This paper was written some twenty years ago and submitted to BYU Studies for publication. After keeping the paper for nearly a year, the editor returned it and declined publication because the journal's panel of readers could not accept many of my conclusions concerning the role and importance of the Holy Order in Nauvoo. Inexplicably I soon learned that copies of the paper were circulating on the so-called Mormon Underground. I was quite displeased about the rejection of the paper for conventional publication, while its "publication" over the Mormon Underground occurred without my permission.
Since its unauthorized circulation the paper has been cited in a number of articles and books. Further, many of my conclusions have been substantiated in later articles and books by such authors as Andrew F. Ehat, David John Buerger, and D. Michael Quinn.
The copy of the paper presented here is substantially the same as originally submitted to BYU Studies, with a few corrections to typos, etc. No attempt has been made to update the information in the text. By 1990s standards the paper is obviously dated, but with the sources available in the 1970s it was then, I feel, a ground breaking study and worthy of publication. Charts I and II, which give the names of the members of the Holy Order and the Council of Fifty, have not been reproduced as originally prepared, because additional information has superseded much the data in the original, particularly that both Sidney Rigdon and William Marks were members of the Council of Fifty.
I am now please to provide access to an authorized copy of The Holy Order in Nauvoo.
-- Lisle G Brown, 1995