26078

Minutes, 26 September 1830

Minutes of the second 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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held by 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
of this Church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
according to adjournment. Sept. 26. 1830.1

As with the dating of the first conference in June 1830, the minutes and JS’s history give different dates for this conference. The latter states that the meeting was “appointed for the first day of September [1830].” However, the minutes from the 9 June conference specifically state that the next conference was to be held on “the 26th. September 1830.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 54; Minutes, 9 June 1830.)  


EldersBr. Joseph Smith jr. appointed leader of the Conference by Vote.2

A revelation directed to Oliver Cowdery prior to the conference dictated that “my servent Joseph shall be appointed to rule the conference by the voice of it.” (Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:10].)  


Joseph Smith jr.
Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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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
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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Peter Whitmer Jr.

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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Samuel H. 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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Thomas B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

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.3

Thomas B. Marsh is the only elder listed in the minutes who was not in attendance at the 9 June 1830 conference. (See Minutes, 9 June 1830; and Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–F [D&C 31].)  


Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
for this Church.
The fifth chapter of Isaiah read by Br. Joseph Smith jr.4

A nearly identical version of this chapter is also found in the Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 89–91 [2 Nephi 15].  


& prayer by the same. Articles & Covenants read by br. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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and remarks by Brother Joseph Smith jr.5

Perhaps owing to the controversy with Cowdery over Articles and Covenants, the document, which had been previously read aloud and approved by the church at the 9 June 1830 conference, was again read aloud. Although JS commented on Articles and Covenants, those present were not asked to again approve the document. (See Minutes, 9 June 1830; and Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28].)  


No. of the several members uniting to this Church since the last Conference, thirty-five; making in whole now belonging to this Church sixty-two. Br. Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
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
a priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

View Glossary
under the hand of brother Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
and prayer by the same. Prayer by all present.6

This procedure of having all in attendance pray was also employed at the 9 June 1830 conference. (Minutes, 9 June 1830.)  


Exhortation by all the Elders respectively. Singing and prayer in behalf of Br. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
& Peter Whitmer jr.

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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who were previously appointed to go to the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
.7
Conference adjourned to January 1. 1831. to be held at this place. Br. 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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appointed to keep the Church records until the next Conference.8

As the minutes indicate, Oliver Cowdery had been called to preach to the Lamanites and would no longer be able to keep the church record. (See Minutes, 9 June 1830.)  


Prayer by br. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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. The foregoing Minutes were taken at the time of this Conference by Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
.9

This last sentence was probably a later addition to the minutes and not part of the original document created by Cowdery.  


[p. 2]
Minutes of the second 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
held by 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
of this Church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
according to adjournment. Sept. 26. 1830.1

As with the dating of the first conference in June 1830, the minutes and JS’s history give different dates for this conference. The latter states that the meeting was “appointed for the first day of September [1830].” However, the minutes from the 9 June conference specifically state that the next conference was to be held on “the 26th. September 1830.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 54; Minutes, 9 June 1830.)  


EldersBr. Joseph Smith jr. appointed  leader of the Conference by  Vote.2

A revelation directed to Oliver Cowdery prior to the conference dictated that “my servent Joseph shall be appointed to rule the conference by the voice of it.” (Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:10].)  


Joseph Smith jr.
Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
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
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
Peter Whitmer [Jr.]

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

View Full Bio
Samuel H. 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...

View Full Bio
Thomas B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

View Full Bio
.3

Thomas B. Marsh is the only elder listed in the minutes who was not in attendance at the 9 June 1830 conference. (See Minutes, 9 June 1830; and Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–F [D&C 31].)  


Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointd by the voice  of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Command ments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
for this Church.
The fifth chapter of Isaiah read by Br. Joseph Smith jr.4

A nearly identical version of this chapter is also found in the Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 89–91 [2 Nephi 15].  


&  prayer by the same. Articles & Covenants read by br. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
 and remarks by Brother Joseph Smith jr.5

Perhaps owing to the controversy with Cowdery over Articles and Covenants, the document, which had been previously read aloud and approved by the church at the 9 June 1830 conference, was again read aloud. Although JS commented on Articles and Covenants, those present were not asked to again approve the document. (See Minutes, 9 June 1830; and Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28].)  


No. of the several members uniting to this Church since the  last Conference, thirty-five; making in whole now belonging to  this Church sixty-two. Br. Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

View Full Bio
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
a priest

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

View Glossary
under  the hand of brother Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
and prayer by the same.  Prayer by all present.6

This procedure of having all in attendance pray was also employed at the 9 June 1830 conference. (Minutes, 9 June 1830.)  


Exho[r]tation by all the Elders respectively. Singing  and prayer in behalf of Br. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
& Peter Whitmer jr.

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

View Full Bio
 who were previously appointed to go to the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
.7
Conference adjourned to January 1. 1831. to be held at this  place. Br. 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
appointed to keep the Church records until  the next Conference.8

As the minutes indicate, Oliver Cowdery had been called to preach to the Lamanites and would no longer be able to keep the church record. (See Minutes, 9 June 1830.)  


Prayer by br. Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
. The foregoing  Minutes were taken at the time of this Conference by Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
.9

This last sentence was probably a later addition to the minutes and not part of the original document created by Cowdery.  


[p. 2]
The first 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
of the Church of Christ

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
, held 9 June 1830, appointed Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

View Full Bio
to “keep the Church record and Conference Minutes until the next conference,” which convened in September 1830.1

Minutes, 9 June 1830. Cowdery’s original minutes of this September conference do not survive, but in 1838 Ebenezer Robinson copied Cowdery’s minutes (or perhaps a copy of those minutes) into Minute Book 2, the source of the text featured here.  


Although the extant document bears only one date, 26 September, JS’s later history—which misdated the conference to “the first day of September”—stated that the conference spanned three days.2

JS History, vol. A-1, 54, 58, 60.  


If separate minutes were taken the other two days of the conference, those other minutes are not extant. More likely, these minutes summarized the three days of official business of the conference and were dated 26 September “according to adjournment,” or on the last day of the conference, a Sunday.
As explained previously in the historical introduction to Revelation, September 1830–B [D&C 28], the conference occurred in the wake of two challenges to JS’s authority to receive revelation for the newly founded church: during summer 1830, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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“commanded” JS to change a document outlining the basic beliefs and practices of the recently organized church, and several church members accepted a series of unauthorized revelations that Hiram Page

1800–12 Aug. 1852. Physician, farmer. Born in Vermont. Married Catherine Whitmer, 10 Nov. 1825, in Seneca Co., New York. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Baptized into LDS church by Oliver Cowdery, 11 Apr. 1830, at Seneca Lake,...

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had received through his own seer stone.3

JS used seer stones to receive several revelations and in the translation of the Book of Mormon. (See “Joseph Smith Documents Dating through June 1831.”)  


Although the minutes featured here do not mention these controversies, JS had determined to deal with them at the conference, and his history offered this report: “At length, our conference assembled; the subject of the stone . . . was discussed, and after considerable investigation, Brother Page, as well as the whole church who were present, renounced the said stone, and all things connected therewith, much to our mutual satisfaction.”4

JS History, vol. A-1, 58. Newel Knight gave JS much of the credit for the successful resolution of this conflict in the young church: “It was wonderful to witness the wisdom that Joseph displayed on this occasion, for truly God gave unto him great wisdom and power, and it seems to me, even now, that none who saw him administer righteousness to all under such trying circumstances, could doubt that the Lord was with him, as he acted—not with the wisdom of man, but—with the wisdom of a god.”a Emer Harris later recalled that following the conference, Page’s stone was “Broke to powder” and his revelations were burned.b Contrary to Harris’s account, some have claimed to possess Page’s seer stone.c  


aKnight, History, 171–172.

bProvo, UT, Central Stake, General Minutes, 6 Apr. 1856, vol. 10, p. 273.

cSee, for example, Dyer, Refiner's Fire, 257–259; and McGavin, Historical Background of the Doctrine and Covenants, 93.

The issue of JS’s authority is alluded to in the minutes, which state, “Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
for this Church.”5

An earlier September revelation informed Cowdery that “no one shall be appointed to Receive commandments & Revelations in this Church excepting my Servent Joseph.” (Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:2].)  


Cowdery, who had both challenged JS over the wording of “Articles and Covenants” in July and initially accepted Page’s revelations, read aloud Articles and Covenants to the conference, after which JS gave his own commentary. JS’s history reported that “the utmost harmony prevailed” during the three-day conference, “and all things were settled satisfactory to all present.”6

JS History, vol. A-1, 60.  


The minutes also demonstrate an early attempt to track the growing membership of the church. Though no list of members from this date survives, the exactness with which the number of both recently baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
persons and total membership are given here suggests a careful attempt to keep official records of those uniting with the church.

Facts