Zion high council, Minutes, [, Caldwell Co., MO], 21 Apr. 1838. Featured version copied [between 1 Oct. 1842 and 14 Sept. 1843] in Minute Book 2, pp. 135–137; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 2.
JS and the met on 21 April 1838 to address many of the needs of the growing church in , Missouri. After JS arrived in the previous month, he participated in the effort to remove dissenters from positions of leadership and, if necessary, from the church. This effort included the excommunications of and in the council meetings held 12 and 13 April. With the church in Zion largely reorganized and major dissenters cut off, the high council was now able to shift its attention to building up the church in Far West.
The meeting of 21 April probably began at 9:00 a.m., as determined during the previous high council meeting. As indicated in the minutes, the meeting was held in a in and began with a prayer by JS. Council meetings in Far West often began with a prayer by the presiding officer, suggesting that JS was conducting the meeting. The council passed measures to improve the schoolhouse in which the council was meeting, to build one or more in which to keep goods, and to build houses for JS and . The council also passed several measures related to reestablishing a church print shop and newspaper, having purchased a printing press and necessary supplies on 17 April. Minutes of the meeting were taken by . They were later copied into Minute Book 2 by .
A charge was then prefered against by , which charge was put over until Thursday the 24th of May next, at 9 o’clock A.M.
1st Resolved, that the “Elder’s Journal” be published monthly, as it was commenced.
2nd Resolved that be the publisher of the “Elders Journal.”
3rd Resolved, that the printing press, type, and furniture which was purchased of [blank] <> with all the furniture pertaining to the establishment, be sold by the Committee to , and that he be authorized to pay for the same out of the avails of the City lots or donations
4th Resolved, that do not pay to and a certain mortgage, which they hold against him, and that this uphold him in not paying the the above mortgage.
5th Resolved, that this Council authorize to assist, in making houses on, and fencing the lots in this which are appropriated to the use of Joseph Smith jr and , with the avails arising from the town plot.
6th Resolved— that make an appropriation of not more than one hundred dollars to this , out. of the avails of the town plot.
7th Resolved that this Council support as the publisher of the “Elders Journal” and use their influence to obtain subscriptions for the same.
8th Resolved that this Council, the and his use their influence to cause the people to consecrate to the Lord for the support of the poor and needy.
9th Resolved that the be authorized to obtain or build a sufficient or houses to recieve all the of the people, to be paid for out of the avails of the town plot [p. 136]
Phelps and Whitmer purchased the land in Far West with money raised and borrowed with interest from church members. When Phelps and Whitmer agreed to turn over the land to Partridge, they made the transaction conditional on a mortgage and two bonds that required Partridge to pay them $1,450 and to take responsibility for their subscription of $2,000 for the House of the Lord in Far West. When the building plans fell through and others withdrew their subscriptions, Phelps and Whitmer withdrew theirs as well and sought payment in cash for the $2,000 and the $1,450. Because the original money was donated by church members for the cause of Zion or was still owed with interest and because the sale of public lands was supposed to support the church, the high council believed that Phelps and Whitmer had swindled the church. Partridge’s last recorded payment on the mortgage occurred on 13 March 1838, although his estate made two additional payments in the 1840s. (Letter to Wilford Woodruff, ca. 18 June 1838; see also Minute Book 2, 25 July 1836; 5–7 Apr. 1837; 10 Mar. 1838; “T. B. Marsh,” , Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; and Edward Partridge and Lydia Partridge, Mortgage, Far West, MO, to William W. Phelps and John Whitmer, 17 May 1837, John Whitmer Family Papers, CHL.)
Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.
The role of the storehouse in Zion was firmly established by revelation in the early 1830s.aJohn Corrill was appointed “keeper of the Lord’s store House” in May 1837, suggesting that the Latter-day Saints in Missouri already had a storage place. This resolution indicates that if the Saints did already have a storage place, it might have been inadequate to accommodate the increased donations anticipated as a result of the previous resolution.b