Letter to Brother Fosdick, 3 February 1834

This item is reproduced by permission of The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
rebaptized and come into the church again if he desire  so to do. The instructions which you desire relative to  church gov. &c. the extent of the power of a high Priest  over any branch of the church, are subjects which  will be investigated in the next no. of the Star. Time  will not allow us to write the subjects at full length now;  suffice it, therefore, to say that there is no office in this Church  which can be placed upon the head of any man that will  place him beyond the power & control of any branch of the church  where he may be guilty of transgression, even if there is not  another ordained member in the church, let the church app oint some brother to preside and let them do as one church  did in ancient days “try them who say they are apostles and  are not, but are liars,” then let them demand their license,  raise their hands against them and thus they are expelled  from the communion of the church. It requires all the  members of the church to constitute the body of Christ. One  man is not the body, nor are the children of <the> Kingdom  to be tantalized by men who may hold licenses and have  authority to preach the gospel; such have the more need to  be discreet and humble. Should the individual, after being  thus dealt with be dissatisfied with the decission of the church  he can appeal to a Bishop’s Court, and should he there be  judged guilty, he can yet appeal to a court of high pri[ests]  and this is an end of all disputes and controversies in the  Church of God on earth.
Brethren in the new covenant, Farewell.
SignedJoseph Smith Jr. (Moderator
Orson Hyde (Clerk of Coun[cil]
Copied by direction of the Council, by Oliver Cowdery [p. 24]
JS and a council of high priests and elders, letter, Kirtland Mills, OH, to Brother Fosdick, Pontiac, Michigan Territory, 3 Feb. 1834; handwriting of Thomas Burdick; in Oliver Cowdery Letterbook, pp. 23–24; Huntington Library.