The Representative Meeting is the body that makes business decisions on the yearly meeting level between yearly meeting sessions. The body is charged with the review of proposed publications and has authority to act on behalf of the yearly meeting. The Representative Meeting is restricted by the Discipline from amending the Discipline without yearly meeting action.
This body was established in the mid-1700s with the name of the Meeting for Sufferings (M4S). Each ancient yearly meeting had a Meeting of Sufferings. A major piece of business in the early years was the chronicling of the sufferings of members on various accounts (but primarily for muster fines and not supporting the established religion of the area). In the mid-19th century, Friends began to question the name of the M4S, as its name no longer represented the purpose of the body. The name was changed by each YM at various times; the change took place in Ohio in 1958 as part of the sweeping changes to the Discipline.
All former minute books for this body are stored in the vault at Olney. Most minutes were included in the printed YM minutes since the 1960s.