Minute Book 1

observed in this church to the present. It was understood in ancient  days, that if one man could stay in council another could, and if  the president could spend his time, the members could also. But in our  councils, generally, one would be uneasy, another asleep, one praying  another not; one’s mind on the business of the council and another think ing on something else &c. Our acts are recorded, and at a future  day they will be laid before us, and if we should fail to judge right  and injure our fellow beings, they may there perhaps condemn us; thus  they are of great consequence; and to me the consequence appears to  be of force beyond any thing which I am able to express &c. Ask  yourselves, brethren, how much you have exercised yourselves in prayer  since you heard of this council; and if you are now prepared to  sit in judgment upon the soul of your brother.— Bro Joseph then  went on to give us a relation of his situation at the time he obtained  the record, the persecution he met with &c. He also told us of his transgression,  at the time he was translateing the Book of Mormon. He also proph ecied that he should stand and shine like the sun in the firmament  when his enemies and the gainsayers of his testimony should be put  down and cut off and their names blotted out from among men.  After the council had received much good instruction from Bro.  Joseph. The case of Bro. Martin Harris against whom certain  charges were preferred by bro. Sidney Rigdon. One was that he told Esqr  A[lpheus] C. Russell that Joseph drank too much liquor when he was translating  the Book of Mormon and that he wrestled with many men and  threw them &c. Another charge was, that he exalted himself above  bro. Joseph, in that he said bro. Joseph knew not the contents of the  book of Mormon until it was translated. Bro. Martin but that he  himself knew all about it before it was translated. Bro. Martin said  he did not tell Esqr Russell that bro. Joseph drank too much liquor  while translating the book of Mormon, but this thing took place  before the book of Mormon was translated. He confessed that  his mind was darkened and that he had said many things inad vertently calculateid to wound the feelings of his brethren and  promised to do better. The council forgave him and gave him much [p. 28]
Minute Book 1, [ca. 3 Dec. 1832–30 Nov. 1837]; handwriting of Warren A. Cowdery, Frederick G. Williams, Orson Hyde, Marcellus F. Cowdery, George W. Robinson, Phineas Richards, and Harlow Redfield; 263 pages; CHL. Includes dockets, redactions, copy notes, use marks, and archival stamping and marking.
Medium-size blank book. The paper, which is ruled with thirty-four blue-green horizontal lines (now faded), measures 12 × 7½ inches (30 × 19 cm). The book originally contained 149 leaves, consisting of twelve gatherings of twelve leaves each, two front flyleaves, and three back flyleaves. The text block is sewn all along over recessed cords. The front and back covers of the volume are pasteboard. The book has a tight-back case binding with a brown calfskin quarter-leather binding, the bound volume measuring 12⅜ × 7¾ × 1 inches (31 × 20 × 3 cm). The outside covers are adorned with shell marbled paper, with a red, green, and black body and veins of black. The back pastedown bears the inscriptions “c”, “c/i”, and “pep”—possibly original merchandising notes.
A single leaf—the conjugate of the leaf bearing pages 15 and 16—was removed from the first gathering of the book, but this occurred before the adjacent leaves were inscribed or paginated. Page 1 is the first lined page. Minutes were inscribed in the book on pages 1–219 and 226–265. Pages 220–225 were left blank, except for their page numbers. Following page 265, the remaining twenty-one pages and the three back flyleaves were left blank. At some point, Frederick G. Williams began a table of contents, which was continued by Warren A. Cowdery but never completed; this table of contents is inscribed on all four pages of the two front flyleaves. The minute book was kept with quill pens. The entries and pagination were inscribed in ink that is now brown. Pages 39–55 include entry-dividing lines inscribed in red ink. There is also residue from an adhesive wafer on pages 156 and 157, indicating a sheet of paper was attached there at one time.
At some point, probably in the early 1840s, the front cover of the volume was labeled “Conference | A” in black ink. The “A” is written in a formal style that matches the covers of other early manuscript books in the CHL’s holdings. Copy notes and use marks, in¬scribed in graphite, were made by later scribes who used the minute book when compiling JS’s 1838–1856 history. At some point, probably in Utah, a white paper label was pasted on the spine; the label is now only partially extant, with the remaining inscription illegible. Another white paper label, also only partially extant, was pasted over this. It reads: “Kirtland Coun”. The rest of the label, which would have included approximately two more words, is missing. The pastedown on the inside of the book’s front cover bears an archival identification number inscribed in black ink and a more recent Historian’s Office library sticker. The spine also bears a more recent sticker with an identification number. Ink has bled through on several of the pages. The book has also suffered some wear and staining in the front and back.
The volume is listed in the 1846 Historian’s Office inventory as “Book of Conference A” and referred to as a Kirtland High Council record in subsequent Historian’s Office inventories from the 1850s. In 1988, the Church History Department transferred Minute Book 1 to the First Presidency’s Office. The minute book was transferred to the Church History Library in 2009. Archival records and the markings mentioned above indicate continuous institutional custody.