Minutes, 23 June 1833
- Source Note
These minutes contain the final decision regarding the church membership of , who was cut off from the church on 1 June 1833 for alleged indiscretions with women while serving a mission in . Hurlbut appealed to JS and the ’s court on 21 June, requesting they reconsider the decision to excommunicate him. Though the court ruled that his excommunication had been warranted and that the had ruled correctly against him, it ultimately determined that Hurlbut “should be forgiven because of the liberal confession which he made.” Hurlbut apparently departed immediately again for Pennsylvania but stopped en route in , Ohio, where he publicly flaunted his reinstatement in the church. , who was present at the council on 21 June, later explained, “Hurlbut stated to the in Thompson, Ohio that he had deceived Joseph Smith’s God or the spirit by which he is actuated, I have proved that Council has no wisdom, I told them I was sorry I confessed and they believed it to be an honest confession. I deceived the whole of them and made them restore me to the Church.”A later entry in JS’s journal indicates that “was finally cut off from the church a few days after having his restored, on the 21st of June. and then saught the distruction of the sainst [Saints] in this place and more particularly myself and family.” Hurlbut was likely absent for this second excommunication hearing and his initial response to the verdict is not known, but he soon traveled to the region of , New York, and elsewhere in an effort to collect damaging information, including affidavits, about JS. By mid-August 1833 JS wrote to church leaders in that members of the church were “suffering great persicution on account of one man by the name of Docter Hurlburt who has been expeled from the chirch for lude and adulterous conduct and to spite us he is lieing in a wonderful manner and the peapl [people] are running after him and giveing him mony to b[r]ake down mormanism which much endangers our lives at preasnt [present].” By January 1834, JS had filed a suit against Hurlbut because “he became afraid of bodily injury from the defendant.” A judge ruled in JS’s favor, and Hurlbut was ordered to post a $200 bond ensuring that he would keep the peace for the next six months. Many of the affidavits Hurlbut collected, along with other accusations against JS and the , were eventually published by in his exposé, Mormonism Unvailed, in 1834.
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