Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Elders’ Journal is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents, such as the letter from Wilford Woodruff and others, are annotated elsewhere.
testimonies will be sufficient to stay the tongue of the slanderer.
Yours, in the bonds of
the New Covenant,
Joseph Smith Jr.
, Feb. 15, 1838.
MINUTES OF HIGH COUNCIL.
The High Council of Zion, met in , on Saturday, March 10, 1838, agreeable to adjournment; the Council being organized, was opened by singing, and prayer by .
After some discussion, it was
1st, Resolved, That the High Council recommend, by writing, to the various branches of this church, that all those who wish to receive ordination, procure a recommend from the branch to which he belongs, and have it pass through the hands of the different quorums for inspection, previous to his ordination.
2nd, Resolved, that the High Council recommend to all those who hold lisences, between the ages of 18 and 45, and do not officiate in their respective offices, be subject to military duty.
A charge was then preferred against and , for persisting in unchristianlike conduct.
Six counsellors were appointed to speak, viz: , and , on the part of the accuser: , and , on the part of the accused: when the following letter was read by brother Marcellus Cowdery, bearer of the same, belonging to , previous to giving it to its rightful owner.
“, March 10, 1838.
It is contrary to the principles of the revelations of Jesus Christ, and his gospel, and the laws of the land, to try a person for an offence, by an illegal tribunal, or by men prejudiced against him, or by authority that has given an opinion, or descision beforehand, or in his absence.
we have the honor to be,
Presidents of the church of Christ in
One of the travelling Counsellors.
Clerk of the High Council of the church of Christ in .
I certify the foregoing to be a true copy from the original.
, Clerk of High Council.”
All the effect the above letter had upon the Council, was to convince them, still more, of the wickedness of those men, by endeavoring to palm themselves upon the church as her presidents, after the church had by a united voice, removed them from their presidential office, for their ungodly conduct; and the letter was considered no more, nor less, than a direct insult, or contempt, cast upon the authorities of God, and the church of Jesus Christ; therefore, the Council proceeded to business.
A number of charges were sustained against those men; the principal of which, was, for claiming $2000 church funds, which they had subscribed for the building an house to the Lord in this place, when they held in their possession the city plot, and were sitting in the presidential chair, which subscription they were intending to pay from the avails of the town lots: but when the town plot was transferred into the hands of the Bishop, for the benefit of the church, it was agreed that the church should take this subscription from off the hands of and , but in the transaction of the business, they bound the , in a heavy mortgage, to pay them the above $2000, in two years from the date thereof; a part of which they have already received, and clain [claim] the remainder.
The six Counsellors made a few appropriate remarks, none of whom felt to plead for mercy, as it had not been asked on the part of the accused; but all, with one consent, declared that justice ought to have his demands.
After some remarks by Presidents and , setting forth the iniquity of those men, claiming the $2000 spoken of, which did not belong to them any more than any other person in the church; it was descided that and be no longer members of the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, and be given over to the buffetings of Satan, until they learn to blaspheme no more against the authorities of God, nor fleece the flock of Christ.
The Council were then asked, if they concurred with the descision: if so, to manifest it by rising, when they all arose. The vote was then put to the congregation, which was carried unanimous: the negative was then called, but no one voted.
Mr. Marcellus Cowdery arose and said he wished to have it understood that he did not vote either way, because he did not consider it a legal tribunal; he also offered insult to the High Council and to the Church, by reading a letter belonging to before giving it to him, and in speaking against the authorities of the Chu[r]ch.
A motion was then made by , that fellowship be withdrawn from Marcellus Cowdery, until he make satisfaction, which was Seconded and carried unanimous.
Agreeable to a resolution passed the high council of Zion, March 3rd 1838, the saints in assembled at this place, to hold the anniversary of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and to transact Church business.
The meeting was opened by singing and prayer by —After which president Joseph Smith Jr read the order of the day as follows:—