The history of the Word of Wisdom, Mar 29, 1835

-- Mar 29, 1835
At 11 A.M. at the Kirtland Temple, Joseph Smith and four counselors meet in "Most Holy Place in the Lord's House and sought for a revelation from Him to teach us concerning our going to Zion. . ." After uniting in prayer three times they "call the other Presidents, the two Bishops and their councils (each to stand in his place) and fast through the day and also the night." The "word of the Lord" comes through Joseph Smith "that those who had entered the Holy Place must not leave the House untill morning, . . .we must clens[e] our feet and partake of the sacrament . . . Accordingly we proceeded and cleansed our faces and our feet, and then proceeded to wash each other's feet." Sidney Rigdon and Joseph Smith's wash each other's feet after which Rigdon washes Joseph Smith Senrio's and Hyrum Smith's feet. Joseph Smith washes Frederick G. Williams's feet and then Hyrum Smith washes David Whitmer's and Oliver Cowdery's feet. David Whitmer and William W. Phelps wash each other's fee
t. "The Bishops and their councils were then washed, after which we partook of the bread and wine." They stay in the temple all through the night. (1)

-- Apr 4, 1835

April 4, 1835 at a conference in Freedom, New York, Elder Chester L. Heath, a member of the Avon-Geneseo church, is excommunicated for breach of covenant and not observing the Word of Wisdom. Sidney Rigdon presides. (2)

-- May 11, 1835
[Quorum of Twelve] May 11th 1835. The twelve left Kirtland this morning and embarked on bo[a]rd the Steamer Sandusky, at Fair Post, bound for Dunkirk N[ew] Y[ork] where we landed the same day at 5 o'clock PM. We preached in those regions for a short time and there met in Westfield pursuant to previous appointment where we held a conference May 9th in order to transact such business as should be found necessary. This High council met with the church. Elder Thomas B. Marsh being the oldest man in the council, took the chair, the meeting was opened by a solem[n] appeal to Heaven that his blessings might be shed forth upon us.

The following items were suggested for the consideration of the council.

1st Resolved that the limits of this conference extend south and west to the line of Pennsylvania, North as far as Lake Erie and East as far as Lodi, embracing the branches of Westfield, Sliver Creek, Perrysburgh, and Laona, to be called the "Westfield Conference"

2nd To inquire into the standing of all the Elders within the bounds of this conference.

3rd To inquire into the manner of their teaching, diligence and faithfulness in the cause of truth and whether any teach false or erroneous doctrine.

4th To inquire into the conduct, teaching and faithfulness of all the travelling Elders who have recently travelled through the bounds of this conf.

5th To call upon the Elders present to represent the several branches of the church over which they preside.

Upon inquiry all the Elders present were found to be in good standing. Their manner of teaching met the approbation of the council, except that of Elder Joseph Rose who was found to have taught some things contrary to the faith of the church, such for instance, "The Jewish church was the Sun and the Gentile church was the Moon &c. When the Jewish church was scattered, the sun was darkened, and when the Gentile church is cut off, the moon will be turned to blood and also some things relative to the apocalyptic Beast, with seven heads and ten horns -- and such like. He was shown his error and willingly made an humble confession. The faithfulness of all the travelling Elders was found to be good. The church at Westfield was represented by Elders Gro. Babcock & James Burnham. (the presiding Elder, John Gould being absent on a Journey) and was found to be in good standing and fellowship with the exception of a difficulty resting in the minds of some of the church relative to the
validity of the baptism of brother Loyd L. Lewis in as much as he was baptised by Elder Noah Hubbard, a travelling Elder, without the church being called together to know if they would receive him to fellowship. After much explanation had been given by the council on the nature and principles of church government it was decided that, if there was dou[b]t, it was in the administration and not in the candidate. The number of disciples in this branch was Seventy Five in good faith and fellowship. The branch at Laona was represented by Elder Edmond Fisher, one of the The number of disciples being Twenty in good standing but rather low in spirit in consequence of a neglect to keep the word of wisdom.

After some further instructions by the council on general principles, the conference adjourned until 8 o'clock AM Monday May 11. (3)

1 - Advent Adam website (defunct) - based on
2 - Kenny, Scott, Saints Without Halos, Mormon History 1830-1844, Word of Wisdom,
3 - Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: Minutes of Meetings and Other Documents--Excerpts, 1835-1896,

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom