30480

Letter to John Smith, 2 July 1833

Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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2d July 1833
Brother John Smith— (2d)1

Perhaps this indication of “2d” served to differentiate this John Smith from JS’s uncle John Smith.  


We have just received your letter of the 8th of June, which seems to have been wrttin written in a Spirit of Justifycation on your part; You well recollect that previous to your leaveing this place you was tryd before the Bishops Court

Official church proceedings convened to handle disputes or allegations of misconduct. The officers of the court were a bishop, his assistants or counselors, and additional high priests or elders assembled on an ad hoc basis. Until high councils were established...

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which found you guilty of misdemeanor—2

Extant evidence does not provide explicit reasons for why a hearing before the bishop’s court was held. It is not clear when the hearing occurred, though it likely took place after August 1832, when John Smith’s journal ends, and before 15 December 1832, when his name first appears in Vermillion County branch records. It seems that Smith had done something that required disciplinary action and that he later spoke harshly against church leaders and other members of the church. A February 1831 revelation explained that if one offended another and the offending party did not confess and demonstrate humility and repentance, the offender would face chastisement and “be rebuked openly that he may be ashamed.” (John Smith, Diary, 22 Aug. 1832; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 15 Dec. 1832; Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:91].)  


and desided that you should no longer retain your authaurety in the Church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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.3

John Smith had been ordained an elder, but it is not clear if he had been ordained to the office of high priest by this time. He is listed as a high priest in the minutes of a 25–26 October 1831 conference held in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and in the minutes of a 23 February 1833 conference held in Vermillion County, Ohio. In all other minutes, both before and after these dates, he is listed as an elder. That the presidency sanctioned the proceedings of the bishop’s court clearly indicates that John Smith’s priesthood authority had been removed. (See Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 23 Feb. 1833; for more information on priesthood authority in the church and on the power of the presidency of the high priesthood to take away a person’s priesthood authority, see Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:63–64, 80–83]; and Minutes, 2 May 1833.)  


all of which we as presidents of of the High Preasthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

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4

For information on presidents, or the presidency, of the high priesthood, see the Historical Introduction to Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90].  


Sanction. you name something in your letter that took place at Bro— Alneys Oliver Olney’s

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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in Shalersville5

Shalersville Township, Portage County, Ohio. Shalersville was located north of Ravenna, Ohio, and was about twenty-seven miles southeast of Kirtland. (Berrett, Sacred Places, 3:56–57.)  


on the 27th, and 28th, of August which we perfectly recollect and had you have [p. 50]

JS handwriting begins.  


Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

More Info
2d July 1833
Brother John Smith— (2d)1

Perhaps this indication of “2d” served to differentiate this John Smith from JS’s uncle John Smith.  


We <have> just received your letter of the 8th of June,  which seems to have been wrttin [written] in a Spirit of  Justifycation on your part; You well recollect that  previous to your leaveing this place you was tryd  before the Bishops Court

Official church proceedings convened to handle disputes or allegations of misconduct. The officers of the court were a bishop, his assistants or counselors, and additional high priests or elders assembled on an ad hoc basis. Until high councils were established...

View Glossary
which found you  guilty of misdemeanor—2

Extant evidence does not provide explicit reasons for why a hearing before the bishop’s court was held. It is not clear when the hearing occurred, though it likely took place after August 1832, when John Smith’s journal ends, and before 15 December 1832, when his name first appears in Vermillion County branch records. It seems that Smith had done something that required disciplinary action and that he later spoke harshly against church leaders and other members of the church. A February 1831 revelation explained that if one offended another and the offending party did not confess and demonstrate humility and repentance, the offender would face chastisement and “be rebuked openly that he may be ashamed.” (John Smith, Diary, 22 Aug. 1832; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 15 Dec. 1832; Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:91].)  


and desided that you sho uld no longer retain your authaurety in the Ch urch

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
.3

John Smith had been ordained an elder, but it is not clear if he had been ordained to the office of high priest by this time. He is listed as a high priest in the minutes of a 25–26 October 1831 conference held in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and in the minutes of a 23 February 1833 conference held in Vermillion County, Ohio. In all other minutes, both before and after these dates, he is listed as an elder. That the presidency sanctioned the proceedings of the bishop’s court clearly indicates that John Smith’s priesthood authority had been removed. (See Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 23 Feb. 1833; for more information on priesthood authority in the church and on the power of the presidency of the high priesthood to take away a person’s priesthood authority, see Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:63–64, 80–83]; and Minutes, 2 May 1833.)  


all of which we approove as presidents of  of the High Preasthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

View Glossary
4

For information on presidents, or the presidency, of the high priesthood, see the Historical Introduction to Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90].  


Sanction. you name  you nam[e] something in your letter that took  place at Bro— Alneys [Oliver Olney’s]

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

View Full Bio
in Shalersville5

Shalersville Township, Portage County, Ohio. Shalersville was located north of Ravenna, Ohio, and was about twenty-seven miles southeast of Kirtland. (Berrett, Sacred Places, 3:56–57.)  


on the  27th, and 28th, of August which we  perfectly Agree recollect and had you have [p. 50]
Next
JS and Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, Letter, Kirtland Township

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

More Info
, Geauga Co., OH, to John Smith, Eugene

Located in west central part of state, about three miles from Illinois border and about seventy miles west of Indianapolis. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Population in 1850 about 1,700. Included Eugene village; population in 1840 about 400. Branch of LDS...

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, IN, 2 July 1833. Retained copy, [ca. 2 July 1833], in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 50–51; handwriting of JS and Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
; JS Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for JS Letterbook 1.

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