It’s my privilege today to provide a sneak peek into a book that will be released to the public in about five weeks: the latest volume of the Joseph Smith Papers, which contains the minutes of the Council of Fifty in Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith formed this council in March 1844. The council met fairly regularly from then until January 1846, and then functioned intermittently during a handful of years in Utah until the 1880s. The publication of the Nauvoo-era minutes of this council is another step in the project’s ongoing effort to publish all of Joseph Smith’s papers. Because the minutes have never been open to research, the Council of Fifty has been the subject of tremendous speculation over the years.
The views expressed in the council’s minutes represent the thinking of Church leaders in the mid-1840s, a particularly turbulent moment in both Mormon and American history, not what the Church teaches today about topics such as theocracy. Today, the Church makes every effort to be politically neutral, even during the past presidential election featuring a Church member. The content of these minutes reminds us of another era in which the Church was decidedly not politically neutral.
Where Did the Nauvoo Council of Fifty Minutes Come From?
First, let’s give a brief history of the minutes themselves. William Clayton, an English convert who began doing clerical work for Joseph Smith in 1842, was appointed clerk of the Council of Fifty at its first meeting in Nauvoo. He kept meeting minutes on loose sheets of paper and later copied these minutes into three small bound volumes. In their deliberations, council members frequently emphasized the importance of confidentiality, including the need to safeguard the minutes. Willard Richards slyly kept the identify secret by referring to it as the “YTFIF” in Joseph Smith’s journal, a code that perhaps could be broken. They almost certainly believed that knowledge of their discussions regarding theocracy and the kingdom of God would increase the already widespread belief that Latter-day Saints opposed key elements of American democracy. On the night of 22 June 1844, knowing that he would soon be arrested and believing that he might be murdered, Joseph Smith sent for Clayton before he left Nauvoo and ordered him “to burn the records of the kingdom, or put them in some safe hands and send them away or else bury them up.” Clayton immediately returned home, “put the records in a small box and buried them in my garden.”
On 3 July 1844, shortly after Joseph Smith’s death, Clayton unburied the minutes, and he soon began copying them into a small bound volume. Clayton eventually used three small record books for the minutes. Following the exodus from Nauvoo in 1846, the record books were taken to Utah. Brigham Young allowed Wilford Woodruff to use the minutes in their work on the multivolume manuscript history of the church that Joseph Smith had begun. References to the council thus appeared in the manuscript history and in publications such as the Deseret News.
Even so, the original minutes continued to be closely guarded. By 1880 George Q. Cannon, an apostle and clerk of the council since 1867, had possession of the key to the box “containing Records of ‘Kingdom of God.’” Cannon, then serving as Utah territorial delegate to Congress, mailed the key back to Salt Lake City so that John Taylor, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, and his fellow apostles Joseph F. Smith and Franklin D. Richards could read the records in preparation for a reinstitution of the council. When George Q. Cannon wrote of the Council of Fifty in his journal, he used the Hawaiian word for “fifty” to conceal what he was talking about. At some point thereafter, the minutes became part of the collection of records of the church’s First Presidency, where they remained throughout the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, until they were transferred to the Church History Department in 2010. In 2013, the Church announced that the First Presidency had authorized publication of the minutes as part of the Joseph Smith Papers. Since that time, a team of historians—including myself, Ron Esplin, Mark Ashurst-McGee, Gerrit Dirkmaat, and Jeff Mahas—have worked on the minutes, assisted by the terrific editorial team of the Joseph Smith Papers led by Eric Smith. We’re excited that anyone so interested can read the minutes for themselves in the very near future.
When and Why Was the Council Formed?
The immediate impetus for the formation of the council was two letters that Joseph Smith received in Nauvoo on March 10, 1844, from Church members involved with logging operations in Wisconsin Territory up the Mississippi River. Their assignment to produce lumber for the Nauvoo Temple and the Nauvoo House (a hotel) nearing an end, these members proposed that they would relocate elsewhere, possibly in Texas, which was then an independent republic and not part of the United States. The Wisconsin Saints hoped to raise money for the Church in Texas and spread the gospel among American Indian tribes.
After discussing the letters on March 10, Joseph Smith and other Church leaders met again on March 11 and formally organized a council with twenty-three initial members. Though the March 11 minutes are unfortunately lacking in detail, it appears that the proposal to establish a settlement in Texas led to discussions about the desire to create a theocracy—a government in which Church leaders would also have political power.
According to the minutes, “All seemed agreed to look to some place where we can go and establish a Theocracy either in Texas or Oregon or somewhere in California.” The council was formed not only to plan for a new settlement, however. The 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.”
Why were Church leaders so enthusiastic about the proposal to establish a settlement outside the United States, and why did they want to form a new kind of government? Perhaps the primary reason for this interest is the persecutions the Saints had experienced in Missouri in the 1830s. The Saints had been driven from Jackson County in 1833 and then completely expelled from the state in 1838–1839 under order of the Missouri governor. Repeated attempts by the Saints to secure protection and redress through legal means were largely unsuccessful. These experiences left them deeply convinced of the inability and unwillingness of governments to protect the rights of unpopular religious minorities.
At this time, the United States Bill of Rights protected against abuses by only the federal government, not state and local governments, meaning that federal officials generally refused to intervene to protect rights at local levels. Like abolitionists and members of other maligned movements who had suffered at the hands of majority opinion, Latter-day Saints sought changes that would restore what they saw as a proper balance to America’s political system.
Joseph Smith and others had designed the government of the city of Nauvoo to provide protections the Latter-day Saints had lacked during the 1830s. The Nauvoo municipal charter, granted by the state of Illinois in 1840, was intended to guard against many of the institutional wrongs the Saints had experienced. For example, the charter authorized the creation of a separate militia (the Nauvoo Legion) and gave the Nauvoo city court far-reaching authority, which the Saints used to protect themselves from what they perceived as unjust legal actions.
After failing to receive assurances from any of the expected main candidates in the upcoming presidential election that the Saints’ rights would be protected, in January 1844 Joseph Smith declared his candidacy for president of the United States. His platform emphasized, as do his remarks in the Council of Fifty, a commitment to protect the minority rights of all, not just Latter-day Saints, against the tyranny of the majority.
By March of that year, significant opposition was growing to the Church in and around Nauvoo, in part because of the practice of plural marriage and the Saints’ growing political power. Members of the council were drawn both to the possibility of relocating significant numbers of Saints outside of the United States, where they could create their own government, and to the possibility of creating a better form of government within the United States.
Council members discussed at length the nature of the kingdom of God, theocracy, and Joseph Smith’s role as leader of the church and the council. For most contemporary Americans, theocracy connoted the tyrannical rule of religious leaders, conjured images of the collusion of Catholicism with European governments, and seemed the antithesis of American democracy and constitutional principles. However, Joseph Smith and other council members believed that theocracy could be fused with the best elements of democracy, a system that Smith publicly described during his campaign as “theodemocracy.” In a statement ghostwritten by William W. Phelps, Joseph Smith proclaimed, “As there is not a nation or dynasty, now occupying the earth, which acknowledges Almighty God as their law giver . . . I go emphatically, virtuously, and humanely, for a Theodemocracy, where God and the people hold the power to conduct the affairs of men in righteousness.” As “an advocate of unadulterated freedom,” Smith argued that a theodemocracy would protect liberty and freedom “for the benefit of all.”
Council members reiterated that a system that blended theocracy with democracy would protect rights of minority groups, allow for dissent and free discussion, involve both Latter-day Saints and others, and increase righteousness in preparation for Jesus Christ’s second coming. Sidney Rigdon stated, “The design was to form a Theocracy according to the will of Heaven, planted without any intention to interfere with any government of the world. . . . You need not fear that we design to trample on the rights of any man or set of men, only to seek the enjoyment of our own rights.” Joseph Smith likewise “considered that a Theocracy consisted in our exercising all the intelligence of the council, and bringing forth all the light which dwells in the breast of every man, . . . Theocracy as he understands it is, for the people to get the voice of God and then acknowledge it, and see it executed.”
Joseph Smith and other members of the Council of Fifty believed that the council would serve as the government of the kingdom of God both before and after the second coming of Jesus Christ. In their view, not all good men and women either before the Second Coming or during at least the initial stages of the Millennium would be church members. Council members emphasized that everyone would enjoy religious liberty in the kingdom of God. Joseph Smith invited three men who were not church members to join the council to demonstrate the importance of religious liberty and equal rights to the council.
Council members also attempted to write a constitution for the kingdom of God that would reflect the principles of theodemocracy. The council’s name, which was given in a revelation during the council meeting on 14 March 1844, suggests a mix of political purpose and religious symbolism: “The Kingdom of God and his Laws, with the keys and power thereof, and judgement in the hands of his servants. Ahman Christ.” Council members often used an abbreviated form of this revealed name, referring to the council by such titles as the “Kingdom,” “Kingdom of God,” or “Council of the Kingdom of God.” After the council reached a membership of fifty men on April 18, 1844, Joseph Smith declared the council “full.” Thereafter, it was often called the Council of Fifty.
On the day of the council’s organization, John Taylor, Willard Richards, William W. Phelps, and Parley P. Pratt were appointed a committee to “draft a constitution which should be perfect, and embrace those principles which the constitution of the United States lacked.” Joseph Smith and other council members criticized the U.S. Constitution for not protecting liberty with enough vigor. After the council’s committee reported its draft of the constitution, Smith instructed the council to “let the constitution alone.” He then dictated a revelation: “Verily thus saith the Lord, ye are my constitution, and I am your God, and ye are my spokesmen. From henceforth do as I shall command you. Saith the Lord.”
In the midst of these discussions on governmental principles in the kingdom of God, Erastus Snow on 11 April 1844 moved that the council “receive from this time henceforth and forever, Joseph Smith, as our Prophet, Priest & King, and uphold him in that capacity in which God has anointed him.” Snow’s motion was unanimously accepted. This action dramatically demonstrates the council members’ views of theodemocracy, under which the ecclesiastical leader of the church (prophet and priest) would be chosen by them as a political leader (king). Council participants understood that this action would have no immediate political consequences, but it symbolized their desire to prepare for the millennial kingdom of God. Joseph Smith and others in the council emphasized that leaders in the kingdom of God would govern by fostering free discussion, by respecting the people, and by serving as a conduit for revelation and God’s law.
Proclaiming Joseph Smith as a prophet, priest, and king also reflected the temple ceremonies that he had introduced among his closest followers beginning in May 1842. In the view of Latter-day Saints, these ceremonies would allow men to one day become, in the words of John the Revelator, “unto our God kings and priests.” On 23 July 1843, Smith taught that he would “adva[n]ce f[ro]m prophet to pri[e]st & then to King not to the kingdoms of this earth but of the most high god.” On April 8, 1844, a few days before the council received him as prophet, priest, and king, Joseph Smith urged the Saints to finish building the Nauvoo temple so that they could there “rec[eive] [their] endow[men]t to make [them] K[ings] & P[ries]ts unto the Most H[igh] G[od].” He explained that this office had “nothin[g] to do with temporal things” but was instead related to the kingdom of God.
The belief that Joseph Smith had been crowned as king of an earthly theocracy, along with rumors of these temple-related ceremonies, spread among both dissidents within the church and opponents and observers outside the church. The dissidents who published the Nauvoo Expositor in June 1844 accused Smith of attempting to establish a tyrannical theocracy. So common were rumors of these actions in the summer of 1844 that Illinois governor Thomas Ford placed the belief that Smith “had caused himself to be crowned and anointed King of the Mormons” first in a list of “causes of excitement” that led to his death. Some surely expect that there would be a description of a coronation in which Joseph crowned himself king of the world in the Council of Fifty minutes. Not so. Rather, his associates received him with the religious language of “prophet, priest, and king.”
The establishment of the council also reflected Latter-day Saints’ interest in American Indians and the American West. As early as 1831, when federal Indian agents denied permission to the four initial Mormon missionaries sent to preach to Indians in what is now Kansas, the missionaries contemplated taking their message to the “Rocky Mountains,” if necessary, in order to “be with the Indians.” The Mormon interest in American Indians and the West (including both the Far West and nearer areas such as Texas) framed many of the council’s discussions. As tensions in Nauvoo grew in early 1844, the Saints’ long-standing interest in the West gained urgency. The West already figured in the American imagination as a place of refuge and redefinition. A year before newspaper editor John L. O’Sullivan proclaimed it the “manifest destiny” of the United States to spread across the continent, the Saints contemplated new settlements in Texas, California, or Oregon. On 20 February, a few weeks before the establishment of the council, Smith commissioned the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to explore the possibility of settlements in California or Oregon, not as an abandonment of Nauvoo but as an expansion of their influence where they could “build a city in a day— and have a governme[n]t of our own—— in a hea[l]thy climate.”
In addition, biblical prophecies and Joseph Smith’s revelations established the context for Latter-day Saint thinking on the kingdom of God. Council members emphasized the prophecy in Daniel that God would “set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed,” which would be as a stone “cut out of the mountain without hands” that would fill the earth. Latter-day Saints did not believe that they were establishing simply another denomination to take its place within the ranks of Christianity; rather, they believed that Daniel’s prophecy referred to the latter-day church and kingdom of God established through Joseph Smith.
Latter-day Saints also looked to the imagery of raising a “standard to the people” or an “ensign to the nations” that was rooted in the writings of Isaiah. Members of the Council of Fifty repeatedly invoked this imagery. Isaiah 5:26 prophecies that God “will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly,” while in Isaiah 49:22 God states, “I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people.” While in jail in Missouri in the late 1830s, Joseph Smith wrote that the Constitution of the United States was a “glorious standard” and a “heavenly banner” that had been erected to establish liberty. The Council of Fifty sought to erect a new standard of liberty in order to establish the freedoms America had failed to safeguard.
Several of Joseph Smith’s revelations spoke of the “kingdom of God” and contributed to the eventual establishment of the Council of Fifty. Early revelations commanded converts, for instance, to “seek the kingdom of God.” An October 1831 revelation, paraphrasing Daniel’s prophecy, declared, “The keys of the kingdom of God is committed unto man on the Earth & from thence shall the Gospel roll forth unto the ends of the Earth as the stone which is hewn from the Mountain without hands shall roll forth untill it hath filled the whole Earth.” That revelation emphasized that the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth would occur before the second coming of Jesus Christ. In August 1833 another revelation instructed that the “keys” of the “Kingdom of God on the earth” had been “confered upon” the Latter-day Saints.
Initially, Latter-day Saints likely understood these statements about the kingdom of God as describing the work of the church; by the time of the organization of the Council of Fifty, Joseph Smith and others saw them as referring to a literal kingdom of God on earth. Smith had been publicly expressing similar thoughts on the merits of theocracy since 1842, when an editorial on “The Government of God” appeared in the church newspaper Times and Seasons, of which he was the editor. The editorial, written by John Taylor, criticized contemporary governments for their failures to “promote universal peace and happiness.” Even the United States was “rent from center to circumference, with party strife, political intrigue, and sectional interest.” Speaking about the government of God as reflected in ancient Israel and in the future Millennium, the editorial averred, “Their government was a theocracy; they had God to make their laws, and men chosen by him to administer them . . . so will it be when the purposes of God shall be accomplished; when ‘the Lord shall be king over the whole earth’ and ‘Jerusalem his throne.’”
Members of the council believed that it would play a key role in the fulfillment of both biblical and latter-day prophecies. Hyrum Smith, for instance, told the council “that the time was at hand when the prophecies should be fulfilled, when the nations were ready to embrace the gospel and when the ensign should be lift up and the standard to the people.”
How did the Council Relate to the Church?
Though general and local Church leaders were central in founding the Council of Fifty and throughout its existence, the council was not an ecclesiastical body. The First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the other Church quorums and councils continued to function as normal and continued to be responsible for ecclesiastical matters such as appointing officers, disciplining members, teaching doctrine, and performing ordinances. The Council of Fifty, in contrast, was a temporal or political body created to protect the Church and provide it space to flourish.
As Joseph Smith explained to the council in April 1844: “There is a distinction between the Church of God and kingdom of God [or Council of Fifty]. The laws of the kingdom are not designed to effect our salvation hereafter. It is an entire, distinct and separate government. The church is a spiritual matter and a spiritual kingdom; but the kingdom which Daniel saw was not a spiritual kingdom, but was designed to be got up for the safety and salvation of the saints by protecting them in their religious rights and worship.”
What Did the Council Accomplish during the Nauvoo Era?
At the practical level, the Nauvoo-era Council of Fifty had perhaps three primary accomplishments. First, the council helped manage Joseph Smith’s presidential campaign. Second, the council provided a forum for making practical decisions about matters in Nauvoo, including construction of the Nauvoo temple and how to protect and govern the city after the state of Illinois repealed the Nauvoo municipal charter in January 1845. Third and most important, the council played a major role in exploring possible settlement sites and in planning the church’s migration to the American West.
Under Brigham Young’s leadership in 1845 and 1846, the council focused less on the wide-ranging discussions about millennial prophecies, the kingdom of God, and constitutionalism that had occupied it during the council’s initial months. Rather, council members focused on more pragmatic concerns, especially how to respond to the repeal of the Nauvoo charter, complete the Nauvoo temple and Nauvoo House, and explore settlement sites. As they wrestled with the question of how to maintain order in a city of over ten thousand inhabitants without a functioning local government, council members discussed and at times implemented ideas to establish an extralegal police force, to restore city government, and to urge state leaders to reinstate the charter.
In addition, as William Clayton wrote in his journal in March 1845, the council increasingly looked to the West; they wanted to “seek out a location and a home where the saints can dwell in peace and health, and where they can erect the ensign & standard of liberty for the nations, and live by the laws of God without being oppressed and mobbed under a tyrannical government without protection from the laws.” They continued gathering information on western sites and sent four men on a “Western Mission” among various American Indian tribes, hoping to forge alliances with western tribes and find temporary gathering places for the Saints.
During these 1845 meetings—in the shadow of the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, and with the growing realization of their tenuous situation in Nauvoo—council members occasionally lashed out in anger at their perceived enemies. Brigham Young expressed his frustration by stating that he did not “care about preaching to the gentiles any longer.” Indeed, he stated, paraphrasing Lyman Wight, “Let the damned scoundrels be killed, let them be swept off from the earth, and then we can go and be baptized for them, easier than we can convert them.” The previous treatment of the Latter-day Saints in Missouri and Illinois and the murders of the Smiths heavily influenced Young’s rhetoric: “The gentiles have rejected the gospel; they have killed the prophets, and those who have not taken an active part in the murder all rejoice in it and say amen to it.” Rather than preach to the Gentiles, he continued, the Saints would look to the “house of Israel,” by which he meant the American Indians. Young believed that American governments had been too powerless or too corrupt to protect the Latter-day Saints’ rights, and he vowed that he would not allow himself to be taken and killed as the Smiths had been.
Both the Latter-day Saints and their opponents accepted widespread American attitudes toward community violence and vigilantism that justified using extralegal means to provide for community defense when other mechanisms failed or to enforce order on individuals or communities perceived as undesirable. The Mormons continued to be targets of extralegal vigilantism after the mob murders of the Smiths, and the Saints themselves expelled dissenters from Nauvoo in spring 1845.
Notwithstanding the often heated statements within the Council of Fifty, Mormon extralegal violence was typically limited to the defense of Nauvoo from outsiders—particularly after the repeal of the Nauvoo charter left the city without a police force or court system—and the coercive expulsion of dissidents. When faced with the possibility of armed conflict between the Saints and other Illinois residents, Young and other church leaders spoke of suffering wrong rather than doing wrong and eventually opted for a mass exodus rather than battle.
What Can Latter-day Saints Today Learn from the Nauvoo Council of Fifty Minutes?
The Council of Fifty minutes provide a way of studying how Church members can make decisions according to inspiration and the council process. While the council chairman (Joseph Smith or Brigham Young) directed council discussions, the members had equal opportunity to speak and council decisions were to be unanimous. Much of the business of the council was delegated to committees of a few council members, who studied assigned matters separately and returned to the council with recommendations that were then considered by the whole group.
Council members believed they had an obligation to offer candid commentary on issues before the council and that their collective deliberations would lead them to correct decisions. From the beginning of the council, Joseph Smith urged participants to “speak their minds” and “to say what was in their hearts whether good or bad.” He said he “did not want to be forever surrounded by a set of ‘dough heads’ [unintelligent people] and if they did not rise up and shake themselves and exercise themselves in discussing these important matters he should consider them nothing better than ‘dough heads.’”
This deliberative process was followed, for example, as the council explored possible new settlement sites for the Saints. Council members initially suggested a broad range of sites, including Texas, California, Wisconsin, Oregon, and the Rocky Mountains. Over the course of many months, the council studied the latest maps and reports of explorations and sent out men to gather as much information as possible and to seek possible political alliances. As new information came in, the council eliminated possibilities that were impractical. At the establishment of the Council, members first focused on Texas, then an independent Republic. They sent a delegate who met with President Sam Houston, who responded enthusiastically. However, when the Republic of Texas became the U.S. state of Texas in March 1845, the Council of Fifty looked elsewhere, focusing for a time on California and then among various American Indian tribes.
By fall 1845, the council began to focus on the Rocky Mountains and then the valley of the Great Salt Lake as the destination. Throughout this process council members felt that they were being guided by revelation, but not until the time for departure neared did Brigham Young feel confident of the exact destination. On January 13, 1846, as the Saints were preparing to leave their homes in Nauvoo, he declared, “The Saying of the Prophets would never be verified unless the House of the Lord should be reared in the Tops of the Mountains & the Proud Banner of liberty wave over the valley’s that are within the Mountains &c I know where the spot is & I no [know] how to make the Flag.”
The minutes also contain many previously unknown statements from Joseph Smith and other Church leaders. On May 3, 1844, Joseph Smith taught the council, “We should never indulge our appetites to injure our influence, or wound the feelings of friends, or cause the spirit of the Lord to leave us. There is no excuse for any man to drink and get drunk in the church of Christ, or gratify any appetite, or lust, contrary to the principles of righteousness.”
Amasa Lyman, a counselor in the First Presidency, stated that he looked “for a full and perfect emancipation of the whole human race, that the sound of oppression should be buried in eternal oblivion. The paltry considerations of earthly gain and glory falls into insignificance before the glories we now realize. The object we have in view is not to save a man alone or a nation, but to call down the power of God and let all be blessed, protected, saved and made happy—burst of the chains of oppression. This is a kingdom worth having.”
On one occasion, Brigham Young instructed the council on how Church leaders receive revelation. God spoke according to the understanding of His servants. Brigham taught, “He supposed there has not yet been a perfect revelation given, because we cannot understand it, yet we receive a little here and a little there. He should not be stumbled if the prophet should translate the Bible forty thousand times over and yet it should be different in some places every time, because when God speake, he always speaks according to the capacity of the people.” Furthermore, God had much yet to reveal to the Latter-day Saints. Brigham commented, “He does not know how much more there is in the bosom of the Almighty. When God sees that his people have enlarged upon what he has given us he will give us more.”
Perhaps the most powerful teaching in the entire Nauvoo Council of Fifty record is Joseph Smith’s statement on religious liberty from the April 11, 1844, meeting. Arguing that the agency God gave His children requires mortals too to grant and safeguard the freedom of religion, he declared: “God cannot save or damn a man only on the principle that every man acts, chooses and worships for himself; hence the importance of thrusting from us every spirit of bigotry and intollerance towards a mans religious sentiments, that spirit which has drenched the earth with blood— When a man feels the least temptation to such intollerance he ought to spurn it from him. It becomes our duty on account of this intollerance and corruption—the inalienable right of man being to think as he pleases—worship as he pleases &c being the first law of every thing that is sacred—to guard every ground all the days of our lives. I will appeal to every man in this council beginning at the youngest that when he arrives to the years of Hoary age he will have to say that the principles of intollerance and bigotry never had a place in this kingdom, nor in my breast, and that he is even then ready to die rather than yeild to such things. Nothing can reclaim the human mind from its ignorance, bigotry, superstition &c but those grand and sublime principles of equal rights and universal freedom to all men. . . . When I have used every means in my power to exalt a mans mind, and have taught him righteous principles to no effect—he is still inclined in his darkness, yet the same principles of liberty and charity would ever be manifested by me as though he embraced it. Hence in all governments or political transactions a mans religious opinions should never be called in question. A man should be judged by the law independant of religious prejudice.”
 Events of June 1844, p. XXX herein<<burn the records of the kingdom. . .buried them in my garden>>.
 Clayton, Journal, 3 July 1844 and 18 Aug. 1844.
 See, for example, JS History, vol. F-1, addenda, 9; and “History of Brigham Young,” Deseret News [Salt Lake City], 24 Mar. 1858, 17.
 Franklin D. Richards, Journal, 16 Mar. 1880; see also entry for 20 Mar. 1884.
 Letter of Transfer, Salt Lake City, UT, 15 Nov. 2010, in Case File for Nauvoo Council of Fifty Minutes, CHL.
 See Council of Fifty, Minutes, Mar. 10–11, 1844, in JSP, CFM:17–45; see also Joseph Smith, Journal, Mar. 10–11, 1844, in Andrew H. Hedges, Alex D. Smith, and Brent M. Rogers, eds., Journals, Volume 3: May 1843–June 1844, vol. 3 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Ronald K. Esplin and Matthew J. Grow (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2015), 200–202.
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, Mar. 11 and Apr. 18, 1844, in JSP, CFM:40, 128.
 See “The Council of Fifty in Nauvoo, Illinois,” in JSP, CFM:xxv–xxvi, xxxiv–xxxv; and Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twelfth General Assembly, at Their Session, Began and Held at Springfield, on the Seventh of December, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty (Springfield, IL: William Walters, 1841), 52–57.
 See “The Council of Fifty in Nauvoo, Illinois,” in JSP, CFM:xxxiv–xxxv.
 JS, “The Globe,” Times and Seasons, 15 Apr. 1844, 5:510, emphasis in original. On the development of the concept of theodemocracy, see Mason, “God and the People: Theodemocracy in Nineteenth-Century Mormonism,” 349–375.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<design was to form a Theocracy. . .enjoyment of our own rights>>.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<considered that a Theocracy. . .see it executed>>.
 See, for example, McIntire, Notebook, .
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<to show that in the organization of this. . .drenched the earth>>.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 14 Mar. 1844, p. XXX herein<<called, “The Kingdom of God>>. A circa March 1832 Joseph Smith revelation identified the “name of God in pure Language” as “Awman” (also spelled “Ahman” in Mormon records) and called Christ the “Son Awman” and the “greatest of all the parts of Awman.” (Revelation, ca. Mar. 1832, in Revelation Book 1, p. 144, in JSP, MRB:265; see also Council of Fifty, “Record,” 5 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<meaning of the word “Ahman” which>>; and Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 18 Feb. 1855, 2:342.)
 See, for example, JS, Journal, 13 May 1844, in JSP, J3:249; Council of Fifty, “Record,” 18 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<“We the people of the Kingdom of God”>>; and Almon Babbitt, Macedonia, IL, to JS et al., Nauvoo, IL, 5 May 1844, Council of Fifty, Papers, CHL. As noted above, Clayton titled his bound volumes of minutes the “Record of the Council of Fifty or Kingdom of God.”
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, Apr. 18, 1844, in JSP, CFM:109.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 19 Mar. 1844, p. XXX herein<<it was Resolved to draft a constitution>>.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<lacking in the constitution>>.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 25 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<let the constitution alone. . .Saith the Lord>>.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Apr. 1844, p. XXX herein<<Smith, as our Prophet, Priest>>.
 Revelation 5:10; Kimball, Journal, 26 Dec. 1845; see also Vision, 16 Feb. 1832, in JSP, D2:188 [D&C 76:56].
 JS, Journal, 23 July 1843, in JSP, J3:66; see also JS, Journal, 27 Aug. 1843, in JSP, J3:86; Ehat, “Council of Fifty;” and Willard Richards, Nauvoo, IL, to Brigham Young, New York City, NY, 18–19 July 1843, Brigham Young Office Files, CHL.
 Historian’s Office, General Church Minutes, 8 Apr. 1844.
 “Resolutions,” Nauvoo Expositor, 7 June 1844, .
 Message of the Governor of the State of Illinois, 5.
 Richard W. Cummins, Delaware and Shawnee Agency, to William Clark, [St. Louis, MO], 15 Feb. 1831, U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency, Records, vol. 6, p. 114; see also Thomas B. Marsh and Elizabeth Godkin Marsh to Lewis Abbott and Ann Marsh Abbott, [ca. 11 Apr. 1831], Abbott Family Collection, CHL.
 [John L. O’Sullivan], “Annexation,” United States Magazine, and Democratic Review 17, no. 85 (July–Aug. 1845): 5; JS, Journal, 20 Feb. 1844, in JSP, J3:180; Bushman, Rough Stone Rolling, 517–519.
 Daniel 2:44–45; “The Government of God,” Times and Seasons, 15 July 1842, 3:857; Council of Fifty, “Record,” 19 and 26 Mar. 1844, pp. XXX<<filfillment of the prophecies>>, XXX herein<<particularly to the image spoken of>>.
 See, for example, Isaiah 11:12; 13:2; 18:3; 30:17; 31:9; 59:19; 62:10; Jeremiah 4:6, 21; 51:12, 27; and Zechariah 9:16.
 JS et al., Liberty, MO, to the Church Members and Edward Partridge, Quincy, IL, 20 Mar. 1839, in Revelations Collection, CHL.
 Revelation, May 1829–A, in JSP, D1:55 [D&C 11:23].
 Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831, in JSP, D2:93 [D&C 65:2].
 Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A, in JSP, D3:202 [D&C 97:14].
 “The Government of God,” Times and Seasons, 15 July 1842, 3:856–857; see also Ehat, “Joseph Smith and the Constitution of the Kingdom of God,” 253–280.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 19 Mar. 1844, p. XXX herein<<time was at hand. . .& righteousness shall prevail.>>.
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, Apr. 18, 1844, in JSP, CFM:128.
 See “The Council of Fifty in Nauvoo, Illinois,” in JSP, CFM:xxxiv–xxxv, xxxix–xlii.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 25 Mar. 1845, p. XXX herein<<opposed to giving up the charter. He. . .[to end of entry]>>; “Notice,” Nauvoo Neighbor, 26 Mar. 1845, ; Clayton, Journal, 15 Apr. 1845.
 Clayton, Journal, 1 Mar. 1845.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Apr. 1845, p. XXX herein<<it is his wishes that brother Dana & Dunham. . .coming all the way back>>.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 11 Mar. 1845, p. XXX herein<<dont care about preaching. . .to the house of Israel>>.
 Council of Fifty, “Record,” 18 Mar. 1845, p. XXX herein. <<He then said that none of the Twelve are going to be taken to Carthage>>
 See Gilje, Rioting in America, chap. 3; and Grimsted, American Mobbing.
 Historian’s Office, Reports of Speeches, 6 Apr. 1845; “To Our Patrons,” Nauvoo Neighbor, 29 Oct. 1845, .
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, Mar. 10, 1844, in JSP, CFM:39.
 See, for example, Council of Fifty, Minutes, May 3, 1844, and Sept. 9, 1845, and Letters from Orson Hyde, Apr. 25 and 26, 1844, in JSP, CFM:137–147, 171–186, 465–477.
 John D. Lee, Journal, Jan. 13, 1846, p. 79, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, May 3, 1844, in JSP, CFM:139.
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, Apr. 11, 1844, in JSP, CFM:102.
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, Apr. 18, 1844, in JSP, CFM:119.
 Council of Fifty, Minutes, Apr. 11, 1844, in JSP, CFM:97–101.