Church presidency (including JS), Minutes, , Geauga Co., OH, 30 Jan. 1836. Featured version copied [between ca. 4 Apr. and ca. 16 May 1836] in Minute Book 1, p. 137; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
In continuing the effort to organize the ’s officers and instruct the church membership to prepare for the forthcoming , the church’s , including JS, met on the evening of 30 January 1836 in the upper floor of the in , Ohio. They passed three resolutions at the meeting. The first, instituting a new policy on to priesthood offices, may have been prompted in part by a letter the of the Kirtland wrote to the “Presidents of the church” the day before. This resolution put in place a new requirement: only at a business meeting of the several priesthood quorums could a recommendation for priesthood ordination be approved. The second resolution assigned the elders quorum president, , to compile a list of elders. The final resolution concerned , with whom JS exchanged letters several weeks earlier regarding Whitlock’s separation from the church. JS had written the contrite Whitlock on 16 November 1835 and informed him that he should return to Kirtland and humble himself according to JS’s counsel in order to be “restored unto his former state” as a church member and . Whitlock apparently did come to Kirtland from , and at this 30 January 1836 meeting, the church’s presidency passed a resolution indicating the next steps he should take to “be restored to the church.”
At a conference of the of the , it resolved, that no one be to an office in the Church in without the voice of the several when assembled for church business.
2d Resolved, that , the of the , be directed to give to the Presidents of the church, a list of the names of the several Elders comprising his quorum and all other Elders in not belonging to any quorum now established. Carried unanimously.
3d Resolved, that be restored to the church in full fellowship on his being , and after be ordained to the . carried unanimously
This instruction appears to refine the practice of ordination adopted in the 1835 version of the church’s founding “Articles and Covenants,” which stated, “No person is to be ordained to any office in this church, where there is a regularly organized branch of the same, without the vote of that church.” In addition to the local vote, the resolution here required the priesthoodquorums in Kirtland to vote to sanction the ordination of any new official member. The procedure for approving ordinations was further clarified on 12 February 1836. (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 2:16, 1835 ed. [D&C 20:65–66]; Minutes, 12 Feb. 1836.)
It appears that the church’s presidency had not realized until a few days earlier how many elders in Kirtland did not belong to a quorum. According to Oliver Cowdery, on the evening of 25 January 1836, “the high priests and elders, all who did not belong to the quorums, met in the Lord’s house” and a “large number of elders convened; more than I had supposed resided in Kirtland.” On 25 January, Alvah Beman “organized the quorum according to age” and took their names. From the list of elders, the church presidency selected men for a second Quorum of the Seventy in early February 1836. On 3 February, Beman “handed in the names of seventy of his quorem—designed for another seventy if God will.” The following day, 4 February, the names of seventy elders were presented to the presidents of the Seventy and accepted. The church presidency met to approve the ordinations of the elders to the Seventy on Sunday, 7 February. (Cowdery, Diary, 25 and 26 Jan. 1836; Kirtland Elders Quorum, “Record,” 25 Jan. 1836; Post, Journal, 1 and 4 Feb. 1836; JS, Journal, 3 and 7 Feb. 1836; Cowdery, Diary, 7 Feb. 1836; Record of Seventies, bk. A, 6–9.)