Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 January 1832

General Confrence held in this land said establishment to b[e] put in opportunity operation as  soon as circumstances may permit. Carried by unanimous vote. Confrence adjourned until 3. oclock  PM. Oliver Cowdery Clerk of Confrence.——
Con. convened according to adjournment 3. oclock P.M. Quotation from the Law. “And it  shall come to pass that the Bishop of my church after that he has received the properties of my Church that  it cannot be taken from the Church”. &c. The Confrence therefore Resolve that the Bishop of this Church  at the time of receiving moneys or other properties for the use and benefit of this Church of any member of  the same shall give a receipt to the person at the time covenanting for himself and his heirs that such  moneys or properties shall be expended for the use and benefit of this church according to the cov enants and Laws of the same. And that whatever amount of such moneys or properties may be  in his possession should he be removed from his said office of Bishop by death or otherwise  shall be handed over to his successor— By unanimous vote the above resolution passed.——
Bro. Edward Partrage brought forward certain letters written by bro. Sidney Rigdon  one addressed to himself bearing date Kirtland September 10th 1831. another addressed to bros John Correll  and Isaac Morley. bearing date Hiram Portage Co. Ohio 14.th Nov. 1831. after a few remarks a motion was  carried to have the said letters read by the Clerk. After deliberate discussion it was Resolved that  Whare Wharas this Confrence has been made acquainted with certain difficulties existing between the  Bishop of this Church (Edward Partrage) and bro. Sidney Rigdon and Wharas the said Sid ney has prefered certain charges against the said Bishop (Edward Partrage) detrimental to his  character and standing as a Bishop in the church of Christ. Therefore we the Confrence having no legal right  to proceed to a trial of the same in the absence of one of the parties Recommend that the Elders stationed  in this land converse with the said Bishop (Edward Partrage) on this subject and write the said Sidney  a friendly humiliating letter advising that this difficulty be settled and thereby the wound in the  Church be healed. By unanimous vote.—— General Confrence adjourned to tuesday the 3d. of 4 month  (April). 1832. Closed. singing. prayer by bro. Edward Partrage. Oliver Cowdery Clerk of Confrence.——
In consequence of the ill health and crowd of business our bro. Sidney Gilbert was unable to at tend the General Confrence for which cause we thought proper to hold a special one to examine his  accounts of &c.— by his request. Minuets of a Special Confrence held at the dwelling house of bro  Sidney Gilbert, Independence Jan. 27. 1832. (evening) Edward Partrage appointed moderator  and Oliver Cowdery Clerk. Prayer by bro John Carrell.—
Names of Elders presant.
John WhitmerEdward Partrage
William W. PhelpsJohn Carrell
Sidney Gilbert Oliver Cowdery
Selah J. Griffin
Brother Sidney Gilbert [br]ought forward the following  account of moneys received
Received of N. K. Whitney & Co.$1002.70
Received of N K. Whitney agent of the churches  at the east and sundry other brethren on the way to this land. $169[2],00$1692.00
Total amount received. $2694,70
Total amount paid out 2677.83
Sum remaining.16.87
By unanimous vote the above account accepted
The following is the amount of disbursements
Paid out for Goods for Gilbert & Whitney for Goods  and transportation to this place 827.94
Paid for transportation for families  and bagage &c from Ohio to this place 804.89
Other necessaries for the use and bene fit of the Church1045.00
Total amount paid out 2677,83
After certain remarks from bro. Sidney Gilbert relative to the store in this place it was  Resolved that a letter be addressed by brs. Edward Partrage Sidney Gilbert and Oliver Cow dery on the subject of the Store in this place to the Agent of the Desiples in the east (N K. Whitney) re questing a special confrence to act upon the contents of said letter— By unanimous vote.
Singing. prayer by bro. W<m> W Phelps. Closed. Oliver Cowdery Clerk of Confrence——
The following items in I insert to accompany the foregoing documents by request of the  Bishop. which I copy from his own hand. “Although the Bishop has reported that there is  nearly twelve hundred acres of land purchased that you may know have a better understanding  we think propper to state that it is mostly woodland & not in a situation to be improved  this season even if it should be thought advisable to clear it faster Not than what is wanted for  timber. And further we would State that one piece of the land is not as yet paid for the which  when added to what has been now paid to the Elders who go east will reduce the amount of funds in  the Bishops hands more than 200 dollars— We would further state that provisions are scarce nearly &  dear nearly double what they were one year ago.— We have not a large supply on hand prob able not more than enough for the brethren here.— The store not getting opened as soon as we expect ed has injured us verry much in the purchase of provisions. According to instructions sent here it  was expected to be opened about the middle of Oct. & thinking that purchases might be made  with goods & the money saved in the Church we neglected to buy expecting bro. Gilbert would  certainly be here soon. From <the> funds in the Bishops hands you will redily perceive that we  are not in a situation to buy much more land & procure a stock of provisions <& cows> for those who are  coming here this spring.—— [p. [2]]
In November 1831, Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer left Ohio with manuscript copies of the revelations that would constitute the Book of Commandments. They carried these documents to Missouri, and three weeks after their arrival, they held a conference in Kaw Township, Jackson County, Missouri. As conference clerk, Cowdery took minutes, which he conveyed by letter to JS shortly thereafter.
At the conference, the bishop, Edward Partridge, and the church agent, Sidney Gilbert, made a formal accounting of church funds entrusted to their care. After presenting the minutes, the letter continued this accounting. The letter also addressed the church’s establishment in Zion and expressed concerns regarding the need to carry out the move to Zion in an orderly fashion, in consultation with Missouri church leaders.
Oliver Cowdery wrote and sent this letter from Independence, Missouri, to JS at Kirtland, Ohio. Newel K. Whitney apparently retained this manuscript; no other copy is extant.