27466

Journal, 1832–1834

5 December 1834 • Friday

According to the directions of the Holy Spirit, Brethren Joseph Smith Jr., 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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, 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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, and 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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assembled to converse upon the welfare of the church, when Brother 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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was ordained

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...

View Glossary
an assistant president

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary

5 Dec. 1834

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

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...

View Glossary
under the hands of brother Joseph Smith Jr., saying: “My brother, in the name of Jesus Christ who was crucified for the sins of the world, I lay my hands

A practice in which individuals place their hands upon a person to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, ordain to an office or calling, or confer other power, authority, or blessings, often as part of an ordinance. The Book of Mormon explained that ecclesiastical...

View Glossary
upon thee and ordain thee an assistant president129

Cowdery viewed this ordination as fulfillment of an angelic promise. According to JS’s history, in May 1829 John the Baptist announced that Cowdery would be second elder, next in authority to JS as first elder, in the church that was yet to be organized.a Beginning in April 1830, JS and Cowdery held the positions and titles the angel had specified. But Cowdery was away filling an assignment in Missouri when on 8 March 1832 a presidency was established in Kirtland to lead the church.b In Cowdery’s absence, Sidney Rigdon and Jesse Gause were appointed counselors to JS.c JS had previously been designated “president of the high priesthood of the church” in November 1831 and ordained to that position on 25 January 1832.d Frederick G. Williams replaced Gause as a counselor by January 1833.e In the history he was keeping for JS at the time, Cowdery recorded a more complete transcription of this 5 December 1834 blessing and reported that although Rigdon and Williams had seniority in office as counselors, Cowdery, in fulfillment of the angel’s promise, was now to be first among the three to “assist in presiding over the whole church, and to officiate in the absence of the President.” Following Cowdery’s ordination, Rigdon and Williams “confirmed the ordinance and blessings by the laying on of hands and prayer, after which each were blessed with the same blessings and prayer.” In a meeting the following day, Hyrum Smith and Joseph Smith Sr. were called as additional “assistant presidents,” or counselors.f  


aJS History, vol. A-1, 17–18.

bEntry for 5 Dec. 1834, in JS History, 1834–1836, 17.

cRevelation Book 2, pp. 10–11.

dRevelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 3:31, 1835 ed. [D&C 107:59–67].

eMinute Book 1, 22 Jan. 1833.

fEntries for 5 and 6 Dec. 1834, in JS History, 1834–1836, 17–20.

of the high and holy priesthood 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...

View Glossary
”. [p. 93]

5 December 1834 • Friday

Friday Evening, December  5, 1834.  According to the directions  of the Holy Spirit breth[r]en  Joseph Smith jr. 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...

View Full Bio
,  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...

View Full Bio
, and 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...

View Full Bio
, assembled to converse  upon the welfare of the church,  when brother 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...

View Full Bio
was  ordained

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...

View Glossary
an assistant President

The highest presiding body of the church. An 11 November 1831 revelation stated that the president of the high priesthood was to preside over the church. JS was ordained as president of the high priesthood on 25 January 1832. In March 1832, JS appointed two...

View Glossary

5 Dec. 1834

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

 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...

View Glossary
un der the hands of brother Joseph  Smith jr. Saying, “My brother, in the name  of Jesus Christ who died was crucified  for the sins of the world, I lay my hands

A practice in which individuals place their hands upon a person to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, ordain to an office or calling, or confer other power, authority, or blessings, often as part of an ordinance. The Book of Mormon explained that ecclesiastical...

View Glossary
 upon thee, and ordain thee an assist ant President129

Cowdery viewed this ordination as fulfillment of an angelic promise. According to JS’s history, in May 1829 John the Baptist announced that Cowdery would be second elder, next in authority to JS as first elder, in the church that was yet to be organized.a Beginning in April 1830, JS and Cowdery held the positions and titles the angel had specified. But Cowdery was away filling an assignment in Missouri when on 8 March 1832 a presidency was established in Kirtland to lead the church.b In Cowdery’s absence, Sidney Rigdon and Jesse Gause were appointed counselors to JS.c JS had previously been designated “president of the high priesthood of the church” in November 1831 and ordained to that position on 25 January 1832.d Frederick G. Williams replaced Gause as a counselor by January 1833.e In the history he was keeping for JS at the time, Cowdery recorded a more complete transcription of this 5 December 1834 blessing and reported that although Rigdon and Williams had seniority in office as counselors, Cowdery, in fulfillment of the angel’s promise, was now to be first among the three to “assist in presiding over the whole church, and to officiate in the absence of the President.” Following Cowdery’s ordination, Rigdon and Williams “confirmed the ordinance and blessings by the laying on of hands and prayer, after which each were blessed with the same blessings and prayer.” In a meeting the following day, Hyrum Smith and Joseph Smith Sr. were called as additional “assistant presidents,” or counselors.f  


aJS History, vol. A-1, 17–18.

bEntry for 5 Dec. 1834, in JS History, 1834–1836, 17.

cRevelation Book 2, pp. 10–11.

dRevelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B, in Doctrine and Covenants 3:31, 1835 ed. [D&C 107:59–67].

eMinute Book 1, 22 Jan. 1833.

fEntries for 5 and 6 Dec. 1834, in JS History, 1834–1836, 17–20.

of the high and holy p[r]iest hood 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...

View Glossary

Oliver Cowdery handwriting ends.  


[p. 93]
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JS, “Joseph Smith Jrs Book for Record,” Journal, Nov. 1832–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...

View Full Bio
, JS, 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...

View Full Bio
, Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
, 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...

View Full Bio
, Freeman Nickerson

2/12 Apr. 1806–16/14 Sept. 1862. Merchant, farmer. Born at Cavendish, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Freeman Nickerson and Huldah Chapman. Moved to Dayton, Cattaraugus Co., New York, mid 1820s. Moved to Mount Pleasant, Brantford Township, Wentworth Co. (later...

View Full Bio
, and six unidentified scribes; ninety-three pages; JS Collection, CHL. Includes redactions, use marks, and archival marking.
Pocket-size memorandum book, 5⅞ × 3¾ × ¼ inches (15 × 10 × 1 cm). The text block consists of fifty-four leaves measuring 5⅞ × 3⅝ inches (15 × 9 cm). There are four gatherings of six sheets each of ledger paper. Each sheet is folded so that each gathering has twelve leaves (twenty-four pages). These pages are ruled with sixteen blue horizontal lines—now almost entirely faded—as well as with red vertical lines for recording financial information. The endpapers consist of pastedowns on the inside covers and two free flyleaves in both the front and back. The gatherings are sewn all along on sawn-in cords. The front and back covers of the journal are pasteboard. The ledger has a tight-back case binding with a black calfskin quarter-leather binding. The outside covers are adorned in Schrottel marbled paper, with gray body and veins of black and blue. The volume originally had three leather loops—two in the back and one in the front—that were tipped in between the inside covers and the pastedowns. The former presence of the front cover loop, no longer extant, is evident from creasing and staining on the pastedown, which is now detached. The leather loops and their spacing allowed for the book to be fastened by inserting a pencil between all three loops. The vibrant blue veins and the grain of the marbling, now greatly diminished by water damage, are also visible under the now loose front pastedown.
JS wrote “Joseph Smith 1832.<3–4>” on the front cover in brown ink. On the front pastedown, “Joseph Smith” is written sideways, running upward near the bottom of the outer edge. Also, “Joseph” is written sideways, running downward, near the top of the inside of the same page. The handwriting of these inscriptions has not been identified. The journal entries begin on the recto of the second leaf (the first flyleaf) and end on the recto of the back pastedown, making 105 numbered pages. Regular journal entries, inscribed in various shades of brown ink, continue through page 93. Pages 94 to 102 are blank except for page 98, which has JS’s name in graphite pencil at the top in JS’s handwriting. Pages 103–105 record subscriptions, which were evidently solicited during JS’s 26 February–28 March 1834 New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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mission, as well as a note apparently inscribed on 20 April 1834 in preparation for the conference held 20–21 April 1834 at Norton

Area first settled, 1814. Formed from Wolf Creek Township, 1818. Reported location of “great Mormon excitement,” 1832–1838. Population in 1830 about 650. Primarily populated by immigrants from New England states. Increased German Pennsylvanian immigration...

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, Ohio. The book has suffered from water and mud damage, evidenced in part by some extremely faded ink on page 2. Glue from tipping in a damaged leaf has also obscured several characters in the gutter of page 2.
The journal’s textual redactions and use marks, in graphite pencil, were made by later scribes who used the journal to produce the multivolume manuscript history of the church. This occurred in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, indicating the journal remained in JS’s possession. The journal is listed in Nauvoo and early Utah inventories of church records, indicating continuous custody.1

“Schedule of Church Records. Nauvoo 1846,” [1]; Historian’s Office, [7] “Historian’s Office Catalogue,” Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; Johnson, Register of the Joseph Smith Collection, 7.  


Facts