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Annotated History of Joseph Smith Vol. 1 Chapter 25 [June 1833]


History of the Church, Vol. 1 Chapter 25 [June 1833] [1]

Preparation for Building the Kirtland Temple—Trial and Excommunication of "Doctor" Philastus Hurlburt.

[For Explanation of Abbreviations See Chapter 1.]

[Copyright © 2007 W. V. Smith and BOAP]

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June 1. Great preparations were making to commence a house of the Lord; and notwithstanding the Church was poor, yet our unity, harmony and charity abounded to strengthen us to do the commandments of God. The building of the house of the Lord in Kirtland was a matter that continued to increase in its interest in the hearts of the brethren, and the building committee issued the following circular to the different branches of the Church:[2]


Kirtland, June 1, 1833.

To the Church of Christ in

We feel under obligations to write to you as well as to all the brethren of the different branches; and we do this, that you, with us, may exert yourselves to bring about the fulfilment of the command of the Lord concerning the establishing, or preparing a house, wherein the Elders who have been commanded of the Lord so to do, may gather themselves together, and prepare all things, and call a solemn assembly, and treasure up words of wisdom, that they may go forth to the Gentiles for the last time; and now, in order to accomplish this, we are directed, yea, we are under the necessity, to call upon the whole Church as a body, that they make every possible exertion to aid temporally, as well as spiritually, in this great work that the Lord is beginning, and is about to accomplish. And unless we fulfil this command, viz: establish an house, and prepare all things necessary whereby the elders may gather into a school, called the School of the Prophets, and re-

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ceive that instruction which the Lord designs they should receive, we may all despair of obtaining the great blessing that God has promised to the faithful of the Church of Christ; therefore it is as important, as our salvation, that we obey this above-mentioned command, as well as all the commandments of the Lord.

Therefore, brethren, we write this epistle to you, to stir up your minds to make that exertion which the Lord requires of you, to lend a temporal aid in these things above written; and in order that you may know how to conduct the business, we will relate what we have done and are doing here.

We have met in conference, and agreed to form a subscription, and circulate it through the churches. The conference also appointed Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, and Jared Carter, a committee to superintend this business, viz: that of circulating subscriptions to establish a fund to build a house, and to aid the Elders to attend this school. The subscriptions are now in circulation among us, and our Heavenly Father is opening the hearts of our brethren beyond the expectation of many; and not one brother among us, as yet, refuses to exert himself to do something in a temporal way to bring about the establishing of this house and school; and we say, may our Heavenly Father open your hearts also, that you, with us, may gather together something to aid as a temporal benefit.

Probably you had better call the officers of the Church immediately together, and appoint someone to circulate a subscription that each individual, after signing, may have a sufficient time to make preparations to pay what he subscribes; for it will be necessary, wherever the brethren are at a distance from Kirtland, that they exert themselves to send on their gift or assistance as soon as they can to Kirtland; though they can, if they believe best, wait on those that sign until the first of September, and then collect and send it to Kirtland.

These considerations we have written to you, knowing it to be our duty thus to do, and may the Lord help you to exert yourselves with us, in raising the means to bring about the glorious work of the Lord; and may we all be kept by the grace of God unto eternal life. Amen.

Hyrum Smith,

Reynolds Cahoon,

Jared Carter,


The same day [June 1st] I received the following:

Revelation. [4] [D&C 95][5] [June 3, 1833?][6]

1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom

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I love I also chasten that their sins may be forgiven, for with the chastisement I prepare a way for their deliverance in all things out of temptation, and I have loved you—

2. Wherefore, ye must needs be chastened and stand rebuked before my face;

3. For ye have sinned against me a very grievous sin, in that ye have not considered the great commandment in all things, that I have given unto you concerning the building of mine house;

4. For the preparation wherewith I design to prepare mine apostles to prune my vineyard for the last time, that I may bring to pass my strange act, that I may pour out my Spirit upon all flesh—

5. But behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many who have been ordained among you, whom I have called but few of them are chosen.

6. They who are not chosen have sinned a very grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon-day.

7. And for this cause I gave unto you a commandment that you should call your solemn assembly, that your fastings and your mourning might come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, which is by interpretation, the creator of the first day, the beginning and the end.

8. Yea, verily I say unto you, I gave unto you a commandment that you should build a house, in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high;

9. For this is the promise of the Father unto you; therefore I command you to tarry, even as mine apostles at Jerusalem.

10. Nevertheless, my servants sinned a very grievous sin; and contentions arose in the school of the prophets; which was very grievous unto me, saith your Lord; therefore I sent them forth to be chastened.[7]

11. Verily I say unto you, it is my will that you should build a house. If you keep my commandments you shall have power to build it.

12. If you keep not my commandments, the love of the Father shall not continue with you, therefore you shall walk in darkness.

13. Now here is wisdom, and the mind of the Lord—let the house be built, not after the manner of the world, for I give not unto you that ye shall live after the manner of the world;

14. Therefore, let it be built after the manner which I shall show unto three of you, whom ye shall appoint and ordain unto this power.[8]

15. And the size thereof shall be fifty and five feet in width, and let it be sixty-five feet in length, in the inner court thereof.

16. And let the lower part of the inner court be dedicated unto me for your sacrament offering, and for your preaching, and your fasting, and your praying, and the offering up of your most holy desires unto me, saith your Lord.


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17. And let the higher part of the inner court be dedicated unto me for the school of mine apostles, saith Son Ahman;[9] or, in other words, Alphus; or, in other words, Omegus;[10] even Jesus Christ your Lord. Amen.

June 3.—A conference of High Priests convened in the translating room in Kirtland. The first case presented was that of "Doctor" Philastus Hurlburt, who was accused of un-Christian conduct with women, while on a mission to the east. On investigation it was decided that his commission be taken from him, and that he be no longer a member of the Church of Christ.

The next matter[11] before the conference was to ascertain what should be the dimensions or size of the house, that is to be built for a house of worship and for the School of the Prophets. I had received a revelation on the size of the house in which the word of the Lord was that it should be fifty-five feet wide, and sixty-five feet long, in the inner court. The conference appointed Joseph Smith, Jun., Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams to obtain a draft or construction of the inner court of the house.[12]

June 4.—A similar conference assembled at the same place and took into consideration how the French farm should be disposed of. The conference could not agree who should take charge of it, but all agreed to inquire of the Lord;[13] accordingly we received the following:

Revelation to Enoch[14] [Joseph Smith, Jun.] Showing the Order of the City or Stake of Zion, in Shinehah [Kirtland,] given for a Sample[15] to the Saints in Kirtland.[16] [D&C 96][17]

1. Behold, I say unto you, here is wisdom, whereby ye may know how to act concerning this matter, for it is expedient in me that this stake[18] that I have set for the strength of Zion should be made strong.

2. Therefore, let my servant Ahashdah [Newel K. Whitney] take

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 charge of the place which is named among you, upon which I design to build mine holy house.

3. And again, let it be divided into lots, according to wisdom, for the benefit of those who seek inheritances, as it shall be determined in council among you.

4. Therefore, take heed that ye see to this matter, and that portion that is necessary to benefit mine order,[19] for the purpose of bringing forth my word to the children of men.

5. For behold, verily I say unto you, this is the most expedient in me, that my word should go forth unto the children of men, for the purpose of subduing the hearts of the children of men for your good.[20] Even so. Amen.

6. And again, verily I say unto you, it is wisdom and expedient in me, that my servant Zombre [John Johnson] whose offering I have accepted, and whose prayers I have heard, unto whom I give a promise of eternal life inasmuch as he keepeth my commandments from henceforth—

7. For he is a descendant of Seth [Joseph] and a partaker of the blessings of the promise made unto his fathers—

8. Verily I say unto you, it is expedient in me that he should become a member of the order, that he may assist in bringing forth my word unto the children of men.

9. Therefore ye shall ordain him unto this blessing, and he shall seek diligently to take away incumbrances[21] that are upon the house named among you, that he may dwell therein. Even so. Amen.

Zombre [John Johnson] was ordained by the conference to the High Priesthood, and admitted according to the revelation.

June 5.—George A. Smith hauled the first load of stone for the Temple, and Hyrum Smith and Reynolds Cahoon commenced digging the trench for the walls of the Lord's house, and finished the same with their own hands.[22]

June 6.—A conference of High Priests assembled, and chose Orson Hyde a clerk to the Presidency of the High Priesthood.[23] This conference was more especially called to counsel the committee, who had been appointed to take the oversight of the building of the house of the Lord. The conference voted that the committee, (Reynolds Cahoon, Jared Carter, and Hyrum Smith), proceeded im-

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mediately to commence building the house; or to obtaining materials, stone, brick, lumber, etc., for the same.

June 21.—"Doctor" Hurlburt being dissatisfied with the decision of the council on his case presented the following appeal:

I, Doctor Philastus Hurlburt, having been tried before the Bishop's council of High Priests on a charge of unChristian-like conduct with the female sex, and myself being absent at the time, and considering that strict justice was not done me, I do, by these presents, most solemnly enter my appeal unto the President's council of high priests for a re-hearing, according to the privilege guaranteed to me in the laws of the Church, which council is now assembled in the school room, in Kirtland, this 21st day of June, 1833.

It was voted by the council present, when this was received, that Brother Hurlburt be granted a re-hearing; and after prayer (which was customary at the opening of all councils of the Church), the council proceeded to ordain two High Priests, to make out the number, (twelve) that the council, or Church court, might be organized.[24] By the choice of the council Brothers John and William Smith were ordained under the hands of Elder Rigdon.

Brother Hurlburt's case was then laid before the court, and the testimony against him given by Orson Hyde and Hyrum Smith, and duly investigated. The decision of the court was, that Brother Hurlburt should be forgiven, because of the liberal confession which he made. This court also decided that the Bishop's council decided correctly on the case, and that Brother Hurlburt's crime was sufficient to cut him off from the Church; but on his confession he was restored.

The President's court also took Brother Daniel Copley's[25] Priest's license and membership from him, because he refused to fulfil his mission according to the council of the High Priesthood of the holy order of God.

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June 23.—"Doctor" Philastus Hurlburt was again called in question, by a general council; and Brother Gee,[26] of Thompson, testified that Brother Hurlburt said that he deceived Joseph Smith's God, or the spirit by which he is actuated. There was also corroborating testimony brought against him by Brother Hodges.[27] The council cut him off from the Church.[28]

A council of the Elders of the Church was held at Westfield, New York, the same day. Elder Gladden Bishop[29] was president, and Brother Chester L. Heath[30] clerk. Brother Paul entered a complaint against Brother James Higby,[31] an Elder, for circulating false and slanderous reports, and not observing the order of the Gospel, and presented evidence unimpeachable, to substantiate the same to the satisfaction of the council; upon which evidence—and from Brother Higby's own mouth, and the spirit he manifested—

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he was declared guilty by the council, and he was cut off from the Church. The council then demanded his license and the Church record, which he utterly refused to give up; therefore, resolved that the proceedings of the council be sent to Kirtland, that it may be known among the different branches of the Church. [32]

Chapter 25 – Notes

[1] The ms history for this chapter is in the hand of Willard Richards.  Sources used include the KRB, KCMB and the 1835 D&C.  There is no Joseph Smith diary for this period.

[2] This paragraph is mostly the construction of Richards, to introduce the documents making up this portion of the history, however, the first sentence was composed by B. H. Roberts.

[3] See chapter 24, this volume for the May 4, 1833 appointment of the "temple committee."  The appointment of the committee illustrates an important pattern to be found throughout the revelations during Joseph's career.  Councils would meet and make decisions about various items, then frequently revelations would follow in coming weeks or months stating, or acknowledging, or confirming the decisions of the council.   Joseph Smith codified this in what is now known as D&C 102.  Appropriate council outcomes could be regarded as tantamount to revelations and should be regarded with great respect.  Smith found deep regret in the lack of records of some early meetings and decisions, regarding them as the word of the Lord.   See his remarks 27 February 1835 in KCMB.  The establishment of the "high priesthood" opened, in Joseph Smith's view, another avenue for revelation to the church, and he regarded it as a major milestone, removing some of the responsibility for governance from his shoulders, as the frequent "conferences" and "councils" of high priests indicates; it restored the ancient way of doing divine business.  [KCMB: 9 February 1834, 12 February 1834; HC vol. 2 under the same dates.] Priesthood hierarchy was to become a kind of substitute for Smith himself [D&C 90:3] which he regarded with great relief, even if the system did not always run as smoothly as he wished.  By June of 1833, the name of the high priest's office had expanded from high priesthood to the high priesthood after the order of Melchizedek which is after the order of the Son of God.  [See plot of the city of Zion, 25 June 1833, Joseph Smith letterbook, LDS Archive.]   Since the first 58 verses of D&C 107 are a lecture on the nature of priesthood, this portion of D&C 107 dates at least to June 1833.

[4] Doctrine and Covenants, sec. xcv. (BHR)

[5] Two days after the temple committee circular, June 3, 1833, a conference of high priests met in Kirtland to further consider the D&C 88 command to build a house for the school of the prophets.  The council decided that the dimensions of the house were needed:


Kirtland 3 June 1833

A Conference of high Priests convened in Kirtland at the Translating room Bro Sidney opened the conference by prayer first case before the conference was that of Doctor Hurlbut who was accused of unchristian conduct with the female sex while on a mission to the east it was decided that his commission be taken from him and that he be no longer a member of the Church of the Church of Christ

The next case before the conference was to assertain what should be the demention or size of the house that is to be built for a house of worship and the school of the prophet and received a revelation on the size of the house the word of the lord was that it shall be fifty five feet wide and sixty-five feet long – in the inner court and the conference appointed Bro Joseph Smith Jr Sidney Rigdon and Frederick Williams to obtain a draft or construction of the inner court of the house.   F. G. Williams Clk P T. [KCMB]

[6] The KRB gives the date of this revelation as June 1.  However, see note 5.  This revelation was first published as section 95 of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.  The KRB text is the earliest extant ms, written roughly a year after the revelation was given.  No variations of significance are found in the available texts of the revelation.  

[7] The participants were sent out to gather funds for land purchases in Kirtland.  See note 11 chapter 24.  The language of the revelation suggests a forthcoming Pentecost-like experience.

[8] Since the presidency had been designated to provide the dimensions, it was natural they would be the ones to give the internal design specifications. 


About this time Frederick G. Williams, one of President Smith's counselors, came into the temple when the following dialogue took place in my presence:

Carpenter Rolph [Samuel Jones Rolfe] said, "Doctor, what do you think of the House?" He answered, "It looks to me like the pattern precisely." He then related the following:

"Joseph received the word of the Lord for him to take his two counselors, Williams and Rigdon, and come before the Lord and He would show them the plan or model of the house to be built. We went upon our knees, called on the Lord, and the building appeared within viewing distance. I being the first to discover it. Then all of us viewed it together. After we had taken a good look at the exterior, the building seemed to come right over us, and the makeup of this hall seemed to coincide with what I there saw to a minutia."

Joseph was accordingly enabled to dictate to the mechanics and his counselors stood as witnesses, and this was strictly necessary in order to satisfy the spirit of unbelief in consequence of the weakness or childishness of the brethren of those days. The following are a few items which transpired about this time. One I will note:  Joseph came into the hall. The leading mechanic,  John Carl, by profession a carriage builder, wanted to seat the house contrary to what Joseph had proposed. Joseph answered him that he had seen the inside of every building that had been built unto the Lord upon this earth and he hated to have to say so.  [Truman O. Angell Journal, typescript, L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Brigham Young University.  Also see John Taylor papers, Truman O. Angell to John Taylor,  March 11, 1885, LDS Archives.]


[9] Son Ahman. The name Son Ahman surfaces in several revelations in the D&C and in a speech by Orson Pratt who stated:

There is one revelation that this people are not generally acquainted with. I think it has never been published, but probably it will be in the Church History. It is given in questions and answers. The first question is, "What is the name of God in the pure language?" The answer says, "Ahman." "What is the name of the Son of God?" Answer, "Son Ahman--the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Ahman." "What is the name of men?" "Sons Ahman," is the answer. "What is the name of angels in the pure language?" "Anglo-man." This revelation goes on to say that Sons Ahman are the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Son Ahman and Ahman, and that Anglo-man are the greatest of all the parts of God excepting Sons Ahman, Son Ahman, and Ahman, showing that the angels are a little lower than man. [JD 2:342. This revelation will be published as part of volume 1 of the revelations and translations series in the Joseph Smith Papers (Church Historians Press).]


The text of this revelation was unknown otherwise, until its rediscovery among papers located in the First Presidency Vault. The use of key-words in religious ceremony is linked to facsimile no. 2 of the book of Abraham.  See also March 9, 1841, McIntire Minute Book, LDS Archives.

[10] The rather curious "Latinization" of the Greek letters alpha, omega has no precedent in the revelations and is never used again.  Jerome uses the Greek in his Latin translation of Revelations 1:8.  Alphus appears in some Medieval "magical" literature but the provenance of such occurrences is unclear.  Such Latin "forms" have become popular in modern role-playing games, apparently to grant an aura of mystery or antiquity to the game.

[11] Ms history: "case."

[12] See note 8 above.

[13] See note 3 above.

[14] See notes at D&C 78 on the strange names; also note 24 of the previous chapter.

[15] Undoubtedly, the title should read "ensample."

[16] Doctrine and Covenants, sec. xcvi. (BHR)

[17] The title given here is found on a scrap of paper inserted between pages 60 and 61 of the KRB.  This revelation was first published in the 1835 D&C as section 96.  On 4 June 1833 a group of high priests met in the Prophet's translating room in Kirtland to determine who should take responsibility for the French farm as the history above states.  The original minutes read: 


A conference of high Priests met in Kirtland on the fourth of June 1833. in the translating room and took into consideration how the french farm should be disposed of the council could not agree who should take charge of it but all agreed to enquire of the lord accordinly we received a revilation [section 96] which decided that Broth N K Whitney should take the charge thereof and also that broth John Johnson be admited as a member of the united firm accordingly he was ordained unto the high Priesthood and admited.  [KCMB, 13.]


Three weeks later Sidney Rigdon wrote to William W. Phelps concerning part of this revelation: "Zombre has been received as a member of the [United] firm by commandment, and has just come to Kirtland to live." [RJS, 199]

[18] Note the prescient language, suggesting the Isaiah symbolism to be formalized in the 1834 high council organization. 

[19] The KRB shows the words "the firm" are crossed out, and "mine order" inserted.  Likewise the names of principals are crossed out and the disguised names inserted.  The publication committee were somewhat overzealous perhaps, in verse 7, Joseph (meaning the son of Jacob sold into Egypt) is crossed out and "Seth" inserted.  As noted elsewhere, these changes were made to avoid identification of church financial interests and their principals.  For more on the church firm, see notes at D&C 78.

[20] The intention of these words suggests that instead of waiting for the publication in Missouri, the JST was to be published as soon as possible in Ohio at the newly designated printing establishment. However, Joseph Smith offered different instructions to the Elders in Zion.  Both church centers were to publish the JST simultaneously.  [See note 43 chapter 24 this volume.]  Circumstance once again intervened however and prevented the publication.  One may speculate that the future of the Saints and their press in Zion motivated the prophetic change of venue.

[21] Johnson's assignment was to pay the mortgage.

[22] The preceding paragraph was inserted in the ms history after it was composed.

[23] Hyde took the place of Frederick G. Williams who was acting as both a counselor to Joseph Smith and as clerk for the presidency.   Later, Williams would resume the dual role when Hyde was asked to go elsewhere.

[24] At the organization of the first high council (or permanent council of high priests) Smith made it clear that such courts were not to function as government courts.  There was to be no advocacy except for the truth.   No adversarial relationship was to exist.  In recent years (since 1985 at least) the LDS church has tried to make this distance more apparent by eschewing the word "court" altogether in favor of the alternate title "council."  That twelve high priests were required to make up this council seems to be a practice which started some time earlier, see chapter 22, this volume for example and note 37, chapter 17 regarding a revelation of November 1831.

[25] Probably son of Leman Copley, a well-known Mormon of mercurial status who with wife Salley had a son in 1810 of the same name.  LDS Apostle George A. Smith described him as a timid young man, uncomfortable with the rigors of missionary work.  His original companion (Hurlbut) was undoubtedly suspect in his example.  A conference held at the Elk Creek, Ohio branch by Hyrum Smith in early April 1833 separated the two missionaries, Copley being paired with John Boynton.  However, Copley apparently did not continue his assigned missionary duties.  [Hyrum Smith missionary journal, L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Brigham Young University.]

[26] Possibly the George Gee who traveled from Thompson township to Kirtland in March 1833 in company with Hurlbut, Joseph Wood, Daniel Copley, William Pratt and Isaac Bishop.  [See note 3 chapter 24 this volume.]  B. 13 August 1815 at Rome, Ashtabula, Ohio, d. 20 Jan 1842 at Pittsburgh, Penn.  M.  Mary Jane Smith (cousin of Joseph Smith Jr.) 5 Feb 1837 in Kirtland, Ohio.  Named as one blessed for labor on Kirtland temple (HC 2:206).  Wife and children emigrated to Utah.

[27] Possibly Curtis Hodges.  Called as missionary with Shadrack Roundy, December 18, 1832.  Charged before high council February 19, 1834 because he "talked so loud at a prayer meeting that the neighbors came out to see if some one was hurt. At another meeting, he said that Elder Thayer rebuked him for his error, but he did not receive the rebuke; that he raised his voice so high, that he could not articulate so as to be understood; and that his teaching brought a damper upon the meeting, and was not edifying."  Confesses, repents and is forgiven. 

[28] Owing to the subsequent prominence of this man, "Doctor" Philastus Hurlburt, as a bitter anti-"Mormon," more should be said of him than is given in the Prophet's narrative.  He was not a physician, as the title "Doctor" would seem to indicate; but being the seventh son in his father's family according to the old folklore superstition that the seventh son would possess supernatural qualities that would make him a physician, he was called "Doc," or "Doctor," "This said Doctor,'" wrote Sidney Rigdon in 1839, to the Boston Journal, "was never a physician at any time, nor anything else but a base ruffian.  He was the seventh son and his parents called himC Doctor,' it was his name, and not the title of his profession.  He once belonged to the Methodist church, and was excluded for immoralities.  He afterwards imposed himself on the Church of Latter-day Saints, and was excluded for using obscene language to a young lady, a member of said Church, who resented his insult with indignation which became both her character and profession."  Joseph E. Johnson, in a communication to the Deseret Evening News, under date of December 28, 1880, says of "Doctor" Hurlburt: "In the year A. D. 1833, then living in Kirtland, Ohio, I became acquainted with a man subsequently known as Dr. Hurlburt, who came to investigate the truth of Mormonism.'  Claiming to be satisfied, he was baptized and became a member in full fellowship.  He was a man of fine physique, very pompous, good looking, and very ambitious, with some energy, though of poor education.  Soon after his arrival he came to my mother's house to board, where he remained for nearly a year, while he made an effort to get into a good practice of medicine, sought position in the Church and was ever striving to make marital connection with any of the first families.  Finally * * * he was charged with illicit intercourse with the sex, and was tried and cut off from the Church.  He denied, expostulated, threatened, but to no use, the facts were too apparent, and he at once avowed himself the enemy of the Church." (BHR)

[See biographical note chapter 24; also Dale W. Adams, "Doctor Philastus Hurlbut," The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, 20 (2000), 76-93.  Hurlbut's involvement with E. D. Howe and Grandison Newel, both important anti-Mormons in Ohio, makes his objectivity important to Roberts and the earlier historians.  All three will resurface at least indirectly in the History.   The following letter penned by Joseph Smith to Newel K. Whitney during this period tells us something of Hurlbut's commitment to discomfit Joseph and the church and perhaps an uncomfortably close knowledge of the inner workings of the firm: (words in <brackets> are insertions)


Brother Whitney

I write this because I forgot to tell you of some things that you <ought to> know wer Docter P. Hurlbut is commenceing an unjust suit against Brother Hyram to git the propety of this farm [French farm] which belongs to the firm Brother Hyram <or> mot father has <not got> any property here but one cow a peace each I have a <bill> for all the rest made over to me more than one year ago for Books and what they owed me and it will involve me in or the firm if we let them take this property which you <may> rest asured belongs to us a word to the wise is sufficie<nt>

Joseph Smith Jr] [Holograph in Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.  See PWJS.]


[29] Francis Gladden Bishop had a colorful and long history both in and out of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; b. at Greece, Monroe County, New York, January 19, 1809; worked as watch repairer. After joining the Latter-day Saints in July 1832, he was engaged in extensive missionary work from North Carolina to Canada, 1833-1840, and was president of the branch at Westfield, New York. Heretical tendencies and subsequent repentance resulted in excommunication and readmittance to the Church on three occasions. On 28 September 1835 he was charged with "advancing heretical doctrines . . . derogatory to the character of the Church." He was excommunicated in 1842 for purveying his own revelations as doctrine. Later formed a church of his own, which existed in Iowa until about 1860.  The Hedrickites or Church of Christ (Temple Lot) descended from the Bishop movement. Published Zion's Messenger, at Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1854.  Bishop made an attempt to draw the Mormons away from the leadership of Brigham Young.  See JD 1:83, 2:121 for some of Brigham Young's responses.  Bishop returned to Utah in 1864 and died there November 30 of scarlet fever. [KCMB; Nauvoo High Council Minute Book, March 7, 1842; Steven L. Shields, Divergent Paths of the Restoration, (Independence, Missouri: Herald House, 1990), 28; HC 2:241; PJS 2:368-9 n1; Richard L. Saunders, "Francis Gladden Bishop and Gladdenism: a study in the culture of a Mormon dissenter and his movement," Master's Thesis, Utah State University, Logan Utah, 1989.]

[30] Possibly Chester L. Heath b. 1804, New York, d. 7 May 1881, Steuben, Indiana, widower, six children, m. Eliza Snider 6 Mar 1869, Steuben, In.  Chester L. Heath, a member of the Avon branch was excommunicated April 4, 1835 at a Freedom, New York conference of the church for failing to observe the word of wisdom and "breach of covenant." [Messenger and Advocate vol. 1, no. 7, p. 101.]

[31] Possibly the same James Higby who was presented to be ordained an elder in Springfield, Ill. March 8, 1839.  Wilford Woodruff journal.  Times and Seasons 4:216 (June 1, 1843) announces the excommunication of a James Higbee of Springfield.

[32] The account of the council of Elders at Westfield was copied into the Kirtland Church record on the 29th of June, 1833. (BHR)

[Roberts refers to the KCMB.  The decision was copied into the KCMB by Orson Hyde. The Westfield council minutes appear in the ms history inserted (and then crossed out) in the middle of the material which currently appears in chapter 26. The ms history text reads as [ms p. 305]

A council of the Elders of the church was held at Westfield,^New York the same day. Elder Gladden Bishop. was president, and Bro Chester L. Heath clerk. Bro Paul entered a complaint against Brother James Higby, an elder, for circulating false and Slanderous reports, and not observing the order of the Gospel, and presented evidence unimpeachable, to substantiate the same to the satisfaction of the Council; from which and from Bro. Higby's own mouth, and the Spirit he showed, he was declared guilty by the Council, and he was cut off from the church. The Council then demanded his licence, and the church Book,Record which he utterly refused; therefore, resolved that the procedings of the Council be sent to Kirtland, and noted^ that it. may be known among the ^different branches of the Churches. Copied into the Kirtland Records, June 29th1833.