Minutes, 28 December 1834

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Minutes of a of the assembled at the in Ohio Sabbath evening December 28th 1834. presiding, who opened by prayer
The council was organized as follows:
The case of Elder of Indiana, was presented to the council, by . was called to make such remarks before the council as he thought proper— who related a difficulty which formerly existed between himself and George Hartley once a member of the church in .
Four counsellors were appointed to speak on the case (viz.):
The circumstances of s former difficulty were stated by himself, Elder Hancock, , (who presided over the at one time when said difficulty was settled[)] President and . The counsellors then made their remarks, and also Presidents & J. Smith Junr. after which gave decision. That is, and has been, a member of this church, and that he is and has been an in the same. And that so far as has been presented to this council, nothing has been done by him, whereby he ought to be expelled from this church.
A vote was called which was unanimous with said decision. [p. 81]
Many excellent remarks were made relative to the order of offices and titles in the by J. Smith Junr. & when a vote was called to know whether all present were satisfied with those remarks, which was also unanimous, there being no dissenting voice.
Closed by prayer of
) Clerks of
The next council will be arranged as follows:
[p. 82]


  1. 1

    Though JS was present at this high council meeting, he did not preside. According to the rules governing the high council, JS should have presided; only if he were absent was another member of the presidency to officiate. It is possible that Sidney Rigdon presided because JS was not present at the beginning of the meeting. (See Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102:9–11].)  

  2. 2

    John Smith and Luke Johnson were absent for unknown reasons. The rules governing the high council explain the protocol for finding substitutes for absent members: they were to be high priests considered “worthy and capable to act in the place of absent counsellors.” William E. McLellin substituted for Luke Johnson while Sylvester Smith filled in for John Smith. Sylvester Smith was a standing member of the high council until September 1834, when he was released as a result of accusations he raised against JS, which were ruled to be without merit. (Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102:7]; Minutes, 24 Sept. 1834.)  

  3. 3

    Hartley was not present at this council, but he had been present at the 1831 meetings.  

  4. 4

    That four counselors were appointed to speak suggests this was a difficult case. (See Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102:13–14].)  

  5. 5

    Probably Levi Hancock.  

  6. 6

    Walker and Cowdery were the only two people who attended both council meetings in which this case was discussed.  

  7. 7

    Hyrum Smith and William E. McLellin also visited church members in Randolph County in fall 1831. Both men may have been familiar with Walker from this visit. Sydney Rigdon’s connections with the Walker case or the members in Randolph County are not known. (McLellin, Journal, 4 Oct. 1831.)  

    McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. MS 13538, box 1, fd. 1. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).