Charges against William Smith Preferred to the Church Presidency, 29 December 1835
, Charges against Preferred to the Church Presidency, , Geauga Co., OH, 29 Dec. 1835. Featured version copied [between ca. 4 Apr. and ca. 16 May 1836] in Minute Book 1, p. 135; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
On 29 December 1835, , a member of the in , Ohio, charged with “speaking disrespectfully” of and “attempting to inflict personal violence” upon JS and referred the matter to the of the . Nearly two weeks earlier, during a session of the debating school, the two brothers engaged in a verbal altercation that turned violent. Though the 16 December fight was certainly one catalyst for Johnson’s complaint, the charge that William had disparaged JS and “the revelations and given through him” indicates that William had also challenged his brother’s prophetic authority. In response to Johnson’s accusation, a disciplinary council assembled on 2 January 1836 to consider the charges.
The original version of ’s charges is no longer extant, but at some point copied the charges into Minute Book 1.
According to JS’s journal, William had opposed JS publicly after a disagreement in October 1835. At the conclusion of a 29 October disciplinary council involving David and Mary Elliott, JS and William engaged in a fierce verbal dispute. The brothers attempted to settle their differences in a face-to-face meeting several days later, but, according to JS’s journal, William left JS’s house in a rage and was later “in the streets exclaiming against me.” (See JS, Journal, 29 and 31 Oct. 1835.)