Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844–January 1846; Volume 1, 10 March 1844–1 March 1845

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page [51]
image
26 March 1844 • Tuesday

Editorial Note
On 26 March 1844 the council met from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. In the morning a draft of the petition to Congress was read. In the afternoon served as the chairman pro tem. The petition was discussed and approved, and a similar petition to the of the was commissioned. This was the extent of the central business before the council this day but was not all that occurred during the six hours of meeting. Although recorded action on practical and procedural matters, his minutes fall silent at points of broader instruction or discourse. For example, the transactional record of the morning session is interrupted by a statement that JS instructed the council “on heavenly things and many other important subjects,” but Clayton provides no hint of what JS said. In the afternoon session, after noting lengthy discussion about the day’s practical matters, Clayton wrote that “inasmuch as there was no business before the house” addressed the council on the “kingdom of God,” but the record only briefly characterizes the speech.
A significant event likely occurred in this meeting, probably in the morning session, about which the minutes are silent but which council members discussed a year later in connection with a written summary prepared by . ’s brief note that JS spoke “on heavenly things and many other important subjects” likely marks what was later referred to as JS’s “last charge.” This may have been an extension of the charge relating the history, purpose, and rules of the council that was typically given to new members and that JS may have delivered in this meeting. The most complete recorded version of this charge was written down by in December 1846. On that occasion William Clayton related that at the organization of the Council of Fifty, JS stated that the council served two purposes: it was to establish “the Kingdom spoken of by Daniel” and “to take from his [JS’s] shoulders a great weight of responsibility & place it in others.” Hyde’s description of the late March 1844 event, discussed in the council on 25 March 1845, indicates that JS told the council, “I roll the burthen and responsibility of leading this church off from my shoulders on to yours. Now, round up your shoulders and stand under it like men; for the Lord is going to let me rest a while.”

Tuesday March 26th. 1844 9 o clock A.M. The Council met pursuant to adjournment and opened by singing, and prayer by E[lde]r . After which the roll was called and the minutes of the last council read and accepted.
President Joseph Smith in the chair
The chairman then introduced the following persons for admission into the council viz; Uncle , , , , , , , and and gave a short history of what had been done previously by the council pertaining [p. [51]]
26 March 1844 • Tuesday

Editorial Note
On 26 March 1844 the council met from 9:00 a.m. to noon and from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. In the morning a draft of the petition to Congress was read. In the afternoon served as the chairman pro tem. The petition was discussed and approved, and a similar petition to the of the was commissioned. This was the extent of the central business before the council this day but was not all that occurred during the six hours of meeting. Although recorded action on practical and procedural matters, his minutes fall silent at points of broader instruction or discourse. For example, the transactional record of the morning session is interrupted by a statement that JS instructed the council “on heavenly things and many other important subjects,” but Clayton provides no hint of what JS said. In the afternoon session, after noting lengthy discussion about the day’s practical matters, Clayton wrote that “inasmuch as there was no business before the house” addressed the council on the “kingdom of God,” but the record only briefly characterizes the speech.
A significant event likely occurred in this meeting, probably in the morning session, about which the minutes are silent but which council members discussed a year later in connection with a written summary prepared by . ’s brief note that JS spoke “on heavenly things and many other important subjects” likely marks what was later referred to as JS’s “last charge.” This may have been an extension of the charge relating the history, purpose, and rules of the council that was typically given to new members and that JS may have delivered in this meeting. The most complete recorded version of this charge was written down by in December 1846. On that occasion William Clayton related that at the organization of the Council of Fifty, JS stated that the council served two purposes: it was to establish “the Kingdom spoken of by Daniel” and “to take from his [JS’s] shoulders a great weight of responsibility & place it in others.” Hyde’s description of the late March 1844 event, discussed in the council on 25 March 1845, indicates that JS told the council, “I roll the burthen and responsibility of leading this church off from my shoulders on to yours. Now, round up your shoulders and stand under it like men; for the Lord is going to let me rest a while.”

Tuesday March 26th. 1844 9 o clock A.M. The Council met pursuant to adjournment and opened by singing, and prayer by Elder . After which the roll was called and the minutes of the last council read and accepted.
President Joseph Smith in the chair
The chairman then introduced the following persons for admission into the council viz; Uncle , , , , , , , and and gave a short history of what had been done previously by the council pertaining [p. [51]]
Page [51]