Minute Book 1

4 April 1834 • Friday

Kirtland April 4, 1834.
This evening a council of High Priests assembled  at the house of Bro. Joseph Smith Junr’s to  re-consider the case of Bro. Geo. F James. Bro.  Joseph Smith Junr. presideing: Bro. Geo. then said,  that he had often promised to take up his cross &  magnify his calling, but had failed, and ought  to have written to bro. Joseph ere this time and given  him the information that his pecuniary affairs called  his attention at home which prevented his fulfilling  the promise he made to Bro. Joseph in going out  to proclaim the Gospel, and he sincerely asked pardon  of the Lord and of his brethren, and particularly  bro. Joseph. He also said he was willing to ask the  forgiveness of this church. He said, that relative to  certain charges, which were, that he had not attended  meetings, and had treated lightly some of the weak &c.  That he had attended meetings, generally, and as for  speaking or treating lightly any brethren because of  of his weakness, was foreign from his mind and  was that which he had never done, nor could ever  find such principles in his bosome. Bro. Joseph said,  he had no hardness, he only wished bro. George  to consider this as a chastisement, and that the coun cil were bound to notice his conduct heretofore;  but now, if he, (Bro. George) was willing to walk  according to the new covenant, he should have  his hand of fellowship. The council then expressed  their satisfaction with bro. George’s confession.
Oliver Cowdery Clerk of council [p. 48]
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.