Minutes, [, Seneca Co., NY], 26 Sept. 1830. Featured version, titled “Minutes of the second Conference held by the Elders of this Church according to adjournment. Sept. 26. 1830,” copied [between ca. 6 Apr. and 19 June 1838] into Minute Book 2, p. 2; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 2.
The first of the , held 9 June 1830, appointed to “keep the Church record and Conference Minutes until the next conference,” which convened in September 1830. Although the extant document bears only one date, 26 September, JS’s later history—which misdated the conference to “the first day of September”—stated that the conference spanned three days. If separate minutes were taken the other two days of the conference, those other minutes are not extant. More likely, these minutes summarized the three days of official business of the conference and were dated 26 September “according to adjournment,” or on the last day of the conference, a Sunday.
As explained previously in the historical introduction to Revelation, September 1830–B [D&C 28], the conference occurred in the wake of two challenges to JS’s authority to receive revelation for the newly founded church: during summer 1830, “commanded” JS to change a document outlining the basic beliefs and practices of the recently organized church, and several church members accepted a series of unauthorized revelations that had received through his own seer stone. Although the minutes featured here do not mention these controversies, JS had determined to deal with them at the conference, and his history offered this report: “At length, our conference assembled; the subject of the stone . . . was discussed, and after considerable investigation, Brother Page, as well as the whole church who were present, renounced the said stone, and all things connected therewith, much to our mutual satisfaction.” The issue of JS’s authority is alluded to in the minutes, which state, “Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & for this Church.” Cowdery, who had both challenged JS over the wording of “Articles and Covenants” in July and initially accepted Page’s revelations, read aloud Articles and Covenants to the conference, after which JS gave his own commentary. JS’s history reported that “the utmost harmony prevailed” during the three-day conference, “and all things were settled satisfactory to all present.”
The minutes also demonstrate an early attempt to track the growing membership of the church. Though no list of members from this date survives, the exactness with which the number of both recently persons and total membership are given here suggests a careful attempt to keep official records of those uniting with the church.
JS History, vol. A-1, 58. Newel Knight gave JS much of the credit for the successful resolution of this conflict in the young church: “It was wonderful to witness the wisdom that Joseph displayed on this occasion, for truly God gave unto him great wisdom and power, and it seems to me, even now, that none who saw him administer righteousness to all under such trying circumstances, could doubt that the Lord was with him, as he acted—not with the wisdom of man, but—with the wisdom of a god.”aEmer Harris later recalled that following the conference, Page’s stone was “Broke to powder” and his revelations were burned.b Contrary to Harris’s account, some have claimed to possess Page’s seer stone.c
(aKnight, History, 171–172. bProvo, UT, Central Stake, General Minutes, 6 Apr. 1856, vol. 10, p. 273. cSee, for example, Dyer, Refiner's Fire, 257–259; and McGavin, Historical Background of the Doctrine and Covenants, 93.)
Knight, Newel. History. Private possession. Copy in CHL. MS 19156.
Provo, UT, Central Stake. General Minutes, 1852–1977. CHL. LR 9629 11.
Dyer, Alvin R. The Refiner’s Fire: The Significance of Events Transpiring in Missouri. 2nd ed., rev. and enlarged. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1968.
McGavin, E. Cecil. The Historical Background of the Doctrine and Covenants. Salt Lake City: By the author, 1949.
Minutes of the second held by the of this according to adjournment. Sept. 26. 1830.
Br. Joseph Smith jr. appointed leader of the Conference by Vote.
Joseph Smith jr.
Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & for this Church.
The fifth chapter of Isaiah read by Br. Joseph Smith jr. & prayer by the same. Articles & Covenants read by br. and remarks by Brother Joseph Smith jr.
No. of the several members uniting to this Church since the last Conference, thirty-five; making in whole now belonging to this Church sixty-two. Br. a under the hand of brother and prayer by the same. Prayer by all present. Exho[r]tation by all the Elders respectively. Singing and prayer in behalf of Br. & who were previously appointed to go to the .
Conference adjourned to January 1. 1831. to be held at this place. Br. appointed to keep the Church records until the next Conference. Prayer by br. . The foregoing Minutes were taken at the time of this Conference by . [p. 2]
As with the dating of the first conference in June 1830, the minutes and JS’s history give different dates for this conference. The latter states that the meeting was “appointed for the first day of September .” However, the minutes from the 9 June conference specifically state that the next conference was to be held on “the 26th. September 1830.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 54; Minutes, 9 June 1830.)
Perhaps owing to the controversy with Cowdery over Articles and Covenants, the document, which had been previously read aloud and approved by the church at the 9 June 1830 conference, was again read aloud. Although JS commented on Articles and Covenants, those present were not asked to again approve the document. (See Minutes, 9 June 1830; and Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28].)