Journal, March–September 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
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The 4th & 5th Charges were rejected & the  6th withdrawn Consequently he ()  was of the    Voted by the that  be no longer a Committee to select locations  for the of the Saints——

Editorial Note
The day following ’s trial, the high council tried former Missouri president for his membership in the church. At this high council hearing, Whitmer was to be tried as a high priest, which Whitmer rejected because he still considered himself president and refused to recognize as legitimate the earlier proceedings that removed him from office. Although the 7 November 1837 conference clarified that he presided only over the church in Missouri, Whitmer still believed that he should instead be tried not only as president in Missouri but as a president of the high priesthood and therefore not subject to the decision of a regular council of high priests—and that attending the council and “a[n]swering to charges as a High Priest, should be acknowledgeing the correctness and legality of those former assumed Councils.” Nonetheless, believing that the high council was determined to remove him at all costs—even, he charged, if it required violating the church order outlined in revelations—Whitmer announced by letter his withdrawal from the church’s “fellowship and communion.” After reading Whitmer’s letter, the council concluded that “it was not considered necessary to investigate the case, as he had offered contempt to the Council by writing the above letter” and that Whitmer was therefore “not worthy a membership in the Church,” whereupon he was excommunicated.
This same day the high council also heard the case of , a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. The letter of charges against Johnson included specific instructions regarding an earlier judicial matter, instructions that Johnson rejected as a violation of his constitutional rights. He therefore responded to the letter by refusing to cooperate and by announcing his withdrawal from fellowship with the Saints until that matter was removed from the charges. Johnson’s hearing, which included testimony of a number of witnesses, resulted in his excommunication.

Synopsis of David Whitmer and Lyman Johnson Trials • 13 April 1838

The following against   before the which  assembled on the 13th of April 1838 for the purp ose of attending to such Charges. Which Charges are  as follows
1st For not observing the words  of wisdom, 2nd For unchristianlike conduct  in neglecting to attend to meetings in un iting with and possesing the same spirit of  the desenters 3rd In writing letters to the  desenters in unfaivorable to the  Cause, and to the Character of Joseph Smith  Jr. 4th In neglecting the duties of his ca lling and seperating himself from the Church  while he has a name among us. 5th. For  Signing himself of the  after he had been cut off, in an insultin g, letter to the High Council,
After reading the  above Charges together with a letter sent to the  Pres. of said Council, (a copy of which  may be found recorded in record  Book A.) The Council considered the char ges sustained and Consequently Considred  him of the Church of  Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.—
Also the same day and date a against consisting  of 3 charges which which were read together  with a letter from him in answer to them  Which will be <found> recorded in record [p. 31]
The 4th & 5th Charges were rejected & the 6th withdrawn Consequently he () was of the Voted by the that be no longer a Committee to select locations for the of the Saints——

Editorial Note
The day following ’s trial, the high council tried former Missouri president for his membership in the church. At this high council hearing, Whitmer was to be tried as a high priest, which Whitmer rejected because he still considered himself president and refused to recognize as legitimate the earlier proceedings that removed him from office. Although the 7 November 1837 conference clarified that he presided only over the church in Missouri, Whitmer still believed that he should instead be tried not only as president in Missouri but as a president of the high priesthood and therefore not subject to the decision of a regular council of high priests—and that attending the council and “a[n]swering to charges as a High Priest, should be acknowledgeing the correctness and legality of those former assumed Councils.” Nonetheless, believing that the high council was determined to remove him at all costs—even, he charged, if it required violating the church order outlined in revelations—Whitmer announced by letter his withdrawal from the church’s “fellowship and communion.” After reading Whitmer’s letter, the council concluded that “it was not considered necessary to investigate the case, as he had offered contempt to the Council by writing the above letter” and that Whitmer was therefore “not worthy a membership in the Church,” whereupon he was excommunicated.
This same day the high council also heard the case of , a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. The letter of charges against Johnson included specific instructions regarding an earlier judicial matter, instructions that Johnson rejected as a violation of his constitutional rights. He therefore responded to the letter by refusing to cooperate and by announcing his withdrawal from fellowship with the Saints until that matter was removed from the charges. Johnson’s hearing, which included testimony of a number of witnesses, resulted in his excommunication.

Synopsis of David Whitmer and Lyman Johnson Trials • 13 April 1838

The following against before the which assembled on the 13th of April 1838 for the purpose of attending to such Charges. Which Charges are as follows
1st For not observing the words of wisdom, 2nd For unchristianlike conduct in neglecting to attend to meetings in uniting with and possesing the same spirit of the desenters 3rd In writing letters to the desenters in unfaivorable to the Cause, and to the Character of Joseph Smith Jr. 4th In neglecting the duties of his calling and seperating himself from the Church while he has a name among us. 5th. For Signing himself of the after he had been cut off, in an insulting, letter to the High Council,
After reading the above Charges together with a letter sent to the Pres. of said Council, (a copy of which may be found recorded in record Book A.) The Council considered the charges sustained and Consequently Considred him of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.—
Also the same day and date a against consisting of 3 charges which were read together with a letter from him in answer to them Which will be found recorded in record [p. 31]
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