30480

Letter to John Smith, 2 July 1833

made such Confession as you was required to at Chipiway Chippewa,6

A branch of the Church of Christ was located in Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio. Chippewa was approximately twenty miles southwest of the center of Akron, Ohio. (See “History of Luke Johnson,” [2], Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL.)  


all things would have worked together for your good;7

See Romans 8:28; and Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:24].  


and as I told you, but you did not manifest that degree of humility to the bretheren that was required, but remained obstenate, for that reason God withdrew his Spirit from you and left you in in darkness.8

See Old Testament Revision 1, p. 1 [Moses 1:15].  


in your letter you say many hard things9

See Psalms 60:3; 94:4.  


against the Bretheren Especially Father Smith

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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Br Reyolds Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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the Bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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&c—10

Bishop” refers to Newel K. Whitney. Reynolds Cahoon was a counselor to Bishop Whitney and would have been part of the bishop’s court that disciplined John Smith. If John Smith was still unrepentant about his earlier behavior, then he was likely disparaging Whitney and Cahoon for taking action against him. Why he would speak against Joseph Smith Sr., who had been one of John Smith’s missionary companions, is unknown. (See John Smith, Diary, 7–19 Sept. 1831.)  


all which we highly disaprove,— it seems also that your son Eden Smith

1806–7 Dec. 1851. Laborer. Born in Indiana. Son of John Smith. Baptized into LDS church. Served mission to Ohio, Dec. 1831, 1832. Married first Elizabeth. Rebaptized into LDS church by William E. McLellin, 27 Aug. 1834, in Eugene, Vermillion Co., Indiana....

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is confederate with you and needs to repent together with yourself in all humility; before the Lord; or you must expect to be dealt with agreeable to the Laws of the Church

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

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.
we say you are no more than a private member 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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,11

A “private member” had no authority to preach or administer ordinances. According to the 2 July letter to the Eugene branch, “John Smith [had] been dealt with and his authority taken from him.” The church in Eugene voted to “cut off” John Smith from the church on 13 July 1833. (“The Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [2]; Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, IN, 2 July 1833; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 13 July 1833.)  


Joseph Smith Jr. Pr
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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, Pd [p. 51]
made such Confession as you was required to at  Chipiway [Chippewa],6

A branch of the Church of Christ was located in Chippewa Township, Wayne County, Ohio. Chippewa was approximately twenty miles southwest of the center of Akron, Ohio. (See “History of Luke Johnson,” [2], Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL.)  


all things would have worked together for <your>  good;7

See Romans 8:28; and Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:24].  


and as I told you, but you did not manifest  that degree of humility to the bretheren that was  required, but remained obstenate, for that <reason> God  withdrew his Spirit from you and left <you> in the  in darkness.8

See Old Testament Revision 1, p. 1 [Moses 1:15].  


darkness in your letter you say many  hard things9

See Psalms 60:3; 94:4.  


against the Bretheren Especially Father  Smith

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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Br Reyolds [Reynolds Cahoon]

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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the Bishop

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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&c—10

Bishop” refers to Newel K. Whitney. Reynolds Cahoon was a counselor to Bishop Whitney and would have been part of the bishop’s court that disciplined John Smith. If John Smith was still unrepentant about his earlier behavior, then he was likely disparaging Whitney and Cahoon for taking action against him. Why he would speak against Joseph Smith Sr., who had been one of John Smith’s missionary companions, is unknown. (See John Smith, Diary, 7–19 Sept. 1831.)  


all which we  highly disaprove,— it seems also that your son  Eden [Smith]

1806–7 Dec. 1851. Laborer. Born in Indiana. Son of John Smith. Baptized into LDS church. Served mission to Ohio, Dec. 1831, 1832. Married first Elizabeth. Rebaptized into LDS church by William E. McLellin, 27 Aug. 1834, in Eugene, Vermillion Co., Indiana....

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is confederate with you and needs to repen t together with yourself in all humility;  before the Lord; or you must expect to be dealt  with agreeable to the Laws of the Church

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

View Glossary
.

JS handwriting ends; Frederick G. Williams begins.  


we say you are no more than  a private member 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...

View Glossary
,11

A “private member” had no authority to preach or administer ordinances. According to the 2 July letter to the Eugene branch, “John Smith [had] been dealt with and his authority taken from him.” The church in Eugene voted to “cut off” John Smith from the church on 13 July 1833. (“The Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [2]; Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, IN, 2 July 1833; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 13 July 1833.)  


Joseph Smith Jr. Pr
F[rederick] 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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, Pd [p. 51]
Previous
John Smith and his son Eden Smith

1806–7 Dec. 1851. Laborer. Born in Indiana. Son of John Smith. Baptized into LDS church. Served mission to Ohio, Dec. 1831, 1832. Married first Elizabeth. Rebaptized into LDS church by William E. McLellin, 27 Aug. 1834, in Eugene, Vermillion Co., Indiana....

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(no relation to JS) were baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

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into the Church of Christ

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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in 1831 and immediately became active missionaries.1

John and Eden Smith began serving missions as early as December 1831. John was baptized on 16 May 1831. He was ordained an elder on 17 May 1831 in Northampton, Ohio, by Lyman Wight. Eden was ordained a priest on 11 September 1831 and then ordained an elder on 19 November 1831. (John Smith, Diary, 16–17 May 1831; 11 Sept. 1831; 19 Nov. 1831; see also Eden Smith, Journal, 10 Feb. 1832.)  


John preached with Eden, Joseph Smith Sr.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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, JS, and many others in various counties in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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, including Geauga

Located in northeastern Ohio, south of Lake Erie. Rivers in area include Grand, Chagrin, and Cuyahoga. Settled mostly by New Englanders, beginning 1798. Formed from Trumbull Co., 1 Mar. 1806. Chardon established as county seat, 1808. Population in 1830 about...

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, Medina

Located in northeastern Ohio. Settled 1811. Organized from Portage Co., 1818. Population in 1830 about 7,600. Seat of justice, town of Medina. JS visited many areas in county, including New Portage and Norton, 1834. JS attempted to obtain license from county...

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, Perry, Portage

Located in northeastern Ohio. Settled by 1799. Established June 1807. Bordered by Geauga Co. on north. Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal ran through county; completed 1825. Population in 1830 about 19,000. Population in 1840 about 23,000. Included Portage and Hiram...

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, and Stark. Among the many John baptized were Micah B. Welton; Elizabeth Boosinger Smith, wife of Eden Smith; and Elizabeth’s father, George Boosinger

1784–28 Feb. 1862. Farmer. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Conrad Boosinger and Catharine Barbara Yancer. Journeyed to Trumbull Co., Northwest Territory, ca. 1801. Married first Nancy Simcox, ca. 1807. Enlisted in War of 1812. Lived at Tallmadge, Portage Co....

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.2

John Smith, Diary, 23 June 1831; 9 Aug. 1831; 13 Sept. 1831.  


On 19 November 1831, John ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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his son Eden and Micah Welton to the office of elder

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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.3

John Smith, Diary, 17 Nov. 1831.  


Eden later received two formal calls to proselytize: in a revelation dated 25 January 1832, he was called to serve with Welton, and in a March 1832 revelation, he was called to serve with Stephen Burnett

15 Dec. 1813–14 Feb. 1885. Farmer, tavernkeeper, patent medicine salesman, nurseryman. Born in Trumbull Co., Ohio. Son of Serenus Burnett and Jane Burnes (Burnside). Moved to Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1815. Baptized into LDS church by John Murdock, 21 Nov. 1830...

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.4

Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–B [D&C 75:36]; Revelation, 7 Mar. 1832 [D&C 80]. Because of illness, Eden Smith did not immediately leave for his mission with Stephen Burnett, who began proselytizing in company with John Smith, Eden’s father, on 22 March 1832 in Chippewa, Ohio. In his journal, Eden recorded that on 25 April 1832, he attended a conference at Burnett’s home. In entries for the 26th, 27th, and 28th, Eden wrote that he traveled with others, possibly including Burnett, to Shalersville, Ohio, and then to Northampton, Ohio, before returning to Chippewa. Eden Smith served with Burnett from 15 through 19 August 1832. Before that, Eden traveled and preached with Micah Welton from 10 through 19 December 1831. (John Smith, Diary, 22 Mar. 1832; Eden Smith, Journal, 10–19 Dec. 1831; 25–28 Apr. 1832; 15–19 Aug. 1832.)  


On 29 June 1832, John Smith sold his farm in Northampton, Ohio, and planned to move to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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.5

John Smith, Diary, 29 June 1832.  


In mid-July he visited his son Eden

1806–7 Dec. 1851. Laborer. Born in Indiana. Son of John Smith. Baptized into LDS church. Served mission to Ohio, Dec. 1831, 1832. Married first Elizabeth. Rebaptized into LDS church by William E. McLellin, 27 Aug. 1834, in Eugene, Vermillion Co., Indiana....

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in Chippewa, Ohio, where John attended meetings of the local church branch

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

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. While in Chippewa, John was apparently accused of committing an offense for which he was required by a local church disciplinary council to confess, which he refused to do. In late August 1832, John and Eden Smith left Chippewa for 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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, Ohio.6

John Smith noted that he went to “Chipway and attended meetings with the Church” on 18 July 1832. John’s journal ends in August 1832 with him leaving to go to Kirtland. Eden Smith lived in Chippewa before moving to Vermillion County, Indiana, later in 1832. (John Smith, Diary, 18 July and 22 Aug. 1832; Eden Smith, Journal, 17 Apr. 1832; Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 3 Nov. 1832.)  


On their journey, they visited church members at Shalersville Township, Ohio, where John became embroiled in a conflict that may have been related to his earlier alleged offense in Chippewa. At a disciplinary hearing held in Kirtland prior to John Smith’s departure, Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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and his counselors relieved John of his priesthood

Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of...

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authority. However, John did not leave his priesthood license

A document certifying an individual’s office in the church and authorizing him “to perform the duty of his calling.” The “Articles and Covenants” of the church implied that only elders could issue licenses; individuals ordained by a priest to an office in...

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with the authorities in Kirtland as required,7

As Newel K. Whitney stated in a postscript to a letter dated 2 July 1833, John Smith’s “authority as an officer in the church was taken from him before he left and he ought to have given up his License but he went away without doing so.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Eugene, IN, 2 July 1833; for more information on licenses, see Historical Introduction to License for Frederick G. Williams, 20 Mar. 1833.)  


and by 15 December 1832, he moved to Vermillion County, Indiana, where he and Eden both officiated as holders of the priesthood.8

See, for example, Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 1 Jan. 1833; 20 and 23 Feb. 1833.  


In 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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, Vermillion County, John served in positions of authority in early 1833, occasionally acting as the president of a conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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or council meeting.9

Eugene branch records indicate that a president of a meeting was not appointed by church leaders in Kirtland but by the members of the local branch. For example, a report of the branch conference held on 3 November 1832 reads: “A Conferece of Elders of the Church of Christ held at Br Levi Jones Vermillion County State of Indiana Eugene Township Conferance opend by prayr by Solomon Wixom perceded to Cho[o]se a president Eden Smith and Solomon Wixom Clerk.” John acted as an active priesthood holder in the early months of 1833. At one point, he was listed as a high priest in conference minutes, but at other times he was listed as an elder. (Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 3 Nov. 1832; for instances when the conference chose either John or Eden Smith to act as president or moderator of a meeting, see Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 1 Jan. 1833; 20 and 23 Feb. 1833.)  


On 8 June 1833, John wrote a letter to JS.10

This letter has not been located.  


On 2 July, JS responded with this letter of disapprobation, which indicates that before John left Kirtland he was, in fact, charged with a “misdemeanor” and deprived of his authority in the church. The presidency of the high priesthood

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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later informed the branch in Eugene that “you are required not to receive his [John Smith’s] teachings but to treat him as a transgressor until he repents” to the satisfaction of the church at Eugene and at Kirtland.11
A council of elders of the 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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branch held a conference on 13 July 1833 to discuss John Smith’s case. After the president of the council read aloud an earlier letter from Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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concerning John and Eden Smith

1806–7 Dec. 1851. Laborer. Born in Indiana. Son of John Smith. Baptized into LDS church. Served mission to Ohio, Dec. 1831, 1832. Married first Elizabeth. Rebaptized into LDS church by William E. McLellin, 27 Aug. 1834, in Eugene, Vermillion Co., Indiana....

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and their transgressions, “Br John Smith arose and aleged him br Newel of forgery and worse than the Roman Judge.” John’s harsh words against Bishop Whitney could have been a reaction not only to the content of the letter that was read, but also to John’s experience at the bishop’s 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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held earlier in 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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. The church in Eugene then investigated John’s case and “raised thare hands against him,” voting to cut him off from the congregation.12

Vermillion Branch, Conference Minutes, 13 July 1833.  


The letter featured here referred to John’s offenses and Eden’s complicity in those offenses. In the letter, JS and 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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also reiterated that they considered John a “private member” of the church with no priesthood authority. The letter also suggested that John would be brought back into full fellowship if he expressed proper humility and repentance and that unless he did so he would be subject to additional church discipline. It is not known if he ever reconciled with the church.13

See Peterson, “Journal of John Smith,” 5.  


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