175 years ago today - Mar 26, 1844 • Tuesday

A significant event likely occurred in this meeting ... about which the minutes are silent but which council members discussed a year later ... referred to as JS's "last charge." This may have been an extension of the charge relating the history, purpose, and rules of the council that was typically given to new members and that JS may have delivered in this meeting. The most complete recorded version of this charge was written down by Thomas Bullock in December 1846. On that occasion William Clayton related that at the organization of the Council of Fifty, JS stated that the council served two purposes: it was to establish "the Kingdom spoken of by Daniel" and "to take from his [JS's] shoulders a great weight of responsibility & place it in others." Hyde's description of the late March 1844 event, discussed in the council on 25 March 1845, indicates that JS told the council, "I roll the burthen and responsibility of leading this church off from my shoulders on to yours. Now, round up your shoulders and stand under it like men; for the Lord is going to let me rest a while."

[Joseph Smith Papers: Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844-January 1846]

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