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Letter from Thomas B. Marsh, 15 February 1838

MINUTES OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF  THE COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE  CHURCH IN ZION.
The following are the minutes of the pro ceedings of a general assembly of the Church  of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints, assem bled at the following places, to transact the  business of said Church.
1st. At Far West, Feb. 5, 1838; Thomas  B. Marsh was chosen Moderator, and John  Cleminson Clerk.
The Moderator addressed the throne of  grace in prayer, after which he laid before  the assembly the object of the meeting,  giving a relation of the recent organization of  the Church here, and in Kirtland. He also  read a certain revelation given in Kirtland,  Sept. 4, 1837; which made known that John  Whitmer and William W. Phelps were in  transgression, and that if they repented not,  they should be removed out of their places.— Also, read a certain clause contained in the  appeal, published in the old Star, under the  183rd page, as follows:—“And to sell our  lands would amount to a denial of our faith,  as that is the place where Zion of God  shall stand according to our faith and belief in  the revelations of God.“
Elder John Murdock then took the stand,  and showed to the congregation why the  High Council proceeded thus, was, that the  Church might have a voice in the matter;  and that he considered it perfectly legal, ac cording to the instructions of President Joseph  Smith jr.
Elder G[eorge] M. Hinkle then set forth the way  in which the Presidency of Far West had been  labored with, that a committee of three, of  whom he was one, had labored with them.— He then read a written document containing  a number of accusations against the three  presidents. He spake many things against  them, setting forth in a plain and energetic  manner, the iniquity of Phelps and Whitmer,  in using the monies which were loaned for  the Church. Also D[avid] Whitmer’s wrong, in  persisting in the use of tea, coffee, and tobac co.
Bishop [Edward] Partridge then arose, and endeavor ed to rectify some mistakes of minor impor tance made by Elder Hinkle. Also, the Bish op spake against the proceedings of the meet ing, as being hasty and illegal, for he thought  they ought to be had before the common  council; and said, that he could not lift his  hand against the presidency at present; he  then read a letter from Joseph  Smith jr.
A letter was then read by T. B. Marsh  from William Smith, who made some com ments on the same, and also on the letter  read by E. Partridge.
Elder G. Moery [George Morey], who was one of the com mittee sent to labor with the Presidency,  then spake, setting forth in a very energetic  manner, the proceedings of the presidency, as  being iniquitous.
Elder [Thomas] Grover also, being one of the com mittee, spake against the conduct of the pres idency and O[liver] Cowdery, on their visit to la bor with them.
Elder David W. Patten, then spake with  much zeal against this presidency, and in fa vor of brother Joseph Smith jr. and that the  wolf alluded to in his letter were the dissen ters in Kirtland.
Elder Lyman Wight next stated that he  considered that all other accusations were of  minor importance compared to their selling  their lands in Jackson County, that they  (Phelps and Whitmer) had set an example  which all the members were liable to follow;  he said that it was a hellish principle, and  that they had flatly denied the faith in so do ing. Elder Elias Higbee then sanctioned  what had been done by the council, speaking  against the presidency.
Elder Murdock again took the stand, and  stated that sufficient had been said to substan tiate the accusations against them.
Elder Solomon Hancock pled in favor of  the presidency, stating that he could not  raise his hand against them.
Elder John Corrill then spake against the  High Council in regard to their proceedings,  and labored hard to show that the meeting  was illegal, and that the presidency ought to  be had before a proper tribunal, which he con sidered to be a bishop and twelve high priests;  he labored in favor of the presidency, and  said that he should not raise his hands against  them at present, although he did not uphold  the presidents in their iniquity.
Elder Simeon Carter, next arose and spake  against the meeting as being hasty. Elder  [Elisha] Groves followed brother Carter, in like obser vations and of like nature. Elder David Patten  again took the stand in vindidcation of the  cause of the meeting.
Elder [Isaac] Morley then spake against the presi dency, at the same time pleading mercy. Ti tus Billings said that he could not vote until  they had a hearing in the common council.
Elder Marsh said that the meeting was ac cording to the direction of br. Joseph, he,  therefore, considered it legal.
Elder Moses Martin then took the stand,  and with great energy spake in favor of the  legality of the meeting, and against the con duct of the presidency of Zion, alleging that  the present corruptions of the church here,  were owing to the wickedness and misman agement of her leaders.
The Moderator then called the vote in fa vor of the present presidency. The negative  was then called and the vote against David  Whitmer, John Whitmer, and William W.  Phelps was unanimous, excepting 8 or 10 and [p. 44]
Next
Thomas B. Marsh, letter, Far West, MO, to JS, en route to Missouri from Ohio, 15 Feb. 1838; Elders’ Journal, July 1838, pp. 44–46.

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