In 1834, JS led a group of approximately 230 men, women, and children to to help church members living there. The previous fall, the Saints in , Missouri, had been driven from their homes by armed vigilantes, and in February 1834, JS and other church leaders discussed how the Saints could be restored to their lands and homes. On 24 February 1834, a revelation directed JS to recruit up to five hundred men to go to , help the Saints to reclaim their lost property, and provide protection to church members against their ‘enemies.’ Pursuant to the revelation, JS and seven other men spent the remainder of February and much of March in and soliciting funds and recruiting volunteers for the expedition.
In May 1834, one contingent of the expedition left , Ohio, with about one hundred men—a number that roughly doubled by June. A second contingent recruited by and left around the same time. Known as the and later as Zion’s Camp, the expedition was funded by money provided by the camp’s members and donations from other church members. Financial records for the camp were kept by , who served as treasurer. These records are apparently not extant. and were sent to governor to ask him to call out the state militia to restore the Saints to their land. When Pratt and Hyde met with Dunklin, however, he informed them he was not willing to call up the militia in support of their plan. On 22 June 1834, a revelation authorized the camp to disband; some members remained in Missouri, while others returned to Kirtland.
In summer 1834, accused JS of various improprieties while leading the expedition, including the misuse of “monies and other properties of the camp.” Sometime in August 1834, used ’s records to create two financial statements for the use of the high council: a general account of funds collected and distributed by the camp, and a record of JS’s personal financial transactions relative to the camp. At least one of the accounts was presented to the high council on 29 August 1834 and certified by Williams as being “correctly taken from his accounts.”