Minutes, , Geauga Co., OH, 3 Mar. 1836. Featured version copied [between ca. 4 Apr. and ca. 16 May 1836] in Minute Book 1, pp. 140–143; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
On 24 February 1836, all of the and of the met in the in , Ohio, “to conclude the business concerning the ” of men to offices. Recognizing the imperfect state of record keeping in the church’s and , church authorities believed that new rules and regulations on the issuance and recording of were needed to standardize, organize, and better supervise the ordaining of priesthood holders to various offices. This task was made more urgent because of the extensive ministry that traveling were expected to assume after the and of power from on high. At the 24 February meeting, the church’s governing bodies appointed , , and as a committee to draft “regulations concerning licenses” and selected to officiate as the clerk responsible for recording licenses in Kirtland. The committee drafted resolutions on 27 February 1836 and presented them at the meeting featured here, held on the evening of 3 March 1836.
After the meeting commenced, , who served as the chair of the committee, presented the draft of the resolutions for centralizing priesthood licensing. The resolutions called for all licenses to be signed by proper authority, issued by the chairman and clerk of each conference, and recorded, thereby establishing an organized system of licensing in the growing church.
Two contemporary versions of the 3 March 1836 minutes are extant. One version is found in the February 1836 issue of the church newspaper, the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, which was not published until early March. The other is found in Minute Book 1, the official record for meeting minutes. Both of these copies may have derived from the original text, no longer extant, which was written by , who served as the meeting’s clerk. The copy in Minute Book 1 was made by sometime after he began his scribal duties in April 1836. There are slight differences in capitalization, punctuation, and words used between the two extant versions, suggesting that Warren A. Cowdery did not copy the minutes from the Messenger and Advocate version. Because Minute Book 1 was the official record for meetings held in , it is the version featured here. Significant differences between the two copies are noted below.
Minute Book 1, 24 Feb. 1836; JS, Journal, 24 Feb. 1836; Minutes, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1836, 2:266. The Messenger and Advocate version of the minutes erroneously indicates that the 24 February meeting occurred on 26 February.
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.
The following Authorities of the assembled in the according to adjournment for the purpose of tra[n]sacting business for the Church (Viz.) The of the church, The of the Lamb, the twelve of the Church in , The twelve High Counsellors of the church in , The and his counsellors of . The and counsellors of Zion. The seven Presidents of the . The and Counsellors of the The and counsellors of the , The and counsellors of the : The and counsellors of the . and the and counsellors of the . Opened by singing & Prayer.
The Committee appointed on the 24th of February to draft resolutions for the better regulation of the of said church, made their report, which was read three times by the chairman of said Committee, After which an addition was made to the 6th article, extending the power of the chairman & Clerk pro-tempore, to act in the absence of the standing chairman & Clerk. The following is a copy of the Report of a Committee appointed by the authorities of the church Latter-Day-Saints, assembled in the in . Feb. 24th 1836, for the purpose of drafting [p. 140]
Prior to the singing and prayer, JS “arose and made some remarks on the object of our meeting,” which he identified as “1st To receive or reject certain resolutions that were drafted by a commitee chosen for that purpose at a preceeding meeting respecting licenses for elders and other official members. 2nd To sanction by the united voice of the quorum certain resolutions respecting ordaining members; that had passed through each quorum seperately without any alteration or amendment excepting in the quorum of the twelve.” (JS, Journal, 3 Mar. 1836.)