell what he knew about the case, and he said that bro. H. talked so loud, at a prayer meeting, that the neighbours came out to see if some one was not hurt. At another meeting, he said that rebuked him for his error, but he did not receive the rebuke, he said also that he raised his voice so high that he could not articulate so as to be understood, and that his teaching brought a damper on the meeting, and was not edifying.
Bro. was then called upon, and he said that bro. Hodges was guilty of hollowing so loud that he, in a measure, lost his voice, and uttered but little else distinctly, than “Glory to heavens King,” and in fine, his testimony was pointed against bro. H. Bro. was then called upon and he testified about the same things.— closed the examination of witnesses and bro. stood up on the part of the accuser and laid open the case handsomely and clearly. Bro stood up on the part of the accused, but could say but few words. [p. 38]
The accuser and the accused then spoke for themselves, after which, the president arose and laid open the case still more plain and gave his decision; which was, that the charges in the declaration had been fairly sustained by good witnesses, also, that bro. H. ought to have confessed when rebuked by also that if he had the spirit of the Lord at the meetings whene he hollowed, he must have abused it, and grieved it away. all the council agreed with the decision. Bro. Hodges then rose and said, that he then saw his wrong, but never saw it before and appeared to feel thankful that he saw it, he said he had learned more during this trial, than he had since he came into the church, confessed freely his error, and said he would attend to overcoming that evil, the Lord being his helper
The council then adjourned to meet again tomorrow evening 20th Inst.
, 20 Feb'y. 1834.
High council met this evening accordng to appointment to determine concerning the Elders going out to preach &c. The president opened the council by prayer.—
At a church meeting held in Pennsylvania, Erie Co. and by & , high priests, Some of the members of that church refused to partake of the sacrament because the Elder administering it did not observe the words of wisdom to obey them. argued that they were justified in so doing because the Elder was in transgression. argued that the church was bound to receive the supper under the administration of an elder so long as he retained his office, or licence. Voted that six counsellors should speak upon the subject, or case.
The council then proceeded to try the question, whether disobedience to the word of wisdom was a transgression sufficient to deprive an official member from holding [p. 39] an office in the church, after haveing it sufficiently taught him. , , , , and were called to speak upon the case then before the council. After the counsellors had spoken, the President proceeded to give a decision: “That no official member in this church is worthy to hold an office after haveing the words of wisdom properly taught to him, and he, the official member, neglecting to comply with, or obey them;[”] after which the counsellors voted according to the same.
The president then asked if there were any Elders present who would go to and preach the gospel to that people; for they have written, said he, a number of letters for help; and the whole council felt as though the Spirit required brethren to go there. It was, therefore, decided by the council that and should travel together into , and also that and travel together into . It was also decided that and travel together if they can arrange their affairs at home so as to be liberated. It was also decided that Bro. should travel eastward as soon as his circumstances will permit, and that he should travel alone on account of his age. It was also decided that bro. should travel alone whenever he travels. Bro’s. & travel east together as soon as they can. The council also decided that bro. should travel alone, it being his own choice. Decided also, that and Edmund Marvin should travel together eastward. Also that and go to . Also that bro’s. and travel together for the time being, and that there should be a general conference held in in the State of Maine on the 13 day of [p. 40] Jun 1834. It was furthermore voted that bro. , accompanied by bro. , go east to obtain donations for Zion, and means to redeem the farm on which the stands: The church and council then prayed with uplifted hands that they might be prospered in their Mission. Conference adjourned after the usual form
by Order of the conference
, Feb.’ 24, 1834.
The high council of the church met this day at the house of Joseph Smith Junr. for the purpose of giveing an audience or hearing to and , representatives from Zion, to represent to us the state of the church in that place.
Joseph, the president, opened the council by prayer. Two of the standing counsellors were absent, namely, and . was chosen to act in the place of and to act in the place of . Thus the high council was organized and six of the counsellors were appointed to speak. Bro’s. and , messengers from Zion, arose and laid their business before the council and delivered their messages the substance of which, was, an inquiry when, how and by what means Zion was to be redeemed from our enemies. They said that our brethern who had been driven away from their lands and scattered abroad had found so much favour in the eyes of the people that they could obtain food and raiment of them for their labour insomuch that they were comfortable. But the idea of being driven away from the land of Zion pained their very souls and they desired of God, by earnest prayer, to return with songs of everlasting joy as said Isaiah, the Prophet.
They also said that none of their lands were sold into [p. 41] the hands of our enemies except a piece owned by bro. of thirty acres which he sold into the hands of the enemy, and seven acres more which he would have sold to the enemy if a brother had not come forward & purchased it and paid him his money. Bro. Joseph then arose and said that he was going to Zion to assist in redeeming it. He then called for the voice of the Council to sanction his going which was given without a dessenting voice. He then called for volunteers to go with him, when some thirty or forty volunteers to go who were then present at the council. It was a question whether we should go by water or by land, and after a short investigation it was decided unanimously that we go by land. Joseph Smith Jun. was nominated and seconded to be the Commander in chief of the Armies of Israel and the leader of those who volunteered to go and assist in the redemption of Zion, and carried by the vote of all present. Council then adjourned by prayer and thanksgiving.
Livingston Co. N. York
March 17, 1834
This day a conference of Elders assembled at the house . Joseph Smith Jun. and , high priests, and , , , Harry Brown, and Henry Shibly, Elders, were present. Bro. J Smith Jun. opened the conference by prayer. He then arose and introduced the object of our meeting, which was to obtain young men and middle aged to go and assist in the redemption of Zion according to the commandment, and for the church to gather up their riches and send them to purchase [p. 42] lands according to the commandments of the Lord. Also, to devise means, or obtain moneys for the relief of the brethern in ; say Two Thousand Dollars, which sum will deliver from Debt for the present, and also to determine the course which the several shall pursue or journey when they leave this place. It was proposed by bro. Joseph that and , go with him to bro. Perry’s and see if, by their united efforts, they could not raise Two Thousand Dollars for the relief of . It was voted, that, bro. , father Bosley, and , should exert themselves to obtain the said Two Thousand Dollars for the present relief of . They all agreed to do all they could to obtain it; and they firmly believed that they could obtain the amount by the first of April. It was also voted that I should tarry and preach in the regions round about until the money could be obtaid and bring it immediately to . Voted that bro’s. Joseph & go to soon. Bro’s. and were appointed to journey to and preach by the way. Bro’s. & Harry Brown, go were appointed to visit the churches in Black River county and obtain all the means they could to help Zion.
Medina Co. Ohio April 21, 1834.
This day a conference of the elders of the church of Christ assembled at the dwelling house of bro. Carpenters at 10 o’clock A.M.
Opened by singing, “How firm a foundation, &c.” Bro. Joseph Smith Junr. read the 2nd. chapter of the prophecy of Joel & took the lead in prayer; after which, he commenced addressing the congregation, as follows. It is very difficult for us to communicate to the churches all that God has revealed to us, in consequence of tradition; for we are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon this Earth: Consequently [p. 43] those former revelations cannot be suited to our condition, because they were given to other people who were before us; but in the last days, God was to call a remnant, in which was to be deliverance, as well as in Jerusalem, and Zion. Now, if God should give no more revelations, where will we find Zion and this remnant? He said that the time was near when desolation was to cover the Earth, and then God would have a place of deliverance in his remnant, and in Zion, &c. He then gave a relation of obtaining and translating the Book of Mormon, the revelation of the priesthood of Aaron, the organization of the Church in the year 1830, the revelation of the high priesthood, and the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the church, &c. Take away the book of Mormon, and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none; for without a Zion and a place of deliverance, we must fall, because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, the moon turn to blood, the stars fall from heaven and the earth reel to and fro; then if this is the case, if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places where God has appointed, our former professions and our great love for the bible, we must fall, we cannot stand, we cannot be saved; for God will gather out his saints from the gentiles and then comes desolation or destruction and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered, &c.
Bro. then addressed the conference upon certain items lying immediately before the brethren: He said, that on two points hang all the revelations which have ever been given, which are the two advents of the Messiah. The first one is past, and the second one is now just before us, and consequently those who desire a part in this era which the angels desired to look into, have to be assembled with the saints; for if they are not gathered, they must wail because of [p. 44] his coming. There is no part of his creation which will not feel a shock at this grand display of power; for the Ancient saints will reign with christ a Thousand years. The gathered saints will dwell under that reign, and those who are not gathered may expect to endure his wrath that length of time; for the rest of the dead are not to live again till the thousand years are ended. He said that he could deliver a prophecy to the brethren and sisters, not that he stood before them in the attitude of a prophet any farther then he was warranted by the written revelations of God. He said it was in vain for men in this generation to think of laying up and providing inheritances for their children except they laid it up in the place where deliverance was appointed by the voice of God; for those were to be the days of vengeance, as were in the days of Jeremiah; because, before his eyes were closed in death, the Jews were led captives and the land posessed by another people; and so in this day, while the father was laying up Gold for his son, the destroyer may lay him lifeless at his own feet, and where then is all his treasure? Therefore, if we, the Elders islands of the seas, and all the ends of the earth, desire an inheritance for ourselves, themselves and their children and our children, it must be obtained where God has appointed the places of deliverance. He then noticed the former covenants to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & others of the ancients, which were to be realized in the last days, &c. After which he said there were now three great items which he would proceed to speak upon more particularly at present, which were, The deliverance of Zion. The endowment of the elders with power from on high according to former promises; and the spreading of the word of the Lord to the four winds. He then took up the first, and gave a hint upon the great weight and importance resting upon the saints [p. 45] in the last days, and then gave a statement of the situation of the affairs of the brethern in , and then took up the revelation given, requiring the saints to go up for the deliverance of those who had been driven from their inheritances, and urged the importance of an obedience to the same by those who could go, & those who could not go, should help those who are going to means for their expenses.
Bro. then occupied a few minutes in giveing a relation of the brethren being driven out from their homes, and called upon the brethren and sisters to open their hearts and contribute to their necessities. Bro. then made some remarks upon contributions, followed by brother Salmon Warner upon the same subject.
Bro. occupied a short time in exhortation and instructed the brethren into the propriety of the deliverance of Zion. He said that he had no property, but if necessary for the deliverance of Zion, he would sell his own clothes at auction if he could have left to him as good a garment as the Saviour had in the manger.
The time was occupied for a few minutes by two or three others upon the same subject. Bro. Joseph Smith Jnr. then delivered a short prophecy, that if Zion was not delivered the time was near when all of this church, whereever they might be found, would be persecuted and destroyed in like manner
Bro. then took up the second item, viz:— The endowment of the Elders with power from on high. He gave an account of the endowment of the ancient apostles and laid before the conference the dimensions of the to be built in and rehearsed the promise to the elders in the last days which they were to realize after the was built. Bro. [p. 46] then related a few items of a vision which he gave as a testimony of those things contained in the revelations read by , and his remarks upon that part relative to the endowment of the Elders with power from on high. Bro. Joseph then occupied a few minutes by way of explanation of the revelation concerning the building of the .
Bro. then took up the third item, viz: The spreading of the word of the Lord. After which several brethren spoke.
The case of bro. Thomas Tripp who had been found in transgression, was then called in question. Bro. David Evans was called upon to state what he knew concerning the case, who said that he had been guilty of improprieties with a sister when going home from a meeting by takeing her by the hand. And also committed some other improprieties with another sister by drawing her breasts. He had sought witness against a sister in good standing from a wicked woman in the world. The conference then voted that Thomas Tripp be excluded from this church with the privilege of an appeal to the Bishops council at .
Bro. Joseph then laid hands upon certain children & blessed them in the name of the Lord. The sacrament was then administered by bro. .
The number of high priests was— 7
" Do " Elders "—— 13
Adjourned to the Monday preceding the second sunday in September. The conference then closed by singing, “Now my remnant of days,” &c.
Clerk of conference [p. 47]
April 4, 1834.
This evening a council of High Priests assembled at the house of Bro. Joseph Smith Junr’s to re-consider the case of Bro. . Bro. Joseph Smith Junr. presideing: then said, that he had often promised to take up his cross & magnify his calling, but had failed, and ought to have written to bro. Joseph ere this time and given him the information that his pecuniary affairs called his attention at home which prevented his fulfilling the promise he made to Bro. Joseph in going out to proclaim the Gospel, and he sincerely asked pardon of the Lord and of his brethren, and particularly bro. Joseph. He also said he was willing to ask the forgiveness of this church. He said, that relative to certain charges, which were, that he had not attended meetings, and had treated lightly some of the weak &c. That he had attended meetings, generally, and as for speaking or treating lightly any brethren because of of his weakness, was foreign from his mind and was that which he had never done, nor could ever find such principles in his bosome. Bro. Joseph said, he had no hardness, he only wished to consider this as a chastisement, and that the council were bound to notice his conduct heretofore; but now, if he, was willing to walk according to the new covenant, he should have his hand of fellowship. The council then expressed their satisfaction with ’s confession.
Clerk of council [p. 48]
, Ohio Sept 8th. 1834
Minutes of a conference of the Elders of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints, held at Ohio. September 8th 1834. After prayer by brother Joseph Smith Junr. he, brother Joseph and , united in anointing with oil and laying hands upon a sick sister, who said she was healed, and requested us to pray that her faith fail not, saying, if she did not doubt, she should not be afflicted any more.
Brother Joseph then made a few introductory remarks upon the subject of false spirits and other items.
Brother made a few observations, and proceeded to present a case which had previously occasioned some difficulty in the church. It was that a certain brother Carpenter had been tried for a fault before the church, when the Church gave him a certain time to reflect whether he would acknowledge or not. Brother Gordon at the time, spake in tongues and declared that brother Carpenter should not have any lenity. He, , wished instruction on this point, whether they had proceeded right or not, as brother Carpenter was dissatisfied &c.
Brother Joseph then proceeded to give an explanation of the gift of tongues: That it was particularly instituted for the preaching of the Gospel to other nations and languages, but it was not given for the government of the Church. He further said, if brother Gordon introduced the Gift of tongues as a testimony against [p. 49] brother Carpenter, that it was contrary to the rules and regulations of the Church, because, in all our decisions we must judge from actual testimony. Brother Gordon said the testimony was had and the decision given before the gift of tongues was manifested. Brother Joseph advised that <we> speak in our own language in all such matters, and then the adversary cannot lead our minds astray. then gave a relation of a certain difficulty which took place in a conference. He, presided, when several of the brethren spake out of order, and brother refused to submit to to order according to his (s) request. He now wished instruction on this point, whether he, or some one else should preside over this branch of the Church, and also whether such conduct could be approbated in conferences. Brother Gordon then made some remarks on the subject which was at the time before the council.
Brother Joseph said, relative to the first question, that brother Gordon’s tongues in the end, did operate as testimony, as, by his remarks in tongues, the former decision was set aside, and his taken. That it was his decision that brother Gordon’s manifestation was incorrect, and from a suspicious heart. He approved the first decision, but discarded the second. Brother Joseph Keeler said that in the former decision he had acted hastily himself in urging brother Carpenter to make acknowledgement without [p. 50] having time to reflect. He asked forgiveness wherein he had erred. Brother Gordon said he discovered that he was in an error, and was satisfied with this council, & was willing to ask forgiveness of the brethren and of the Lord. Decision was then given on the second question that brother was out of his place in opposing , when he () ordered the council. A vote was then taken whether the conference was satisfied with the two decisions. Passed by unanimous vote, A. motion was then made and passed by unanimous vote that a letter be written to brother informing him of the last decision, That he has acted out of place in opposing in a former council, when requested to take his seat, that the business might proceed according to order, and that such letter be signed by the of this conference, by the direction of the same. The case of brother Milton Stow was then brought up, when it was proven that he had delivered prophecies at two differnt times, which were not true— at one time in saying that Zion was redeemed, and at another in saying, that brother Carpenter was cut off forever, and also in saying, that sister Carpenter was dead. When it was decided by vote that brother Milton Stow be, and by the decision of this conference is, suspended from the priveleges of the Church of the Latter Day-Saints, and from acting in the authority of an Elder in said Church of the Latter-Day-Saints till he appear before the Bishops council at and make proper satisfaction. Conference closed by prayer of the .
Clerk of Conference [p. 51]
August 11th 1834
This day a number of high priests and elders of the church of the Latter-Day Saints assembled in the new school-house in this place, for the purpose of investigating a matter of difficulty growing out of certain reports or statements made by brother , one of High counsellors of this Church, accusing brother Joseph Smith Junr. with criminal conduct during his journey to and from this Spring & Summer. After coming to order, brother Joseph commenced and spake to a considerable length upon the circumstances of their journey to and from , and very minutely laid open the causes out of which those jealousies of ’s and others had grown. He made a satisfactory statement concerning his rebukes and chastisements upon & others, and also concerning the distribution of monies and other properties, calling on brethren present who accompanied him to attest to the same. All of which, was satisfactory to the brethren present as appeared by their own remarks afterward. After brother Joseph had closed his lengthy remarks, brother made some observations relative to the subject of their difficulties and begun to make a partial confession for his previous conduct, asking forgiveness for accusing brother Joseph publicly on the Saturday previous, of prophsying lies in the name of the Lord, and for abusing (as he had said) his (’s) character, before the brethern while journeying to the West. Brother made some remarks by way of reproff upon the conduct of , , and others, followed by , after which by motion of brother the assembly arranged itself into a council. brother presiding, and proceeded to discuss how this [p. 52] difficulty should be disposed, of Brother thought that for , to make a public confession in the Star would be the way to heal the wound. followed with nearly the same remarks Brother , thought it ought to be quashed here and go no farther followed with the same from brother . Brother said that it was his opinion, that ought to make a more public confession, and send by letter to those who are in the same transgression with himself and inform them of this decision, and then if necessary make it public in the Star. Brother thought that the confession ought to be as liberal as the accusation, or that it ought to be written and published Brother , said that if would view this thing in its proper light, he would be willing to make a public confession and send forth; and he advised him to do this for the salvation of the Churches abroad. Brother Isaac Story said that it was his opinion the plaster ought to be as large as the wound, that a proper statement ought to be published abroad. then proposed that this council send a certificate or resolution, informing the churches abroad, that the conduct of brother Joseph, has been investigated, and that he has acted in a proper manner and in every respect has conducted himself to the satisfaction of the church in , and also let make a proper confession following the same minutes. Brother , P[eter] Shirts, , N. Evans. and , made remarks to the same effect. Brother made a few remarks upon the attitude in which, he, now stands before the world, in endeavoring to preach the gospel. [p. 53]
Brother moved for a decision relative to the first question (viz.), What is to be done to arrest the evil? then proceeded after a few remarks to give a decision according, to a motion previously made, (viz.) that an article be published in the Evening & the morning Star, by the direction of the council, that the church in has investigated the conduct of brother Joseph Smith Junr. while journeying to the West and returning, and that we find that he has acted in every respect in the an honorable and proper Manner, with all monies and other properties intrusted to his charge. After which a vote was taken and carried. A motion was then made by brother and seconded by brother , that a committee of three, be appointed to write the article for the Star agreeably to the decision.
Brethren, , and were nominated and appointed by unanimous vote.
, then made said that he was willing to publish a confession in the Star. A motion was then made by brother , and seconded by , that the above named committe be appointed to write letters in the name of the council to bro— , C. Snelling & J.P. Parker.
Prayer by brother .
Clerk of Council)
On the 23d of August 1834 a council convened for the purpose of hearing the resolution designed for the Star which were to be drawn up by brethren , and on the subject of the difficulty existing between brother J. Smith Junr. and . Brother presided in consequence of the ill health of brother After prayer the conference proceeded to business. read [p. 54] the resolutions, after making a short Statment of the proceedings of the council on the 11th. which was sanctioned by vote. The preamble and resolutions were adopted and ordered to be printed. objected against abiding by the decision of the former council, and proceeded to Justify himself in his former conduct, after which, and much discussion the following resolution was offered by and passed by unanimous vote. Resolved that in consequence of the stand our brother has taken against the former decision of this council, that we judge him guilty of a misdemeanor unbecoming a man in his high station, and except a humble confession be made to this council, he stands rebuked and disqualified to act further in his office in the church, until he make proper satisfaction, or till a trial before assisted by twelve high priests can be had. Carried by unanimous vote.
Prayer by brother .
Clerk of council)
Conference minutes of the church of Latter-Day-Saints assembled in August 23d 1834. After the usual form the conference and was opened by prayer, when the following preamble and resolutions were read and ordered to be printed in the evening and the Morning Star and sent as a circular to the churches abroad.
Whereas a report having come to the knowledge of the church in this place censuring the conduct of brother Joseph Smith Junr. relative to his proceedings, during his late Journey to, and from : and whereas said report was calculated to create an unfavorable influence, as regards the moral character and honesty of our brother, it becomes necessary for us to investigate the matter and report the same to our brethren abroad, Therefore, [p. 55]
Resolved, that after hearing from the mouths of some that a suspicion rested upon their minds, relative to the conduct of our brother, as regards his honesty and Godly walk we have investigated his whole proceedings, by calling upon those who accompanied him to, and from , and are happy to have it in our power to say to our brethren abroad, one and all, that we are satisfied with his conduct having learned from the clearest evidence, that he has acted in every respect, worthy his high and responsible station in this church, and has prudently and cautiously preserved the good of this society at large, and is still worthy our esteem and fellowship, and that those reports, could have originated in the minds of none, except, such as either from a <misunderstanding or a> natural jealousy, are easily led to conceive of evils where none exist.
Resolved, that we say to our brethren, that while we are surrounded by thousands, eager to grasp at a shadow if they have a hope of turning it into a falsehood for the injury of the gospel, we exhort them to be stedfast and immoveable in the truth, resting assured, that while they continue to walk in the holy covenant they have professed to embrace, that nothing can in the end operate against their good; and that while wickedness abounds, as in days of old, the characters of those seeking the greatest good for their fellow men, will be shamefully traduced, and every act of their lives misrepresented, and a false shade thrown over their worthy deeds, calculated to create an evil prejudice in the minds of community, to prevent, if possible the increase of light, the better to effect their own purposes and keep men in error. We say, dear brethren may peace and the blessings of our Lord Jesus Christ be multiplied unto you, through the knowledge of the truth forever.
Resolved, that the minutes be signed by and , and published to the churches in the “Evening and [p. 56] the Morning Star.[”]
We, the undersigned, members of the above named conference for the satisfaction of our brethren abroad, feel it to be our duty to say to those with whom we have a personal acquaintance, that we were present during the foregoing investigation and cheerfully concur in the spirit of the above minutes, and join in saying that we are perfectly satisfied, that whatever impressions may have gone abroad, or whatever may remain with any in this vicinity relative to the conduct of our brother, Joseph Smith Junr. we are certain (from evidence) that he conducted himself in all respects, as set forth in the resolutions of this conference. We are induced to make these statements, that the innocent may not suffer wrongfully, and that the minds of our brethren and friends may be satisfied that every appearance of evil is, in this place, searched out, and that nothing unbecoming a society of people professing Godliness, suffered to exist among them.
|Vt.)||From the church in )|
|Asa Lyman)||Roswell Evans)|
|Parishville N.Y.)||of Waterford Vt.)|
|, Erie Co. Pa.)||Pottsdam, N.Y.)||N.Y.)|
|N.Y.)||N.H.)||East Liverpool Ohio)|
|Jonas Putnam)||Almon Shermon)|
|Bolton N.Y.)||Pomfret N.Y.)|
We, the undersigned members of this conference having accompanied brother J. Smith Junr. to and from certify that the above is a correct statement concerning his character and conduct.
Ohio August 28th 1834
This day the high council of the church of the Latter-Day Saints assembled according to direction of bishop of this church to tri brother who has been charged with a misde<mean>or. complainent
The following is a copy of the complaint.
To , bishop of the church of the Latter Day Saints in , Sir, I prefer the following charges against , a high priest of said Church.
First, He has refused to submit to the decision of a council of the high priests and elders of this church held in this place on the eleventh of this month given in a case of difficulty, between said and Joseph Smith Junr..
Second: He continues to charge said Joseph, contrary to the decision of the before mentioned council with improper conduct in his proceedings as president of the church of the Latter-Day, Saints during his journey the past season, to the State of . As these things are exceedingly grievous to many of the Saints in , and very prejudicial to the cause of truth in general, I therefore require that you summon the high council of this church, to investigate this case that a final may be had upon the same. I say the high council, because it is a case [p. 58]
affecting the presidency of said church.
|Ohio August 23d)|
August 27th 1834
Whereas complaint has been made to me by brother , seting forth that you have been guilty of violating the laws of the church of the latter day saints, you are, therefore hereby notified to appear before the High council of High Priests, to be held in the council-house in on the 28th. day of August Inst. at 10 o clock A.M. to answer to said charge agreeable to the law of the church.
Ohio August 28th. 1834
This day the high council of the church of the Latter-Day Saints assembled according to direction of bishop of this church, to try brother , who has been charged with a misdemeanor. complainant. The names of the counsellors were then called and it was found that four were absent. opened by prayer. The presidents, brothers J. Smith Junr. & , then proceeded to make a nomination of a high Priest to fill the vacancy in this council occasioned by the death of our beloved brother . Brother Joseph Smith Junr. then nominated brother , and brother seconded [p. 59] the nomination. A vote was called and carried. Brother Joseph then called upon to come forward & receive the ordination of high counsellor. After making a few remarks, he came forward, & brother then called upon the Lord in prayer, and then ordained to the said office. Brother then said he wished to be excused from sitting on this council, because he had been previously tempted on some matters, and that he had sinned and wished to make a more public confession than he could make here. After some remarks from the counsellors, it was decided that continue in his seat in the council. Brother was appointed to act in the place of , brother Amos Durfee in the place of Sylvester and in the place of . The counsellors were then arranged and the charge read to the council. It was agreed that six counsellors speak on the case before the council then gave the council their charge in the name of the Lord to act according to truth and righteousness.
Brother testified that the testimony given before a council on the 11th Inst. was that brother J. Smith Junr. had conducted himself in a proper manner, while journeying to and from ; and that the council considered that had accused brother Joseph, wrongfully and was entirely in the fault. He further considered, that every thing bearing or relating to this affair was had before the council and from this they gave their decision. Brother concurred in the foregoing statements, and he supposed that saw the affair in the same light on the 11th inst. in consequence of his saying that he () said at the time, that he was not previously aware of the spirit that possessed him, at the time when he made his charges against brother Joseph. Brother said that he considered that the evidence given before the council on the 11th. was [p. 60] sufficient to prove that brother Joseph had conducted himself in an honorable manner, during his late journey to and from , and that he considered that the evidence there given, was such that it could not be invalidated. Brother said that previous to the council on the 11th. his mind had been agitated, and it was in consequence in part, of reports which had been put in circulation respecting brother Joseph’s conduct on his late journey to and from . But when he heard the case investigated before that council his mind was satisfied that he had been misinformed, and was fully satisfied that brother Joseph had not acted in any respect, contrary to righteousness before the Lord. Brother Asa Lyman, said that previous to the council, his mind had been agitated also, but was satisfied at the council, and he verily believed from the evidences there give, that brother J. had not acted contrary to justice. Brother said that his mind was excited still further, after conversing with previous to the 11th which served in any degree to excite his mind further. Brother said that he understood the case on the 11th. in the same light as stated by brethren & . Brethren, , E. Rider and viewed the case in the same light. Brother said that he considered that was to send a confession in the Star, that he himself, had been in the fault, and that brother Joseph had not committed fault as he () had previously stated. Brethern, , , E. Rider , , & , concurred. Brother said, that after listening to all the reports and evidences from the beginning up to the decision on the 11th. Inst. he considered that was to acknowledge that all the charges previously preferred in public against brother J. were ungrounded, and that he, () was to acknowledge the one, and the only one in the fault, touching all circumstances, transpiring [p. 61] between himself and brother Joseph, and that the other charges indirectly preferred as grievances of others, were also without a foundation. Brother concurred in the above. Brother C. Durfee, said that he considered that brother J. was acquitted, as being guilty of any misdemeanor before the council on the 11th.. Brother said that he accompanied brother Joseph to , from Mans,field in this State, except leaving him for a short time to visit the of . He was present when brother [Joseph Smith] reproved , concerning a certain difficulty, arising from a complaint, concerning a certain dog.— That he considered brother Joseph reproofs were just at the time, as <he> well recollects stating the same in substance to . He did not consider this reproof had any tendency to lessen the esteem of the brethren for , but if they had, in consequence of a confession in general terms, from , about that time, he thought that sufficient to heal every hard feeling then existing against him, or that might exist. He further said, that during his journey to the West, he could not say that he had seen any thing in brother Joseph’s conduct, contrary to the true principles of his profession as a man of God. Brother said that he fell in company with brother J. at Ohio, and accompanied him the most of the way to , and that during the whole course of the journey, he did not see any thing in his conduct to lessen his esteem of him as a man of God. But he said he heard brother Joseph reprove concerning a certain something, respecting some bread, he did not hear the whole, and thought at the time the reproofs were rather severe, but had learned since, they were not any more severe than were just. Brother Joseph was then called upon to make a statement, concerning the transactions as they trans [p. 62]pired at the time these reproofs were given. He said that brother , came to him to know whether had conducted right in the affair between him and brother , when called upon for some bread for supper. He learned from ’s mouth that had more bread than he needed at the time, and directed him to some else who, he () said had a sufficient. He then went with brethren & to ’s tent where , justified himself, in not imparting a part of his bread to . He then rebuked , for contending that he had done right in this case because if this was so, brethren might frequently retire to rest, without food, and as long as he () had bread he had was bound, to impart to those who had none, and that under these circumstances, , had conducted contrary to the principles of Christ, and that his (’s) mind was darkened in consequence of this covetous spirit.
The then adjourned the council to 9 o clock tomorrow at this place. Closed in prayer by brother
August 29th 1834
Council being organized in due form, the testimony was continued, as follows, Brother said in relation to a circumstance that transpired on the twenty five mile prairie, so called in , that by a direction from the leader of the camp he had been back to inspect the crossing at a certain creek, that when he came up with the camp he found it moving, he and as he was behind he went on till he came up with brother s, & S. company, and found them out of the road building a fire to cook supper, As the teams passed on called to the leaders of companies. (those who were yet behind) and asked them [p. 63] who they were following? whether Gen. White or some other man? Some hesitated for a little and went on. After taking supper he () went on with their company. Whe[n] he came up with the camp from the creek, he found that the ensign or flag, commonly carried ahead for the camp to follow was then moving forward. He further said that he understood that brother Joseph was appointed to lead the camp, that he always or generally, gave orders when the camp should move forward, and when it should stop. that when on his way to the creek, the second time, he met brother Joseph., who told him that he, should order the camp to move into the prairie. When the camp came to order in the prairie in the evening, brethren, & , were called upon to give an account of themselves, why they had sought to divide the camp? They both acknowledged that they had been out of the way by so doing and were reproved for their conduct. Relative to an assertion heretofore made, that brother Joseph, did at the time, throw a trumpet or horn at , he did not consider at the time that brother Joseph had any intentions [of throwing?]it at , because he might have hit him with it being so near to him as he was, it only fell to the ground near to them, (his & ) but supposed that he had had it in his hand and only threw it down as usual, or as another man would. He further said that the reproofs given by brother Joseph at the time, were no more severe than he had often heard him give previously. That he did not consider him mad as has been represented. Brother said that when the camp first came to the creek himself and brother Joseph were forward, that while [p. 64] the teams were crossing, brother Joseph asked whether it was advisable to move into the prairie to camp. After consultation, it was first advised to move camp in the bushes near the edge of the prairie. While making preparations to encamp, they were informed that a mob intended to make an attack upon them that night. They further consulted upon their situation and himself and , were requested by brother Joseph, to go on to the edge of the Prairie where they might encamp. They looked out a place but it was near the bushes, and brother Joseph gave an order to go forward into the prairie. Some complained of the order because they could not find fuel to cook their supper: They were told that it would be advisable to carry wood for that purpose. Some farther remarks were offered on the subject of a visit from a mob, and preparations were made with the guns &c. Some fears were entertained for the teams and families yet crossing the creek and it was thought advisable to send back a company to guard & assist them over, among whom was brother . He then took the flag or standard (as he had previously carried it) and gave the word to move forward, and the teams, immediately began to follow. After the company had come up in the Prairie, himself with brother , received an order to call upon brother , to place a strong guard around the camp that night, but he refused doing any thing further because he supposed that he, () supposed he had ordered the camp into the prairie without an order from the commander of the company. He was then informed by brother Joseph’s that <it was> by his (brother J’s order) that the camp should move into the prairie. He was present when brother Joseph reproved brothers, & [p. 65] and saw the transactions concerning the trumpet or horn and as to brother Joseph’s intention or design to throw it at , he had no such thought at the time, nor could he have since.— that at the time when he (brother Joseph) had finished his remarks to brothers & , that he threw the horn upon the ground. That told him that <the> next day that he had had a jealousy exisiting in his mind against him, () for some days, but now his mind was satisfied, and he had now no hardness or jealousy. He further said, that when he received the order for moving the camp into the prairie, that brothers & were near by.
The council then adjourned to 1 o clock P. M.
One o clock P. M.}
Met according to adjournment. The Clerk called the names of the moderator, counsellors, complainant & defendent when business was resumed.
Brother , said that he was in company with brother Joseph from about 27 miles from this place, till they arrived in Missouri. That at the time the difficulty occurred on the prairie, when the camp was divided, that he concurred in what had said, and that he could not relate it any more particular than he () had done. He further said that he had not seen any thing in brother Joseph’s conduct, to justify the charge previously made by , that his heart was corrupt. So far from this, he had not seen the least shadow of any thing of the kind. He had not seen any thing in his (brother Joseph’s) conduct, during his journey to the West unbecoming his [p. 66] profession as a man of God. Question by . Did you not think that my character was injured in the minds of the weaker part of the camp, in consequence of those reproffs and chastisements which were given me by brother Joseph? Answer. I did not. further said, in relation to a certain difficulty which took place relative to a dog,— that on a certain evening after crossing the Missisippi River, came up with the remaining part of the camp when the dog came out and insulted him, he knew not whether he touched him or not. The next morning after hearing considerable complaint and murmuring concerning the dog. Brother Joseph spake to several brethren present and said, I will descend to the spirit that is in the camp, to show you the spirit you are of for I want to drive it from the camp. “The first man that kills that dog, (or my dog) I will whip him!” He thought about this time, that came up, who said “If that dog bites me I will kill him.” If you do said brother Joseph “I will whip you.” If you do said , I shall defend myself the best way that I can! Brother Joseph then said that he could in the name of the Lord. He, (brother Joseph) asked the brethren if they were not ashamed of such a spirit? Said he, I am. He then proceeded to reprove them for condescending to that spirit,— that they ought to be above it, that it was the spirit of a dog, and man ought never to place themselves on a level with beasts, but be possessed of a more noble disposition. He then said he had decended to that spirit in order to show the spirit which was among them. He further said that this explanation gave general satisfaction, and the most of them saw that he had only made these remarks for the purpose of instructing them, and warning them against such a spirit or disposition. Brethern L. Johnson & concurred. Brother said he was not present when these reproofs were given in the mor [p. 67]ning, that the circumstances were related to him afterward, which disaffected his mind and gave him some disagreeable feelings, that at noon, he heard brother Joseph give a further explanation, which perfectly satisfied his mind. He further said that during the forenoon he learned that there <were> many of the brethren dissatisfied with brother Joseph’s remarks, concerning the dog in the morning, that after the explanation at noon was so generally given, he thought that every one in the Camp might have known it. Brother concurred in the statement of brother ; though he was not present in the morning when the reproofs were given concerning the dog, that he was with brother Joseph twenty seven miles from this place to and a part of the way home.— That he did not see any thing in brother Joseph’s character derogatory to a man professing Religion.— That he was present during a certain transaction, which occurred during their journey home, respecting certain articles of beading [bedding]. That he had had heard since his return, that brother Joseph Smith Junr. and had fought, that he was present during the whole transaction, and that there was no fighting. He further said in relation to a certain report which had come to his knowledge, since his return from , That brother Joseph had taken a bed-quilt which was not his property. That while at Ohio, on their way to , one of the brethren gave him (brother Joseph) two bed-quilts, which he () had charge of as he was the individual who drove the team for brother Joseph and had charge of the baggage. That before leaving Missouri he () took them to be washed, and after starting for home, he went and put them aboard of the Waggon, the baggage of which he [p. 68] had the charge during their journey home. That he brought the same back with him,— has seen them since and knows that the one which was said to be the property of another individual, is the one which was given brother Joseph at . Brother , said while at , certain articles were handed him to mark, among which were two bed-quilts, which he marked with common ink. Has seen certain bed-quilts since his return, and has no doubt but this one in question, is the one he marked. Brother further said, relative to a certain difficulty arising out of a circumstance concerning some bread.— That brother on their journey to on the line between and Indiana said to brother Joseph is this thing right? “What thing”? concerning brother ’s asking for some bread for supper. He then learned that had asked for some bread, that had bread at the time, but directed him to some one else, who he said had a sufficient. That called upon that individual and could not obtain any: That he was present when brother Joseph told that he had not conducted right in the matter— that he ought to impart when he had in preference to directing one where he was not certain he could obtain— that by so doing some might be deprived of food at times. He further said that contended he had been right and justified his own conduct in the matter. That brother Joseph reasoned with to convince him, that he was in a fault, but he continued to justify his course till brother J. reproved him sharply.— He frequently heard the brethren speak of this circumstance, and all (whom he heard say any thing on the subject) manifested a satisfaction with brother J. and thought his [p. 69] observations correct, and the principles which he advanced to be just. Brother said, that he concurred in brother ’s statement concerning the bread. That he thought that it was generally known that , in consequence of ’s <not> furnishing him with bread, was deprived of bread that night.— That at the time when <he> brother Joseph told him that did not obtain any bread in consequence of the same. Brother said that since the Brethren’s return from the West, that he went with to brother to advise concerning the adjusting of certain complaints which were in circulation concerning brother Joseph’s conduct to and from that told that did obtain bread of the individual to whom he sent him. Brother said that he concurred