Minutes, 22–23 January 1833

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

January 2th 22d 1833
of convened at <​in​> the coucel [council] room high pr[i]ests p[r]esent Joseph Smith Jun cheif scribe and high counceler assistant scribe and counceler [p. 6] ; , ——
opened with prayer by the President, after prayer the President spake in an unknown Tongue he was followed by Br and he by Bro after this the gift was poured out in a miraculous manner until all the Elders obtained the gift together with several of the members of the both male & female Great and glorious were the divine manifestation of the Holy Spirit, Praises were sang to God & the Lamb besides much speaking & praying all in tongues. The conference adjourned at a late hour in the night to meet next morning at 9 oclock closed by with prayer by the President
Wednesday Janry 23d Meet agreeable to adjournment. Conference opened with Prayer by the President and after much speaking praying and singing, all done in Tongues proceded to in the name of the Lord as commanded by of God each one washing his own after which the president guirded himself with a towel and again washed the feet of all the Elders wiping them with the towel, his presenting himself the President asked of him a blessing before he would wash his feet which he obtained by the , pronouncing upon his head that he should continue in his Priests office untill Christ come——
at the close of which scene Br being moved upon by the Holy Ghost washed the feet of the President as a token of his [p. 7] fixed determination to be with him in suff[er]ing or in rejoicing, in life or in death and to be continually on his right hand in which thing he was accepted, The President said after he had of the , as I have done so do ye wash ye therefee [therefore] one anothers feet pronouncing at the same time through the power of the Holy Ghost that the Elders were all clean from the blood of this generation but that those who among them who should sin wilfully after they were thus cleansed and up unto eternal life should be given over unto the buffettings of Satan until the day of redemption Having continued all day in fasting & prayer before the Lord at the close they partook of the which was blessed by the president in the name of the Lord all eat and drank and were filled then sang an hymn and went out—
Clk— [p. 8]


  1. new scribe logo

    Frederick G. Williams handwriting begins.  

  2. new scribe logo

    Frederick G. Williams handwriting ends; Sidney Rigdon begins.  

  3. 1

    Brigham Young, who did not attend this conference, later explained that the room where the school of the prophets met was “a small room over Joseph Smith’s kitchen” in Newel K. Whitney’s white store. The room was approximately eleven feet by fourteen feet. In this room, Young declared, “the prophet received revelations” and “instructed his brethren.” (Brigham Young, Discourse, 8 Feb. 1868, in George D. Watt, Discourse Shorthand Notes, 8 Feb. 1868, George D. Watt, Papers, as transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, copy in editors’ possession; Brigham Young, in Journal of Discourses, 8 Feb. 1868, 12:158.)  

    Pitman Shorthand Transcriptions, 1998–2013. CHL.

    Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1855–1886.

  4. 2

    This designation of Rigdon as “cheif scribe and high counceler” and Williams as “assistant scribe and counceler” may have reflected a hierarchy in their counselorship and scribal positions. When JS called Rigdon and Jesse Gause (whom Williams replaced) as counselors, he referred to them only as “my councillers” without any hierarchical designation. JS may have instituted a graduated structure after calling Williams to replace Gause as counselor. Williams apparently accepted this designation, because he referred to himself as “assistent scribe and counceller” in revelations he copied into Revelation Book 2 around this same time. (Note, 8 Mar. 1832; Revelation, 6 Dec. 1832 [D&C 86]; Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:1–126].)  

  5. new scribe logo

    Sidney Rigdon handwriting ends; Frederick G. Williams begins.  

  6. 3

    Of the twelve high priests listed here, ten were present when JS dictated the 27–28 December 1832 revelation directing that the school of the prophets be established. Only Coltrin and Johnson were not in attendance. (Minutes, 27–28 Dec. 1832.)  

  7. 4

    Coltrin’s journal entry for this meeting states that “much useful instruction was obtaind by the gift and power of the holy spirit and also the gift of tongues and the interpretation thereof.” (Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833.)  

    Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary and Notebook, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL. MS 1443, fd. 2.

  8. 5

    John 13 recounts that when Christ first attempted to wash Peter’s feet, Peter objected. After Christ told Peter, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me,” Peter responded, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus then replied, “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” As part of his Bible revision, JS changed that answer sometime in February or March 1832 to read, “He that has washed his hands and his head needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” (John 13:6–10; New Testament Revision 2, p. 117 [second numbering] [Joseph Smith Translation, John 13:10].)  

  9. 6

    The 27–28 December 1832 revelation instructed the “first labourers, in this last kingdom” to “purify your, hearts, and clean your hands, and your feet, before me, that I may make you clean, that I may testify unto your father, and your God, and my God, that you, are clean, from the blood of this, wicked generation.” (Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:74].)  

  10. 7

    It is unclear why Joseph Smith Sr. used this specific language or what it meant. Perhaps it referred to JS’s role as a high priest or his role as president of the high priesthood. (See Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831; see also “History of Orson Pratt,” 11, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL; and Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832.)  

    Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.

  11. 8

    See John 13:14.  

  12. 9

    Coltrin stated that JS made this pronouncement after washing each individual’s feet. (Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833.)  

    Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary and Notebook, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL. MS 1443, fd. 2.

  13. 10

    At an October 1831 conference in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, JS stated that “the order of the High priesthood is that they have power given them to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.” Those so sealed were, according to Rigdon, those who had “give[n] up all for Christ’s sake.” A November 1831 revelation reiterated this, instructing Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and William E. McLellin that “of as many as the Father shall bear record to you it shall be given to seal them up unto Eternal life.” (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:12].)  

  14. 11

    See Matthew 26:30; and Mark 14:26. Coltrin added that “the meeting was dismissed by uplifted hand to the most high in token of the everlasting covenants in which covenant we received each other into fellowship in a determination to share in each others burdens whether in prosperity or adversity.” According to a 3 January 1833 revelation, when entering the School of the Prophets, participants were to lift their hands to heaven and recite: “Art thou a brother, or brethren, I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in tocen [token] of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant, I receive you to fellowship, in a determination, that is fixed immovable, and unchangable, to be your friend and brother, through the grace of God, in the bonds of Love, to walk in all the commandments, of God, blameless, in thanksgiving for ever, and ever; Amen.” (Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833; Revelation, 3 Jan. 1833 [D&C 88:132–133].)  

    Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary and Notebook, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL. MS 1443, fd. 2.