The council met on 22 March 1845 at the in two sessions. While , , and noted in their journals that the first meeting began at 9:00 a.m., the minutes indicate that it commenced at 10:00 a.m.; the second session convened at “2 ¾” p.m. following an hour-long adjournment.
The morning session focused almost exclusively on the Western Mission. Reflecting the length of that discussion, recorded in his journal, “The Western Mission occupied near all the day.” After , chair of the committee to outfit the mission, presented the committee’s report, council members discussed a range of issues. News of the multitribe gathering that they believed would occur in June reshaped the goals of the mission, as they believed they could accomplish some of their purposes, including meeting with various tribes and discussing possible alliances, at the gathering rather than in extensive journeys. Council members also stated that one of the original goals of the mission—exploring and possibly mapping the West—had become less important, given the limited time frame and the availability of information on the West. Council members again discussed destinations for possible settlement, including . Council members continued to express hostility against federal and state governments and the Gentiles as well as optimism that a Mormon-Indian alliance against the Gentiles would be successful.
The discussions regarding the Western Mission led to a consideration of the relationship between as chairman and the rest of the council. moved that Young be given the “sole business of directing the Western mission,” but Young “objected inasmuch as the responsibility rests upon the council.” suggested that since the council had come to general consensus about the mission in lengthy discussions in this meeting and in previous meetings, Young should make final decisions. At the end of this discussion, Young indeed made final decisions, proposing that the committee prepare the nine men assigned to the mission so they could leave immediately after the church’s conference in early April. Young further declared that might answer the Saints’ needs—including offering “a place of rest for a little season” and access to the Pacific to send missionaries “to the eastern nations.” However, he emphasized that such a solution would be only temporary, since the Latter-day Saints were still under divine commandment to build a temple in , Missouri.
In the afternoon session the council directed to publish a pamphlet relating the “whole history of for the few years past, as a farewel to Rigdonism.” In addition, the council appointed and to prepare papers to send to Mormon missionaries in the ; read letters about the legal issues raised by the revocation of the charter and about the company of Latter-day Saints that had led from Nauvoo the previous summer; and began a discussion of the Nauvoo , which continued in the following meeting. In response to a question by regarding his work recording the history of the church, a committee was created to draft a history of the Nauvoo Legion for Richards’s use. Finally, following a discussion on the , was commissioned to create new architectural drawings, and a committee was appointed to review the stock books of the association and prepare a report for the shareholders meeting scheduled for 5 April 1845.
Saturday March 22. 1845 Council met pursuant to adjournment and organized at 10 o clock A.M. President in the chair