General Church Officers, December 1841–April 1842

The following charts identify the general leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, local church leadership in , Illinois, and in , and the officers of other relevant organizations between 1 December 1841 and 30 April 1842.
First Presidency
Membership in the remained consistent throughout the period from December 1841 through April 1842. JS served as president of the church, with and as his counselors. Due to Rigdon’s prolonged illness, was appointed as a temporary assistant president in April 1841. served as associate president during this period. He had been a counselor in the presidency, but a few months after he succeeded his father as patriarch, a January 1841 revelation indicated that William Law should take his place in the presidency and that Hyrum should have the “blessing and glory, and honor and priesthood and gifts of the priesthood, that once were put upon . . . .” Cowdery had received the keys of the priesthood in connection with JS, had been sustained as “Second Elder of the Church” on 6 April 1830, and had served in the church’s presidency from December 1834 to April 1838 under the titles “assistant president” and “assistant Councillor.” Later church historians who knew Hyrum Smith and were familiar with his role in church leadership applied the term “associate president” to his unusual office, but that term was not used during his lifetime.
1 December 1841–30 April 1842
Joseph Smith, president
, associate president
, counselor
, counselor
, assistant president
was appointed of the church in 1834 and served in that position until his death in September 1840. Prior to his death, Smith ordained his son as his successor. In January 1841, JS dictated a revelation that appointed to the presidency so that Hyrum Smith could “take the office of priesthood and patriarch, which was appointed unto him by his father by blessing and also by right.” That same revelation appointed him, as patriarch, to hold the sealing power and to be “a prophet and a seer and a revelator unto my church as well as my servant Joseph.” Hyrum Smith functioned in that office for the remainder of his life.
1 December 1841–30 April 1842
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
When the was originally organized in 1835, the group included the first six men on the list below. By December 1841, the other six members of the original quorum had died or become disaffected. The final six men on the list joined the quorum between December 1838 and April 1841 to replace those members. Membership in the quorum remained stable throughout the period between December 1841 through April 1842.
1 December 1841–30 April 1842
Presidents of the Seventy
Three quorums of the were organized in 1835 and 1836, but by 1837, all seventies were referred to as belonging to a single quorum. Unlike most quorums in the church, which were presided over by a presidency consisting of one president and two counselors, the Quorums of the Seventy were presided over by seven presidents. Throughout the period covered between December 1841 through April 1842, the same seven men served as presidents of the Seventy. The order in which they are listed below reflects the order in a 19 January 1841 revelation.
1 December 1841–30 April 1842
  1. 1

    Minutes, 7–11 Apr. 1841.  

  2. 2

    Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 18, [5]; Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 15 Dec. 1840; Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841 [D&C 124:95].  

  3. 3

    Oliver Cowdery, Note, in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1:8–9.  

    Patriarchal Blessings, 1833–. CHL. CR 500 2.

  4. 4

    Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 18, [5]; Letter to Quorum of the Twelve, 15 Dec. 1840.  

  5. 5

    Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841 [D&C 124:91, 94].  

  6. 6

    Minutes, Discourse, and Blessings, 14–15 Feb. 1835; Minutes and Discourse, 2 May 1835.  

  7. 7

    John F. Boynton, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, William E. McLellin, and Thomas B. Marsh were excommunicated or removed from office between December 1837 and March 1839; David W. Patten was mortally wounded during a skirmish at Crooked River on 25 October 1838. (John Smith and Clarissa Smith, Kirtland, OH, to George A. Smith, Shinnston, VA, 1 Jan. 1838, George A. Smith Papers, CHL; Minutes, 13 Apr. 1838; JS, Journal, 11 May 1838; Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde, Affidavit, Richmond, MO, 24 Oct. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, Missouri State Archives, Jefferson City; Thomas B. Marsh and Orson Hyde, Richmond, MO, to Lewis Abbott and Ann Marsh Abbott, Caldwell Co., MO, 25–30 Oct. 1838, in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 18–19; JS History, vol. B-1, 839.)  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

    Mormon War Papers, 1838–1841. MSA.

  8. 8

    John E. Page and John Taylor were ordained apostles on 19 December 1838. Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith were ordained on 26 April 1839. Willard Richards and Lyman Wight were ordained the eleventh and twelfth members of the quorum in April 1840 and April 1841, respectively. (Minute Book 2, 19 Dec. 1838; JS, Journal, 8 July 1838; Woodruff, Journal, 14 Apr. 1840; “From England,” Times and Seasons, June 1840, 1:119; Minutes, 7–11 Apr. 1841.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

    Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.

  9. 9

    Record of Seventies, 3–11.  

    Record of Seventies / First Council of the Seventy. “Book of Records,” 1837–1843. Bk. A. In First Council of the Seventy, Records, 1837–1885. CHL. CR 3 51, box 1, fd. 1.

  10. 10

    Revelation, 19 Jan. 1841 [D&C 124:138].