31371

Minute Book 1

Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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was nominated to be president of the high priest hood in 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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, Seconded and carried with out opposition.
Alvah Beeman Beman

22 May 1775–15 Nov. 1837. Farmer. Born at New Marlboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Reuben Beman and Mariam. Married Sarah (Sally) Burt, 18 Aug. 1796. Moved to what became Livonia, Ontario Co., New York, 1799. Moved to Avon, Livingston Co., New York...

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, was nominated for president of the quorum of Elders in 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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, seconded and voted unanimously that he serve in that capacity.
The Bishop of Kirtland

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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nominated William Cowdery Jr.

5 Sept. 1765–26 Feb. 1847. Farmer, physician. Born at East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of William Cowdery and Hannah Emmons. Raised Congregationalist. Married first Rebecca Fuller. Moved to Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont, ca. 1787. Appointed surveyor...

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to be president of the priests in 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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. This nomination was seconded and carried unanimously.
Thomas Gates was nominated for president of the teachers, vote not carried
Oliver Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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was nominated for president of the Teachers, seconded and vote carried unanimously
Ira Bond

19 Jan. 1798–30 Nov. 1887. Farmer. Born at Caldwell, Essex Co., New Jersey. Son of Abner Bond and Mary Elizabeth Gould. Moved to Mendon, Monroe Co., New York, before 1830. Married Charlotte Wilcox in Honeoye Falls, Monroe Co. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph...

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was nominated to be president of the Deacons in this place, motion seconded and carried by a unanimous vote.
President Joseph Smith Senr

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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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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proceeded to ordain Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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and Alvah Beeman

22 May 1775–15 Nov. 1837. Farmer. Born at New Marlboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Reuben Beman and Mariam. Married Sarah (Sally) Burt, 18 Aug. 1796. Moved to what became Livonia, Ontario Co., New York, 1799. Moved to Avon, Livingston Co., New York...

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to the respective offices to which they had been chosen, and pronounced great blessings upon them.
Bishop Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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of 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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then proceeded to ordain William Cowdery

5 Sept. 1765–26 Feb. 1847. Farmer, physician. Born at East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of William Cowdery and Hannah Emmons. Raised Congregationalist. Married first Rebecca Fuller. Moved to Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont, ca. 1787. Appointed surveyor...

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, Oliver Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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& Ira Bond

19 Jan. 1798–30 Nov. 1887. Farmer. Born at Caldwell, Essex Co., New Jersey. Son of Abner Bond and Mary Elizabeth Gould. Moved to Mendon, Monroe Co., New York, before 1830. Married Charlotte Wilcox in Honeoye Falls, Monroe Co. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph...

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and pronounced many blessings upon them, according to their offices & standing.
Moved seconded & voted that all the quorums take their turn in performing the office of door keeper in the house of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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.
Moved, seconded and voted by each quorum that Amos Orton, Samuel Rolfe

26 Aug. 1794–July 1867. Carpenter. Born at Concord, Merrimack Co., New Hampshire. Son of Benjamin Rolfe and Mary (Molly) Swett. Moved to Maine, 1810. Married Elizabeth Hathaway, 4 Mar. 1818. Lived at Rumford, Oxford Co., Maine, when baptized into LDS church...

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Thomas Carico Carrico Jr.

20 Sept. 1801–22 Feb. 1882. Shoemaker. Born at Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Carrico and Deborah Wallis. Baptized into Unitarian church, 27 Sept. 1801, at Beverly. Married first Mary E. Raymond, 30 Aug. 1827, at Beverly. Wife died, 1833...

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& Nathaniel Milliken

25 Dec. 1793–Aug. 1874. Farmer, post office clerk. Born at Buxton, York Co., Maine. Son of Nathaniel Milliken and Mary Lord. Married first Mary Fairfield Hayes, 22 Apr. 1819. Baptized into LDS church, 1 Oct. 1833, at Buxton. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co.,...

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be appointed assistant door keepers
Motioned, seconded & voted that the Presidencey of the high council hold the keys of the house of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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except the keys of one vestry which shall be held by the Bishop of Kirtland

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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[p. 204]
Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

View Full Bio
was nominated to be president  of the high priest hood in 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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, Seconded and carried with  out opposition.
Alvah Beeman [Beman]

22 May 1775–15 Nov. 1837. Farmer. Born at New Marlboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Reuben Beman and Mariam. Married Sarah (Sally) Burt, 18 Aug. 1796. Moved to what became Livonia, Ontario Co., New York, 1799. Moved to Avon, Livingston Co., New York...

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, was nominated for president of  the quorum of Elders in 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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, seconded and voted  unanimously that he serve in that capacity.
The Bishop of Kirtland

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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nominated William Cowdery [Jr.]

5 Sept. 1765–26 Feb. 1847. Farmer, physician. Born at East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of William Cowdery and Hannah Emmons. Raised Congregationalist. Married first Rebecca Fuller. Moved to Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont, ca. 1787. Appointed surveyor...

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 to be president of the priests in 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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. This nomination  was seconded and carried unanimously.
Thomas Gates was nominated for president of the  teachers, vote not carried
Oliver Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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was nominated for president of the  Teachers, seconded and vote carried unanimously
Ira Bond

19 Jan. 1798–30 Nov. 1887. Farmer. Born at Caldwell, Essex Co., New Jersey. Son of Abner Bond and Mary Elizabeth Gould. Moved to Mendon, Monroe Co., New York, before 1830. Married Charlotte Wilcox in Honeoye Falls, Monroe Co. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph...

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was nominated to be president of the  Deacons in this place, motion seconded and carried by a  unanimous vote.
President Joseph Smith Senr

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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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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proceeded to  ordain Don Carlos Smith

25 Mar. 1816–7 Aug. 1841. Farmer, printer, editor. Born at Norwich, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816–Jan. 1817. Moved to Manchester, Ontario Co., 1825. Baptized into LDS church by David...

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and Alvah Beeman

22 May 1775–15 Nov. 1837. Farmer. Born at New Marlboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Reuben Beman and Mariam. Married Sarah (Sally) Burt, 18 Aug. 1796. Moved to what became Livonia, Ontario Co., New York, 1799. Moved to Avon, Livingston Co., New York...

View Full Bio
to the  respective offices to which they had been chosen, and pronou nced great blessings upon them.
Bishop Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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of 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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then proceeded to ordain  William Cowdery

5 Sept. 1765–26 Feb. 1847. Farmer, physician. Born at East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of William Cowdery and Hannah Emmons. Raised Congregationalist. Married first Rebecca Fuller. Moved to Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont, ca. 1787. Appointed surveyor...

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, Oliver Olney

11 Aug. 1796–ca. 1845. Wool manufacturer, farmer. Born at Eastford, Windham Co., Connecticut. Son of Ezekiel Olney and Lydia Brown. Married first Alice (Elsa) Johnson, daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 14 Sept. 1820, at Hiram, Portage Co.,...

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& Ira Bond

19 Jan. 1798–30 Nov. 1887. Farmer. Born at Caldwell, Essex Co., New Jersey. Son of Abner Bond and Mary Elizabeth Gould. Moved to Mendon, Monroe Co., New York, before 1830. Married Charlotte Wilcox in Honeoye Falls, Monroe Co. Baptized into LDS church by Joseph...

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and pronounced  many blessings upon them, according to their offices & standing.
Moved seconded & voted that all the quorums take  their turn in performing the office of door keeper in the  house of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

More Info
.
Moved, seconded and voted that by each quorum  that Amos Orton, Samuel Rolfe

26 Aug. 1794–July 1867. Carpenter. Born at Concord, Merrimack Co., New Hampshire. Son of Benjamin Rolfe and Mary (Molly) Swett. Moved to Maine, 1810. Married Elizabeth Hathaway, 4 Mar. 1818. Lived at Rumford, Oxford Co., Maine, when baptized into LDS church...

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Thomas Carico [Carrico Jr.]

20 Sept. 1801–22 Feb. 1882. Shoemaker. Born at Beverly, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Carrico and Deborah Wallis. Baptized into Unitarian church, 27 Sept. 1801, at Beverly. Married first Mary E. Raymond, 30 Aug. 1827, at Beverly. Wife died, 1833...

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&  Nathaniel Milliken

25 Dec. 1793–Aug. 1874. Farmer, post office clerk. Born at Buxton, York Co., Maine. Son of Nathaniel Milliken and Mary Lord. Married first Mary Fairfield Hayes, 22 Apr. 1819. Baptized into LDS church, 1 Oct. 1833, at Buxton. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co.,...

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be appointed assistant door keepers
Motioned, seconded & voted that the Presidencey  of the high council hold the keys of the house of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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except  the keys of one vestry which shall be held by the Bishop of  Kirtland

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

View Full Bio
[p. 204]
PreviousNext
On 12 February 1834 JS held a council meeting with high priests and elders at his home in 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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, Ohio. To those gathered he observed, “I shall now endeavor to set forth before this council, the dignity of the office which has been conferred upon me by the ministering of the Angel of God, by his own will and by the voice of this church. I have never set before any council in all the order in which a council ought to be conducted, which, perhaps, has deprived the councils of some, or many blessings.” Along with other instructions, JS related that “in ancient days, councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the spirit was obtained; which has not been observed in this church to the present.” (Minute Book 1, 12 Feb. 1834, 27–29.)
The record of this occasion is one of many found in Minute Book 1, also known as the “Kirtland Council Minute Book” or the “Kirtland High Council Minutes.” This and its companion, Minute Book 2 (also known as the “Far West Record”), are now published as part of the Administrative Records series on the Joseph Smith Papers website. These volumes illuminate many of the principles and practices that ordered early church governance and administration. They illustrate the early Saints’ determination to respond to revelation and divine guidance while simultaneously acknowledging the doctrine of common consent. Furthermore, these records demonstrate JS’s personal endorsement of and participation in a conference or council system of church government.
Entries for various conferences and councils recorded in Minute Book 1 stand as witness to several seminal events in early church history. Among these were the receipt of the revelation known as the “Olive Leaf” in late December 1832 and early January 1833; the organization of the School of the Prophets on 22–23 January 1833; the ordination of 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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as presidents of the high priesthood on 18 March 1833; revelations concerning construction of the 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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House of the Lord

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1831, directed Latter-day Saints to migrate to Ohio, where they would “be endowed with power from on high.” In Dec. 1832, JS revelation directed Saints to “establish . . . an house of God.” JS revelation, dated 1 June 1833, chastened...

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; the organization of the first standing high council in February 1834; church courts held in the aftermath of the Camp of Israel (Zion’s Camp) march in August 1834; the calling, ordination, and blessing of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventies in February 1835; the acceptance by the church of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants in August of that year; preparation for the dedication of the Kirtland House of the Lord in winter and early spring 1836; and events related to the Kirtland Safety Society, its demise, and the concomitant dissension within the Kirtland stake of Zion in 1837. Some of these minutes, especially those where JS was a participant in the meeting, will also appear with individual introductions in the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers.
In the texts of the various minute entries, and occasionally in separate entries accompanying them, the register records ordinations, blessings, disciplinary councils, testimonies, Pentecostal outpourings, callings and releases, missionary appointments, and fund-raising activities. Thus, Minute Book 1 provides a rich survey of JS’s interactions with associates and others during many dramatic, and often challenging, episodes beginning in October 1832 and concluding in November 1837. Sixteen different clerks took original minutes that were later copied into the volume by 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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, Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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, 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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, Warren Cowdery

17 Oct. 1788–23 Feb. 1851. Physician, druggist, farmer, editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Married Patience Simonds, 22 Sept. 1814, in Pawlet, Rutland Co. Moved to Freedom, Cattaraugus Co., New York, 1816...

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, Marcellus Cowdery, George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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, Phineas Richards

15 Nov. 1788–25 Nov. 1874. Cabinetmaker, joiner, carpenter, botanic physician. Born at Framingham, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Served as sergeant major during War of 1812. Married Wealthy Dewey, 24 Feb. 1818. Moved...

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, and Harlow Redfield

25 Sept. 1801–3 Aug. 1866. Farmer. Born at Chestnut Hill, Killingworth Township, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Levi Redfield and Weltha Stevens. Christened member of First Congregational Church, 21 Jan. 1821. Married first Caroline Foster, 1824. Moved...

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.
Minute Book 1 was initiated during a remarkable upsurge in record keeping, beginning with the calling 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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and later John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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as church historians in 1830 and 1831. Revelations and commandments recorded in Revelation Book 1 were sent to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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to be published on the church’s first press in late 1831, and Revelation Book 2 was in use in 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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by February 1832. Sometime in 1832, probably between July and September, JS 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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worked together on a brief history of JS’s early visionary experiences. JS purchased the small volume that contains his first journal in November 1832 and began penning entries that same month. That fall another record, containing retained copies of early church correspondence and now designated Letterbook 1, was commenced. In January of the following year, in an epistle recorded in Letterbook 1, JS wrote to William 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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encouraging him as editor of the church’s first periodical, The Evening and the Morning Star, then printed in Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, Missouri, to set “forth the rise and progress and faith of the church,” that is, to begin publishing items on the history of the church.
This upwelling was quite unusual for the time. As scholar Dean C. Jessee has observed, “So primitive were some aspects of record keeping in nineteenth-century America that much of the early Latter-day Saint experience was a pioneering effort. . . . Although Mormon record keeping was inaugurated by [an] 1830 revelation, details for carrying out that commandment were largely hammered out on the anvil of experience in the years that followed.” (Dean C. Jessee, “The Reliability of Joseph Smith’s History,” Journal of Mormon History 3 [1976]: 27.) Thus, during a brief span in the early 1830s, JS, along with those working under his direction, commenced the systematic collection and recording of critical documents pertaining to church governance and administration. Throughout the remainder of JS’s lifetime minute-taking, revelation-recording, correspondence-copying, journal-keeping, and history-writing activities would remain imperative commitments.

Facts