Minutes, 21 April 1838

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

met according to adjournment on Saturday the 21st of April 1838.
After singing a hymn, a prayer was offered by Br. Joseph Smith jr. [p. 135]
A charge was then prefered against by John Anderson, which charge was put over until Thursday the 24th of May next, at 9 o’clock A.M.
1st Resolved, that the “Elder’s Journal” be published monthly, as it was commenced.
2nd Resolved that be the publisher of the “Elders Journal.”
3rd Resolved, that the printing press, type, and furniture which was purchased of [blank] <​​> with all the furniture pertaining to the establishment, be sold by the Committee to , and that he be authorized to pay for the same out of the avails of the City lots or donations
4th Resolved, that do not pay to and a certain mortgage, which they hold against him, and that this uphold him in not paying the the above mortgage.
5th Resolved, that this Council authorize to assist, in making houses on, and fencing the lots in this which are appropriated to the use of Joseph Smith jr and , with the avails arising from the town plot.
6th Resolved— that make an appropriation of not more than one hundred dollars to this , out. of the avails of the town plot.
7th Resolved that this Council support as the publisher of the “Elders Journal” and use their influence to obtain subscriptions for the same.
8th Resolved that this Council, the and his use their influence to cause the people to consecrate to the Lord for the support of the poor and needy.
9th Resolved that the be authorized to obtain or build a sufficient or houses to recieve all the of the people, to be paid for out of the avails of the town plot [p. 136]
10th Resolved that this and Clerk publish the minits of the High Council, from time to time as they shall deem proper
11th Resolved that the afore said record Commence at the time of the last Council held in .
Adjourned till Saturday the 28th inst
Clk pro. tem.— [p. 137]


  1. 1

    Anderson charged Wight “for unjust deal and for abuse to me and for defamation of character.” Wight had moved to Daviess County, Missouri, and probably required notice to attend the high council meeting to answer the charge. The charge was presented again on 24 May, but the investigation did not take place until late June. (Minute Book 2, 28–29 June 1838; Minutes, 7–8 Apr. 1838; JS, Journal, 18 May–1 June 1838.)  

  2. 2

    The Elders’ Journal, the church newspaper edited by JS, commenced in Kirtland with two issues, dated October and November 1837. The printing shop was destroyed by fire shortly after JS fled to Missouri. Wilford Woodruff, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy who was preaching in Maine, wrote a letter to Bishop Edward Partridge and the First Presidency on 9 March in which he pleaded that the Elders’ Journal be revived. Correspondence between Marsh and Woodruff traveled in less than four weeks, suggesting that Woodruff’s letter arrived in Far West sometime in early or mid-April. (John Smith and Don Carlos Smith, Kirtland Mills, OH, to George A. Smith, Shinnston, VA, 15–18 Jan. 1838, George Albert Smith, Papers, CHL; Letter from Wilford Woodruff et al., 9 Mar. 1838.)  

    Smith, George Albert. Papers, 1834–1877. CHL. MS 1322.

  3. 3

    Marsh was listed as publisher of the October and November 1837 issues of the Elders’ Journal, which were published in Kirtland. However, Marsh departed Kirtland for Far West shortly after the September 1837 reorganization conference, so it is unclear what role he played in the publication of these two issues. (Letter to Wilford Woodruff, ca. 18 June 1838; Masthead, Elders’ Journal, Oct. 1837, 16; Masthead, Elders’ Journal, Nov. 1837, 32.)  

  4. 4

    As the bishop of Zion, Partridge received donations for the church. A 17 May 1837 bond governing the transfer of the Far West plat from William W. Phelps and John Whitmer to Partridge authorized him to use the funds from the sale of lots “for the benefit of the printing office or literary firm” as well as for other purposes. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:31–34]; Edward Partridge, Bond, Far West, MO, to William W. Phelps and John Whitmer, 17 May 1837, John Whitmer Family Papers, CHL; see also Minute Book 2, 5–7 Apr. 1837.)  

    John Whitmer Family Papers, 1837–1912. CHL.

  5. 5

    Phelps and Whitmer purchased the land in Far West with money raised and borrowed with interest from church members. When Phelps and Whitmer agreed to turn over the land to Partridge, they made the transaction conditional on a mortgage and two bonds that required Partridge to pay them $1,450 and to take responsibility for their subscription of $2,000 for the House of the Lord in Far West. When the building plans fell through and others withdrew their subscriptions, Phelps and Whitmer withdrew theirs as well and sought payment in cash for the $2,000 and the $1,450. Because the original money was donated by church members for the cause of Zion or was still owed with interest and because the sale of public lands was supposed to support the church, the high council believed that Phelps and Whitmer had swindled the church. Partridge’s last recorded payment on the mortgage occurred on 13 March 1838, although his estate made two additional payments in the 1840s. (Letter to Wilford Woodruff, ca. 18 June 1838; see also Minute Book 2, 25 July 1836; 5–7 Apr. 1837; 10 Mar. 1838; “T. B. Marsh,” [2], Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; and Edward Partridge and Lydia Partridge, Mortgage, Far West, MO, to William W. Phelps and John Whitmer, 17 May 1837, John Whitmer Family Papers, CHL.)  

    Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.

    John Whitmer Family Papers, 1837–1912. CHL.

  6. 6

    On 3 March 1838, the high council authorized Partridge to give lots in Far West to JS, Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith. (Minute Book 2, 3 Mar. 1838.)  

  7. 7

    See Psalm 82:4; and Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–B [D&C 72:12].  

  8. 8

    The role of the storehouse in Zion was firmly established by revelation in the early 1830s.a John Corrill was appointed “keeper of the Lord’s store House” in May 1837, suggesting that the Latter-day Saints in Missouri already had a storage place. This resolution indicates that if the Saints did already have a storage place, it might have been inadequate to accommodate the increased donations anticipated as a result of the previous resolution.b  

    (aRevelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:30–34]; Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:13]; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:8]; Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:24, 37]; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–B [D&C 72:9–10]; Revelation, 30 Apr. 1832 [D&C 83:4–6].bMinute Book 2, 22 May 1837.)
  9. 9

    The last extant set of minutes for a council meeting in Clay County, Missouri, is for 25 July 1836. These minutes conclude with a resolution to “search out land for the Church to settle upon &c.” This resolution, which was part of the effort to relocate the Missouri Saints and provide land for new immigrants, resulted in the purchase of land along Shoal Creek for the settlement of Far West. Minutes from a 10 November 1837 council meeting were published in a Kirtland issue of the Elders’ Journal. When publication of the paper recommenced in Far West, the first issue included a letter from Marsh that contained the minutes of a “general assembly” that the high council initiated, in which Zion church presidents William W. Phelps and John Whitmer were removed from office; the minutes of the 10 March 1838 council meeting in which Phelps and Whitmer were excommunicated; and the minutes of the 7–8 April 1838 quarterly conference, held “agreeable to a resolution of the high council,” in which new officers were appointed. (Minute Book 2, 25 July 1836; Gentry and Compton, Fire and Sword, 28–36; Minutes, 10 Nov. 1837, Elders’ Journal, Nov. 1837, 30–31; “Minutes of the Proceedings of the Committee of the Whole Church in Zion,” Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 44–46; “Minutes of High Council,” Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 46; “Conference Minutes,” Elders’ Journal, July 1838, 47.)  

    Gentry, Leland Homer, and Todd M. Compton. Fire and Sword: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Northern Missouri, 1836–39. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2011.

  10. 10

    Greene, a member of the high council, was substituting for high council clerk Ebenezer Robinson. (Minutes, 6 Apr. 1838; Minutes, 7–8 Apr. 1838.)