Minutes, 12 February 1836

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Friday evening, February 12th. 1836
convened in the for the purpose of taking into consideration the subject of men to the office of and other offices in the .
Opened by singing and prayer
The following resolutions were offered by the for discussion.
1st Resolved that no one be ordained to any office in the in this of at without the unanimous voice of the several bodies that constitute this , who are appointed to do church business in the name of the <​said​> church. (Viz) The Presidency of the Church and Council. The of the Lamb. The twelve of . The twelve High Counsellors— [p. 137] of , The , and his counsellors The and his counsellors, and the seven Presidents of , until otherwise ordered by said .
2dly. Resolved that none be in the of said abroad, unless they are recommended by the voice of the respective branches of the church to which they belong to the general conference appointed by the heads of the Church, and from that conference receive their ordination.
The foregoing were concurred in by the Presidents of the .
Clerk. [p. 138]


  1. 1

    The copy of the minutes in JS’s journal specifies that JS “met in the School room in the chapel in company with the several quorums.” The “several quorums” likely included those entities listed in the first resolution in the featured text. These several quorums also constituted the church’s “grand council,” which met regularly during the months when Missouri church leaders were in Kirtland to prepare for the March dedication of the House of the Lord. (JS, Journal, 13 Jan. 1836, and Minutes, 12 Feb. 1836; Minutes, 13 Jan. 1836.)  

  2. 2

    The minutes in JS’s journal state the following: “I then arose and made some remarks upon the object of our meeting, which were as follows— first that many are desiring to be ordained to the ministry, who are not called and consequntly the Lord is displeased.”a This may have been connected to the ongoing difficulties and questions raised about ordinations to the elders quorum.b It is also possible that JS suggested here that the Lord was displeased that so many who desired ordination had not adequately prepared for the ministry and were, therefore, not properly called and ordained to the work. As a February 1829 revelation stated, “If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.”c The journal continues: “Secondly, many already have been ordained who ought [not] to hold official stations in the church because they dishonour themselves and the church and bring persecution swiftly upon us, in consequence of their zeal without k[n]owledge— I requested the quorum’s to take some measures to regulate the same.”d The “official stations” likely referred to various priesthood offices. Church leaders had cautioned local leaders two years earlier to be “exceedingly careful” when they ordained an elder to the ministry. “Let it be a faithful man,” they counseled, and they admonished the local authorities to instruct those ordained to “avoid contentions and vain disputes.”e In a 2 October 1835 letter instructing the “elders, traveling through the world,” JS cautioned against those who had a “zeal not according to knowledge” and who “in the heat of enthusiasm, taught and said many things which are derogatory to the genuine character and principles of the church.”f  

    (aJS, Journal, Minutes, 12 Feb. 1836.bSee Letter from the Presidency of Elders, 29 Jan. 1836.cRevelation, Feb. 1829 [D&C 4:3].dJS, Journal, Minutes, 12 Feb. 1836.eLetter to the Church, not after 18 Dec. 1833, italics in original; see also Romans 10:2.fLetter to the Elders of the Church, 2 Oct. 1835.)
  3. 3

    According to the minutes in JS’s journal, JS “proposed some resolutions and remarked to the brethren that the subject was now before them and open for discussion[.] The subject was taken up and discussed by President’s S[idney] Rigdon O[liver] Cowdery Eldr. M[artin] Harris and some others, and resolutions drafted, by my scribe [Warren Parrish] who served as clerk on the occasion— read and rejected— it was then proposed that I should indite resolutions which I did as follows.” (JS, Journal, Minutes, 12 Feb. 1836.)  

  4. 4

    This restated and clarified a resolution passed by a conference of the church presidency on 30 January 1836. (Minutes, 30 Jan. 1836.)  

  5. 5

    The following day, 13 February, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles proposed an amendment to this part of the second resolution that named themselves, instead of local leaders presiding at outlying church conferences, as “having authority to ordain and set in order all the Officers of the church abroad,” in accordance with the Doctrine and Covenants published the previous year. The Twelve’s amendment was discussed at a meeting ten days later. (Minute Book 1, 13 Feb. 1836; Doctrine and Covenants 3:12, 17, 30, 1835 ed. [D&C 107:33, 39, 58]; Minutes, 22 Feb. 1836; see also Minutes and Discourse, 2 May 1835; and Record of the Twelve, 2 May 1835.)  

  6. 6

    This resolution modified the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants regarding ordinations for the church by adding the clause that ordinations were to be approved at a general conference of the church “and from that conference receive their ordination.” The 1835 Doctrine and Covenants 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; but the presiding elders, travelling bishops, high counsellors, high priests, and elders, may have the privilege of ordaining, where there is no branch of the church, that a vote may be called.” (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 2:16, 1835 ed. [D&C 20:65–66].)