Minutes of the Afternoon Meeting of the Council of Fifty, April 11, 1844
This document is an excerpt from The Joseph Smith Papers, Administrative Records: Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844–January 1846. It is William Clayton’s record of a council meeting on April 11, 1844, in Nauvoo. The Council of Fifty was a body of leading Mormon men and a few non-Mormons created to support the civic goals of the church.
Minutes include a statement from Joseph Smith on the need for religious liberty, tolerance, and justice, and his belief that the US Constitution lacked the ability to enforce its claim of religious liberty. Statements by Amasa Lyman, Sidney Rigdon, Orson Spencer, and several others discuss tolerance and that God’s hand was evident in the world.