Authorization for Oliver Granger, 6 May 1839
JS, Authorization, for , , Adams Co., IL, 6 May 1839; handwriting of ; signature of JS; one page; CHL. Includes docket.One leaf measuring 10⅞ × 7¾ inches (28 × 20 cm). The authorization was folded for transmission and filing. The document has undergone conservation work to fix tearing along the folds. The top section of the leaf is missing; although the text of the authorization is intact, the missing section may have contained a title. The verso contains a docket in unidentified handwriting: “Conference | Recommend to | O. Granger”.The document came into the possession of Phineas Kimball Jr., who was the brother-in-law of ’s daughter and who appears to have retained this and other documents belonging to Granger. The authorization was passed down in the family to Phineas Kimball Jr.’s granddaughter Margaret Rheinburger Burke. At the time of her death, the document was given to her stepdaughter Sylvia Burke Van Blarcom, who sold it to a collector. The Church History Library acquired the document in January 2011.
On 6 May, JS signed an authorization for , instructing him to travel to , Ohio, take charge of the there, and preside over affairs in the region. Granger was assigned these tasks during the first session of a general the church held on 4–5 May 1839. He had been acting as an for JS and the church since 1837. In July 1838, JS dictated a revelation directing Granger to go to Kirtland to “contend earnestly for the redemption of the .” By October 1838, Granger had resolved debts with several , Ohio, merchants and was working to resolve other debts that JS and fellow church leaders owed.continued to manage church affairs in in 1839, traveling between that area and . Several Saints living in Illinois, including JS, still held property in the Kirtland area and provided Granger with powers of attorney and other agreements allowing him to manage their property. Granger was also running a store in Kirtland by 1839, although it is not clear whether this store was a new venture or a continuation of one of the earlier mercantile firms that church members had established.The responsibilities assigned to at the 4–5 May general conference highlighted the church’s continued presence in and expanded his earlier assignment to resolve financial matters there. During the conference, the congregation also resolved that Latter-day Saints living in the eastern should be encouraged to move to the area, if they preferred to settle there rather than in or , and again recognized Kirtland as a of . This information was included in Granger’s authorization because of his assignment to preside in Kirtland and perhaps also because the information provided important direction for Saints in the eastern United States with whom Granger might communicate.The authorization featured here was written on 6 May and may have been produced as part of a meeting of church leaders held that day. One week after wrote this authorization and JS signed it, the First Presidency created a lengthier authorization that provided further detail regarding ’s assignment in and expressed the church leaders’ confidence and trust in him. Granger may have carried both authorizations with him or may have taken only the latter.