Minutes and Discourse, , Medina Co., OH, 21 Apr. 1834. Featured version copied [between ca. late Apr. and 5 May 1834] in Minute Book 1, pp. 43–47; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Minute Book 1.
On 21 April 1834, in , Ohio, JS presided over a of that focused on the necessity of redeeming . This conference had a clear millenarian theme, with sermons indicating that Jesus Christ’s second coming was near and that the inhabitants of the earth needed to repent and gather to Zion in order to be saved. JS and other participants explained that it was imperative for church members to assist the Saints who had been expelled from , Missouri, so Zion could be reclaimed and reoccupied. Such assistance could take two forms: volunteering to go with JS and others on an expedition to or donating money to provision those volunteers. Without such aid, JS stated, Zion would not be redeemed and all of the church would be “persecuted and destroyed in like manner.” JS’s journal notes that “some few volunteered to go to Zion, and others donated $66.37. for the benefit of the scattered breth[r]en in Zion.”
JS also spoke at the conference about some of the foundational events of the church, topics he rarely discussed in public, including the of the Book of Mormon and the “revelation” of both the , or the lesser priesthood, and the . His presentation of these topics largely followed the history he wrote in summer 1832. then spoke on the necessity of redeeming Zion, the construction of the in , Ohio, and the of power that would come after the house was built.
Before the conclusion of the conference, the participants conducted a trial of Thomas Tripp, a church member accused of improprieties with various women. After voting to exclude Tripp from the church, the meeting concluded with the blessing of children by JS and the administration of the . According to JS’s journal, the conference was “a glorious time.”
As clerk of the conference, kept the minutes. later copied the minutes into Minute Book 1.
This day a of the of the assembled at the dwelling house of bro. Carpenters at 10 o’clock A.M.
Opened by singing, “How firm a foundation, &c.” Bro. Joseph Smith Junr. read the 2nd. chapter of the prophecy of Joel & took the lead in prayer; after which, he commenced addressing the congregation, as follows. It is very difficult for us to communicate to the churches all that God has revealed to us, in consequence of tradition; for we are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon this earth: Consequently [p. 43]
Possibly Richard Carpenter, the only Carpenter to appear in the 1830 census for Norton Township. A William Carpenter is listed in a financial account as a participant in the Camp of Israel, but he may have been Richard Carpenter’s son. A William Carpenter, born circa 1815, lived in Copley, Summit County, Ohio, at the time of the 1850 U.S. census and would have been about nineteen years old at the time of the Camp of Israel expedition in 1834. The 1830 census lists a male between the ages of fifteen and nineteen living in Richard Carpenter’s home. (Account with the Church of Christ, ca. 11–29 Aug. 1834; 1830 U.S. Census, Norton Township, Medina Co., OH, 191; 1850 U.S. Census, Copley, Summit Co., OH, 296[A].)
Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.
The hymn “How Firm a Foundation” was included in John Rippon’s A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, first published in 1787. It was also included in the first LDS hymnal, published in 1835. (Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, 537, 963–964; Hymn 82, Collection of Sacred Hymns, 111–113.)
Julian, John, ed. A Dictionary of Hymnology: Setting Forth the Origin and History of Christian Hymns of All Ages and Nations with Special Reference to ose Contained in the Hymn Books of English-Speaking Countries, and Now in Common Use. . . . New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1892.
A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Edited by Emma Smith. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.