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Remarks delivered on September 8, 1834 at a conference of elders held at New Portage, Ohio"
Source: Oliver Cowdery record in the Kirtland Council Minute Book, LDS Archives.

Healing Administration - Remarks on False Spirits

After prayer by brother Joseph Smith Junr., he, brother Joseph and Oliver Cowdery united in anointing with oil and laying hands upon a sick sister who said she was healed and requested us to pray that her faith fail not, saying, if she did not doubt, she should not be afflicted any more.

¶ Brother Joseph then made a few introductory remarks upon the subject of false spirits and other items.

[A case is brought before the elders of a brother Carpenter who had been previously tried before a Church tribunal for fault which he failed to acknowledge. The council at the time had ruled that Carpenter should have a period of time to consider his course. At this point another brother present spoke in tongues to the effect that Carpenter should not have any time to decide, but should declare his position immediately. A brother Palmer requested clarification from the conference. Joseph Smith then spoke.]

Remarks on the Gift of Tongues

¶ Brother Joseph then proceeded to give an explanation of the gift of tongues: That it was particularly instituted for the preaching of the Gospel to other nations and languages, but it was not given for the government of the Church. 1 He further said, if brother Gordon [the individual who had spoken in tongues] introduced the gift of tongues as a testimony against brother Carpenter, that it was contrary to the rules and regulations of the Church, because, in all our decisions we must judge from actual testimony . . . Brother Joseph advised that [we] speak in our own language in all such matters and then the adversary cannot lead our minds astray . . .


1. The gift of tongues would be an on going theme in Joseph Smith's instructions to the Church. See for example 8Aug39(1). After the initial appearance of the gift of tongues in the church, there was considerable enthusiasm for it. Gradually however, Joseph found it could be and was abused in various ways. As time went on, he became much less ardent regarding it, eventually consigning it to a more or less purposeful gift, to preach the word when a language barrier existed. See for example 27Jun39; HC 5:26-32, an editorial probably written by John Taylor undoubtedly with the approval of Joseph Smith.

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