On 26 July 1838, JS met with several other church leaders to determine how to manage property that in , Missouri, had recently donated to the church. Earlier in the month, on 8 July, JS dictated a revelation calling for the Latter-day Saints to donate all of their surplus property to the church and thereafter to donate “one tenth of all their interest annually.” Later that day, JS dictated another revelation, directing that donated property be managed by a council consisting of the and the and , acting together under the inspiration of God. In response to the revelation about making donations, the Saints began donating property of various kinds. On 26 July, the council of church leaders that was called for in the latter revelation met to determine how to manage these donations. The council likely convened in , where JS and other church leaders were living at the time. The council members agreed on several resolutions, most of which clarified the relationship between the First Presidency and the in financial matters.
The minutes do not identify an appointed clerk for the council but contain the specificity of and are written in the style of formal minutes. may have taken minutes at the meeting, which would explain why he inscribed them in JS’s journal and why the minutes do not appear in Minute Book 2, where clerks typically recorded the minutes of high council and other meetings. Robinson inscribed the minutes in JS’s journal likely on the day of or within a few days after the meeting, as they appear immediately before a series of daily journal entries, the first of which is dated 27 July 1838.
July 26th 1838 This day the , , & , to met to take into concideration, the disposing of the publick properties in the hands of the , in , for the people of have commenced liberally to agreeably to the revelations, and commandments of the Great I am of their surpluss properties &c.
It was agreed that the first presidency keep all their properties, that they can dispose of to their advantage and support, and the remainder be put into the hands of the Bishop or Bishops, agreeably to the commandments, and revelations,
1st. Mooved seconded & carried unanymously, That the first presidency shall have their expences defrayed in going to , and also returning therefrom That the pay one half, and the the other half
2nd. Mooved seconded & carried unanymously— that all the traveling expences of the first presidency, shall be defrayed in traveling at any time or place [p. 59]
Swartzell, William. Mormonism Exposed, Being a Journal of a Residence in Missouri from the 28th of May to the 20th of August, 1838, Together with an Appendix, Containing the Revelation concerning the Golden Bible, with Numerous Extracts from the ‘Book of Covenants,’ &c., &c. Pekin, OH: By the author, 1840.