The Joseph Smith Papers

Administrative Records, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844 - January 1846

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Matthew J. Grow, Ronald K. Esplin, Mark Ashurst-McGee, Jeffrey D. Mahas, Matthew C. Godfreyeds, Gerrit J. Dirkmaat
  • Salt Lake City, UT: 
    Church Historian's Press
    , September
     788 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Taylor Kerby forthcoming.


The first and only volume of the Administrative Records series, to be published in the fall of 2016, contains the minutes of Council of Fifty meetings held in Nauvoo, Illinois, from March 1844 through January 1846. Joseph Smith formed the council in part to explore possible Mormon settlement sites west of the boundaries of the United States. Members of the council saw its formation as the beginning of the literal kingdom of God on earth and anticipated that the council would “govern men in civil matters.” After Joseph Smith was murdered in June 1844, council meetings resumed under Brigham Young and continued until just before the Mormon exodus from western Illinois in early 1846. The minutes, recorded meticulously in three small books by council clerk William Clayton, have never previously been available for research.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Matthew J. Grow, Ronald K. Esplin, Mark Ashurst-McGee, and Jeffrey D. Mahas are historians for the Church History Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Gerrit J. Dirkmaat is an assistant professor of religion at Brigham Young University.

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