53991753

License for John P. Greene, 25 February 1834

TO WHOM THESE PRESENCE MAY COME:
THIS Certifies, that John P. Greene

3 Sept. 1793–10 Sept. 1844. Farmer, shoemaker, printer, publisher. Born at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of John Coddington Greene and Anna Chapman. Married first Rhoda Young, 11 Feb. 1813. Moved to Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York, 1814; to Brownsville...

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, has been received into this 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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, organized on the sixth of April, in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty; and has been 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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an 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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1

Greene was baptized in April 1832. His service as a temporary member of the Kirtland high council on 24 February 1834 indicates that he had been ordained a high priest by the time this license was issued. As a high priest, Greene was authorized by revelation to “officiate in all the lesser offices” of the priesthood—including the office of elder—each of which required its officiators to hold licenses. (Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102:7]; Minutes, 24 Feb. 1834; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 22:2, 1835 ed. [D&C 68:19]; see also Historical Introduction to License for Frederick G. Williams, 25 Feb. 1834.)  


according to the rules and regulations of said church, and is duly authorized to preach the gospel, and act in all the ordinances

A religious rite. JS taught that ordinances were covenants between man and God, in which believers could affirm faith, gain spiritual knowledge, and seek blessings. Some ordinances were considered requisite for salvation. The manner in which ordinances were...

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of the house of the Lord

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

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, agreeably to the authority of that office.
From the satisfactory evidence which we have of his good moral character, and his zeal for the cause of righteousness, and diligent desire to persuade men to forsake evil and embrace truth, we confidently recommend him to all candid and upright people, in every country where he may be permitted to travel, in the order of Divine providence, as a worthy member of society; being sent from the bosom of this church to proclaim the glad tidings of salvation to mankind.
We, therefore, in the name, and by the authority of this church, grant unto this, our worthy brother in the Lord, this letter of commendation as a proof of our fellowship and esteem: praying for his success and prosperity in our Redeemer’s cause.
Given in, and by the direction 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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of the elders of this church, assembled 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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, Geauga county, Ohio, this 25the day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty four.
Joseph Smith Jr.Moderator.
Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, Clerk. [p. [1]]
TO WHOM THESE PRESENCE MAY COME:
THIS Certifies, that John P. Greene

3 Sept. 1793–10 Sept. 1844. Farmer, shoemaker, printer, publisher. Born at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of John Coddington Greene and Anna Chapman. Married first Rhoda Young, 11 Feb. 1813. Moved to Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York, 1814; to Brownsville...

View Full Bio
,
has been  received into this 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...

View Glossary
, organized on the sixth of April, in the  year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty; and has been or dained

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...

View Glossary
an 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...

View Glossary
1

Greene was baptized in April 1832. His service as a temporary member of the Kirtland high council on 24 February 1834 indicates that he had been ordained a high priest by the time this license was issued. As a high priest, Greene was authorized by revelation to “officiate in all the lesser offices” of the priesthood—including the office of elder—each of which required its officiators to hold licenses. (Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102:7]; Minutes, 24 Feb. 1834; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Doctrine and Covenants 22:2, 1835 ed. [D&C 68:19]; see also Historical Introduction to License for Frederick G. Williams, 25 Feb. 1834.)  


according to the rules and regulations of said church, and is  duly authorized to preach the gospel, and act in all the ordinances

A religious rite. JS taught that ordinances were covenants between man and God, in which believers could affirm faith, gain spiritual knowledge, and seek blessings. Some ordinances were considered requisite for salvation. The manner in which ordinances were...

View Glossary
of the  house of the Lord

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

View Glossary
, agreeably to the authority of that office.
From the satisfactory evidence which we have of his good moral charac ter, and his zeal for the cause of righteousness, and diligent desire to per suade men to forsake evil and embrace truth, we confidently recommend  him to all candid and upright people, in every country where he may be  permitted to travel, in the order of Divine providence, as a worthy member  of society; being sent from the bosom of this church to proclaim the glad  tidings of salvation to mankind.
We, therefore, in the name, and by the authority of this church, grant  unto this, our worthy brother in the Lord, this letter of commendation as a  proof of our fellowship and esteem: praying for his success and prosperity  in our Redeemer’s cause.
Given in, and by the direction 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...

View Glossary
of the elders of this church,  assembled 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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, Geauga county, Ohio, this 25the day of February,2

TEXT: “February” is underlined.  


 in the year of our Lord one thousand, eight hundred, and thirty four.
Joseph Smith Jr.Moderator.
Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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,
3

TEXT: “Cowdery” is underlined.  


Clerk. [p. [1]]
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This 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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was issued to John P. Greene

3 Sept. 1793–10 Sept. 1844. Farmer, shoemaker, printer, publisher. Born at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of John Coddington Greene and Anna Chapman. Married first Rhoda Young, 11 Feb. 1813. Moved to Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York, 1814; to Brownsville...

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five days after the high council

A governing body of twelve high priests. The first high council was organized in Kirtland, Ohio, on 17 February 1834 “for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop...

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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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, Ohio, appointed him to visit Strongsville

Area settled, 1816. Surveyed 1816–1817. Organized 25 Feb. 1818. Population in 1830 about 600. Kirtland high council sent Sidney Rigdon and John P. Greene to visit township, 20 Feb. 1834. Fifteen-member branch of LDS church established in township, by 1835...

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, Ohio, with Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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and one day after JS dictated a revelation regarding the redemption of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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. The 24 February 1834 revelation appointed various men to serve missions to gather men and resources for the Camp of Israel

A group of approximately 205 men and about 20 women and children led by JS to Missouri, May–July 1834, to redeem Zion by helping the Saints who had been driven from Jackson County, Missouri, regain their lands; later referred to as “Zion’s Camp.” A 24 February...

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expedition.1 Though Greene was not specifically identified in the revelation, an 1857 history by his son indicates that after receiving his 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...

View Glossary
’s license, Greene “took a mission . . . to the western part of N. Y.

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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and into Canada

In late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Canada referred to British colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Divided into Upper Canada and Lower Canada, 1791; reunited 10 Feb. 1841. Boundaries corresponded roughly to present-day Ontario (Upper...

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to gather men and means” for the 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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expedition.2

Greene, “Biographical Sketch of the Life and Travels of John Portenus Greene,” 2.  


This account suggests that Greene was granted the license in preparation for his recruiting mission rather than for his trip to Strongsville. If Greene completed his mission to Strongsville,3

No known evidence indicates whether Rigdon and Greene traveled to Strongsville at this time.  


he must have done so before departing for New York and perhaps even before receiving the license.4

It is unclear from Greene’s biographical sketch if he left for New York and Canada immediately after receiving his license or if he had sufficient time to travel to nearby Strongsville first. His biographical sketch reads, “He received letters of commendation, from the hand of Jos Smith jr & S. Rigdon and took a mission again to the western part of N. Y. and into Canada to gather men and means for the redemption of Zion.” (Greene, “Biographical Sketch of the Life and Travels of John Portenus Greene,” 2.)  


No minutes from the 25 February 1834 meeting in which the license was issued, and which might clarify for what mission Greene received this license, have been located. Those who filled out Greene’s license used the same printed form that was used for the license issued to 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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. Greene’s license, like Williams’s, is one of the earliest printed licenses known to have been issued in 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...

View Glossary
.5

See Historical Introduction to License for Frederick G. Williams, 25 Feb. 1834.  


Facts