License for William Smith, 5 October 1831

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

This is to Certify that has been received in this according to the Articles & Covenants of this Church & a under the hand of Joseph Smith jr. this therefore authorizes him to act as a teacher in this church according to the articles & Covenants
given at Oct. 5th. 1831
Joseph Smith Jr.
[p. [1]]


  1. 1

    According to the Articles and Covenants, individuals were received into the church after humbling themselves, expressing desire for baptism, and “com[ing] forth with a broken heart & a contrite spirit” to witness “unto the Church that they truly repent of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Christ having a determination to serve him unto the end.” If they also “manifest[ed] by their works that they have received the gift of Christ unto the remision of their sins,” they were “received unto baptism into the church of Christ.” (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:37].)  

  2. 2

    See Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:53–59].  

  3. 3

    In 1883, William Smith made what he called “a correct transcript from the original” license in his reminiscences, but his transcript contains some errors. Although the wording of the copied license largely matches the original, Smith wrote “given at Hyrum’s, Oct, 5th 1830.” He also designated Whitmer and JS as “Leaders” rather than “Elders.” (Smith, William Smith on Mormonism, 18.)  

    Smith, William. William Smith on Mormonism. This Book Contains a True Account of the Origin of the Book of Mormon. A Sketch of the History, Experience, and Ministry of Elder William Smith. . . . Lamoni, IA: Herald Steam Book and Job Office, 1883.