A Moment’s Peace—Council Meetings in Ohio and Missouri.
The excitement of the people began to subside and the Saints, both in Missouri and Ohio, began to enjoy a little peace. The elders began to go forth, two and two, preaching the word to all that would hear, and many were added to the Church daily. 1
The Prophet as Foreman.
September 1.—I continued to preside over the Church, and in forwarding the building of the house of the Lord in Kirtland. I acted as foreman in the Temple stone quarry, and when other duties would permit, labored with my own hands.
Message to Wm. Cherry.
September 2.—Conference wrote Brother William Cherry, by Orson Hyde, clerk, to correct a report to the effect that “he had been cut off from the Church;” and advising the brethren not to find fault with one another, after having returned from such an arduous journey as that to Missouri had been, and especially since their offerings had been accepted of the Lord; also encouraging Brother Cherry and others to move west.
Covenant of Edmund Bosley.
On the 4th, Elder Edmund Bosley said that, if he could obtain the management of his property, in one year, he would consecrate it for the printing of the word of the Lord.
Minutes of a Conference of Elders, of New Portage, Ohio, held September 8, 1834.
After prayer, President Joseph Smith, Jun., and Oliver Cowdery united in anointing with oil and laying hands upon a sick sister. She said she was healed, but requested us to pray that her faith fail not, saying if she did not doubt she would not be afflicted any more.
President Joseph Smith then made remarks upon the subject of false spirits.
Elder Ambrose Palmer presented a case that had previously occasioned some difficulty in the Church, which was that Brother Carpenter had been tried for a fault before the Church, and the Church gave him a certain time to reflect whether he would acknowledge his error or not. Brother Gordon, at the time, spoke in tongues, and declared that Brother Carpenter should not be shown any lenity. Elder Palmer wished instruction on this point, whether they had proceeded right or not, as Brother Carpenter was dissatisfied.
President Joseph Smith then gave an explanation of the gift of tongues, that it was particularly instituted for the preaching of the Gospel to other nations and languages, but it was not given for the government of the Church.
He further said, if Brother Gordon introduced the gift of tongues as a testimony against Brother Carpenter, it was contrary to the rules and regulations of the Church, because in all our decisions we must judge from actual testimony.
Elder Gordon said the testimony was received and the decision given before the gift of tongues was manifested.
President Smith advised that we speak in our own language in all such matters, and then the adversary cannot lead our minds astray.
Elder Palmer stated that when he was presiding in a conference, several of the brethren spoke out of order, and Elder J. B. Bosworth refused to submit to order according to his request; and he wished instructions on this point, whether he or some one else should preside over this branch of the Church; and also whether such conduct could be approved in conferences.
Brother Gordon made some remarks on the same subject.
President Smith said, relative to the first question, that Brother Gordon’s tongue in the end did operate as testimony, as, by his remarks in tongues, the former decision was set aside and his [given in tongues] taken; that it was his [President Smith’s] decision that Brother Gordon’s manifestation was incorrect, and from a suspicious mind. He approved the first decision, but discarded the second.
Brother Joseph Keeler acknowledged that in the former decision he had acted hastily himself in urging Brother Carpenter to make acknowledgment without having time to reflect; and asked forgiveness wherein he had erred.
Brother Gordon said he discovered that he was in error, and was satisfied with the counsel, and was willing to ask forgiveness of the brethren and of the Lord.
Decision was then given on the second question, that Elder Bosworth was out of his place in opposing Elder Palmer when the latter presided in the conference.
The two decisions were confirmed by unanimous vote of the conference.
A motion was then made and passed by unanimous vote that a letter be written to Brother J.D. Bosworth, informing him of the last decision—that he acted out of place in opposing Elder Palmer in a former conference when requested to take his seat that the business might proceed according to order—and that such letter be signed by the clerk of this conference.
The case of Elder Milton Stow was then presented, when it was proven that he had delivered prophecies at two different times that were not true; at one time in saying that Zion was already redeemed, and at another in saying that Brother Carpenter was cut off forever and also in saying that Sister Carpenter was dead.
It was decided by vote, that Brother Milton Stow be and by the decision of this conference is, suspended from the privileges of this Church of Latter-day Saints, and from acting in the authority of an Elder in said Church of the Latter-day Saints, till he appear before the Bishop’s council in Kirtland and make proper satisfaction.
Conferences closed by prayer.
Oliver Cowdery, Clerk of Conference.
The following letter was written according to the instruction of the conference, as recorded in the foregoing minutes:—
New Portage, Ohio, September 8, 1834.
To Joseph B. Bosworth, a High Priest in the Church of Latter-day Saints.
Dear Brother:—By a decision of this conference I am directed to inform you that a difficulty has been presented to this body which arose in a former conference between yourself and Elder Ambrose Palmer, to the effect that in a former conference where Elder Palmer presided, according to the office of his appointment as president of this [New Portage] branch of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, you, when requested by him to be seated, refused to submit to his decision, and spoke disrespectfully to our brother while acting in his calling, which has occasioned offense to the conference. It is the decision, therefore, of this conference, that you come before the Church, (as you are not present to do it at this conference) and make the proper confession required in the law of the Lord. Why I say disrespectfully is because when you were requested to be seated and to desist from speaking, you said you had as much right to speak as Elder Palmer.
Oliver Cowdery, Clerk of Conference.
Extracts from the minutes of the High Council of Zion, assembled in Clay County, September 10, 1834.
The following brethren were chosen to fill the places of absent members:—Zebedee Coltrin for Parley P. Pratt; Hazen Aldrich for Solomon Hancock; Elias Higbee for Newell Knight; Isaac Higbee for William E. M’Lellin; Peter Dustin for Orson Pratt.
Elisha H. Groves was ordained a High Priest.
A letter was read from President Joseph Smith to W. W. Phelps, dated 16th of August; also a petition written by W. W. Phelps to the governor of the state of Missouri was read and accepted.
Calvin Beebe and Levi Jackman were nominated as first Elders to go forth to Kirtland, preaching by the way, and if approved by President Joseph Smith, should be accounted worthy, and numbered as such. 2
It was decided by the President, and sanctioned by the Council, that the first Elders go forth as soon as they can get ready, and preach by the way to Kirtland.
Voted, that those Elders that came up in the camp apply for a release from Lyman Wight, 3 and receive a recommendation to Bishop Partridge, to go forth to preach the Gospel.
Thomas B. Marsh, Secretary pro tem.
Minutes of the High Council at Kirtland, September 24, 1834.
Joseph Smith, Jun., presiding, assisted by Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, counselors.
Jared Carter and Martin Harris were absent.
After prayer, the president made some remarks; when the case of Sylvester Smith was called up to inquire whether or not, under existing circumstances, he can fill the office of High Councilor.
It was decided that four Councilors speak on the case, viz.: Samuel H. Smith and Orson Johnson, Luke Johnson and Orson Hyde.
The Councilors severally spoke in their course, followed by Brother Sylvester; after which the assistent presidents spoke; when the president gave a decision, that Brother Sylvester stand no longer a High Councilor, but that he retain the office of High Priest, and continue to lift up his voice in the name of Jesus in preaching the Gospel—to which the council assented, and Brother Sylvester gave his assent with thankfulness.
The President nominated Hyrum Smith to fill the office vacated by Sylvester Smith. The nomination was seconded by the clerk. The Councilors and all present voted for the nomination.
The President led in prayer, and then he ordained Hyrum Smith to the office of High Councilor, pronouncing blessings upon him in the name of the Lord; after which Joseph Smith, Sen., blessed his son Hyrum in the name of the Lord, confirming the same blessings.
Elders John P. Greene and Brigham Young were then appointed to fill the vacancies occasioned by the absence of Councilors Jared Carter and Martin Harris.
The council then proceeded to appoint a committee to arrange the items of the doctrine of Jesus Christ, for the government of the Church of Latter-day Saints, which Church was organized and commenced its rise on the 6th of April, 1830. These items are to be taken from the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the revelations which have been given to the Church up to this date, or that shall be given until such arrangements are made.
Councilor Samuel H. Smith nominated President Joseph Smith, Jun., Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams to compose said committee, which was seconded by Councilor Hyrum Smith. The Councilors then gave their vote in the affirmative, which was also agreed to by the whole conference.
The council then decided that said committee, after arranging and publishing said Book of Covenants, have the avails of the same.
The council then decided that a notice be published to the churches and conferences abroad that High Priests be ordained hereafter, in the High Council at Kirtland, and receive licence signed by the clerk of the council.
The council decided that Bishop Whitney be privileged, considering his present embarrassed circumstances, to make such arrangements with his store as he shall deem most advisable.
Closed by prayer.
2. That is, they should be numbered among the Elders to receive their endowments in Kirtland, if approved by the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, Joseph Smith, as provided by the revelation of June 22nd. (see p. 108.)