Minutes, 16 August 1841

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

At a <​special​> of the held in the City of August 16th 1841 was unanimously appointed to preside over the conference and and appointed Clerks
Conference Opened by prayer by the after a hym had been sung by the Clerk Choir
The objects of calling the conference was then made known by the chairs who stated that Joseph Smith had called the conference to transact some business necessary to be done before the <​meeting of the​> general conference <​to be held​> in Oct next. The items of business of to be to select men to send into the vinenayard qualified to preach the gospel and men of experience &C. To take measures to provide for emigrants <​who are​> coming to this place and prevent impositions being practised by speculators &c. &c. A List of names of and cities was read <​by the ​>. Voted that the names of persons selected to go out to preach be presented one by one before the conference. The following were then presented and the places of their Labour designated and were accepted unanimou[s]ly
La.
A[braham] O. Smoot Charleston S. C.
Mass
"
Baltimore Md.
.
On motion of seconded by Resolved that the select the individuals to go <​out and preach​> & to the several places design[ated] to be supplied; to expedite the business of <​and present them to​> the conference <​with a view of expediting the business of the conference​> The situation of the poor in the City of was then presented to the conference by and . and a collection taken up for their benefit <​After​> Singing by the choir.— Adjourned for 1 hour and to meet at 2 oclock P.M. [p. [1]]
Met at 2 P.M. When the were was address’d by and on the subject of preaching the gospel and building up of the kingdom of God in theese last days
Joseph Smith (who had been absent in consequence of the death of his during the former part of the Day) being present <​on his arrival​> then addressed the conference on the objects of <​calling​> the a conference at this time and in addition to what had been stated by said that some the should be authorized <​wh​> to assist in managing the affairs of th[e] kingdom in this place. which he said was their duties of their office &c.
Motioned seconded and Carried the that the quorum of the twelve be authorized to act in building the accordance with the instructions given by president Joseph Smith in regulating and superintending the affairs <​of the .​>
Motioned, seconded & carried unanimou[s]ly that every individual who shall hereafter be found trying to influence any emigrants coming b[e]longing to the Church to either buy or sell property of them or to them (except the ) such person shall be immediately tried for fellowship and dealt with as offenders and unless they repent they shall be cut off from the Chu[rc]h
then made some appropriate remarks on speculation &c
Resolved on Motion of President Joseph Smith Res. that the twelve be authorised to make the selection of independent of the conference and present them to the first Pres. him to President Joseph Smith for <​his​> approval
Resolved that this conference be adjourned to the time of the general Conference in Oct next
Closed by singing and prayer by [p. [2]]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Both Smith and Barnes had served as clerks in prior church meetings and committees. (See, for example, Minutes, 28 June 1838; and Far West Committee, Minutes, Jan.–Apr. 1839.)  

    Far West Committee. Minutes, Jan.–Apr. 1839. CHL. MS 2564.

  2. 2

    The version of the minutes published in the Times and Seasons adds the following here: “(who was then absent on account of the death of his child,).” (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:521.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  3. 3

    See Minutes and Discourse, 1–5 Oct. 1841.  

  4. 4

    The version of the minutes published in the Times and Seasons renders the latter half of this sentence as follows: “take measures to assist emigrants who may arrive at the places of gathering, and prevent impositions being practiced upon them by unprincipled speculators.” (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:521.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  5. 5

    At this point, the version of the minutes published in the Times and Seasons presents a substantial addition: “and he hoped that no one could view him and his brethren, as aspiring because they had come forward to take part in the proceedings before them; for he could assure the brethren that nothing could be fa[r]ther from his wishes and that of his Quorum, than to interpose with church affairs at Zion and her stakes, for he had been in the vineyard so long he had become attached to foreign missions, and nothing could induce him to retire therefrom, and attend the affairs of the church at home but a sense of duty, the requirements of heaven, or the revelations of God, to which he would always submit, be the consequence what it might; and the brethren of his Quorum responded Amen.” (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:521, italics in original.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  6. 6

    The state of impoverished individuals residing in and coming to Nauvoo (including the great numbers of poor from England) was discussed frequently by church leaders. For example, in a 1 March 1841 proclamation, Vinson Knight encouraged the Saints to bring their tithes and offerings to the April general conference so that “the poor can eat, and the needy have their wants supplied.” George Miller later wrote of his experiences as a bishop called to aid the poor in Nauvoo during this time: “The poor, the blind, the lame, the widow, and the fatherless all looked to me for their daily wants. . . . I was here thrown into straits unlooked for. No tithing in store, the rich amongst us pretended to be too poor to barely feed themselves and nurse their speculations, which they were all more or less engaged in, and those that were really poor could not help themselves.” (Vinson Knight, “Proclamation,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1841, 2:341; George Miller, St. James, MI, to “Dear Brother,” 26 June 1855, in Northern Islander [St. James, MI], 16 Aug. 1855, [3]–[4]; see also Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 15 Dec. 1840; and Minutes, 7–11 Apr. 1841.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

    Northern Islander. St. James, MI. 1850–1856.

  7. 7

    Though these contemporary minutes suggest that JS and Emma Smith’s infant son, Don Carlos Smith, died “during the former part of the Day” on 16 August, the Times and Seasons obituary states that the baby died a day earlier, on 15 August, at the age of fourteen months and two days. The baby Don Carlos died just a week after the death of JS’s brother of the same name. He was the fifth of JS and Emma’s children, whether biological or adopted, who died in infancy. (Obituary for Don Carlos Smith, Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:533.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  8. 8

    The version of the minutes published in the Times and Seasons renders this paragraph differently. The status of the Quorum of the Twelve as administratively and hierarchically second only to the First Presidency was explicitly clarified in a January 1836 meeting at which JS stated that the Twelve’s authority “is next to the present presidency” and that it is “not subject to any other than the first presidency.” Nevertheless, in that 1836 meeting the Twelve were not given spiritual leadership over the standing high councils of established stake organizations; even at this 16 August 1841 conference, where members of the Twelve were assigned to manage “the affairs of th[e] kingdom in this place,” they did not assume ecclesiastical or spiritual authority over members in Nauvoo ahead of the Nauvoo stake president and high council. (Discourse, 16 Aug. 1841; Minutes, 16 Jan. 1836; for more on the responsibilities and administrative jurisdiction of the Twelve, see Minutes and Discourses, 27 Feb. 1835; and Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:21–24].)  

  9. 9

    The version of the minutes published in the Times and Seasons renders this paragraph as follows: “Motioned seconded and carried that the conference approve of the instructions of President Smith, in relation to the twelve, and that they proceed accordingly, to attend to the duties of their office.” (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:522.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  10. 10

    The version of the minutes published in the Times and Seasons renders the phrase “to either buy or sell property of them or to them (except the agent)” as “to buy of them (except provisions,) or sell to them, (excepting the church agents).” JS and the church were in debt for land purchases in the Nauvoo area and needed emigrants to buy from church agents in order to help retire the debt. (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:522.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  11. 11

    Latter-day Saint migration to Nauvoo and the surrounding area was steadily increasing in 1840 and 1841. Hundreds came from England as a result of the Twelve’s proselytizing efforts.a According to a letter Edward Hunter wrote from Nauvoo in early May 1841, “There have something like 400 brethren arrived here in about a fortnight. Some from England, others from Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Philadelphia, etc.”b Though the Nauvoo high council had determined that lot prices were to range between $200 and $800, some individuals in the community were apparently selling land for higher prices.c With the directives given by JS in this 16 August 1841 conference, the Twelve took on the responsibility of “planting the saints upon the lot of their inheritance” and acting “as agents for the church . . . at Nauvoo, Zarahemla, and Warren, ready to render every assistance in [their] power towards the location of emegrants.”d  

    Northern Islander. St. James, MI. 1850–1856.

    Hunter, Edward. Correspondence, 1725–1965. BYU.

    Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 1839–1845. CHL. LR 3102 22.

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

    (aSee, for example, Historical Introduction to Letter to Vilate Murray Kimball, 2 Mar. 1841; see also George Miller, St. James, MI, to “Dear Brother,” 26 June 1855, in Northern Islander [St. James, MI], 16 Aug. 1855, [3].bEdward Hunter, Nauvoo, IL, to Edward Hunter [Uncle], 6 May 1841, typescript, Edward Hunter Correspondence, BYU.cNauvoo High Council Minutes, 21 Oct. 1839.dBrigham Young et al., Nauvoo, IL, to “the Saints Scattered Abroad among the Nations,” 26 Aug. 1841, in Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:520, 521; see also Historical Introduction to Letter from Calvin A. Warren, 31 Aug. 1841.)
  12. 12

    The version of the minutes published in the Times and Seasons renders this paragraph as follows: “It was moved that the conference accept the doings of the twelve, in designating certain individuals to certain cities &c. When President Joseph Smith, remarked that, the conference had already sanctioned the doings of the twelve, and it belonged to their office to transact such business with the approbation of the first presidency and he would then state what cities should now be built up viz: Nauvoo, Zarahemla, Warren, Nashville, and Ramus.” (“Conference Minutes,” Times and Seasons, 1 Sept. 1841, 2:522.)  

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.