31836

Minutes, 11 October 1831

situation of brs Joseph Smith Jr and Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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And accordingly brs David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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and Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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were appointed,2

In his diary, Cahoon described the purpose of this appointment not as the “setting in order” of the churches but “to obtain money or Property for Brs Joseph & O[t]hers to finish the translation.” (Cahoon, Diary, 9 Nov. 1831.)  


the other four remain to be chosen hereafter
It was decided by vote that the general conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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meet on the 25 Inst at the dwelling house of br Serenes Burnett in orange

Located about five miles south of Kirtland Township. Area settled, 1815. Organized 1820. Population in 1830 about 300. Population in 1838 about 800. Sixty-five Latter-day Saints lived in township, by Nov. 1830. Joseph and Julia Murdock, twins adopted by JS...

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Cuyahoga County3

Why the conference chose Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, is unclear. It may have been because the area had a significant membership; around seventy members were living in Orange and nearby Warrensville by the spring of 1831. Orange was also a good halfway point between Hiram and Kirtland, Ohio. Serenus Burnett’s home may have been volunteered for the forthcoming conference by his son Stephen Burnett, who was present at this conference. (Murdock, Journal, 2 Nov. 1830–19 Feb. 1832; see also Minutes, 12 Sept. 1831.)  


brs David

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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& Reynolds

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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were then ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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to their office or appointment and br Stephen Burnett

15 Dec. 1813–14 Feb. 1885. Farmer, tavernkeeper, patent medicine salesman, nurseryman. Born in Trumbull Co., Ohio. Son of Serenus Burnett and Jane Burnes (Burnside). Moved to Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1815. Baptized into LDS church by John Murdock, 21 Nov. 1830...

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an Elder

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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under the hands of John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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conference closed in prayer by br Joseph Smith Jr
JohnWhitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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[p. 9]
situation of brs Joseph Smith Jr and Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

View Full Bio
And accordingly  brs David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
and Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
were chosen appointed,2

In his diary, Cahoon described the purpose of this appointment not as the “setting in order” of the churches but “to obtain money or Property for Brs Joseph & O[t]hers to finish the translation.” (Cahoon, Diary, 9 Nov. 1831.)  


the other  four remain to be chosen hereafter
It was decided by vote that the general conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

View Glossary
meet on the 25 Inst  at the dwelling house of br Serenes Burnett in orange

Located about five miles south of Kirtland Township. Area settled, 1815. Organized 1820. Population in 1830 about 300. Population in 1838 about 800. Sixty-five Latter-day Saints lived in township, by Nov. 1830. Joseph and Julia Murdock, twins adopted by JS...

More Info
Cuyahoga County3

Why the conference chose Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, is unclear. It may have been because the area had a significant membership; around seventy members were living in Orange and nearby Warrensville by the spring of 1831. Orange was also a good halfway point between Hiram and Kirtland, Ohio. Serenus Burnett’s home may have been volunteered for the forthcoming conference by his son Stephen Burnett, who was present at this conference. (Murdock, Journal, 2 Nov. 1830–19 Feb. 1832; see also Minutes, 12 Sept. 1831.)  


 brs David

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

View Full Bio
& Reynolds

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

View Full Bio
were then ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
to their office or appointment  and br Stephen Burnett

15 Dec. 1813–14 Feb. 1885. Farmer, tavernkeeper, patent medicine salesman, nurseryman. Born in Trumbull Co., Ohio. Son of Serenus Burnett and Jane Burnes (Burnside). Moved to Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1815. Baptized into LDS church by John Murdock, 21 Nov. 1830...

View Full Bio
an Elder

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
under the hands of John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

View Full Bio
 conference closed in prayer by br Joseph Smith Jr
JohnWhitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

View Full Bio
[p. 9]
Previous
A conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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of elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

View Glossary
convened on 11 October 1831 in the John

14 Apr. 1779–30 July 1843. Farmer, innkeeper. Born at Chesterfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Johnson and Abigail Higgins. Married Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 22 June 1800. Moved to Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont, ca. 1803. Settled at Hiram, Portage...

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and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson home in Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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, Ohio, where JS and his family had recently moved.1

JS History, vol. A-1, 153, 156.  


JS and other elders who traveled to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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in the summer of 1831 had been back in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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for roughly a month.2

JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Oliver Cowdery arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, on 27 August 1831. (JS History, vol. A-1, 146.)  


Upon their return, they discovered, according to John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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, that many members of the church had apostatized from the faith.3

Whitmer, History, 33.  


JS held conferences of elders in September to discipline members, and this 11 October conference continued efforts to bring order to the congregations in Ohio; these efforts included appointing elders to visit the branches

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

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.4

See, for example, Minutes, 1 Sept. 1831; and Minutes, 6 Sept. 1831.  


The conference dealt with other practical matters as well, including ordinations

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
, the scheduling of a general conference to be held later in the month, and the need for funds to support JS and Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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and their families so that they could resume the work of Bible revision. JS’s later history explains that this 11 October meeting occurred when JS was “recommenc[ing] the translation of the Scriptures” in Hiram, with Rigdon as his scribe. Although both were staying on the Johnson farm and therefore had room and board provided, they apparently needed means so that they could devote themselves full time to this effort.5

JS History, vol. A-1, 156; Ryder, “Short History,” 3. Although JS renewed his translation work in September with John Whitmer serving as scribe, Rigdon did not begin scribing for the translation until November. (Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 67.)  


Despite these pressing practical concerns, the conference opened with general instruction, including direction on the subject of conducting meetings, a topic on which JS believed the elders needed additional instruction. Most were “ignorant” of “the ancient manner of conducting meetings,” a later JS history explains, even though members had been counseled to direct meetings “as they are led by the Holy Ghost.”6

JS History, vol. A-1, 156; Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:45]; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 576 [Moroni 6:9]. A March 1831 revelation further clarified that conducting meetings by the Holy Ghost was the pattern “given to the Elders of my Church from the begining” and the pattern that “ever shall be.” (Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:2].)  


Although some instruction occurred in this one-day conference, the minutes mention a meeting for the following day to continue the discussion and apply the principles.
John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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served as clerk of the meeting. In 1838, Ebenezer Robinson

25 May 1816–11 Mar. 1891. Printer, editor, publisher. Born at Floyd (near Rome), Oneida Co., New York. Son of Nathan Robinson and Mary Brown. Moved to Utica, Oneida Co., ca. 1831, and learned printing trade at Utica Observer. Moved to Ravenna, Portage Co....

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inscribed a copy of Whitmer’s minutes into Minute Book 2.

Facts