From Historian to Dissident
Bruce N. Westergren, editor

Chapter 17


[p.173]And it came to pass on the 24 day of Sept 1835, on which day we met in course at the house of J. Smith Jr. the Seer, where we according to a previous commandment given, appointed David Whitmer Capt of the Lords host and Prs. F. G. Williams and Sidney Rigdon his assistants. And Pres. W. W. Phelps[,] myself[,] and John Corrill as an assistant quorum, and Joseph Smith Jr. the seer to stand at the head and be assisted by Hyrum Smith and Oliver Cowdry. This much for the war department by revelation.1

October 18, 1835. Sabbath

This day assembled in the house of the Lord as usual and the spirit of the Lord decended upon J. Smith Jr. the seer and he prophesied: saying the Lord has showed to me this day by the Spirit of Revelation that the distress, and sickness that has heretofore prevailed among the children of Zion will be mitigated from this time forth.

And it came to pass that some of the first Elders or [p.174]President of the church received a Prophetic blessing by revelation through the mean prepared in the last days to receive the word of the Lord. J. Smith. Jr. Therefore Joseph dictated blessings for himself[,] Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, F. G. Williams, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, W. W. Phelps and myself. As you will find recorded in the Patriarchal blessing Book in Kirtland[,] Ohio—Book A. Pages.—2

On the 6th day of Jan. 1836.

The Elders from Zion who were at Kirtland Ohio met, to fill vacancies which hapened in the high Counsel in Zion in consequence of disease and death and filling other stations

Wherefore appointed

E. H. Graves                   instead of P. P. Pratt

Jesse Hitchcock —      W. E. Mc Lellin

G. M. Hinkle        —       Orson Pratt

Elias Higbee        —       T. B. Marsh

The Hebrew school commenced[.]

Jan 4, 1836.

Taught by J. Si<e>xeus.

The first Elders attended this school.

Now the time drew near when the Lord would endow his servants, and before he could do this we must perform all the ordinances that are instituted in his house there was one ordinance Viz. the washing of feet that we had not as yet observed, but did perform it according to Revelation, which ordinance belongs only to ordained members and not the whole church.

For Particulars read the private history of Joseph the Seer.3

After the washing of feet came the Annointing with holy oil, which was performed by Joseph Smith seignor, among the [p.175]Presidents then the Presidents of each quorum proced[ed] to annoint the members thereof—in their proper time and place.

On the 11, March 1836

Held a counsel in which Edward Partridge[,] I. Morly, John Corrill[,] and W. W. Phelps were appointed wise men and were sent to Mo. with some money [to] purchase land for the saints—to seek a place for them &c.


1. The account of this meeting recorded in HC, 2:281-82, reads:

The High Council met at my house on the 24th to take into consideration the redemption of Zion. And it was the voice of the Spirit of the Lord that we petition the Governor, that is, those who have been driven out, shall petition to be set back on their own lands next spring, and that we go next season, to live or die on our own lands, which we have purchased in Jackson County, Missouri. We truly had a good time, and covenanted to struggle for this thing, until death shall dissolve the union; and if one falls, that the remainder be not discouraged, but pursue this object until it be accomplished; which may God grant unto us in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Also, this day drew up a subscription for enrolling the names of those who are willing to go up to Missouri next spring and settle; and I ask God in the name of Jesus that we may obtain eight hundred or one thousand emigrants.

Whitmer’s references to “Capt of the Lord’s host” and “war department” suggest a more militant emphasis.

2. Patriarchal blessings are prophetic utterances pronounced on individual members of the church by ordained patriarchs and were recorded in special patriarchal blessings books. These are currently housed in archives, Historical Department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, and [p.176]access to them is currently restricted.

3. For examples, see HC, 1:323-24, 2:429-32, and 2:475-80. However, none of these dates corresponds to the one given here by Whitmer: the first incident occurred on January 23, 1833; the second on March 29, 1836, instead of January 4, as Whitmer recorded here; and the third on February 1, 1837.