The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History

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Jedediah Rogers Discusses Joseph Smith's Council of Fifty - Mormon Stories

Well funded and fully staffed, JSP is a model documentary editing project. Like all of the volumes produced by JSP, the C50 volume can be used as both a primary and a secondary source. The series and volume introductions provide comprehensive overviews of both. The volume also includes a source note describing the physical condition and look of the three C50 minutes books, as well as their provenance. In terms of the minutes themselves, they focus on an important period in Church history. Of interest to me were the early months of the minutes, when Smith was organizing a presidential campaign.

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An additional feature or features, really of the JSP volumes is the extra material that accompanies them. Extensive timelines, maps, images, and short biographies provide important context for users. Some of these extras, including an errata page , are already online; the minutes themselves should be available online by the end of While it helps to have some acquaintance with LDS Church history to understand the C50 minutes, the editors do everything within their power to give users the resources necessary to understand the source material.

I suspect even Church members, no matter their depth of knowledge about their history, will appreciate the detail. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. The three minute books known to exist were recorded by William Clayton of the meetings from March to January The records remained in his care until , when they were secured with temple records and buried to keep them from the U. Cannon, as the Recorder of The Council in George F.

After , Gibbs gave the minutes to President Joseph F. Early in the s, President Grant read the records one final time nearly fifty years after The Council last met and placed them in the office of the First Presidency. For decades the records remained there, unused for any administrative and historical activities. They were transcribed before , and in the transcript and volumes were housed in the Church History Library.

Other works, considering their dependence on sources tributary to and removed from the actual Council Minutes, have covered the ground well, but not completely, in describing that time in Nauvoo and later. The effort continues as the Church History Library steps toward transparency of Mormon documents that quickened during the Marlin K. Jensen era and accelerated even more noticeably by Steven S.

The Fifty, their activities, and the minutes have generated curiosity for a long time. That the Council existed has long been known, but the minutes were not available indeed hidden away with no access to historians , so a set of almost folk myths developed about them. Why were the members secretive about the Fifty and their activities? Why did they swear an oath of secrecy?

Why would Church leadership not make them available? What do the minutes hide? Michael Quinn and Andrew F. Ehat, the curious had been well prepared for the public release of the material last year to the public, if a bit let down that nothing really new pops out of the manuscripts. Mormon leaders defended, however, the Constitution as a divinely inspired document that they were trying to protect from corruption by contemporary American politicians and parties.

The authors are experts in the field of their study. The only major weakness in the author selection, in my opinion, is that Marilyn Bradford is the sole woman writer, and she is co-author. When will the editors trust a woman to write an entire chapter? This greatly limits a perspective unique to the work.

Women certainly were the recipients of the effects of Council decision- making, and I would very much like to know what they thought and said about how these decisions affected their lives. Each essay enhances our understanding of those crazy, dangerous days before and after the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, as well as the near chaos that ensued after the murders. The authors and their essay titles follow, and I believe there is something for everyone to be found in them.

PART 2: 1854–1866

Patrick Q. Nathan B. Matthew J. Jeffrey D.

Richard E. The above titles are explanatory as to subjects and their importance.


  • Evening with the Authors–The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History (Sep 6);
  • Ep – Council Of Fifty Pt. 1 William Clayton Naked Mormonism podcast.
  • Recent Comments.
  • The Green Eagle Score: A Parker Novel (Parker Novels);
  • The Ladybird Book of the Hangover (Ladybirds for Grown-Ups)!

The essays develop critical insights into that decisive era of Mormon history. It is true that no great, new revelation or overwhelming secret has been delivered by the release of the minutes.


  • The Early Clarinet: A Practical Guide (Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music).
  • The Council of Fifty: A Documentary History.
  • Netsuke: Masterpieces from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • The Council of YTFIF (50): Embryo Kingdom of God on Earth.

However, the information made available in the last year now allows the historians to sift through a vast minutia of specifics that inform their understanding of the processes, the thoughts, and the planning that led Joseph Smith then Brigham Young, with their peers in the secret council, to lead the Church ultimately into the great American West. Good history writing must be good literature. These writers avoid the scholarly ennui that at times limits the practice of our discipline.

So we skip round about that common sense informing us more [much more] remains to be found, more remains to be examined, more remains to be interpreted. The essays capture and cast concepts and facts in a new light that I had not considered before. This volume is the latest and best in current scholarship on The Council of Fifty.

ISBN 13: 9781560852247

I strongly encourage all professionals and laypersons absorbed with LDS history to visit your favorite bookstore or get online quickly. This book is worth the fare. Buy two: place one prominently on your desk to impress your history friends when they visit with you.