Minutes, 22 December 1836

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Minutes of a , held in the , on the 22d day of December, 1836.
The authorities of the being present; viz: the , the of , the , the Presidents of the , the President of the and his , and many other , such as , , , &c.:—The house was called to order, and the following motions were made, seconded, and carried by the unanimous voice of the Assembly.
1st. That it has been the case, that a very improper and unchristian-like course of conduct, by the Elders of this church, and the churches abroad, in sending their poor from among them, and moving to this , without the necessary means of subsistence: whereas the church in this place being poor from the beginning, having had to pay an extortionary price for their lands, provisions, &c.; and having a serious burthen imposed upon them by comers and goers from most parts of the world, and in assisting the travelling Elders and their families, while they themselves have been laboring in the vineyard of the Lord, to preach the gospel; and also having suffered great loss in endeavoring to benefit : it has become a serious matter, which ought well to be considered by us—
Therefore, after deliberate discussion upon the subject, it was motioned, seconded and unanimously carried, that we have borne our part of this burthen, and that it becomes the duty, henceforth, of all the churches abroad, to provide for those who are objects of charity, that are not able to provide for themselves; and not send them from their midst, to burthen the church in this , unless they come and prepare a place for them, and means for their support.
2nd. That there be a stop put to churches or families gathering or moving to this , without their first coming or sending their wise men, to prepare a place for them, as our houses are all full, and our lands mostly occupied, except those houses and lands that do not belong to the church, which cannot be obtained without great sacrifice, especially when brethren with their families, are crowding in upon us, and are compelled to purchase at any rate; and consequently are thrown into the hands of speculators, and extortioners, with which the Lord is not well pleased. Also, that the churches abroad do according to the revelation contained in the Book of Commandments, page 238, commencing at section 10, which is as follows:
“Now verily I say unto you, let all the churches gather together all their moneys; let these things be done in their time, be not in haste; and observe to have all these things prepared before [p. 443] you. And let honorable men be appointed, even wise men, and send them to purchase these lands; and every church in the eastern countries when they are built up, if they will hearken unto this counsel, they may buy lands and gather together upon them, and in this way they may establish .”
, Clerk. [p. 444]


  1. 1

    For a list of the men in these positions, see “General Church Officers, October 1835–January 1838,” “Church Officers in the Kirtland Stake, October 1835–January 1838,” and “Church Officers in Zion (Missouri), October 1835–January 1838.” John Morton, the second counselor in the elders quorum presidency, was not in Kirtland for this meeting or others at the end of December 1836, and Edmund Bosley was made a temporary counselor in his absence. (Kirtland Elders Quorum, “Record,” 21 Dec. 1836.)  

    Kirtland Elders Quorum. “A Record of the First Quorurum of Elders Belonging to the Church of Christ: In Kirtland Geauga Co. Ohio,” 1836–1838, 1840–1841. CCLA.

  2. 2

    Town officials called “overseers to the poor” could “warn out” indigent new arrivals in order to absolve the town from the responsibility of providing for them. In 1833 some members of the church in Kirtland, including JS, were “warned out.” (Historical Introduction to Warrant, 21 Oct. 1833.)  

  3. 3

    Frederick G. Williams made a similar argument in a June 1836 meeting. (Minutes, 16 June 1836.)  

  4. 4

    Newel K. Whitney, as bishop in Kirtland, had been instructed to assist the traveling elders and their families. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:71]; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–B [D&C 72:9–23].)  

  5. 5

    In the months preceding this conference, JS bought hundreds of acres of land in Kirtland at considerable expense to himself and other church members. (See Mortgage to Peter French, 5 Oct. 1836.)  

  6. 6

    Warren A. Cowdery, in the May 1837 Messenger and Advocate, advised new arrivals to Kirtland not to assume they could trust everyone there and specifically cautioned them about speculators. He suggested they ask only trusted friends for advice about land purchases. Cowdery warned them to “beware of such as attack you as soon as you enter this place, and begin to interrogate you about the amount of money you have,” since they would “take advantage of your honest simplicity, obtain your available means, and then desert you.” (Editorial, LDS Messenger and Advocate, May 1837, 3:505.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  7. 7

    Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:72]. Here “Book of Commandments” refers to the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.