31708

Minutes, 21 June 1833

June 21st. 1833 Bro Daniel Copley’s priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

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s licence

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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and [p. 21]
June 21st. 1833 Bro Daniel Copley’s priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

View Glossary
s licence

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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and [p. 21]
Next
The meeting recorded in these minutes dealt exclusively with disciplinary action against Daniel Copley. This is the second record dated 21 June in the 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, minute book; the other record describes a president’s council that heard the appeal of Doctor Philastus Hurlbut

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

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, Copley’s missionary companion during most of the previous four months. It is unclear if Hurlbut’s and Copley’s trials were related to their missionary service together. Although the proceedings of each trial were recorded in a separate set of minutes, both trials were apparently conducted in a single meeting of the president

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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’s council.1

See Appeal and Minutes, 21 June 1833. George A. Smith, who was present at both hearings, described the two proceedings as “the same council,” suggesting the two sets of minutes are from the same meeting. (George A. Smith, Discourse, 15 Nov. 1864, in George D. Watt, Discourse Shorthand Notes, 15 Nov. 1864, Pitman Shorthand Transcriptions, CHL; see also Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 597; and George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:8.)  


Daniel Copley was the twenty-two-year-old son of Leman Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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. Leman had been estranged from the church in mid-1831 but by late 1832 was again involved in Mormon ecclesiastical efforts in Thompson

Located about sixteen miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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, Ohio.2

See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 10 June 1831 [D&C 54].  


In November 1832, Daniel Copley was 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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a priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

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; the following March, he traveled to 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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to learn from a church council “the will of the Lord concerning him.” That council instructed Copley to depart on a proselytizing mission to the East with Hurlbut

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

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.3

Minute Book 1, 19 Mar. 1833.  


Because of some apparent difficulty between the two men, however, Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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convened a council with several high priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

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in Conneaut Township, Pennsylvania, on 5 April. The council decided to separate Copley and Hurlbut, and Copley was assigned to preach with John F. Boynton

20 Sept. 1811–20 Oct. 1890. Merchant, lecturer, scientist, inventor. Born at East Bradford (later Groveland), Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Eliphalet Boynton and Susanna Nichols. Baptized into LDS church by JS, Sept. 1832, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio...

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instead.4

Hyrum Smith, Diary, 5 Apr. 1833, [12]–[13].  


At some point Copley apparently abandoned his mission and returned to the Kirtland area, which prompted the disciplinary council described in these minutes.
Although the minutes neither indicate whether Copley was present at the meeting nor provide any record of his statements, George A. Smith

26 June 1817–1 Sept. 1875. Born at Potsdam, St. Lawrence Co., New York. Son of John Smith and Clarissa Lyman. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph H. Wakefield, 10 Sept. 1832, at Potsdam. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Labored on Kirtland temple...

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, who was present, later related that Copley was “a young man of [a] good deal of timidity who had been ordained a priest and been required to go to preach the gospel.” He had been “called to account for not going on mission [and] he said he was too timid [and] weak to preach.” In response, the “council decided he was too weak and timid [to] belong to the church [and] cut him off.”5

George A. Smith, Discourse, 15 Nov. 1864, in George D. Watt, Discourse Shorthand Notes, 15 Nov. 1864, Pitman Shorthand Transcriptions, CHL; see also Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 597; and George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:8. George A. Smith’s statement that Copley did not serve any of his mission is incorrect, as Hyrum Smith’s diary indicates Copley was gone for at least all of April, if not longer, on a missionary journey with Hurlbut and later with Boynton. George A. Smith’s later discourse also links JS directly to the decision to excommunicate Copley. George wrote, “I wonder what our missionary men would think of so rigid a discipline as was expected of us at the time 31 years ago under the immediate supervision of the prophet.” (Hyrum Smith, Diary, 5 Apr. 1833, [12]–[13].)  


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