2478591

Minutes, 22–23 January 1833

fixed determination to be with him in suffering or in rejoicing, in life or in death and to be continually on his right hand in which thing he was accepted, The President said after he had washed the feet

An ordinance following the pattern set by Jesus in the New Testament, symbolizing unity and bestowing purification and spiritual power. At the first meeting of the School of the Prophets in January 1833, JS washed the feet of the elders present and pronounced...

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of the 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...

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, as I have done so do ye wash ye therefee therefore one anothers feet8

See John 13:14.  


pronouncing at the same time through the power of the Holy Ghost that the Elders were all clean from the blood of this generation9

Coltrin stated that JS made this pronouncement after washing each individual’s feet. (Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833.)  


but that those among them who should sin wilfully after they were thus cleansed and sealed

To confirm or solemnize. In the early 1830s, revelations often adopted biblical usage of the term seal; for example, “sealed up the testimony” referred to proselytizing and testifying of the gospel as a warning of the approaching end time. JS explained in...

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up unto eternal life10

At an October 1831 conference in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, JS stated that “the order of the High priesthood is that they have power given them to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.” Those so sealed were, according to Rigdon, those who had “give[n] up all for Christ’s sake.” A November 1831 revelation reiterated this, instructing Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and William E. McLellin that “of as many as the Father shall bear record to you it shall be given to seal them up unto Eternal life.” (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:12].)  


should be given over unto the buffettings of Satan until the day of redemption Having continued all day in fasting & prayer before the Lord at the close they partook of the Lords supper

Primarily referred to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, as opposed to other religious sacraments. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed “that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord...

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which was blessed by the president in the name of the Lord all eat and drank and were filled then sang an hymn and went out—11

See Matthew 26:30; and Mark 14:26. Coltrin added that “the meeting was dismissed by uplifted hand to the most high in token of the everlasting covenants in which covenant we received each other into fellowship in a determination to share in each others burdens whether in prosperity or adversity.” According to a 3 January 1833 revelation, when entering the School of the Prophets, participants were to lift their hands to heaven and recite: “Art thou a brother, or brethren, I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in tocen [token] of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant, I receive you to fellowship, in a determination, that is fixed immovable, and unchangable, to be your friend and brother, through the grace of God, in the bonds of Love, to walk in all the commandments, of God, blameless, in thanksgiving for ever, and ever; Amen.” (Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833; Revelation, 3 Jan. 1833 [D&C 88:132–133].)  


F. G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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Clk—
[p. 8]
fixed determination to be with him in suff[er]ing  or in rejoicing, in life or in death and to be  continually on his right hand in which thing  he was accepted, The President said after  he had washed the feet

An ordinance following the pattern set by Jesus in the New Testament, symbolizing unity and bestowing purification and spiritual power. At the first meeting of the School of the Prophets in January 1833, JS washed the feet of the elders present and pronounced...

View Glossary
of the 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
, as I have  done so do ye wash ye therefee [therefore] one anothers feet8

See John 13:14.  


 pronouncing at the same time through the power  of the Holy Ghost that the Elders were all clean  from the blood of this generation9

Coltrin stated that JS made this pronouncement after washing each individual’s feet. (Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833.)  


but that  those who among them who should sin wilfully  after they were thus cleansed and sealed

To confirm or solemnize. In the early 1830s, revelations often adopted biblical usage of the term seal; for example, “sealed up the testimony” referred to proselytizing and testifying of the gospel as a warning of the approaching end time. JS explained in...

View Glossary
up  unto eternal life10

At an October 1831 conference in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, JS stated that “the order of the High priesthood is that they have power given them to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.” Those so sealed were, according to Rigdon, those who had “give[n] up all for Christ’s sake.” A November 1831 revelation reiterated this, instructing Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and William E. McLellin that “of as many as the Father shall bear record to you it shall be given to seal them up unto Eternal life.” (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:12].)  


should be given over unto  the buffettings of Satan until the day of redemp tion Having continued all day in fasting &  prayer before the Lord at the close they  partook of the Lords supper

Primarily referred to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, as opposed to other religious sacraments. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed “that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in remembrance of the Lord...

View Glossary
which was blessed  by the president in the name of the Lord  all eat and drank and were filled then  sang an hymn and went out—11

See Matthew 26:30; and Mark 14:26. Coltrin added that “the meeting was dismissed by uplifted hand to the most high in token of the everlasting covenants in which covenant we received each other into fellowship in a determination to share in each others burdens whether in prosperity or adversity.” According to a 3 January 1833 revelation, when entering the School of the Prophets, participants were to lift their hands to heaven and recite: “Art thou a brother, or brethren, I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in tocen [token] of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant, I receive you to fellowship, in a determination, that is fixed immovable, and unchangable, to be your friend and brother, through the grace of God, in the bonds of Love, to walk in all the commandments, of God, blameless, in thanksgiving for ever, and ever; Amen.” (Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833; Revelation, 3 Jan. 1833 [D&C 88:132–133].)  


F. G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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Clk—
[p. 8]
Previous
According to the index of Minute Book 1, 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 high priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

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met in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, on 22–23 January 1833 “to organize the scholl [school] of th[e] prophets

A term occasionally used to refer to a Protestant seminary; specifically used by JS to refer to a school to prepare elders of the church for their ministry. A December 1832 revelation directed JS and the elders of the church in Kirtland, Ohio, to establish...

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.”1

Minute Book 1, Index, [1].  


A 27–28 December 1832 revelation had commanded the “first labourers” of the church to “assembl yourselves together, and organize yourselves, and prepare yourselves, and sanc[t]ify yourselves.” The revelation commanded these “labourers” to “clean your hands, and your feet, before me” so that they could be “clean, from the blood of this, wicked generation” and then to establish a school where they could be instructed in both secular and spiritual matters—a school that JS called a “school for the Prophets.”2 Schools of the prophets, which trained ministerial candidates prior to the assumption of their duties as clergymen, had been part of the colonial and early American religious landscape since the arrival of the Puritans in the 1630s. Institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Dartmouth were generally understood to be “schools of the prophets” in that one of their primary functions was to train a qualified clergy. Private schools of the prophets emerged in the 1740s as part of the reform spirit associated with the First Great Awakening and continued into the early nineteenth century.3

Darowski, “Schools of the Prophets,” 1–13.  


According to the 27–28 December 1832 revelation, the School of the Prophets was necessary for the men of the school to “be prepared, in all things when I shall send you again, to magnify the calling, whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which, I have commissioned you.” It was also essential so that the men could be better qualified “to go forth among the gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

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, for the last time.”4

Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:80, 84].  


In accordance with these instructions, twelve high priests, two 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
, and other members of the church, including women, gathered on 22 January 1833 in an upstairs room of Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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’s white store

In Apr. 1826, Whitney purchased quarter-acre lot on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads and built two-story, 1500-square-foot, white store. Mercantile store also functioned as Kirtland Mills post office. Whitney met JS at store, 4 Feb. 1831....

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, where JS was living. The conference continued the next day, though it is likely, given the “washing hands faces & feet” that took place on the second day, that only the men listed at the beginning of the minutes were present on that day.
Although the index to Minute Book 1 states that the purpose of the conference was to organize the school, the minutes do not provide details about any kind of formal establishment. Instead, the minutes indicate that the conference was mainly concerned with the sanctification required by the 27–28 December 1832 revelation—perhaps as a necessary precursor to any actual teaching or learning. The participants present on the first day experienced the gifts of speaking in and interpreting tongues. Both the Bible and the Book of Mormon refer to speaking in tongues as one of the manifestations of God’s Spirit. A March 1831 revelation also states that “it is given to some to speak with tongues & to another it is given the interpretation of tongues.”5

Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:24–25].  


The practice, however, was not common in other religious denominations in the United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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at the time, although it was sometimes exhibited at slave revivals in the early nineteenth century and was occasionally manifested in the Shaker community.6

Stein, Shaker Experience in America, 105, 167, 171–172; see also Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 20–23.  


Although Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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church members had experienced this gift in 1830 and 1831 before JS’s arrival, it largely disappeared 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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after a June 1831 conference at which JS “identified some of the ecstatic manifestations” of church members as “ungodly.”7

Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 175.  


However, at a meeting in November 1832, as a later history of JS explains, “Brother Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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, and John P. Greene

3 Sept. 1793–10 Sept. 1844. Farmer, shoemaker, printer, publisher. Born at Herkimer, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of John Coddington Greene and Anna Chapman. Married first Rhoda Young, 11 Feb. 1813. Moved to Aurelius, Cayuga Co., New York, 1814; to Brownsville...

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spoke in Tongues, which was the first time I had heard this Gift among the brethren, others also spoke, and I received the Gift myself.”8

JS History, vol. A-1, addenda, 2nA; see also Historian’s Office, Brigham Young History Drafts, 4; and Esplin, “Emergence of Brigham Young,” 92–94.  


Just two months later, the gift resurfaced in this 22–23 January 1833 meeting. According to the later history, JS “rejoiced . . . at the return of these long absent blessings to the assembly of the Saints.”9

JS History, vol. A-1, 270.  


On the second day of the conference, after another episode of speaking in tongues, JS washed the hands, faces, and feet of those present, following the biblical precedent found in John 13:4–17. Such a ceremony was not unknown at the time. The practice came to colonial America with radical Reformation groups, such as Mennonites and the Church of the Brethren, in the 1600s and 1700s. Once in America, other groups, including some Baptists, adopted the practice, viewing the ritual as an act of humility.10

“Footwashing,” in Mennonite Encyclopedia, 347; Grow, “‘Clean from the Blood of This Generation,’” 132.  


Reformed Baptists following Alexander Campbell

12 Sept. 1788–4 Mar. 1866. Teacher, minister, magazine publisher, college president. Born near Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Ireland. Son of Thomas Campbell and Jane Corneigle. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, 1808. Immigrated to Buffalo ...

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also may have instituted something similar in meetings held in the vicinity of Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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in the late 1820s.11

Reuben Harmon, a longtime resident of Kirtland, stated in 1884 that he had witnessed “the washing of feet” when “Mr. [Sidney] Rigdon was preaching in Mentor.” It is unclear from the statement whether the ceremony occurred in Rigdon’s Mentor church, or whether it happened in a reformed Baptist congregation on Isaac Morley’s farm in Kirtland. (Kelley and Braden, Public Discussion of the Issues, 393.)  


In 1832, as part of his Bible revision, JS revised the John 13 account of Jesus washing the apostles’ feet to state that the ceremony “was the costom of the Jews under their law: wherefore, Jesus done this that the law might be fulfilled.”12

New Testament Revision 2, part 2, p. 117 [Joseph Smith Translation, John 13:10]; see also Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 69.  


Samuel Smith

13 Mar. 1808–30 July 1844. Farmer, logger, scribe, builder, tavern operator. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, by Mar. 1810; to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811...

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, who was present at the January 1833 conference, explained that the ceremony served as “a testimony” that the “garments” of those so washed “were clean from the blood of this generation.”13

Samuel Smith, Diary, 10 Dec. 1832.  


According to Zebedee Coltrin

7 Sept. 1804–21 July 1887. Born at Ovid, Seneca Co., New York. Son of John Coltrin and Sarah Graham. Member of Methodist church. Married first Julia Ann Jennings, Oct. 1828. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, 9 Jan. 1831, at Strongsville, Cuyahoga...

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, another conference participant, the washing of the feet was the defining ceremony in the establishment of the School of the Prophets. “The school was organized,” he recorded in his journal, “by assembling together and the washing of the deciples feet.”14

Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 24 Jan. 1833.  


Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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acted as clerk of the conference and recorded minutes of the meeting. He 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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later copied the minutes into Minute Book 1.

Facts