License for Edward Partridge, circa 4 August 1831–circa 5 January 1832

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

The To all to whom these presents may come hereby testifyeth That our beloved brother has been appointed of this church on the fourth of February one thousand eight hundred and thirty one with and by the consent of the whole church agreeable to the appointment of God and to this office under the hand of an of this church of christ regularly organized on the sixth of April one thousand eight hundred and thirty in wittness whereof we have here unto set our hands
Names of Elders{Elders
Joseph Smith Jr
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  1. 1

    In a revelation dated 4 February 1831, the voice of Deity stated, “I have called my Servent Edward & give him a commandment that he should be appointed by the voice of the Church & be ordained a bishop unto the Church.” Extant records do not indicate when the church consented to Partridge’s calling, but another revelation dated 9 February 1831 reiterated that Partridge needed to “stand in the office” to which he had been appointed. A May revelation outlining some of Partridge’s duties suggests that he was acting in his office as bishop by at least that time. (Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:9]; Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:10]; Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51].)  

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    Three columns are drawn for the signatures. It is evident from an examination of the original document that Rigdon, JS, and those who followed them in signing the document began signing it on the rightmost portion of the page, in the third column. When the signatures reached the bottom of the page, William E. McLellin began a new column of signatures—the leftmost column—to the left of the first signatures.  

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    “Elders” in handwriting of Sidney Rigdon. The bracket in the original document appears to connect Rigdon’s, JS’s, and Cowdery’s names. The designation “elders” might refer to their status as presiding elders of the church. JS and Cowdery were ordained as the first and second elders of the church at its organization on 6 April 1830. Rigdon had not received a similar designation but had replaced Cowdery as JS’s principal scribe and had started to take on a leadership role, including consecrating and dedicating the land around Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, “for the gathering of the Saints” on 2 August and dedicating the ground where the temple was to be built “unto the Lord forever” on 3 August. (JS History, vol. A-1, 37 [Draft 2]; Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:2–3]; JS History, vol. A-1, 137, 139; Whitmer, History, 32.)  

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    Handwriting of Sidney Rigdon ends; individual signatories begin.