Minutes, , OH, 9 Nov. 1831. Featured version, titled “Minutes of a special Conference held in Hiram Nov 9 1831,” copied [between ca. 6 Apr. and 19 June 1838] in Minute Book 2, p. 17; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 2.
JS and seven other held a in , Ohio, on 9 November 1831, at which they considered a formal request made by two members of the church from nearby , Ohio. This was one of several special conferences held between 1 and 12 November 1831 in Hiram, though the others focused more on the plan to publish JS’s revelations. Like the other November conferences, this conference was probably held in the and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson home in the room where JS was working on his Bible revision.
At this 9 November conference, and John Noah, the two men from , requested permission to preach. According to the revelation known as the “Laws of the Church of Christ,” no man could preach the gospel unless he was first “ by some one that hath authority & it is known to the church that he hath authority & have been regularly ordained by the leaders of the church.” Accordingly, the conference voted that Hulet and Noah be ordained. Since a branch of the church existed in Nelson, it is unclear why the two men made their request at a conference in , but the proximity of Nelson to Hiram, where JS and other leading elders were residing, may have been a factor. Whether the conference was called solely to discuss Hulet’s and Noah’s situation is also uncertain, but the minutes mention no other business.
, clerk of the conference, recorded the minutes. In 1838, copied the minutes into Minute Book 2.
Opened. prayer by br Brs and John Noah expressed desires to preach the word if thought proper by this conference Voted that these two brethren be according to the voice of the church in which they live. Closed. Prayer by
This mistake is likely based on the minutes of 8 November 1831, which contain this same list of names, except for Lyman Johnson’s name. McLellin’s name appears to have been stricken as Ebenezer Robinson was copying the minutes into Minute Book 2 in 1838. Up to McLellin, the listed participants of the 9 November conference are the same as those who attended the 8 November conference. Robinson may have mistakenly copied the roster of participants from the 8 November conference, realized his error, crossed out McLellin’s name, and then added the name of Lyman Johnson (who did not attend the 8 November conference) on the same line as Luke Johnson’s name. (Minutes, 8 Nov. 1831.)
Possibly John Mathias Noah (1761–1849), but more likely his son John Storey Noah (1799–1857). John Mathias Noah, who was born in Germany, immigrated to the United States as a young man and moved to Nelson, Ohio, circa 1804. John Storey Noah was born in Pennsylvania. No baptismal record exists for either man, making it more difficult to determine which was the church member who petitioned the conference. However, John Storey Noah named two children, born in 1832 and 1834, Joseph and Emma, likely after JS and his wife. John Storey Noah’s sister Margaret was married to Charles Hulet, the brother of John’s fellow-petitioner Sylvester Hulet. John Storey Noah was also about the same age as Sylvester Hulet, further suggesting that he was the John Noah who appeared before the conference. (Johnson, Life History of Charles Hulet, 25, 32–33, 35, 53, 62; Simmonds, “John Noah and the Hulets,” 18; 1850 U.S. Census, Mentor, Lake Co., OH, 278[A]; Missouri State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death for Emma A. Williams, no. 16532, Birth and Death Records, MSA; Lake Co., OH, Probate Court, Probate Records, 1846–1860, vol. E, p. 371, microfilm 974,902, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
Johnson, Eldred A., comp. The Life History of Charles Hulet and His Wives, Anna Taylor, Margaret Noah, and Mary Lawson Kirkman. Lindon, UT: By the author, 1991.
Simmonds, A. J. “John Noah and the Hulets: A Study in Charisma in the Early Church.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Mormon History Association, Salt Lake City, 24–27 May 1979. Copy at CHL.
Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.
Missouri State Board of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics. Certificate of Death, no. 38758. Birth and Death Records. MSA.
McLellin, William E. Journal, Apr.–June 1836. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. MS 13538, box 1, fd. 6. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).