General Conference of the Church, Minutes, and JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, 1–5 Oct. 1841. Featured version published in “Minutes of a Conference of the Church,” Times and Seasons, 15 Oct. 1841, vol. 2, no. 24, 576–580. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
In early October 1841 in , Illinois, JS presided over a general of the , the minutes of which were published in the Times and Seasons. The conference was supposed to commence on 1 October but was delayed due to inclement weather that prevented the congregation from assembling at the meeting ground near the Nauvoo . Over the next four days, the conference met each morning and afternoon. The first meeting of the conference, held on the morning of 2 October, was conducted without the members of the , who were attending the cornerstone ceremony for the . JS attended and presided over all the meetings that followed, in which church leaders and members conducted a variety of business. Among the many matters discussed and voted upon were filling vacant church leadership positions, the counsel to to the Nauvoo area and the neglect of some Saints to follow that counsel, and the petitioning of Congress regarding the Saints’ expulsion from .
On 3 October, JS gave a discourse at the conference on the church’s practice of for the dead, whereby church members were baptized on behalf of their deceased relatives. In accordance with a January 1841 revelation—which instructed that baptisms for the dead should be performed in the —JS announced, “There shall be no more baptisms for the dead, until the can be attended to in the font of the Lord’s House; and the church shall not hold another general conference, until they can meet in said house.” JS counseled church members to direct their energies to building the house of the Lord.
and were appointed as secretaries of the conference. Their notes were apparently combined to create the minutes that were then published in the 15 October 1841 issue of the Times and Seasons.
MINUTES OF A OF THE , HELD IN , ILL., COMMENCING OCT. 1ST, 1841.
Friday, Oct. 1st. In consequence of the inclemency of the weather, the congregation were prevented from assembling, and conference, from business.
Saturday, 2nd, A. M. The conference assembled on the meeting ground; but as the were absent laying the corner stone of the , business was delayed, and the conference organised themselves in their several in order. Br. opened divine service, and Br. closed. The conference then made choice of Br. Joseph Smith to Preside in conference, and appointed and as Secretaries.
P. M. Pres. Joseph Smith opened by calling on the choir to sing a Hymn—sung 18th Hymn. The President then read a letter from Br. giving an account of his journeys and success in [p. 576]
Hymn 18 begins with the lines, “Jesus from whom all blessings flow, / Great Builder of thy church below; / If now thy spirit moves my breast, / Hear, and fulfill thine own request!” (Hymn 18, Collection of Sacred Hymns , 26–28.)
A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Edited by Emma Smith. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.