Minutes, 7 November 1837

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

. Mo. Tuesday Nov 7 1837
At a general assembly of the , assembled at , to take into consideration and transact the business of said Church. was chosen Moderator and Clerk.
After singing, the addressed the throne of grace in prayer, after which Prest. explained the object of the meeting, giving a relation of the recent re-organization of the Church in ; the minutes of said meeting were read by the , who also nominated Joseph Smith jr. the of the whole Church, to preside over the Same. All were requested, (males and females,) to vote—who was unanimously chosen. He then made a few remarks, accepting the appointment requesting the prayers of the Church in his behalf.
President Smith then nominated Pres’t. to be one of his Counsellors—who was unanimously chosen.
He then nominated to be his next councillor who was objected to by Elder in a few remarks refering to a certain letter written to this place by the said Also objected to Elder also objected to [p. 82]
said he seconded nomination and should vote for him; and as to said letter, he had heard it, and saw nothing so criminal in it.
President also made a few remarks in favor.
made further remarks.
also objected to .
Pres’t then nominated Pres’t. to take place. He then called for a vote in favor of who was rejected. He then called for a vote in favor of Pres’t. , which was carried unanimous.
Some few remarks were made by Pres’ts. and .
was then nominated as the first of this of the , and was objected to by . said he should vote for — also Elder .
Elder spake against : also Elder .
Elder spake in favor of . Further remarks from , by request of , who made satisfaction for him. Remarks from Pres’t. Joseph Smith jr. who called for an expression, which was carried by almost a unanimous vote.
Pres’t. Joseph Smith, jr. then nominated for an assistant President, who was objected, to and spake in opposition to him, and read a list of charges from a written document against [p. 83] him, and . Pres’t. then spake a few words by way of confession, and was followed by .
The vote was called and carried unanimously. The meeting adjourned for one hour.
Meeting convened according to adjournment, a hymn was sung and a prayer offered up by the . was nominated for an assistant President, for this , by Pres’t. Joseph Smith jr. He rose and made certain remarks on the subject of the charges refered to above, by way of confession also. when the vote was put by Pres’t. , and passed unanimous.
Elder , , , , , , and , were unanimously chosen , and was objected by John Anderson, who went aside to converse. was unanimously chosen. was nominated and was objected by Elder , because he was too noisy— By because of his military office, and by because he was a merchant— made a few remarks, the vote was called and was unanimous. and were unanimously chosen. John Anderson then took the stand and made his objections to , after which also spake the vote was called and he unanimously chosen.
The were then called viz: , , , , , , , , , , and . [p. 84] and were unanimously chosen.
was then nominated to still act as Bishop, and was unanimously chosen. Who then nominated and for his who were unanimously chosen.
was then unanimously appointed of this of the .
Elder was chosen to be keeper of the Lord’s .
Elder was <​then​> to the office of Patriarch under the hands of Pres’ts. Joseph Smith, jr. and .
The congregation then after a few remarks from , unanimously voted not to support Stores and Shops selling spirituous liquors, Tea, Coffee or Tobacco.
A vote was called on the the subject of the Presidents of the — and those who have been recently appointed to that office, were unanimously received.
The congregation then united with , who, in the closing prayer, called upon the Lord to dedicate this land for the of the Saints, and their .
, Moderator.
Clerk [p. 85]


  1. 1

    See Hebrews 4:16.  

  2. 2

    See Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837.  

  3. 3

    The letter referenced by Lyman Wight and Edward Partridge is not extant.  

  4. 4

    The reasons for objecting to Frederick G. Williams were not specified. In late May 1837, Abel Lamb and others mentioned Williams as one whose conduct had been “injurious to the church of God.” Williams’s sentiments may have been in line with other dissenters in Kirtland during the spring and summer of 1837, though he was sustained as a counselor in the First Presidency at the 3 September meeting. (Letter from Abel Lamb and Others, ca. 28 May 1837; Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837.)  

  5. 5

    The subject of Williams’s standing was again brought before church members in Kirtland at a general assembly on 17 December 1837. Nothing was done at that meeting to “reinstate Frederick G. Williams in the First Presidency.” (George W. Robinson, Kirtland, OH, to Thomas B. Marsh, Far West, MO, 10 Jan. 1838, CHL; Williams, Life of Dr. Frederick G. Williams, 528–531.)  

    Robinson, George W. Letter, Kirtland, OH, to Thomas B. Marsh, Far West, MO, 10 Jan. 1838. CHL.

    Williams, Frederick G. The Life of Dr. Frederick G. Williams: Counselor to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2012.

  6. 6

    The reasons for objecting to David Whitmer were not specified at this time. Thomas B. Marsh later wrote that the “church has had much sorrow . . . on account of the unfaithfulness” of Whitmer and others. (Thomas B. Marsh to Wilford Woodruff, in Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 38.)  

  7. 7

    The word “expression” here may mean “expression in support of.”  

  8. 8

    The document is not extant. While the charges read by Marsh are not specified, they may have been related to allegations of earlier mismanagement of affairs in Far West by John Whitmer and Phelps. Marsh borrowed money from Saints in Tennessee and Kentucky in summer 1836, which was then used by Whitmer and Phelps to purchase land in Caldwell County. Marsh may have personally borrowed the money, and thus been liable for its repayment, or he may have felt a responsibility for the money to be used solely for the benefit of Zion and then repaid to the Kentucky and Tennessee Saints. Although the council ruled that Whitmer and Phelps were to transfer the original town plat and a portion of common land to Bishop Edward Partridge, the two men remained involved with selling land in Far West. (“History of Thomas Baldwin Marsh,” 5 [draft 4], Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; Minute Book 2, 68–73; Historical Introduction to Revelation, 4 Sept. 1837.)  

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

  9. 9

    TEXT: The text from this point forward was written at a later time. Hinkle was a commissioned colonel in the Missouri state militia. (Document Containing the Correspondence, 34, 73–74, 100; Baugh, Call to Arms, 101–102.)  

    Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c., in Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons; and the Evidence Given before the Hon. Austin A. King, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Missouri, at the Court-House in Richmond, in a Criminal Court of Inquiry, Begun November 12, 1838, on the Trial of Joseph Smith, Jr., and Others, for High Treason and Other Crimes against the State. Fayette, MO: Boon’s Lick Democrat, 1841.

    Baugh, Alexander L. “A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1996. Also available as A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, Dissertations in Latter-day Saint History (Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History; BYU Studies, 2000).

  10. 10

    At the 3 September 1837 meeting in Kirtland, the congregation voted to reject Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and John F. Boynton as members of the Quorum of the Twelve. Unlike other men who were removed from their church positions at that meeting, the three members of the Twelve were not replaced on 3 September. A week later, each of the men confessed his errors and was restored to full fellowship in the church as well as his position within the Twelve, as their inclusion in the voting on 7 November suggests. (Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837.)  

  11. 11

    Isaac Morley had served as a counselor to Partridge since June 1831. Titus Billings was voted to replace John Corrill as a “Bishop’s Counsellor” at a general meeting of Missouri church leaders on 1 August 1837. This vote confirmed the Missouri leaders’ earlier decision. Corrill had served as a counselor since June 1831. (Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831; Minute Book 2, 1 Aug. 1837.)  

  12. 12

    Corrill had been nominated by the Missouri presidency and voted to be “an agent to the Church and Keeper of the Lords’ store House” at a Far West high council meeting on 22 May 1837. (Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831; Minute Book 2, 3 June 1831 and 22 May 1837.)  

  13. 13

    Morley was the first ordained patriarch for the church in Missouri and the second ordained patriarch in the church. Joseph Smith Sr. continued to serve in his role as church patriarch in Kirtland at this time.  

  14. 14

    TEXT: The text from this point forward was written at a still later time.  

  15. 15

    Strict adherence to the church’s dietary code known as the “Word of Wisdom” was not universally practiced at this time. In undated minutes, possibly circa May 1837, the Far West high council had resolved to withdraw fellowship from “any ordained member who will or does not observe the word of Wisdom according to its litteral reading.” In June 1837 the high council resolved not to uphold any man associated with the business of selling alcohol in Far West, but it did not limit personal use. Failure to observe the Word of Wisdom was one of the charges brought against David Whitmer when he was tried and excommunicated in 1838. (Historical Introduction to Revelation, 27 Feb. 1833; Minute Book 2, p. 71, underlining in original; 11 June 1837; 13 Apr. 1838; JS History, vol. B-1, 761–762; Synopsis of David Whitmer Trial, 13 Apr. 1838.)  

  16. 16

    For more on the reorganization of the presidents of the Quorum of the Seventy, see Historical Introduction to Discourse, 6 Apr. 1837; and Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837.  

  17. 17

    For more on discussions of the gathering of the Saints to Missouri, see Historical Introduction to Minutes, 6 Nov. 1837; and Historical Introduction to Minutes, 10 Nov. 1837.