Minute Book 1

8 September 1834 • Monday

Orson Hyde handwriting ends; Warren Cowdery begins.  

New-Portage, Ohio Sept 8th. 1834
Minutes of a conference of the Elders of the Church  of the Latter-Day Saints, held at New-Portage  Ohio. September 8th 1834. After prayer by brother  Joseph Smith Junr. he, brother Joseph and Oliver  Cowdery, united in anointing with oil and laying  hands upon a sick sister, who said she was  healed, and requested us to pray that her faith  fail not, saying, if she did not doubt, she  should not be afflicted any more.
Brother Joseph then made a few intro ductory remarks upon the subject of false  spirits and other items.
Brother A[mbrose] Palmer made a few observa tions, and proceeded to present a case  which had previously occasioned some  difficulty in the church. It was that a  certain brother Carpenter had been tried  for a fault before the church, when the  Church gave him a certain time to reflect  whether he would acknowledge or not.  Brother Gordon at the time, spake in tongues  and declared that brother Carpenter should  not have any lenity. He, brother Palmer, wish ed instruction on this point, whether they  had proceeded right or not, as brother Car penter was dissatisfied &c.
Brother Joseph then proceeded to give an  explanation of the gift of tongues: That it was  particularly instituted for the preaching of the  Gospel to other nations and languages, but  it was not given for the government of  the Church. He further said, if brother Gordon  introduced the Gift of tongues as a testimony against [p. 49]
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.