Minutes, 28 April 1838, as Reported by Ebenezer Robinson

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

The of met in April 28th 1838 agreeable to adjournment.
and Presiding
The Council was organizid as followss;
no 1 no. 2
" 2 3 Zecheriah Wilson " 4
" 5 Joseph Smith jr " 6
" 7 " 8
" 9 " 10
" 11 " 12
After which it was voted that Joseph Smith jr and act in the places of no 9 & 10.
The Council was opened by in prayer by
An appealed case was presented pending between Jackson and , when the minutes of an ’s meeting was read by in which the above case had been tried, also the charges and the appeal. The several charges were read when the accused confessed the 1st, 2nd 3rd 4th the 5th he denied also the 6th, 7th 8th, 9th, 10th & 11th.
The Case was considered difficult, therefore, 4 were to speak on it viz; and on the part of the and and Joseph Smith jr on the part of the defendant.
The Council adjourned for one hour.
Council met agreeable to adjournment. [p. 137]
Opened in singing “This Earth was once a garden place” &c and prayer by .
was appointed to fill the seat of No. 2 pro. tempore.
Voted by the that the proceedings of the ’s Conference held to investigate the case of J. Lemons [John Lemon] & S. Wixom are null and void, as they keept no regular minutes or records of them.
Br. Best testifies that he heard prophecy at Br Wheeler’s that some one would be heard to mourn, after that told him that he had a wife selected and she was in the house, they were then at Br Curtis’, and she was and requested him to tell her that her husband was dead, also, told him, the Lord had shown her to him for his wife, also heard say that if she broke her covenant she would be miserable, because he had seen her future state, also, when he told what requested him, she cried and said she hoped the Lord would be merciful to her in her afflictions
At another time, he heard say that told her the Lord had revealed to him that she was to be his wife and she believed that she had a testimony that he told the truth. had been absent from her husband about five months, but he returned soon after, which was some time in November last. Also, was knowing to walking to and from meetings with her, both in night and day time, as she lived at his house.
— testifies that had some conversation with him respecting getting a wife, saying he was going to have a wife and that by revelation, because the Lord was going to let him have a wife with whom he could live in peace &c.
At another time told him that he enquired of the Lord respecting a companion, when was presented before him, when he said to the Lord “She is pregnant by another man”, when the Lord replied “wait my time & [p. 138] it will all come right” generally took the lead of meetings in that .
testifies that, told him he had a revelation and it was of God, he should be married in a few days, but seemed to almost doubt of its truth, but soon after he enquired of the Lord to know whether it was of God or not, when the reply was, “I know all things”, therefore Concluded it was of God, also that was a man of great influence in the , and when he spoke in the name of the Lord, the brethren had great confidence in it &c
concurs in the testimony previously given, also he heard say she was afraid of the curses of God falling upon her, therefore she consented to have but was soon sorry for it also after said her husband was dead she was considerably troubled about it and frequently requested the Church to pray for her husband that he might return &c. but after some time she expressed her fears that he was dead & was inclined to think she had a testimony to that effect, also told him Br. Best had given him liberty to come to his house to see .
Br Jackson testifies that his was not pregnant when he returned. <​See ’s letter on Pages 157 and 158 & 159​>
Br Benjamin testifies that, Calvin Reed, a boy about 15 years of age, said he had a revelation or vision, in which he saw Br Jackson dead or preaching to the spirits in prison &c.
After some lengthy remarks by the Councellors, and very good instruction given by Councellor Smith, the made confession to the satisfaction of the Council, When it was decided that be retained in the Church, but his be taken from him, as it is not considered that <​he​> is not qualified to hold an office in this Church [p. 139]
The Council concured with the foregoing decision.
The Council adjourned untill two weeks from today. Closed in prayer by .
Clerk [p. 140]

Editorial Note
When copied the minutes of the council meeting, he did not initially include the written testimony of . After copying minutes of further meetings, he found Jackson’s letter and copied it under an explanatory heading: “The following letter of Sarah Jackson should have been inserted on Page 139, in the minutes of a Council, on the 28 of April 1838, but was not in consequence of its being mislaid and did not come to hand until the recording had been done thus far. (See Page 139.)” Stout copied the letter on pages 157–159 of Minute Book 2. The copy of the letter is appended here.

“It came to pass in the year of our Lord 1837, That I having lately came into this work, my husband sent me to this country some time months previous to his coming. I was here some time and he did not come.
I, believing to be a man of God, asked him to inquire of the Lord concerning my husband and what had was the cause of his not coming.
Some time after that, he held a prayer meeting [p. 157]
at Br Wheelers, here he prophecied that and said some one now in the room shall be led to mourn before three weeks unless there was a speedy repentance, & who it was he did not know. So on returning from meeting, he told me, that he had inquired of the Lord, and that my husband was dead and preaching to the spirits in prison, and that I was the one that should be led to mourn.
The next morning, he passed by where I was and began to tell of his restlessness and that the Lord had appointed him a wife, by revelation, and he knew her name, and if he did not have her in less than six months he would never prophesy in the name of Jesus again.
At another time, he told me that he would tell me the whole of his mind, saying that when he inquired of the Lord, that the Lord told him that my husband was dead and preaching to the spirits in prison, and that I was presented before him, and that the Lord told him that I was to be his wife. “Lord is it so?” “Yes for I know all things.” He said he went again to inquire of the Lord and I was presented before him again
“Why Lord she won’t have me” “Yes she will” said the Lord, and if she don’t I’ll place another in her stead that shall be more beautiful to the eye than she is.
He told me that if I refused this I should be forever miserable, for he had a complete view of my future state and he would write it down, for he knew just how it would be. Said he you are young and I am old I am afraid some one will try to persuade you off.
Moreover if this is not all true I will [p. 158]
deny that there is a God in Heaven. I said I doubt it. He then accused me of unbelief saying when a man of truth told me any thing I was hard to believe when it is of God.
Furthermore he said he was then in the same spirit that he was when he cursed that man and he died, and when he saw the death of his wife, and that he had proved it by living testimony and why should you not as well believe me now as to believe that, for I would not tell you any thing to injure you, for them that are to this high authority are ordained of God and you have as much right to believe me as to believe Paul; yes and more a better right for it is not handed down so far.
He said Br Joseph told him to be cautious who he cursed in the name of the Lord, for who he cursed was cursed, and who he blessed was blessed.
And at another time he told me the Lord had told him, that I did not care as much for him as he thought I did and that I need not try to hide any thing from him, for the Lord would reveal it to him.
And he led me to believe that the vengeance of God was about to be poured speedily upon me if I did not agree to his evil designs.
This is I sent send to the honorable of as testimony against as being true testimony.
Given under my hand, this 27th day of April 1838.”
[5 lines blank] [p. 159]


  1. 1

    Marsh was the president pro tempore of the church in Zion, with David W. Patten and Brigham Young as assistant presidents. Young may have not attended the meeting because JS had recently dictated a revelation directing Young to go to his property at Mill Creek, where his family was residing, and to provide for them. (Minutes, 6 Apr. 1838; Revelation, 17 Apr. 1838.)  

  2. 2

    When cases were brought before the council, the counselors were numbered, and one or more odd-numbered counselors represented the plaintiff, with the same number of even-numbered counselors representing the defendant. For each odd-numbered counselor representing the plaintiff, the even-numbered counselor just higher in number represented the defendant. The responsibilities for representing the two parties seem to have rotated through the council. In the council meeting of 28 April, it was the duty of counselors 9 and 10—George M. Hinkle and George W. Harris—to represent the plaintiff and defendant. (See Minute Book 2, 10 Mar.–29 June 1838.)  

  3. 3

    This popular hymn, composed by William W. Phelps, is about Adam-ondi-Ahman. (Hymn 23, Collection of Sacred Hymns, 29–30.)  

  4. 4

    The appeal of the case involving Lemons and Wixom was presented to the Zion high council on 10 March but was rescheduled for the 28 April council meeting. (Minute Book 2, 10 Mar. 1838.)  

  5. 5

    Probably John Wheeler, who owned land in the area. (Hamer, Northeast of Eden, 59, 93.)  

    Hamer, John. Northeast of Eden: A Historical Atlas of Missouri’s Mormon County. [Mirabile, MO]: Far West Cultural Center, 2004.

  6. 6

    Aaron Lyon’s wife, Roxana Palmer Lyon, died in August 1836, leaving Aaron with “a family of children.” (Obituary for Roxana Palmer Lyon, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Jan. 1837, 3:447–448.)  

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

  7. 7

    Guymon was the owner of the local horse-powered mill. (Foote, Autobiography, 15 Sept. 1838, 29.)  

    Foote, Warren. Autobiography, not before 1903. Warren Foote, Papers, 1837–1941. CHL. MS 1123, fd. 1.

  8. 8

    TEXT: This insertion is enclosed in an inscribed rectangle. When Stout copied Sarah Jackson’s testimony into Minute Book 2, he copied the testimony out of place and then noted that it “should have been inserted on Page 139.” Her testimony is reproduced at the end of the minutes.  

  9. 9

    Possibly Nahum or Timothy Benjamin, both of whom lived near Guymon’s mill. Nahum Benjamin owned land near Barnard. (Hamer, Northeast of Eden, 59, 81.)  

    Hamer, John. Northeast of Eden: A Historical Atlas of Missouri’s Mormon County. [Mirabile, MO]: Far West Cultural Center, 2004.

  10. 10

    Calvin Reed was Nahum Benjamin’s nephew. Calvin’s father, Tillison Reed, was the brother of Nahum Benjamin’s wife, Judith Reed Benjamin. (Merrill, History of Acworth, 259.)  

    Merrill, J. L., ed. History of Acworth, with the Proceedings of the Centennial Anniversary, Genealogical Records, and Register of Farms. Acworth, NH: Town of Acworth, 1869.

  11. 11

    The New Testament states that between the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, he “preached unto the spirits in prison.” In 1832, JS and Rigdon affirmed this doctrine in their account of a vision of the postmortal kingdoms of heavenly glory. In the mid-1830s, this doctrine developed to include the idea of faithful men joining in this divine enterprise by preaching to “the spirits in prison” after they died. In her written testimony, Sarah Jackson recounted that Lyon told her that her husband was “preaching to the spirits in prison.” Though it is unclear whether Reed related his own vision or a vision Lyon claimed he received, if Sarah Jackson had heard Reed recount a vision of his own in which her husband was dead and preaching to postmortal spirits, it may have helped her accept Lyon’s claim that he had received a revelation to that effect. (1 Peter 3:18–20; Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:73]; Patriarchal Blessing for Lorenzo Snow, 15 Dec. 1836, Lorenzo Snow, Papers, CHL; Woodruff, Journal, 3 Jan. 1837.)  

    Snow, Lorenzo. Papers, ca. 1836–1896. CHL.

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  12. 12

    Minute Book 2, 28 Apr. 1838, p. 157.  

  13. 13

    Lyon was fifty-five or fifty-six. (See Obituary for Aaron Lyon, Times and Seasons, Apr. 1840, 1:95.)  

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