53991749

Revised Minutes, 18–19 February 1834 [D&C 102]

Voted, that whenever any vacancy shall occur by the death, removeal from office, for transgression, or removal from the bounds of this 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
goverment of any one of the above named counsellors, it shall be filled by the nomination of the president, or presidents and sanctioned by the voice of a general Council

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
of 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...

View Glossary
convened for that purpose to act in the name of the Church.
The president of the church

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
, who is also the president of the council, is appointed by the voice of the Saviour, and acknowledged in his administration, by the voice of the Church; and it is according to the dignity of his office that he should preside over 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...

View Glossary
of the Church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other presidents, appointed after the same manner that he himself was appointed; and in case of the abscence of one or both of those who are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the council without an assistant: and in case that he himself is abscent, the other presidents have power to preside in his stead, both or either of them.
Whenever a high council of the Church of Christ, is regularly organized according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty of the twelve counsellors to cast lots by numbers and thereby ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commenceing with Number One, and so in succession to number twelve
Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case; , the twelve counsellors shall consider whether it is a difficult one or not; If it is not, two only of the Counsellors shall speak upon it according to the form above written; but if it is thought to be difficult, four shall be appointed, and if more difficult, six: but in no case shall more than six be appointed to speak. The accused in all cases has a right to one half of the council to prevent insult or injustice; and the counsellors appointed to speak before the council, are to present the case after the evidence is examined, in its true light before the Council, and every man is to speak according to equity [p. 33]
Voted, that whenever any vacancy shall occur by the death, re moveal from office, for transgression, or removal from the bounds of  this 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
goverment of any one of the above named counsellors,  it shall be filled by the nomination of the president, or presidents  and sanctioned by the voice of a general Conference <Council

A gathering of church leaders assembled “for consultation, deliberation and advice”; also a body responsible for governance or administration. As early as 9 February 1831, a revelation instructed that “the Elders & Bishop shall Council together & they shall...

View Glossary
of 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...

View Glossary
> convened for  that purpose to act in the name of the Church.
The president of the church

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
, who is also the president of the council,  is appointed by the voice of the Saviour, and acknowledged in his  administration, by the voice of the Church; and it is according to  the dignity of his office that he should preside over 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...

View Glossary
 of the Church; and it is his privilege to be assisted by two other  presidents, appointed after the same manner that he himself was  appointed; and in case of the abscence of one or both of those who  are appointed to assist him, he has power to preside over the  council without an assistant: and in case that he himself is  abscent, the other presidents have power to preside in his  stead, both or either of them.
Whenever a high council of the Church of Christ, is regularly  organized according to the foregoing pattern, it shall be the duty  of the twelve counsellors to cast lots by numbers and thereby  ascertain who of the twelve shall speak first, commenceing  with Number One, and so in succession to number twelve
Whenever this council convenes to act upon any case;  in the Church, the twelve counsellors shall consider whether  it is a difficult one or not; If it is not, two <only> of the  Counsellors shall speak upon it according to the form above  written; but if it is thought to be more <a> difficult, <one> four shall  be appointed, and if still more difficult, six: but in  no case not over that number shall <shall be more than six be> be appointed to speak.  The accused in all cases has a right to one half of the coun cil to prevent insult or injustice; and the counsellors ap pointed to speak before the council, are to present the  case after the evidence is examined, in its true light before  the Council, and every man is to speak according to equity [p. 33]
PreviousNext
On 17 February 1834, at a meeting that included 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...

View Glossary
holders and other members of the church, JS oversaw the initial organization of a standing “Presidents Church Council” 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...

More Info
, Ohio. Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
, the clerk of the meeting, noted in the minutes of that meeting that “many questions have been asked during the time of the organization of this Council and doubtless some errors have been committed, it was, therefore, voted by all present that Bro Joseph should make all necessary corrections by the spirit of inspiration hereafter.”1 JS worked on amending the minutes the following day “with all the strength and wisdom that he had” and presented the revised minutes—featured here—to a council of sixty-two priesthood holders and church members on 19 February. JS’s revisions were significant and both added and deleted material from the original minutes. After hearing the revised minutes read three times and making at least one correction, the council unanimously voted to accept the revised minutes as “a form, and constitution of 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...

View Glossary
of 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
hereafter,” with the proviso that “if the president should hereafter discover any lack in the same he should be privileged to fill it up.” At the 19 February meeting, after giving several blessings and items of instruction to members of the new council, JS reported that “the Council was organized according to the ancient order, and also according to the mind of the Lord.” Conducting itself according to procedures outlined in the minutes featured here, the council, later known as the Kirtland high council, then heard its first case.2
These minutes also authorized 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...

View Glossary
at remote locations to, when necessary, organize similar, temporary disciplinary councils, the decisions of which could be appealed to the standing “high Council at the seat of the general government of the Church,” then 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...

More Info
.3

That the high council with appellate authority was identified as the “high Council at the seat of the general government of the Church” (rather than this newly organized Kirtland high council) suggests that JS anticipated a time when the seat of church government would not be at Kirtland.  


In addition, though these minutes contained no provision for doing so, JS organized another standing high council following the same pattern outlined in the minutes featured here in Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

More Info
, Missouri, the following July.4

Minute Book 2, 3 and 7 July 1834.  


After the main body of church members in 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...

More Info
moved from Clay County to Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

More Info
in 1836–1837, this second standing high council conducted its meetings at Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

More Info
, Caldwell County. Following JS’s move to Far West in March 1838, this Missouri council replaced the Kirtland high council as the “high Council at the seat of the general government of the Church” and, therefore, became the council to which appeals resulting from other church councils were made.5

For examples of the Kirtland and Far West high councils serving in appellate capacities, see Minute Book 1, 18 Nov. 1835; and Minute Book 2, 14 Apr. 1838.  


Similar standing high councils were later organized in Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

More Info
and Iowa Territory

Area originally part of Louisiana Purchase, 1803. First permanent white settlements established, ca. 1833. Organized as territory, 1838, containing all of present-day Iowa, much of present-day Minnesota, and parts of North and South Dakota. Population in ...

More Info
, with the Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

More Info
high council assuming appellate authority after its organization in October 1839.6

For examples of the Nauvoo high council serving in an appellate capacity, see Nauvoo High Council Minutes, 15 Jan. and 18 Feb. 1843.  


In the meantime, the revised minutes of the 17 February 1834 meeting were included as section 5 in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.

Facts