Minutes, 30 March 1836

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Wedensday morning 8 o clock March 30th 1836 According to appointment the , the , the , the , the , the , and all the in this of amounting to about 300 met in the to attend to the of , I ascended the pulpit and remarked to the congregation that we had passed through many trials and afflictions since the organization of this and that this is a year of Jubilee to us and a time of rejoicing, and that it was expedient for us to sufficient to make our hearts glad, as we should not probably leave this house until morning; to this end we should call on the brethren to make a contribution, the stewards passed round and took up a liberal contribution and messengers were dispatched for bread and wine; tubs water and towels were prepared <​and​> I called the house to order, and the presidency proceeded to wash the feet of the 12 pronouncing many prophecy’s and blessings upon them in the name of the Lord Jesus, the brethren began to prophesy [p. 187] upon each others heads, and cursings upon the enimies of Christ who inhabit Missouri[.] continued prophesying and blessing and sealing them with and Amen until nearly 7 o clock P.M. the was then brought in, and I observed that we had fasted all the day; and lest we faint; as the Saviour did so shall we do on this occasion, we shall bless the bread and give it to the and they to the multitude, after which we shall bless the wine and do likewise; while waiting for the wine I made the following remarks, that the time that we were required to tarry in to be would be fulfilled in a few days, and then the would go forth and each must stand for himself, that it was not necessary for them to be sent out two by two as in former times; but to go in all meekness in sobriety and preach Jesus Christ & him crucified not to contend with others on the account of their faith or systems of religion but pursue a steady course, this I delivered by way of , and all that observe them not will pull down persecution upon your <​thier​> heads, while those who do shall always be filled with the Holy Ghost, this I pronounced as a prophesy, sealed with a & amen. Also that the are not called to serve tables or preside over churches to settle difficulties, but to preach the gospel and build them up, and set others who do not belong to these to preside over them who are — the twelve also are not to serve tables, but to bear the to all nations, and unlock them and call upon the seventies to follow after them and assist them. The 12 are at liberty to go wheresoever they will [p. 188] and if one shall say, I wish to go to such a place let all the rest say Amen.
The are at liberty to go to if they please or go wheresoever they will and preach the gospel and let the redemtion of Zion be our object, and strive to affect it by sending up all the strength of the Lords house whereever we find them, and I want to enter into the following covenant, that if any more of our brethren are slain or driven from their lands in by the mob that we will give ourselves no rest until we are avenged of our enimies to the uttermost, this covenant was sealed unaminously by a and Amen.— I then observed to the quorums that I had now completed their organization of the and we had passed through all the necessary ceremonies, that I had given them all the instruction they needed and that they now were at liberty after obtaining their to go forth and build up the kingdom of God, and that it was expedient for me and the to retire, having spent the night previous in waiting upon the Lord in his , and having to attend another dedication on the morrow, or conclude the one commenced on the last sabbath for the benifit of those of my brethren and sisters who could not get into the on the former occasion but that it was expedient for the brethren to tarry all night and worship before the Lord in his I left the meeting in the charge of the and retired at about 9 o clock in the evening; the brethren continued exhorting, prophesying and speaking in tongues until 5 o clock in the morning— the Saviour made his appearance to some, while angels minestered unto others, and it was a penticost and indeed, long to be remembered for the sound shall go forth from this place into all the [p. 189] world, and the occurrences of this day shall be handed down upon the pages of sacred history to all generations, as the day of Pentecost, so shall this day be numbered and celebrated as a year of Jubilee and time of rejoicing to the saints of the most high God. [p. 190]


  1. 1

    An allusion to the Israelite year of Jubilee, a sabbatical year of liberty and hope occurring every fifty years. The sabbatical year followed the seventh cycle of seven years. The Mormon jubilee paralleled in some respects the Israelite Jubilee, which was begun at the temple on the Day of Atonement—a day of fasting on which the high priest of Israel performed ritual purifications in the temple for the redemption of Israel and its priests. The church celebrated the jubilee for the seven days preceding the beginning of the church’s seventh year since organization. (Leviticus 16; 25:4–5, 8–17; W. Phelps to S. Phelps, Apr. 1836.)  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

  2. 2

    Stephen Post, a participant at this solemn assembly, reported, “The washing was commenced by the presidents who first washed the 12 & 7 presidents of the seventies the 12 & 7 then commenced washing until the whole were washed.” (Post, Journal, 30 Mar. 1836; see also W. Phelps to S. Phelps, Apr. 1836.)  

    Post, Stephen. Journals, 1835–1879. Stephen Post, Papers, 1835–1921. CHL. MS 1304, box 6.

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

  3. 3

    Edward Partridge recorded that “the priests teachers & deacons [were] in one corner the vails having been let down, and the other officers occupied the rest of the lower room.” According to Partridge, “The washing of feet was performed by noon, then they began to prophecy and speak in tongues adding shouts of hosanna, to God and the Lamb with amen and amen this continued till dark.” Similarly, Stephen Post recorded that the men “prophesied, spake and sang in tongues” in the four parts of the curtained lower court. (Partridge, Journal, 30 Mar. 1836; Post, Journal, 30 Mar. 1836.)  

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

    Post, Stephen. Journals, 1835–1879. Stephen Post, Papers, 1835–1921. CHL. MS 1304, box 6.

  4. 4

    An allusion not only to Matthew 15:32–38—when Jesus fed the multitude bread and fish “lest they faint”—but also to the Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 490–491, 496 [3 Nephi 18:1–11; 20:1–9]—when Jesus administered bread and wine as the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. A February 1833 revelation stated that homemade wine could be used for the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.a William W. Phelps wrote that “the sacrament was administered, as the feast of the Passover for the first time in more than 1800 years.”b Stephen Post recorded that the men “partook of bread & wine in commemoration of the marriage supper of the Lamb,” a phrase mentioned in Revelation 19:9 as a symbolic representation of the second coming of Jesus Christ.c In November 1835, JS taught that after the completion of the temple, Latter-day Saints would “stand in holy places ready to meet the bride groom when he comes.”d  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

    Snow, Erastus. Journals, 1835–1851; 1856–1857. CHL. MS 1329, box 1, fds. 1–3.

    Post, Stephen. Journals, 1835–1879. Stephen Post, Papers, 1835–1921. CHL. MS 1304, box 6.

    (aRevelation, 27 Feb. 1833 [D&C 89:5–6].bW. Phelps to S. Phelps, Apr. 1836; compare Snow, Journal, 1835–1837, [24].cPost, Journal, 30 Mar. 1836.dJS, Journal, 12 Nov. 1835.)
  5. 5

    William W. Phelps wrote that the jubilee and Passover that began at the solemn assembly ended a week later on 6 April, which date was the sixth anniversary of the church’s organization and was “set apart as a day of prayer, to end The feast of the passover. and in honor of the Jubilee of the church.” However, Phelps also wrote that elders began leaving Kirtland on 1 April. (W. Phelps to S. Phelps, Apr. 1836; see also Partridge, Journal, 6 Apr. 1836.)  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

  6. 6

    See Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:6]; and Revelation, 12 Aug. 1831 [D&C 61:35].  

  7. 7

    See 1 Corinthians 2:1–8.  

  8. 8

    John Corrill explained that JS told the elders, who were now “endowed with power to go forth [from Kirtland] and build up the Kingdom,” to act cautiously “and avoid contention, and not to meddle with other orders of Christians, nor proclaim against their doctrines, but to preach the gospel in its simplicity, and let others alone.” (Corrill, Brief History, 26.)  

  9. 9

    In response, many who attended the solemn assembly departed immediately to preach the gospel. William W. Phelps wrote, “On Friday, April 1, the elders began to go forth to bind up the [law] and seal up their testimony: and though the going was very hard, not a word was heard, every [one] was anxious to be in the field.” Erastus Snow, who left Kirtland on 16 April, reported that while “laboring entirely alone” he baptized fifty people and organized three branches of the church in Indiana, returning to Kirtland in December. Ebenezer Robinson departed on his mission 2 June 1836 and said that he “took leave of wife and home, and with valise in hand, started out on foot, without purse or script. (leaving the last penny at home.) being only twenty years and eight days old. trusting solely on the Lord.” (W. Phelps to S. Phelps, Apr. 1836; Erastus Snow, Kirtland, OH, 30 Dec. 1836, Letter to the Editor, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Jan. 1837, 3:440; Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, June 1889, 90–91.)  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

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

    The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.

  10. 10

    That is, to involve themselves in local ministry—see Acts 6:1–4. Jesus charged the seventy to preach the gospel in Luke 10:1–16.  

  11. 11

    The spring 1835 “Instruction on Priesthood” stated that the Seventy formed “a quorum equal in authority to that of the twelve” and under the direction of the Twelve were to be “especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world.” (Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:25–26]; see also Minutes and Blessings, 28 Feb.–1 Mar. 1835.)  

  12. 12

    This reflects the language in several JS revelations. (See Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:55–58]; Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:22]; and Revelation, 22 June 1834 [D&C 105:16].)  

  13. 13

    In the three years preceding this discourse, the church saw a proliferation of offices in its organizations, including the creation of a high council in Kirtland, a presidency and high council in Missouri, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Seventy, and presidencies for the various priesthood quorums. All these quorums were set in order in preparation for the solemn assembly. (Minutes, 17 Feb. 1834; Minutes, 3 July 1834; Minutes, Discourse, and Blessings, 14–15 Feb. 1835; JS, Journal, 15 Jan. 1836; Kirtland Elders Quorum, “Record,” 28 Jan. 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.

  14. 14

    For more information on licensing, see License, 21 Mar. 1836.  

  15. 15

    The 31 March entry in JS’s journal records, “This day being set apart to perform again the ceremonies of the dedication for the benifit of those who could not get into the house on the preceeding sabbath I repaired to the temple at 8 o clock A.M. in company with the presidency.” William W. Phelps wrote that the second dedicatory service “was a sublime scene, surpassing the first in sublimity and solemnity as well as in order. The singing was grand. The Addresses were the best that could be and majesty exceeded any thing I have witnessed in the last days.” (JS, Journal, 31 Mar. 1836; W. Phelps to S. Phelps, Apr. 1836; see also Partridge, Journal, 31 Mar. 1836; and Post, Journal, 31 Mar. 1836.)  

    Phelps, William W. Papers, 1835–1865. BYU.

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

    Post, Stephen. Journals, 1835–1879. Stephen Post, Papers, 1835–1921. CHL. MS 1304, box 6.

  16. 16

    Benjamin Brown confirmed that after JS departed, “two [quorums] continued all night in the House the twelve guarded it.” (Benjamin Brown to Sarah Mumford Brown, Mar. 1836, Benjamin Brown Family Collection, CHL.)  

    Benjamin Brown Family Collection, 1835–1983. CHL. MS 17646.

  17. 17

    Four months earlier, JS taught the Quorum of the Twelve that “all who are prepared and are sufficiently pure to abide the presence of the Saviour will see him in the solem assembly.” (JS, Journal, 12 Nov. 1835.)  

  18. 18

    See Acts 2:1–18; and Minutes and Prayer of Dedication, 27 Mar. 1836 [D&C 109].