Minutes and Discourse, 13 January 1840

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Minutes of a held at . January. 13th. 1840.
The conference was organized by appointing Brother Joseph Smith Jr President & Sec.y Brother introduced the project of Printing the Book of Mormon he mentioned that at a Conference held in . a resolution was agreed upon and a committee appointed to print the same in . subject however to the consent of the proprietor of the Copyright. and that he now submitted the matter for reconsideration. Brother stated that he had considered the matter and that he had come to the conclusion that the most prudent course would be to print the same in the west among the brethren and thereby keep the profits in the Society. and especially to nurture the new printing establishment. Was willing however to submit the will of the conference. thoug[ht] the delay necessarily arising out the distance between the supply & the principal source of consumption an objection to printing in the West. Brother [Addison] Everett wished to ask what the expense of fitting up the establishment in the West would be thought it would not exceed the sum [p. [2]] of two or three hundred dollars, Brother would mention the fact that the printing could be proceeded with immediately here and delay would be injurious to the work here where it would be indespensible Brother Smith would say that Brothers Ivans [ and ] thought it would be wisdom to print it in the West and that he. Brother S. approved of that disposition of the affair. then mentioned that he wished the whole matter referred the of the . Brother Everett seconded the proposition. It was then put to vote and carried unanimously. then introduced the mission of the brethren to and the pecuniary embarrassments under which they were Labouring, Brother argued the importance of the interests involved in the mission to the whole Church and every man in or out of the Church.
adjourned at 12½ O clock reassembled at 1½ P.M.
Brothers Dixon [Robert Dickson] & [Jonathan] Sleeper were . Brother Joseph Smith Jr dilated at some length on the offices of the and on the duties of Elders . . &c and directed it should be entered on the minutes as the injunction of the that travelling Elders should be especially cautious of incroaching on the ground of stationed & presiding Elders and rather direct their efforts to breaking up and occupying new ground and that the Churc[h]es generally refuse to be burthened with the support of unprofitable and dilatory labourers. It was unanimously resolved [p. 3] that this be received as the will and wish of the . Brother [John] Robinson was a Brother [Chester] Andrews was ordained an . Brother was confirmed over the at , [p. [4]]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    The conference was held in a building located in north-central Philadelphia on the northeast corner of Seventh and Callowhill streets. (Smith, “History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch,” 364.)  

    Smith, Walter W. “The History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch.” Journal of History 11, no. 3 (July 1918): 358–373.

  2. 2

    JS took steps to secure the copyright of the Book of Mormon in 1829. (Historical Introduction to Copyright for Book of Mormon, 11 June 1829.)  

  3. 3

    Although the response likely had not reached Pratt by this time, Hyrum Smith had replied to Pratt’s November 1839 letter to JS. Smith stated that any new edition of the Book of Mormon needed to be printed near church headquarters in Commerce, “where it can come out under the immediate inspection of Joseph and his councillors, so, that no one may be chargeable with any mistakes that may occur.” (Hyrum Smith, Nauvoo, IL, to Parley P. Pratt, New York City, NY, 22 Dec. 1839, in JS Letterbook 2, p. 80.)  

  4. 4

    In Commerce, Don Carlos Smith and Ebenezer Robinson were publishing the Times and Seasons, a monthly church periodical. In an issue of the Times and Seasons, Smith and Robinson noted that they needed subscription payments in advance to fund the printing operation. The Nauvoo high council also voted to provide monetary support. ([Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith], “A Word to the Saints,” Times and Seasons, Nov. 1839, 1:11–12; Minutes, 27 Oct. 1839.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  5. 5

    Pratt noted in his November 1839 letter that publications from “the west” were “slow and uncertain in coming from there to us.” Although copies of the Book of Mormon were clearly needed in the New York region, Hyrum Smith noted in December that “there is truly a famine throughout the Union.” (Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 22 Nov. 1839; Hyrum Smith, Nauvoo, IL, to Parley P. Pratt, New York City, NY, 22 Dec. 1839, in JS Letterbook 2, p. 80.)  

  6. 6

    Everett was a member of the New York City branch. (Pratt, Autobiography, 328; Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 22 Nov. 1839.)  

    Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.

  7. 7

    Unbeknownst to the conference, the Nauvoo high council had voted on 29 December 1839 to print the Book of Mormon in Commerce “under the inspection of the First Presidency, as soon as money can be raised to defray the expences.” (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 29 Dec. 1839, 39.)  

    Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.

  8. 8

    The purpose of the mission was to request redress from the federal government for the expulsion of church members from Missouri. (Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 28 Oct. 1839, 29.)  

    Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.

  9. 9

    In early December, JS wrote to his brother Hyrum Smith recounting how he, Elias Higbee, and Sidney Rigdon began their journey to Washington DC “with little or nothing,” just “trusting in God.” JS requested that Hyrum help raise money for them. (Letter to Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo High Council, 5 Dec. 1839; see also Letter from Hyrum Smith, 2 Jan. 1840.)  

  10. 10

    JS and Higbee characterized the efforts to obtain redress as “the most honorable cause that ever graced the pages of human existance.” (Letter to Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo High Council, 5 Dec. 1839.)  

  11. 11

    Smith, “History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch,” 366.  

    Smith, Walter W. “The History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch.” Journal of History 11, no. 3 (July 1918): 358–373.

  12. 12

    See Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 2:8–27, 1835 ed. [D&C 20:38–84]; and Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835, in Doctrine and Covenants 3:30–44, 1835 ed. [D&C 107:58–100].  

  13. 13

    The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had been designated as a “traveling high council” and had the duty, according to JS, “to go abroad and regulate and set in order all matters relative to the different branches of this church.” The quorum also oversaw the work of the Seventy and other “travelling Elders” who were appointed to preach the gospel outside of Zion and its stakes. JS had given similar instruction before; he declared in a January 1839 letter, “Let every Elder ocupy his own ground. and when he builds a church let him preside over it. and let not others run in to trouble him.” (Minutes and Discourses, 27 Feb. 1835; Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:38]; Minutes and Discourse, 2 May 1835; Letter to Heber C. Kimball and Brigham Young, 16 Jan. 1839.)  

  14. 14

    Smith, “History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch,” 366.  

    Smith, Walter W. “The History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch.” Journal of History 11, no. 3 (July 1918): 358–373.

  15. 15

    Smith, “History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch,” 366.  

    Smith, Walter W. “The History of the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Branch.” Journal of History 11, no. 3 (July 1918): 358–373.

  16. 16

    Bennett was ordained an elder at the organization of the Philadelphia branch on 23 December 1839. (Philadelphia, PA, Minutes and Records, 2.)  

    Philadelphia, PA, Minutes and Records, 1840–1854. CCLA.