Interim Content

Solemn assembly


A special church meeting or conference convened to conduct church business, administer sacred ordinances, and receive spiritual power and instruction. In November 1831, the Saints were directed by revelation to gather as a body in solemn assemblies. A December 1832 revelation instructed JS and the elders of the church in Kirtland, Ohio, to establish what became known as the School of the Prophets and to convene a solemn assembly. Solemn assemblies were held in congregations in Missouri in February 1833 to promote unity and to receive spiritual instruction. In 1833 and 1834, JS revelations directed chosen elders in the church to prepare for an endowment of “power from on high” at a solemn assembly in the Kirtland House of the Lord. In early 1836, these elders progressed through a series of washings, anointings, and blessings in preparation for the solemn assembly and the promised endowment. On 30 March 1836, the elders gathered in the House of the Lord for the solemn assembly, where they received a ritual washing of feet, prophecies, and blessings as part of the long anticipated endowment of power. Another solemn assembly was held in April 1837. Though these solemn assemblies in the House of the Lord were intended to be annual events, church leaders no longer had access to the structure after January 1838. In 1841, the Saints were directed to build a temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, where solemn assemblies could be held.