Agent 

Summary

A specific church office and, more generally, someone “entrusted with the business of another.”1 Agents in the church assisted other ecclesiastical officers, especially the bishop in his oversight of the church’s temporal affairs.2 A May 1831 revelation instructed that an agent “be appointed by the voice of the church”; Sidney Gilbert received this appointment in June 1831.3 Gilbert’s duties included helping the bishop purchase lands in Missouri and distributing these lands to church members.4 He was also instructed to operate the church’s storehouse in Missouri.5 In August 1831, Newel K. Whitney was appointed as an agent for the church in Ohio and was responsible for raising money for land purchases and for keeping the storehouse in Kirtland.6 In 1832, Gilbert and Whitney were both appointed agents of the United Firm.7 Other individuals were periodically assigned duties as agents; Joseph Smith Sr., for example, was told in October 1831 to be the “Lord’s agent” in managing Frederick G. Williams’s farm.8 At the 6 April 1843 church conference, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were given authority to act as agents for the Nauvoo temple and Nauvoo House.9