Minutes and Discourses, 27 February 1835, as Reported by William E. McLellin

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

February 27th. of the same year [1835] the met in by request of President J. Smith Jr. After the was opened by prayer, he arose and made the following observations, (Viz) “I have something to lay before this council, an item which they will find to be of great importance to them. I have for myself learned a fact by experience which on reflection gives me deep sorrow. It is a truth that if I now had in my possession every decision which has been given had upon important items of doctrine and duties since the rise of this , they would be of incalculable worth to the saints, but we have neglected to keep record [p. 1] of such things, thinking that prehaps that they would never benefit us afterwards, wh[i]ch had we now, would decide almost any point that might be agitated; and now we cannot bear record to the church nor unto the world of the great and glorious manifestations that have been made to us with that degree of power and authority whi[c]h we otherwise could if we had those decisions to publish abroad.
Since the twelve are now chosen, I wish to tell them a course which they may pursue and be benefitted hereafter in a point of light of which they, prehaps, are not now aware. At all times when you assemble in the capacity of a council to transact business let the oldest of your number preside, and let one or more be appointed to keep a record of your proceedings and on the decision of every important item, be it what it may, let such decision be noted down, and they will ever after remain upon record as law, covenants and doctrine. Any Questions thus decided might at the time appear unimportant, but should they be recorded and one of you lay hands upon them afterward you might find them of infinite worth not only to your brethren but a feast als[o] to your own souls.
Should you assemble from time to time and proceed to discuss important questions and pass decisions upon them and omit to record such decisions, by and by, you will be driven to straits from which you will not be able to extricate yourselves— not being in a sufficient situation to bring your faith to bare with sufficient perfection or power to obtain the desired information. Now in consequence of a neglect to write these things when God reveals them, not esteeming them of sufficient worth the spirit may withdraw and God may be angry, and here is a fountain of intelligence or knowledge of infinite importance which is lost. What was the cause of this? The answer is slothfulness [p. 2] or a neglect to appoint a man to occupy a few moments in writing. Here let me prophecy the time will come when if you neglect to do this, you will fall by the hands of unrighteous men. Were you to be brought before the authorities and accused of any crime or misdemeanor and be as innocent as the angels of God unless you can prove that you were somewhere else, your enemies will prevail against you: but if you can bring twelve men to testify that you were in some other place at that time you will escape their hands. Now if you will be careful to keep minutes of these things as I have said, it will be one of the most important and interesting records ever seen. I have now laid these things before you for your consideration and you are left to act according to your own judgments.”
The then expressed their approbation of the foregoing remarks and proceeded to nominate and appoint and to serve as clerks for the ‘twelve’.
The following question was then proposed by president J Smith Jun. (viz) What importance is attached to the callings of these differrent from the other callings and offices of the . After some discussion by Elders , , and , the following decision was given by President Smith, the Prophet of God.
“They are the twelve apostles who are called to a travelling to preside over all the churches of the saints among the gentiles when there is no presidency established. They are to travel and preach among the until the Lord shall shall command them to go to the Jews. They are to hold this the of this ministry— to unlock the door of the kingdom of heaven unto all nations and preach the Gospel unto every creation. This is the virtue powr and authority of their Amen. It is all important that the twelve should understand the power and authority of [p. 3] the , for without this knowledge they can do nothing to profit. In the first place God manifested himself to me and gave me authority to establish his , and you have received your authority from God through me; and now it is your duty to go and unlock the kingdom of heaven to foreign nations, for no man can do that thing but yourselves. Neither has any man authority or a right to go to other nations before you; and you, , stand in the same relation to those nations that I stand in to you, that is, as a minister; and you have each the same authority in other nations that I have in this nation.[”] The was closed by .
} Clerk [p. 4]


  1. 1

    As the Minute Book 1 version notes, three of the apostlesParley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, and Thomas B. Marsh—were not in attendance.  

  2. 2

    TEXT: Possibly “afterwards”.  

  3. 3

    TEXT: The end of this sentence from “not only” to this point may have been written at a later time.  

  4. 4

    See Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:33–35].  

  5. 5

    See Minutes and Discourse, 2 May 1835.