License for Frederick G. Williams, 25 February 1834
License, , Geauga Co., OH, for , 25 Feb. 1834; printed form with additions in handwriting of ; signatures of JS and ; one page; CHL.Single leaf measuring 5⅛ × 6⅛ inches (13 × 16 cm). The form bears a printed decorative border. The folds of the document have weakened over time, leading to tearing and holes. The document underwent conservation efforts in February 1994, shortly after descendants of donated it to the Church History Department.
On 24 February 1834, JS dictated a revelation appointing to accompany on a mission to recruit men and raise funds for the expedition to . The featured here was issued to Frederick G. Williams the following day. No minutes from the 25 February 1834 meeting in which the license was issued have been located.While the document identifies itself as a “letter of commendation,” documents with similar language were later issued and recognized as official licenses. The church’s founding “Articles and Covenants” required that , , , and have licenses to perform their duties. The language used in ’s license reflects language used in the Articles and Covenants regarding licenses.had been issued a similar license on 20 March 1833, shortly after being “to the .” While that license was issued to certify Williams’s ordination and his authority “to preside over the affairs of the Church,” this elder’s license certified Williams’s authority “to preach the gospel, and act in all [th]e ordinances of the house of the Lord”—a probable reference to the various duties that pertained specifically to the office of elder, to which Williams had been ordained in November 1830. Williams had been ordained a in October 1831 but continued to have “authority to officiate in all the lesser offices” of the priesthood when necessary, provided, evidently, that he was properly licensed to do so.This license is a printed form, with the name of the individual, the date, and the names of the clerk and moderator filled out by hand. It is one of the earliest printed licenses known to have been issued in the ; previously, licenses were handwritten. In comparison to earlier licenses, this printed form is longer but incorporates much of the same language.