Minutes, 3 March 1836
- Source Note
On 24 February 1836, all of the and of the met in the in , Ohio, “to conclude the business concerning the ” of men to offices. Recognizing the imperfect state of record keeping in the church’s and , church authorities believed that new rules and regulations on the issuance and recording of were needed to standardize, organize, and better supervise the ordaining of priesthood holders to various offices. This task was made more urgent because of the extensive ministry that traveling were expected to assume after the and of power from on high. At the 24 February meeting, the church’s governing bodies appointed , , and as a committee to draft “regulations concerning licenses” and selected to officiate as the clerk responsible for recording licenses in Kirtland. The committee drafted resolutions on 27 February 1836 and presented them at the meeting featured here, held on the evening of 3 March 1836.After the meeting commenced, , who served as the chair of the committee, presented the draft of the resolutions for centralizing priesthood licensing. The resolutions called for all licenses to be signed by proper authority, issued by the chairman and clerk of each conference, and recorded, thereby establishing an organized system of licensing in the growing church.Two contemporary versions of the 3 March 1836 minutes are extant. One version is found in the February 1836 issue of the church newspaper, the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, which was not published until early March. The other is found in Minute Book 1, the official record for meeting minutes. Both of these copies may have derived from the original text, no longer extant, which was written by , who served as the meeting’s clerk. The copy in Minute Book 1 was made by sometime after he began his scribal duties in April 1836. There are slight differences in capitalization, punctuation, and words used between the two extant versions, suggesting that Warren A. Cowdery did not copy the minutes from the Messenger and Advocate version. Because Minute Book 1 was the official record for meetings held in , it is the version featured here. Significant differences between the two copies are noted below.
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.
Cowdery, Oliver. Diary, Jan.–Mar. 1836. CHL. MS 3429. Also available as Leonard J. Arrington, “Oliver Cowdery’s Kirtland, Ohio, ‘Sketch Book,’” BYU Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 410–426.
Cannon, Donald Q. “Licensing in the Early Church.” BYU Studies 22, no. 1 (Winter 1982): 96–105.