Minutes, , Medina Co., OH, 8 Sept. 1834. Featured version copied [not before 25 Feb. 1836] in Minute Book 1, pp. 49–51, 73–74; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
A church held in , Ohio, on 8 September 1834 apparently reconvened a conference held in nearby , Ohio, on 21 April 1834. The minutes of the April conference indicate that it was “adjourned to the Monday precedeing the second sunday in September,” which was 8 September. JS and left , Ohio, for New Portage on 5 September and arrived by 7 September. The conference dealt with a number of difficult issues, probably because the issues had been set aside in expectation of this conference.
The minutes of the conference depict some of JS’s typical actions when visiting the various congregations of Saints. He blessed a sick woman, provided instruction about the operation of the church, and presided over a council giving decisions on three disciplinary cases. In the first case, the church in New Portage had previously tried one of its members, a man named Carpenter, for an unspecified fault and decided he should be given time to consider his response to the charge. A church member named Gordon had then spoken in tongues, evidently saying the church should not be so lenient with Carpenter, whereupon the decision was reversed. JS instructed the council that this use of the gift of tongues was inappropriate because the gift was instituted mainly to preach the gospel to other nations and was not to be used “for the government of the Church”—perhaps the first time he had given this explanation of how the gift of tongues was to be used. Gordon, who was present at the conference, then admitted his error and sought forgiveness. In the second case, , the presiding authority in New Portage, asked JS whether he, Palmer, should remain the president of the church’s branch in the area since a member of the branch, , had refused to comply with Palmer’s call to order in a previous meeting. The conference determined that Bosworth should make a confession before a in and be notified of this decision by letter. The conference then addressed a final charge against for having made false prophecies.
, who served as clerk of this conference, kept the minutes, though his original inscription is not extant. later copied the minutes, along with a nota bene that included a copy of a letter from Oliver Cowdery to , in Minute Book 1.
Though the minutes of this 8 September 1834 meeting give only a last name, “brother Gordon” is probably Thomas Gordon, a high priest who is identified by his full name in the minutes of conferences held at New Portage on 18 November 1835 and 10 June 1836. (Minute Book 1, 18 Nov. 1835 and 10 June 1836.)
brother Carpenter, that it was contrary to the rules and regulations of the , because, in all our decisions we must judge from actual testimony. Brother Gordon said the testimony was had and the decision given before the gift of tongues was manifested. Brother Joseph advised that <we> speak in our own language in all such matters, and then the adversary cannot lead our minds astray. then gave a relation of a certain difficulty which took place in a . He, presided, when several of the brethren spake out of order, and brother refused to submit to to order according to his (’s) request. He now wished instruction on this point, whether he, or some one else should preside over this of the , and also whether such conduct could be approbated in conferences. Brother Gordon then made some remarks on the subject which was at the time before the .
Brother Joseph said, relative to the first question, that brother Gordon’s tongues in the end, did operate as testimony, as, by his remarks in tongues, the former decision was set aside, and his taken. That it was his decision that brother Gordon’s manifestation was incorrect, and from a suspicious heart. He approved the first decision, but discarded the second. Brother Joseph Keeler said that in the former decision he had acted hastily himself in urging brother Carpenter to make acknowledgement without [p. 50]
JS had given previous instruction regarding the misuse of the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues. In July 1833, he and others wrote to church leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, warning them that the gift of tongues could be used as a tool of Satan and that members needed to be careful lest the gift deceive them. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833.)