Minute Book 1

19 February 1834 • Wednesday

Kirtland Feb. 19. 1834.
The council assembled pursuant to adjournment. Joseph  Smith Jnr. opened the council by reading the 3rd. Chap of  of Joel’s prophecy, and prayer. After which he arose before  the council, and said, that he had laboured the day before  with all the strength and wisdom that he had given him  in making the corrections necessary in the last council minutes  which he would now read before this council. He asked  the council for their attention, that they might rightly judge  upon the truth and propriety of these minutes, as all were equally  interested in them &c. He als[o] urged the necessity of prayer, that  the spirit might be given, that the things of the spirit might be  judged thereby; because the carnal mind cannot discern the things  of God &c. He then proceeded to read the minutes and afterwards  made some remarks, when it was decided by the members of the  council present, that it might be read a second time. Sidney  Ridgon then proceeded to read the minutes or constitution of the  high council the second time, remarking at the time, that it could  not be justly urged to be read at this time, as the hour was passed  which was appointed for the council to assemble. An impropriety by  some was discovered in the commencement of the minutes, as it says,  a council of high priests, and afterwards says, that elders, priests  and private members acted in said council. Said objections were  corrected, and the minutes read the third time by Oliver Cowd[e]ry.  The questions were then asked, whether the present council acknowledged  the same, and receive them for a form, or and constitution of the high  council of the church of Christ hereafter. The document was  received by the unanimous voice of the council, with this provision,  that, if the president should hereafter discover any lack in the same  he should be privileged to fill it up.
The number present who received the above named document, was  twenty six high priests, eighteen elders, three priests, one  teacher and fourteen private members, making in all, sixty two
After much good instruction, Joseph the president, laid his [hands?] [p. 36]
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.