Minutes and Discourse, 21 April 1834

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Medina Co. Ohio April 21, 1834.
This day a of the of the assembled at the dwelling house of bro. Carpenters at 10 o’clock A.M.
Opened by singing, “How firm a foundation, &c.” Bro. Joseph Smith Junr. read the 2nd. chapter of the prophecy of Joel & took the lead in prayer; after which, he commenced addressing the congregation, as follows. It is very difficult for us to communicate to the churches all that God has revealed to us, in consequence of tradition; for we are differently situated from any other people that ever existed upon this earth: Consequently [p. 43] those former revelations cannot be suited to our condition, because they were given to other people who were before us; but in the last days, God was to call a remnant, in which was to be deliverance, as well as in Jerusalem, and Zion. Now, if God should give no more revelations, where will we find Zion and this remnant? He said that the time was near when desolation was to cover the Earth, and then God would have a place of deliverance in his remnant, and in Zion, &c. He then gave a relation of obtaining and the Book of Mormon, the revelation of the , the organization of the in the year 1830, the revelation of the , and the gift of the Holy Spirit poured out upon the church, &c. Take away the book of Mormon, and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none; for without a Zion and a place of deliverance, we must fall, because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, the moon turn to blood, the stars fall from heaven and the earth reel to and fro; then if this is the case, if we are not sanctified and to the places where God has appointed, our former professions and our great love for the bible, we must fall, we cannot stand, we cannot be saved; for God will gather out his saints from the and then comes desolation or destruction and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered, &c.
Bro. then addressed the upon certain items lying immediately before the brethren: He said, that on two points hang all the revelations which have ever been given, which are the two advents of the Messiah. The first one is past, and the second one is now just before us, and consequently those who desire a part in this era which the angels desired to look into, have to be assembled with the saints; for if they are not gathered, they must wail because of [p. 44] his coming. There is no part of his creation which will not feel a shock at this grand display of power; for the Ancient saints will reign with christ a Thousand years. The saints will dwell under that reign, and those who are not gathered may expect to endure his wrath that length of time; for the rest of the dead are not to live again till the thousand years are ended. He said that he could deliver a prophecy to the brethren and sisters, not that he stood before them in the attitude of a prophet any farther then he was warranted by the written revelations of God. He said it was in vain for men in this generation to think of laying up and providing inheritances for their children except they laid it up in the place where deliverance was appointed by the voice of God; for those were to be the days of vengeance, as were in the days of Jeremiah; because, before his eyes were closed in death, the Jews were led captives and the land posessed by another people; and so in this day, while the father was laying up Gold for his son, the destroyer may lay him lifeless at his own feet, and where then is all his treasure? Therefore, if we, the Elders islands of the seas, and all the ends of the earth, desire an inheritance for ourselves themselves and their children and our children, it must be obtained where God has appointed the places of delivera[n]ce. He then noticed the former covenants to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & others of the ancients, which were to be realized in the last days, &c. After which he said there were now three great items which he would proceed to speak upon more particularly at present, which were, The deliverance of Zion. The of the with power from on high according to former promises; and the spreading of the word of the Lord to the four winds. He then took up the first, and gave a hint upon the great weight and importance resting upon the saints [p. 45] in the last days, and then gave a statement of the situation of the affairs of the brethern in , and then took up the revelation given; requireing the saints to go up for the deliverance of those who had been driven from their , and urged the importance of an obedience to the same by those who could go, & those who could not go, should help those who are going to means for their expenses.
Bro. then occupied a few minutes in giveing a relation of the brethren being driven out from their homes, and called upon the brethren and Sisters to open their hearts and contribute to their necessities. Bro. then made some remarks upon contributions, followed by brother Salmon Warner upon the same subject.
Bro. occupied a short time in exhortation and instructed the brethren into the propriety of the deliverance of Zion. He said that he had no property, but if necessary for the deliverance of Zion, he would sell his own clothes at auction if he could have left to him as good a garment as the Saviour had in the manger.
The time was occupied for a few minutes by two or three others upon the same subject. Bro. Joseph Smith Jnr. then deliverd a short prophecy, that if Zion was not deliverd the time was near when all of this , whereever they might be found, would be persecuted and destroyed in like manner
Bro. then took up the second item, viz:— The of the with power from on high. He gave an account of the endowment of the ancient and laid before the the dimensions of the to be built in and rehearsed the promise to the elders in the last days which they were to realize after the was built. Bro. [p. 46] then related a few items of a vision which he gave as a testimony of those things contained in the revelations read by , and his remarks upon that part relative to the of the with power from on high. Bro. Joseph then occupied a few minutes by way of explanation of the revelation concerning the building of the .
Bro. then took up the third item, viz: The spreading of the word of the Lord. After which several brethren spoke.
The case of bro. Thomas Tripp who had been found in transgression, was then called in question. Bro. David Evans was called upon to state what he knew concerning the case, who said that he had been guilty of improprieties with a sister when going home from a meeting by takeing her by the hand. And also committed some other improprieties with another sister by drawing her breasts. He had sought witness against a sister in good standing from a wicked woman in the world. The then voted that Thomas Tripp be excluded from this with the privilege of an appeal to the at .
Bro. Joseph then laid hands upon certain children & blessed them in the name of the Lord. The was then administered by bro. .
The number of was— 7.
" D[itt]o " Elders "—— 13.
Adjourned to the Monday precedeing the second sunday in September. The conference then closed by singing, “Now my remnant of days,” &c.
} Clerk of conference [p. 47]


  1. 1

    The conference also apparently included lay members, since the minutes mention the blessing of children.  

  2. 2

    Possibly Richard Carpenter, the only Carpenter to appear in the 1830 census for Norton Township. A William Carpenter is listed in a financial account as a participant in the Camp of Israel, but he may have been Richard Carpenter’s son. A William Carpenter, born circa 1815, lived in Copley, Summit County, Ohio, at the time of the 1850 U.S. census and would have been about nineteen years old at the time of the Camp of Israel expedition in 1834. The 1830 census lists a male between the ages of fifteen and nineteen living in Richard Carpenter’s home. (Account with the Church of Christ, ca. 11–29 Aug. 1834; 1830 U.S. Census, Norton Township, Medina Co., OH, 191; 1850 U.S. Census, Copley, Summit Co., OH, 296[A].)  

    Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.

  3. 3

    The hymn “How Firm a Foundation” was included in John Rippon’s A Selection of Hymns from the Best Authors, first published in 1787. It was also included in the first LDS hymnal, published in 1835. (Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, 537, 963–964; Hymn 82, Collection of Sacred Hymns, 111–113.)  

    Julian, John, ed. A Dictionary of Hymnology: Setting Forth the Origin and History of Christian Hymns of All Ages and Nations with Special Reference to ose Contained in the Hymn Books of English-Speaking Countries, and Now in Common Use. . . . New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1892.

    A Collection of Sacred Hymns, for the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Edited by Emma Smith. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.

  4. 4

    Expressing a similar theme, the July 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star states, “Notwithstanding that nearly all christendom doubt the propriety of receiving revelations for the government of the church of Christ in this age . . . yet we believe . . . that to every church in the past ages, which the Lord recognized to be his, he gave revelations wisely calculated to govern them in the peculiar situation and circumstances under which they were placed.” Likewise, in September 1832, the Star explained that “each prophet revealed what was expedient for his own time, and the people he spoke to. . . . The covenant with Noah was very different from the covenant with Abraham, and the last covenant with Israel . . . will undoubtedly be different from the creeds or articles of every church on earth, not established by immediate revelation from heaven.” (“The Elders in the Land of Zion to the Church of Christ Scattered Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1832, [5]; “The Old and New Revelations,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Sept. 1832, [5].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  5. 5

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 501, 566 [3 Nephi 21:22–26; Ether 13:5–6].  

  6. 6

    See Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45:42–44, 64–66].  

  7. 7

    In discussing “the revelation of the high priesthood,” JS may have been referring to a conference held in June 1831, where the high priesthood was conferred “for the first time, upon several of the elders.” Or he may have been referring to events noted in both his 1832 history and in a blessing given to Oliver Cowdery on 18 December 1833 (but not recorded until 1835). The preamble to the 1832 history mentions that at some previous time, “a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God” occurred, but the narrative ends without providing any details. As recorded in 1835, the 1833 blessing explains that JS and Oliver Cowdery “receive[d] the holy priesthood under the hands of those who had been held in reserve for a long season, even those who received it under the hand of the Messiah while he should dwell in the flesh.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 118; JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 1; Blessing to Oliver Cowdery, 2 Oct. 1835.)  

    JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). Historian’s Office, History of the Church, 1839–ca. 1882. CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

  8. 8

    See Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831 [D&C 133:49]; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:87].  

  9. 9

    See Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97:21–25]; and Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:17–18].  

  10. 10

    See 1 Peter 1:12.  

  11. 11

    See Revelation 20:4, 6.  

  12. 12

    See Revelation 20:5. According to JS and Sidney Rigdon’s report of a vision they experienced in February 1832, those who inherited the telestial kingdom, or the lowest kingdom of glory in the afterlife, would not be “redeemed from the devel untill the last reserection untill the lord even christ the Lamb shall have finished his work.” (Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:85].)  

  13. 13

    As with scriptures in the New Testament and Book of Mormon, a March 1831 revelation listed prophesying as a gift of the Spirit. An October 1833 revelation also appointed Rigdon to be “a spokesman unto this people” and “a spokesman unto my servant Joseph.” It stated that Rigdon would have “power to be mighty in expounding all schriptures.” (1 Corinthians 12:10; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 586 [Moroni 10:13]; Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:22]; Revelation, 12 Oct. 1833 [D&C 100:9–11].)  

  14. 14

    See Luke 21:22.  

  15. 15

    See Jeremiah 39:1–9.  

  16. 16

    As part of his Bible revision, JS added, changed, or clarified material in the Bible according to what he believed was God’s inspiration. Sometime between August 1832 and July 1833, he added to Genesis 50 a lengthy prophecy by Joseph, son of Jacob, that in the last days, God would raise a seer among the scattered tribes of Israel, who would gather them back to the land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Old Testament Revision 2, pp. 64–65 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 50:24–26]; Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 3–5, 71–72.)  

    Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

  17. 17

    See Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103]. Rigdon was told in this revelation to “lift up his voice in the congregations in the eastern countries in preparing the churches to keep the commandments which I have given unto them concerning the restoration & redemption of Zion.”  

  18. 18

    See Acts 2:1–4.  

  19. 19

    According to a 1 June 1833 revelation, the size of the House of the Lord was to be “fifty and five feet in width and . . . sixty and five feet in length in the inner court thereof.” When the building was completed in 1836, the inner court conformed to these measurements. The complete building was fifty-nine feet wide and approximately seventy-nine feet long. In summer 1833, the presidency of the high priesthood prepared detailed plans for the House of the Lord to be constructed in Missouri. Although this temple was supposed to be larger than the Kirtland House of the Lord, the layout and features of both appear quite similar. (Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:15]; Robison, First Mormon Temple, 9, 36–37; Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833; Revised Plan of the House of the Lord, ca. 10 Aug.–ca. 4 Sept. 1833.)  

    Robison, Elwin C. The First Mormon Temple: Design, Construction, and Historic Context of the Kirtland Temple. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1997.

  20. 20

    See Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32]; Revelation, Feb. 1831–A [D&C 43:16]; and Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:8].  

  21. 21

    In a February 1834 letter to JS, Bosworth recounted three dreams he recently had, which he called “Visions.” (Letter from Joseph Bosworth, 17 Feb. 1834.)  

  22. 22

    A December 1832 revelation commanded the Saints to build a “house of God” in Kirtland, and a June 1833 revelation reiterated the command. Since the latter revelation also provided specific directions about constructing the house, it was probably the revelation that JS discussed here. (Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:119]; Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95].)  

  23. 23

    Thomas Tripp may be the same Thomas Tripp who appears in the 1830 census for Tyre, Seneca County, New York. The church was organized in Fayette, Seneca County, in 1830. There is little information available about Tripp, other than that he preached in Wayne County, Ohio, in April 1831 and, according to an Evans family history, baptized David Evans in 1833. Tripp may have also ordained Evans both a priest and an elder. (1830 U.S. Census, Tyre, Seneca Co., NY, 31; JS History, vol. A-1, 37; McBride, Autobiography, 22–23; “David Evans,” [10].)  

    Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.

    JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). Historian’s Office, History of the Church, 1839–ca. 1882. CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

    McBride, James. Autobiography, 1874–1876. Microfilm. CHL. MS 8201.

    “David Evans.” Unpublished paper. No date. Ewell Family Historical and Genealogical Society. Accessed 27 Feb. 2015. http://ewellfamily.org/genealogy/browsemedia.php?mediatypeID=histories.

  24. 24

    The bishop’s council was a lower appellate body than the Kirtland high council. According to the minutes of the meeting where the Kirtland high council was organized, the high council would act only as an appellate court in cases that could not be resolved “by the Church, or the bishop’s council” or in cases tried outside of church headquarters before a council of high priests. Because Tripp was tried by the conference of elders, his first recourse for appeal was the bishop’s council. (Revised Minutes, 18–19 Feb. 1834 [D&C 102:2, 24, 27–28].)  

  25. 25

    The “Articles and Covenants” of the church instructed “every member” with children “to bring them unto the elders before the church” so the elders could “lay hands on them in the name of the Lord, and bless them in the name of Christ.” (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:70].)  

  26. 26

    Possibly the Methodist hymn that began “Away with our fears: / The glad morning appears.” The final stanza of the hymn begins “My remnant of days / I spend in his praise.” (Hymn 642, Hymns for the Use of the Methodist New Connexion.)  

    Hymns for the Use of the Methodist New Connexion. Principally from the Collection of the Rev. John Wesley, M. A. Late Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. Manchester: W. Shuttleworth, 1836.