Minutes, 16 January 1836

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Saturday morning the 16th by request I meet with the in company with my colleagues and
organized and opened by singing and prayer offered up by president of the 12
He arose and requested the privilege in behalf of his colleagues of speaking, each in his turn without being interupted; which was granted them— proceeded [p. 119] to unbosom his feelings touching the of the , and more particularly respecting a certain letter which they recieved from the of the in , while attending a in the East State of also spoke of being plased in our council, on Friday last below the council’s of and having been previously placed next [to] the , in our assemblies— also observed that they were hurt on account of some remarks made by President on the trial of who had been previously tried before the council of the 12, while on their mission in the east, who had by their request thrown his case before the high council in for investigation, and the 12 concidered that their proceedings with him were in some degree, discountenanced—
The rest <​remaining​> then gave way to his brethren and they arose and spoke in turn untill they had all spoken acquiessing in the observations of and mad[e] some additions to his remarks which are as follows— That the letter in question which they received from the presidency, in which two of their numbers were suspended, and the rest severely chastened, and that too upon testimony which was unwarantable, and particularly stress was laid upon a certain letter which the presidency had received from Dr. [p. 120] of New York in which he prefered charges against them which were false, and upon which they <​we​> (the presiders) had acted in chastning them and therefore, the , had concluded that the had lost confidence in them, and that whereas the in this place, had carressed them, at the time of their appointment, to the they now treated them coolly and appear to have lost confidence in them also—
They spoke of their having been in this work from the beginning almost and had born the burden in the heat of the day and passed through many trials and that the presidency ought not to have suspect their fidelity nor loose confidence in them, neither have chastised them upon such testimony as was lying before before them— also urged the necessity of an explanition upon the letter which they received from the presidency, and the propriety of their having information as it respects their duties, authority &c— that they might come to <​an​> understanding in all things, that they migh[t] act in perfect unison and harmony before the Lord and be prepared for the — also that they had prefered a charge against for his unchristian conduct which the presidency had disregarded— also that President on a certain occasion had made use of language to one of the [p. 121] that was unchristian and unbecoming any man, and that they would not submit to such treatment
The remarks of all the 12 were made in a verry forcible and explicit manner yet cool and deliberate; I arose
I observed that we had heard them patiently and in turn should expect to be heard patiently also; and first I remarked that it was necessary that the 12 should state whether they were determined to persevere in the work of the Lord, whether the are able to satisfy them or not; vote called and carried in the affirmative unaminously; I then said to them that I had not lost confidence in them, and that they had no reason to suspect my confidence, and that I would be willing to be weighed in the scale of truth today in this matter, and risk it in the day of judgment; and as it respects the chastning contained in the letter in question which I acknowledge might have been expressed in too harsh language; which was not intentional and I ask your forgiveness in as much as I have hurt your feelings; but nevertheless, the letter that that wrote back to while the twelve were at the east was harsh also and I was willing to set the one against the other; I next proceeded to explain the subject of the duty of the twelve; and their authority which is next to the present presidency, and that the arangement of the assembly in this place on the 15 inst in placing the of and next [to] the presidency was because the buisness to be transacted was buisness that related to that body in particular which was to [p. 122] fill the several in ; not beca[u]se they were first in office, and that the arangement was most Judicious that could be made on the occassion also the , are not subject to any other than the ; viz. myself and — I also stated to the 12, that I do not continue countinance the harsh language of to them neither in myself nor any other man, although I have sometimes spoken to[o] harsh from the impulse of the moment and inasmuch as I have wounded your feelings brethren I ask your forgivness, for I love you and will hold you up with all my heart in all righteousness before the Lord, and before all men, for be assured brethren I am willing to stem the torrent of all opposition; in storms in tempests in thunders and lightning by sea and by land in the wilderness or among fals brethren, or mobs or wherever God in his providence may call us and I am determined that neither hights nor depths principalities nor powers things present or to come nor any other creature shall separate me from you; and I will now covenant with you before God that I will not listen too nor credit, any derogatory report against any of you nor condemn you upon any testimony beneath the heavens, short of that testimony which is infalible, untill I can see you face to face and know of a surity [p. 123] and I do place unlimited confidence in your word for I believe you to be men of truth, and I ask the same of you, when I tell you any thing that you place equal confidence in my word for I will not tell you I know anything which I do not know— but I have already consumed more time than I intended to when I commenced and I will now give way to my colleagues
arose next and acquiessed in what I had said and acknowledged to the , that he had not done as he ought, in not citing to trial on the charges that were put into his hands by the 12, that he had neglected his duty in this thing, for which he asked their forgiveness, and would now attend to it if they desired him to do so, and Elder also observed to the 12 that <​if he​> he might have <​had​> spoken, or reproved too harshe, <​harshly,​> at any time and had injured their feelings by so doing he asked their forgivness.—
arose and acquiessed in the above sentiment’s expressed by myself and , in full and said many good things
The , then called a vote of that body to know whether they were perfectly satisfied with the [p. 124] explenation which we had given them and whether they would enter into the covenant we had proposed to them, which was most readily manifested in the affirmative by raising their hands to heaven, in testimony of their willingness and desire to enter into this covenant and their entire satisfaction with our explanation, upon all the difficulties that were on their minds, we then took each others by the hand in confirmation of our covenant and their was a perfect unison of feeling on this occasion, and our hearts overflowed with blessings, which we pronounced upon eachothers heads as the Spirit gave us utterance my is included in this covenant with and blessings with us, for I love him, for <​the​> truth and integrity that dwelleth in him and may God enable us all, to perform our vows and covenants with each other in all fidelity and rightiousness before Him, that our influence may be felt among the nations of the earth in mighty power, even to rend the kingdom of darkness in sunder, and triumph over and spiritual wickedness in high places, and brake in pieces all other kingdoms that are opposed to the Kingdom of Christ, and spread the light and truth of the everlasting gospel from the rivers to the ends of the earth
call[ed] for council upon the subject of his returning home he wished to know whether it was best for him to return before the [p. 125] or not, after taking it into concideration the council advised him to tarry we dismissed by singing and prayer and retired
scribe [p. 126]


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  2. 1

    The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles held conferences in Maine on 21 and 28 August 1835 after having held conferences in the state of New York the previous month. On 4 August 1835, a high council consisting of the First Presidency and the presidency of the Missouri high council composed a letter to the Twelve reprimanding the quorum for neglecting their duties. (Record of the Twelve, 21 and 28 Aug. 1835; Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 4 Aug. 1835.)  

  3. 2

    See Minutes, 15 Jan. 1836.  

  4. 3

    While on their mission to the eastern states, the Twelve disciplined Bishop, whose case was reheard in Kirtland by the high council on 28 September 1835 with some apostles as witnesses. (Minutes, 28–29 Sept. 1835; JS, Journal, 28 Sept. 1835.)  

  5. 4

    The two were William E. McLellin and Orson Hyde. (Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 4 Aug. 1835; Revelation, 3 Nov. 1835; see also Letter from Orson Hyde, 15 Dec. 1835.)  

  6. 5

    After the Twelve departed Freedom, Warren A. Cowdery wrote a letter to his brother Oliver in late July 1835 complaining that the Twelve had neglected to instruct the branch’s members on the necessity of gathering donations for the construction on the House of the Lord in Kirtland. According to Warren, this dereliction of duty by the Twelve prevented the church members in Freedom from making more substantial donations. (Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 4 Aug. 1835.)  

  7. 6

    TEXT: Possibly “presiden”.  

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    In a letter (no longer extant) to his wife, McLellin expressed his displeasure at the manner in which a school at Kirtland was being conducted. McLellin had formed his critical view of the school from a report by Orson Hyde, who had returned east from a recent visit to Kirtland. The charges against the Twelve were heard 26 September 1835, the day the Twelve returned to Kirtland, when Hyde and McLellin “frankly confessed” the impropriety of what they had said about “President Rigdon’s school” and “were forgiven.” (Minutes, 26 Sept. 1835.)  

  10. 8

    For documents related to the responsibilities and administrative jurisdiction of the Twelve, see Minutes and Discourses, 27 Feb. 1835; Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107]; Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 4 Aug. 1835; and Record of the Twelve, 27 Feb. and 2 May 1835.  

  11. 9

    See Minutes, 15 Jan. 1836.  

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  13. 10

    During the discussion the previous day on the regulations governing the House of the Lord, JS presented the rules for a vote by the Twelve only after presenting them to the high councils of Kirtland and Missouri. (Minutes, 15 Jan. 1836; see also Esplin, “Emergence of Brigham Young,” 184–185, 216–217nn84–86.)  

    Esplin, Ronald K. “The Emergence of Brigham Young and the Twelve to Mormon Leadership, 1830–1841.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1981. Also available as The Emergence of Brigham Young and the Twelve to Mormon Leadership, 1830–1841, Dissertations in Latter-day Saint History (Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History; BYU Studies, 2006).

  14. 11

    See Romans 8:38–39.  

  15. 12

    This occurred on 5 March 1836, when JS met with Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, the Quorum of the Twelve, and Warren A. Cowdery. According to Oliver Cowdery, “The Twelve had prefered a charge against my brother [Warren A. Cowdery] for a letter he wrote last summer upon the subject of their teaching while at the Freedom conference. My brother confessed his mistake, upon the testimony of the Twelve, and said he was willing to publish that they were not in the fault, but that he was satisfied they delivered those instructions which he had supposed they had not.” Warren A. Cowdery wrote a statement of apology, which the Messenger and Advocate printed in its February 1836 issue. (Cowdery, Diary, 5 Mar. 1836; “Notice,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1836, 2:263.)  

    Cowdery, Oliver. Diary, Jan.–Mar. 1836. CHL. MS 3429. Also available as Leonard J. Arrington, “Oliver Cowdery’s Kirtland, Ohio, ‘Sketch Book,’BYU Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 410–426.

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

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    Warren Parrish.  

  17. 14

    See Ephesians 6:12.  

  18. 15

    See Daniel 2:45; and Zechariah 9:10.  

  19. 16

    It appears that Beman remained in Kirtland and attended to the business of organizing the Kirtland elders quorum. (See Letter from the Presidency of Elders, 29 Jan. 1836.)  

  20. 17

    Following this day of reconciliation, JS retired to his home, where he was joined by Oliver Cowdery, John Corrill, and later Martin Harris. They performed ritual washings that they “might be clean before the Lord for the Sabbath, confessing our sins and covenanting to be faithful to God.” (Cowdery, Diary, 16 Jan. 1836.)  

    Cowdery, Oliver. Diary, Jan.–Mar. 1836. CHL. MS 3429. Also available as Leonard J. Arrington, “Oliver Cowdery’s Kirtland, Ohio, ‘Sketch Book,’BYU Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 410–426.