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Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5–6 December 1834

Account of Meetings, Revelation, and Blessing, 5–6 December 1834

Chapter 1.
Friday Evening, December 5, 1834

5 Dec. 1834

JS ordained Oliver Cowdery an assistant president of the high priesthood, Kirtland, Ohio.

.  According to the direction of the Holy Spirit, Pr[e]s ident Smith, assistant Presidents

The presiding body of the church. From the day of the church’s organization on 6 April 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery led the church in their capacity as elders. An 11 November 1831 revelation directed that “the duty of the president of the office of the high...

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, [Sidney] Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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and [Frederick G.] Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, assembled for the  purpose of ordaining

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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<first> High Counsellor [Oliver] Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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to the office of assistant  President of the High and Holy Priesthood

The authority and power held by certain officers in the church. The Book of Mormon referred to the high priesthood as God’s “holy order, which was after the order of his Son,” and indicated that Melchizedek, a biblical figure, was a high priest “after this...

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in the Church of the Latter-Day Saints

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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.
It is necessary, for the special benefit of the reader, that he be instructed <into, or> con cerning the power and authority of the above named Priesthood

Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands to adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of the...

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.
First. The office of the President is to preside over the whole Chu[r]ch; to be  considered as at the head; to receive revelations for the Church; to be a Seer

The Book of Mormon identified a seer as a “revelator, and a prophet also,” specifying, however, that a seer was “greater than a prophet.” A seer could “know of things which has past, and also of things which is to come.” The work of a seer included translation...

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, and  Revelator <and Prophet—> having all the gifts of God:— having taking <Moses> for an ensample. Which is  
Second. the office and station of the above President Smith, ac cording to the calling of God, and the ordination which he has received.
Second. The office of Assistant President is to assist in presiding  over the whole chu[r]ch, and to officiate in the abscence of the President, accor ding to their <his> rank and appointment, viz: President Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, first; Pres ident Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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Second, and President Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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Third, as they <were> are sev erally called. The office of this Priesthood is also to act as Spokesman—taking  Aaron for an ensample.
The virtue of this the <above> Priesthood is to hold the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to mankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth “...

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of the kingdom of heaven,  or the Church militant.
The reader may further understand, that Presidents <the> reason why President <High Counsellor> Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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 was not previously ordained <to the Presidency,> was, in consequence of his necessary attendance in Zion, to  assist Wm W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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in conducting the printing business; but that this promise was  made by the angel while in company with President Smith, at the time they recievd  the office of the lesser priesthood

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

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. And further: The circumstances and situation  of the Church requiring, Presidents Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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and Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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were previously or dained, to assist the President Smith.
After this short explination, we now proceed to give an account of the  acts, promises, and blessings of this memorable Evening:
First. After assembling, we received a rebuke for our former low,  uncultivated, and disrespectful manner of communication, and saluta tion, with, and unto each other, by the voice of the Spirit, saying unto us: Verily,  condemnation resteth upon you, who are appointed to lead my Chu[r]ch,  and to be saviors of men: and also upon the church: And there must needs be a  repentance and a refor[m]ation among you, in all things, in your ensamples  before the Chuch, and before the world, in all your manners, habits and customs,  and salutations one toward another—rendering unto every man the respect  due the office, and calling, and priesthood, whereunto I the Lord have appoin ted and ordained you. Amen. [p. 17]
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Minutes, [Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, OH], 5–6 Dec. 1834; handwriting of Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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; in Manuscript History of the Church, volume A-1, addendum, pp. 17–20; CHL.

Facts