The council convened at 6:30 p.m. on 29 April 1845 in the upper room of the . The bulk of the meeting consisted of reports by council members and on completed assignments. Bent had visited the company of Latter-day Saints led by that was then in , and Babbitt had traveled to , Illinois, to act as the defense attorney for several Latter-day Saints in proceedings of the Circuit Court. Neither appointment originated in the Council of Fifty, though both concerned issues that had been discussed in the council.
When the Council of Fifty first convened with as chairman on 4 February 1845, , who was not present, was dropped by the council for “following his feelings” rather than the counsel of Young and the other apostles. Church leaders believed that Wight had rejected their counsel in promoting unauthorized emigration of Latter-day Saints from . In addition, Wight maintained that the Latter-day Saints had failed to finish the in Nauvoo in a timely manner as required by JS’s 1841 revelation that commanded construction of the temple. Wight left Nauvoo in August 1844 and spent the winter near Prairie La Crosse, Wisconsin. On 28 March 1845 his company began to leave their temporary homes in and to travel south by boat along the . On 14 April 1845 they landed near Davenport, Iowa Territory, and began making preparations to travel overland to . Shortly after their arrival, they sent Ira Miles to Nauvoo to inform the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles “of our present situation and our future prospects.” Miles arrived in Nauvoo by 17 April, when he attended a meeting with Young and four other apostles. The apostles appointed to return with Miles to and read aloud a letter to Wight and his company. The proposed letter was discussed at a meeting of church leaders that day and then signed by the nine apostles who were in Nauvoo; the church’s two trustees-in-trust, and ; and Nauvoo stake president and his counselor .
The letter gave a positive report of the situation in and strongly counseled ’s company to come to Nauvoo. The leaders emphasized progress on the Nauvoo , likely in response to Wight’s complaints: “We are rushing the temple a-head with a strong hand. Tythings come in for the temple more liberally than they have ever done before, & with but a few exceptions the Saints are willing to give their all for the temple if required.” Leaders hoped to finish the roof and some interior rooms by the coming fall so that they could “commence administering the ordinances of endowment.” In addition, the letter noted that work would begin again on the “ within a few days.” If Wight and his company continued on their journey before receiving their temple endowments, the church leaders continued, they “will not prosper.” The letter emphatically stated that Wight and his company should not “go West at present” but should “help us to accomplish the building of the Lord’s houses” in order to “roll on the great wheel of the Kingdom.”
Within a few days, met ’s company. Otis Hobart, clerk of the branch, wrote a letter to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on 21 April on behalf of the company, noting that both Bent and the letter from the church leaders were “thankfully received” by the company. While Hobart indicated that the members of the company supported the Twelve, they were not persuaded to return to . On 12 May 1845 Wight’s company left for , where they wintered at an abandoned fort before traveling south to the region Wight had first identified in his 15 February 1844 letter to JS.
Following ’s report, reported on his defense of four Latter-day Saints at the recent session of the Circuit Court. The four men had been accused of stealing a large quantity of foodstuffs from non-Mormons near , Illinois. , their former branch president as well as the father-in-law of one of the accused men, had discussed their case in a meeting of the council two weeks earlier. On that occasion Morley inquired whether the four men should appear at court and undergo a trial, request a continuance, or forfeit their bail by refusing to attend. Although the record of that meeting mentions no decision, Babbitt’s report here confirms that the men chose the second option and that Babbitt then succeeded in obtaining a continuance until the coming fall.
Before adjourning, the council briefly discussed the package that had been sent to the missionaries in the and took up a collection for poor families in .
Tuesday April 29th. 1845 Council met pursuant to adjournment in the upper room of the and organized at 6½ P.M with Prest. in the chair.
Wight, Address by Way of an Abridged Account and Journal of My Life, 7–8; Lyman Wight, Mountain Valley, TX, to Wilford Woodruff, [Salt Lake City, Utah Territory], 24 Aug. 1857, p. 12, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; Smith, “Lyman Wight Colony in Texas,” 8–12; Council of Fifty, “Record,” 10 Mar. 1844.
Wight, Lyman. An Address by Way of an Abridged Account and Journal of My Life from February 1844 up to April 1848, with an Appeal to the Latter Day Saints. [Austin, TX], [ca. 1848].
Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.
Smith, Heman Hale. “The Lyman Wight Colony in Texas, 1846–1858.” Typescript of unpublished paper. Copy at CHL.