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Prince’s Research Excerpts: Priesthood & Mormonism – 1832

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1832:  2 Jan.:  Excommunication proceedings.

“Jan 2 atend Church Meting the Church apointed Br Orison Pratt & my self to visit the doubting membrs . . . on Monday Evenin attend the Meting & throw the coars of the inter vew the Church lifted their hands against som of their Membrs apointed a comity to viset some membrs apointed apointed [sic] another Church Meting the next Evening attend the Meting and Cast off some other Members.”  (Reynolds Cahoon diaries, 1831-1832; LDS Archives, Ouellette–he places this around 17/18 Jan., 1832)

12 Jan.:  Articles & Covenants/Law of Church.

“The Arci[c]les Covenants & Law of the Church of Christ

Independence Jackson County, Missouri

January 12th 1832

Copied by P. Whitmer for Zebidee Coltrin

The rise of the Church of Christ in these last days being 1830 years since the coming of our lord & saviour Jesus Christ in the flesh it being regularly organized & established agreeable to the laws of our Country by the will & commandments of God in the fourth Month & on the Sixth day of the Month which is called April which commandments were given to Joseph the Seer who was called of God & ordained an Apostle of Jesus Christ an Elder of the Church & also to Oliver who was also called of God an Apostle of Jesus Christ an Elder of the Church & ordained under his hand & this according to the grace of our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ to whom be all glory both now & for ever AMEN.

For after that it was truly manifested unto this first Elder that he had received a remission of his sins he was entangled again in the vanities of the world but after truly repenting God ministered unto him by an Holy angel whose countenance was as lightning & whose garments were pure & white above all whiteness & gave unto him commandments which inspired him from on high & gave unto him power by the means which was before Joseph that he should translate a Book which Book contained a Record of a fallen people & also the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the gentiles & also to the Jews proving unto them that the Holy Scriptures are true & also that God doth inspire men & call them to his holy work in these last days as well as in days of old that he might be the same God for ever AMEN.

Which Book was given by inspiration & is called the Book of Mormon & is confirmed to others by the ministering of Angels & declared unto the world by them wherefore having so great witnesses by them shall the world be judged even as many as shall hereafter receive this work either to faith & righteousness or to the hardness of heart in unbelief to their own condemnation for the Lord God hath spoken it for we the Elders of the Church have heard & bear witness to the world of his glorious majesty on high to whom be glory for ever & ever Amen.

Wherefore by these things we know that there is a god in heaven who is infinite & eternal from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangable God the maker of heaven & Earth & all things that in them is & that he created man male & female & after his own image And in his likeness created he them & that he gave unto the children of men a commandment that they should love & serve him the only being whom they should worship but by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual & devilish & became fallen man Wherefore the almighty God gave his only begotten son as it is written in those Scriptures which have been given of him that he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them that he was crusified died & rose again the third day & that he ascended unto Heaven to sit down on the right hand of the father to reign with almighty power according to the will of the father therefore as many as want believe & were baptized in his holy name & endured in faith to the end should be saved yea even as many as were before he came in the flesh from the begining which believed in the words of the Holy Prophets which were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost which truly testify of him in all things as well as those who should come after who should believe in the gifts & callings of God by the Holy Ghost which beareth record of the father & of the Son which father & Son & holy ghost is one god infinite & eternal without end AMEN.

And we know that all men must repent & believe on the name of Jesus Christ & worship the father in his name & indure in faith on his name to the end or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God & we know that Justification through the grace of our Lord & saviour Jesus Christ is just & true & we also know that Sanctification through the grace of our Lord & saviour Jesus Christ is just & true to all these who love & serve God with all their mights minds & strength but there is a posability that men may fall from grace & depart from the living God therefore let the church take heed & pray always lest they fall into temptation yea & even he that is sanctified also & we know that these things are true and agreeable to the revelations of John neither adding nor diminishing to the Prophecy of his book neither to the Holy Scriptures neither to the revelations of God which shall come hereafter by the gift & power of the holy ghost neither by the voice of God neither by the ministering of Angels & the Lord God hath spoken it & honors power & glory be rendered to his holy name both now & forever AMEN.

And again by way of commandment to the church concerning the manner of Baptism Book of Mormon Page 576.

The duty of the Elders Preists Teachers Deacons & Members of the Church of Christ an Apostle is an Elder & it is his calling to Baptize & to ordain other Elders Preists Teachers & Deacons & to administer the flesh & blood of Christ according to the Scriptures & to teach expound exhort & to Baptize & to watch over the Church & to confirm the Church by the laying on of the hands & the giving of the Holy Ghost & to take the lead of all meetings &c.

The Elders are to conduct the meetings according as they are led by the Holy Ghost.

The Priests duty is to Preach teach expound exhort & baptize & administer the sacrament & visit the house of each member & exhort them to pray vocally & in Secret & also to attend all family duties & ordain other Priests Teachers & Deacons & take the lead in meetings but none of these offices are they to do when there is an Elder Present but in all cases are to assist the Elders &c.

The Teachers duty is to watch over the church always & be with them & strengthen them & see that there is no iniquity in the church nor hardness with each other nor lying nor backbiting nor evil speaking & see that the Church meets together often & also that every member does his duty & he is to take the lead of Meetings in the absence of Elder or Priest & is to be assisted always & in all his duties in the Church by the Deacons but neither the Teachers nor the the Deacons have authority to Baptize nor administer the Sacrament but are to warn expound exhort & teach & invite all to come to Christ.

Every Elder Priest Teacher or Deacon is to be ordained according to the gifts & callings of God unto him by the Power of the Holy Ghost which is in the one who ordains him.

The several Elders composing this Church of Christ are to meet in conference one in three months to Church business whatsoever is nessessary &c & each Priest or Teacher who is ordained by any Priest is to take a certificate from him at the time which when shown to an Elder he is to give him a licence which shall authorize him to perform the duty of his calling.

The Duty of the members after they are received by Baptism the Elders or Priest are to have a sufficient time to expound all things concerning this Church of Christ to their understanding previous to their partaking of the Sacrament & being confirmed by the laying on of the hands of the Elders so that all things may be done in order & the members shall manifest before the Church & also before the Elders by a Godly walk & conversation that they are worthy of it that these may be works & faith agreeable to the Holy Scriptures walking in holyness before the Lord.

Every member of this Church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the Elders before the Church who is to lay their hands on them in the name of the Lord & bless them in the name of Christ.

There cannot any one be received into this church of Christ who has not ariven to the years of accountability before God & is not capable of repentance.  And Baptism is to be administered in the following manner unto all those who repent whosoever being called of God & having authority given them of Jesus Christ shall go down into the waters with them & shall say calling them by name having authority given me of Jesus Christ I baptize you in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Ghost AMEN–then shall he immerse them in the water & come forth again out of the water & it is expedient that the Church meet together often to partake of bread & wine in remembrance of the Lord Jesus & the Elder or Priest shall minister it & after this manner shall he do Book of Mormon Page 175.

Any member of this church of Christ transgressing or being overtaken in a fault shall be dealt with according as the Scriptures direct &c.

It shall be the duty of the several Churches composing this church of Christ to send one or more of their Teachers ot attend the Several conferences held by the Elders of this Church with a list of the names of the Several members uniting themselves to the Church since the last conference or send by the hand of same Priest so that there can be kept a regular list of all the names of the members of the whole Church in a book kept by one of the Elders whomsoever the other Elders shall appoint from time to time & also if any have been expelled from the Church so that their names may be blotted out of the general Church record of names.

Any Member removing from the Church where he belongs if going to a Church where he is not known may take a letter certifying that he is a regular member & in good standing which certificate may be signed by any Elder or Priest if the member receiving the letter is Personally acquainted with the Elder or Priest or it may be signed by the Teacher or Deacons of the Church.

The Church Law  [See D&C (1921) 42]

I say unto you that it that it shall not be given to any one to go forth to preach my gospel or to build up my Church except he be ordained by some one who has authority & has been regularly ordained by the heads of the Church & again the Elders Priests & Teachers of this church shall teach the Scriptures which are in the Bible & the Book of Mormon in the which is the fullness of the gospel & they shall observe the covenants & church articles to do them & this shall be their teachings & they shall be directed by the Spirit which shall be given them by the prayer of faith & if they receive not the spirit they shall not Teach & all this they shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning their teaching untill the fullness of my Scriptures are given & as they shall lift up their voices by the comforter they shall speak & prophecy as seemeth me good for behold the comforter knoweth all things & beareth record of the Father & of the Son.  & now behold I speak unto the Church.

Thou shalt not kill & he that killeth shall not be forgiven neither in this world nor in the world to come & again thou shalt no kill.  he that killeth shall die.  Thou shalt not steal & he that stealeth & will not repent shall be cast out.  Thou shall not lie.  he that lieth & will not repent shall be cast out.  Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart & shall cleave unto her & none else & he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith & shall not have the spirit & if he repent not he shall be cast out.

Thou shalt not commit adultery & repenteth not [sic] shall be cast out & he that he that committeth adultery & repenteth with all his heart & forsaketh & doeth it no more thou shalt forgive him but if he doeth it again he shall not be forgiven but shall be cast out.  Thou shalt not speak evil of thy Neighbour or do him any harm.  thou knowest my laws they are given in my Scriptures he that sineth & repenteth not shall be cast out.  If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me & keep all my commandments & behold thou shalt consecrate all thy properties that which thou hast unto me with a covenant & a deed which cannot be broken & they shall be laid before the Bishop of my Church & two of the Elders such as he shall appoint & set apart for that purpose & it shall come to pass that the Bishop of my Church after that he has received the properties of my Church that it cannot be taken from the Church he shall appoint every man a stewardship over his own property or that which he has received in as much as it shall be sufficient for himself & family & the residue shall be kept in my storehouse to administer to the poor & needy as shall be appointed by the Elders of the Church & the Bishop & for the purpose of purchasing lands & the building up of the new Jerusalem which is hereafter to be revealed that my Covenant People may be gathered in one in the day that I shall come to my Temple & this I do for the Salvation of my People & it shall come to pass that he that sinneth & repenteth not shall be cast out & shall not receive again that which he has consecrated unto me for it shall come to pass that which I spoke by the mouth of my Prophets shall be fulfilled for I will consecrate the riches of the gentiles unto my People which are of the house of Israel.  & again thou shalt not be proud in thy heart let all thy garments be plain & their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands & let all things be done in cleanliness before me.

Thou shalt not be idle for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the labourer & whosoever among you that are sick & have not faith to be healed but believeth shall be nourished in all tenderness with herbs & mild food & that not of the World & the Elders of the Church two or more shall be called & shall pray for & lay their hands upon them in my name & if they die they shall die unto me & if they live they shall live unto me.  Thou shalt live together in love in so much that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die & more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection & it shall come to pass that they that die in me shall not taste of death for it shall be sweet unto them & they that die not in me woe unto them for their death is bitter & again it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed & is not appointed unto death shall be healed & he who has faith to see shall see he who has faith to hear shall hear the lame who have faith [to] leap shall leap & they who have not faith to do these things but believe in me have power to become my sons & in as much as they break not my laws thou shalt bear their infirmities thous halt stand in the place of thy stewardship thou shalt not take thy brothers garment thou shalt pay for that which thou shalt receive of thy brother & if thou obtainest more than that which would be for thy support thou shalt give it into my storehouse that all things may be done according to that wich I have spoken  Thou shalt ask & my Scriptures shall be given as I have appointed & for thy safety it is expedient that thou hold thy peace concerning them untill ye have received them them I give unto you a commandment that ye shall teach them unto all men & they also shall be taught unto all Nations Kindreds Tongues & People thou shalt take the things which thou hast received which thou knowest to have been my law to be my law to govern my Church & he that doeth according to these things shall be saved & he that doeth them not shall be damned if he continue.  If thou shalt ask thou shalt receive Revelation upon Revelation knowledge upon knowledge that thou mayest know the mysteries & the peaceable things of the kingdom that which bringeth joy that which bringeth life eternal thou shalt ask & it shall be revealed unto you in mine own due time when the new Jerusalem shall be built & behold it shall come to pass that my servants shall be sent both to the east & to the west & to the north & to the south & even now let him that goeth to the east teach them that shall be converted to flee to the west & this in consequence of that which is to come on the Earth & of Secret combinations, Behold thou shalt observe all these things & great shall be thy reward thou shalt observe to keep they mysteries of the kingdom unto thyself for it is not given to the world to know the mysteries.

These laws which ye have received & shall hereafter receive shall be sufficient for you both here & in the new Jerusalem therefore he that lacketh knowledge let him ask of me & I will give him liberally & upbraid him not lift up your hearts & rejoice for unto you the kingdom has been given even so AMEN.  [End of John Whitmer handwriting.]”  (Zebedee Coltrin diary, LDS Archives)

23 Jan.:  Elder still considered part of A.P.?

“Commandment read and remarks made by bro. Edward Partridge concerning the duties of Priests Teachers and Deacons  their duties read by bro. John Whitmer from the Articles & Covenants  remarks by br John Corrill stating that the office of a Priest Teacher or Deacon to be as important as that of a High Priest.  Resolved therefore that there be no person ordained in the churches in the land of Zion to the office of Elder Priest Teacher or Deacon without the united voice of the Church in writing in which such individual resides.  The above resolution adopted by unanimous voice.” (Minutes of Conference 23-24 Jan., 1832, Independence, MO.  Oliver Cowdery, clerk.  Photograph of original minutes, RLDS Archives)

“Commandment read and remarks made by bro. Edward Partrage concerning the duties of Priests Teachers and deacons their duties read by bro. John Whitmer from the Articles and Covenants.  remarks by bro. John Carrell stating the office of a Priest Teacher of Deacon to be as important as that of a High Priest.  Resolved therefore that there be no person ordained in the churches in the land of Zion to the office of Elder Priest Teacher or Deacon without the united voice of the Church in writing in which such individual resides.”  (Proceedings of Jackson County conference, Jan. 23, 24 and 27, 1832.  Contained in letter from Oliver Cowdery to Joseph Smith, 28 Jan., 1832.  Original located in LDS Church Archives.  Reprinted in Cannon & Cook, The Far West Record, pp. 231-238) 

24/25 Jan.:  Joseph acknowledged Pres. of High Priesthood.

“I then returned to Hiram, united in the min[i]stry with Elder Lyman E. Johnson, and started for Lorain County, Ohio, where we preached in the regions around, until the general conference held in Amherst, Lorain Co., on the 25th of January.  At this conference, the Prophet Joseph was acknowledged President of the High Priesthood, and hands were laid on him by Elder Sidney Rigdon, who sealed upon his head the blessings which he had formerly received.  I was appointed to preside over the Elders and was set apart and ordained [!] by Sidney Rigdon.”  (Orson Pratt diary, 25 Jan., 1832) 

“At a conference held in Amherst, Lorain County, Ohio, on January 24, 1832, Joseph Smith was sustained and ordained as ‘President of the High Priesthood,’ meaning president of the priesthood.  The following March, he learned (in an unpublished revelation) that the office of President of the High Priesthood is vested with the authority to preside, with the assistance of counselors, over all the concerns of the Church.  On March 8, 1831, the Prophet selected and ordained Jesse Gause and Sidney Rigdon as his counselors.  Sidney Rigdon probably served as first counselor and Jesse Gause as second counselor.  After the latter, a convert from the Shaker religion, denied the faith and was excommunicated on December 3, 1832, Frederick G. Williams was called to serve as counselor in the presidency.

Various revelations recorded by Joseph Smith in the early 1830s clearly identified the First Presidency (a term used in 1835 to identify the presidency over the entire Church and not just the priesthood) as the supreme authority in the Church.  In a revelation recorded in March 1832, the Saints learned that the keys of the kingdom belong always to ‘the Presidency of the High Priesthood.’  One year after the presidency of the High Priesthood had been organized, the Prophet received a revelation, dated March 8, 1833, asserting that this body was ‘to preside in council, and set in order all the affairs’ of the Church.  The revelation on priesthood recorded in 1835 further identified the authority and responsibilities of the First Presidency.  ‘Three Presiding High Priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office and upheld by the confidence, faith, and prayer of the church, form a quorum of the Presidency of the Church.’  The First Presidency ‘have a right to officiate in all the offices in the church, . . . for this is the highest council of the church of God,’ with authority to render ‘a final decision upon controversies in spiritual matters.’  The Church also learned by revelation that bishops must be approved by the First Presidency and shall be tried for alleged offenses before this quorum.

Although Joseph Smith was told by revelation that the quorum of the First Presidency was to be comprised of three men, prior to that date he had established a precedent of calling, in addition to the first and second counselors, ‘assistant presidents’ and other counselors.  This practice continued after the revelation was received, indicating that he, Brigham Young, and other presidents of the Church recognized the propriety of occasionally calling more than two counselors to assist the President.  On December 5, 1834, for example, Oliver Cowdery was called to serve as ‘assistant president,’ and the following day Joseph Smith, Sr., and Hyrum Smith were appointed as counselors.  Oliver Cowdery’s role was typified as one of ‘joint leadership,’ and all three men served as counselors to the Prophet.”  (Backman, The Heavens Resound, pp. 241-242)

11 Feb.:  “Whoever joins will become a prest.”

“. . . As it Respects Religion in this Town thare is Considerable Stir at Present[.]  Joseph Smith & Sidney Rigden is the head men in this business[.]  there god is the Devil[.]  none but the Simple will embrace there Doctrin[.]  if you Could tend one of there meetings & see the young girles have visions it would put you in mind of the [Doggy? Story?]  I herd you tell, it is paid not attention to only By those that are possessed of weak minds[.]  I understood that Jared Carter was in Benson & had Baptised A number and would Starte for the Promust land in the Spring[.]  it is nothing mor than I Should expet of the Carters & some oths in that part of Town of Benson[.]  whoever joins them will become A Prest or prophet or prophetess[.]  I would Send you A paper that Contains A letter written by the Rev. E. Boothe[.]  I will send you the letters & you may survie them and Sattisfy your Silf Mr. Booth went to the Promust land. . . .”  (Wesley Perkins {Lorain County, Ohio} to Jacob Perkins {Orwell, Vermont}, 11 Feb., 1832.  Original in BYU Library.)

14 Feb.:  Account of Jos. Brackenbury’s death, etc.

The Wayne Sentinel, Palmyra, N.Y., Tuesday, February 14, 1832, vol. IX, no. 22, whole no. 438.

“Mormonism.–This moral pest is increasing.  We gather from the N. Y. Papers, that some miserable fanatics who profess the doctrines of that novel sect, have made a few converts in Pomfret, Chautauque county N.Y.  One of their number died, and the night after his burial, a party of ‘resurrection men’ were disturbed while disinterring the deceased, and one of the offenders taken and bound over for trial.–The editor of the Censor gives a very flattering account of the intellectual endowments of the community in which he resides, when he says, the Mormonites have selected ‘a suitable field for operation, where nothing is too absurd to gain credence.'”  {An exchange item.}  (DALE MORGAN – “THE MORMONS AND THE FAR WEST:  A collection of transcripts of newspaper articles on the Mormons, also containing material on the following subjects:  the opening of the West; the fur trade; Indians of the middle and south-western states; the Santa Fe trade, etc.  1809-c.1857.”  Huntington Library)

“Later in the fall my brothers came from Ohio to see us and bear their testimony, and were accompanied by Almon W. Babbitt, then not seventeen years of age.  They bore a faithful testimony, but neither of them seemed capable of teaching in a public capacity.  As a family we were being converted to the truth, when unexpectedly there came to us Elders James Brackinbury and Jabez Durfee.  Elder Brackinbury was a capable man and a great reasoner, and the Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon him, confirming the words we had already received.  My mother, and Lyman R. Sherman, my brother-in-law, were soon baptized, shortly followed by the baptism of all my brothers and sisters who had attained their majority.  At this time my father was employed upon job work as a carpenter in Fredonia and not being inclined to accept the gospel, would not permit us minor children to receive our baptism.  My mother, brothers, sisters, brother-in-law and neighbors who were now in the church had always been esteemed among the most eminent in religious society, and the news spreading around, the priests began to howl about Faith, Prophets, and Delusion, and to do all possible to turn us away from the truth, calling publicly for ‘signs,’ etc., asking why my sister Nancy, who then walked upon crutches, was not healed?  But upon the subject of her being healed I have written more fully in ‘Faith Promoting Series.’

All my father’s family, except himself, now believed, and with many of our neighbors had obeyed the gospel, except those under age.  And now it seemed as though Satan was permitted to try both our faith and our fortitude, for after a few weeks of the most powerful and successful preaching, in the midst of ridicule, scoffing and persecution, Elder Brackinbury was taken sick and within a few days died.  Our enemies now felt they had a great triumph; for where now were the gifts of the gospel when our strongest man could die, and my sister, though she had embraced the gospel, was yet upon her crutches?  These things seemed at the time a great trial, yet in no degree did it dampen the faith of any, and while listening to the ravings of our enemies, the truth, with the love of it, became the more deeply planted in my heart.

The evening after the funeral and burial of Elder Brackinbury all were gathered at my mother’s with the feeling of mourning, and praying together.  Late in the evening my brother David felt troubled in mind, and when interrogated, said our enemies were then digging up the body of Elder Brackinbury.  They soon started to the graveyard, which was about one mile distant, and on their approach found a party of men around, and one in the grave just ready to remove the body.  They instantly fled and were pursued by my brothers and friends.  My brother David captured a large and powerful young man, older than himself, and nearly double his size, who was brought before a magistrate, and bound over to appear at the next term of the court.”  (Benjamin F. Johnson, My Life’s Review, n.p., n.d.; pp. 12-13)

8 Mar.:  1st Presidency constituted.

On March 8, 1832, [Jesse] Gause was called to be the Second Counselor to Joseph Smith in what would become the First Presidency.  The official record stated that on that day Smith “ordained brother Jesse Gause and Brother Sidney to be my councellors [sic] of the ministry of the presidency of the high Priesthood” (“Far West Record,” 10).  In the manuscript copies of the revelation appointing Gause as a counselor, his name has been crossed out and Frederick G. Williams’ name inserted in its place.  All published copies of the revelation, however, have failed to note that revision.  (F. Mark McKiernan and Roger D. Launius, eds., An Early Latter Day Saint History:  The Book of John Whitmer, Kept by Commandment, p. 86)

“Chose this day and ordained brother Jesse Gause and Broth Sidney to be my councellors of the ministry of the presidency of the high Priesthood.”  (Kirtland Revelation Book, p. 10; quoted in BYU Studies 15(3):363, Spring, 1975)

12 Mar.:  Sealing power of High Priesthood.

“I at length went to Hiram [Ohio] to the Seer to inquire the will of the Lord concerning my ministry the ensuing season; and the word of the Lord came forth that showed that it was his will that I should go forth to the Eastern countries in the power of the ordinance wherewith I had been ordained, which was to the high privilege of administering in the name of Jesus Christ even to seal on earth and to build up the Church of Christ and to work miracles in the name of Christ.”  (Jared Carter diary, 12 Mar., 1832.  In Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 169)

23 Mar.:  Account of Jos. Brackenbury’s death, etc.

Burlington Sentinel, Burlington, Vt., Friday, March 23, 1832, vol. XXII, no. 12.

“Death of a Mormon Preacher.–Died, in Pomfret, Vt., on Saturday, 7th inst., Joseph H. Brackenbury, a ‘Mormon Preacher.’  He recently came to this town from Ohio, in company with one or two individuals of the same society.–They preached, exhorted, and with great zeal and apparent humility, attempted to propagate their doctrines.  Two or three embraced their sentiments so far as to be baptized–one a Free Will Baptist, and the other a Presbyterian.

In confirmation of their doctrines and divine mission, they professed to have power to heal the sick and raise the dead.  It is credibly reported, that they attempted twice, without effect, to heal a Miss Nancy Johnson, made a cripple by falling from a horse.  She was not healed, for lack of faith; but started for Ohio with the Mormons, to obtain more.  The company of Brackenbury attempted also to heal him, and since his disease [sic], to raise him from the dead.”  {Evidently an exchange item.}  (DALE MORGAN – “THE MORMONS AND THE FAR WEST:  A collection of transcripts of newspaper articles on the Mormons, also containing material on the following subjects:  the opening of the West; the fur trade; Indians of the middle and south-western states; the Santa Fe trade, etc.  1809-c.1857.”  Huntington Library)  [The same article was reprinted in the Ohio Star, Ravenna Ohio, 12 Apr., 1832]

Mar.:  Joseph authorized to choose counselors in 1st Pres.

“An unpublished revelation to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, dated in Marcy 1832, had authorized Joseph Smith to appoint an unspecified number of counselors to assist ‘the presidency of the high Priesthood.’  [the following is the footnote to this text:]

Revelation to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, manuscript in Newel K. Whitney Family papers, Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; a notation on the back of the document states that the revelation was given in ‘March 1832.’  The library catalogue card for the document, however, states that the revelation was given 7 January 1832.  The source of the latter date cannot presently be verified.  Since the revelation speaks of ‘the office of the presidency of the high Priesthood’ as though it has already been established, the revelation probably was given after 25 January 1832, when Joseph Smith was sustained in that position.  Therefore, the March date, although imprecise, seems to be the more likely one.”

(D. Michael Quinn, “The Evolution of the Presiding Quorums of the LDS Church,” Journal of Mormon History 1:21-38, 1974)

Mar.:  Duty of Bishops.

“Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servent Sidney and Joseph I reveal unto you for your own prophet and instruction concerning the Bishops of my church what is their duty in the church behold it is their duty to stand in the office of their Bishoprick and to fill the judgement seat which I have appointed unto them to administer the benefits of the church or the overpluss of all who are in their stweardships according to the commandments as they are severly appointed and the property or that which they receive of the church is not their own but belongeth to the church wherefore it is the property of the Lord and it is for the poor of the church to be administered according to the law for it is the will of the Lord that the church should be made equal in all things wherefore the bishops are accountable before the Lord for their stewardship to administer of their stewardship in the which they are appointed by commandment jointly with you my servents unto the Lord as well as you my servents or the rest of the church that the benefits of all may be dedicated unto the Lord that the Lords storehouse may be filled always that ye may all grow in temporal as well as spiritual things and now verily I say unto you the bishops must needs be seperated unto their bishopricks and judgement seats from care of business but not from claim neither from council wherefore I have given unto you commandment that you should be joined together by covenant and bond wherefore see that ye do even as I have commanded and unto the office of the presidency of the high Priesthood I have given authority to preside with the assistence of his councellers over all the concerns of the church wherefore stand ye fast claim your Priesthood in authority yet in meekness and I am able to make you abound and be fruitfull and you shall never fall for unto you I have given the keys of the kingdom and if you transgress not they shall never be taken from you.  wherefore feed my sheep even so amen.”  (Unpublished revelation, March, 1832; #20, in MSS 76, Newel K. Whitney Papers, Special Collections, BYU; also a copy at HDC, Ms d 4583 fd 80)

late Mar.:  Council organized to try Sidney Rigdon.

“[This was shortly after the tarring and feathering of Joseph and Sidney at Hiram, Ohio.]  Sidney Rigdon went immediately to Kirtland, but Joseph remained at Father Johnson’s to finish his preparations for a journey, which he contemplated making to Missouri.  Immediately after Sidney’s arrival at Kirtland, we met for the purpose of holding a prayer-meeting, and, as Sidney had not been with us for some time, we hoped to hear from him upon this occasion.  We waited a long time before he made his appearance; at last he came in, seemingly much agitated.  he did not go to the stand, but began to pace back and forth through the house.  My husband said, ‘Brother Sidney, we would like to hear a discourse from you to-day.’  Brother Rigdon replied, in a tone of excitement, ‘The keys of the kingdom are rent from the church, and there shall not be a prayer put up in this house this day.’  ‘Oh! no,’ said Mr. Smith, ‘I hope not.’  ‘I tell you they are,’ rejoined Elder Rigdon, ‘and no man or woman shall put up a prayer in this place to-day.’

This greatly disturbed the minds of many sisters, and some brethren.  The brethren stared and turned pale, and the sisters cried, Sister Howe, in particular, was very much terrified; ‘Oh, dear me!’ said she, ‘what shall we do? what shall we do?  The keys of the kingdom are taken from us, and what shall we do?’  ‘I tell you again,’ said Sidney, with much feeling, ‘the keys of the kingdom are taken from you, and you never will have them again until you build me a new house.’

Hyrum was vexed at this frivolous nonsense, and, taking his hat, he went out of the house, saying, ‘I’ll put a stop to this fuss, pretty quick; I’m going for Joseph.’

‘Oh, don’t,’ said Sister Howe, ‘for pity’s sake, don’t go for him.  Brother Sidney says the keys of the kingdom are taken from us, and where is the use of bringing Joseph here.’

Hyrum took a horse, and went immediately to Father Johnson’s, for Joseph.  He arrived there in the afterpart of the night, and having aroused Joseph, he said, ‘You must go straight with me to Kirtland; we are having terrible times there, and I want you to come up and see to things.’  Joseph being informed of the precise situation of affairs, he got a horse of Father Johnson, and started without delay, with Hyrum, for Kirtland.  On his arrival there, the brethren were collected for meeting.  Joseph went upon the stand, and informed the brethren that they were under a great mistake, that the church had not transgressed; ‘And, as for the keys of the kingdom,’ said he, ‘I, myself, hold the keys of this last dispensation, and will for ever hold them, both in time and in eternity; so set your hearts at rest upon that point, all is right.’

He then went on and preached a comforting discourse, after which he appointed a council to sit the next day, by which Sidney was tried, for having lied in the name of the Lord.  In this council Joseph told him he must suffer for what he had done, that he should be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan, who would handle him as one man handleth another, that the less priesthood he had the better it would be for him, and that it would be well for him to give up his license.”  (Lucy Mack Smith history, 1853 edition, chapter 42; Lamoni reprint, pp. 237-239)

11 Apr.:  Account of Jos. Brackenbury’s death, etc.

The Wayne Sentinel, Palmyra, N.Y., Wednesday, April 11, 1832, vol. IX, no. 30, whole no. 446.

“Death of a Morman [sic] Preacher.–Died, in Pomfret, Vt. on Saturday, 7th inst., Joseph H. Brackenbury, a ‘Mormon Preacher.’–He recently emigrated from Ohio, in company with one or two individuals of the same society.  They preached, exhorted, and with great zeal and apparent humility, attempted to propagate their doctrines.–Two or three embraced their sentiments as far as to be baptized–one a Free Will Baptist, and an other a Presbyterian.  In confirmation of their doctrine and divine mission, they professed to have power to heal the sick and raise the dead.  It is reported, that they attempted twice without effect, to heal a Miss Nancy Johnson, made a cripple by falling from a horse.  She was not healed, for lack of faith; but started for Ohio with the Mormons, to obtain more.–The company of Brackenbury, attempted also to heal him, and since his decease, to raise him from the dead.”  {an exchange item.}  (DALE MORGAN – “THE MORMONS AND THE FAR WEST:  A collection of transcripts of newspaper articles on the Mormons, also containing material on the following subjects:  the opening of the West; the fur trade; Indians of the middle and south-western states; the Santa Fe trade, etc.  1809-c.1857.”  Huntington Library)

18 Apr.:  The Mormon preacher says he will never die.

The Wayne Sentinel, Palmyra, N.Y., Wednesday, April 18, 1832, vol. IX, no. 30, whole no. 447.

“A Rochester paper mentions that Mormonism has taken ‘deep root’ in a certain church in the town of Mendon, Monroe county.  ‘The preacher says he shall never die, but be translated, after the manner of Enoch, and that in eighteen months Mormonism will be the prevailing religion; and that in five years, the wicked are to be swept from the face of the earth.'”  (DALE MORGAN – “THE MORMONS AND THE FAR WEST:  A collection of transcripts of newspaper articles on the Mormons, also containing material on the following subjects:  the opening of the West; the fur trade; Indians of the middle and south-western states; the Santa Fe trade, etc.  1809-c.1857.”  Huntington Library)

23/29 Apr.:  “Recommendation for Zion.”

“we sent Br Preed field to Hiram with the coppy of the Covenent and recomendation for the Church which they rejected & would not sign it there fore they have gone with out any recomendation to Zion for which we fear the Lord will not be well pleased with them.”  (Reynolds Cahoon diaries, 1831-32; LDS Archives, Ouellette–he places this between 23 and 29 Apr., 1832)

26 Apr.:  1st mention by name of “high priests”?

“Independence April 26. 1832.

Met in Council.

               High Priests Present

     Joseph Smith, jr         John Corrill

     Sidney Rigdon            Isaac Morley

     Jesse Gauss”

(Far West Record 26 Apr., 1832) 

26 Apr.:  No office of President of Church yet.

“Joseph Smith Jr. acknowledged by the High Priests in the land of Zion to be President of the High Priesthood, according to commandment and ordination in Ohio, at the Conference held in Amherst January 25, 1832.”  [Note:  At this time, this was the highest office in the Church.]  (Far West Record, 26 Apr., 1832)

“On the 26th, I called a general council of the Church, and was acknowledged as the President of the High Priesthood, according to a previous ordination at a conference of High Priests, Elders and members, held at Amherst, Ohio, on the 25th of January, 1832.  The right hand of fellowship was given to me by the Bishop, Edward Partridge, in behalf of the Church.”  (HC 1:267)

7 May:  1st case of rebaptism?

“The earliest known case in which a person was rebaptized because he felt that he had faltered in his original baptismal commitments was on 7 May 1832.  On that date David Johnson requested and received rebaptism because he ‘had lived unworthy of the communion of the Sacrament,’ and also because the man who had baptized him had been subsequently excommunicated.”  (D. Michael Quinn, “The Practice of Rebaptism at Nauvoo,” BYU Studies 18(2):227, Winter, 1978; quoting from Journal of Jared Carter, 1831-1833, p. 66, 7 May, 1832, HDC)

7 Jul.:  Rigdon attempts to take over Church.

“Elders Reynolds Cahoon writes that at a meeting held in Kirtland, Ohio, on this day [7 Jul.] Sidney Rigdon remarked that he had received a revelation from God to the effect that the kingdom was taken from the Church and left with him {Rigdon}.  (Reynolds Cahoon journal)”  (JH 7 Jul., 1832)

8 Jul.:  Joseph thwarts Rigdon’s attempted takeover.

“Elder Hyrum Smith went after Pres. Joseph Smith jun. and when he arrived in Kirtland he declared that the kingdom belonged to the Saints and should not be taken from the faithful.  (Reynolds Cahoon journal.)”  (JH 8 Jul., 1832)

Jul.:  What about deacons?

“And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church, shall teach the Scriptures which are in the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fulness of the Gospel; and they shall observe the Covenants and church Articles to do them; and this shall be their teachings. . . .

The priests and teachers, shall have their stewardship given them even as they members; and the elders are to assist the bishop in all things, and he is to see that their families are supported out of the property which is consecrated to the Lord, either a stewardship, or otherwise, as may be thought best by the elders & bishop.”  (“Extract from the Laws for the Government of the Church of Christ,” E&MS Jul., 1832)

28 Jul.:  Rigdon ordained to High Priesthood 2nd time.

“Saturday the 28th [Jul.] 1832 Brother Sidney was ordaind to the high priesthood the second time.”  (Hyrum Smith, 28 Jul., 1832; Hyrum Smith diaries, 1831-1844, MS 9476, LDS Archives; Barney)

12 Aug.:  Preached sermon on the Priesthood.

“Sunday, met the people at the Mechanic’s Hall, a large congregation came out, some from Salem, and paid good attention.  Had the greatest liberty and freedom of speech that I have had since I left Kirtland; subject was the ‘Priesthood’ – spoke about two hours.”  (Orson Hyde diary, 12 Aug., 1832; Microfilm of typescript, from Bancroft Library.)

15 Sep.:  No Elders quorums yet.

“Met in Council September 15. 1832 to choose an Elder to be a President over the Elders in Zion.

Opened in prayer by br Calvin Bebee.  Then proceeded chose & Elected br. Christian Whitmer to be our President.”  (Far West Record, 15 Sep., 1832)

Fall:  Gift of tongues given.

“And it came to pass that in the fall of the year 1832, the disciples at Ohio received the gift of tongues, and in June 1833 we received the gift of tongues in Zion.”  (John Whitmer, History, Chapter 10)

2 Oct.:  Reordination.

“Br. Phelps motioned that br. Ziba Peterson’s case should be taken in consideration, after some conversation & examination br. John Corrill motioned that he be reordained and Elder; seconded by Christian Whitmer.  Voted that he should be reordained to the office of an Elder by br. Lyman Wight.”  (Far West Record, 2 Oct., 1832)

5 Oct.:  Desiring office of High Priest.

“Query, What is the duty of the High Priests.

Are the High priests in the land of Zion required to meet as Elders in the three month Conference according to the Articles & Covenants to do Church business.

Is the council of Elders where the president of the Elders resides to teach them their duty the same as the three month conference mentioned in the Covenants.

Moved by br. Wm. E. Mc.lellin that certain Elders present should express their minds concerning ordination to the High Priesthood.  brs. Calvin Bebee & Peter Dustin desired the office & were ordained under the hand of br. Oliver Cowdery.”  (Far West Record, 5 Oct., 1832) 

12 Oct.:  None have been raised from the dead.

“Sir,–Dwelling as I do among a people called Mormonites, and on the very land which they sometimes call Mount Zion, at other times the New Jerusalem; and where, at no distant period, they expect the re-appearing of the Lord Jesus to live and reign with them on earth a thousand years,–I have thought perhaps it might be a part of duty to inform those who may feel interested in relation to this subject, that although there has, from first to last, four or five hundred Mormonites in all–men, women, and children–arrived at this place, yet there is no appearance here different from that of other wicked places.  The people eat and drink, and some get drunk, suffer pain and disease, live and die like other people, the Mormons themselves not excepted.  They declare there can be no true church where the gift of miracles, of tongues, of healing, &c. are not exhibited and continued.  Several of the, however, have died, yet none have been raised from the dead.  And the sick, unhappily, seem not to have faith to be healed of their diseases.  One woman I am told, declared in her sickness, with much confidence, that she should not die, but here live and reign with Christ a thousand years; but unfortunately she died, like other people, three days after.  They tell indeed of working miracles, healing the sick, &c. &c.  These things, however, are not seen to be done, but only said to be done.  People therefore who set their faces for the Mount Zion of the West, (which by the by is on a site of ground not much elevated,) must calculate on being disappointed, if they believe all that is said of the place, or expect much above what is common in any new country of the West.

. . . .

They profess to hold frequent converse with angels; some go, if we may believe what they say, as far as the third heaven, and converse with the Lord Jesus face to face.  They baptize, saying, ‘I, John, the Messenger, baptize thee,’ &c.

More secretly, they are said to impart to their converts the gift of the Holy Ghost.  They profess to know where the ark of the covenant, Aaron’s rod, the pot of Manna, &c. &c. now remain hid.  They who can believe all this, will no doubt expect a Saviour soon, and without hesitation will worship the first object that may be proclaimed and presented to them for that purpose.”  (B. Pixley, letter of 12 Oct., 1831; published in Journal and Telegraph [Albany, NY, 4:207, 17 Nov., 1832]; reprinted in part in “The Mormons,” Mormon List Twenty-Seven, Rick Grunder Books, Feb., 1988, item #33.; also published in The Standard [Cincinnati], 30 Nov., 1832, from which the above expanded version was copied.)

ca. Nov.:  Priesthood in Joseph’s 1832 history.

“Firstly he receiving the testamony from on high seccondly the ministering of Angels thirdly the reception of the holy Priesthood by the ministring of Aangels to administer the letter of the Gospel–the Law and commandments as they were given unto him–and the ordinencs, forthly a confirmation and reception of the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit.”  (Joseph Smith, 1832 History) 

3 Dec.:  Deacons still not part of the mainstream.

“Resolved that the Highpriests meet alone except when the Elders, Priests Teachers or members shall have business at conference & this according to Revelation.”  (Far West Record, 3 Dec., 1832)

5 Dec.: Ordained an Elder according to his desires.

“The conference held in Kirtland on the 5 day of December 1832 decided that Broth. Horace Kingsbury should be ordained an Elder in the Church of Christ according to his desires;  accordingly it was done by the hand of Broth. John B. Green [?] on the 7th day of Dec. 1832.”  (Kirtland High Council Minutes, 5 Dec., 1832)

27 Dec.:  Solemn Assembly.

“Reference to a solemn assembly, D&C 88:70, called the elders ‘to tarry in this place, and call a solemn assembly.’  Those to be invited to this solemn meeting were called the ‘first laborers,’ (also known as ‘first elders’) of this ‘last kingdom’–namely, the leading brethren of the Church.  The solemn assembly was intended to be another day of Pentecost for the latter-day elders.  An ‘endowment’ of spiritual power was to be poured out upon the faithful at the assembly–but much preparation was to precede the occasion.  First the elders were to be schooled both spiritually and secularly; later they were to be washed and anointed to cleanse them from the sins of the world.  The final preparation, the ordinance of washing of feet, was to occur on the day of the sacred meeting when the righteous would see the face of the Lord.”  (Lyndon Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 182)

29 Dec.: Surrender of license for failure to perform.

 “This day Brother Calvin Stodard came forward and gave up his Licence to the Bishop and confessed that he had not magnified his office but had transgressed and been out of the way.”  (Kirtland High Council Minutes, 29 Dec., 1832)

n.d. (1832):  Failure to walk on water.

“The above account may not be sufficiently condensed to be of use to you, but perhaps you can gain from it something of interest concerning the ‘first appearance’ of the Mormon Prophet Joe Smith, and his able assistant, Sidney Rigdon.  Perhaps you have read of the Prophet’s attempt to ‘walk on the water'(?)  There was a shallow place in the river there, where he was to perform the miracle.  A moonlight eve was chosen, a crowd had collected.  Smith started boldly out for a few feet–when his faith–or something, failed and down he sank.  Some wicked (?) one had removed the support at that place–of the plank he had placed just under the surface of the water.  He never made the attempt again here–but any way, he had his first baptism in Kirtland.  The above Respectfully submitted by–

Lucia A. Goldsmith”  (Lucia A. Goldsmith, “Sidney Rigdon, the first Mormon Elder,” {letter, holograph}.  Western Reserve Historical Society, [#Mss v.f. G])

“Mr. Arial Hanson, my father-in-law, was postmaster and Justice of the Peace at Kirtland during the growth and decline of Mormonism there, and lived near neighbor to Joseph Smith, Jr.  He necessarily had much to do with the leaders, and knew them thoroughly.  I learned much of their character and their acts from many neighbors and acquaintances of the Mormons, especially from mother Hanson who spent the last years of her widowhood in my family.  Some persons who were personally acquainted with Smith, Rigdon, Harris and other Mormon leaders, are still living.  In the summer of 1901 I visited some of these living witnesses at their homes in Willoughby, about three miles from Kirtland.  These octogenarians are in good health and of unimpared mind and memory.  I requested Mr. Joel Miller to relate to me some of his experiences with the Mormons, especially what he knew of Joseph Smith’s pretended miracles.  This he very willingly did.  He said that he and his brother and other young men attended Mormon meetings in Kirtland and elsewhere; that it was a time of great fanatical excitement, that under Mormon preaching many would fall and have violent contortions.  But what impressed him most was the attempt to deceive the people by pretended miracles.  Smith had announced in a meeting that on a certain evening he would walk on the water.  ‘On the evening appointed,’ said Mr. Miller, ‘we boys went direct from a Mormon meeting to the creek just below the bridge, where there was a deep pool.  A vast concourse of people had gathered on the bridge and the banks of the south fork of the stream.  I secured a favorable position but a few rods from the shore.  The Mormons stood together on the opposite shore with their torches.  Joseph the prophet appeared, dressed in a long white robe, and with only his feet submerged, slowly walked forth talking constantly about the power of faith, until he fell into the water.  The Mormons hastened to help him out, while the spectators jeered and swung their hats in derision.  When the prophet walked up the bank in his bedraggled robe, he raised his hands and exclaimed with a loud voice, “Oh ye of little faith.”‘  The old gentleman, in describing this ludicrous scene in his plain, natural manner, laughed heartily, and said it so impressed his mind that it seemed as if it were but yesterday.

Mr. F. J. Goldsmith made a statement, sworn to, similar to the above, adding that his father and Grandison Newell of Mentor, paid John A. Eddy one dollar a night to watch the Mormons, and that Joe Smith, Rigdon, Brigham Young and William Aldrich, worked half the night before, and drove forked stakes in the river in the form of a horseshoe, and placed green sycamore slabs which would sink in the water on the crotched stakes.  ‘After they had left,’ Mr. Eddy said, ‘I removed one of the slabs near the centre. . . . Joe walked some distance, turned and walked backwards, and where the slab had been removed, went in all over.'”

(A. C. Williams:  Holographic manuscript, “Mormonism.”  In A. C. Williams Papers, ca. 1888-1903 [Mss. 593], Western Reserve Historical Society.  [Note that this manuscript formed the basis of a letter to William Paden, Salt Lake City, on 9 Mar., 1903, a copy of which is in the same manuscript file.  This would place the dating of this manuscript between Summer, 1901 and 9 Mar., 1903.])

n.d. (1832):  Failure to raise the dead.

“At another time, in 1832, it was announced that on a certain Sunday Joseph would heal the sick and revive the dead.  Mr. Joel Miller was present, and in his statement to me he said he never had seen so many people together before, as had gathered together on the hillside back of the house of Isaac Morley.  ‘Rigdon came out of the house and said there would be no service that day,’ said Mr. Miller, ‘and the spectators were boisterous in expressing their disappointment.’  I have the testimony of others who say that a girl two years old, daughter of John Gould who had recently joined the Mormons, lay upon a bed, apparently in a deep stupor, and that some of the citizens examined the child before its flesh was cold, but found that it was lifeless, and declared at once that the child had evidently been given opium or some such drug for a purpose, and overdosed.  The statement we have of members of Mr. Gould’s family leaves no doubt but that there was an attempt to deceive the public and claim a restoration to life by the prophet when the effect of the soporific passed off.  [Here he later pencilled in a note to see “Naked Truths,” p. 3]  I knew a very prominent citizen of Mentor  who entered the house and examined the lifeless body while it was still warm, and declared it a deliberate attempt to deceive.  This was at the house of Isaac Morley whose wife was a relation of father Hanson, but she never became a Mormon.  It was at this house that the Mormons met and organized the Church of Latter-Day Saints.  [Does he mean that this was where the name of the Church was changed?]

At a meeting of Mormons in the Temple the evening before Smith and Rigdon fled from Kirtland to avoid arrest for fraud, Jan. 12, 1838, many of the members including officers of high standing in the church, denounced Smith as an impostor, and Mr. John Gould, the father of the girl who had been doped to death, shook his clenched fist in Smith’s face.  This is testified to by ex-Mormons.  This meeting is referred to by Linn, p. 159.”  (A. C. Williams:  Holographic manuscript, “Mormonism.”  In A. C. Williams Papers, ca. 1888-1903 [Mss. 593], Western Reserve Historical Society.

[Note that this manuscript formed the basis of a letter to William Paden, Salt Lake City, on 9 Mar., 1903, a copy of which is in the same manuscript file.  This would place the dating of this manuscript between Summer, 1901 and 9 Mar., 1903.])

“The Mormons announced on a certain day at my husbands uncle Isaac Morleys house they would raise the dead.  Prophet Jo made protracted efforts to restore to conciousness a child they had administered an overdose of a soporific but failed.  The child died and was buried.”  (n.a., n.d. – Author of holograph letter says she is daughter of Rev. E. A. Ward; that her husband’s uncle was Isaac Morley; and that she resided in Kirtland all the time the Mormons were there.  Copy of letter in Western Reserve Historical Society Archives.)

ca. 1832:  Hierarchy of priesthood.

“[Speaking of his removal to Jackson County, ca. 1832-33]  And here we had the privilege of meeting under a new scene of things opened to our view.  Or that which was different from any we had been accustomed too.  For we beheld here, the first high Priesthood, Secondly, the Elders, Thirdly the Aronic Or the lesser Priesthood fourthly the teachers and fifthly the Deacons.  We began to see the Same Order that was in ancient days.”  (David Pettigrew Autobiography, 1840-1857; MS 2282, Fd 1, LDS Archives; Barney)