Minutes, 17 February 1834

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 Saviour  and confirmed <acknowledgement 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 memb[e]rs of the council to plead his cause, that is six, in order  that his case might be fairly presented before the President that a  descission 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 and end of all strife [p. 30]
Minutes, Kirtland, OH, 17 Feb. 1834; handwriting of Orson Hyde; in Minute Book 1, pp. 29–31; CHL.