175 years ago today - Mar 1, 1845 • Saturday

[Council of Fifty]

The council approved the addition of seven men selected by Young to take the place of council members who had been rejected in the 4 February meeting. ... Young also proposed that three visitors be made temporary members, acting in the place of members who were absent. Lewis Dana, one of the temporary members, was an American Indian of the Oneida tribe; according to Clayton, he was "the first Lamanite who has been admitted a member of any quorum of this church." Both the new members and the temporary members accepted the requirements of council membership.

The new members then voted to sustain Young as the "standing chairman and successor of Joseph Smith henceforth and forever." In addition, they agreed to receive him as "prophet, priest, and king to this kingdom forever," as the council had received JS on 11 April 1844. ...

In instructing the new members, Young spoke of the council as a "living constitution" to enact laws for the kingdom of God. He and other council members discussed two primary, and interrelated, objectives of the council: uniting American Indians and finding a place where the Latter-day Saints "can dwell in peace and lift up the standard of liberty." ...

The objective of this council meeting, Clayton wrote in his journal, "was to decide whether we shall send out a company of men with brother Dana to fill Josephs measures originally adapted in the council by going West to seek out a location ... Clayton recorded that the company was "expected to start immediately" after the church conference in early April "and proceed from tribe to tribe, to unite the Lamanites and find a home for the saints."

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

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