Mormon History 1830-1844

Beliefs & Practices

Minutes of August 11, 1834
Sylvester Smith's accuses Joseph Smith of "criminal conduct" during Zion's Camp. Joseph is exonerated. A notice from the high council and Sylvester's confession to be published in the Evening and Morning Star.
Date   August 11, 1834  
Kirtland High Council Minutes &#40;December 1832&#45;November 1837&#41;. <I>Selected Collections</i>, 1:19 // <i>New Mormon Studies CD&#45;ROM</i>. Original, Church Archives, MS 3432.
')" onmouseout="kill()" target="_blank" class="ref">Kirtland council, 52–55.
Location   School house, Kirtland, Ohio.  
Description   … a number of high priests and elders of the church of the Latter-Day Saints assembled …  
Presiding/Moderator   [Joseph Smith Jr.], then Newel K. Whitney    
Clerk   Oliver Cowdery    
Purpose   … for the purpose of investigating a matter of difficulty growing out of certain reports or statements made by brother Sylvester Smith, one of the High counsellors of this Church, accusing brother Joseph Smith Junr. with criminal conduct during his journey to and from Missouri this Spring & Summer.   ¶ Argument to Argument

Joseph Smith

Sylvester's jealousy
  After coming to order, brother Joseph Commenced and spake to a considerable length upon the circumstances of their journey to and from Missouri, and very minutely laid open the causes out of which the Gealousies of brother Sylvesters and others had grown,   Joseph was furious. ¶ Joseph Smith to Leaders in Clay County
Rebukes, distribution of money   He made a satisfactory statement concerning his rebukes and chastisements upon Sylvester and others, and also the distribution of monies and other properties, calling on brethren present who accompanied him to attest to the same. All of which, was satisfactory to the brethren present as appeared by their own remarks afterward.  
Sylvester Smith on difficulties, partial confession   Sylvester comments on "their difficulties" and begins a "partial confession for his previous conduct, asking forgiveness for accusing brother Joseph publicly on the Saturday previous of prophesying lies in the name of the Lord, and for abusing (as he had said,) his (Sylvester,s) character, before the brethren while journeying to the West."   ¶ Heber's Accounts of Zion's Camp

Sylvester,s: comma correct
Sidney Rigdon   Sidney reproves Sylvester's conduct.  
Others   John P. Greene and others speak, then Oliver.   Original: Green throughout
Organize council   [On Sidney's motion,] the assembly arranged itself into a council, brother N. K. Whitney presiding and proceded to discuss how this [53] difficulty should be disposed of.  
John Smith, Reynolds Cahoon calls for public confession   John Smith: "the way to heal the wound" would be for Sylvester to "make a public confession" in the Evening and Morning Star. Reynolds Cahoon concurs.  
Isaac Hill, I. Bishop wants to quash it   Isaac Hill: "it ought to be quashed here, and go no farther." Elder I. Bishop concurs.  
Samuel H. Smith calls for confession   Samuel H. Smith: Sylvester should "make a more public confession, and send by letter to those who are in the same transgression with himself. and inform them of this decision, and then if necessary. make it public in the Star."  
Orson Hyde wants confession published   Orson Hyde: the confession should be "as liberal as the accusation, or that it ought to be written and published."
John P. Greene speaks for the sake of the branches   John P. Greene: if Sylvester "would view this thing in its proper light, he would be willing to make a public confession and send [it] forth, and he advised him to do this for the salvation of the Churches abroad."    
Isaac Story wants confession published   [Isaac Story:] the plaster ought to be as large as the wound that a proper statement ought to be published abroad.  
Oliver Cowdery   Oliver Cowdery proposes the council send a notice to the churches abroad that:  
Notify branches Joseph cleared   the conduct of brother Joseph, has been investigated, and that he has acted in a proper manner. and in every respect has conducted himself to the satisfaction of the church in Kirtland. and also let brother Sylvester make a proper confession following the same minutes.    
Others   Amasa Lyman (h), Peter Shirts, Truman Wait, Roswell Evans, Alpheus Cutler, and Thomas Burdick agree.    
Sidney Rigdon on Sylvester's reputation   [Sidney:] made a few remarks upon the attitude in which, he, Sylvester now stands before the world, in endeavoring to preach the gospel.  
Orson Hyde calls the question   [54] [Orson Hyde] moved for a decision, relative to the first question, (viz.) What is to be done to arrest the evil?  
Newel K. Whitney   The moderator then proceeded, after a few remarks to give a decision according to a motion previously made (viz.)  
Decision: Joseph vindicted   that an article be published in the Evening & the morning Star, by the direction of the Council that the church in Kirtland has investigated the conduct of brother Joseph Smith Junr. while journeying to the West and returning, and that we find that he has acted in every respect in {the} <an> honorable and proper Manner with all monies and other properties entrusted to his charge.    
  A vote is taken "and carried."    
Committee   Orson Hyde moves, and Sidney seconds, that a committee of three be appointed to write the article for the Star. Oliver Cowdery, Thomas Burdick, and Orson Hyde are "nominated and appointed by a unanimous vote."    
Sylvester will confess   [Sylvester says:] that he was willing to publish a confession published in the Star.    
Letters to be sent   John P. Greene moves, and N. K. Whitney seconds, that the committee "write letters in the name of the council to bros Z. Snow. C. Snelling & J. P. Parker    
Close   Prayer by Sidney Rigdon.    

Minutes of August 21, 1834
Minutes of August 7, 1834
Ohio Minutes
Zion's Camp

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