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Minutes of the School of the Prophets held in Provo, UT

 Item — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS 7989

Scope and Contents

Contains minutes of the weekly meetings of the Provo, Utah School of the Prophets, from April 15, 1868 to June 18, 1869. The minutes record the concerns and perspectives of leading citizens and Church leaders of the local community on a variety of topics, including agriculture, the Cooperative Movement, the Council of Fifty, local elections, Indians, land rights and homesteading, Mormon merchants, the railroad contract, stock raising, and the Word of Wisdom.


  • 1868-1871


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Minutes of the School of the Prophets held in Provo, UT : 1868-1871 must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Administrative History

The School of the Prophets in Provo, Utah was established in April 1868. The organization provided theological instruction, and served as a venue for discussing community concerns.

In 1833-1835 Joseph Smith organized several schools, the best known of which is the School of the Prophets. It was to be a school for men preparing to serve missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and while its course of study could be wide-ranging, it was mainly a language and theological school.

In 1868, with the transcontinental railroad approaching Utah (which would supply cheap produced goods in the East to the local population), Brigham Young moved to soften if not halt this economic threat to Mormon self-sufficiency by organizing a number of Schools of the Prophets in various Mormon communities. To be composed of local church leaders and other community leaders, these schools would meet weekly to coordinate the Church's response to the perceived threat to Mormon economic survival. Various programs emerged in the Church, including the Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI) cooperative movement, with its emphasis on home manufacturing and local control of various planned industries, the reorganization of the Female Relief Societies, and the retrenchment of the Mormon community into more self-contained programs. The Schools discussed matters both temporal and spiritual.

The Provo School of the Prophets was organized by Brigham Young on April 15, 1868. Abraham O. Smoot was appointed president, with Aaron Johnson as vice-president, Alexander F. MacDonald as secretary, and L. John Nuttall as assistant secretary.


1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Minute book for the Provo Territory School of the Prophets, for weekly meetings between April 1868 and June 1869 (photocopy of typescript). Recorded by L. John Nuttall.

Custodial History

The typescript was purchased from Ken Sanders Rare Books in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2011.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased; Ken Sanders Rare Books; October 2011.


19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original minutes are held by the Church History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Existence and Location of Copies

Another typescript of the minutes is housed in the Utah State Historical Society Library in Salt Lake City, Utah (MSS A 1010).


Partial typescript copy. Extent: 201 pages.

Processing Information

Processed; David Whittaker, Curator, and Amanda Crandall, Manuscripts Specialist; 2011-2012.

Register of the Minutes of the School of the Prophets Held in Provo, UT
In Progress
Amanda C. Crandall, Manuscripts Specialist David Whittaker, Curator, 19th Century Western and Mormon Manuscripts
2012 April 4
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States