Nauvoo high council, Minutes, [, Hancock Co., IL], 11 Mar. 1842. Featured version copied [ca. 11 Mar. 1842] in Nauvoo Stake High Council Minutes, rough copy, 8 Mar. 1840–20 May 1842, p. 39; handwriting of ; CHL.
The minutes are contained in a single gathering of forty-four pages measuring 12½ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm). The gathering is sewn all along. At one time the gathering was likely bound in a book with other loose gatherings of the minutes from other time periods. This gathering, containing minutes dated between 8 March 1840 and 20 May 1842, is the second in a collection of gatherings known as the “rough copy” of minutes. The recto of the first leaf includes a header: “<Nauvoo, Hancock County Illinois, March 8 1840> | Minutes | of | The High Council | of the | Church of Jesus Christ | of | Nauvoo Illinois.” The edges are considerably worn, and some pages are torn.
The minutes were included in inventories produced by the Church Historian’s Office (now CHL) in 1846 and April 1855, which suggests continuous institutional custody.
“Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” ; “Inventory. Historian’s Office. 4th April 1855,” , Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
On the evening of 11 March 1842, the at , Illinois, met at ’s office and then JS’s home to deliberate on charges against . Beginning in 1835 if not earlier, Bishop taught controversial ideas, including the possibility that he was a prophet. The high council in , Ohio, deliberated on charges related to these teachings in September 1835. Looking back on Bishop’s activities, wrote in March 1842, “The church had been so much troubled with him by his foolish conduct that he had been cut off a number of times from the Church & restored.”
On 7 March 1842 signed a statement charging with two types of improper conduct: “First for setting himself up as a prophet and Revelator to the Church— Secondly for an improper course of conduct in meetings.” According to JS’s journal the complaint was based on Bishop having “written & publishd or taught certain Revelations & doctrines not consistent with the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church.” At the 11 March high council meeting, Bishop declined to “present the written Revelations,” after which “the Mayer  issued his warrant & brought them before the council” and Bishop reluctantly read from them. , who was present, described them as the “greatest Bundle of Nonsens ever put together.”
Afterward, JS explained “the nature of the case. & gave a very clear elucidation of the tendency of such Prop[h]ets & propecyings & gave over to the Buffetings of Satan until he shall learn wisdom.” According to , JS also stated that “nothing would excuse him [Bishop] in the sight of God & angels in committing the unpardonable sin ownly because he was a fool & had not sens sufficient for the Holy Ghost to enlighten him.” After JS’s remarks, as well as statements by four counselors, the council voted unanimously for Bishop’s excommunication. At some point during the meeting, JS burned Bishop’s written revelations.
The minutes for the 11 March 1842 meeting were kept by and were presumably recorded into the minute book contemporaneously.
March the 11th 1842. The of the of Illinois met in council at the office of . Council adjourned to the House of Prest. Joseph Smith
1st A. charge was prefered against . by . First for setting himself up as a prophet and revelator to the Church Second for an improper course of conduct in meetings.—
He plad [pled] not guilty— two were then appointed to speak on each side namely (1) (2) (3) (4) and . The charge was sustained after which it was decided that the he be expelled from the Church by the unanimous vote of the Council. Adjourned to meet at Prest ’s office on Thursday the 17th inst at 2 o’clock P. M.
Hyrum Smith’s office was located on the southeast corner of Water and Bain streets in Nauvoo. (See “Alphabetical List of Property Assessed in the Fourth Ward,” 1843, Nauvoo block 154, lot 2, Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.)