Minutes and Discourse, 4 April 1844

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Thursday April 4th. 1844 9 o clock A.M. Council met pursuant to adjournment Prest. Joseph Smith in the chair
The chairman introduced & to the council.
The minutes of the last meeting was read and accepted after which Prest. J. Smith arose to explain the object of the council to those who had not been previous. He also stated the principles on which the council was organized
They cheerfully conceded to the order whereupon on motion of E[lde]r they were admitted members by the unanimous vote of the council and took their seats in proper order [p. [74]]
On motion, Er read a communication from the Washington Globe on the subject of General Joseph Smiths views of the powers & policy of the government of the
A letter by representative was also read by the chairman
arose to make a few remarks on general subjects. He referred largely to the anticipations of the Ancients respecting the glories of the days in which we live, showing that the Angels had joy in heaven when before the creation they looked down and saw the privileges we enjoy in this organization.
During the time was speaking eleven of the Potawottamie [p. [75]] tribe of Indians attended by a French Interpreter appeared & were admitted into the council. They made known that they were friendly to the Mormon people, and wanted their influence They had been oppressed by the government and did not want to sell them any more land. Prest J. and others told them that we were doing all we could for them and that God would be pleased if they would cease their wars with each other & be at peace
They tarried only a short season and then withdrew evidently well pleased with their interview after which Prest. J. Smith made some remarks on the spread of the principles of eternal [p. [76]] truth in the nations of Indians
motioned to adjourn 2 hours which was over-ruled by prest J. Smith. He was opposed to adjourning more than one hour. He would rather continue together, and wanted to see men take an interest in what they do.
He then again referred to the magnitude and importance of this work, He also referred to a document relating to the , in which she had petitioned Congress to protect her from destruction by foreign marauders.
Er referred to the designs and purposes of God in the last days, of restoring righteous principles for the government of his people, and rejoiced that we have the honor to be called to [p. [77]] the glorious privilege of sharing a part in this work.
Prest. Joseph Smith read from a Congress Document some remarks by Senator [Sidney] Breese in relation to the .
On motion the council adjourned 1 hour
Thursday April 4— 1844 1 o clock P.M. Council met pursuant to adjornmt
The minutes of this mornings meeting were read, after which the chairman enquired whether the committee appointed to draught a constitution be ready to report.
Er said the committee were not yet ready inasmuch as Er was gone away & they had not [p. [78]] done anything since.
also gave some reasons why the committee had not prosecuted their labors.
Er made some remarks on the proposed constitution He was in favor of having a constitution as consice as possible to embrace all that was necessary for our guidance.
The chairman vacated his seat and called Uncle to the chair
Er said he was in favor of forming a document which would cover and meet every case. He wished it broad enough to be benificial yet as concise and limited in substance as possible.
He was followed by Er on [p. [79]] the same subject, who was also in favor of a condensed document, believing that God would write his laws on our hearts &c
Er gave an address on the character of the kingdom of God, its powers, organization &c
explained further in relation to the constitution. He referred to the form of church government in this church. He was followed by Er on the same subject.
Er differed in some respects from some of the preceeding speakers. He explained his views on laws in general (i.e.) the laws of the land. He referred to the apostacy of the children of Israel in choosing a king [p. [80]]
Prest. Joseph Smith arose to give some instructions to the council & especially to the committee. He commenced by showing, that the reason why men always failed to establish important measures was, because in their organization they never could agree to disagree long enough to select the pure gold from the dross by the process of investigation. He said that it was right always to judge in favor of the innocent, and it was wrong always, to judge in favor of the guilty He wanted to see a constitution that would compel a man to execute justice in favor of the innocent.
Er asked how he should reply if he should be questioned at in relation to our designs and future [p. [81]] intentions. Prest. J. Smith explained.
Er asked a question which was answered by the Prest.
Prest. J. Smith also gave the committee some further instructions relative to the course they should pursue.
The offered remarks on the same subject.
Motioned by Er & seconded by Er that the remaining three committee draught the constitution and report tomorrow evening at 5 o clock— carried
The council then adjourned untill tomorrow evening at 5 o clock. [p. [82]]