Minute Book 1

membership were taken from him by the Presidents Court  because he refused to fulfil his mission according to the  council of the High Priesthood of the holy order of God

Trial of Doctor Philastus Hurlbut, continued • 21—23 June 1833

Bro D.P. Hurlberts [Doctor Philastus Hurlbut’s] case was called in question this day before  a general Council and upon the testimony of Bro Gee of  Thompson, who testified that Bro D.P.H said that he had  deceived Joseph Smith; God, or the Spirit by which he is  actuated &c &c The council proceeded to cut him off from  the Church, There was also corrobberating testimony brought  against him by Bro [Curtis] Hodges 23 June 1833——

Names of the Temples of Zion • 24 June 1833

The names of the Temples to be built on the painted squares  as represented on the plot of the City of Zion which is  now about to be forwarded thither. Nos 10, 11, & 12, are to be  called, House of the Lord for the presidency of the High  and most holy priesthood after the order of Melchizadeck  which was after the order of the son of God upon Mount Zion  City of the New Jerusalem. Nos. 7, 8, & 9 The Sacred Apostolic  Repository for the use of the Bishops. Nos, 4, 5, & 6 The holy ev angelical House for the High Priesthood of the holy order  of God. Nos 1, 2, & 3 The house of the Lord for the Elders  of Zion, an ensign to the nations. Nos 22, 23 & 24 House of  the Lord for the presidency of the high Priesthood after the order  of Aaaron, a Standard for the people. Nos 19, 20, 21 House of  the Lord for the high Priesthood after the order of Aaron, the  Law of the Kingdom of heaven, Messenger to the people. Nos. 16, 17,  & 18 House of the Lord for the Teachers in Zion, messenger to the  Church. Nos 13, 14, & 15 House of the Lord for the Deacons in  Zion, helps in government. Underneath must be written on each  House— Holiness To the Lord 24 June 1833—

24 June 1833 • Monday

A Council of Elders of the Church of Christ holden at  Westfield June 24th. AD 1833. Namely Bro Gladden Bishop Chester [p. 22]
On 12 February 1834 JS held a council meeting with high priests and elders at his home in Kirtland, Ohio. To those gathered he observed, “I shall now endeavor to set forth before this council, the dignity of the office which has been conferred upon me by the ministering of the Angel of God, by his own will and by the voice of this church. I have never set before any council in all the order in which a council ought to be conducted, which, perhaps, has deprived the councils of some, or many blessings.” Along with other instructions, JS related that “in ancient days, councils were conducted with such strict propriety, that no one was allowed to whisper, be weary, leave the room, or get uneasy in the least, until the voice of the Lord, by revelation, or the voice of the council by the spirit was obtained; which has not been observed in this church to the present.” (Minute Book 1, 12 Feb. 1834, 27–29.)
The record of this occasion is one of many found in Minute Book 1, also known as the “Kirtland Council Minute Book” or the “Kirtland High Council Minutes.” This and its companion, Minute Book 2 (also known as the “Far West Record”), are now published as part of the Administrative Records series on the Joseph Smith Papers website. These volumes illuminate many of the principles and practices that ordered early church governance and administration. They illustrate the early Saints’ determination to respond to revelation and divine guidance while simultaneously acknowledging the doctrine of common consent. Furthermore, these records demonstrate JS’s personal endorsement of and participation in a conference or council system of church government.
Entries for various conferences and councils recorded in Minute Book 1 stand as witness to several seminal events in early church history. Among these were the receipt of the revelation known as the “Olive Leaf” in late December 1832 and early January 1833; the organization of the School of the Prophets on 22–23 January 1833; the ordination of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams as presidents of the high priesthood on 18 March 1833; revelations concerning construction of the Kirtland House of the Lord; the organization of the first standing high council in February 1834; church courts held in the aftermath of the Camp of Israel (Zion’s Camp) march in August 1834; the calling, ordination, and blessing of the Twelve Apostles and the Seventies in February 1835; the acceptance by the church of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants in August of that year; preparation for the dedication of the Kirtland House of the Lord in winter and early spring 1836; and events related to the Kirtland Safety Society, its demise, and the concomitant dissension within the Kirtland stake of Zion in 1837. Some of these minutes, especially those where JS was a participant in the meeting, will also appear with individual introductions in the Documents series of The Joseph Smith Papers.
In the texts of the various minute entries, and occasionally in separate entries alongside them, the register records ordinations, blessings, disciplinary councils, testimonies, Pentecostal outpourings, callings and releases, missionary appointments, and fund-raising activities. Thus, Minute Book 1 provides a rich survey of JS’s interactions with associates and others during many dramatic, and often challenging, episodes beginning in October 1832 and concluding in November 1837. Sixteen different clerks took original minutes that were later copied into the volume by Frederick G. Williams, Orson Hyde, Oliver Cowdery, Warren Cowdery, Marcellus Cowdery, George W. Robinson, Phineas Richards, and Harlow Redfield.
Minute Book 1 was initiated during a remarkable upsurge in record keeping, beginning with the calling of Oliver Cowdery and later John Whitmer as church historians in 1830 and 1831. Revelations and commandments recorded in Revelation Book 1 were sent to Missouri to be published on the church’s first press in late 1831, and Revelation Book 2 was in use in Kirtland by February 1832. Sometime in 1832, probably between July and September, JS and Frederick G. Williams worked together on a brief history of JS’s early visionary experiences. JS purchased the small volume that contains his first journal in November 1832 and began penning entries that same month. That fall another record, containing retained copies of early church correspondence and now designated Letterbook 1, was commenced. In January of the following year, in an epistle recorded in Letterbook 1, JS wrote to William W. Phelps encouraging him as editor of the church’s first periodical, The Evening and the Morning Star, then printed in Jackson County, Missouri, to set “forth the rise and progress and faith of the church,” that is, to begin publishing items on the history of the church.
This upwelling was quite unusual for the time. As scholar Dean C. Jessee has observed, “So primitive were some aspects of record keeping in nineteenth-century America that much of the early Latter-day Saint experience was a pioneering effort. . . . Although Mormon record keeping was inaugurated by [an] 1830 revelation, details for carrying out that commandment were largely hammered out on the anvil of experience in the years that followed.” (Dean C. Jessee, “The Reliability of Joseph Smith’s History,” Journal of Mormon History 3 [1976]: 27.) Thus, during a brief span in the early 1830s, JS, along with those working under his direction, commenced the systematic collection and recording of critical documents pertaining to church governance and administration. Throughout the remainder of JS’s lifetime minute-taking, revelation-recording, correspondence-copying, journal-keeping, and history-writing activities would remain imperative commitments.