Church Officers in Zion (Missouri), October 1835–January 1838

The following charts list local ecclesiastical leadership of the Church of the Latter Day Saints in northwestern , or Zion, between October 1835 and January 1838. During the period covered by this chronology, the presiding officers of the church in Missouri moved from to . Many of the charts reflect important changes to these organizations during this period.
 
Presidency of the High Council
In July 1834, a meeting of high priests organized a high council in , designating , , and as the presidency of that council and twelve men as counselors. The president of the high council, David Whitmer, was also designated the “President of the Church in Zion.” The composition of the presidency remained the same until 1838. In January 1838, the high council members expressed concern with the actions of the presidency and ultimately determined that they could “no longer recieve them as presidents.” During meetings of a general assembly held between 5 and 9 February, the presidency was rejected; a body composed of the high council and bishop’s council then appointed apostles and as presidents pro tempore.
3 July 1834 10 February 1838
, president , president pro tempore
, assistant president , president pro tempore
, assistant president
 
High Council
The high council was organized in July 1834. Patterned after the high council, the high council in Missouri was specifically responsible for the regulation of “all the affairs of Zion.” On 6 January 1836, men were appointed to the council to replace , who had died, and those who had been ordained to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, including , , , and . was apparently made a president over the council sometime before 3 March 1836. On 1 August 1837, replaced , who had been cut off from the high council the previous May; was also appointed to the council following the death of The members of the high council were presented at a church conference in in November 1837, and all were approved to retain their position.
3 July 1834 circa 6 January 1836 7 November 1837
 
Patriarch
was ordained patriarch in on 7 November 1837.
7 November 1837
 
Bishopric
was appointed as the church’s first bishop in February 1831, and and were ordained assistants to the bishop in June 1831. After relocating to in summer 1831, all three members of the Missouri bishopric remained in their positions until late spring 1837. On 22 May 1837, John Corrill was nominated as “an agent to the Church and Keeper of the Lords’, store House.” On 1 August 1837, the Missouri presidency and high council voted “unanimously that be a Bishop’s Counsellor instead of John Corrill.” During a November 1837 reorganization of the church in Missouri, Partridge, Morley, and Billings were unanimously approved.
Summer 1831 7 November 1837
, bishop , bishop
 
Quorum of High Priests and Quorum of Elders
Though the offices of elder and high priest had existed in the church since the early 1830s, it appears that the quorum of the elders and the quorum of the high priests were not officially organized in until August 1837. During a 1 August meeting, the Missouri presidency “appointed the 15th inst. for the High Priests and Elders to meet and choose their respective Presidents.” Sometime before 20 August 1837, was “duly elected a president of the High priesthood in Zion and was ordained to that office under the hand of and presidents.” During the same meeting, Harvey Green was elected “to the presidency of Elders in Mo.” The high priests and elders quorums were organized shortly after that date. Both Rich and Green remained as the heads of their respective quorums through the end of the time period covered in this volume.
Presidency of Quorum of High Priests
Before 20 August 1837
, president
Presidency of Quorum of Elders
Before 20 August 1837
Harvey Green, president
  1. 1

    In late June 1836, a group of vocal citizens in Clay County demanded that church members living there leave the county. In June, July, and August 1836, agents of JS and others began purchasing land near what would later be called Far West in Caldwell County. (“Public Meeting,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Aug. 1836, 2:353–355; Whitmer, History, 84; Receiver’s Office, Receipt, 22 June 1836–B.)  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

  2. 2

    Minutes, 3 July 1834; see also Minutes and Discourse, ca. 7 July 1834.  

  3. 3

    Letter to Church Officers in Clay County, Missouri, 31 Aug. 1835; Minutes and Discourse, ca. 7 July 1834.  

  4. 4

    Minute Book 2, 26 Jan. 1838.  

  5. 5

    Minute Book 2, 5–10 Feb. 1838.  

  6. 6

    David Whitmer sent a letter resigning from the church on 13 April 1838 and was excommunicated on that day. (Minute Book 2, 5–9 Feb. and 13 Apr. 1838.)  

  7. 7

    Phelps was officially removed from office in early February 1838 and excommunicated in early March 1838. (Minute Book 2, 5–9 Feb. and 10 Mar. 1838.)  

  8. 8

    John Whitmer was officially removed from office in early February 1838 and excommunicated in early March 1838. (Minute Book 2, 5–9 Feb. and 10 Mar. 1838.)  

  9. 9

    Minutes and Discourse, ca. 7 July 1834.  

  10. 10

    Minute Book 2, 6 Jan. 1836.  

  11. 11

    JS, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836; Partridge, Journal, 21 Jan. 1836; Murdock, Journal, 3 Mar. 1836, 81; Murdock, Autobiography, 34. It appears that in Murdock’s absence, Simeon Carter served as a temporary president in early 1836.  

    Partridge, Edward. Journal, Jan. 1835–July 1836. Edward Partridge, Papers, 1818–1839. CHL. MS 892, box 1, fd. 2.

    Murdock, John. Journal, ca. 1830–1859. John Murdock, Journal and Autobiography, ca. 1830–1867. CHL. MS 1194, fd. 2.

    Murdock, John. Autobiography, ca. 1859–1867. John Murdock, Journal and Autobiography, ca. 1830–1867. CHL. MS 1194, fd. 4.

  12. 12

    Minute Book 2, 22 May and 1 Aug. 1837.  

  13. 13

    Minutes, 7 Nov. 1837.  

  14. 14

    Appointed as high counselor on 1 August 1837, replacing Peter Whitmer Jr., who had died. (Minute Book 2, 1 Aug. 1837.)  

  15. 15

    Though presumably in good standing in January, Wight was replaced by George W. Harris on 7 April 1838, after John Murdock declared that three seats were vacant “in consequence of their having moved away so far that they could not attend the Council.” Wight purchased land in what would later be called Adam-ondi-Ahman, Daviess County, by 9 February 1838. (Minute Book 2, 7–8 Apr. 1838; Lyman Wight, Mountain Valley, TX, to Wilford Woodruff, [Salt Lake City, Utah Territory], 24 Aug. 1857, p. 9, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL.)  

    Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.

  16. 16

    Though presumably in good standing in January, Beebe was replaced by John P. Greene on 7 April 1838, after John Murdock declared that three seats were vacant “in consequence of their having moved away so far that they could not attend the Council.” Beebe apparently lived in Daviess County along the Grand River. (Minute Book 2, 7–8 Apr. 1838; Calvin Beebe, Affidavit, Lee Co., Iowa Territory, 28 Oct. 1839, Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845, CHL.)  

    Mormon Redress Petitions, 1839–1845. CHL. MS 2703.

  17. 17

    Cut off from the high council on 22 May 1837. (Minute Book 2, 22 May 1837.)  

  18. 18

    Appointed as high counselor on 1 August 1837, replacing Jesse Hitchcock, who had been cut off from the high council the previous May. (Minute Book 2, 1 Aug. 1837.)  

  19. 19

    Though presumably in good standing, Groves was replaced by Jared Carter on 7 April 1838, after John Murdock declared that three seats were vacant “in consequence of their having moved away so far that they could not attend the Council.” Groves moved to Daviess County by spring 1838. (Minute Book 2, 7–8 Apr. 1838; Elisha Groves, Autobiographical Sketch, 4, Obituary Notices and Biographies, CHL.)  

    Obituary Notices and Biographies, 1854–1877. CHL. MS 4760.

  20. 20

    Minutes, 7 Nov. 1837.  

  21. 21

    Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:9].  

  22. 22

    Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.  

  23. 23

    It appears that the trio left for Missouri shortly after JS dictated a 6 June 1831 revelation. (Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52]; Minute Book 2, 2 Aug. 1831.)  

  24. 24

    Minute Book 2, 22 May and 1 Aug. 1837.  

  25. 25

    Minutes, 7 Nov. 1837.  

  26. 26

    In June 1835, JS and other church leaders wrote a letter to John Burk, addressing him as “President” and discussing jurisdictional questions pertaining to elders. This seems to indicate that Burk acted as president over the elders in Missouri before a quorum was formally organized. (Letters to John Burk, Sally Waterman Phelps, and Almira Mack Scobey, 1–2 June 1835.)  

  27. 27

    Minute Book 2, 1 Aug. 1837.  

  28. 28

    Certificate for Charles C. Rich, 20 Aug. 1837, in Minute Book 2, 80.  

  29. 29

    At an 8 April 1838 meeting in Far West, Rich and Green read the names of the men in their respective quorums; the elders were said to have numbered 124 men in good standing. (Minute Book 2, 7–8 Apr. 1838.)