JS, Discourse, , Adams Co., IL, 1 June 1839. Featured version copied [ca. 1 June 1839] in Quorums of the Seventy, “Book of Records,” pp. 79–80; handwriting of ; First Council of the Seventy Records, CHL.
Blank book containing seventy-three leaves measuring about 7½ × 6 inches (19 × 15 cm). The volume was originally bound with at least two sheets of endpaper in the front of the volume and one sheet in the back. Little is known about the original binding; in the mid-twentieth century, the volume was rebound in a machine-sewn tight-back case binding with faux leather cloth. The rebound volume measures 7⅞ × 6⅜ × ⅝ inches (20 × 16 × 2 cm). The front cover of the volume is inscribed with “RECORD OF SEVENTIES | 1835–1843” in gold tooling.
The volume is inscribed in brown ink, and the second sheet of original endpaper is titled “BOOK OF RECORDS” with stylized capital letters. At some point another scribe added “OF SEventies” in graphite, partially with similarly stylized letters. likely began the volume shortly after being appointed “clerk of the seventies” on 9 April 1837. After copying membership lists and minutes from the journal of that dated back to December 1836, Smith used the volume to record minutes he took; the last entry is dated 2 June 1839. Circa 1841, Smith—then serving as the bishop of the church in —began using unnumbered pages following the quorum minutes to record the membership of the branch of the church in , Iowa Territory. On a few other pages, he inscribed dates of significant family events and other information. As evidenced by these later entries, the volume apparently remained in Smith’s possession until at least 1843; the volume was included in Church Historian’s Office inventories by March 1858.
“Historian’s Office Inventory G. S. L. City March 19. 1858,” , Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
On 1 June 1839, JS delivered a discourse at a meeting of the of the in , Illinois. In addition to the seventies, JS’s in the and several members of the were present. After the meeting was called to order and opened with a prayer, those in attendance relocated to a grove of trees about a mile outside of Quincy because of the large number present. JS then gave a sermon instructing the seventies on what to preach, the nature of stewardship, and the need to account for money donated to them. His statements on donations were likely prompted by the seventies’ plans to appoint a committee to care for the poor. Apostle noted in his journal that JS explained that the plan was unnecessary because “ were the authorities that God had appointed for that purpose & that they should procede according to that order.” then addressed the council, echoing JS’s directions to the seventies. He asked them to “remember the bishops of the church in their travels, and on all proper occasions when it could with propriety be done, to solicit aid for the poor and send that which they might receive to the Bishop or Bishops to be by them appropriated according to the laws of the .” Those in attendance then reviewed quorum matters, including proselytizing and charges brought against members of the quorums, after which the meeting was adjourned until the next morning.
Two brief accounts of JS’s discourse are extant: ’s notes in his journal and the official minutes recorded by , clerk for the Quorums of the Seventy. Smith’s account, apparently based on notes taken during the meeting and then inscribed in a record book for the quorums, is featured here. These minutes are somewhat more complete than Woodruff’s journal account, which is secondhand and does not mention ’s discourse or any other aspect of the meeting. According to Woodruff’s journal, Woodruff was in , Iowa Territory, some fifty miles from , on 1 June, the day of the discourse. He copied notes on JS’s discourse into his journal after his entry for 17 June and noted that the 1 June meeting was “principly for the benefit of the Seventies.”
Quorums of the Seventy, “Book of Records,” 1 June 1839, 79. The grove was sometimes referred to as the Presbyterian Camp Ground. One visitor to the grove in June 1839 described it as a shaded “little patch of ‘timber’” that comfortably seated 150 people. The grove had a “small rude platform, erected for a pulpit” and contained wood planks and logs for the audience. (“The Mormons,” Greensborough [NC] Patriot, 17 Sept. 1839, .)
Record of Seventies / First Council of the Seventy. “Book of Records,” 1837–1843. Bk. A. In First Council of the Seventy, Records, 1837–1885. CHL. CR 3 51, box 1, fd. 1.
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.
Joseph Smith Jun gave the much instruction about what things they should teach and the manner of communicating the gospel to the children of men and on ma[n]y other subjects especially enjoining it upon the to keep and render a just account of all monies put [p. 79]