31371

Minute Book 1

him by vision. The law by which to govern the council in the church of Christ. Jerusalem was the seat of the church council in ancient days. The apostle, Peter, was the president of the council and held the Keys of the Kingdom of God, on the earth was appointed to this office by the voice of the Savior and acknowledged in it by the voice of the Church. He had two men appointed as counsellors with him, and in case Peter was absent, his counsellors could transact business, or either one of them. The President could also transact business alone. It was not the order of heaven in ancient councils to plead for and against the guilty as in our judicial courts (so called) but that every counsellor when he arose to speak, should speak precisely according to evidence and according to the teaching of the spirit of the Lord, that no counsellor should attempt to screen the guilty when his guilt was manifest That the person acused before the high council had a right to one half the member of the council to plead his cause, in order that his case might be fairly presented before the President that a decission might be rendered according to truth and righteousness. If the case was not a very difficult one to investigate, two of the Counsellors only, spoke, one on one side and one on the other according to evidence. If the case was more difficult, according to the judgment of the Council, two were to speak on each side, and if more difficult, three might speak on each side, and three only. Those who spoke in council were chosen by the council and that too by casting lots. Those who were thus chosen to speak, took their regular turn, in speaking. Bro Joseph said that this organization was an ensample to the high priests in their councils abroad, and a copy of their proceedings be transmitted to the seat of the goverment of the church to be recorded on the general record. In all cases, the accuser and the acused have a perfect right to speak for themselves before the council. The councils abroad, have a right and it is their duty to appoint a president for the time being for themselves. If in case the parties are not satisfied with the decission of the council abroad, they have a right to an appeal to the Bishops court, and from thence to the presidents council which is an end of all strife [p. 30]
him by vision. The law and by which to govern the council  in the church of Christ. Jerusalem was the seat of the church  council in ancient days. The apostle, Peter, was the president  of the council in ancient days and held the Keys of the Kingdom  of God, <on the earth> was appointed to this office by the voice of the Savior  and confirmed <acknowledged> in it by the voice of the Church. He had two  men appointed as counsellors with him, and in case Peter was  absent, his counsellors could transact business, <or either one of them. The President could also transact business alone.> It was not the order  of heaven in ancient councils to plead for and against the guilty as  in our judicial courts (so called) but that if every counsellor when  he arose to speak, should speak precisely according to evidence and  according to the teaching of the spirit of the Lord, that no counsellor  should attempt to screen the guilty when his guilt was manifest  That the person acused before the high council had a right to one  half the member of the council to plead his cause, that is six in order  that his case might be fairly presented before the President that a  decission might be rendered according to truth and righteousness.  If the case was not a very difficult one to investigate, two of the Counsellors  only, spoke, one for the accused and one against <on one side and one on the other> according to evidence.  If the case was more difficult, according to the judgment of the Council,  two were to speak on each side, and if more difficult, three might  speak on each side, and three only. Those who spoke in council were  chosen by the council and that too by casting lots. Those who were thus  chosen to speak, took their regular turn, in speaking. Bro Joseph said  that this organization was an ensample to the high priests in their  councils abroad, and a copy of their proceedings be transmitted to  the seat of the goverment of the church to be recorded on the general  record. In all cases, the accuser and the acused have a perfect  right to speak for themselves before the council. The councils  abroad, have a right and it is their duty to appoint a  president for the time being for themselves. If in case the parties are  not satisfied with the decission of the council abroad, they have  a right to an appeal to the Bishops court, and from thence  to the presidents council which is an end of all strife [p. 30]
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Minute Book 1, [ca. 3 Dec. 1832–30 Nov. 1837]; handwriting of Warren A. 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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, 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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, Marcellus F. 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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; 258 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

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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began a table of contents, which was continued by Warren A. 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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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

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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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.
Sixteen different clerks took down the original minutes that were later copied into Minute Book 1, which was begun as part of a new effort in more permanent church record keeping. It appears that the book was begun in early December 1832, about two weeks after JS began his own personal journal and apparently began keeping a letterbook in which to copy outgoing correspondence. Frederick G. Williams began the minute book, which was later continued by Warren A. Cowdery and others in Ohio. Entries in the minute book are occasionally out of chronological order. The entries for October 1832–January 1833 were inscribed by Williams. None of these were inscribed before 3 December 1832, the date of the first entry in the book. However, the uneven copying style of the early entries suggests that the book was an active register beginning in early December, with original minutes being regularly copied into the book as they came to hand. In addition to minutes, the volume also contains scattered notes on matters related to the church affairs addressed in the minutes.

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