Record of the Twelve, 14 February–28 August 1835

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

R. T.
A record of the transactions of the of the from the time of their call to the which was on the 14th. Day of Feby. AD 1835.
A record of the transactions of the twelve Apostles of the church of christ of latter day saints from the time of their call to the apostleship which was on the 14th. Day of February AD 1835.
14 February 1835 • Saturday
On the 14th. Day of February AD 1835, a or general meeting was called in Ohio by the of the in order to consult measures relative to the welfare thereof. The Three special witnesses of the Book of Mormon being present, that part of the revelation given in N.Y. June 1829 relative to the chooseing of , was taken into consideration, and it was ascertained that the time had come when they should be chosen: consequently They proceeded by the spirit of prophecy and revelation to choose and set apart from among all the of the church the following persons to fill that high and responsible station: (Viz)
These were under the hands of the Three Witnesses and great blessings were pronounced upon the head of each one by the spirit of prophecy and to be obtained through faithfulness.
27 February 1835 • Friday
February 27th. of the same year the met in by request of President J. Smith Jun. After the was opened by prayer, he arose and made the following observations, (Viz) “I have something to lay before this council, an item which they will find to be of great importance to them. I have for myself learned— a fact by experience which on reflection gives me deep sorrow. It is a truth that if I now had in my possession every decision which has been given had upon important items of doctrine and duties since the rise of this , they would be of incalculable worth to the saints, but we have neglected to keep records [p. 1] of such things, thinking that prehaps that they would never benefit us afterwards, wh[i]ch had we now, would decide almost any point that might be agitated; and now we cannot bear record to the church nor unto the world of the great and glorious manifestations that have been made to us with that degree of power and authority wh[i]ch we otherwise could if we had those decisions to publish abroad.
Since the twelve are now chosen, I wish to tell them a course which they may pursue and be benefitted hereafter in a point of light of which they, prehaps, are not now aware. At all times when you assemble in the capacity of a council to transact business let the oldest of your number preside, and let one or more be appointed to keep a record of your proceedings and on the decision of every important item, be it what it may, let such decision be noted down, and they will ever after remain upon record as , covenant and doctrine. Any Questions thus decided might at the time appear unimportant, but should they be recorded and one of you lay hands upon them afterward you might find them of infinite worth not only to your brethren but a feast als[o] to your own souls.
Should you assemble from time to time and proceed to discuss important questions and pass decisions upon them and omit to record such decisions, by and by, you will be driven to straits from which you will not be able to extricate yourselves— not being in a sufficient situation to bring your faith to bare with sufficient perfection or power to obtain the desired information. Now in consequence of a neglect to write these things when God reveals them, not esteeming them of sufficient worth the spirit may withdraw and God may be angry, and here is a fountain of intelligence or knowledge of infinite importance which is lost. What was the cause of this? The answer is slothfulness [p. 2] or a neglect to appoint a man to occupy a few moments in writing. Here let me prophecy the time will come when if you neglect to do this, you will fall by the hands of unrighteous men. Were you to be brought before the authorities and accused of any crime or misdemeanor and be as innocent as the angels of God unless you can prove that you were somewhere else, your enemies will prevail against you: but if you can bring twelve men to testify that you were in some other place at that time you will escape their hands. Now if you will be careful to keep minutes of these things as I have said, it will be one of the most important and interesting records ever seen. I have now laid these things before you for your consideration and you are left to act according to your own judgments.”
The then expressed their approbation of the foregoing remarks and proceeded to nominate and appoint and to serve as clerks for the ‘twelve’.
The following question was then proposed by president J Smith Jun. (viz) What importance is attached to the callings of these differrent from the other callings and offices of the . After some discussion by Elders , , and , the following decision was given by President Smith, the Prophet of God.
“They are the twelve apostles who are called to a travelling to preside over all the churches of the saints among the gentiles where there is no presidency established. They are to travel and preach among the until the Lord shall shall them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the of this ministry— to unlock the door of the kingdom of heaven unto all nations and preach the Gospel unto every creature. This is the virtue power and authority of their — Amen. It is all important that the twelve should understand the power and authority of [p. 3] the , for without this knowledge they can do nothing to profit. In the first place God manifested himself to me and gave me authority to establish his , and you have receivd your authority from God through me; and now it is your duty to go and unlock the kingdom of heaven to foreign nations, for no man can do that thing but yourselves. Neither has any man authority or a right to go to other nations before you; and you, , stand in the same relation to those nations that I stand in to you, that is, as a minister; and you have each the same authority in other nations that I have in this nation.[”] The was closed by .
} Clerk
12 March 1835 • Thursday
Evening of March 12th the assembled and the was opened by president J. Smith Jun. and he proposed that we take our first mission through the eastern States to the Atlantic Ocean and hold in the vicinity of the several of the for the purpose of regulateing all things necessary for their welfare. It was proposed that the twelve should leave on the 4th. May which was unanimously agreed to. It was then proposed that during their present mission, Elder should open a door to the who dwelt among the which was carrid. It was motioned and voted that the twelve should hold their first conference in , May 2nd.. In N. York May 9th. In N.Y. May 22, Lyonstown N.Y. June 5. On Pillow [Pillar] point June 19. In West Loboro’. [Loughborough] U.C. [Upper Canada] June 29, In [St.] Johnsbury Vt. July 17. In Bradford Mass. Augt. 7. Dover N.H. Sept 4th. Me Sept 18th. Farmington, Me. Oct. 2nd.
[p. 4]
26 April 1835 • Sunday
April 26, 1835
This day, pursuant to previous appointment, the and the (a part of whom had already been chosen,) assembled in the (altho’ unfinished.) with a numerous concourse of people in order to receive our charge and instructions from President Joseph Smith Jun relative to our mission and duties. The congregation being assembled, arrived from the south part of the , makeing our number complete, Elder haveing arrived the day before.—
28 April 1835 • Tuesday
April 28.—
The met this afternoon at the for the purpose of prayer and consultation. opened the meeting by prayer. Motioned and carried that when any of the wishes to speak he shall arise and stand upon his feet. then read the commandment given concerning the chooseing of the twelve before the council. Motioned and carried, that we each forgive one another every wrong that has existed among us; and that from hence forth each one of the twelve love his brother as himself in temporal as well as in spiritual things; always enquiring into each others welfare.
Decided that the Twelve be ready an<​d​> start on their mission from ’s tavern on Monday at 2 o’clock A.M. May 4th. Elder then closed by prayer
) Clerks
2 May 1835 • Saturday
May 2nd. A grand was held in this place this day, composed of the following officers of the (viz) Joseph Smith Jun. , , , , and , with their council of twelve men— The travelling or (Viz) , , [p. 5] , , , , , and .—
and his and , from Zion Mo. Also Bishop and his counsellors and , and also, some of the with their (Viz) , , , , , and . ( was absent.)
These authorities were present together with a great many other of the church from different parts. In the midst of this grand assemblage, President J Smith Jun arose and made many remarks, among which were the following. “It will be the duty of the twelve when in council to take their seats together according to their ages. The oldest to be seated as the head, and preside in the first council, the next oldest in the second; and so on until the youngest has presided.”
The twelve Apostles have no right to go into Zion or any of its where there is a regular established, to regulate any mattrs pertaining thereto: But it is their duty to go abroad and regulate and set in order all matters relative to the different of the .’
When the twelve are all together or a of them in any church, they have authority to act independently of the church and form decisions and those decisions will be valid; but where there is not a quorum of them together, they must transact business by the common consent of the church.
No standing hig[h] council has authority to go into the churches abroad and regulate the matters thereof, for this belongs to the Twelve. [p. 6]
No standing high council will ever be established except in Zion or one of its stakes.
When the Twelve pass a decision, it is in the name of the church, therefore, it is valid.
No of the church has authority to go into any branch thereof and any minister for the church unless it is by the voice of that branch. No elder has authority to go into any branch of the church and appoint meetings or attempt to regulate the affairs of the church without the advice and consent of the presideing Elder of that branch.
If the first seventy are all employed and there is a call for more labourers in the vineyard it will be the the duty of the seven presidents of the first seventy to call and ordain other seventy and send them forth to labour until, if need be, they set apart seven times seventy, and even until there are one hundred and forty & four Thousand thus set apart to the ministry. The seventy are not to attend the conferences of the Twelve, unless they are called upon or requested so to do by the twelve.
The twelve and the seventy have particula[r]ly to depend upon their ministry for their support and that of their families, and they have a right by virtue of their offices to call upon the churches to assist them.
Resolved in this grand council; That we never give up the struggle for until it is redeemed altho’. we should die in the contest. The vote was unanimous of all that were in the house.
} Clerk [p. 7]
4–9 May 1835 • Monday–Saturday
May 4th 1835. left this morning and embarked on board the Steamer Sanduskey, at , bound for Dunkirk N.Y. where we landed the same day at 5 o’clock P.M. We preached in those regions for a short time and then met in pursuant to previous appointment where we held a May 9th. in order to transact such business as should be found necessary. This met with the , Elder , being the oldest man in the council, took the chair, the meeting was opened by a solem appeal to Heaven that his blessings might be shed forth upon us.
The following items were suggested for the consideration of the council
1st Resolved that the limits of this conference extend south and west to the line of , North as far as Lake Erie and East as far as , embraceing the branches of , Perrysburgh and , to be called the
2nd To inquire into the standing of all the within the bounds of this conference
3rd To inquire into the manner of their teaching, dilligence and faithfulness in the cause of truth and whether any teach false and <​or​> erroneous doctrine.
4th. To inquire into the conduct, teaching and faithfulness of all the travelling Elders who have recently travelled through the bounds of this conf.
5th. To call upon the Elders, present to represent the several branches of the church over which they preside.
Upon inquirey all the Elders present were found to be in good standing. Their manner of teaching met the approbation of the council, except that of Elder Joseph Rose who was found to have taught [p. 8] some things contrary to the faith of the church, such for instance, “The Jewish church was the Sun and the church was the Moon &c. When the Jewish church was scattered, the sun was darkened, and when the Gentile church is cut off, the moon will be turned to blood and also some things relative to the Apocalyptic Beast, with seven heads and ten horns— and such like. He was shown his error and willingly made an humble confession. The faithfulness of all the travelling Elders was found to be good. The church at was represented by Elders Geo. Babcock & James Burnham (the presideing Elder, being absent on a journey) and was fou[n]d to be in good standing and fellowship with the exception of a difficulty resting in the minds of some of the church relative to the validity of the baptism of brother , in asmuch as he was baptized by Eldr Noah Hubbard, a travelling Elder, without the church being called together to know if they would receive him to fellowship, after much explanation had been given by the council on the nature and principles of church government it was decided that, if there was fault, it was in the administrator and not in the candidate. The number of disciples in this branch was Seventy Five in good faith and fellowship. The branch at was represented by Elder Edmond Fisher -[one of the]- The number of disciples being Twenty in good standing but rather low in spirit in consequence of a neglect to keep the “word of Wisdom”.
After some farther instructions by the council on general principles, the conference adjourned until 8 o’clock A.M. Monday May 11. [p. 9]
10–11 May 1835 • Sunday–Monday
Sunday May 10, about Five Hundred people attended preaching. There was tolerably good attention by most of the congregation while & addressed them in the fore and afternoon. They also broke bread bread in the afternoon to the saints. Five persons came forward desireing , after haveing expressed their belief in our testimony. They were received to baptism by the which was administered by Elder and was attended to in the evening.
Monday morning met pursuant to adjournment and proceeded to business.
Resolved Unanimously, that this Conference go to immediately and appoint their “wise menand gather up their riches and send them to purchase lands according to previous that all things be prepared before them in order to their . Much was said to the conference upon these important things, and they covenanted before the Lord that they would be strict to attend to our teachings. Conference was then dismissed and publick preching commenced at 3 o’clock by Eld— and closed by the farewell exhortation of the Twelve after which seven came forward professing faith and repentance and were received by the church for Baptism which was administered by Elder and confirmed in the evening by . Also laid hands upon many that were sick and infirm and they obtaind relief— Adjourned until the 22nd Inst. to meet in N. York—
} Clerk [p. 10]
22–23 May 1835 • Friday–Saturday
, N. York, May 22, 1835.
This morning agreeably to appointment, a met in this place, The or travelling being present, after an agreeable salutation and rejoiceing in each other’s prosperity, being chairman conference was opened by singing and prayer by the .
Resolved that the limits of this conference extend from in the west so far East as to include , South to and North to Lake Ontario to be called the
includeing the of , , Portage, Grove, Burns, and , Java, Holland Aurora Green-Wood and Niagara.
An inquiry was made of the Elders present relative to their labours and teachings since their call to the ministry and also the inquiry was extended to <​concerning​> all those who lived in the bounds of this Conference. They were found to be in good standing and generally striveing to be faithful in their callings. No travelling Elders were represented to have recently passed through these regions whose conduct, faithfulness or teachings were not good. The presideing Elder, represented the branch in this place to be 65 in number in good fellowship. represented the branch in to be 28 in number & altho young, yet strong in the faith. represented the branch in Portage to be in fellowship but do not generally obey the “word of Wisdom.” He also represented the chu[r]ch in Grove to Have remained the same as when last represented, also the church in Burns to be 30 in good standing and Java not represented. Holland branch represented by Elder to be 15 in number who [p. 11] had suffered much from false teaching by hypocrites and knaves. Aurora also to be 4 in number. Green-wood not represented. Niagara by Elder Jacobs to be 4 in number also a few brethren liveing in and round about were represented by Eldr as wanting instruction. The representation of the churches closed about 3 o’clock P.M. and the council then proceeded to give some general and particular instructions relative to the “Word of Wisdom”, the gift of tongues and interpretation, prophecyings, and of a propper use of all the spiritual gifts &c. after these remarks conference adjourned until tomorrow morning—
May 23rd. Conference met according to adjournment in order to take into consideration the meanes necessary for the . opened the meeting by prayr— and five of the counsellors addressed the conference on the nature and propriety of the and the meanes necessary thereto. Much instruction was given upon these all important subjects while the spirit of God rested down and bore testimony to their utility. After which the expressed their determination to put into practice the teachings we had given them.
They were then dismissed with a blessing from the Presidents— Amen
25 May 1835 • Monday
May 25th.
The met this morning in order to do some business and to pray for one another to be preserved until we meet again at our succeeding . presiding opened by calling upon the Lord.* <​*The traveling or twelve Apostles never proceed to do any business without first calling upon the Lord. In future therefore this will not be recorded​>
1st Resolved, that we recommend and council Elders and to go to the churches at Shenang-point [Chenango Point] N. York and Springville Penn. (among whom we understand there is some difficulty,) and set in order the things that are wanting in those . [p. 12]
2nd. Resolved, that Elder go immediately from this place to an adjacent and open the dool [door] of salvation to that long dejected and afflicted people. The council according to his request, upon him that he might have their faith and prayrs to fill (with humility and power) that very important mission. They also laid hands on Elders and A[mos] Orton for the same purpose, in as much as they expected to accompany him.
5 June 1835 • Friday
Rose or Lyonstown N.Y. June 5, 1835.
Met this day in , three of the being absent (Viz) , and . Conference being being opened, no business of importance was presented, there being but few disciples in these regions, Resolved therefor, that it is not necessary to establish a conference here. After some remarks to those present, the conference adJourned, and after a number of sermons were preached in these regions, Elders and , who arrived just in time, returned to Ohio as Witnesses on a certain case wherein Joseph Smith Jun was concerned, before the county courts, in which he rightiously triumphed over his enemies.
19–22 June 1835 • Friday–Monday
Pillow-Point [Pillar Point] N.Y. June 19, 1835.
According to previous appointment, nine of the met with the church in . Chairman.
Resolved, that the limits of this conference embrace all the northeastern part of this to be called the “Black River Conference.” Upon inquiry it was found that the Elders in the bounds of this conf. had generally been delligent in their callings and ministry. Their manner of teaching, in some respects, needed correction and they willingly received our teaching and instruction. [p. 13] Elder Thomas Dutcher represented the church in this place to be 21 in fellowship, but do not generally observe the “Words of Wisdom.” Elder Calvin B Childs representd the church in Sackets Harbour to be 19 in number. The branch at Burbille was represented by Elder Ducher to be 7 in number, also 6 in the Town of Champion all in good standing. The branch in Ellisburgh was represented by Elder to be 33 in number also 4 in Henderson. Elder Ira Patten represented 4 in Alexandria and 4 in the Town of Lyme, also 2 in Orleans, as being very anxious to have Elders call on them and add to their numbers. Elder Fuller represented 6 in and Three in The opinion of all the travelling Elders was that a great field for faithful labourers was open in this region.
Five of the Counsellors then proceeded to give the conference such information upon church government, the natur of the spiritual gifts, and the exercise of them in Wisdom, upon the “Word of Wisdom” and also upon the propriety of chooseing wise men and sending them with their moneys to purchase lands in Zion and in the regions round about, so that they might not in confusion but have all things prepard before them. The conference unanimously acquiesced in the teachings of the counsellors & resolved to put them in practice as fast as practicable. Adjourned until the Then met and the case John Elmer was presented as holding very incorrect principles, such for instance, that the spirit of God some times took him and threw him down and that he could die the death of the righteous and of the wicked in order to show his power with God. He also stated that he had passed through a kind of death so as to become immortal & should exist forever without any other death or [p. 14] change only grow brighter and brighter eternally. He persisted in these things and would not receive the teachings of the council, nor give heed to the faith of the , therefore the conference lifted their hands against him. Conference closed and after public meeting and breaking bread among the saints, the next day 5 persons were & ad[d]ed to the church. Public meeting closed on Monday forenoon after haveing a good season and much liberty in teaching.——
29 June 1835 • Monday
Our next was held in West Lo[ugh]borough Upper Canada June Six of the counsellors were were absent (viz) , , and .—
presided in council, The business of necessity was done by common consent of the a majority of the not being present.
Twenty Five members compose the church in this place, We found them uninformeed in the principles of the , not haveing had an opportunity for instruction, being under another government and aside from the general course of the travelling : But we endeavored to instruct them faithfully in the knowledge of God. Bros. Henry & Jacob Wood who had been suspended for some time, were privilegeed with a re-hearing, it was decided, however, that they should loose their standing in the church, consequently the conference lifted their hands against them. Elder Frederick M Van Leuven was chosen as the presideing elder in this . A number were during our stay and we left them all rejoiceing in the light of truth: and thence we passed through a dreary uncultivated region to meet our breth[r]en at the next conference in [p. 15]
17–19 July 1835 • Friday–Sunday
St. Johnsbury— Vt July 17th
This day the met in agreeably to previous appointment, presided.— Resolved that this be the limits of this conference, also to include the in Littleton, Dalton and Landaff of N. Hampshire to be called the— “ Conference”
The Presideing Elder, , represented the branch in this place to be 41 liveing in great unity and harmony whose faith and works we can speak of as being <​of​> that saint-like kind which the Lord loves. Elder John Badger represented the little branch in Danville to be 23. Elder William Snow represented the Congregation in Charleston to be 21 in good standing, also the number in Jay to be 11 who had lately covenanted to do the will of God in all things. Dalton Branch was represented by L. B. Wilder 15 in number, also 4 in Landaff, als[o] 10 in Littleton, 15 in Andover Vt. In 7 and in N.Y. 17, represented by Z. Adams. After an adjournment of one hour, the conference assembled and Six of the oldest counsellors proceeded to give such general and particular instructions to the assembly on the principles of faith and of action as the Spirit of God suggested to their minds, and they really had great liberty in delivering those instructi[o]ns which were well calculated for the perfection of the Saints, and also instructed them relative to the nature and propriety of the and the necessity of their attending to it for their temporal salvation.
July 18th. the remaining six enforced the necessity of sending up wise men and purchaseing lands according to the , which they readily agreed to do. [p. 16]
Our public meeting on Sunday was attended by a vast concourse of people, say over One Thousand. A deep interest was felt by the more candid part of community in those everlasting and glorious principles of truth and salvation, delivered them by the speakers. Nine persons, during our conference, manifested their faith by repenting of their sins and being for the remission thereof. We truly had an interesting meeting in this place.
&) Clerks
7 August 1835 • Friday
Bradford Mass. Augt. 7, 1835.
Met in in order to transact such business as should be brought before them, three of the counsellors being absent (viz) , and . presided, and it was unanimously Resolved that the limits of this conference should embrace the to be called the.
The Elders present except Chase, Holmes & G. Bishop— were in good standing. Elder Chase had his and membership taken from him because of gambling for money and then before he confessed his sins. Elder Holmes’ licence was taken from <​him​> in consequence of a disagreement between him and his wife which was of long standing, it was therefore considered that if a man cannot preserve peace in his own family, he is not qualified to rule the of God. A letter of complaint was written to by Elder Gibson Smith of Norfolk Conn. against Elder G. Bishop, upon which he was suspended and referred to the conference at Bradford for his trial. No one appeared to substantiate the complaint, he was therefore acquitted on that point, but upon further inquirey it was [p. 17] proven that <​he​> had erred in Spirit and in Doctrine and was considerably inclined to enthusiasm and much lifted up. The council therefore took his licence from him until he become more instructed and also get his spirit and feelings amalgamateed with his brethren
Elder James Paten of North Providence <​R.I.​> was legally excommunicated for impropper conduct by the authority of two witnesses, and he, refuseing to give up his licence, was ordered to be published in the “Messenger and Advocate:” but little business to be done at this Conference. People were, generally hard and unbelieveing & but little preaching called for, but by the church.
It was decided, that, in consequence of the small number of disciples at Dover N.H. and no business to attend to of much importance, our conference in that place should be recalled, and also that the conferences at & Farmington should be altered so as to close our last conference at Farmington jast one month earlier than the former appointn◊◊ and we sent letters by mail to inform them of the alteration in time for the news to be circulated. This alteration, the counsel was dictated to do by the Spirit of God.
} Clerk
21–23 August 1835 • Friday–Sunday
Maine Augt. 28 21st. 1835.
Seven of the met in at this place (Viz) , , , , , & . There was no business of importance for the conference here to attend to. presided and the in this place was represented by the to number 57 generally in good standing. represented a little in Dover N. Hampshire consisting of eight members in good fellowship. Adjourned one [p. 18] hour. At the opening of the conference in the afternoon, Elder arrived from and we hailed him with joy. The council then proceeded to deliver many general and particula[r] instructions to the conference upon the following subjects (Viz) The redemption, the Building of the in , and the printing of the word of God to the nations; and also, various other topics connected with the welfare of the saints. Our public meeting on Sunday was attended by a large concourse of people of almost all classes who paid good attention to the proclamation of the glorious truths of Prince Emanuel. Some were in this place during our stay.
} Clerk
N.B. The Church in the above place contributed money unto us to assist us in returning home to , to the amt of 70 or 80 Dollars, many of the brethren and sisters opened their hearts liberally to assist us, for which May the Lord in great mercy prosper and favour them, and safely bring them to Zion and to the . This record is according to our covenant with them.
.} Clerk.
28 August 1835 • Friday
Farmington Me. Augt. 28, 1835.
The assembled in in this place, all except . took the chair and presided during the meeting.— Resolved, that this be called the conference. Elder was called upon. to He arose and gave an account of his [p. 19] labours in the ministry, his manner of teaching &c It appeared that he had been dilligent and faithful in his ministry and a number. He represented the in this place to number 32 Elder Daniel Bean, a travelling Eldr represented the in Letter B. to number 22. also in Newry to number 25. Also, in Errol N.H. to number 20, all in good standing and abounding in faith and good works. Adjournd one hour, then proceeded to give the conference such instructions as the nature of our mission and ministry required [p. [20]]


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