Zion high council, Minutes, [, Caldwell Co., MO], 14 Apr. 1838. Featured version copied [between 1 Oct. 1842 and 14 Sept. 1843] in Minute Book 2, pp. 133–135; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 2.
On 14 April 1838, JS presided at a meeting to investigate a complaint against for his position regarding enforcement of the “,” the church’s revealed dietary code. The church’s position regarding this code had recently become more rigid and had provoked some members to resist the church’s involvement in temporal matters. West’s case had been tried earlier in a council of , who apparently ruled in his favor. However, , the original complainant, appealed his case against West to the high council on 27 March 1838. The high council members convened to hear the case on 14 April, immediately following two days of disciplinary councils in which they had excommunicated dissident church leaders. In the trial against held the day before, one of the charges was that Whitmer did not observe the Word of Wisdom. Wait brought several witnesses to testify regarding statements West had allegedly made about the Word of Wisdom and church authority. An hour-long adjournment noted in the meeting minutes suggests the trial lasted several hours. In the end, JS ruled that West had merely “erred in spirit” and should only be admonished. Meeting minutes, which included a transcript of the complaint, were taken by high council clerk . The minutes were later copied into Minute Book 2 by .
Joseph Smith jr but heard him say that he considered him the Prophet as much as ever.
The adjourned one hour.
Council convend according to adjournment.
Silas Maynard, testifies, that he heard say one evening last winter that he did not acquiesce in the proceedings of the High Council and in cutting off & from the office.
, testifies, that at the General Confference last winter, when the case of & was investigated, voted to have them continue in the office of Presidents.
confesses, that at the time of the Conference above refered to, he did think the move too too hasty and did not coincide with the proceedings of the Council at the time, but now saw the matter different and does coincide with them &c.
, testifies that said in a Conference of that he did not consider the given by Commandment or Constraint.
After a few remarks by the Councellors and parties it was decided by the President, that considering the case, had erred in spirit, therefore, feel to admonish him, but do not find any thing in him worthy of death or bonds.
Council adjourned untill next Saturday at 9 o’clock.