Minutes, , Caldwell Co., MO, 7 Nov. 1837. Featured version copied [between ca. 6 Apr. and 19 June 1838] in Minute Book 2, pp. 82–85; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 2.
On 7 November 1837 members in , Missouri, gathered to vote on church leaders and conduct other matters of church business. A similar meeting had been held in , Ohio, on 3 September 1837, during which several men were removed and replaced as church leaders. In his remarks on 7 November, discussed the 3 September reorganization of the church, after which moderator read the minutes of that meeting to the congregation.
In a departure from earlier church voting practices, which usually included only men who had been to the , all those in attendance were asked to vote, including women and unordained men. Some members of the assembled congregation objected to several individuals, including , , , and , who held leadership positions within the church. Ultimately, however, only Williams was removed from his position, as a counselor to JS in the ; was unanimously approved to replace him. Despite some objections raised against two members of the , other church leaders were unanimously chosen to retain their current positions, including the members of the who had been objected to in on 3 September.
said he seconded nomination and should vote for him; and as to said letter, he had heard it, and saw nothing so criminal in it.
President also made a few remarks in favor.
made further remarks.
also objected to .
Pres’t then nominated Pres’t. to take place. He then called for a vote in favor of who was rejected. He then called for a vote in favor of Pres’t. , which was carried unanimous.
Some few remarks were made by Pres’ts. and .
was then nominated as the first of this of the , and was objected to by . said he should vote for — also Elder .
Elder spake against : also Elder .
Elder spake in favor of . Further remarks from , by request of , who made satisfaction for him. Remarks from Pres’t. Joseph Smith jr. who called for an expression, which was carried by almost a unanimous vote.
Pres’t. Joseph Smith, jr. then nominated for an assistant President, who was objected, to and spake in opposition to him, and read a list of charges from a written document against [p. 83]
The subject of Williams’s standing was again brought before church members in Kirtland at a general assembly on 17 December 1837. Nothing was done at that meeting to “reinstate Frederick G. Williams in the First Presidency.” (George W. Robinson, Kirtland, OH, to Thomas B. Marsh, Far West, MO, 10 Jan. 1838, CHL; Williams, Life of Dr. Frederick G. Williams, 528–531.)
Robinson, George W. Letter, Kirtland, OH, to Thomas B. Marsh, Far West, MO, 10 Jan. 1838. CHL.
Williams, Frederick G. The Life of Dr. Frederick G. Williams: Counselor to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2012.
The reasons for objecting to David Whitmer were not specified at this time. Thomas B. Marsh later wrote that the “church has had much sorrow . . . on account of the unfaithfulness” of Whitmer and others. (Thomas B. Marsh to Wilford Woodruff, in Elders’ Journal,July 1838, 38.)