Kirtland May 2d, 1835
After conference was opened and the Twelve took their seats, he [Joseph Smith] stated that it would be the duty of the twelve to appoint the oldest one of their number to preside in their councils, beginning at the oldest and so on until the youngest has presided and then beginning at the oldest again, &c. 1 The Twelve took their seats regularly according to their ages as follows. T. B. Marsh David W. Patten, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball Orson Hyde, Wm. E. McLellin, Parley P. Pratt. Luke Johnson William Smith Orson Pratt John F. Boynton & Lyman Johnson.
The president then stated that the Twelve will have no right to go into Zion or any of its stakes and there undertake to regulate the affairs thereof where there is a standing High Council. But it is their duty to go abroad and regulate all matters relative to the different branches of the Church. When the Twelve are together, or a quorum of them in any church, they will have authority to act independently and make decisions and those decisions, and those decisions [sic] are valid. But where there is not a quorum they will to do bussiness by the voice of the Church. No standing high council has authority to go into the churches abroad and regulate the matters thereof, for this belongs to the Twelve. No High Council will ever be established only in Zion or one of its stakes.
When the Twelve pass a decision it is in the name of the church, Therefore it is valid. No
individual has a right to go into any church and ordain any minister for the church, unless
it is by the Voice of the Church. No Elder has a right to go into any branch of the church
and appoint meetings or regulate the church without the consent
of or advice of the presiding Elder
of said branch.
If the first Seventy are all occupied and there is a call for more laborers, it will be the duty of the seven presidents of the first Seventy to call and ordain other Seventy and send them forth to labor, in the vineyard until if need be, they set a part apart [sic] seven times seventy, even until there shall be one hundred & forty four thousand.2 The Seventy are not to attend the conferences of the Twelve unless they are called upon or requested to by the Twelve. The Twelve and the Seventy have particularly to depend upon their ministry for their support and that of their families, and they have a right by virtue of their offices to call upon the Church to assist them.
[At this point individual members of the Seventy were considered as to their readiness to go out to perform missionary service. Meanwhile the first session was adjourned and later a second session begun. With the completion of this business, Joseph Smith again spoke.]
President J. Smith Junr arose with the list [of Seventy] in his hand and made some vary appropriate remarks relative to the deliverance of Zion and so much of the authority [the two church bishoprics had joined the meeting in addition to the elders quorum and Kirtland high council] being present, he moved that we never give up the struggle for Zion even until Death, or until Zion is Redeemed. The vote was unanimous and with apparent deep feeling. 3
[Further regulation of ordination of new Seventy was given and the meeting concluded.]
1. See note at 27Feb35.
2. 144,000 is of course not divisable by 70, so it is difficult to know if Joseph was being hyperbolic here or not.
3. The failure of the Zion experiment was to stand as the great disappointment in Joseph's life. He feelings ran the gamut of shock, anger, frustration, fear and anxious waiting. Joseph's life was punctuated with the wonderful, the remarkable and the tragic. In less than two months from this meeting, Michael Chandler would arrive in Kirtland with the Lebolo mummies and papyri.