Minutes, [, Geauga Co., OH], 23 Aug. 1834. Featured version copied [not before 25 Feb. 1836] in Minute Book 1, pp. 54–55; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
On 23 August 1834, a council was held in , Ohio, to review a document prepared at the direction of a general council of and who met on 11 August 1834. The document, which was titled “Conference minutes,” included three resolutions absolving JS of charges of misconduct while leading the to and from in summer 1834. , one of the camp participants, had accused JS of various misdeeds, resulting in the 11 August council being called to investigate the matter. At that meeting, the council accepted JS’s explanations of the difficulties and directed , , and to write an article for The Evening and the Morning Star stating that the council found that JS had “acted in every respect in an honorable and proper Manner” on the expedition. At this 23 August meeting, Cowdery, Burdick, and Hyde presented the document they had prepared, and the council ordered it to be printed.
At the 11 August council, had asked for forgiveness for his accusations against JS and stated he would “publish a confession in the Star.” However, he afterward objected to the original decisions made at that meeting, stating that he was justified in making his charges. Accordingly, this 23 August council voted to prevent Smith from acting in his office in the church until he either confessed his misdeeds or was tried before a ’s .
The body that approved this document and disciplined Smith appears to be a council similar to the council that held the 11 August meeting, although the published minutes of that meeting refer to the council as a “conference” of the church. , bishop in , presided over the 11 August meeting, while , one of Whitney’s counselors, presided over the 23 August meeting since Whitney was absent. The 11 August council consisted of both high priests and elders, but it is not clear from the minutes who attended the 23 August meeting. The minutes do not explicitly state that JS was in attendance, but since this council was dealing with the difficulty between him and , it is likely he was there.
As clerk of the council, took the minutes. later copied them into Minute Book 1.
On the 23d of August 1834 a convened for the purpose of hearing the resolution designed for the Star which were to be drawn up by brethren , and on the subject of the difficulty existing between brother J. Smith Junr. and . Brother presided in consequence of the ill health of brother
After prayer the conference proceeded to business. The read [p. 54]