William Clayton recorded the minutes of the December 30, 1841 Nauvoo Masonic Lodge meeting.

Dec 30, 1841
Meeting Minutes / Notes
William Clayton
Scribed Verbatim

Meeting Minutes, December 30, 1841, Clayton Version, Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, Church History Library

William Clayton
Samuel Rolfe, Noah Rogers, Hyrum Smith, Asahel Perry, Joshua Smith, John C. Bennett, William Clayton, Charles Allen, Lyman Leonard, Elijah Fordham, William Vananisdall, Lucius N. Scovil, Hyrum B. Barton, William Felshaw, Samuel Henderson, Christopher Williams, John Patten, John Smith, Heber C. Kimball
Nauvoo Freemasons

The lodge met pursuant to adjournment. Present—George Miller, Worshipful Master; Hyrum Smith, Senior Warden., pr.t.; Lucius N. Scovil, Junior Warden.; John C. Bennett, Secretary; Charles Allen, Senior Deacon; Heber C. Kimball, Junior Deacon; William Felshaw and Hiram Clark, Stewards; Samuel Rolfe Tyler; and William Vananisdall, Joshua Smith, John Smith, Lyman Leonard, Christopher Williams, John Patten, Noah Rogers, Samuel Henderson, Elijah Fordham, & Asahel Perry, Members. John Smith was appointed Treasurer pro tempore, and the lodge was opened in due form in the Entered Apprentices' Degree. The Committee on By-laws then reported on the following code, which was unanimously adopted. . .

The following members then reported themselves to hail from the lodges appended to their names respectively; to wit: George Miller, Widow's Son, No. 60, Va.; Hyrum Smith, Mount Moriah, No. 112, N.Y.; William Vananisdall, Gallia, O.; Joshua Smith, Center Star, O.; Lucius N. Scovil, Morning Star, No. 83; O.; Charles Allen, Nova Cesaera Harmony, No. 2, O.; John Smith, Harmony, N.Y.; Lyman Leonard, Binghamton, N.Y.; Hiram Clark, Queen of Sheba, N.Y.; Samuel Rolfe, Blazing Star, Me.; Christopher Williams, Fort George, U.C.; John Patten, Friendship, No. 173, N.Y.; John C. Bennett, Friendship, NO. 89, O.; Heber C. Kimball, Victor, No. 303, N.Y.; Noah Rogers, Morning Star, No. 83, O., Elijah Fordham, Hiram, No. 10. N.Y.; Samuel Henderson, Tyro, No. 12, Mo.; and Asahel Perry, Augusta, N.Y. Resolved, that Grand Master Jonas be requested to attend at the installation together with such friends as he may wish to invite, at the expense of the lodge. The lodge then closed in due form, to stand closed until the next special communication to take place on Monday evening next, January 3rd, A.L. 5842, A.D. 1842, at 6 o'clock, P.M. John C. Bennett, Secretary

BHR Staff Commentary

Until the formal installation of the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge in March 1842, John C. Bennett kept minutes of all Lodge proceedings. When Grand Master Abraham Jonas came to Nauvoo for the March installation, he directed them to produce a new, fair copy of the meeting minutes, now kept by William Clayton and subsequently, by Willard Richards (shown here). The December 30, 1841 meeting, as evidenced above, received multiple petitions for membership, far more than is typical for a Masonic Lodge. When Grand Master Abraham Jonas came to Nauvoo in March for the formal Lodge installation and procession, Hogan speculates that Jonas directed the Lodge to manipulate the minutes to postdate all petitions until after the March 15 installation. Thus, many of the names included in the December 30 meeting of the original manuscript were omitted from the fair copy. While the reasons for this omission are not ultimately known, it is probable that Jonas ordered the omission in order to present the appearance of discretion and deliberation in initiating membership into the Lodge. Joseph Smith likely alluded to this need for discretion when he warned that the Relief Society was "going too fast" and should "grow up by degrees."

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