The Record of the Twelve, 1835: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' Call and 1835 Mission

The Record of the Twelve, 1835: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' Call and 1835 Mission
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The Record of the Twelve, 1835: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles' Call and 1835 Mission

Author Ronald K. Esplin Author Sharon E. Nielsen

In 2011, the Joseph Smith Papers Project of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made public a document created in 1835 by Orson Hyde and William E. McLellin. That document is presented in its entirety here with an introduction and editorial notes. Ronald Esplin and Sharon Nielsen, members of the editorial team of the Joseph Smith Papers, give historical context of the document: in 1835, twelve men were called as the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Joseph Smith instructed the quorum to keep a record of their meetings and actions; the document presented in this article is that record.

The Record of the Twelve contains minutes of the 1835 meeting in which the Twelve Apostles (Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, William E. McLellin, Parley P. Pratt, Luke Johnson, William Smith, Orson Pratt, John F. Boynton, and Lyman E. Johnson) were called. The Twelve were then sent on a mission to conduct conferences with branches of the Church in New York and New England in the summer of 1835. They preached and baptized along the way. This document tells of their trials and faith during their mission.


The Joseph Smith Papers Project has recently published on its website a document created in 1835 and now known as the Record of the Twelve, 14 February–28 August 1835. This important record was made by Orson Hyde and William E. McLellin to chronicle the activities of the newly formed Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Later, the same book Hyde and McLellin wrote in was used to record patriarchal blessings, which are private, and thus the book was not publicly available. Now images of the twenty-four pages pertaining to the activities of the Twelve have been posted, along with a transcription and links to related documents and to helpful information about people and places mentioned, at josephsmithpapers.org. The book is housed in the Church History Library of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its second title page names it “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”1 (see fig. 1). The full document transcription appears below.

This is the only known record created by the Quorum of the Twelve during its first several years. The lack of additional records is likely due in large part to the fact that most activities of quorum members over the next several years were undertaken either as individual assignments or performed in connection with other leadership quorums. For example, during fall and winter 1835–36, members of the Twelve joined with other quorums in finishing the temple2 in Kirtland, Ohio, and in preparing for and participating in the March 1836 dedication and solemn assembly. Following those activities, Joseph Smith announced that rather than having an anticipated quorum assignment, “the 12 are at liberty to go wheresoever they will, and if one shall say, I wish to go to such a place, let all the rest say Amen.”3 The quorum mission to England planned for 1837 was postponed because of division within the Church and within the quorum, although Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde of the Twelve did make the journey. The denouement of the Church’s activities in Kirtland, Ohio, and migration to Far West, Missouri, made a mission in summer 1838 impossible. Not until 1839–41, after the violent expulsion from Missouri, would the Twelve undertake their second mission as a quorum.

This introduction provides an overview of the Record of the Twelve and a historical introduction to the calling of the Twelve and their 1835 quorum mission. The document begins with a report of the call of the Apostles and organization of the quorum in February 1835 and preserves some of Joseph Smith’s teachings to the new quorum about their role and functioning, including an admonition on record keeping. These teachings and the circa April 1835 instruction “On Priesthood”4 were viewed as foundational documents for the new quorum.

According to the Record of the Twelve, on March 12, less than a month after the Apostles were called and before all had arrived in Kirtland to be ordained, Joseph Smith proposed that they serve their first mission “through the eastern States to the Atlantic Ocean” and suggested an itinerary with ten conferences in the field. In addition to preserving Joseph Smith’s teachings to the quorum as they prepared to depart, this record documents the central activities of that mission. To enrich the content of the record itself, editorial notes and annotation below provide related accounts that fill in gaps and give additional details. While the Apostles’ mission to the British Isles in 1839–41 is well known, this quorum mission to the eastern states also deserves attention. It is both the earliest mission and, because not all members of the quorum traveled to Britain in 1839–41, the only mission in which all twelve members of the quorum participated together. The publication of this document will assist in understanding the call and early activities of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.5

Creation of the Document

Orson Hyde and William E. McLellin, members of and clerks for the Quorum of the Twelve, originally wrote not in a book but on loose pages (no longer extant) that they later copied into the large, permanent record book. McLellin apparently retained the original writings after he and Hyde inscribed the record reproduced here, likely soon after their fall 1835 return from the mission to the East.6 A careful examination of the content of the record and the fact that the book is too heavy and large (at about 13 by 8 inches) for the men to have conveniently carried on their travels confirms that this was not where these texts were originally written.

In writing first on loose pages, Hyde and McLellin followed the standard record-keeping pattern of Joseph Smith’s office: an original minute or letter or a dictation copy of a revelation would later be copied into a record book to create a more permanent record copy. The two minute books kept in Joseph Smith’s office, for example, were created when loose minutes were copied into more permanent books of record, and a similar practice was followed with letterbooks and revelation books created under his general direction. Even though Hyde shared with McLellin the assignment to serve as clerk, and even though each actively served in creating the original minutes upon which this record is based, the existing record itself is almost entirely in the hand of Hyde. McLellin inscribed in this book only the entries of May 23 and 25.

This record may be thought of as consisting of three parts. The first three and a half pages record the calling and general instruction of the Apostles. The next three and a half pages, to the bottom of page seven, document a series of meetings as quorum members prepared for their spring and summer mission, a series that included Joseph Smith’s April 26 “charge and instructions” to them and ended with a May 2 “grand council” consisting not only of the Twelve but of other leaders. The third part, the largest, consists of a twelve-page record of the conferences and other activities of the mission itself, including meetings of the quorum, conferences with members, and public preaching meetings that on occasion attracted audiences of hundreds (and in one case more than a thousand).

The Record of the Twelve Compared to Minute Book 1

In addition to the Record of the Twelve, another set of minutes was created by Oliver Cowdery and later transcribed by other clerks into a book which the editors of the Joseph Smith Papers have called “Minute Book 1.” Minute Book 1 contains minutes kept in Kirtland, Ohio, from December 3, 1832, to November 30, 1837, including Oliver Cowdery’s minutes of four meetings pertaining to the calling and instruction of the Quorum of the Twelve in February 1835. Those entries may be compared with the earliest entries of the Record of the Twelve. Minute Book 1 also contains another entry regarding a meeting on May 2, 1835, that included the Twelve just before their departure for New York. These supplement the Record of the Twelve. For other meetings and for the mission itself, the Record of the Twelve is not only the official but the only institutional account.

The first entry in the Record of the Twelve bears the date of February 14, 1835, and briefly describes the “conference or general meeting” convened by Joseph Smith to consider if the time had come to implement the June 1829 revelation “relative to the choosing of the twelve apostles.”7 According to the 1835 Record, after it was “ascertained that the time had come,” twelve men were chosen and, it is implied, ordained.

The second entry in the Record of the Twelve, dated February 27, provides a context for seeing its entry of February 14 as a retrospective account likely written some two weeks later than the date it bears and also helps explain why a more complete account of the foundational February 14 meeting is found in the minutes kept by Oliver Cowdery, clerk for Joseph Smith and the Church Presidency.8 As part of the February 27 meeting, Joseph Smith instructed the Twelve on the importance of record keeping. After lamenting that the records of the Church as a whole were not as complete as they should be, in his view a deficiency of considerable consequence, he urged that whenever they convened to transact business as a council, they always keep a record of proceedings and important decisions so “they will ever after remain upon record as law, covenants and doctrine.” In that same February 27 council, the new quorum then appointed McLellin and Hyde to serve as clerks for the Twelve. This and additional instruction from Joseph Smith about the role of the quorum was duly noted by “William E. McLellin Clerk.” Minute Book 1 also preserves Oliver Cowdery’s account of this February 27, 1835, meeting.9

It seems evident that only with the February 27 instruction on recordkeeping and the appointment of clerks did the Quorum of the Twelve begin keeping a record, and that the brief February 14 entry which opens the Record of the Twelve was therefore created after the February 27 meeting. This also explains why Minute Book 1 contains not only more information about the February 14 and February 27 meetings, but minutes of meetings on February 15 and 21 that are not part of the quorum’s own record. Minute Book 1, therefore, provides both additional information about the calling and instruction of the Apostles and a context for understanding the Record of the Twelve prior to February 27.

The more extensive account in Minute Book 1 of the February 14 meeting10 reports that Joseph Smith convened on that date the veterans of the Camp of Israel (later known as Zion’s Camp), a military march to Missouri in the spring of 1834 in support of Saints violently dispossessed from their lands in Jackson County, Missouri, and that it was mainly from these veterans that the Twelve (and a second new quorum, the Quorum of Seventy) would be selected. The entry in Minute Book 1 then lists the names of fifty-six veterans. Although the Record of the Twelve reports that Joseph convened the meeting “to ascertain if the time had come” to implement the 1829 June revelation, Cowdery’s contemporaneous account states that he assembled the veterans because “God had commanded it and it was made known to him by vision” to do so. Then, “according to a former commandment,”11 he instructed the Three Witnesses “to choose twelve men from the church as Apostles to go to all nations, kindred toungs and people,” which they then did, selecting Thomas B. Marsh, David W. Patten, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, William E. McLellin, Parley P. Pratt, Luke Johnson, William Smith, Orson Pratt, John F. Boynton, and Lyman E. Johnson. Cowdery’s more detailed minutes record that three of those called, Lyman Johnson, Brigham Young, and Heber C. Kimball, were then ordained, and the minutes preserve their “ordination blessings.”

In addition to giving a fuller account of the February 14, 1835, meeting that began the process of organizing the Quorum of the Twelve, Minute Book 1 contains minutes of two follow-up sessions about which the Record of the Twelve is silent. At a meeting the following day, more of those appointed on the 14th were ordained and their ordination blessings recorded.12 Minute Book 1 also records a meeting on Saturday, February 21, 1835,13 that was as important to the nascent quorum as were the meetings of February 14–15. At this meeting, Parley P. Pratt received his ordination and ordination blessing as a member of the Twelve, bringing to ten the number of new Apostles who had been ordained. (Before, or possibly as, the minutes of this meeting were copied from loose paper into Minute Book 1, the blessings of Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Pratt were also appended to the February 21 entry, bringing to twelve the number of blessings recorded in that book—but as the Record of the Twelve attests, Marsh and Pratt did not arrive in Kirtland until April 25 and 26, respectively.14) Following Parley Pratt’s blessing on February 21, Cowdery gave him a detailed personal “charge” respecting his duty as an Apostle. Later in the meeting, Cowdery delivered a lengthy and substantive charge to the entire quorum respecting their responsibilities and future labors.15 Cowdery’s “charge to the Twelve” did not become part of their own record but was included in the official history of the Church begun in 1838.16

The account of the February 27 meeting of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles17 is the final 1835 meeting of the new quorum recorded in Minute Book 1.18 After this session, record keeping for the new quorum shifted to the Record of the Twelve, which then became not only the official record of the Twelve but its only extant record. The nature of the minutes for February 27, 1835, in the two records illustrates this shift.

That the two accounts of Joseph Smith’s instructions to the Twelve are so similar suggests that both Cowdery and McLellin successfully captured much of what he said on this occasion. But unlike the accounts of February 14, in which Cowdery recorded much more detail than exists in the Record of the Twelve, the report for February 27 in the Record of the Twelve contains additional instructions not noted by Cowdery. Only the Record of the Twelve contains Joseph Smith’s closing declaration on “the power and authority of the priesthood”—that the Twelve had received their authority as Apostles “from God through me,” and that they and only they now had the authority and “duty to go and unlock the kingdom of heaven to foreign nations.”

Understanding the Content of the Record of the Twelve

After the February organizing meetings, most subsequent entries in the Record of the Twelve provide brief but informative accounts of preparations for the mission and then an account of the mission itself. The preaching and traveling activities of members of the Quorum of the Twelve when they were not acting as a traveling high council in formally appointed conferences is not the subject of the record. After the close of a conference, they generally traveled to the next conference two by two (though occasionally in larger groups), but those activities are documented only through their individual missionary journals or histories, not in the Record of the Twelve. For understanding the activities of the quorum as a whole in Kirtland and in the field, the Record of the Twelve is an invaluable document.

The entry for March 12, 1835, records not only the proposal by Joseph Smith that the new quorum take their first mission to the East but a plan for the mission that included a May 4 departure date and an ambitious itinerary, complete with dates for conferences with members in outlying branches in New York, Upper Canada, and New England. Later entries confirm that they largely followed this itinerary, regulating branches, teaching members, and preaching and proselytizing along the way. Among the several preparatory meetings in Kirtland was an April 26 assembly of the Twelve and some of the Seventy “in order to receive our charge and instructions from President Joseph Smith Jun. relative to our mission and duties”; a meeting two days later at which they decided to leave Kirtland at 2:00 a.m. on May 4 to ensure arrival at Fairport Harbor in time to catch a lake steamer for Dunkirk, New York; and a May 2 “grand council” of Church leaders at which Joseph Smith instructed the Twelve how to conduct themselves as a traveling high council and clarified both how the traveling high council related to standing high councils, and the role of the Seventy in the upcoming conferences in the field.

Despite preserving important accounts of six meetings with Joseph Smith during this time of preparation, the Record of the Twelve failed to notice at least one event that was as significant to the new quorum as were the events it did record. Sometime in early April, Joseph Smith met with the Twelve (and perhaps others) and delivered a lengthy exposition on priesthood and on church organization and government that included essential instructions regarding the roles of the Twelve and Seventy. About the time the Twelve returned to Kirtland in September 1835, those instructions, entitled “On Priesthood,” became publicly available with publication of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, but the content was known before their departure.19 If there ever was a meeting at which the newly called Twelve endorsed a written testimony of the revelations about to be published in the Doctrine and Covenants as “given by the inspiration of God” and “profitable for all men” and “verily true,” the Record of the Twelve is silent about it. However, W. W. Phelps read such a statement, as their testimony, into the record at a “general assembly” of the Church in Kirtland, August 17, 1835, in their absence. At that meeting, the leaders and quorums of the Church gave their voice in favor of the publication of the Doctrine and Covenants as the word of God, but it is not known how or when the Twelve approved or ratified their quorum’s contribution to the minutes of this meeting at which the work of the committee on the Doctrine and Covenants was unanimously accepted.20

The Record of the Twelve also fails to note what was, in effect, their “missionary farewell” on Sunday, May 3, 1835, the day following the “grand council” mentioned above. Not only did each of the members of the quorum give a farewell address, President Sidney Rigdon “called upon those of the congregation who were satisfied with the choice which the Lord had made of the Twelve to manifest it by rising from their seats, which the congregation universally did.”21

Mission Plan and Experience

A March 8, 1835, meeting provided the plan for the mission. An article in the Church’s newspaper reported that a council of this date had taken into consideration “the many pressing requests from the eastern churches for conferences” and concluded to send traveling elders from Kirtland to hold conferences in ten areas:

In Westfield, Chautauque Co. N.Y.

May 9th, 1835

In Freedom, Cateraugus Co. N.Y.

May 22d

In Lyonstown, Wayne Co. N.Y.

June 5th

At Pillow [Pillar] Point, Jefferson Co. N.Y.

June 19th

In West Loborough, near Kingston, Upper Canada

June 29th

In Johnsbury, Vt.

July 17th

In Bradford, Mass.

August 7th

In Dover, N.H.

Sept. 4th [later canceled]

In Saco, Maine

Sept. 18th [later changed to August 21]

and in Farmington, Maine

Oct. 2d, 1835 [later changed to August 28]22

The printed announcement closed with these instructions: “The brethren in various churches and places mentioned above, may expect public preaching on the two days following each conference, and they are requested to see that the appointments are made at the most convenient houses. . . . All the Elders within reasonable bounds of these conferences are requested to attend them, and it will be their duty so to do.”23

The pattern as the mission of the Twelve unfolded followed this original plan. Eight of the ten conferences opened with a Friday session with members. These involved instruction and the sacrament, but also business (discipline, appointment of officers, and ordinations). Raising funds for the redemption of Zion in Missouri was always a topic, and to some extent funds for the building of the temple in Kirtland. The business of these sessions often spilled over to Saturday (and occasionally to Monday). Generally the public preaching meetings fell on Saturday and Sunday. Monday often saw a concluding session (meeting, council, or preaching), after which members of the quorum could set out toward their next destination. Following the formal sessions, several of the traveling elders might linger to preach in the neighborhood, but most, sometimes all, set off two by two, preaching along the way to the next conference.

Seldom did these traveling officers spend funds on food or lodging. No doubt families in these eastern churches were pleased to host the elders from Kirtland but there was also an obligation. Joseph Smith had expressly declared on the eve of their departure that the traveling officers “have a right by virtue of their offices to call upon the Church to assist them.”24 When not where members could assist, they sought lodging as ministers (or “to be kept as disciples,” as they sometimes termed it) with anyone who would host them. What few funds they had went to transportation. Although much of their travel was on foot and the occasional wagon ride was normally without charge, all took passage more than once on lake steamers. Stage travel was also a part of this mission experience; several of the elders traveled on the Erie Canal; and, in New England, at least Brigham Young and (separately) Heber Kimball traveled on one of the nation’s early railroads (see fig. 2). Altogether, from May through September members of the traveling high council traveled not just hundreds but thousands of miles.25

Surviving accounts created by individual participants supplement the official record. William McLellin kept the most detailed journal during the mission, shedding light on activities, personalities, and events.26 In making his way from one conference to another, he traveled first with Luke Johnson, then Orson Hyde, and then Lyman Johnson. On other occasions he traveled with Thomas B. Marsh, Parley P. Pratt, John F. Boynton, and Brigham Young. They traveled by foot, wagon, stage, canal boat, and steamer, setting up preaching meetings with varied success, with audiences ranging from small to hundreds of people.27

Brigham Young also kept a daily account, though generally with less detail than that of McLellin. One instance in which he included more than the usual detail was his brief “side mission” to the Indians that Joseph Smith had appointed him to do. On May 27, 1835, he recorded of his encounter with the Seneca along the Allegheny River that he, John P. Greene, and Amos Orton “saw many of the seed of Joseph, among them were two Chiefs one a Presbyterian the other a Pagan,” and that on the following day they prayed with the Presbyterian chief.28 Entries for June 27 and 28 captured his regret at missing the steamer United States to Kingston, forcing him and Elder Hyde to wait a full day for another. William Smith and other traveling companions connected with the steamer but neglected to awaken their companions, who had fallen asleep exhausted. Although Young reported feeling “very bad for a spell,” he hoped it was all for “some wise purpose” in the Lord. The delay did provide them another day with a friendly local who had been willing to hear their message.29 In addition to his journal, Young also included an overview of the mission in his history published in 1858 in the Deseret News.30

Orson Pratt did not arrive in Kirtland to be ordained as part of the Quorum of the Twelve until April 26, 1835, but from that date forward he kept an account of his mission. Between conferences he traveled first with Thomas B. Marsh, then with Lyman E. Johnson, and at other times with John F. Boynton and Heber C. Kimball. His journal provides helpful detail for many activities. But for much of August and half of September he preached in New England, alone, and therefore missed the August conferences attended by most other members of the Twelve.31

Many of Heber C. Kimball’s activities during this mission can be pieced together from several sources. The last installment of the account he prepared for publication of his 1834 Zion’s Camp experience contains information about the calling of the Twelve, their preparation, and the beginning of the mission.32 His published history as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve provides an itinerary and overview of his mission.33 Orson F. Whitney, Kimball’s biographer, drew on additional sources to provide other colorful details.34

Finally, in addition to writing the original notes that were later copied to create this Record of the Twelve, clerks Orson Hyde and William McLellin also wrote reports of the quorum mission for publication in The Latter-day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate in Kirtland. The first such account reported the Westfield Conference, the first on the Twelve’s itinerary, and was published within weeks of their departure from Kirtland.35 Unsigned accounts that clearly relied on documents prepared by Hyde and McLellin reported in print the conferences in Freedom and Pillow-point [Pillar Point], New York, and in Upper Canada. Another, from Hyde at Bradford, Massachusetts, reported on the conference at St. Johnsbury, Vermont.36 In October, after the Twelve had returned to Kirtland, Hyde and McLellin prepared a lengthier summary of the calling of the Twelve and overview of their successful quorum mission.37 These reports and the personal records noted above are used with the official record to present a more complete account of the 1835 mission experience.

Not all members of the Twelve attended all conferences. Occasionally one or another had a different assignment, and in late spring three of the Twelve were briefly recalled to Kirtland as witnesses in court on behalf of Joseph Smith. Through their August 7 conference in Bedford, Massachusetts, the schedule of conferences unfolded largely according to the plan. That day, however, they decided to alter plans for the remainder of the mission and return home a month earlier. The conference for Dover was canceled and the last two moved up. The record thereafter documents only two more conferences, both in Maine: Saco on August 21 and Farmington on August 28. With the account of the latter, the final formal gathering before quorum members returned home, the official record abruptly ends.

Technical Description of the Document (Source Note)

The Record of the Twelve begins with two title pages bearing slightly different inscriptions, with a variation in the name of the Church. The document was copied circa late 1835 from original manuscripts, apparently retained by William E. McLellin, into a bound volume that was later used to record patriarchal blessings. The volume measures 121316 × 8⅛ x 1¼ inches (33 × 21 × 3 cm) and has 172 leaves measuring 12½ × 7⅞ inches (32 x 20 cm). The book has a tight-back case binding with a brown sheep- or calfskin quarter-leather binding. The outside covers are adorned in shell marbled paper. The Record of the Twelve was recorded on the first twelve leaves of the volume. The front cover of the book is labeled “R. T.”—presumably for “Record of the Twelve”—in black ink. The inside front cover has “Y B | B | Book.” written in ink and “L/P | POC | 12/=” written in graphite. Similar markings appear in at least three other extant volumes (Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, Minute Book 1, and Revelation Book 2, all in the Joseph Smith Collection, Church History Library). Three labels pasted on the spine, apparently in Utah, read “RECORD of the TWELVE”, “PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS BY JOSEPH SMITH S”, and “Vol. 2 | Patriarchal | Blessings.”

The record is in the handwriting of Orson Hyde except for the entries for May 23 and 25 (pages 12–13), which were inscribed by William E. McLellin. Hyde wrote page numbers at the top of each page except page 20. Use marks were made in graphite pencil on the record when it was used later as a source text for Joseph Smith’s multivolume manuscript history of the Church. In the 1840s, the book was turned over so that the back cover became the front. This side of the book was used by Thomas Bullock to record patriarchal blessings and used 120 leaves, leaving 40 blank leaves between the two records. The cover is labeled “2,” indicating that it was the second volume in a series of patriarchal blessing books. The volume is listed on Nauvoo, Illinois, and early Utah inventories of Church records, indicating continuous custody. (See Historian’s Office, “Schedule of Church Records,” [1]; “Historian’s Office Catalogue Book March 1858,” [7]; “Index of Records and Journals in the Historian’s Office 1878,” [14], Catalogues and Inventories, 1846–1904, Church History Library.)

Note on Transcription

The text below was prepared following the transcription conventions of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. The text was transcribed word for word and has been through three levels of verification to ensure accuracy. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are original to the text. Scribal cancellations of any type are indicated with a strikethrough bar (canceled text). Scribal insertions appear within angle brackets (〈inserted text〉). Editorial insertions appear within square brackets ([editorial insertion]); these include supplied names and some spelling corrections. Datelines (in bold) have also been editorially inserted into the text. A slash mark (/) indicates a change in handwriting, with the scribes noted in a footnote. For a more complete discussion, see the “Editorial Method” statement posted on josephsmithpapers.org.

The Record of the Twelve,
14 February–28 August 1835

/38A record of the transactions of the Twelve apostles of the Church of the Latter Day Saints from the time of their call to the apostleship which was on the 14th. Day of Feby. AD 1835.39

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.

[1 page blank]

14 February 1835 • Saturday

On the 14th. Day of February AD 1835, a conference or general meeting was called in Kirtland Ohio by the Presidency of the Church of Christ of ‘Latter Day Saints’ in order to consult measures relative to the welfare thereof.40 The Three special witnesses of the Book of Mormon being present, that part of the revelation given in Fayette N.Y. June 1829 relative to the chooseing of twelve apostles, was taken into consideration,41 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 elders of the church the following persons to fill that high and responsible station: (Viz)

1 Thomas B Marsh        7 Parley P Pratt

2 David W Patten           8 Luke Johnson

3 Brigham Young           9 William Smith

4 Heber C Kimball       10 Orson Pratt

5 Orson Hyde              11 Lyman John F Boynton

6 William E McLellin     12 Lyman 〈E〉 Johnson.

These were ordained under the hands of the Three Witnesses42 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 Twelve met in Kirtland by request of President J. Smith Jun.43 After the council 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 church, 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 law, 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 council then expressed their approbation of the foregoing remarks and proceeded to nominate and appoint Elders William [E.] M’cLellin and Orson Hyde to serve as clerks for the ‘twelve’.44

The following question was then proposed by president J Smith Jun. (viz) What importance is attached to the callings of these twelve apostles differrent from the other callings and offices of the church. After some discussion by Elders [David W.] Patten, [Brigham] Young, M’c Lellin and W[illiam] Smith, the following decision was given by President Smith, the Prophet of God.

“They are the twelve apostles who are called to a travelling high council 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 Gentiles until the Lord shall45 command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold the keys 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 Apostleship — Amen. It is all important that the twelve should understand the power and authority of [p. 3] the priesthoods, 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 church, 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, twelve, 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 council was closed by Eldr W. E. M’cLellin.

William E M’c. Lellin } Clerk

12 March 1835 • Thursday

Evening of March 12th. the twelve assembled and the counsel 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 conferences in the vicinity of the several branches of the church for the purpose of regulateing all things necessary for their welfare. It was proposed that the twelve should leave Kirtland on the 4th. May which was unanimously agreed to. It was then proposed that during their present mission, Elder B[righam] Young should open a door to the remnants of Joseph who dwelt among the Gentiles which was carrid.46 It was motioned and voted that the twelve should hold their first conference in Kirtland, May 2nd.. In Westfield N. York May 9th. In Freedom 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. Saco Me Sept 18th. Farmington, Me. Oct. 2nd.47

Orson Hyde
W[illiam] E. Mc. Lellin { Clerks48 [p. 4]

26 April 1835 • Sunday

Kirtland April 26, 1835.

This day, pursuant to previous appointment, the Twelve Apostles and the Seventy (a part of whom had already been chosen,) assembled in the temple (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.49 The congregation being assembled, Elder Orson Pratt arrived from the south part of the state,50 makeing our number complete, Elder T[homas] B. Marsh haveing arrived the day before.—

28 April 1835 • Tuesday

April 28.—

The twelve met this afternoon at the school room for the purpose of prayer and consultation. Elder D[avid] W. Patten opened the meeting by prayer. Motioned and carried that when any of the council wishes to speak, he shall arise and stand upon his feet. Eldr [William E.] Mc Lellin then read the commandment given concerning the chooseing of the twelve before the council.51 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 Elder [John] Johnson’s tavern on Monday at 2 o’clock A.M. May 4th. Elder B[righam] Young then closed by prayer

Orson Hyde
W[illiam] E. Mc. Lellin { Clerks

 

[Editorial Note: When the March 12, 1835, council approved a list of conferences, it designated ten conferences to be held in the East as they traveled, but also a May 2 gathering in Kirtland before their departure. As the minutes that follow make clear, the May 2 meeting was not only a conference of the Quorum of the Twelve but a “grand council” and a “grand assemblage” of other priesthood leaders and missionaries—and therefore a fitting setting for the instruction and counsel given by Joseph Smith not only to the Twelve but to other officials. Although this Record of the Twelve omits details of the business of the council pertaining to the recently called Seventy, they too were instructed and prepared for future missions.52]

2 May 1835 • Saturday

May 2nd. A grand council was held in this place this day, composed of the following officers of the Church (viz) Presidents Joseph Smith Jun. David Whitmer, Oliver Cowd[e]ry, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick G Williams, Joseph Smith Sen. and Hyrum Smith, with their council of twelve men— The travelling high council or twelve apostles (Viz) T[homas] B. Marsh, David W Patten, Brigham Young53 [p. 5] Heber C Kimball, Orson Hyde, William, E. Mc.Lellin Parley P Pratt, Luke Johnson, William Smith, Orson Pratt John F Boynton and Lyman Johnson.—

Bishop Edward Partridge and his two counsellors Isaac Morley and John corrill, from Zion Mo. Also Bishop Newel K Whitney and his counsellors Reynolds Cahoon and Oliver Granger, and also, some of the Seventy with their presidents (Viz) Sylvester Smith, Leonard Rich, Lyman Sherman, Hazen Aldrich, Joseph Young, Levi Hancock and Zebedee Coultrin [Coltrin]. (Z.C. was absent.)

These authorities were present together with a great many other Elders 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.”54

The twelve Apostles have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes where there is a regular high council 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 branches of the church of the ‘Latter Day Saints.’

When the twelve are all together or a quorum 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.55

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 official member of the church has authority to go into any branch thereof and ordain 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 the56 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.57

Resolved in this grand council; That we never give up the struggle for Zion until it is redeemed altho’. we should die in the contest. The vote was unanimous of all that were in the house.58

W. E. M’c. Lellin { Clerk [p. 7]

 

[Editorial Note: In addition to recording foundational instructions at the Saturday, May 2 “grand council,” the Record of the Twelve records the departure of the traveling high councilors the following Monday. But it failed to note important activities with Joseph Smith and the Kirtland members on Sunday, the day before their departure. This May 3 Sunday meeting with the Saints served both as a time for the members to signify assent for the men called into the new quorum and as a missionary farewell. Six of the Twelve spoke in the morning, the remainder in the afternoon, after which President Sidney Rigdon “called upon those of the congregation who were satisfied with the choice which the Lord had made of the Twelve to manifest it by rising from their seats, which the congregation universally did. He then bade them farewell.”59 That evening, on the eve of their departure, Joseph Smith hosted the Twelve at his home.60

The two entries that follow describe not only the departure of the Twelve but what became a pattern for their mission. After disembarking at the port of Dunkirk, New York, they preached in the vicinity several days before convening in nearby Westfield, their first Saturday conference with the Saints. The Saturday business and instruction session with members, which often during the mission was accompanied by public preaching, was followed by Sunday meetings, and then a Monday business meeting to close the conference. The traveling councilors then made their way to the next conference, preaching along the way.]

4–9 May 1835 • Monday–Saturday

May 4th 1835. The twelve left Kirtland this morning61 and embarked on board the Steamer Sanduskey, at Fair Port, bound for Dunkirk N.Y.62 where we landed the same day at 5 o’clock P.M.63 We preached in those regions for a short time64 and then met in Westfield pursuant to previous appointment where we held a conference May 9th. in order to transact such business as should be found necessary. This [Traveling] High council met with the church, Elder Thomas B Marsh, 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 Pennsylvania, North as far as Lake Erie and East as far as Lodi, embraceing the branches of Westfield, Silver-Creek Perrysburgh and Laona, to be called the

“Westfield Conference.”

2nd To inquire into the standing of all the Elders 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 Gentile 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 Westfield was represented by Elders Geo. Babcock & James Burnham (the presideing Elder, John Gould 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 L[l]oyd L Lewis, 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 Laona was represented by Elder Edmond Fisher [one of the]65 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”.66

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 Elders [Thomas B.] Marsh & [David W.] Patten addressed them in the fore and afternoon. They also broke bread bread in the afternoon to the saints. Five persons came forward desireing baptism, after haveing expressed their belief in our testimony. They were received to baptism by the church which was administered by Elder W[illiam] E. M’c. Lellin and confirmation was attended to in the evening.

Monday morning Conference met pursuant to adjournment and proceeded to business.

Resolved Unanimously, that this Conference go to immediately and appoint their “wise men” and gather up their riches and send them to purchase lands according to previous commandments that all things be prepared before them in order to their gathering. 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.67 Conference was then dismissed68 and publick preching commenced at 3 o’clock by Eld— B[righam] Young69 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 Orson Hyde and confirmed in the evening by laying on of hands. Also laid hands upon many that were sick and infirm and they obtaind relief—Adjourned until the 22nd Inst. to meet in Freedom N. York—

Orson Hyde { Clerk [p. 10]

 

[Editorial Note: Following the conclusion of the Westfield conference, the Apostles set off in pairs to preach in different locations until assembling again on May 22 in Freedom, New York, for the next conference. As Brigham Young noted, the pattern was that “the quorum of the Twelve proceeded eastward, two going together preaching the gospel,” until gathering “to hold conferences in the different branches, according to previous appointment.70 In this instance, all moved on except Elders Hyde and McLellin, who “tarried to arrange the minutes of our conference and record them.71 The two were, as McLellin noted in his diary, “joined in our ministry for the present in consequence of our clerkship.” Their ministry included writing in addition to preaching and ordaining—and praying. On May 14 they spent six hours “together in the woods in prayrs and contemplation endeavouring to obtain an open vision but we did not altho. we felt that we drew very near to God.72 Orson Pratt and Lyman Johnson traveled together until May 14, when Pratt fell ill and Johnson pressed on to Freedom to get help. On May 16, a member from Freedom arrived with a wagon and carried the ailing Pratt to Freedom where he had “the hands of 3 or 4 of the elders laid upon [him]” and began to mend.73 Traveling together, Brigham Young and William Smith reached the home of Warren Cowdery, presiding elder of the Freedom Conference, on Thursday, May 21, “where we found our Brethren the 12.74 In Freedom, members of the Twelve presided over a Friday to Monday conference, following the pattern of their Westfield experience.]

22–23 May 1835 • Friday–Saturday

Freedom, N. York, May 22, 1835.

This morning agreeably to appointment, a conference met in this place,75 The twelve Apostles or travelling high council being present, after an agreeable salutation and rejoiceing in each other’s prosperity, Elder D[avid] W. Patten being chairman conference was opened by singing and prayer by the president.

Resolved that the limits of this conference extend from Lodi in the west so far East as to include Avon, South to Pennsylvania and North to Lake Ontario to be called the

“Freedom Conference”

includeing the branches of Freedom, Rushford, Portage, Grove, Burns, Geneseo and Avon, 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, W. A. Cowdry [Warren Cowdery] represented the branch in this place to be 65 in number in good fellowship. F[razier] Eaton represented the branch in Rushford to be 28 in number & altho young, yet strong in the faith. Priest W[illiam] Marks 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 Geneseo and Java not represented. Holland branch represented by Elder P[arley] P. Pratt 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 Mansfield and round about were represented by Eldr J[ohn] Murdock 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—

/76May 23rd. Conference met according to adjournment77 in order to take into consideration the meanes necessary for the redemption of Zion. Elder Patten opened the meeting by prayr—and five of the counsellors78 addressed the conference on the nature and propriety of the gathering 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 church expressed their determination to put into practice the teachings we had given them.79

They were then dismissed with a blessing from the Presidents— Amen

25 May 1835 • Monday

May 25th.

The twelve 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 conferences. Elder D[avid] W. Patten presiding opened by calling upon the Lord.*

〈*The traveling high council or twelve Apostles never proceed to do any business without first calling upon the Lord. In future therefore this will not be recorded〉80

1st Resolved, that we recommend and council [counsel] Elders J[ohn] Murdock and L[loyd] Lewis 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 branches. [p. 12]

2nd. Resolved, that Elder B[righam] Young go immediately from this place to an adjacent tribe of the remnants of Joseph and open the dool [door] of salvation to that long dejected and afflicted people.81 The council according to his request, laid their hands 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 J. P. Green [John P. Greene] and A[mos] Orton for the same purpose, in as much as they expected to accompany him.

 

[Editorial Note: Although Young and his companions left Freedom for their Indian mission immediately following the Monday morning conference described above, because “there was a general meeting given out for Saturday and Sunday,” some of the Twelve stayed through the following weekend. Four of them attended and presumably all preached at those public meetings (“Elders P. Pratt and J. Boynton preached on Saturday”) before traveling to the next conference, appointed for June 5 in Lyons, New York. Usually the missionaries traveled and preached in pairs (Parley Pratt and John F. Boynton traveled together on this occasion), but this time “six or eight of the twelve” arrived together at Portage, “where there is a small branch.” Appointments were immediately set for public preaching the following weekend, and four of the Twelve, including Elders Pratt and Boynton, remained in the village for those meetings.82

Traveling without funds for food and lodging presented both challenges and opportunities as the men attempted to stay with members or be “kept as disciples” in homes along the way. Sometimes they were well received, but on other occasions they went without food and sometimes without shelter. As they made their way to the next conference, one night Heber C. Kimball and Luke Johnson stopped at a dozen different homes seeking shelter but were turned away. At midnight they used their last coin to pay for lodging at a tavern but went to bed without supper. After a six-mile walk next morning, they finally found hospitality at the home of Esquire David Ellsworth, a friendly non-Latter-day Saint who later joined the Church.83 This leg of the journey was less taxing for some. McLellin reported that on June 2 the Pratt brothers, L[yman?] Johnson and John Boynton overtook him and Hyde at Genesee, a thriving branch until most members moved to Kirtland, and June 3 the group traveled by wagon almost to Pittsford where “we took a canal boat about sunset for Lyons and rode smoothly on.” The next day a five-mile walk got them to their destination.84]

5 June 1835 • Friday

/85Rose or Lyonstown N.Y. June 5, 1835.

Met this day in council, three of the Twelve being absent (Viz) Elders Brigham Young, Parley P Pratt and William Smith. 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 Orson Hyde and Brigham Young, who arrived just in time, returned to Kirtland Ohio as Witnesses86 on a certain case wherein President Joseph Smith Jun was concerned, before the county courts, in which he rightiously triumphed over his enemies.

 

[Editorial Note: As the above entry confirms, with so few members there was little business of the usual sort, but the gathering was still an opportunity to counsel together and to teach the few. According to McLellin, the meeting, held on Friday “at Elder Coburn’s,” lasted from 10:00 to 4:00, after which some of the elders immediately left for the next conference, set for June 19, at Pillar Point. But for those who remained, two days of public preaching (Saturday and Sunday) followed the otherwise short conference. McLellin and Patten were entertained hospitably that Friday night by someone who had been a Methodist, and they preached at a church on Saturday night. On Sunday, June 7, they attended a Baptist service before their own preaching appointment. That night, reported McLellin, “a Methodist man who received us in the name of deciples” entertained them well.87 After Young preached Sunday, he and Hyde (and presumably William Smith) headed west for Kirtland, answering their summons to testify at a trial for Joseph Smith.88

If members and business were scarce in Lyons, the conference two weeks later in Pillar Point was very different. It opened with a two-day conference with members, with Friday’s business meeting lasting “till late in the afternoon” and reconvening Saturday morning. McLellin presided because Hyde, whose turn it was, was absent.89 If they followed the usual pattern, there may have been public preaching Saturday afternoon or evening and Sunday, as the Record of the Twelve hints, likely included both a meeting with members and public preaching, with public preaching Monday morning closing the conference.]

19–22 June 1835 • Friday–Monday

Pillow-Point [Pillar Point] N.Y. June 19, 1835.

According to previous appointment, nine of the counsellors met with the church in conference. Elder W. E. M’c. Lellin Chairman.

Resolved, that the limits of this conference embrace all the northeastern part of this state 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 James Blakeslee 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 Stockholm and Three in Potsdam 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 gather in confusion but have all things prepard before them.90 The conference unanimously acquiesced in the teachings of the counsellors & resolved to put them in practice as fast as practicable. Adjourned until the 20.th Then met91 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 church, therefore the conference lifted their hands against him. Conference closed and after public meeting and breaking bread among the saints,92 the next day 5 persons were baptized & ad[d]ed to the church. Public meeting closed on Monday forenoon after haveing a good season and much liberty in teaching.——

 

[Editorial Note: Again, the Apostles divided up to travel in pairs, but this time not all had the same destination. Only some, including Parley P. Pratt, Thomas B. Marsh, and William E. McLellin, took a lake steamer to Kingston for the conference on Monday, June 29, in West Loughborough, Upper Canada. Others, wrote McLellin, “not thinking it would be important for them to go, started easterly for the next conference,” at which they would all be expected to attend, set for July 17 in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.93 Still, six of the Twelve were present at the West Loughborough conference on June 26 after the three who headed to Kingston from Pillar Point were joined by the return of the three who had traveled to Kirtland. According to McLellin, this unusual Monday appointment for the conference with members was preceded by Sunday preaching to “a large congregation collected in a barn,” where he spoke in the morning and Elder Marsh and others in the afternoon, “and just as we were about to dismiss [on Sunday, June 28,] Elder Hyde & Young arrived from Kirtland” with letters and news.94 Elder Smith, who caught an earlier steamer, had already arrived, but Young and Hyde were a day behind after falling asleep and missing the lake steamer that carried Smith and other elders to Kingston.95]

29 June 1835 • Monday

Our next conference was held in West Lo[ugh]borough Upper Canada June 29.th Six of the counsellors were were absent (viz) D[avid] W. Patten, H[eber] C Kimball Luke Johnson Orson Pratt, J[ohn] F. Boynton and Lyman Johnson.—

P[arley] P. Pratt presided in council, The business of necessity was done by common consent of the church a majority of the Twelve not being present.

Twenty Five members compose the church in this place, We found them uninformeed in the principles of the new covenant, not haveing had an opportunity for instruction, being under another government and aside from the general course of the travelling elders: But we endeavored to instruct them faithfully in the knowledge of God.96 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 branch. A number were ad[d]ed to this branch 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 Vt. [p. 15]

 

[Editorial Note: Following their usual pattern, after a few days preaching in the region, the traveling councilors “seperated to meet again in [S]t Johnsbury V.T.” on July 17 for their next conference. Elders Young and McLellin preached together before the July 1 scattering of the Twelve and then “concluded to tarry a while longer in Canada,” extending their missionary labors there, before joining their brethren in Vermont.97 Others of the Twelve who had skipped the conference in Upper Canada were making their own ways to St. Johnsbury, preaching along the way. Orson Pratt reported leaving Pillar Point on June 25 “in company with four of the twelve in a wagon, which brought us to Pottsdam Village,” where he preached that evening. Two days later he and Heber C. Kimball traveled by wagon to Plattsburg, where they caught a steamboat to cross to St. Albans, Vermont.98 Here Pratt and Kimball separated, Pratt making his own way to the next conference. Kimball visited Sheldon, Vermont, his birthplace, and on Sunday, June 28, he preached alone: “I preached to my friends and relatives several times. I passed over the Green mountains on foot and alone, ten miles between houses, through deep gorges,” a shortcut that allowed him to arrive on time at the next conference.99]

17–19 July 1835 • Friday–Sunday

St. Johnsbury— Vt July 17th

This day the Twelve met in conference agreeably to previous appointment, Elder Luke Johnson presided.— Resolved that this State be the limits of this conference, also to include the branches in Littleton, Dalton and Landaff of N. Hampshire to be called the— “Vermont Conference”

The Presideing Elder, Gardner Snow, 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 Benson 7 and in— Lewis 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 gathering 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 commandments,100 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 baptised for the remission thereof. We truly had an interesting meeting in this place.

Orson Hyde
W[illiam] E. Mc. Lellin { Clerks

 

[Editorial Note: Orson Pratt wrote of the St. Johnsbury conference that “a large number of brethren and official members [men ordained to priesthood office] were present from all the surrounding branches. The twelve sat in council and transacted such business as came before us.”101 In a later published report, Hyde and McLellin described Saints “with whom we had a pleasant season of rejoicing, and whose memory is fixed indelibly upon our heart, because of their firm faith, and also their liberality in the support of the gospel.102

A report by clerk Orson Hyde summarized the conference this way: “Our conference in St. Johnsbury, Vt. was attended by a goodly number of brethren and sisters from different parts. The limits of this conference extends throughout the State, and the number belonging to it, as nearly as we could ascertain, was one hundred and fifty members, in good standing and fellowship. On Saturday our meeting was attended by a respectable number of people. After a sermon was delivered by Elder O. Hyde and exhortation by Elder Lyman Johnson, six came forward to obey the everlasting gospel. Sunday, we had, as was judged, from one thousand to fifteen hundred people, to hear the word preached by Elders McLellin and P. P. Pratt: after which two came forward for baptism, which was administered by Elder L. Johnson.”103 Young’s estimate was higher still. After reporting “a good Conference and a large Congregation” on Saturday, on Sunday “the barn and the yard was crowded it was thought there were between 2 and 3 thousand People,” and 144 carriages were counted. Young noted that in St. Johnsbury they found “Fathers and Mothers, Brothers and sisters [and] here we had our wants administered tomorethan any other church.”104

Orson Pratt stayed in the vicinity of St. Johnsbury for “two or three days” following the conference, then set out on a broad preaching circuit around many parts of New England and that would keep him from meeting again with the Twelve at the next appointed conferences. McLellin, too, set off alone on his own preaching circuit and would not attend the Bradford conference.105 On July 20, Young and Hyde left for New Bradford, with stops along the way. On July 25, they visited with the father of John Boynton of the Twelve and there “found Brother Thomas Marsh who came in the Stage to Concord and on foot from there.” After preaching meetings in the vicinity, Elders Marsh and Young reached Boston on July 27. Young went on to Providence, Rhode Island, “on the railroad” and seemed to marvel that a forty mile journey had required only two hours and twenty minutes. He also returned again to Boston before reaching Bradford for the conference.106]

7 August 1835 • Friday

Bradford Mass. Augt. 7, 1835.

Met in Conference in order to transact such business as should be brought before them, three of the counsellors being absent (viz) David W Patten, W[illiam] E M’c. Lellin and Orson Pratt. Elder William Smith presided, and it was unanimously Resolved that the limits of this conference should embrace the State to be called the.

“Massachusetts Conference”

The Elders present except Chase, Holmes & G. Bishop— were in good standing. Elder Chase had his licence and membership taken from him because of gambling for money and then breaking bread to the saints 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 Church of God. A letter of complaint was written to Kirtland 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 brethren107

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 Saco & Farmington should be altered so as to close our last conference at Farmington jast one month earlier than the former appoint[ment] 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.

Orson Hyde } Clerk

 

[Editorial Note: In a later published report, Hyde noted of the Bradford conference that there were “but few brethren in this region, yet we found them seeking to become liberated from their temporal encumbrances” so that they could gather with the Saints in the West when the call came. He and his brethren also found some “who had not united themselves to the church, who entertained us very kindly. . . . May the Lord . . . bestow his choicest blessings upon this little society, on account of their generosity towards his servants.”108

The shortened itinerary established at Bradford meant only two (instead of four) weeks between the Bradford gathering and the next conference, and three weeks (instead of eight weeks) before the end of their quorum mission. Elders Hyde and Young traveled first to Lowell, where on subsequent nights they each preached (first Hyde, then Young) in the Jefferson Hall. They spent August 14–16 in Boston, where Elders Marsh, Parley Pratt, and Young preached in the Julian Hall. Elder Kimball, also with them in Boston, reported that each of them were there presented with a new suit of clothes by sisters Fanny Brewer, Polly Voce, and others. Kimball also reported that at Dover they visited a large cotton factory where work stopped while all hands gazed with curiosity at the “Mormon Apostles.” On August 17 they left Boston for the Saco, Maine, conference and arrived on August 19, two days ahead of the appointed gathering.109 Meanwhile, on August 17 in Kirtland, the General Assembly of the Church met to approve the publication of the Doctrine and Covenants.110]

21–23 August 1835 • Friday–Sunday

Saco Maine Augt. 28 21st. 1835.

Seven of the Twelve met in Conference at this place (Viz) T[homas] B. Marsh, B[righam] Young, H[eber] C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, William Smith, J[ohn] F. Boynton & Lyman Johnson. There was no business of importance for the conference here to attend to. Elder Boynton presided and the church in this place was represented by the priest to number 57 generally in good standing. Elder Boynton represented a little branch 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 P[arley] P. Pratt arrived from Boston 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 house of the Lord in Kirtland, and the printing of the word of God to the nations;111 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.112 Some were ad[d]ed to the church in this place during our stay.

Orson Hyde } Clerk

N.B. The Church in the above place contributed money unto us to assist us in returning home to Ohio, to the am[oun]t 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 celestial Kingdom. This record is according to our covenant with them.113

Orson Hyde. } Clerk.

 

[Editorial Note: The Sunday conference with Saco members and public preaching meeting that followed did not end the official activities of the conference. Although the minutes do not reflect it, the conference ended with a second session with members on Monday at which the Traveling Council of the Twelve “gave them such instruction as was necessary for them to have.” On Tuesday the visiting elders departed for their conference in Farmington, Maine, where they arrived on Wednesday, two days before the Friday conference, their last.114

Although eleven of the Twelve attended this final conference, only by heroic effort did William E. McLellin arrive in time. Having missed the August 7 Bradford conference where the remaining conference schedule was truncated and the Farmington conference moved up from October 2, he was not aware of the August 28 meeting until Tuesday, August 25, when “Elder Dan[ie]l Bean came and brought me word” that the conference would be held “the ensueing Friday and the Twelve had sent word that they wished me to attend.” He and Elder Bean left immediately “and traveled the worst road that I ever see in all my life. Night overtook us and it rained hard and we could see just as much (in passing about 3 miles through the wood) with the ends of our fingers as with our eyes—I shall never forget this night Though I may travel ore the world.” They arrived Thursday afternoon for the Friday conference.115]

28 August 1835 • Friday

Farmington Me. Augt. 28, 1835.

The travelling high council assembled in conf. in this place, all except Orson Pratt. Elder Ly[man] Johnson took the chair and presided during the meeting.— Resolved, that this be called the Maine conference. Elder S[ylvester] B. Stoddard 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 baptized a number. He represented the church in this place to number 32 Elder Daniel Bean, a travelling Eldr represented the branch 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 instructions116 as the nature of our mission and ministry required [p. [20]]

 

[Editorial Note: Again, the Friday conference was followed by two days of public preaching. On Saturday, Elder Luke Johnson preached in the forenoon, Brigham Young in the afternoon; Elder McLellin indicated that he also spoke. On Sunday, John Boynton and Lyman Johnson preached. The conference was held at “Mr Pinkham[’s] tavern” and the public meetings in the meetinghouse at the center of Farmington.117 On Monday, following the second day of public meetings, “We parted to meet in Buffalo N.Y. the 24 Sept.”118]

Epilogue

Despite being in New England, the site of the final conferences, Orson Pratt missed not only the Farmington conference but all three of the August conferences that concluded the quorum mission of the Twelve. He was thus unaware of the specific plan for a return to Kirtland until September 8, when he received a letter from Elder John Boynton “stating that it was necessary to return to Kirtland as soon as possible, that the council had agreed to meet at Buffalo on the 24th of Sept. at sunrise in the morning without fail.”119 Pratt preached much of another week until September 14, when he left Andover, Massachusetts, to rendezvous with his brethren.

Pratt was likely unaware of the shortened conference schedule adopted at the August 7 Bradford conference, and he was surely unaware of an August 4 communication from Kirtland that added urgency to their intentions to finish their mission and return home “as soon as possible.” Although the letter from Kirtland did not arrive in time for the Bradford conference, decisions at the conference and the letter worked together toward an early wrap-up and return home—and the decision to rendezvous at Buffalo so that all reached home together.

The August 4 letter120 was the result of a council meeting in Kirtland that same day in which the Church Presidency and other leaders considered news they had received reflecting upon the conduct of the missionaries in the East. Their information included a letter from Warren Cowdery, presiding elder in Freedom, New York, charging that the Twelve had neither informed them about the importance of, nor collected funds for, the temple in Kirtland. The letter from Joseph Smith and Kirtland leaders to the Twelve then enumerated priorities as the Presidency saw them, priorities they believed had been communicated to the Twelve but which do not appear in the April and May Kirtland minutes or in the Record of the Twelve as plainly as they were now stated in the letter. After referring the Twelve to the revelation that proclaimed that Zion could not be redeemed until after the elders “are endowed with power from on high” in the temple,121 Joseph then asked, “Did we not instruct you to remember first the house, secondly the cause of Zion, and then the publishing the word to the Nations?” This they should have understood, and this he believed they had not done.

A second item was a letter from William McLellin to his wife in which he had made disparaging remarks about the school in Kirtland conducted by Sidney Rigdon of the Presidency.122 Since the remarks at issue were based on comments by Orson Hyde following his brief return to Kirtland early in the mission, Joseph Smith’s August 4 letter informed “Elders McLellin and Hyde that we withdraw our fellowship from them until they return and make satisfaction face to face.” The other Apostles could continue—“let the hands of the ten be strengthened, and let them go forth in the name of the Lord, in the power of their mission”—but the two were hereby recalled.

The Twelve as a quorum felt the sting of rebuke. Not only were they reproved for not emphasizing the temple, they were charged with another infraction of proper order. Speaking of the Twelve as a quorum, “as far as we can learn from the churches through which you have traveled,” wrote Joseph, “you have set yourselves up as an independent counsel [council] subject to no authority of the church.” While the letter did not expressly instruct the entire quorum to return home without delay, the now shortened schedule permitted a quick return and no doubt their concerns, and their desire to resolve the difficulties, required it.123

Although some of the Twelve left the Farmington conference in pairs,124 they did not travel to Buffalo together or even two by two. Each was responsible to find his own means and make his own way. Kimball “passed through Concord, N.H., and at Plainfield I received seven dollars, a bequest left me by my aunt, which enabled me to proceed home. I went by stage, railroad, and canal, visiting my sister by the way, at Byron” as he traveled to Buffalo.125 Young, in contrast, reported returning to Saco, where “the Brethren helped us to some money to get home.”126 No doubt Young was not the only one who relied on donations provided by the generous Saints in Saco, Maine (see August 21, 1835, above). Though each made his own way west, all arrived at Buffalo, Kimball by stage only an hour before the appointed time.127

The trip home from Buffalo to Kirtland was generally speedy but not uneventful. Aboard the steamer United States, they traveled only as far as Dunkirk, “where she ran aground and sprung a leak.” Only with difficulty did the ship make it to Erie, Pennsylvania, and then “we were under the necessity of running upon a sand bar to save the boat from sinking.” At Erie they boarded another steamer, traveled safely to Fairport Harbor, and then traveled the few miles home to Kirtland in a hired wagon.128

The summary with which Kimball closed his mission account no doubt spoke for his companions as well. “A considerable portion of this mission was performed on foot, and I suffered severely from fatigue and blistered feet, which were sometimes so sore I could not wear my boots nor proceed without. I was frequently threatened and reviled by unbelievers, and had great difficulty in finding places to sleep and procuring food to eat.”129 The men covered impressive distances during their nearly five months in the East, especially the three, including Brigham Young, who were recalled to Kirtland and then returned to the East. Young calculated that he covered more than three thousand miles between May 4 and September 26.130 In their published report, Hyde and McLellin characterized their accomplishments in other terms. “The nature of our mission to the east was peculiar, and required us to spend most of our time among the various branches of the church; however, as we had opportunity we proclaimed the gospel in every place where there was an opening, and truly there is an effectual door opened for good and faithful laborers among the intelligent and liberal people of the east.”131

The Twelve arrived home on September 25, perhaps late that night,132 and on the evening of September 26 they met with Joseph Smith and other Kirtland leaders. Orson Pratt termed the meeting “a conference,” as if it were a business meeting such as they had held in the East.133 But Joseph Smith’s diary reports that “we met them [the Twelve] and conversed upon some matters of difficulty which ware existing between some of them, and president [Sidney] Rigdon,” that is, the same matter for which Orson Hyde and William McLellin were recalled from their mission to resolve. As far as Joseph Smith was concerned, “all things were settled satisfactorily.”134

This, however, was not the end but the beginning of a season of difficulty between the Presidency and the Twelve. Rather than return home to accolades after a job well done, which they had some reason to expect, it was instead to criticism and charges and chastisement—and tension over a range of issues that could not be settled in one evening’s “conference.”135 There would be high points (on October 5 Joseph had a “glorious time” in a “high councel of the twelve apostles”) and low times (a November 3 revelation chastising the Twelve),136 but there would be no full and final resolution of all difficulties until the following January.

With planned religious activities associated with the nearly finished temple close at hand, Kirtland Church leaders, including the Quorum of the Twelve, spent the weekend of Saturday, January 16, and Sunday, January 17, 1836, meeting together to resolve all difficulties.137 On Saturday, after listening patiently to the complaints and perspective of the Twelve, Joseph calmly responded with his own explanations and then asked for their forgiveness, “for I love you and will hold you up with all my heart in all righteousness before the Lord.” He then covenanted with them that he would neither listen to nor credit “any derogatory report against any of you nor condemn you upon any testimony beneath the heavens, short of that testimony which is infallible, until I can see you face to face” and asked the same of them. They then “took each other by the hand in confirmation of our covenant and their was perfect unison of feeling . . . and our hearts overflowed with blessings.” Instead of preaching, the Sunday meeting was devoted to “the presidency and twelve in speaking each in their turn,” and “the Lord poured out his spirit upon us, and the brethren began to confess their faults one to the other and the congregation were soon overwhelmed in tears and some of our hearts were too big for utterance.”138

In the words of Heber C. Kimball, these meetings “of humiliation, repentance, and confessing of sins, were truly the beginning of good days to us, and they continued through the endowment.”139 The reconciliation was accomplished just in time: that very week, beginning on January 21, the spiritual blessings associated with the temple began unfolding.140

Ronald K. Esplin is managing editor of the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Church Historical Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He received history degrees from the University of Utah, the University of Virginia, and Brigham Young University.

Sharon E. Nielsen is an editor on the Joseph Smith Papers Project. She holds an MA in Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies from the University of Michigan.


1. The wording of the first title page can be seen in the transcription on p. 21 below.

2. Records kept in the 1835–36 period (for example, Joseph Smith’s journals) usually refer to the Kirtland Temple as “the House of the Lord”; infrequently the word “chapel” is used; “temple” did not become standard until later.

3. Dean C. Jessee, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen, eds., Journals, Volume 1: 1832–1839, vol. 1 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2008), 215 (March 30, 1836). The Joseph Smith Papers project from the Church Historian’s Press, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, has images and transcripts of all the revelations and minute books cited in this article available online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

4. This document, known as section 107 in modern LDS editions, was printed in the Doctrine and Covenants 1835 edition as section 3, “On Priesthood,” pp. 82–89; reproduced in Robin Scott Jensen, Richard E. Turley Jr., and Riley M. Lorimer, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations, vol. 2 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011), 392–99; and online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org. The traditional date for this instruction is March 28, 1835, but because Joseph Smith was not in Kirtland on that date, it was probably taught and recorded the following week. Because no manuscript survives, the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants is the earliest known text for the first half of this document. The last half incorporates an earlier November 11, 1831, revelation.

5. For a historical study of the calling and early activities of the Twelve, including this mission, see Ronald K. Esplin, “The Emergence of Brigham Young and the Twelve to Mormon Leadership” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University dissertation, 1981; Provo, Utah: BYU Studies, 2006), 125–204 (47–77).

6. In a May 24, 1870, letter published in the September 15, 1870, issue of the True Latter Day Saints’ Herald, McLellin wrote, “I was clerk of the conference in which the twelve were chosen, and I was appointed by the twelve as a scribe among them. And I now have our apostolic record, as we first made it up.” As he did not retain the record book, he must have retained, as he said, the “record as we first made it up,” that is, the original inscriptions. W. E. McLellan, “Elder D. H. Bays,” True Latter Day Saints’ Herald 17 (September 15, 1870): 553–54.

7. Revelation, June 1829-B [D&C 18:26–36], in Jensen, Turley, and Lorimer, Revelations and Translations, Volume 2, 46, online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

8. Minute Book 1, 147–51 (February 14, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

9. Minute Book 1, 86–88 (February 27, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

10. Minute Book 1, 147–51 (February 14, 1835).

11. Referring to Doctrine and Covenants 18:26–36 (Revelation, June 1829-B).

12. The blessings of Orson Hyde, David W. Patten, Luke Johnson, William E. McLellin, John F. Boynton, and William Smith are recorded as given February 15, 1835. Minute Book 1, 151–54 (February 15, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

13. Minute Book 1, 154–64 (February 21, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

14. Minute Book 1 agrees that Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Pratt “had not yet arrived to receive their ordinations” on February 27, 1835. Minute Book 1, 86 (February 27, 1835).

15. Minute Book 1, 158–64 (February 21, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

16. History, 1838–56, Volume B-1, 571–75, online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

17. Minute Book 1, 86–88 (February 27, 1835).

18. Minute Book 1 records an assembly of Church leaders, including the Twelve, on May 2, 1835, the eve of the Apostles’ departure on their mission. The Record of the Twelve also contains an account of this “grand council,” as the Record of the Twelve terms it (pp. 26–29 below).

19. See n. 4 above.

20. See what was recorded as “the written testimony of the Twelve” in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, 256, in Jensen, Turley, and Lorimer, Revelations and Translations, Volume 2, 566, online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org. The language of this testimony is essentially the same as the one prepared for publication in the 1833 Book of Commandments; the unpublished manuscript prepared for the 1833 book bore the endorsements of eighteen Kirtland and Missouri leaders, including six (Thomas B. Marsh, Orson Hyde, William E. McLellin, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and Parley P. Pratt) who would become members of the original Twelve. For the earlier version, see Robin Scott Jensen, Robert J. Woodford, and Steven C. Harper, eds., Manuscript Revelation Books, facsimile edition, first volume of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2009), 215.

21. The Orson Pratt Journals, ed. Elden J. Watson (Salt Lake City: N.p., 1975), 60 (May 3, 1835).

22. Orson Hyde and W. E. McLellin, “Bro. O. Cowdery,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (March 1835): 90; the printed announcement presented the conference list in a paragraph, which we have changed to a table.

23. Hyde and McLellin, “Bro. O. Cowdery,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (March 1835): 90.

24. Minute Book 1, 188 (May 2, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

25. See the September 1835 summaries in Brigham Young, Journal, 1832–36, manuscript, Brigham Young Collection, Church History Library.

26. Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, Utah: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994), 170–97.

27. A trove of interesting information about traveling in New York in the 1830s can be found at “Stagecoach Days,” a blog by Richard Palmer at http://stagecoachdays.blogspot.com. The blog has discussions of methods of travel; scans and photographs of stagecoaches, canal boats, steamers, and wayside inns; and newspaper clippings advertising routes and prices.

28. Young, Journal, 40–41; spelling regularized.

29. Young, Journal, 34–35; spelling regularized.

30. “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News, February 10, 1858, 385–86.

31. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 59–72.

32. “Extracts from H. C. Kimball’s Journal,” Times and Seasons 6 (April 15, 1845): 866–69; also available in Stanley B. Kimball, On the Potter’s Wheel: The Diaries of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1987), 205–8.

33. “Synopsis of the History of Heber Chase Kimball,” Deseret News (April 14, 1858): 33.

34. Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Kimball family, 1888), 92–100.

35. Orson Hyde and William E. McLellin, “To Oliver Cowdery, Esq.,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (May 1835): 115–16. Prior to this, the Messenger and Advocate had published notices about the forthcoming conferences and instructed conference leaders how to prepare: Hyde and McLellin, “Bro. O. Cowdery,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (March 1835): 90.

36. “Missionaries,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (July 1835): 153, for the first three conferences; and “From the Letters of the Elders Abroad,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (August 1835): 167, for Orson Hyde’s report on St. Johnsbury.

37. Orson Hyde and William E. McLellin, “Dear Brother,” Messenger and Advocate 2 (October 1835): 205.

38. Text: Orson Hyde handwriting begins here.

39. The text of this title page is repeated as the second title page, on the recto of the following leaf, with larger lettering and with the additional words “of christ.”

40. For a fuller account of this meeting, see Minute Book 1, 147–51 (February 14–15, 1835); see also Minute Book 1, 86–88 (February 27, 1835), for more on the organization of the Twelve.

41. See Doctrine and Covenants 18:9, 26–39; Revelation, June 1829-B.

42. Heber Kimball named each of the Three Witnesses and stated that “these brethren ordained us to the apostleship,” then added: “After we had been thus ordained by these brethren, the first presidency laid their hands on us, and confirmed these blessings and ordinations.” “Extracts from H. C. Kimball’s Journal,” Times and Seasons 6 (April 15, 1845): 868–69.

43. For another account of this meeting see Minute Book 1, 86–88 (February 27, 1835). Cowdery added details about the setting and people present that McLellin did not preserve. In his preamble, Cowdery wrote: “This evening a meeting of nine of the twelve of the Apostles, who had been chosen and ordained was held at the house of President Joseph Smith,” after which he named the nine present and accounted for those not present.

44. Only after this instruction by Joseph Smith about record keeping and the appointment of McLellin and Hyde as clerks for the Twelve did this record begin. The prior entry, then, was written retrospectively (and is less detailed than the minute kept by Oliver Cowdery). The activities of this day also explain why this Record of the Twelve does not contain a record of two significant meetings earlier in February that also related to the calling and instruction of the Twelve. See Minute Book 1, 147–51 (February 14–15, 1835), 154–64 (February 21, 1835). See p. 10 above.

45. Text: Inadvertent repetition of “shall” here.

46. On March 7, the Saturday previous, John P. Greene was “ordained a missionary to the Lamanites after others have unlocked the door; with a promise of gathering many to Zion. and of returning at the end of his mission with great joy, to enjoy the blessings of his family.” Minute Book 1, 195 (March 7, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org. Young’s brothers Phineas H. Young and Lorenzo Young had also been ordained missionaries to the Lamanites. Minute Book 1, 196–97 (March 8, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org. See also entries for May 2 and May 24, 1835, below, for Brigham Young’s responsibility to “open a door.”

47. According to the Messenger and Advocate, the plan finalized and ratified on March 12 was prepared the previous Sunday, March 8, 1835. See pp. 14, 16 above. That Sunday evening council would have followed two days of meetings at which those who had assisted in building the temple received individual blessings—and at which three men were ordained as missionaries to the Lamanites. Minute Book 1, 192–97 (March 7–8, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org. The Messenger and Advocate report gives the same planned schedule except that it does not include the May 2 Kirtland conference. On the same page another notice cancels all prior appointments for the East except the Freedom conference. A third notice advises Elders Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Pratt, who presumably did not yet know of their calls to the quorum, let alone the mission plan, to attend a meeting of elders in Kirtland April 26 “as their presence is very desirable.” Hyde and McLellin, “Bro. O. Cowdery,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (March 1835): 90.

48. By this point, the Record of the Twelve concerns itself mainly with the upcoming mission and therefore fails to record other important quorum events. See n. 4 above. Between this entry and the next, the Twelve received from Joseph Smith important instructions on priesthood, published as section 3 in the new 1835 Doctrine and Covenants [D&C 107], published just before the missionaries returned to Kirtland. See p. 14 above.

49. A surviving elder’s license for Parley P. Pratt, dated April 26, 1835, suggests that the Apostles and others at this assembly of the Twelve and Seventy who did not yet have such licenses received them this day in preparation for their mission. See Elder’s License for Parley P. Pratt, Kirtland, Ohio, April 26, 1835, Joseph Smith Collection, Church History Library.

50. In a later reminiscence, Orson Pratt recounted coming upon a member in Columbus, Ohio, who showed him a notice published in the Messenger and Advocate 1 (March 1835): 90 that requested that he be at Kirtland at an appointed time. The news set him immediately on his way by stage, and after walking the last three miles he arrived, valise in hand, as the meeting was beginning and as “it had been prophesied . . . I would be there that day.” Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1855–86), 12:86–87. According to Heber C. Kimball (who mistakenly places this event earlier in April), the other members of his new quorum were praying for Pratt’s arrival when he walked in. “Extracts from H. C. Kimball’s Journal,” Times and Seasons 6 (April 15, 1845): 868–69.

51. Doctrine and Covenants 18:9, 26–39; Revelation, June 1829-B.

52. See Minute Book 1, 187–92 (May 2, 1835), online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org. The longer minutes show that this grand council lasted for hours, with two lengthy sessions separated by an intermission. See p. 13 above.

53. Even though McLellin, clerk of the Twelve, created both written records of the May 2 “grand council,” he neglected to include in this Record of the Twelve an item related to their forthcoming mission. Only the May 2, 1835, minutes in Minute Book 1, 191, online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org, record that Brigham Young, John P. Greene, and Amos Orton were appointed (“motioned, seconded & voted”) to preach to the Indians; that the door should be opened by Young and that the three should “go and preach the gospel to the remnants of Joseph.” Referring to this in his later history, Young said that “the prophet Joseph” had declared that their labors on this forthcoming mission would “open the door to all the seed of Joseph.” “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News, February 10, 1858, 386. For the service of Young, Greene, and Orton, see entry for May 25, 1835, later in this record.

54. The May 2, 1835, minutes in Minute Book 1, 187, report that in this council “the Twelve took their Seats regularly according to their ages,” and then list the order, which is the same order as the names appear in the first paragraph of this entry.

55. Or “by the Voice of the Church.” Minute Book 1, 187 (May 2, 1835).

56. Text: Inadvertent repetition of “the” here.

57. As their diaries make clear, throughout this mission, the Apostles followed this counsel to “call upon the churches” where they traveled for assistance.

58. Minute Book 1, 191 (May 2, 1835), elaborates on this theme: “President J. Smith Junr arose . . . and made some very appropriate remarks, relative to the deliverance of Zion and so much of the Authority being present, he moved that we never give up the struggle for Zion even until Death. or until Zion is Redeemed. The vote was unanimous and with apparent deep feeling.”

59. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 60 (May 3, 1835).

60. Young, Journal, May 3, 1835.

61. The men were “brought on our way” to Fairport by Roger Orton and William Bosley. Young, Journal, May 4, 1835; spelling regularized.

62. Several accounts mention the happy event, which the Twelve took as a good omen to begin their mission, that the steamer was present and ready to leave without delay. By leaving Kirtland at 2:00 a.m., they arrived at the harbor at 6:00, just in time for the Sandusky’s departure. According to Orson Pratt, “the Lord in his mercy provided a boat for us at the very moment we arrived which was according to our prayers.” Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 60 (May 4, 1835). According to Kimball’s account, “a boat was there as had been predicted by Brother Joseph.” “Extracts from H. C. Kimball’s Journal,” Times and Seasons 6 (April 15, 1845): 868–69.

63. Both Young and Kimball have 4:00 for their arrival. According to Kimball, they had traveled 150 miles and then “stayed over night in Mr. Pemberton’s inn.” “Extracts from H. C. Kimball’s Journal,” Times and Seasons 6 (April 15, 1845): 868–69. Brigham Young stayed instead with Julius Moreton, a relative. Young, Journal, May 4, 1835. Young later recounted that his relative “was not inclined to receive” the principles of the gospel: “He was a man considerably advanced in years,—had never made a profession of religion, but was very much of a gentleman: to avoid calling on me to ask a blessing at table, he asked the blessing himself, probably for the first time in this life.” “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News, February 10, 1858, 386.

64. According to Orson Pratt, the Twelve “left Dunkirk, two by two in order to preach in the regions around about 3 or 4 days.” Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 60 (May 5–7, 1835). This was, says McLellin, because they “took council among ourselves to separate for a few days and preach the Gospel in this region inasmuch as doors were opened to receive us.” Luke Johnson set out with McLellin, and Lyman Johnson with Hyde. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 173 (May 4, 1835). Pratt preached with Thomas B. Marsh. Brigham Young remained in Dunkirk itself, “preaching for a few days.” On the evening of May 5, Young and Parley P. Pratt preached in an academy to a large and attentive audience, and on May 6 L[yman?] Johnson and Young held a meeting in a nearby village. “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News, February 10, 1858, 386; Young, Journal, May 4–6, 1835.

65. Text: Brackets in original.

66. The health code given in Revelation, February 27, 1833 [D&C 89], in Robin Scott Jensen, Robert J. Woodford, and Steven C. Harper, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books, vol. 1 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011), 238–40.

67. After “instruction relative to the redemption of Zion” from the Twelve, members of the Westfield Conference “proceeded to appoint an honorable and wise man according to the revelation in whose hands they could deposit their monies for the purchasing of lands in Zion.” Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 61 (May 11, 1835). See Revelation, December 16, 1833 [D&C 101:70–74], in Jensen, Turley, and Lorimer, Revelations and Translations, Volume 2, 261–70, online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org; see also June 22, 1834 [D&C 105:26–31], in Jensen, Turley, and Lorimer, Revelations and Translations, Volume 2, 283–87, online at https://www.josephsmithpapers.org.

68. This Monday session convened in the morning and ran until 2:00. The afternoon’s public preaching was followed by “confirmation [of those just baptized] in the evening, when the Lord blessed us with his holy spirit and many that were infirm received the laying on of hands, and prayer. Meeting continued until nearly 12 o’clock.” Hyde and McLellin, “To Oliver Cowdery, Esq.,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (May 1835): 115–16. McLellin characterized it as “really . . . a good meeting and a powerful— It continued until about midnight with many good exortations.” Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 176 (May 11, 1835).

69. After reading “a portion of the Saviour’s teaching in the book of Mormon,” Young spoke ninety minutes “contrasting the religions of the day with the truth.” Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 176 (May 11, 1835), bold in original.

70. “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News, February 10, 1858, 386.

71. Hyde and McLellin, “To Oliver Cowdery, Esq.,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (May 1835): 115–16.

72. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 176–77 (May 12–15, 1835).

73. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 62.

74. Young, Journal, May 21, 1835; spelling regularized.

75. Text: Comma possibly changed to a period.

76. Text: Orson Hyde handwriting ends; William E. McLellin begins.

77. This Saturday afternoon gathering was a continuation of the conference with members from Friday. It was preceded by “public preaching at 10 oclock in a large barn,” where Kimball (“Very feelingly indeed”) and McLellin both spoke from John 14. This was the first of two successful public meetings. The one held next day, a Sunday meeting lasting more than three hours, saw “a congregation of probably seven hundred assembled in a large barn” to listen to Orson Hyde’s “plain and powerful discourse on the evidences of the book of Mormon” and Parley P. Pratt’s discourse on “life and immortality.” Because members were also present, the sacrament was administered and some additional church business was conducted. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 179 (May 23–24, 1835).

78. That is, the Apostles, members of the traveling high council.

79. The diary of William E. McLellin confirms that the purpose of the conference was to instruct the members “respecting the deliverance of Zion.” After he, Hyde, and Parley Pratt each spoke at length on the topic, “the brethren seemed to receive our teachings and they s’d that they would obey or endeavor to at least ‘To appoint their wise men’ &c.” Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 179 (May 23, 1835). The instruction to appoint such wise men is Revelation, December 16, 1833 [D&C 101:70–74]; see also Revelation, June 22, 1834 [D&C 105:26–31]. These teachings at the Freedom conference emphasizing Zion and the gathering without also mentioning the temple later became a matter of contention between the Twelve and the Presidency (see epilogue, pp. 48–52 below).

80. Text: This insertion was written at the bottom of the page, keyed to the text by the asterisk.

81. This side mission to Native Americans had been planned in Kirtland. See May 2, 1835, above. Young, Greene, and Orton departed soon after the close of this May 25 morning conference to visit “an adjacent tribe” of New York Indians and began their separate mission by preaching that evening. According to William McLellin, their mission was to the “Senecas of the remnants of Joseph on the Allegany river.” Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 179 (May 25, 1835). Young and his associates met with many Indians, including two chiefs, one a Presbyterian. On June 1, Young started on his “journey for the east” to rejoin his brethren at the June 5 conference in Lyons. Young, Journal, May 25–June 1, 1835.

82. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 64–65 (May 25–June 1, 1835).

83. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 93.

84. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 181 (June 1–4, 1835).

85. Text: William E. McLellin handwriting ends; Orson Hyde begins.

86. As the opening lines of this minute confirm, Young did not rejoin his brethren in time for the June 5 conference, but instead joined them at the site of the conference just in time to turn around and head back to Kirtland. After leaving Indian lands June 1, he managed to catch rides east but by June 5, the day of the conference, had traveled only as far as Mendon, New York, where he stopped to visit former friends and neighbors. He then traveled by canal to Lyons, where he arrived June 6 and learned that he and Orson Hyde had been sent for. He stayed in Lyons for the two days of public preaching following the conference (and preached on Sunday), and then Monday, June 8, he, Orson Hyde, and William Smith started for Kirtland and arrived Thursday, June 11. “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News, February 10, 1858, 386. “I found my family and friends all well and in good spirits and the Lord was with them,” he reported. According to his journal, since leaving Kirtland on May 4 he had traveled 800 miles and preached twelve times. Young, Journal, June 4, 1835; spelling regularized.

87. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 183 (June 5–8, 1835).

88. Young, Journal, June 8, 1835. The trial involved a charge claiming that Joseph Smith had assaulted his brother-in-law Calvin Stoddard. Interestingly, the Record of the Twelve notes only Brigham Young and Orson Hyde being called to Kirtland for the trial. The record of the trial indicates that Stoddard, William Smith, Lucy Smith, and an individual named Burgess testified before the grand jury on June 16. Although Young and Hyde apparently were not called as witnesses, they may have been interrogated before the trial and possibly were in court on June 20. The court dropped the charges against Joseph. State of Ohio v. Smith, No. 03002, Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Transcript of Proceedings; Painesville (Ohio) Telegraph, June 26, 1835, 3.

89. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 185 (June 19, 1835).

90. According to Revelation, December 16, 1833 [D&C 101:70–74].

91. That is, on Saturday, June 20, the conference with members reconvened in a session that lasted until about 11:30. That meeting was followed by the first public meeting. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 185–86 (June 20–21, 1835).

92. Soon after the conference adjourned, the public meeting began. Lyman Johnson spoke on the February 16, 1832, vision of the afterlife later published as The Vision [D&C 76], David Patten spoke briefly, and the meeting closed at 1:30. McLellin then exercised his presiding prerogative and appointed another session at 5:00, “supposing that the brethren would go home and take dinner and return, but the most of them tarried and stood round talking, waiting with anxiety for 5 to come.” Parley P. Pratt complained to McLellin “that his feelings had not been so tried with any president since he had started on his mission,” because he had appointed another meeting when Pratt and others thought there was no need for one. Thomas B. Marsh, apparently also upset with McLellin, then declined taking his turn to preach. Feeling forsaken by his brethren but determined to finish what he had begun, Elder McLellin both conducted the meeting “and spoke about two hours on the Priests Hoods to the general satisfaction and edification of all present even to the brethren who had opposed me.” After counseling together, Sunday saw better harmony, with agreement that Elders Marsh and Patten, next in the rotation, “should conduct the meetings as it mig[h]t seem them good.” They did so, reported McLellin, and “we had a good meeting.” Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 185–86 (June 20–21, 1835).

93. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 186 (June 23, 1835).

94. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 187 (June 28, 1835).

95. Young, Journal, June 26–30, 1835. After having spent nearly two weeks in Kirtland and vicinity, Young, Hyde, and Smith departed Kirtland for the East on June 24. Young, Journal, June 4–24, 1835. In his later history, Young wrote that once the court in Ohio was finished and they were “liberated, we again started and joined the Twelve in holding conferences, preaching and baptizing, regulating and organizing the churches through the eastern country.” “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News, February 10, 1858, 386.

96. Though isolated and inexperienced, the members of this small branch “not far from the source of the majestic St. Lawrence” River, impressed the traveling councilors. Hyde and McLellin characterized them as “a branch of the Saints who not only received us cordially, but also received our teachings with joy of heart.” Hyde and McLellin, “Dear Brother,” Messenger and Advocate 2 (October 1835): 205.

97. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 187–88 (June 29–July 12, 1835); see also Young, Journal, June 30–July 13, 1835.

98. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 66–67 (June 19–July 17, 1835).

99. “History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 26 (September 3, 1864): 568; Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 94–95.

100. See Revelation, December 16, 1833 [D&C 101:70–74].

101. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 67 (July 17, 1835).

102. Hyde and McLellin, “Dear Brother,” Messenger and Advocate 2 (October 1835): 205.

103. “From the Letters of the Elders Abroad,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (August 1835): 167.

104. Young, Journal, July 17–19, 1835; spelling regularized.

105. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 67–72 (July 17–September 14, 1835). Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 191–95 (July 23–August 25, 1835).

106. Young, Journal, July 20–August 6, 1835; spelling regularized.

107. According to Hyde’s report published in Messenger and Advocate, “Elder G. Bishop has been tried before us, and was acquitted; the charge on which he was suspended, not being sustained. But there were some things in his teaching conduct, &c. for which the council chastised him, and he instead of confessing his faults, arose and justified himself. We saw that he was likely to cleave to the same things still; therefore, we took his license.” “From the Letters of the Elders Abroad,” Messenger and Advocate 1 (August 1835): 167. When Bishop appealed his case to authorities at Kirtland, as the Twelve invited him to do, this case later contributed to tension between the Twelve and Kirtland authorities. See Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 66 (September 28, 1835), 157 (January 16, 1836).

108. Hyde and McLellin, “Dear Brother,” Messenger and Advocate 2 (October 1835): 206; this mission report was by clerks Hyde and McLellin, but McLellin was not present at this conference.

109. Young, Journal, August 11–19, 1835; Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 95.

110. See p. 14 above.

111. “Redemption” referred to redeeming Zion, that is, raising funds to buy lands as part of the process of gathering on and redeeming the land of Zion in Missouri. That both the house of the Lord and printing the word of God are mentioned here, for the first time in the Record of the Twelve, along with the usual emphasis on Zion, indicates that the Twelve had now received the August 4, 1835, letter from Joseph Smith instructing them to emphasize first the house of the Lord, second the cause of Zion, and third “publishing the word to the Nations.” See Joseph Smith and Kirtland High Council to Quorum of the Twelve, August 4, 1835, Joseph Smith Letterbook 1:90–93, Joseph Smith Collection, Church History Library. They may have mentioned both the house of the Lord and publishing the revelations at other conferences, but after the letter they here ensure that the record also reflected those priorities. See epilogue, pp. 48–52, for more information about the letter and these priorities.

112. John Boynton and L[yman?] Johnson preached at this Sunday session. This was only one of a number of public preaching meetings in connection with the Saco conference. On Saturday, Luke Johnson had preached in the morning, Young in the afternoon; Young had also preached on the Thursday evening before the conference opened. Young, Journal, August 20–29, 1835.

113. This important N.B. (Nota Bene—note well or take special notice) addition to the record was likely composed after the August 21 conference as Hyde prepared the permanent record, and many of the donations likely came sometime after the conference. Young recorded that following the Farmington conference a week later, some of the Twelve returned to Saco, “where the Brethren helped us to some money to get home.” Young, Journal, August 30, 1835; spelling regularized. Hyde and McLellin later wrote of Saco that “we found many Saints striving to live according to the law of the celestial kingdom, and this they manifested by their works, which are had in remembrance before the Lord and by those who visited them.” Hyde and McLellin, “Dear Brother,” Messenger and Advocate 2 (October 1835): 206.

114. Young, Journal, August 24–26, 1835; spelling regularized.

115. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 195–96 (August 25–29, 1835).

116. Text: Possibly “instruction,”.

117. Young, Journal, August 28–30, 1835.

118. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 196 (August 30–31, 1835).

119. Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 70 (September 8, 1835).

120. Joseph Smith and Kirtland High Council to Quorum of the Twelve, August 4, 1835.

121. Revelation, June 22, 1834 (D&C 105:9–13).

122. McLellin wrote to his wife, Emeline, “You say that it will not be in your power to go to school this summer. I am glad that it is not, since Elder Hyde has returned and given me a description of the manner in which it is conducted; though we do not wish to cast any reflections.” Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 207 n. 65.

123. Those in the Church Historian’s Office in about 1858 believed that the Twelve had been called home. A statement in the draft of a history of William McLellin prepared for publication in the Deseret News indicates that McLellin’s letter “casting censure upon the presidency in Relation to the school in Kirtland” had repercussions not only for him but “resulted in calling the Twelve to Kirtland.” Historian’s Office, “Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858; 1861,” Church History Library.

124. “Elder William Smith and I traveled together in a small wagon 47 miles to Newry,” McLellin wrote on the day they left Farmington. Shipps and Welch, Journals of William E. McLellin, 196 (August 31, 1835).

125. “History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 26 (September 3, 1864): 568. Kimball’s cousin Charles Spaulding lived in the house where Kimball’s mother was born and reared. Charles passed on the money from his mother, Speedy Spaulding, who had died a short time before. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 96.

126. Young, Journal, August 30, 1835; spelling regularized.

127. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 96.

128. “History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 26 (September 3, 1864): 569.

129. “History of Brigham Young,” Millennial Star 26 (September 3, 1864): 569.

130. Young, Journal, September 26, 1835.

131. Hyde and McLellin, “Dear Brother,” Messenger and Advocate 2 (October 1835): 206.

132. Joseph Smith’s diary records that he met with them the evening of September 26, “the twelve having returned from the east this morning,” but accounts of the missionaries converge on September 25. See Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 64 (September 26, 1835).

133. “I, in company with the rest of the twelve, met in conference on the 26th of Sept.” Watson, Orson Pratt Journals, 72 (September 14–October 1, 1835).

134. Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 66 (September 26, 1835).

135. For the details of this period of tension and then reconciliation, and Joseph Smith’s ultimately successful efforts to bring resolution and unity to his family and to Church leadership in preparation for dedication of the Kirtland Temple and solemn assembly, see Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 64–160 (September 26, 1835–January 16, 1836); for an analysis of these events as they pertain to the Quorum of the Twelve, see Esplin, “Emergence of Brigham Young,” ch. 4, especially pp. 152–86 (57–83 of reprint edition).

136. See Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 68 (October 5, 1835), 83 (November 3, 1835).

137. See Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 156–60 (January 16–17, 1836).

138. Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 156–61 (January 16–17, 1836).

139. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 100; see 98–100 for more on this from the perspective of Kimball.

140. See Jessee, Ashurst-McGee, and Jensen, Journals, Volume 1, 166–71 (January 21, 1836).