26109

Minutes, circa 3–4 June 1831

Minutes of a 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
held in Geauga County

Located in northeastern Ohio, south of Lake Erie. Rivers in area include Grand, Chagrin, and Cuyahoga. Settled mostly by New Englanders, beginning 1798. Formed from Trumbull Co., 1 Mar. 1806. Chardon established as county seat, 1808. Population in 1830 about...

More Info
Ohio June 3. 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 Carter (denied the faith)
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
1

In 1887, David Whitmer wrote that he was not at the conference. In his description of the proceedings, which he said was based on others’ reports, he argued that the ordaining of high priests was a “grievous error” introduced at the instigation of Sidney Rigdon. Besides contradicting the minutes on the matter of his attendance, Whitmer’s account of the conference and the introduction of the office of high priest is also problematic because his opposition to the existence of the office apparently did not arise until after 1847, when as the leader of his own church he instructed multiple members that they should be ordained to the office of high priest. (Whitmer, Address to All Believers in Christ, 35, 64–65; [William E. McLellin], “Our Tour West in 1847,” Ensign of Liberty, Aug. 1849, 104.)  


Sylvester Smith

25 Mar. 1806–22 Feb. 1880. Farmer, carpenter, lawyer, realtor. Born at Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy Marshall. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, ca. 1815. Married Elizabeth Frank, 27 Dec. 1827, likely in Chautauque...

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
Simeon Carter

7 June 1794–3 Feb. 1869. Farmer. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married Lydia Kenyon, 2 Dec. 1818, at Benson. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, by ...

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
Calvin Bebee Beebe

1 July 1800–17 July 1861. Farmer, merchant, postmaster. Born in Paris, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Isaac Beebe and Olive Soule. Moved to Chardon, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1820. Married Submit Rockwell Starr, 19 Nov. 1823. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an...

View Full Bio
Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
Solomon Hancock

15 Aug. 1793/1794–2 Dec. 1847. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Moved to Wolcott, Seneca Co., New York, by 1810. Joined Methodist church, 1814. Married first Alta Adams, 12 Mar. 1815. Moved to Columbia...

View Full Bio
Joseph Smith, sen.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
Wheeler Baldwin

7 Mar. 1793–11 May 1887. Farmer, cobbler, clergyman. Born in New York. Married first Mary Porter, 12 Jan. 1812, in Schoharie, Schoharie Co., New York. Served in War of 1812. Lived in Broome, Schoharie Co., New York, 1820. Moved to Strongsville, Cuyahoga Co...

View Full Bio
Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
Edison Edson Fuller

1809–4 Apr. 1879. Carpenter, farmer, storekeeper. Born in Cazenovia, Madison Co., New York. Son of Willard S. Fuller and Tryphena Dryer. Moved to Chagrin (later Willoughby), Geauga Co., Ohio, 1819. Moved to Newburg (later in or near Cleveland), Cuyahoga Co...

View Full Bio
(denied the faith)
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
Burr Riggs

17 Apr. 1811–1860. Botanist, physician. Born in Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Riggs and Susan Picher. Baptized into LDS church and ordained an elder, before 3 June 1831. Ordained a high priest, 25 Oct. 1831, in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio...

View Full Bio
(was cast out)
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
Ebenezer Abbott (denied the faith)
John Murdock

15 July 1792–23 Dec. 1871. Farmer. Born at Kortright, Delaware Co., New York. Son of John Murdock Sr. and Eleanor Riggs. Joined Lutheran Dutch Church, ca. 1817, then Presbyterian Seceder Church shortly after. Moved to Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ca. 1819....

View Full Bio
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
Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
Solomon Humphrey Jr.

23 Sept. 1775–Sept. 1834. Born in Simsbury, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Solomon Humphrey and Lucy Case. Moved to Burlington, Hartford Co., ca. 1785. Married Ursula Andrews, at Hartford Co. Moved to Irasburg, Orleans Co., Vermont, by 1800; to Glover,...

View Full Bio
Levi Hancock

7 Apr. 1803–10 June 1882. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Baptized into LDS church, 16 Nov. 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Clarissa Reed, 20 Mar. 1831. Served mission to Missouri with ...

View Full Bio
John Woodard (Denied the faith)
Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

View Full Bio
Joseph Brackenberry Brackenbury

18 Jan. 1788–7 Jan. 1832. Born in Lincolnshire, England. Emigrated to U.S., before 1818. Married Elizabeth Davis Goldsmith, ca. 1818. Moved to Newton Township (later in New York City), Kings Co., New York, by Nov. 1820. Moved to New London Township, Huron...

View Full Bio
(Died on a mission to preach)
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
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
Ezra Thayer

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

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
Northrop Sweat Sweet

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

View Full Bio
(denied the faith)2

Northrop Sweet, along with Wycom (or Wycam) Clark and others, founded the first recorded Mormon schismatic church, the Pure Church of Christ, in 1831. (George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:4.)  


William Mitchell
Emer Harris

29 May 1781–28 Nov. 1869. Carpenter, scribe, sawmill operator, blacksmith. Born at Cambridge, 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...

View Full Bio
Ebenezer Page
Joseph Wakefield

7 July 1792–18 Jan. 1835. Born in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Thomas Wakefield and Elizabeth Hardy. Married first Eunice Sawyer, 13 Dec. 1812. Moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, by 1820. Baptized into LDS church and ordained an elder...

View Full Bio
Alpheus Gifford
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
(denied the faith)
Priests

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
John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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
Seymour Brunson

1 Dec. 1798–10 Aug. 1840. Farmer. Born at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York. Son of Reuben Brunson and Sally Clark. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Gould of Hector, Tompkins Co., New York, ca. 1823. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, Jan....

View Full Bio
Daniel Stanton

28 May 1795–26 Oct. 1872. Farmer, carpenter. Born in Manlius, Onondaga Co., New York. Son of Amos Stanton and Elizabeth Wyman. Moved to Pompey, Onondaga Co., by 1800. Married Clarinda Graves, 16 Mar. 1816. Moved to Mayfield, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, by 1820. Moved...

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
Solomon Chamberlain
Harvey Whitlock

1809–after 1880. Physician. Born in Massachusetts. Married Minerva Abbott, 21 Nov. 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Ordained an elder, by June 1831. Ordained a high priest, 4 June 1831. Served mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, with David Whitmer, 1831...

View Full Bio
Lorin Page
Zebedee Coultrin 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...

View Full Bio
Jacob Sherman (cut off)
Jacob Scott (denied the faith) Benjamin Bragg (denied the faith)
[p. 3]
Minutes of a 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
held in Geauga  County

Located in northeastern Ohio, south of Lake Erie. Rivers in area include Grand, Chagrin, and Cuyahoga. Settled mostly by New Englanders, beginning 1798. Formed from Trumbull Co., 1 Mar. 1806. Chardon established as county seat, 1808. Population in 1830 about...

More Info
Ohio June 3. 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 Carter (denied the faith)
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
1

In 1887, David Whitmer wrote that he was not at the conference. In his description of the proceedings, which he said was based on others’ reports, he argued that the ordaining of high priests was a “grievous error” introduced at the instigation of Sidney Rigdon. Besides contradicting the minutes on the matter of his attendance, Whitmer’s account of the conference and the introduction of the office of high priest is also problematic because his opposition to the existence of the office apparently did not arise until after 1847, when as the leader of his own church he instructed multiple members that they should be ordained to the office of high priest. (Whitmer, Address to All Believers in Christ, 35, 64–65; [William E. McLellin], “Our Tour West in 1847,” Ensign of Liberty, Aug. 1849, 104.)  


Sylvester Smith

25 Mar. 1806–22 Feb. 1880. Farmer, carpenter, lawyer, realtor. Born at Tyringham, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Chileab Smith and Nancy Marshall. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, ca. 1815. Married Elizabeth Frank, 27 Dec. 1827, likely in Chautauque...

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
Simeon Carter

7 June 1794–3 Feb. 1869. Farmer. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married Lydia Kenyon, 2 Dec. 1818, at Benson. Moved to Amherst, Lorain Co., Ohio, by ...

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
Calvin Bebee [Beebe]

1 July 1800–17 July 1861. Farmer, merchant, postmaster. Born in Paris, Oneida Co., New York. Son of Isaac Beebe and Olive Soule. Moved to Chardon, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1820. Married Submit Rockwell Starr, 19 Nov. 1823. Baptized into LDS church. Ordained an...

View Full Bio
Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
Solomon Hancock

15 Aug. 1793/1794–2 Dec. 1847. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Moved to Wolcott, Seneca Co., New York, by 1810. Joined Methodist church, 1814. Married first Alta Adams, 12 Mar. 1815. Moved to Columbia...

View Full Bio
Joseph Smith, sen.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
Whe[e]ler Baldwin

7 Mar. 1793–11 May 1887. Farmer, cobbler, clergyman. Born in New York. Married first Mary Porter, 12 Jan. 1812, in Schoharie, Schoharie Co., New York. Served in War of 1812. Lived in Broome, Schoharie Co., New York, 1820. Moved to Strongsville, Cuyahoga Co...

View Full Bio
Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

View Full Bio
Edison [Edson] Fuller

1809–4 Apr. 1879. Carpenter, farmer, storekeeper. Born in Cazenovia, Madison Co., New York. Son of Willard S. Fuller and Tryphena Dryer. Moved to Chagrin (later Willoughby), Geauga Co., Ohio, 1819. Moved to Newburg (later in or near Cleveland), Cuyahoga Co...

View Full Bio
(denied the faith)
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
Burr Riggs

17 Apr. 1811–1860. Botanist, physician. Born in Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Riggs and Susan Picher. Baptized into LDS church and ordained an elder, before 3 June 1831. Ordained a high priest, 25 Oct. 1831, in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio...

View Full Bio
(was cast out)
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
Ebenezer Abbott (denied the faith)
John Murdock

15 July 1792–23 Dec. 1871. Farmer. Born at Kortright, Delaware Co., New York. Son of John Murdock Sr. and Eleanor Riggs. Joined Lutheran Dutch Church, ca. 1817, then Presbyterian Seceder Church shortly after. Moved to Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ca. 1819....

View Full Bio
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
Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

View Full Bio
Solomon Humphrey [Jr.]

23 Sept. 1775–Sept. 1834. Born in Simsbury, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Solomon Humphrey and Lucy Case. Moved to Burlington, Hartford Co., ca. 1785. Married Ursula Andrews, at Hartford Co. Moved to Irasburg, Orleans Co., Vermont, by 1800; to Glover,...

View Full Bio
Levi Hancock

7 Apr. 1803–10 June 1882. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Baptized into LDS church, 16 Nov. 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Clarissa Reed, 20 Mar. 1831. Served mission to Missouri with ...

View Full Bio
John Woodard (Denied the faith)
Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

View Full Bio
Joseph Brackenberry [Brackenbury]

18 Jan. 1788–7 Jan. 1832. Born in Lincolnshire, England. Emigrated to U.S., before 1818. Married Elizabeth Davis Goldsmith, ca. 1818. Moved to Newton Township (later in New York City), Kings Co., New York, by Nov. 1820. Moved to New London Township, Huron...

View Full Bio
(Died on a mission to preach)
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
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
Ezra Thayer

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

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
Northrop Sweat [Sweet]

19 Feb. 1802–23 Feb. 1881. Farmer. Born in New York. Married first Elethan Harris, before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne Co., New York, by June 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. Appointed to serve mission, Oct. 1830...

View Full Bio
(denied the faith)2

Northrop Sweet, along with Wycom (or Wycam) Clark and others, founded the first recorded Mormon schismatic church, the Pure Church of Christ, in 1831. (George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:4.)  


William Mitchell
Emer Harris

29 May 1781–28 Nov. 1869. Carpenter, scribe, sawmill operator, blacksmith. Born at Cambridge, 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...

View Full Bio
Ebenezer Page
Joseph Wakefield

7 July 1792–18 Jan. 1835. Born in Dublin, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Thomas Wakefield and Elizabeth Hardy. Married first Eunice Sawyer, 13 Dec. 1812. Moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, by 1820. Baptized into LDS church and ordained an elder...

View Full Bio
Alpheus Gifford
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
(denied the faith)
Priests

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
John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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
Seymour Brunson

1 Dec. 1798–10 Aug. 1840. Farmer. Born at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York. Son of Reuben Brunson and Sally Clark. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Gould of Hector, Tompkins Co., New York, ca. 1823. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, Jan....

View Full Bio
Daniel Stanton

28 May 1795–26 Oct. 1872. Farmer, carpenter. Born in Manlius, Onondaga Co., New York. Son of Amos Stanton and Elizabeth Wyman. Moved to Pompey, Onondaga Co., by 1800. Married Clarinda Graves, 16 Mar. 1816. Moved to Mayfield, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, by 1820. Moved...

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
Solomon Chamberlain
Harvey Whitlock

1809–after 1880. Physician. Born in Massachusetts. Married Minerva Abbott, 21 Nov. 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Ordained an elder, by June 1831. Ordained a high priest, 4 June 1831. Served mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, with David Whitmer, 1831...

View Full Bio
Lorin Page
Zebedee Coultrin [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...

View Full Bio
Jacob Sherman (cut off)
Jacob Scott (denied the faith) Benjamin Bragg (denied the faith)
[p. 3]
Next
In early June 1831, JS presided over a “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
” 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...

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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. During one of the conference meetings, the first recorded 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...

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to the high priesthood

The authority and power held by certain officers in the church. The Book of Mormon referred to the high priesthood as God’s “holy order, which was after the order of his Son,” and indicated that Melchizedek, a biblical figure, was a high priest “after this...

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occurred, several of them performed by JS himself. 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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’s history describes this conference as a fulfillment of a February 1831 revelation in which the voice of the Lord declared that “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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of my Church should be called to gether from the East & from the West & from the North & from the South” and promised, “I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they assemble themselves together.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 118; Whitmer, History, 27; Revelation, Feb. 1831–B [D&C 44:1–2].  


JS had also dictated an earlier revelation on 2 January 1831 that commanded church members to move 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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and promised that there they would “be endowed with power from on high.”2

Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32].  


Although these minutes bear the date 3 June, multiple sources indicate that the conference occurred over the course of several days. The sources differ, however, on the exact date or dates of the conference. There was likely an initial meeting on 3 June, but the ordinations to the high priesthood probably did not occur until the next day. Another meeting was reportedly held on 5 June, and the final meeting, during which JS dictated a revelation, occurred on 6 June.3

For evidence of ordinations on 4 June, see Hancock, Autobiography, 90; Wight, Journal, in History of the Reorganized Church, 1:193; and Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. IV,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 3 Nov. 1831, [3]. The minutes for the conference held 9 April explain that it adjourned “until the first Saturday in June next,” or 4 June. By contrast, John Whitmer’s history, which probably benefited from the use of the minutes later compiled in Minute Book 2, lists 3 June as the day of the conference. Jared Carter’s journal also lists “friday” (3 June) as the “memorable day when God first gave the fullness of the high priesthood to the Elders of the Church of Christ.” The accounts of both men are supported by John Smith, a recently baptized elder residing in North Hampton, Ohio, who recorded in his journal: “Friday June th[e] 3 went to Kirtland to attend Conference but did not reatch there till sat th[e] 4 & Conference was over & I Continued their untill th[e] 6 & after the Commadments had Come Forth for the Elders to go to the Mazura [Missouri].” Smith’s account may be indicating he missed meetings on both 3 and 4 June. Still other sources, likely associating the conference with the revelation dictated at the end of the several days of meetings, indicate that the conference was held 6 June. JS’s history adds to the confusion by stating that the elders met in conference “on the 6th of June” when ordinations to the high priesthood took place, but then indicates it was on the following day that the revelation was received that commanded dozens of men to go on missions. That revelation was dated 6 June 1831 in Revelation Book 1, meaning the conference would have convened on the fifth rather than the sixth. The local newspaper, the Painesville Telegraph, confused the dates of the conference and the 6 June revelation when it reported the meeting in a derogatory article published 14 June 1831: “After all the good followers of Jo. Smith from York state had got fairly settled down in this vicinity, which Sidney Rigdon had declared to be their ‘eternal inheritance,’ Jo must needs invent another ‘command from God.’ At a meeting of the tribe on 3d. inst. the fact was made known to them that 28 elders must be selected and ordained, to start immediately, for Missouri.” (Minute Book 2, 9 Apr. 1831; Whitmer, History, 27; Carter, Journal, 17; John Smith, Journal, 3–4; JS History, vol. A-1, 118; Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52]; “Mormonism on the Wing,” Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 14 June 1831, [3]; see also Murdock, Journal, 6 June 1831; and Pratt, Autobiography, 72.  


It is possible that the 3 June date may simply represent the first day of the conference and that the clerk, 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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, either did not modify the date as the conference continued or simply wrote the minutes at the end of the conference without clarifying the individual dates.4

Some evidence indicates JS met preliminarily with some elders on the first day of the conference and then conducted most of the conference business on the second day. (Whitmer, History, 28.)  


In any case, the minutes focus primarily on attendance and ordinations to offices in the church, and no attempt was made to record the content of the discourses or the events of the individual meetings as they unfolded.
The arrival of most of the New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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church members during May 1831 meant that by the time of the June conference, nearly all members of the church were living in various settlements 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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. John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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’s later account captures the setting for the conference: “Previous to this there was a revelation received, requiring the prophet to call 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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together, that they might receive an endowment

Bestowal of spiritual blessings, power, or knowledge. Beginning in 1831, multiple revelations promised an endowment of “power from on high” in association with the command to gather. Some believed this promise was fulfilled when individuals were first ordained...

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. This was done, and the meeting took place some time in June. About fifty elders met, which was about all the elders that then belonged to the church.”5

Corrill, Brief History, 18.  


The conference minutes identify sixty-two participants—forty-three elders, nine priests, and ten teachers—who assembled, according to Levi Hancock

7 Apr. 1803–10 June 1882. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Baptized into LDS church, 16 Nov. 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Clarissa Reed, 20 Mar. 1831. Served mission to Missouri with ...

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’s account, in a schoolhouse near the home of 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...

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. A larger gathering apparently convened Sunday, 5 June, and that meeting included the preaching of sermons.6

Hancock, Autobiography, 89, 92.  


As noted, this conference marked the first time elders in the church were “ordained to the High Priesthood,” but what this ordination meant to conference participants at the time is unclear. Although those ordained to the high priesthood at this conference were still listed as elders in the minutes of conferences that followed over the next four months, the minutes of the 25 October 1831 conference recorded the “names of those ordained to the High priesthood” separately from the elders, priests

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...

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, teachers

Generally, one who instructs, but also an ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The Book of Mormon explained that teachers were to be ordained “to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end...

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, and deacons

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The “Articles and Covenants” directed deacons to assist teachers in their duties. Deacons were also to “warn, expound, exhort, and teach and invite all to come unto Christ.” Although deacons did not have the authority...

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, suggesting that the high priesthood was by then recognized as a distinct office in the church.7

Minute Book 2, 25–26 Oct. 1831.  


Accounts suggest that the participants at the time of the June conference believed the ordination carried with it additional power. Jared Carter

14 June 1801–6 July 1849. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married Lydia Ames, 20 Sept. 1823, at Benson. Moved to Chenango, Broome Co., New York, by Jan...

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, for instance, associated the ability to perform miraculous healings with those ordained to the high priesthood.8

Carter, Journal, 16–17. Ezra Booth’s antagonistic account of the conference also indicates that attendees expected to be able to perform acts of healing as a result of the ordinations. (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. II,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 20 Oct. 1831, [3].)  


By October 1831, JS taught that “the order of the High priesthood is that they have power given them to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.”9

Minute Book 2, 25–26 Oct. 1831.  


The phraseology used in the ordinations to the high priesthood likely included a reference to “the order of Milchesidec.” 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...

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explained, in one of his denunciatory letters to the Ohio Star after he left the church, that many Mormons had been “ordained to the High Priesthood, or the order of Milchesidec; and profess to be endowed with the same power as the ancient apostles

A title indicating one sent forth to preach; later designated as a specific ecclesiastical and priesthood office. By 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery were designated as apostles. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained that an “apostle is an elder...

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were.”10

Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. II,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 20 Oct. 1831, [3].  


Booth was one of the elders thus ordained at the June conference, and his October 1831 account is the earliest to indicate that early Mormon believers linked the reception of the high priesthood to an “order of Melchizedek.” Although the term Melchizedek is absent from other records referencing the high priesthood in 1831, later accounts of the reception of the high priesthood also linked it to the term. In John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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’s 1839 history, he used the term Melchizedek priesthood instead of high priesthood as though the two were synonymous. He explained that “the Malchisedec priesthood was then for the first time introduced, and conferred on several of the elders. In this chiefly consisted the endowment—it being a new order—and bestowed authority.”11

Corrill, Brief History, 18.  


JS’s history uses very similar language, further suggesting that Melchizedek was first publicly used in ordinations at the June 1831 conference: “The authority of the Melechisedec priesthood was manifested and conferred, for the first time, upon several of the elders.”12

JS History, vol. A-1, 118.  


While Melchizedek later became more commonly used in explanations of authority, it appears likely that the conference participants understood there to be a connection between the terms Melchizedek and high priesthood.13

Parley P. Pratt later explained the ordination to the high priesthood in this way: “Several were then selected by revelation, through Presdent Smith, and ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of the Son of God; which is after the order of Melchisedec. This was the first occasion in which this priesthood had been revealed and conferred upon the Elders in this dispensation, although the office of an Elder is the same in a certain degree, but not in the fulness. On this occasion I was ordained to this holy ordinance and calling by President Smith.” (Pratt, Autobiography, 72.)  


Neither Melchizedek nor high priesthood would have been foreign terms to those familiar with the Bible or the Book of Mormon. In both, “high priesthood” is always connected to an office held by a high priest and usually associated with “Melchizedek.” A contemporary biblical commentary explained that “the high priesthood” among the ancient Israelites was originally limited to one person at a time and that this high priest was invested with special powers for life and passed the office generally in lineal succession, but that by the time of Christ “the high priesthood” through the means of Roman intervention had become more of a political appointment.14

Clarke, New Testament, 573–574.  


The New Testament book of Hebrews states that Jesus Christ was “made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” and that Christ was “the Apostle and High Priest of our profession.”15

Hebrews 6:20; 3:1.  


The term high priesthood was also in public use because it referred to an office in Freemasonry.16

For example, an Ohio newspaper reporting on Masonic activities in 1828 stated that a number of men had “duly received the order of High Priesthood.” The article further stated that a forthcoming meeting would be “for the purpose of conferring the order of High Priesthood upon all who are legally entitled thereto.” (“Masonic,” Norwalk [OH] Reporter and Huron Advertiser, 9 Feb. 1828, [2].)  


In fact, the anti-Masonic movement attacked the order for its use of this office in its organization.17

In 1828, for instance, a convention held in New York by a Baptist association adopted a resolution that it would “have no fellowship with or for the institutions of speculative Freemasonry . . . Because it confers the office of High Priest upon those who are not called of God as was Aaron, and because its high priesthood is said to be after the order of Melchizedeck, when Christ is the only priest after that order.” Samuel Findley’s Ohio-based Religious Examiner reported in 1831 that the New York Synod of the Associate Reformed Church had also condemned Masonic rituals as “a sinful trifling with the word of God” for including in the ceremony of the “consecration of a masonic high priest” phraseology reserved for Christ in the Bible: “Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedeck.” (“Moral & Religious,” Western Intelligencer, 1 Nov. 1828, 57; “Freemasonry,” Religious Examiner, Feb. 1831, 48.)  


Among JS’s revelatory texts, the Book of Mormon first introduced the term high priesthood and explained that some were “called by this holy calling, and ordained unto the High Priesthood of the holy order of God . . . this High Priesthood being after the order of his Son, which order was from the foundation of the world; or in other words, being without beginning of days or end of years, being prepared from eternity to all eternity, according to his foreknowledge of all things. Now they were ordained after this manner: Being called with a holy calling, and ordained with a holy ordinance, and taking upon them the High Priesthood of the holy order, which calling, and ordinance, and High Priesthood, is without beginning or end.” The Book of Mormon further affirmed that “concerning the holy order of this High Priesthood: There were many which were ordained and became High Priests of God,” and it also referenced Melchizedek in relation to the high priesthood.18

Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 259 [Alma 13:6–10].  


In June 1830, about three months after publication of the Book of Mormon, JS dictated a revelatory text related to the Old Testament book of Genesis that also referenced Melchizedeck, saying that “he was ordained a high Preist after the order of the covenent which God made with Enock.” This account also linked high priesthood to the reception of power, declaring that “every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power by faith to break Mountains to divide the seas to dry up watters to turn them out of their course to put at defience the armies of nations to divide the earth to break every band to stand in the preasence of God to do all things according to his will.”19

Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 33–34 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:27, 30–31].  


Prior to the June 1831 conference, according to 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...

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, several church members expected spiritual manifestations and declared themselves “perfectly assured, that the work of miracles would commence at the ensuing conference.”20

Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. IV,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 3 Nov. 1831, [3]. Booth’s complete statement is as follows: “As the 4th of June last, was appointed for the sessions of the conference, it was ascertained, that that was the time specified, when the great and mighty work was to commence, and such was the confidence of some, that knowledge superseded their faith, and they did not hesitate to declare themselves perfectly assured, that the work of miracles would commence at the ensuing conference. With such strong assurances, and with the most elevated expectations, the conference assembled at the time appointed. To give, if possible, additional energy to expectation, Smith, the day previous to the conference, professing to be filled with the spirit of Prophecy, declared, that ‘not three days should pass away, before some should see their Savior face to face.’”  


Several later accounts by those in attendance attest to supernatural occurrences that accompanied the ordinations to the high priesthood. Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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recounted that he had witnessed “the visible manifestations of the power of God as plain as could have been on the day of pentecost,” including “the heeling of the sick, casting out devils, speaking in unknown tongues, discerning of spirits, and prophesying with mighty power.”21

Lyman Wight, Mountain Valley, TX, to Wilford Woodruff, [Salt Lake City, Utah Territory], 24 Aug. 1857, pp. 5–6, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL; see also History of the Reorganized Church, 1:193.  


Levi Hancock

7 Apr. 1803–10 June 1882. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Baptized into LDS church, 16 Nov. 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Clarissa Reed, 20 Mar. 1831. Served mission to Missouri with ...

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related that following Harvey Whitlock

1809–after 1880. Physician. Born in Massachusetts. Married Minerva Abbott, 21 Nov. 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Ordained an elder, by June 1831. Ordained a high priest, 4 June 1831. Served mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, with David Whitmer, 1831...

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’s ordination to the high priesthood, Whitlock was seized by a power that contorted his body and struck him dumb. Hancock added that JS eventually “commanded satan to leave Harvey.”22

Hancock, Autobiography, 90; see also Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. IV,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 3 Nov. 1831, [3].  


Immediately after this episode, Leman Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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“turned a complete summerset in the house and came his back across a bench and lay helpless Joseph told Lyman to cast satan out he did.”23

Hancock, Autobiography, 90–91. John Corrill also summarized some of these events in his later history: “Some curious things took place. The same visionary and marvellous spirits, spoken of before, got hold of some of the elders; it threw one from his seat to the floor; it bound another, so that for some time he could not use his limbs nor speak; and some other curious effects were experienced, but, by a mighty exertion, in the name of the Lord, it was exposed and shown to be from an evil source.” (Corrill, Brief History, 18.)  


Both 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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’s history and JS’s history describe these events as occasions in which the “man of Sin,” the devil, was “revealed.”24

Whitmer, History, 28–29; JS History, vol. A-1, 118; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:3.  


In Whitmer’s words, “the Devil took occation, to make known his power,” though some thought God allowed it “for the express purpose that the Elders should become acquainted with the devices of Satan; and after that they would possess knowledge sufficient to manage him.”25

Whitmer, History, 29; Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. IV,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 3 Nov. 1831, [3].  


The absence of accounts of these manifestations in the featured text illustrates the narrow focus of many written minutes in the early church, which omitted most details of sermons and other events associated with the meetings.
Another aspect of the conference not detailed in the minutes is the content and nature of JS’s instructions. Although the minutes report only the fact that JS spoke, several participants later recorded lengthy accounts of his teachings during the meetings. Jared Carter

14 June 1801–6 July 1849. Born at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims. Moved to Benson, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1810. Married Lydia Ames, 20 Sept. 1823, at Benson. Moved to Chenango, Broome Co., New York, by Jan...

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was impressed enough to write in his journal that “not with standing he is not naturaly talanted for a speaker yet he was filled with the power of the holy ghost so that he s[p]oke as I never heard man speak for god by the power of the holy Ghost spoke in him.”26

Carter, Journal, 17.  


Parley P. Pratt

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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recalled that JS “spake in great power, as he was moved by the Holy Ghost; and the spirit of power and of testimony rested down upon the Elders in a marvellous manner.”27

Pratt, Autobiography, 72.  


Levi Hancock

7 Apr. 1803–10 June 1882. Born at Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Hancock III and Amy Ward. Baptized into LDS church, 16 Nov. 1830, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Clarissa Reed, 20 Mar. 1831. Served mission to Missouri with ...

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remembered JS teaching that “the kingdom that Christ spoke of that was like a grain of musterd seed was now before him and some should see it put forth its branches And the angels

Being who acts as a minister and messenger between heaven and earth. JS taught that angels were individuals who “belonged to this earth”; those who had already lived on earth were often resurrected beings. In addition to giving instruction, direction, and...

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of heaven would some day come like Birds to its branches just as the saviour said and some of you shall live to see it come with great glory some of you must die for the testemony of this work.” Hancock added that JS then addressed Lyman Wight

9 May 1796–31 Mar. 1858. Farmer. Born at Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York. Son of Levi Wight Jr. and Sarah Corbin. Served in War of 1812. Married Harriet Benton, 5 Jan. 1823, at Henrietta, Monroe Co., New York. Moved to Warrensville, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, ...

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and said, “You shall see the Lord and me[e]t him nere the corner of the house.” Following a blessing from JS, Wight reportedly “stepted out on the floor and said I now see God and Jesus Christ at his right hand let them kill me I should not feel death as I am now.”28

Hancock, Autobiography, 89–90.  


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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wrote that “the Spirit of the Lord fell upon Joseph in an unusual manner” and that JS prophesied “that John the Revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel . . . to prepare them for their return” and “many more things that I have not written.”29

Whitmer, History, 27–28.  


Minute Book 2, the source for this document, was not inscribed until 1838 and contains parenthetical insertions that were not original to the minutes. They were likely added by 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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sometime after the creation of the original minutes, probably as he copied the loose minutes into a single book. When 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 Whitmer’s minutes (no longer extant) into Minute Book 2, he apparently copied these parenthetical redactions faithfully. The content of these insertions suggests that they were made between 26 February and 25 June 1833.30

For instance, a parenthetical notation states that Joseph Brackenbury “died on a mission to preach,” a redaction that necessarily occurred after 7 January 1832, the date Brackenbury reportedly passed away in Pomfret, New York. Similarly, Burr Riggs’s name also carries with it a parenthetical notation explaining that he “was cast out.” Burr Riggs was excommunicated on 26 February 1833. He was out of the church only a short time, however, and accompanied the Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri in 1834. This redaction to the featured text, therefore, appears to have occurred following Riggs’s excommunication but before his 1834 return to the church. The absence of notations next to certain names elsewhere in Minute Book 2 is also helpful in narrowing the time frame in which such redactions likely occurred. For example, in the minutes dated 4 August 1831, though Ezra Booth is again noted parenthetically as having “denied the faith,” there is no similar notation accompanying the name of Ziba Peterson, who was turned “over to the buffetings of Satan,” according to a letter written by Joseph Smith on 25 June 1833. This means that Whitmer’s parenthetical redactions were most likely made between 26 February and 25 June 1833, after Riggs was excommunicated but before Peterson was cut off. (“Death of a Mormon Preacher,” Vermont Gazette [Bennington], 6 Mar. 1832, [2]; Minute Book 2, 4 Aug. 1831; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 25 June 1833.)  


Facts