History of the Church, Vol.1 Chapter 17. [Sept. 1831 - Nov. 1831] The Apostasy of Ezra Booth--Preparations for Publishing the Book of Commandments.
[For an explanation of abbreviations used see vol. 1 chapter 1.]
[Copyright © 1998 BOAP. All rights reserved.]
On the 12th of September(1), I removed with my family to the township of Hiram, and commenced living with John Johnson.1a Hiram was in Portage county, and about thirty miles southeasterly from Kirtland, From this time until the forepart of October, I did little more than prepare to re-commence the translation of the Bible. (2)
About this time Ezra Booth came out as an apostate. He came into the Church upon seeing a person healed of an infirmity of many years standing.(3) He had been a Methodist priest for some time previous to his embracing the fulness of the
Gospel, as developed in the Book of Mormon; and upon his admission into the Church he was ordained an Elder. As will be seen by the foregoing revelations(4), he went up to Missouri as a companion of Elder Morley; but when he actually learned that faith, humility, patience, and tribulation go before blessing, and that God brings low before He exalts; that instead of the "Savior's granting him power to smite men and make them believe," (as he said he wanted God to do in his own case)--when he found he must become all things to all men, that he might peradventure save some; and that, too, by all diligence, by perils by sea and land, as was the case in the days of Jesus--then he was disappointed. In the 6th chapter of St. John's Gospel, 26th verse, it is written: "Verily, verily I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled." So it was with Booth; and when he was disappointed by his own evil heart, he turned away, and, as said before, became an apostate(5), and wrote a series of letters(6),
which, by their coloring, falsity, and vain calculations to overthrow the work of the Lord, exposed his weakness, wickedness and folly, and left him a monument of his own shame, for the world to wonder at.(7)
A conference(8) was held in which Brother W. W. Phelps was instructed to stop at Cincinnati on his way to Missouri and purchase a press and type, for the purpose of establishing and publishing a monthly paper at Independence, Jackson county, Missouri, to be called the Evening and Morning Star.
The first Sunday in October, Orson Hyde(9), a clerk in Brother Sidney Gilbert and Newel K. Whitney's store, in Kirtland, was baptized, and became a member of the Church, He was soon after designated as one of the chosen men of the Lord, to bear His word to the nations.(10)
In the fore part of October(11), I received the following prayer through revelation:
Revelation [D&C 65](12) [October 30, 1831]
1. Hearken, and lo, a voice as of one sent down from on high, who is mighty and powerful, whose going forth is unto the ends of the earth, yea, whose voice is unto men--Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
2. The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.
3. Yea, a voice crying--Prepare ye the way of the Lord, prepare ye the supper of the Lamb, make ready for the Bridegroom.
4. Pray unto the Lord, call upon his holy name, make known his wonderful works among the people.
5. Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in the which the Son of Man shall come down in heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which is set up on the earth.
6. Wherefore, may the kingdom of God go forth, that the kingdom of heaven may come, that thou, O God, mayest be glorified in heaven so on earth, that thine enemies may be subdued; for thine is the honor, power and glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Soon after the above revelation was received, I renewed my work on the translation of the Scriptures, in company with Elder Rigdon, who had removed to Hiram, to act in his office of scribe to me.(13)
On the 11th of October, a conference(14) was held at Brother Johnson's where I was living, at which the Elders were instructed in the ancient manner of conducting meetings, of which knowledge most of them were ignorant. A committee of six was appointed to instruct the several branches of the Church. Elders David Whitmer and Reynolds Cahoon were appointed as two of the said committee; with the further duty on their mission of setting forth the condition of Brothers Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, that they might obtain means to continue the translation. This conference was adjourned till the 25th of October, to meet at the house of Irenus [Serenus] Burnett(15), in Orange, Cuyahoga county(16).
On the 21st, I attended a special conference, to settle a difficulty which had occurred in Kirtland, on account of William Cahoon(17) and Peter Devolue, having abused one of Brother Whitney's children. Elder Rigdon and myself were appointed to go to Kirtland and settle the difficulty, which we did.
At the conference on the 25th, at Orange, twelve High Priests, seventeen Elders, four Priests three Teachers, and four Deacons, together with a large congregation attended. Much business was done, and the four remaining members of the committee, authorized by the conference at Hiram on the 11th, were appointed, and consisted of Simeon Carter, Orson Hyde, Hyrum Smith, and Emer Harris.(18)
At the request of William E. M'Lellin(19), I inquired of the Lord, and received the following:
Revelation, given October, 1831. [D&C 66](20)[October 29, 1831]
1. Behold thus saith the Lord unto my servant William E. M'Lellin--Blessed are you, inasmuch as you have turned away from your iniquities, and have received my truths, saith the Lord your Redeemer, the Savior of the world, even of as many as believe on my name.
2. Verily I say unto you, blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting covenant, even the fulness of my gospel, sent forth unto the children of men, that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are to be revealed in the last days, as it was written by the prophets and apostles in days of old.
3. Verily I say unto you, my servant William, that you are clean, but not all; repent, therefore, of those things which are not pleasing in my sight, saith the Lord, for the Lord will show them unto you.
4. And now, verily, I, the Lord, will show unto you what I will concerning you, or what is my will concerning you.
5. Behold, verily I say unto you, that it is my will that you should proclaim my gospel from land to land, and from city to city, yea, in those regions round about where it has not been proclaimed.
6. Tarry not many days in this place; go not up unto the land of Zion as yet; but inasmuch as you can send, send; otherwise, think not of thy property.
7. Go unto the eastern lands, bear testimony in every place, unto every people and in their synagogues, reasoning with the people.
8. Let my servant Samuel H. Smith go with you, and forsake him not, and give him thine instructions; and he that is faithful shall be made strong in every place; and I, the Lord, will go with you.
9. Lay your hands upon the sick, and they shall recover. Return not till I, the Lord, shall send you. Be patient in affliction. Ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10. Seek not to be cumbered. Forsake all unrighteousness. Commit not adultery--a temptation with which thou hast been troubled.(21)
11. Keep these sayings, for they are true and faithful; and thou shalt magnify thine office, and push many people to Zion with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads.
12. Continue in these things even unto the end, and you shall have a crown of eternal life at the right hand of my Father, who is full of grace and truth.
13. Verily, thus saith the Lord your God, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
I returned from the conference at Orange, to Hiram; and as Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer were to start for Independence, Missouri, a special conference was appointed for the first of November(22), (23) at which I received the following:
Revelation.(24) [D&C 1](25)[November 1, 1831]
1. Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.
2. For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.
3. And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.
4. And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.
5. And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.
6. Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.
7. Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.
8. And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;
9. Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure--
10. Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.
11. Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear;
12. Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;
13. And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
14. And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
15. For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;
16. They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own God, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
17. Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
18. And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets--
19. The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh--
20. But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
21. That faith also might increase in the earth;
22. That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
23. That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
24. Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.
25. And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;
26. And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;
27. And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;
28. And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.
29. And after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., might have power to translate through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon.
30. And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually--
31. For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;
32. Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;
33. And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.
34. And again, verily I say unto you, O inhabitants of the earth: I the Lord am willing to make these things known unto all flesh;
35. For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.
36. And also the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world.
37. Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
38. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
39. For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.
After this revelation was received, some conversation was had concerning revelations and language I received the following:
Revelation, given November, 1831. [D&C 67] (26)[November 1, 1831]
1. Behold and hearken, O ye elders of my church, who have assembled yourselves together, whose prayers I have heard, and whose hearts I know, and whose desires have come up before me.
2. Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give.
3. Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.
4. And now I, the Lord, give unto you a testimony of the truth of these commandments which are lying before you.
5. Your eyes have been upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and his language you have known, and his imperfections you have known; and you have sought in your hearts knowledge that you might express beyond his language, this you also know.
6. Now, seek ye out of the Book of Commandments, even the least that is among them, and appoint him that is the most wise among you;
7. Or, if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it, then ye are justified in saying that ye do not know that they are true;
8. But if ye cannot make one like unto it, ye are under condemnation if ye do not bear record that they are true.
9. For ye know that there is no unrighteousness in them, and that which is righteous cometh down from above, from the Father of lights.
10. And again verily I say unto you that it is your privilege, and a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto this ministry, that inasmuch as you strip yourselves from jealousies and fears, and humble yourselves before me, for ye are not sufficiently humble, the veil shall be rent and you shall see me and know that I am--not with the carnal neither natural mind, but with the spiritual.
11. For no man has seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God.
12. Neither can any natural man abide the presence of God, neither after the carnal mind.
13. Ye are not able to abide the presence of God now, neither the ministering of angels, wherefore, continue in patience until ye are perfected.
14. Let not your minds turn back; and when ye are worthy, in mine own due time, ye shall see and know that which was conferred upon you by the hands of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun. Amen.
After the foregoing was received, William E. M'Lellin, as the wisest man, in his own estimation, having more learning than sense, endeavored to write a commandment like unto one of the least of the Lord's, but failed; it was an awful responsibility to write in the name of the Lord. The Elders and all present that witnessed this vain attempt of a man to imitate the language of Jesus Christ, renewed their faith in the fulness of the Gospel, and in the truth of the commandments and revelations which the Lord had given to the Church through my instrumentality; and the Elders signified a willingness to bear testimony of their truth to all the world. Accordingly I received the following:
The testimony of the witnesses to the book of the Lord's commandments, which He gave to His Church through Joseph Smith, Jun., who was appointed by the voice of the Church for this purpose; we therefore feel willing to bear testimony to all the world of mankind, to every creature upon the face of all the earth and upon the islands of the sea that the Lord has borne record to our souls, through the Holy Ghost, shed forth upon us, that these commandments were given by inspiration of God, and are profitable for all men, and are verily true. We give this testimony unto the world, the Lord being our helper and it is through the grace of God, the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, that we are permitted to have this privilege of bearing this testimony unto the world, that the children of men may be profited thereby.(27)
As the following Elders--Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson(28), Lyman E. Johnson(29), and William E. M'Lellin--were desirous to know the mind of the Lord concerning themselves, I inquired, and received the following:
Revelation, given November, 1831. [D&C 68](30)
1. My servant, Orson Hyde, was called by his ordination to proclaim the everlasting gospel, by the Spirit of the living God, from people to people, and from land to land, in the congregations of the wicked, in their synagogues, reasoning with and expounding all scriptures unto them.
2. And, behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth--
3. And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost.
4. And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall he the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.
5. Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants.
6. Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you and will stand by you, and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.
7. This is the word of the Lord unto you, my servant Orson Hyde, and also unto my servant Luke Johnson and unto my servant Lyman Johnson, and unto my servant William E. M'Lellin, and unto all the faithful elders of my church--
8. Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
9. And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned.
10. And he that believeth shall be blest with signs following, even as it is written.
11. And unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the times, and the signs of the coming of the Son of Man;
12. And of as many as the Father shall bear record, to you shall be given power to seal them up unto eternal life. Amen.
13. And now, concerning the items in addition to the covenants and commandments they are these--
14. There remain hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other bishops to be set apart unto the church to minister even according to the first;
15. Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency (*) of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron.
16. And if they be literal descendants of Aaron they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron;
17. For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same,
18. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron.
19. But, as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power, under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
20. And a literal descendant of Aaron also, must be designated by this Presidency, and found worthy, and anointed, and ordained under the hands of this Presidency, otherwise they are not legally authorized to officiate in their priesthood.
21. But, by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the priesthood descending from father to son, they may claim their anointing if at any time they can prove their lineage, or do ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under the hands of the above named Presidency.
22. And again, no bishop or high priest who shall be set apart for this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the church;
23. And inasmuch as he is found guilty before this Presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned;
24. And if he repent he shall be forgiven, according to the covenants and commandments of the church.
25. And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
26. For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes(31) which are organized.
27. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.
28. And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord.
29. And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
30. And the inhabitants of Zion also shall remember their labors, inasmuch as they are appointed to labor, in all faithfulness; for the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord.
31. Now I, the Lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness; they also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity but their eyes are full of greediness.
32. These things ought not to be and must be done away from among them, wherefore, let my servant Oliver Cowdery carry these sayings unto the land of Zion.
33. And a commandment I give unto them--that he that observeth not his prayers before the Lord in the season thereof, let him be had in remembrance before the judge of my people.
34. These sayings are true and faithful; wherefore, transgress them not, neither take therefrom.
35. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, and I come quickly. Amen.
It had been decided by the conference that Elder Oliver Cowdery should carry the commandments and revelations to Independence, Missouri, for printing, and that I should arrange and get them in readiness by the time that he left, which was to be by--or, if possible, before--the 15th of the month [November(32)]. At this time there were many things which the Elders desired to know relative to preaching the Gospel to the inhabitants of the earth, and concerning the gathering; and in order to walk by the true light, and be instructed from on high, on the 3rd of November, 1831, I inquired of the Lord and received the following important revelation, which has since been added to the book of Doctrine and Covenants, and called the Appendix:
Revelation, given November 3, 1831. [D&C 133](33)
1. Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the Lord your God and hear the word of the Lord concerning you--
2. The Lord who shall suddenly come to his temple; the Lord who shall come down upon the world with a curse to judgment; yea, upon all the nations that forget God, and upon all the ungodly among you.
3. For he shall make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of their God.
4. Wherefore, prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry.
5. Go ye out from Babylon. Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.
6. Call your solemn assemblies, and speak often one to another. And let every man call upon the name of the Lord.
7. Yea, verily I say unto you again, the time has come when the voice of the Lord is unto you; Go ye out of Babylon; gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
8. Send forth the elders of my church unto the nations which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea; send forth unto foreign lands; call upon all nations, first upon the Gentiles, and then upon the Jews.
9. And behold, and lo, this shall be their cry, and the voice of the Lord unto all people; Go ye forth unto the land of Zion, that the borders of my people may be enlarged, and that her stakes may be strengthened, and that Zion may go forth unto the regions round about.
10. Yea, let the cry go forth among all people: Awake and arise and go forth to meet the Bridegroom, behold and lo, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Prepare yourselves for the great day of the Lord.
11. Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour.
12. Let them, therefore, who are among the Gentiles, flee unto Zion.
13. And let them who be of Judah flee unto Jerusalem, unto the mountains of the Lord's house.
14. Go ye out from among the nations, even from Babylon, from the midst of wickedness, which is spiritual Babylon.
15. But verily, thus saith the Lord, let not your flight be in haste, but let all things be prepared before you; and he that goeth, let him not look back lest sudden destruction shall come upon him.
16. Hearken and hear, O ye inhabitants of the earth. Listen, ye elders of my church together, and hear the voice of the Lord; for he calleth upon all men, and he commandeth all men everywhere to repent.
17. For behold, the Lord God hath sent forth the angel crying through the midst of heaven, saying: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight, for the hour of his coming is nigh--
18. When the Lamb shall stand upon Mount Zion, and with him a hundred and forty-four thousand, having his Father's name written on their foreheads.
19. Wherefore, prepare ye for the coming of the Bridegroom; go ye, go ye out to meet him.
20. For behold, he shall stand upon the mount of Oliver, and upon the mighty ocean, even the great deep, and upon the islands of the sea, and upon the land of Zion.
21. And he shall utter his voice out of Zion, and he shall speak from Jerusalem, and his voice shall be heard among all people;
22. And it shall be a voice as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder, which shall break down the mountains, and the valleys shall not be found.
23. He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land;
24. And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.
25. And the Lord, even the Savior, shall stand in the midst of his people, and shall reign over all flesh.
26. And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.
27. And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.
28. Their enemies shall become a prey unto them.
29. And in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water; and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty land.
30. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants.
31. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence.
32. And there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim.
33. And they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy.
34. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.
35. And they also of the tribe of Judah, after their pain shall be sanctified in holiness before the Lord, to dwell in his presence day and night, forever and ever.
36. And now, verily saith the Lord, that these things might be known among you, O inhabitants of the earth, I have sent forth mine angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, who hath appeared unto some and hath committed it unto man, who shall appear unto many that dwell on the earth.
37. And this gospel shall be preached unto every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
38. And the servants of God shall go forth, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come;
39. And worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters--
40. Calling upon the name of the Lord day and night, saying; O that thou wouldst rend the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence.
41. And it shall be answered upon their heads; for the presence of the Lord shall be as the melting fire that burneth, and as the fire which causeth the waters to boil.
42. O Lord, thou shalt come down to make thy name known to thine adversaries, and all nations shall tremble at thy presence--
43. When thou doest terrible things, things they look not for;
44. Yea, when thou comest down, and the mountains flow down at thy presence, thou shalt meet him who rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, who remembereth thee in thy ways.
45. For since the beginning of the world have not men heard nor perceived by the ear, neither hath any eye seen, O God, besides thee, how great things thou hast prepared for him that waiteth for thee.
46. And it shall be said; Who is this that cometh down from God in heaven with dyed garments; yea, from the regions which are not known, clothed in his glorious apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?
47. And he shall say; I am he who spake in righteousness, mighty to save.
48. And the Lord shall be red in his apparel, and his garments like him that treadeth in the wine-vat.
49. And so great shall be the glory of his presence that the sun shall hide his face in shame, and the moon shall withhold its light, and the stars shall be hurled from their places.
50. And his voice shall be heard; I have trodden the winepress alone, and have brought judgment upon all people; and none were with me;
51. And I have trampled them in my fury, and I did tread upon them in mine anger, and their blood have I sprinkled upon my garments, and stained all my raiment; for this was the day of vengeance which was in my heart.
52. And now the year of my redeemed is come; and they shall mention the loving kindness of their Lord, and all that he has bestowed upon them according to his goodness, and according to his loving kindness, forever and ever.
53. In all their afflictions he was afflicted. And the angel of his presence saved them; and in his love, and in his pity, he redeemed them, and bore them, and carried them all the days of old;
54. Yea, and Enoch also, and they who were with him; the prophets who were before him; and Noah also, and they who were before him; and Moses also, and they who were before him;
55. And from Moses to Elijah, and from Elijah to John, who were with Christ in his resurrection, and the holy apostles, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, shall be in the presence of the Lamb.
56. And the graves of the saints shall be opened; and they shall come forth and stand on the right hand of the Lamb, when he shall stand upon Mount Zion, and upon the holy city, the New Jerusalem; and they shall sing the song of the Lamb, day and night forever and ever.
57. And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity--
58. To prepare the weak for those things which are coming on the earth, and for the Lord's errand in the day when the weak shall confound the wise, and the little one become a strong nation, and two shall put their tens of thousands to flight.
59. And by the weak things of the earth the Lord shall thrash the nations by the power of his Spirit.
60. And for this cause these commandments were given; they were commanded to be kept from the world in the day that they were given, but now are to go forth unto all flesh--
61. And this according to the mind and will of the Lord, who ruleth over all flesh.
62. And unto him that repenteth and sanctifieth himself before the Lord shall be given eternal life.
63. And upon them that hearken not to the voice of the Lord shall be fulfilled that which was written by the prophet Moses, that they should be cut off from among the people.
64. And also that which was written by the prophet Malachi: For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
65. Wherefore, this shall be the answer of the Lord unto them;
66. In that day when I came unto mine own, no man among you received me, and you were driven out.
67. When I called again there was none of you to answer; yet my arm was not shortened at all that I could not redeem, neither my power to deliver,
68. Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea. I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink, and die for thirst.
69. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and make sackcloth their covering.
70. And this shall ye have of my hand--ye shall lie down in sorrow.
71. Behold, and lo, there are none to deliver you; for ye obeyed not my voice when I called to you out of the heavens; ye believed not my servants, and when they were sent unto you ye received them not.
72. Wherefore, they sealed up the testimony and bound up the law, and ye were delivered over unto darkness.
73. These shall go away into outer darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
74. Behold the Lord your God hath spoken it. Amen.
The Book of Commandments and Revelations was to be dedicated by prayer to the service of Almighty God by me; and after I had done this I inquired of the Lord concerning these things, and received the following:
Revelation, given November, 1831.(34) [D&C 69](35)
1. Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, for my servant Oliver Cowdery's sake. It is not wisdom in me that he should be entrusted with the commandments and the moneys which he shall carry unto the land of Zion, except one go with him who will be true and faithful.
2. Wherefore, I, the Lord, will that my servant, John Whitmer, should go with my servant Oliver Cowdery;
3. And also that he shall continue in writing and making a history of all the important things which he shall observe and know concerning my church;
4. And also that he receive counsel and assistance from my servant Oliver Cowdery and others.
5. And also my servants who are abroad in the earth should send forth the accounts of their stewardships to the land of Zion.
6. For the land of Zion shall be a seat and a place to receive and do all these things.
7. Nevertheless, let my servant John Whitmer travel many times from place to place, and from church to church, that he may the more easily obtain knowledge--
8. Preaching and expounding, writing, copying, selecting, and obtaining all things which shall be for the good of the church, and for the rising generations that shall grow up on the land of Zion, to possess it from generation to generation, forever and ever. Amen.
My time was occupied closely in reviewing the commandments(36) and sitting in conference, for nearly two weeks; for from the first to the twelfth of November we held four special conferences.(37) In the last which was held at Brother Johnson's, in Hiram, after deliberate consideration, in consequence of the book of revelations, now to be printed, being the foundation of the Church in these last days, and a benefit to the world, showing that the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of our Savior are again entrusted to man(38); and the riches of eternity within the compass of those who are willing to live by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God--therefore the conference voted that they prize the revelations to be worth to the Church the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally. The great benefits to the world which result from the Book of Mormon and the revelations which the Lord has seen fit in His infinite wisdom to grant unto us for our salvation, and for the salvation of all that will believe, were duly appreciated(39); and in answer to an inquiry, I received the following:
Revelation, given November, 1831. [D&C 70](40)
1. Behold, and hearken, O ye inhabitants of Zion, and all ye people of my church who are afar off, and hear the word of the Lord which I give unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and also unto my servant Martin Harris, and also unto my servant Oliver Cowdery, and also unto my servant John Whitmer, and also unto my servant Sidney Rigdon, and also unto my servant William W. Phelps, by the way of commandment unto them.
2. For I give unto them a commandment; wherefore hearken and hear, for thus saith the Lord unto them--
3. I, the Lord, have appointed them, and ordained them to be stewards over the revelations and commandments which I have given unto them, and which I shall hereafter give unto them;
4. And an account of this stewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment.
5. Wherefore, I have appointed unto them, and this is their business in the church of God, to manage them and the concerns thereof, yea, the benefits thereof.
6. Wherefore a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not give these things unto the church, neither unto the world;
7. Nevertheless, inasmuch as they receive more than is needful for their necessities and their wants, it shall be given into my storehouse;
8. And the benefits shall be consecrated unto the inhabitants of Zion, and unto their generations, inasmuch as they become heirs according to the laws of the kingdom.
9. Behold, this is what the lord requires of every man in his stewardship, even as I, the Lord, have appointed or shall hereafter appoint unto any man.
10. And behold, none are exempt from this law who belong to the church of the living God,
11. Yea, neither the bishop, neither the agent who keepeth the Lord's storehouse, neither he who is appointed in a stewardship over temporal things.
12. He who is appointed to administer spiritual things, the same is worthy of his hire, even as those who are appointed to a stewardship to administer in temporal things;
13. Yea, even more abundantly, which abundance is multiplied unto them through the manifestations of the Spirit.
14. Nevertheless, in your temporal things you shall be equal, and this not grudgingly, otherwise the abundance of the manifestations of the Spirit shall be withheld.
15. Now, this commandment I give unto my servants for their benefit while they remain, for a manifestation of my blessings upon their heads, and for a reward of their diligence and for their security:
16. For food and for raiment; for an inheritance; for houses and for lands in whatsoever circumstances I, the Lord, shall place them, and whithersoever I, the Lord, shall send them.
17. For they have been faithful over many things, and have done well inasmuch as they have not sinned.
18. Behold, I, the Lord, am merciful and will bless them, and they shall enter into the joy of these things. Even so. Amen.
Back to history page.
Notes Chapter 17
1. On this day, a conference of some Church leaders was held resulting in Church discipline of several members.
Minutes of a Conference held in Kirtland Geauga County, Ohio Sept. 12, 1831.
Joseph Smith jr.
Frederick G. Williams
Upon sufficient or satisfactory testimony to this Conference, it was voted that our brethren George Miller, a Priest in the church of Shalersville, John Woodard an Elder in the Church of Orange, and Benjamin Bragg a Priest in the Church of Warrensville, be silenced from ministering in their respective offices.
Oliver Cowdery, Clerk of Conference.[FWR]
In October 1831, the Kirtland township minutes mention the families of Joseph Smith, [Sr.?], William Smith and Hyrum Smith as likely to become public wards and that they should be asked to leave town. This appears to be an effort to get rid of the Mormons if possible. [Lake County Historical Society]
1a. John Johnson, b. 11 April 1778 in Chesterfield, Cheshire County, New Hampshire. Resided in Pomfret, Vermont, from about 1803 to 1818; there owned large farm. Married Elsa Jacobs 22 June 1800. Nine children: Elsa, Fanny, John, Jr., Luke S., Olmsted, Lyman E., Emily, Marinda Nancy, and Mary. Moved to Hiram, Ohio, about 1818. Baptized in spring of 1831. Joseph Smith's family lived in Johnson home in Hiram September 1831-September 1832, where a number of revelations were received and the JST begun (see the following note). Ordained elder 17 February 1833. Appointed by revelation to become member of United Firm 4 June 1833. Ordained high priest 4 June 1833. Moved to Kirtland, Ohio, 1833. Appointed member of Kirtland high council 17 February 1834. Served as member of high council 1834-37. Worked on Kirtland Temple. Received blessing 8 March 1835 for working on Kirtland Temple. Charter member of and owned stock in Kirtland Safety Society 1837. Rejected as high councilor 4 September 1837. Became disaffected from Church leaders 1837-38. Withdrew from Church by 1838. D. 30 July 1843, in Kirtland, buried in Kirtland Temple cemetery.
2. It would be more proper to say "revision of the Bible" than "translation" of it; as the Prophet did not at any time pretend to a knowledge of the ancient languages that would enable him to translate from the Hebrew or the Greek as "translation" is commonly understood. But what he did was to revise the English text of the Bible under the inspiration of God, and that led him not only to give different renderings of various passages, but also to supply missing parts.(BHR)
3. The miracle here referred to is thus related in Hayden's History of the Disciples (a Campbellite work), pp. 250-1. "Ezra Booth, of Mantua, a Methodist preacher of much more than ordinary culture, and with strong natural abilities, in company with his wife. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, and some other citizens of this place [Hiram], visited Smith at his home in Kirtland, in 1831. Mrs. Johnson had been afflicted for some time with a lame arm, and was not at the time of the visit able to lift her hand to her head. The party visited Smith partly out of curiosity and partly to see for themselves what there might be in the new doctrine. During the interview the conversation turned on the subject of supernatural gifts, such as were conferred in the days of the apostles. Some one said 'Here is Mrs. Johnson with a lame arm; has God given any power to man now on the earth to cure her?'
A few moments later, when the conversation had turned in another direction, Smith rose, and walking across the room, taking Mrs. Johnson by the hand, said in the most solemn and impressive manner: 'Woman, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I command thee to be whole' and immediately left the room The company were awe stricken at the infinite presumption of the man, and the calm assurance with which he spoke. The sudden mental and moral shock--I know not how better to explain the well-attested fact--electrified the rheumatic arm--Mrs. Johnson at once lifted it up with ease, and on her return home the next day she was able to do her washing without difficulty or pain."(BHR)
4. See page 212, verses 15, 16.(BHR)
5. A conference of the Church held Sept. 6, 1831 took up Booth's case:
Minutes of a Conference held in Nelson Portage County Ohio [about five miles east of Hiram, Ohio - a small branch of the Church had been established there by Lyman Wight March 1831], Sept. 6, 1831.
Elders present: Joseph Smith jr. Oliver Cowdery, Christian Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, Sylvester Parker, (denied the faith)
Upon testimony satisfactory to this conference it was voted that Ezra Booth be silenced from preaching as a Elder in this Church.
Oliver Cowdery Ck. Of Con. [FWR]
6. It is generally supposed that Ezra Booth was the first to turn away from the faith; but this is an error. Others denied the faith before him, but he was the first apostate, I think, to publish anything against the Church. That he was not the first apostate, however, is evident from the fact that John Whitmer in his history makes mention of others turning from the faith even before the journey of the Elders to Missouri was undertaken; whereas Booth did not announce his apostasy until his return from that journey in the month of September. Writing of a time previous to the assembling of the conference of June 3rd-6th, 1831. John Whitmer remarks: "About these days the disciples arrived from the state of New York to this place, Kirtland, Ohio. They had some difficulty between themselves because of some that did not continue faithful--who denied the truth and turned to fables." (Ch. viii.) Again in chapter viii he says: "After some of the Elders had left [i.e., for Missouri], and the time for Joseph Smith, Jun., and others to leave [had come]--some of those who had been commanded to take their journey speedily, had denied the faith and turned from the truth." And still speaking of a time previous to the apostasy of Booth, and before detailing the events which happened on the land of Zion among the Elders who went there, he says: "There was much trouble and unbelief among those who called themselves disciples of Christ; some apostatized and became enemies to the cause of God, and persecuted the Saints." (Chapter ix ) All this was before Booth's apostasy. In the minutes of a conference held on the 6th of September, 1831, and signed by Oliver Cowdery, it is recorded: "Upon testimony satisfactory to this conference, it was voted that Ezra Booth be silenced from preaching as an Elder in this Church."(BHR)
7. The series of letters referred to in the text above were nine in number, and first appeared in the Ohio Star, published at Ravenna, the county seat of Portage county. Afterwards they were published in E. D. Howe's Book Mormonism Unveiled, pp. 175-221.(BHR) [The nine letters were published in the Ohio Star between October 13 and December 8, 1831. The letters also appeared in other newspapers. The rather flowery prose in this part of the history suggests the influence of Phelps.]
8. The FWR contains minutes of a conference held Oct. 1, 1831 where Phelps was ordained a high priest:
Minutes of a Conference held in Geauga County Ohio, October 1, 1831. Nine Elders present. The duty of the Elders was declared by the Spirit to go forth and warn the inhabitants of the earth of the things known in the Church of Christ in these last days. Br. Joseph Coe & William W. Phelps were ordained to the High Priesthood under the hand of Br. Joseph Smith jr.
William W. Phelps. Clerk of Conference
9. Orson Hyde was born January 8th, 1805, at Oxford, New Haven county, Connecticut. He was the son of Nathan and Sally Hyde. His father served in the United States army in the war of 1812. When Orson was seven years old his mother died and the large family of Nathan Hyde, consisting of nine sons and three daughters, were scattered. Orson was taken in charge by a man of the name of Nathan Wheeler. Seven years later, or when young Hyde was fourteen years of age. Mr. Wheeler moved from the state of Connecticut to Ohio, settling in the vicinity of Kirtland. Orson accompanied him and continued to live with him in Ohio for about four years, after which he engaged in various occupations on his own account, at last becoming a clerk in the firm of Gilbert & Whitney, merchants. In the year 1827 a religious revival of unusual fervor occurred in Kirtland and vicinity, and under it influence Orson Hyde became a convert to the Methodist faith; and shortly afterwards was made a class leader. "At about the same time," writes Edward Tullidge, in a biographical sketch of him, "he heard that a 'golden Bible' had been dug out of a rock in the state of New York. It was treated, however, as a hoax; but, on reading the report, Hyde remarked: 'Who knows but that this 'golden Bible' may break up our religion and change its whole features and bearing." (Utah and her Founders, Biographical sketches, p. 70) some time subsequent to his becoming a Methodist he heard Sidney Rigdon preach the Campbellite faith, and being convinced that the doctrine Rigdon advocated was more scriptural than that which he had embraced he accepted it and was baptized into the Campbellite church. He also became a theological student under his new teacher's instruction with a view of becoming a minister of the new church; and, in fact, began to preach and had already assisted in founding several Campbellite congregations in Lorain and Huron counties. In 1830, he was made pastor over these congregations. In the fall of that year the Lamanite mission of the Church of Jesus Christ arrived in the northeast part of Ohio, and soon the whole country was agitated by the presentation of the Book of Mormon and its attendant message, the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. At first Orson Hyde, at the request of members of the Campbellite faith opposed the Book of Mormon in public addresses; but feeling reproved by the Spirit for this course, he suspended his opposition in order to make further inquiry, with the result that after much prayer and some hesitancy he accepted the great latter-day message, and was baptized, as related in the text.(BHR)
[Orson Hyde was the son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. B. 8 January 1805 in Oxford, New Haven County, Connecticut. Lost both parents by 1817. Resided with Nathan Wheeler family until 1823. Moved to Ohio about 1819. Member of Methodist Church 1827. Resided with Sidney Rigdon for indefinite period. Joined Campbellite movement. Baptized into LDS Church by Sidney Rigdon 2 October 1831. Ordained elder October 1831. Appointed by revelation to accompany Samuel H. Smith on mission to eastern states 25 January 1832; with Samuel H. Smith baptized sixty converts during eleven-month mission. Attended School of Prophets 1833. Mission to Erie County, Pennsylvania, with Hyrum Smith early 1833. Appointed Clerk to First Presidency 6 June 1833. Dispatched to Jackson County, Missouri, with John Gould to inform Missouri Saints to seek redress through law. Left Kirtland mid-August 1833 and returned to Kirtland 25 November 1833. Member of Kirtland high council February 1834-February 1835. Member of Zion's Camp 1834. Married Marinda Nancy Johnson 4 September 1834. Ten children: Nathan, Laura Marinda, Emily Matilda, Orson Washington, Frank Henry, Alonzo Eugene, Delia Ann, Heber John, Mary Lavinia, and Zina Virginia. Ordained apostle 15 February 1835. Mission to eastern states in summer of 1835. Disfellowshipped 4 August 1835 for defaming Sidney Rigdon. Restored 26 September 1835. Received patriarchal blessing 29 December 1835. Attended dedication of Kirtland Temple March 1836. Attended Hebrew School in Kirtland. Mission to Upper Canada in summer of 1836. Sent to Columbus, Ohio, to seek corporate charter for Kirtland Bank from Ohio legislature in late 1836; returned to Kirtland about 1 January 1837 without success. Mission to England 1837-38. Left Kirtland 13 June 1837. Arrived in Liverpool 20 July 1837. With others baptized hundreds into Church. Left Liverpool for United States 20 April 1838. Arrived in Kirtland 21 May 1838. Moved to Far West, Missouri, arriving about mid-July 1838. Signed affidavit against Joseph Smith 24 October 1838. Fellowship withdrawn 1838. Restored to former position 27 June 1839. Settled in Illinois 1839. Left on mission to East 14 November 1839. Met George W. Robinson enroute; decided to assist Robinson in publishing history of Church written by Sidney Rigdon. Returned to Nauvoo January 1840. Appointed to take mission to Jerusalem 6 April 1840. Left Nauvoo 15 April 1840. Arrived in Jerusalem 21 October 1841. Dedicated land of Israel for return of Jews 24 October 1841. Returned to Nauvoo 7 December 1842. Elected to Nauvoo City Council 6 February 1841. Appointed to take mission to Russia June 1843; did not fulfill appointment. Traveled to East in fall of 1843 to gather donations for Russia mission. Received endowment 2 December 1843. Took first plural wife, Martha Rebecca Browett (born 1819 in England), early 1843. No known children. Married Mary Ann Price (born 1816 in England) about April 1843. One child: Urania. Member of Council of Fifty 13 March 1844. Carried petition drafted by Joseph Smith to Washington, D.C., 1844. Left Nauvoo 4 April 1844. Arrived in Washington 23 April 1844. Returned to Nauvoo apparently after 8 August 1844. Left Nauvoo for West 1846. Settled at Council Bluffs. Second mission to England 1846-47. Presided over Church at Winter Quarters 1847-50. Published Frontier Guardian in Kanesville, Iowa (1849-52). Moved to Utah 1850. Returned to Kanesville in fall of 1850. Again to Utah and back to Kanesville 1851. Settled in Utah 1852. Married Ann Eliza Vickers. Six known children: Charles Albert, George Lyman, Joseph Smith, Maria Louisa, Melvin Augustus, and Geneva. Married Julia Thomene Reinart. Five known children: Mary Ann, William Arthur, Hyrum Smith, David Victor, and Aurelia Fiducia. Appointed to lead settlers to Fort Supply in Green River 1853. Presided over missionaries and Church in Carson Valley (Nevada). Appointed to preside over affairs in Sanpete County. Took up residence in Spring City, Sanpete County, Utah. Died in Spring City 28 November 1878. RJS, 109-110]
10. In the ms history, Phelps (who is still the principle recorder for this part of the ms history) included more information about Hyde at this point. It was evidently removed by B. H. Roberts in favor of the footnote sketch above. The text from the ms history follows:As he was soon after designated as one of the chosen men of the Lord to bear his word to the nations, I feel a desire to notice him as he was and as he is. He was left in his infancy an orphan, with none to look upon him with a father's eye, and feel for him with a mother's heart. The hand that wiped his infant tears was still; the breasts that gave him suck, was cold, and slumbered in the arms of death. He was thrust abroad upon the cold and friendless bosom of an unfeeling world, so that for twenty long years, he saw no one in whose veins flowed a drop of kindred blood, and consequently grew up as a wild and uncultivated plant of nature, and now had come unto the new and everlasting covenant to be renewed and receive grace for grace, and put himself under the fatherly care of him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light, and who rewardeth his sons and daughters, who serve him faithfully to the end, with eternal life.
To continue, in his own figure, he now stood before the world to feed the fowls of the Lord, in the same manner that he had done in early life, to feed the poultry of the gentleman with whom he resided. For ways he, "when I poured the corn upon the ground, the fowls all came together en masse, but after the corn was exhausted, and the stream stayed, the fowls all turned away, going in different directions each one singing his own song: so with religion, while God poured out the stream of revelation upon the ancient church, they were all united and ate the living bread; but when he withheld revelations, in latter times, because of unbelief of man, they turned and went their own course, and sung their own song; some a methodist song; some a baptist song; some a presbyterian song, &c, but if they had had revelation they would have sung one of the songs of Zion." (A sentence, crossed out, then follows: His further history will come in, in place, hereafter.)
11. William E. McLellin's journal dates this revelation October 30, 1831. See the following note.
12. This interesting revelation is dated October 30, 1831 in three sources, a ms which appears to be a copy to be used for printing in the BC (it did not appear there) and another ms in the KRB. The ms history places the revelation "in the fore part of October" and this is preserved in the text, however the evidence from the third ms source, William E. McLellin, solidifies the October 30 date. The BC printer's ms (found in RLDS archives) has this interesting headnote: "69 Revelation (No. 3) October 30th 1831." Robert J. Woodford speculates that this may have been intended as BC 69, and therefore that two possibly unknown revelations were to be published in BC in addition to this one, to appear after what is now known as D&C 64 (BC chapter 65). One of the three missing BC chapters could have been what is now D&C 66 (dated October 25). As noted, the other two are not identified and may be unpublished. [Woodford]
This revelation has been somewhat of a curiosity and neither Joseph Smith nor the scribe William W. Phelps, give any explanation for it. However, William E. McLellin copied the revelation into his journal and his remarks suggest that the revelation was part of the JST effort. McLellin labels the revelation as "A revelation of Joseph the Seer 30 Oct. 1831 on the 6th of Matthew 10 verse" Matthew 6:10 is a part of the Lord's prayer. The KJV text of this verse is "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven." However, it is not clear that the revelation is meant as a restoration of lost material from Matthew 6. Rather, it seems to be a separate revelation based upon the biblical text, a modification of the prayer, meant as a pattern for the Latter-day disciples.
13. While Joseph and Sydney had moved to Hiram, the main body of the Church in Ohio was in Kirtland. A conference was held there on October 10, 1831. The minutes indicate that the reason for the conference was some difficulty with the F. G. Williams farm which had been appointed by revelation [quoted in full at note 15, chapter 14, volume 1, mentioned in the minutes below] to be operated by Joseph Smith, Sen. and Ezra Thayer. The Joseph Smith in these minutes is Joseph Smith, Sen.
Minutes of a conference held in Kirtland Geauga Co. Ohio; Oct. 10, 1831.
Samuel H. Smith
William W. Phelps
Frederick G. Williams.
Before whom was presented a difficulty wherein brs Joseph Smith Ezra Thayer & F. G. Williams were implicated, the said Ezra being absent it was motioned, seconded & carried by vote that br. Oliver Cowdery be dispatched as a speedy messenger to apprise him of the matter and bring him before this conference immediately. Prayer by br. Sidney Rigdon who addressed the Elders in the name of the Lord.
After hearing the relations of all the parties, the conference requested them to withdraw while they should investigate the testimony & pass their decision.
Decision of the conference. The Conference decided, that Br. Ezra Thayer's family remain where they are untill Spring. And Br. Frederick G. Williams family be provided with a comfortable dwelling by this Church. And that Br Joseph Smith see to the management of the farm & to the distribution of its productions as the Lord's agent according to commandment of the Lord And that Brs Smith and Thayer be reproved by this conference, for the unwise course they have taken in this affair & that br Thayer be sharply rebuked for the disrespect with which he has treated this conference & that William W. Phelps be appointed to reprove them in the presence of this conference according to vote as the spirit shall direct him. Lastly that the agent of the church [Newel K. Whitney] be instructed by this conference to lay the case of F G Williams' family before the church and see that they are provided with a comfortable dwelling according to the commandment of the Lord. Closed. prayer by William W. Phelps
Orson Hyde Clerk of Conference [FWR]
14. The minutes of this conference indicate that Joseph Smith had some instructions to give regarding conducting meetings. What these instructions were is not clear, but they seem to be related (in part) to the idea that meeting patterns were too rigid and did not allow for the direction of the Spirit of God. Further, the meeting took up the issue of support for Joseph and Sidney in their translation work. The minutes follow.
Minutes of a conference held in Hiram Portage County Ohio Oct 11. 1831
Joseph Smith Jr
Peter Whitmer Jr
Williams W Phelps
Certain points were discussed by br Joseph Smith Jr, who said that the Elders present were to tarry untill the Morrow & hold a meeting so that the members might understand the ancient manner of conducting meetings as they were led by the Holy Ghost Also said that this was not perfectly known by many of the Elders of this Church. Exhortation by br William W Phelps
Br Oliver Cowdery then made a move that this conference take into consideration the propriety of appointing six Elders to visit the several branches of this church setting them in order and also make known the situation of brs Joseph Smith Jr and Sidney Rigdon And accordingly brs David Whitmer and Reynolds Cahoon were appointed, the other four remain to be chosen hereafter [see p. 219 for the others]
It was decided by vote that the general conference meet on the 25 Inst at the dwelling house of br Sirenes Burnett in orange Cuyahoga County brs David & Reynolds were then ordained to the their office or appointment and br Stephen Burnett an Elder under the hands of John Whitmer conference closed in prayer by br Joseph Smith Jr
15. Serenus Burnet, b. 1787, d. 1858. Settled Orange in 1815. Remained there until his death. Held many responsible civic positions. [PJS 1:477]
16. Orange is 17 miles south of Kirtland. About this time there were 65 members of the Church in Orange.
17. William F. Cahoon, b. 1813 at Harpersfield, Ashtabula County, Ohio. He was employed as a shoemaker, carpenter, joiner. Oldest son of Reynolds Cahoon. Baptized in Kirtland, Ohio, 1830. Missionary in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, 1833. Marched with Zion's camp 1834. First Quorum of Seventy. M. Nancy Miranda Gibbs, 1836. Worked on Nauvoo Temple as carpenter. Migrated to Utah 1849. President of Second Quorum of Seventy. D. 1893 Salt Lake City. [PJS 1:478]
18. This was a very important conference and continued through two days, the 25th and 26th of October--Tuesday and Wednesday. The minutes of it are contained in the Far West Record, pp. 10-13. Very many of the brethren holding the Priesthood addressed the conference, and each one expressed his willingness to consecrate all he possessed to God and His cause. The minutes of the Prophets remarks upon this subject, as relating to his own willingness to consecrate all to the Lord are of particular interest. It stands as follows in the record: "Brother Joseph Smith. Jun., said that he had nothing to consecrate to the Lord of the things of the earth, yet he felt to consecrate himself and family. Was thankful that God had given him a place among His Saints, felt willing to labor for their good." (p. 13). It appears at this time that the Prophet and other leading Elders of the Church were much embarrassed in the work of translating the scriptures and preaching the Gospel; in consequence of the difficulty they encountered to do this work of the ministry and at the same time provide for their families. It appears also that the saints were somewhat backward in providing means for the support of the ministry of the Church Referring to the subject the Prophet according to the minutes above referred to said: "The Lord held the Church bound to provide for the families of the absent Elders while proclaiming the Gospel Further said that God had often sealed up the heavens because of covetousness in the Church." (p. 13).
The remarks of Simeon Carter, one of the High Priests in attendance at the conference, are of interest and importance, owing to the light they throw upon the views of the faithful brethren respecting the journey to the land of Zion and the work that had been accomplished there. The minute of his remarks stands as follows: "Brother Simeon Carter said that he was thankful that he had been spared and preserved to go to the land of Zion according to the commandment of the Lord, for he received it as from His mouth, and also thanked the Lord that his feet had trodden upon the consecrated ground which was the inheritance of the saints. Testified that the Book of Mormon was true. Mourned because of the falling away [in Kirtland] since he took his journey to the land of Zion." (p. 12)
Another item of interest will be found in the following circumstance: Several of the brethren took occasion to testify to the truth of the Book of Mormon; and now the minutes--"Brother Hyrum Smith said that he thought best that the information of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon be related by Joseph himself to the Elders present, that all might know for themselves."
"Brother Joseph Smith, Jun. said that it was not intended to tell the world all the particulars of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon; and also said that it was not expedient for him to relate these things." (p. 13). This will account for the Prophet confining himself to the merest generalities in all his statements concerning the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.(BHR)
19. The exact date of the birth of William E. M'Lellin cannot be ascertained. He was born in the state of Tennessee about the year 1806. He first heard the Gospel preached by Elders Samuel H. Smith and Reynolds Cahoon, while those brethren were en route from Kirtland to Independence Missouri, in the early summer of 1831. He closed up his affairs as soon as possible and followed these missionaries to Jackson county. On the way to that place he was baptized and ordained an Elder. During the same summer he made his way to Kirtland, where we find him in attendance at the special conference of October 25th seeking to learn the will of the Lord, through the Prophet, respecting himself.(BHR)
[The following biographical information on McLellin is from RJS, 106:
Son of Charles McLellan. B. 18 January 1806 in Smith County, Tennessee. Married Cynthia Ann 30 July 1829. Wife, Cynthia, died before 1832. School teacher in Paris, Tennessee, 1831. Contacted by Harvey Whitlock and David Whitmer July 1831. Traveled to Independence, Missouri, 30 July-18 August 1831 to see Joseph Smith. Missed seeing Prophet. Baptized about 20 August 1831 in Independence. Ordained elder 24 August 1831. Left Independence for Tennessee with Hyrum Smith 25 August 1831. Preached first sermon as elder 28 August 1831. After arriving in Paris, Tennessee, left with Hyrum Smith for Kirtland; arrived 18 October 1831. Met Joseph Smith 25 October 1831. Through Joseph Smith received revelation 25 October 1831; instructed to take mission to "eastern lands" with Samuel H. Smith. Did preach in Pennsylvania, but mission short-lived because of disobedience and sickness. Appointed by revelation 25 January 1832 to preach in "south countries." Preached in Middlebury, Ohio, 25 February 1832 but did not continue on mission because of illness. Remained in Middlebury until April 1832. Married Emeline Miller (born 4 September 1819 in Vermont) 26 April 1832 in Hiram, Ohio. Three known children: Helen, William Clark, and [p.107] Marcus W. Left Ohio for Independence, Missouri, 2 May 1832. Arrived in Independence 16 June 1832. Located in Clay County, Missouri, 1833. Chosen high councilor in Clay County 7 July 1834. Appointed to return to Ohio with Joseph Smith July 1834. Taught in School of Elders in Kirtland. Ordained apostle 15 February 1835. Disfellowshipped summer 1835. Restored 25 September 1835. Attended dedication of Kirtland Temple 1836. Lost confidence in Church leadership August 1836. Publicly opposed Church leaders 11 May 1838 in Far West, Missouri. Excommunicated 1838. Took up practice of medicine after leaving Church. Living in Hampton, Rock Island County, Illinois, January 1845. Attempted to organize new Church in Kirtland January 1847. Published Ensign of Liberty in Kirtland 1847. Residing in Linden, Genesse County, Michigan, 1861. Joined Hedrickites 5 June 1869. Left Hedrickites 3 November 1869. Wife joined Reorganized LDS Church. Moved to Independence 1870. Spent remainder of life trying to get David Whitmer to organize new Church. Died in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, 24 April 1883.]
20. Copies of this revelation show little variation from the ms prepared for (but not used in) BC (this ms bears the date October 29, 1831 - This date is confirmed by McLellin's own journal under that date - some other copies bear the date October 25). Ms in KRB has this postscript: "A Revelation given to William E. McLelin a true descendant from Joseph that was sold into Egypt down through the loins of Ephraim his son." A ms of this revelation is found in McLellin's own journal, perhaps recorded on the day of its receipt. Only one slight variation from cononized text exists in vs. 11: "Keep these sayings true and faithful".
21. According to Heber C. Kimball, McLellin was never able to overcome this propensity. During the persecution of the Mormons in 1838 Missouri, McLellin had sided against the Saints. Kimball records in his journal his encounter with McLellin while Kimball was a prisoner. There he accuses McLellin of adultery. McLellin evidently enjoyed a happy affectionate marriage with his first wife, Cynthia. Evidence suggests that she may have died in childbirth. His temptation, considered in that light, is perhaps understandable. On the other hand Joseph Smith felt (aside from the present revelation) that McLellin demonstrated a regretable lack of self control. His abrupt marriage to his second wife contrary to Smith's counsel no doubt contributed to McLellin's temporary excommunication at the end of 1832. [See comments in The Journals of William E. McLellin, 251; also see Joseph Smith diary, Dec. 3, 1832 (quoted at note 25 chapter 21 this volume)]
22. This special conference at Hiram on November 1st, should receive larger notice. The number of copies in the edition of the Book of Commandments to be printed was considered and the decision reached that ten thousand should be published. The conference lasted two days. In the afternoon of the first day of the conference, according to the minutes of the meeting, the preface to the Book of Commandments was "received by inspiration." The same afternoon the following occurred: "Brother Joseph Smith, Jun., said that inasmuch as the Lord had bestowed a great blessing upon us in giving commandments and revelations, he asked the conference what testimony they were willing to attach to these commandments which would shortly be sent to the world. A number of the brethren arose and said that they were willing to testify to the world that they knew that they were of the Lord." (Far West Record, p. 16.)
In the second day's proceedings of the conference it is recorded; "The revelation of last evening read by the moderator [this was Oliver Cowdery]. The brethren then arose in turn and bore witness to the truth of the Book of Commandments, after which Brother Joseph Smith, Jun., arose and expressed his feelings and gratitude concerning the commandments and preface received yesterday.' (Far West Record, p. 16.)(BHR)
23. The handwriting in the ms history changes at this point from W. W. Phelps' to Willard Richards'.
24. Doctrine and Covenants, sec. i. This revelation which, in the current edition and in fact in all editions of the Doctrine and Covenants, stands as section i, is the Lord's Preface to the revelations which He has given to this Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.(BHR)
25. Section 1 appeared in ES and BC. No early ms exists apparently. The revelation contains important explanations concerning the reasons for the call of Joseph Smith and the events associated with it.
26. The current conference where this revelation was given was considering the matter of publishing the revelations received up to this point (as BC). The revelation was not published until 1835. The revelation was given November 1, 1831. No significant variants are known. The somewhat pejorative reference to McLellin should probably be understood in the light of his subsequent apostasy from Mormonism. At the time he was simply fulfilling an assignment. One thing that actually upset McLellin was the "correcting" of the revelations by Joseph. See notes below on the conference held November 8.
27. This "Testimony" to the truth of the "Book of Commandments" was doubtless drawn up with the intention of having it signed by the Elders present at the conference; but whether that was done or not, does not appear in the Ms. of the Prophet's history. The testimony itself, however, is in the manuscript History. This is remarked because it has not been published heretofore in the History of the Prophet. The matter appears to stand thus; Each of the Elders present at the conference testified to the truth of the revelations then about to be published; and, as already seen (p. 222 note), expressed a willingness to testify to the truth of the revelations to all the world. Accordingly this testimony was prepared with the intention of having it signed and published in the "Book of Commandments." It may have been signed, too, and carried to Missouri, but owing to the fact that the printing press was destroyed by a mob before the "Book of Commandments" was all printed, the "Testimony" does not appear in the part of it that was printed. The names of the Elders present at this special conference, according to the minutes of it in the Far West Record (p. 15), are as follows: Joseph Smith, Jun., Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, John Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jun., Sidney Rigdon, William B. M'Lellin, Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman E. Johnson.(BHR)
28. Luke Samuel Johnson was b. Nov. 3, 1807 to John Johnson and Elsa Jacobs in Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont. Baptized 10 May 1831 by Joseph Smith. Ordained priest by Christian Whitmer soon after baptism. Ordained elder before October 1831. Mission to southern Ohio with Robert Rathburn 1831. Joined with Sidney Rigdon preaching gospel in New Portage, Ohio, area (together baptizing about fifty persons 1831) and in Pittsburgh area (baptizing Rigdon's mother and others of Rigdon family). Ordained high priest 25 October 1831. Mission to Virginia and Kentucky with Seymour [p.111] Brunson and Hazen Aldrich 1832-33 (baptizing more than a hundred persons). Married Susan H. Poteet 1 November 1833. Six children: Elsa Mary, Fanny, Eliza, Vashata, James, and Solomon. Member of Kirtland high council 17 February 1834. Member of Zion's Camp 1834. Ordained apostle 15 February 1835. Mission to eastern states in summer of 1835. Returned to Kirtland September 1835. Attended Hebrew School in Kirtland in winter of 1835-36. Attended dedication of Kirtland Temple March 1836. Mission to New York and Upper Canada 1836. Returned to Kirtland in fall of 1836. Charter member of, and owned stock in, Kirtland Safety Society 1837. Alienated from Joseph Smith 1837. Filed charge against Prophet for speaking reproachfully against brethren May 1837. Disfellowshipped 3 September 1837. Excommunicated December 1838. Taught school in Cabell County, Virginia, 1838. Studied medicine. Returned to Kirtland; there practiced medicine. Rebaptized in Nauvoo by Orson Hyde 8 March 1846. Married America Morgan Clark March 1847. Eight children: Susan Marinda, Orson Albert, Mark Anthony, Charlotte Elizabeth, John Joseph, Lovinia Ann, Phebe W., and Luke. Arrived in Salt Lake Valley July 1847. Received endowment 1 April 1854. Settled in St. John, Tooele County, Utah, 1858. Bishop of Church in St. John. Died in home of brother-in-law, Orson Hyde, in Salt Lake City, Utah, 9 December 1861.[RJS, p. 110]
29. Lyman Eugene Johnson, b. Oct. 24, 1811 to John Johnson and Elsa Jacobs at Pomfret, Windsor County, Vermont. Moved to Hiram, Ohio, with family about 1820. Baptized in February 1831 by Sidney Rigdon. Ordained elder 25 October 1831 by Oliver Cowdery. Ordained high priest 1 November 1831. Appointed by revelation to take mission with Orson Pratt 25 January 1832. Left with Pratt for East 3 February 1832. Preached in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Returned to Kirtland about February 1833, having baptized more than one hundred converts. Attended School of Prophets early 1833. Another mission to East with Orson Pratt 1833. Left Kirtland 26 March 1833. Returned 28 September 1833, having baptized fifty persons. Left Kirtland again for East with Pratt 27 November 1833. Returned to Kirtland 13 February 1834. Appointed to take mission to Upper Canada with Milton Holmes 20 February 1834. Member of Zion's Camp 1834. Ordained apostle 14 February 1835. Married Sarah Lang (born 1816 in New Hampshire) before 1836. Two known children: Sarah and John E. Charter member of Kirtland Safety Society 1837. Claimed to have lost $6000 in Kirtland paper 1837. Charged Joseph Smith with slander and lying May 1837. Temporarily disfellowshipped 3 September 1837. Moved to Far West, Missouri, late 1837. Associated with dissenters in Far West area. Excommunicated for apostasy 13 April 1838 in Far West, Missouri. Located in Iowa by 1842. Practiced law in Davenport and Keokuk. Drowned in Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, 20 December 1856. [RJS, p. 111]
30. This revelation as the text is given above is a composite of at least three revelations. Verses 1-12 stand as the revelation given to the mentioned brethren who desired to know the will of the Lord. This part may have been received on Nov. 1-3. A portion of the second part may have been received on Nov. 11 [FWR July 3, 1832] There are no early ms copies. First publication was in ES. The ES text reflects the current state (October 1832) of development in Church organization and suggests that a third revelation containing further information regulating the office of bishop was combined with these other two to form the present text. For comparison with the text as eventually edited by Joseph Smith as it appears in the history, the ES text and the D&C text are given in parallel here:
ES Text (October 1832, p. 35) LDS D&C 68 Text MY servant, Orson [Hyde], was called, by his ordinance, to proclaim the everlasting gospel, by the spirit of the living God, from people to people, and from land to land, in the congregations of the wicked, in their synagogues, reasoning with and expounding all scriptures unto them: 1. My servant, Orson Hyde, was called by his ordination to proclaim the everlasting gospel, by the Spirit of the living God, from people to people, and from land to land, in the congregations of the wicked, in their synagogues, reasoning with and expounding all scriptures unto them. And behold and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth: 2. And, behold, and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth-- And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost; 3. And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. and whatsoever they shall speak, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, shall be scripture; shall be the will of the Lord; shall be the mind of the Lord; shall be the word of the Lord; shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation; 4. And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall he
the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.
Behold this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants: 5. Behold, this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants. wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God; that I was; that I am; and that I am to come. 6. Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you and will stand by you, and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come. This is the word of the Lord unto you my servant, Orson [Hyde]; and also unto my servant, Luke [Johnson], and unto my servant, Lyman [Johnson], and unto my servant William [E. McLellin]; and unto all the faithful elders of my church: 7. This is the word of the Lord unto you, my servant Orson Hyde, and also unto my servant Luke Johnson and unto my servant Lyman Johnson, and unto my servant William E. M'Lellin, and unto all the faithful elders of my church-- Go ye into all the world; preach the gospel to every creature; acting in the authority which I have given you; baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; 8. Go ye into all the world, preach the gospel to every creature, acting in the authority which I have given you, baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. and he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned; 9. And he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. and he that believeth shall be blessed with signs following, even as it is written: 10. And he that believeth shall be blest with signs following, even as it is written. And unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the times, and the signs of the coming of the Son of man; 11. And unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the times, and the signs of the coming of the Son of Man; and of as many as the Father shall bear record, to you it shall be given power to seal them up unto eternal life: Amen. 12. And of as many as the Father shall bear record, to you shall be given power to seal them up unto eternal life. Amen. End of Nov. 3 Revelation And now, concerning the items in addition to the Laws and commandments, they are these: 13. And now, concerning the items in addition to the covenants and commandments they are these-- There remaineth hereafter in the due time of the Lord, other bishops to be set apart unto the church, to minister even according to the first; 14. There remain hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other bishops to be set apart unto the church to minister even according to the first; wherefore it shall be an high priest who is worthy; and he shall be appointed by a conference of high priests. 15. Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron. 16. And if they be literal descendants of Aaron they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron; 17. For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same, 18. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron. 19. But, as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power, under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood. 20. And a literal descendant of Aaron also, must be designated by this Presidency, and found worthy, and anointed, and ordained under the hands of this Presidency, otherwise they are not legally authorized to officiate in their priesthood. 21. But, by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the priesthood descending from father to son, they may claim their anointing if at any time they can prove their lineage, or do ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under the hands of the above named Presidency. And again, no bishop or judge, which shall be set apart for this ministry, shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before a conference of high priests; 22. And again, no bishop or high priest who shall be set apart for this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime, save it be before the First Presidency of the church; and in as much as he is found guilty before a conference of high priests, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned 23. And inasmuch as he is found guilty before this Presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned; or forgiven, according to the laws of the church. 24. And if he repent he shall be forgiven, according to the covenants and commandments of the church. And again, in as much as parents have children in Zion, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance; faith in Christ the Son of the living God; and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old: the sin be upon the head of the parents, 25. And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. for this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, 26. For this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized. and their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands: 27. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands. and they also shall teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. 28. And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the sabbath day to keep it holy. 29. And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. And the inhabitants of Zion, also, shall remember their labors, in as much as they are appointed to labor, in all faithfulness, for the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord. 30. And the inhabitants of Zion also shall remember their labors, inasmuch as they are appointed to labor, in all faithfulness; for the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord. Now I the Lord am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness: They also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness. 31. Now I, the Lord, am not well pleased with the inhabitants of Zion, for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness; they also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity but their eyes are full of greediness. These things ought not to be, and must be done away from among them: wherefore let my servant Oliver [Cowdery], carry these sayings unto the land of Zion. 32. These things ought not to be and must be done away from among them, wherefore, let my servant Oliver Cowdery carry these sayings unto the land of Zion. And a commandment I give unto them, that he that observeth not his prayers before the Lord in the season thereof, let him, be had in remembrance before the judge of my people. 33. And a commandment I give unto them--that he that observeth not his prayers before the Lord in the season thereof, let him be had in remembrance before the judge of my people. These sayings are true and faithful: wherefore transgress them not, neither take therefrom. 34. These sayings are true and faithful; wherefore, transgress them not, neither take therefrom. Behold I am Alpha and Omega, and I come quickly: Amen. 35. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega, and I come quickly. Amen.
The text of this revelation clearly precedes that of D&C 107:59-100 which was given in November 1831 (text given in note below) because the latter contains information modifying the procedures of D&C 68 (in its 1831 version). Therefore the second part of the revelation must be dated in November 1831 and not later. This probably requires that D&C 107:59-100 was given later than November 11 (when the second part of D&C 68 was received), but before November 30 since the KRB fixes the date of D&C 107:59-100 as November 1831. Note that the ES text above contains none of the later information on descendants of Aaron and special circumstances involving them or information about the "First Presidency" - see the following note.
*. References in this revelation to the term "First Presidency" are anachronistic since there was no title "First Presidency" in use until about February of 1834. The title First Presidency came to be used for the Presidency of the High Priesthood in order to distinguish it from other local or lesser presidencies.
31. While the reference to "stakes" here was (apparently) added to the original revelation (see note above) it should not be understood that this regulation applied only to stakes as the term is now understood. In these early years, the word "stake" could be used as a designation for any place where the Church was organized with a presiding officer. The current meaning with the fixed organizational references associated with the term "stake" did not apply at this point.
32. They were not able to leave until Nov. 20. Intense effort was required to carefully duplicate all the revelations by hand, while Joseph Smith at the same time was reviewing them for copying errors and changes (see note 36 below.)
33. This revelation was intended to be part of BC but persecution prevented the completion of that book. This revelation appeared first in ES in May 1833. The probable ms for this printing is found in the RLDS archives; it is in the hand of John Whitmer. The ms contains verses 14b-73a only. No variations of consequence exist among early copies. This revelation is eschatological in nature and has always been placed at or near the end of the revelations when they were published together since the 1835 D&C even though many of the revelations were received after D&C 133.
34. Doctrine and Covenants, sec. lxix. It must not be understood from the first paragraph of this revelation that Oliver Cowdery was untrustworthy, and therefore it was necessary that a companion be provided for him. The fact was that much of the journey between Kirtland and Independence, or Zion, was through a sparsely settled country, the western portion of it through a frontier country where there is always a gathering, more or less, of lawless people; and it was at considerable risk that a person traveled through such a country, especially when alone and carrying money with him. It was wisdom then, for the sake of Oliver Cowdery, and to insure the safety of the money and the sacred things he was to carry with him, that one should go with him that would be a true and faithful companion, hence the appointment of John Whitmer.(BHR)
35. No early mss are known. The earliest copy is found in the 1835 D&C. No variations (except a few trivial spelling changes) in the text exist among known copies.
36. On November 8, 1831 a conference was held in Joseph's "translating room" (upstairs at John Johnson's home)Remarks by br. Sydney Rigdon on the errors or mistakes which are in commandments and revelations, made either by the scribe(this word is crossed out) translation in consequence of the slow way of the scribe at the time of receiving or by the scribes themselves. Resolved by this conference that Br Joseph Smith Jr correct those errors or mistakes which he may discover by the holy Spirit while reviewing the revelations & commandments & also the fulness of the scriptures [JST]. Resolved by this conference that br Oliver Cowdery shall copy correct and select all the writings which go forth to the world through the Printing press (except) the revelations and commandments, by the Spirit of the Lord and this according to the commandment given in Missouri July 20, 1831. [D&C 57:13][FWR]
37. Although it is not noted in the ms history, November 1831 was also a key month in the history of Church organization. It appears that the office of "the Presidency of the High Priesthood," i.e., president over the office of high priest, was introduced with its functions essentially defined to preside over all other officers of the Church. This was a natural development since the office of high priest was regarded as a special presiding office in the Church from its introduction earlier in the year, although it seems few details concerning the relation of high priests and other priesthood offices were available at this point. The revelation which defined this new presidential office was given in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, possibly at the same place several Church conferences had been held, at the home of Sirenus Burnett in Orange township. The revelation appears in KRB in the hand of F. G. Williams, recorded there in 1834 but dated November 1831. The text is very close to that of D&C 107:59-100. However, when D&C 107 appeared in print in the 1835 D&C, the following clarifying verses had been added to the KRB revelation: verses 61, 69b, 70, 73, 76-77, 88, 90, 93-98 together with other changes. These later additions concern matters of Church government as it later developed in regard to bishops and the presiding quorums of the Church (First Presidency, Twelve Apostles and the Seventy). D&C 107:59 indicates that the revelation was received to instruct the church in Zion (Independence, MO). Also, the KRB revelation makes no reference to counselors forming a "presidency" of the high priesthood (neither are counselors mentioned for the other priesthood presidents named but the office of bishop is to have counselors to be selected from the elders -later changed to elders or high priests) although special circumstances required 12 counselors.
On March 8, 1832 Joseph Smith chose and ordained Jesse Gause and Sydney Rigdon as his counselors in the presidency (KRB p. 10). In March 1832, an uncanonized revelation was given confirming that Joseph should have counselors (Newel K. Whitney papers, BYU) and on March 15, 1832 a revelation was received (D&C 81) which confirmed that Joseph should be assisted by counselors and that Jesse Gause was one of them (see notes at D&C 81 for Gause' history). Gause left the Church in August 1832 and the following March, Rigdon and F. G. Williams were called as the counselors of Joseph. Further information concerning the position and authority of the counselors was given (D&C 90) with more coming in 1834 (D&C 102).
In the KRB revelation under discussion, Priests are to be presided over by elders. The notion that a bishop would preside over the priests was revealed later as the knowledge of priesthood organization expanded. In practice, a priest was often chosen to preside over an Aaronic priests quorum.
Conference minutes of the period Oct-Nov 1831 indicate that Zion was a subject of discussion and a number of brethren were ordained high priests at the time.
Since Joseph and Oliver were originally sustained as the presiding elders of the Church, it would be natural that something should be said regarding Joseph's relationship to the new office of high priest. (D&C 107:65 suggests that Joseph is to be appointed to preside over the high priests. Joseph was ordained a high priest by Lyman Wight in June 1831, and the fulfillment of D&C 107:65 took place at Amherst, Ohio, January 25, 1832 when Joseph was sustained and "ordained" President of the High Priesthood. Times and Seasons 5 (2 September 1844): 624; PJS 1:380.). See the notes on D&C 68 which also underwent extensive change (evidently in parallel with this revelation) with significant development in priesthood offices. This revelation also clarified the relationship between the office of bishop and president of the high priesthood. The president of the high priesthood was the court of last resort for transgressors, while the president himself could be tried by the bishop. This was later modified by several uncanonized revelations received in January 1838. See notes at D&C 107.
Since it is quite useful to study this revelation (the KRB portion of D&C 107) in its historical context to understand the development of various priesthood offices, we include the text as it appears in KRB (spelling and capitalization retained from 1981 edition of D&C 107) in parallel with the current text of LDS D&C 107:
KRB Text, November 1831 LDS D&C 107:59-100
To the church of Christ in the land of Zion, in addition to the church laws respecting church business--
59 To the church of Christ in the land of Zion, in addition to the church laws respecting church business--
Verily, I say unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts, there must needs be presiding elders to preside over 60 Verily, I say unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts, there must needs be presiding elders to preside over those who are of the office of a priest; those who are of the office of an elder; 61 And also priests to preside over those who are of the office of a priest; And also teachers to preside over those who are of the office of a teacher, in like manner, and also the deacons-- 62 And also teachers to preside over those who are of the office of a teacher, in like manner, and also the deacons-- Wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are appointed, 63 Wherefore, from deacon to teacher, and from teacher to priest, and from priest to elder, severally as they are appointed, according to the church articles and covenants. according to the covenants and commandments of the church. Then cometh the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of all. 64 Then comes the High Priesthood, which is the greatest of all. Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed of the High Priesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High Priesthood of the Church; 65 Wherefore, it must needs be that one be appointed of the High Priesthood to preside over the priesthood, and he shall be called President of the High Priesthood of the Church; Or, in other words, the Presiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church. 66 Or, in other words, the Presiding High Priest over the High Priesthood of the Church. From the same cometh the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church, by the laying on of the hands. 67 From the same comes the administering of ordinances and blessings upon the church, by the laying on of the hands. Wherefore, the office of a bishop is not equal unto it; for the office of a bishop is in administering all temporal things; 68 Wherefore, the office of a bishop is not equal unto it; for the office of a bishop is in administering all temporal things; Nevertheless a bishop must be chosen from the High Priesthood 69 Nevertheless a bishop must be chosen from the High Priesthood, unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron; 70 For unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron he cannot hold the keys of that priesthood. 71 Nevertheless, a high priest, that is, after the order of Melchizedek, that he may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal things, having a knowledge of them by the Spirit of truth; may be set apart unto the ministering of temporal things, having a knowledge of them by the Spirit of truth; And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church. 72 And also to be a judge in Israel, to do the business of the church, to sit in judgment upon transgressors upon testimony as it shall be laid before him according to the laws, by the assistance of his counselors, whom he has chosen or will choose among the elders of the church. 73 This is the duty of a bishop who is not a literal descendant of Aaron, but has been ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek. Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, 74 Thus shall he be a judge, even a common judge among the inhabitants of Zion, or in a stake of Zion, or in any branch of the church where he shall be set apart unto this ministry, until the borders are enlarged and it becomes necessary to have other bishops or judges until the borders of Zion are enlarged and it becomes necessary to have other bishops or judges in Zion or elsewhere. And inasmuch as there are other bishops appointed they shall act in the same office. 75 And inasmuch as there are other bishops appointed they shall act in the same office. 76 But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the presidency of this priesthood, to the keys of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counselors, except in a case where a President of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, is tried, to sit as a judge in Israel. 77 And the decision of either of these councils, agreeable to the commandment which says: And again verily I say unto you the most important business of the church and the most difficult cases of the church inasmuch as there is not satisfaction, [upon the] decisions of the judges it[sic] shall be handed over to and carried up unto 78 Again, verily, I say unto you, the most important business of the church, and the most difficult cases of the church, inasmuch as there is not satisfaction upon the decision of the bishop or judges, it shall be handed over and carried up unto the court of the church before the President of the high Priesthood the council of the church, before the Presidency of the High Priesthood. and the President of the court of the high priesthood 79 And the Presidency of the council of the High Priesthood shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve, to assist as counselors; and thus the president of the high priesthood and his counselors shall have power to decide upon testimony according to the laws of the church. shall have power to call other high priests, even twelve, to assist as counselors; and thus the Presidency of the High Priesthood and its counselors shall have power to decide upon testimony according to the laws of the church. And after the decision it shall be had in remembrance no more before the Lord; for this is the highest council of the church of God, and a final decision upon controversies in spiritual matters. 80 And after this decision it shall be had in remembrance no more before the Lord; for this is the highest council of the church of God, and a final decision upon controversies in spiritual matters. There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this court of the church. 81 There is not any person belonging to the church who is exempt from this council of the church. And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common court of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood; 82 And inasmuch as a President of the High Priesthood shall transgress, he shall be had in remembrance before the common council of the church, who shall be assisted by twelve counselors of the High Priesthood; And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. 83 And their decision upon his head shall be an end of controversy concerning him. Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness. Amen.--- 84 Thus, none shall be exempted from the justice and the laws of God, that all things may be done in order and in solemnity before him, according to truth and righteousness. A few more words in addition to the laws of the church. And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a deacon is to preside over twelve deacons, to sit in council with them, and to teach them their duty, edifying one another, as it is given according to the covenants. 85 And again, verily I say unto you, the duty of a president over the office of a deacon is to preside over twelve deacons, to sit in council with them, and to teach them their duty, edifying one another, as it is given according to the covenants. And also the duty of the president over the office of the teachers is to preside over twenty-four of the teachers, and to sit in council with them, teaching them the duties of their office, as given in the covenants. 86 And also the duty of the president over the office of the teachers is to preside over twenty-four of the teachers, and to sit in council with them, teaching them the duties of their office, as given in the covenants. Also the duty of the president over the priesthood is to preside over forty-eight priests, and sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is given in the covenants-- 87 Also the duty of the president over the Priesthood of Aaron is to preside over forty-eight priests, and sit in council with them, to teach them the duties of their office, as is given in the covenants-- 88 This president is to be a bishop; for this is one of the duties of this priesthood. Again, the duty of the president over the office of elders is to preside over ninety-six elders, and to sit in council with them, and to teach them according to the covenants. 89 Again, the duty of the president over the office of elders is to preside over ninety-six elders, and to sit in council with them, and to teach them according to the covenants. 90 This presidency is a distinct one from that of the seventy, and is designed for those who do not travel into all the world. And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole, and to be like unto Moses-- 91 And again, the duty of the President of the office of the High Priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses-- Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church. 92 Behold, here is wisdom; yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet, having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church. 93 And it is according to the vision showing the order of the Seventy, that they should have seven presidents to preside over them, chosen out of the number of the seventy; 94 And the seventh president of these presidents is to preside over the six; 95 And these seven presidents are to choose other seventy besides the first seventy to whom they belong, and are to preside over them; 96 And also other seventy, until seven times seventy, if the labor in the vineyard of necessity requires it. 97 And these seventy are to be traveling ministers, unto the Gentiles first and also unto the Jews. 98 Whereas other officers of the church, who belong not unto the Twelve, neither to the Seventy, are not under the responsibility to travel among all nations, but are to travel as their circumstances shall allow, notwithstanding they may hold as high and responsible offices in the church. Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. 99 Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen. 100 He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.
A full analysis of this revelation will not be attempted here since it belongs more properly to the 1835 timeframe. However a few matters are worth mentioning here. First, as already stated, the date of this revelation probably falls between November 11 and November 30, 1831. See notes on D&C 68. Second, there may be at least two revelations amalgamated in the KRB (pp. 84-86) - see the KRB text above between 107:84 and 107:85. Whether both were given in November is impossible to determine at present, but the text of the KRB revelation following 107:84 may be somewhat later since there is a discontinuity in the regulations regarding the office of priest in the lesser priesthood. The first part describes priests as being presided over by "presiding elders" (perhaps a euphemism for presiding authority) and the second (corresponding to vs 87 of D&C107) indicates that the president of the priesthood is to preside over 48 priests. This terminology is consistent. The word "priesthood" was used in a somewhat different way in these very early days [see notes at volume 1 chapters 5 and 15]; "priesthood" in this context merely means those holding the office of "priest." Just as "high priesthood" (often capitalized) means the office of high priest. (A seeming discontinuity between 107:61 and 107:87-88 may owe its existence to a gradual shift in meaning to a usage more like that of the present day.) The quorum sizes given in the second part of the KRB text also suggest a later clarification of the first part, once again suggesting two revelations placed together. Some writers have suggested that the "high priesthood" was different from the office of high priest. But vss 64-66, 91 in the KRB text make such an interpretation invalid. See also notes at chapter 15, this volume. Finally, it is clear that D&C107 differs markedly from the KRB text in several repects such as the structure of the "Seventy" and the lineal regulations of bishops. D&C107 is therefore a combination of many revelations, just exactly how many and when they were received must be considered elsewhere. Why edit these various revelations together in this way? One thing is clear. The language of the revelations was regarded as sacred and a very conservative hand was applied to them. This, added to the "line upon line" nature of the revelations, required that the complete story be presented without betraying either the texts or the final evolved instruction. A difficult balance to maintain, but achieved with remarkable clarity under the circumstances.
38. The great importance of the revelations is carefully stated here. Initially the goal was to publish 10,000 copies, a huge undertaking, but clearly in line with the value the early elders placed on these writings. Eventually the number was reduced to 3,000 copies of BC.
39. In the minutes of the special conference of November 12th, spoken of in the foregoing by the Prophet, occurs the following account of what took place in addition to what the Prophet has written: "Brother Joseph Smith, Jun., said one item he wished acted upon was that our brothers Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer and the sacred writings which they have entrusted to them to carry to Zion--be dedicated to the Lord by the prayer of faith. Secondly, Brother Oliver has labored with me from the beginning in writing, &c. Brother Martin has labored with me from the beginning and Brothers John Whitmer and Sidney Rigdon also for a considerable time, and as these sacred writings are now going to the Church for its benefit, that we may have claim on the Church for recompense--if this conference think these things worth prizing to he had on record to show hereafter--I feel that it will be according to the mind of the Spirit, for by it these things were put into my heart which I know to be the Spirit of truth.
"Voted; that Joseph Smith, Jun., be appointed to dedicate and consecrate these brethren and the sacred writings and all they have entrusted to their care to the Lord. Done accordingly. * * * * Voted; that in consequence of the diligence of our brethren Joseph Smith, Jun., Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, and Sidney Rigdon in bringing to light by the grace of God these sacred things,--[they] be appointed to manage them according to the laws of the Church and the commandments of the Lord. And also that in consequence of the families of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Hiram Page and David Whitmer administering to their wants in temporal things; and also [on account of] the labors of Samuel H. Smith, Peter Whitmer Jun., William Smith and Don Carlos Smith--voted by the conference that the above named brethren be remembered to the Bishop in Zion as being worthy of inheritances among the people of the Lord according to the laws of said Church."--Far West Record, pp. 18, 19.(BHR)
In this note and many others, Roberts betrays his misconception that Joseph dictated the history. See chapter 1, note 1, this volume.
40. Received following the conference series in November (after Nov. 12). The earliest known copy is found in the 1835 D&C. No variations of significance exist among early copies. This revelation establishes what came to be known as the "Literary Firm." The Firm's principles were as named in the beginning of the revelation. They were to have stewardship of the revelations to see that they were protected and published. In return for this they were to share in the funds obtained from the sale of the BC and other published revelations. Any surplus funds after the living expenses of those involved were paid were to be turned over to the bishop. See the note by B. H. Roberts above. Also consult the notes regarding the 1832 trip to Zion in the following chapters.
Lyndon Cook writes:It is difficult to ascertain the exact date of the organization of the Literary Firm, but it occurred sometime between 12 November and 20 November 1831--the day Cowdery and Whitmer left for Missouri. Initial plans for the creation of this firm were made on 12 November 1831 in Hiram, Ohio. Minutes of the meeting stated, "In consequence of the dilligence of our brethren, Joseph Smith jr. Oliver Cowdery John Whitmer & Sidney Rigdon in bringing to light by the grace of God these sacred things, [approved that they] be appointed to manage them according to the Laws of the Church & the Commandments of the Lord" ("Far West Record," p. 18).The "managing" of the sacred writings was the responsibility of the Literary Firm. See RJS 112ff for a more complete discussion of the Literary Firm and a companion organization begun in 1832, the "United Firm." The Literary Firm was dissolved in August 1838 having published several periodicals and copies of the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. [RJS, 112 n2]