From 6 to 8 April 1842, a “Special of the ” was held in , Illinois; JS presided and gave discourses, and conference clerk took minutes. In previous years the April conference was labeled a “general conference,” but JS decreed on 3 October 1841 that no further general conferences would be held until the Nauvoo was completed. A general notice about the conference, published in the Times and Seasons, suggests all church members were expected to attend. On 6 April 1842, before the conference started, JS met with members of the to provide “instructions how to organize & adjourn the special conference.” JS did not attend the first day of the conference because of illness.
The most pressing business of the conference was ’s report on why he had not yet joined on their mission to Europe and Palestine. Hyde and Page had mostly remained together from April 1840—when they were appointed to serve a mission—to the end of summer 1840, raising money for their voyage. Hyde then left Page in and traveled to and to obtain additional funds. In early 1841 Hyde and Page were chastised in the church newspaper for delaying their mission, and in response Hyde departed across the Atlantic. Page intended to eventually meet Hyde in , but church leaders instructed him to return to . At JS’s request Page reported on his travels, attributing his delay primarily to Hyde’s appropriation of their shared funds and the difficulty of raising additional money. JS censured Page but stated that the church would retain him in full fellowship. Those at the conference ratified this decision and voted to send Page to , where he had recently proselytized.
Other conference business included instruction by , , and , who emphasized the importance of a well-organized and disciplined . , Hyrum Smith, , , , and preached additional discourses. JS also preached multiple times, seeking to quell rumors regarding polygamy and providing instruction on the use of the baptismal font.
On the final day of the conference, individuals were for the dead and for health in the temple font. Additionally, , , , , , , and 275 men as . Woodruff commented that “more Elders were ordain[ed] on this occasion than were ever ordained in the Church of Latter Day Saints in one day before.” JS closed the conference with a benediction.
’s minutes of the conference were published in the 15 April 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons.
Special Conference of the , met according to appointment in the City of , April 6, 1842.
The day being wet, the did not attend, and addressed those present upon the subject of the charges against him, and said he would be happy to have an opportunity of laying his statement before the Conference, at a convenient time.
Pres’t. , Pres’t. pro tem., and Pres’t. all spoke upon the subject of military affairs, showing the necessity of a well organized and efficient force; that as we were bound to serve our country if required in common with all good citizens, we ought not to be behind any of our neighbors in point of good order, neat uniforms, and equipments, and a well organized, and thoroughly disciplined legion.
April 7. Conference met, Pres’t. Joseph Smith had the several put in order, and seated: he then made some very appropriate remarks concerning the duties of the church, the necessity of unity of purpose in regard to the building of the houses, and the blessings connected with doing the will of God; and the inconsistency folly and danger of murmuring against the dispensations of Jehovah.
He said that the principal object of the meeting was to bring the case of before them, and that another object was to choose young men, and them, and send them out to preach, that they may have an opportunity of proving themselves, and of enduring the tarring and feathering and such things as those of us who have gone before them, have had to endure.
having arrived, was called upon, and addressed the congregation in relation to the nonperformance of his mission to : he said that when he started with , joy filled their hearts, and they were aware of the responsibility of their mission. ’s vision was that he should be in alone, considered to be his father and guide in the mission, and felt it his duty to submit to ’s opinion in all things; no ever were more in concert on a mission than they were while together; they made a covenant in to stand by each other while on the mission; that if they were insulted, or imposed upon they would [p. 761]
Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives / Petitions and Memorials, Resolutions of State Legislatures, and Related Documents Which Were Referred to the Committee on Judiciary during the 27th Congress. Committee on the Judiciary, Petitions and Memorials, 1813–1968. Record Group 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, 1789–2015. National Archives, Washington DC. The LDS records cited herein are housed in National Archives boxes 40 and 41 of Library of Congress boxes 139–144 in HR27A-G10.1.