31823

Minutes, 4 August 1831

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
Present
Elders Present
Joseph Smith jr.William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

View Full Bio
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
Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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
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...

View Full Bio
Ziba Peterson

Ca. 1810–1849. Teacher, farmer, law officer. Born in New York. Lived in Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, ca. 1830. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, by 9 June 1830. Served mission to Ohio and Missouri, 1830–1831. Stripped of office of elder, Aug. ...

View Full Bio
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
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
Joseph Coe

12 Nov. 1784–17 Oct. 1854. Farmer, clerk. Born at Cayuga Co., New York. Son of Joel Coe and Huldah Horton. Lived at Scipio, Cayuga Co., by 1800. Married first Pallas Wales, 12 Jan. 1816. Married second Sophia Harwood, ca. 1824. Moved to Macedon, Wayne Co....

View Full Bio
Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

View Full Bio
Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

View Full Bio
Ezra Booth

14 Feb. 1792–before 12 Jan. 1873. Farmer, minister. Born in Newtown, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. Admitted on trial to Methodist ministry, 4 Sept. 1816, and stationed in the Ohio District in Beaver, Pike Co. Admitted into full connection and elected a deacon...

View Full Bio
1

Booth indicated in a November 1831 letter that he never attended a conference in Missouri: “We expected to assemble together in conference according to commandment, and the Lord would signally display his power, for the confirmation of our faith; but we commenced our journey home, before most of the Elders arrived. It is true, a conference was held, but it was considered so unimportant, that myself and another man were permitted to be absent, for the purpose of procuring the means of conveyance down the river.” (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. V,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 10 Nov. 1831, [3].)  


(denied the faith)2

This parenthetical notation was probably added by John Whitmer in 1833. See the source note for Minute Book 2.  


The 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
opened by singing “Glorious things &c.”3

Probably the traditional hymn “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” written by John Newton, an English evangelical. The hymn discusses the biblical Zion, building on Psalm 87:2–3: “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” Psalm 87 may have had particular significance to the conference because it was read aloud at the dedication of the temple site the day before. (Hicks, Mormonism and Music, 11; Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns, 75–76; JS History, vol. A-1, 139.)  


Prayer by br. Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
, Exhortation to obedience to the requisition of Heaven by delivering a charge in the name of Christ to the Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
, Rulers4

“Rulers” may reflect a scribal misreading of “Elders.” The idea of a mortal ruler within the church or the land of Zion was explicitly denounced in the 1 August revelation that called for the convening of this conference. (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:20]; see also Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:21]; and Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:4].)  


& members of the 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
planted in their inheritances

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

View Glossary
in the land of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
,5

Among those appointed by revelation to “plant” themselves in Zion were Phelps, Gilbert, and Partridge. (Revelation, 14 June 1831 [D&C 55:5]; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:8, 11]; Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:24].)  


by br. 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
.
Confession of br. Ziba Peterson

Ca. 1810–1849. Teacher, farmer, law officer. Born in New York. Lived in Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, ca. 1830. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, by 9 June 1830. Served mission to Ohio and Missouri, 1830–1831. Stripped of office of elder, Aug. ...

View Full Bio
of his transgressions which were satisfactory to the Church as appeared by unanimous vote.7

At some point after this conference, Peterson was no longer allowed to function as an elder. He was reordained at an October 1832 conference. (Minute Book 2, 2 Oct. 1832.)  


Exhortation by br. Joseph Smith jr. to acts of righteousness and keeping the 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
of the Lord with promise of blessings.8

Three days before this conference, a revelation expressed this same theme of blessings granted in return for obedience to commandments and insisted that God’s laws “shall be kept on this land.” John Whitmer wrote that on 2 August 1831, Rigdon asked the Saints, “Do you pledge yourselves to keep the laws of God on this land, which you have never have kept in your own land?” When the Saints voiced their assent, Rigdon pronounced the land “consecrated and dedicated to the Lord for a possession and inheritance for the Saints.” (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:2, 19]; Whitmer, History, 31–32.)  


Thirty-one members present,9

These “members” are probably in addition to the fourteen elders listed as attending. Peter Whitmer Jr. indicated that he, Cowdery, Peterson, and Williams had baptized seven individuals in the vicinity of Independence. The group of Saints from Colesville, New York, which consisted of about twenty families, numbered roughly sixty people, more than half of whom were probably children. (Whitmer, Journal, Dec. 1831, [1]; see Ira Jones Willes, “The Names of the Colesville Church,” Willes Family Papers, CHL; and News Item, Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 28 June 1831, [3].)  


who, with the Elders partook of the sacrament

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
10

The “Articles and Covenants” instructed members to “meet together oft to partake bread & wine in Rememberance of the Lord Jesus.” Although the offering of the Lord’s Supper is not recorded in the minutes of earlier conferences, it probably occurred. For example, a later JS history recounts that the sacrament was administered at the first conference, held in June 1830. Three days after this 4 August 1831 conference, JS dictated a revelation stating that those “whose feet stand upon the land of Zion” should “go to the house of prayer & offer up . . . sacraments upon my holy day,” apparently prescribing the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper. (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830, in Revelation Book 1, p. 57 [D&C 20:75]; see also JS History, vol. A-1, 41; Minutes, 9 June 1830; and Revelation, 7 Aug. 1831 [D&C 59:3, 9].)  


Closed by prayer 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
.
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
, Clerk. [p. 5]
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
Present
Elders Present
Joseph Smith jr.William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

View Full Bio
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
Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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
Fred[e]rick 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...

View Full Bio
Ziba Peterson

Ca. 1810–1849. Teacher, farmer, law officer. Born in New York. Lived in Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, ca. 1830. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, by 9 June 1830. Served mission to Ohio and Missouri, 1830–1831. Stripped of office of elder, Aug. ...

View Full Bio
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
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
Joseph Coe

12 Nov. 1784–17 Oct. 1854. Farmer, clerk. Born at Cayuga Co., New York. Son of Joel Coe and Huldah Horton. Lived at Scipio, Cayuga Co., by 1800. Married first Pallas Wales, 12 Jan. 1816. Married second Sophia Harwood, ca. 1824. Moved to Macedon, Wayne Co....

View Full Bio
Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

View Full Bio
Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

View Full Bio
Ezra Booth

14 Feb. 1792–before 12 Jan. 1873. Farmer, minister. Born in Newtown, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. Admitted on trial to Methodist ministry, 4 Sept. 1816, and stationed in the Ohio District in Beaver, Pike Co. Admitted into full connection and elected a deacon...

View Full Bio
1

Booth indicated in a November 1831 letter that he never attended a conference in Missouri: “We expected to assemble together in conference according to commandment, and the Lord would signally display his power, for the confirmation of our faith; but we commenced our journey home, before most of the Elders arrived. It is true, a conference was held, but it was considered so unimportant, that myself and another man were permitted to be absent, for the purpose of procuring the means of conveyance down the river.” (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. V,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 10 Nov. 1831, [3].)  


(denied the faith)2

This parenthetical notation was probably added by John Whitmer in 1833. See the source note for Minute Book 2.  


The 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
opened by singing “Glorious things &c.[”]3

Probably the traditional hymn “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken,” written by John Newton, an English evangelical. The hymn discusses the biblical Zion, building on Psalm 87:2–3: “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” Psalm 87 may have had particular significance to the conference because it was read aloud at the dedication of the temple site the day before. (Hicks, Mormonism and Music, 11; Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns, 75–76; JS History, vol. A-1, 139.)  


Prayer by br.  Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
, Exhortation to obedience to the requisition of Heaven by  delivering a charge in the name of the Lord Christ to the Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
,  Rulers4

“Rulers” may reflect a scribal misreading of “Elders.” The idea of a mortal ruler within the church or the land of Zion was explicitly denounced in the 1 August revelation that called for the convening of this conference. (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:20]; see also Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:21]; and Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:4].)  


& members of the 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
planted in their inheritances

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

View Glossary
in the  land of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
,5

Among those appointed by revelation to “plant” themselves in Zion were Phelps, Gilbert, and Partridge. (Revelation, 14 June 1831 [D&C 55:5]; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:8, 11]; Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:24].)  


by br. 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
.
Confession of br. Ziba Peterson

Ca. 1810–1849. Teacher, farmer, law officer. Born in New York. Lived in Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, ca. 1830. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, by 9 June 1830. Served mission to Ohio and Missouri, 1830–1831. Stripped of office of elder, Aug. ...

View Full Bio
of his transgressions which were  satisfactory to the Church as appeared6

TEXT: Possibly “approved”.  


by unanimous vote.7

At some point after this conference, Peterson was no longer allowed to function as an elder. He was reordained at an October 1832 conference. (Minute Book 2, 2 Oct. 1832.)  


E[x]hortation by br. Joseph Smith jr. to acts of righteousness and  keeping the 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
of the Lord with promise of blessing<s>.8

Three days before this conference, a revelation expressed this same theme of blessings granted in return for obedience to commandments and insisted that God’s laws “shall be kept on this land.” John Whitmer wrote that on 2 August 1831, Rigdon asked the Saints, “Do you pledge yourselves to keep the laws of God on this land, which you have never have kept in your own land?” When the Saints voiced their assent, Rigdon pronounced the land “consecrated and dedicated to the Lord for a possession and inheritance for the Saints.” (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:2, 19]; Whitmer, History, 31–32.)  


Thirty-one members present,9

These “members” are probably in addition to the fourteen elders listed as attending. Peter Whitmer Jr. indicated that he, Cowdery, Peterson, and Williams had baptized seven individuals in the vicinity of Independence. The group of Saints from Colesville, New York, which consisted of about twenty families, numbered roughly sixty people, more than half of whom were probably children. (Whitmer, Journal, Dec. 1831, [1]; see Ira Jones Willes, “The Names of the Colesville Church,” Willes Family Papers, CHL; and News Item, Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 28 June 1831, [3].)  


who, with the Elders partook of the sacrament

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
10

The “Articles and Covenants” instructed members to “meet together oft to partake bread & wine in Rememberance of the Lord Jesus.” Although the offering of the Lord’s Supper is not recorded in the minutes of earlier conferences, it probably occurred. For example, a later JS history recounts that the sacrament was administered at the first conference, held in June 1830. Three days after this 4 August 1831 conference, JS dictated a revelation stating that those “whose feet stand upon the land of Zion” should “go to the house of prayer & offer up . . . sacraments upon my holy day,” apparently prescribing the weekly observance of the Lord’s Supper. (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830, in Revelation Book 1, p. 57 [D&C 20:75]; see also JS History, vol. A-1, 41; Minutes, 9 June 1830; and Revelation, 7 Aug. 1831 [D&C 59:3, 9].)  


Closed by prayer 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
.
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
, Clerk. [p. 5]
Previous
A revelation dated 1 August 1831 directed that “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...

View Glossary
meeting be called,” in accordance with a June 1831 revelation stating that the next conference 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
would convene in 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...

More Info
.1 On 4 August 1831, a group of elders convened that conference at the home of Joshua

26 Nov. 1797–28 Oct. 1835. Farmer. Likely born in Wilkes Co. (later in Ashe Co.), North Carolina. Son of James Lewis and Elizabeth Stewart. Settled in Barren Co., Kentucky, by 1802. Married Margaret Kelsey, before 1820. Moved to Jackson Co., Missouri, by ...

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and Margaret Kelsey Lewis in Kaw Township

Settlement by whites commenced after treaty with Osage Indians, 1825. One of three original townships organized in Jackson Co., 22 May 1827. Bordered by Missouri River on north side and Big Blue River on east and south sides; western boundary was state line...

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, about eight miles west of Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
.2

Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:94–95.  


The Lewises had been converted the previous winter by the missionaries sent to preach to the American Indians.3

Knight, Reminiscences, 9.  


Having just reached Kaw Township, members of a congregation, who had migrated from Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

More Info
, New York, to 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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before moving on to Missouri, also joined the conference.4

Whitmer, History, 31–32; Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 28–31; JS History, vol. A-1, 139. Soon after the conclusion of this conference, the Colesville Saints moved to Brush Creek, two miles south of the Lewis home. (Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:109, 117–118.)  


The 1 August revelation identified at least one item of business for the conference: taking away “that which has been bestowed upon Ziba [Peterson]

Ca. 1810–1849. Teacher, farmer, law officer. Born in New York. Lived in Macedon, Wayne Co., New York, ca. 1830. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an elder, by 9 June 1830. Served mission to Ohio and Missouri, 1830–1831. Stripped of office of elder, Aug. ...

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,” likely the office of elder, so that he would only “stand as a member in the Church,” and no longer as an elder.5

Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:60] .  


Neither the revelation nor the minutes specify why action had to be taken against Peterson but, according to other sources, the offense may have been related to Peterson’s breaking an engagement to marry. In addition to hearing Peterson’s confession of his “transgressions,” this “first conference in the land of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
” provided opportunities for worship and exhortation.6

JS History, vol. A-1, 139.  


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
, clerk of the conference, kept the minutes, which 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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copied into Minute Book 2 in 1838.

Facts