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Revelation, 29 October 1831 [D&C 66]

Behold thus saith the Lord u[n]to you  my servant William [E. McLellin]. Blessed are you  inasmuch as you have turned away from  your inequities and have received my truths  saith the Lord your Redeemer, the Saviour  of the world, even of as many as believe on  my name. Verily I say unto you blessed  are you for receiving mine everlasting  Covenant even the fulness of my Gospel1

The Saints believed that many “plain and precious things” had been removed from the Bible, but according to the “Articles and Covenants” of the church, the Book of Mormon “contains . . . the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and also to the Jews.” Likewise, the “Laws of the Church of Christ” counsel those proselytizing to “teach the scriptures which are in the Bible & the Book of Mormon in the which is the fullness of the Gospel.” At some point, the meaning of the term “fullness of the gospel” may have expanded to include JS’s revelations and visions. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 30, 36 [1 Nephi 13:24–29; 15:13]; Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:9]; Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831; Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:14].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Palmyra, NY: E. B. Grandin, 1830.

 sent forth unto the children of men that  they might have life and be made par takers of the glories which are2

John Whitmer’s copy of the revelation in Revelation Book 1 has “was” instead of “are.” (Revelation Book 1, p. 111, in JSP, MRB:195.)  

 
to be re vealed in the last days as it was written  by the prophets and Apostles in days  of old.3

See 1 Peter 5:1; and Romans 8:18.  

 
Verily I say unto you my servant  Wm. that you are clean but not all4

See John 13:10–11; and Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:10].  

 
 Repent therefore of those things which are  not pleasing in my sight saith the Lord  for the Lord will shew them unto you.  And now Verily I the the Lord will shew  unto you what I will concerning you  or what is my will concerning you.  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 hath not been procla imed. Tarry not many days in this place5

According to McLellin, “I had expected to remain here and read and write for some weeks and probably months, but having received the will of the Lord I determined to obey it.” Therefore, McLellin continued, “I only remained here [in Hiram] about three weeks.” (McLellin, Journal, 29 Oct.–16 Nov. 1831.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

 Go not up unto the Land of Zion as yet  But in as much as you can send. Send, otherwis[e]  think not of thy property. Go unto Eastern  lands. Bear testimony in every place, unto  every people and in their synagogues6

John Whitmer’s copy in Revelation Book 1 presents this list in a different order: “bear testimony unto every people & in every Place & in their synnagogues.” Although “synagogue” specifically refers to a Jewish house of worship, it is also used in the Book of Mormon to denote a general place of worship. (Revelation Book 1, p. 112, in JSP, MRB:197; see, for example, Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 492 [3 Nephi 18:32].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Palmyra, NY: E. B. Grandin, 1830.

reason ing with the people Let my servant [p. [9]]
Next
On 29 October 1831, William E. McLellin wrote in his journal, “The Lord condecended to hear my prayr and give me a revelation of his will, through his prophet or Seer (Joseph).”1

McLellin, Journal, 29 Oct. 1831.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Murdock, John. Journal, ca. 1830–1859. CHL.

McLellin, a recent convert from Paris, Illinois, met JS for the first time at the 25–26 October 1831 conference in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where McLellin was ordained to the high priesthood. At the conclusion of the conference, he accompanied JS to Hiram, Ohio, arriving there on 29 October.2

McLellin, Journal, 26–29 Oct. 1831; see also Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Murdock, John. Journal, ca. 1830–1859. CHL.

McLellin later recalled that on that day, he “went before the Lord in secret, and on my knees asked him to reveal the answer to five questions through his Prophet.”3

William E. McLellin, Editorial, Ensign of Liberty, Jan. 1848, 61.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Ensign of Liberty. Kirtland, OH. Mar. 1847–Aug. 1849.

At McLellin’s request, JS dictated a revelation for him,4

JS History, vol. A-1, 156.  

 
perhaps in the southeast upstairs bedroom of the John and Alice (Elsa) Johnson home, where JS worked on his revision of the Bible.5

This “translating” room was the largest room upstairs and probably originally the bedroom of John and Alice (Elsa) Johnson. The Johnsons created a new bedroom by partitioning off a “single large work space on the west end of the second floor” into two smaller rooms while JS was attending the October conference in Orange. Much of the work was done by the time JS and McLellin reached the Johnson home on 29 October, but the partition wall was not plastered until that evening. (Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 314.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Staker, Mark L. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.

According to McLellin, the revelation answered the questions “to my full and entire satisfaction.”6

William E. McLellin, Editorial, Ensign of Liberty, Jan. 1848, 61. McLellin noted that these questions “had dwelt upon my mind with anxiety yet with uncertainty.” (McLellin, Journal, 29 Oct. 1831.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Ensign of Liberty. Kirtland, OH. Mar. 1847–Aug. 1849.

McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

Although McLellin never explained what his five queries were, the revelation’s contents indicate that he was probably concerned about his standing before God and about what the Lord desired him to do.
McLellin recounted that he wrote the words of this revelation as JS spoke them.7

McLellin, Journal, 29 Oct. 1831.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

Two copies of the revelation in McLellin’s hand exist, but it does not appear that either is the original manuscript.8

Both are fairly clean copies written in small script and with an even hand.  

 
One copy is in McLellin’s journal,9

McLellin, Journal, 29 Oct. 1831.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

probably made soon after the revelation was dictated. The other is the copy in McLellin’s notebook, featured below. McLellin apparently inscribed this copy sometime before 16 November 1831, when he departed on a mission. Three revelations precede the 29 October revelation in McLellin’s notebook, including one dated 30 October 1831, indicating McLellin did not make these copies before that date. McLellin’s journal corroborates this dating, stating that he stayed in Hiram from 29 October to 16 November and “read and copyed revelations, &c.”10

McLellin, Journal, 29 Oct.–16 Nov. 1831.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

John Whitmer also copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 sometime before he left for Missouri on 20 November.11

See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 1, in JSP, MRB:5; and Revelation Book 1, pp. 111–112, in JSP, MRB: 195–197. For the date of Whitmer’s departure, see Whitmer, History, 38, in JSP, H2:49.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

JSP, H2 / Davidson, Karen Lynn, Richard L. Jensen, and David J. Whittaker, eds. Histories, Volume 2: Assigned Historical Writings, 1831–1847. Vol. 2 of the Histories series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City, Church Historian’s Press, 2012.

McLellin’s notebook copy appears to be a more complete reflection of the original revelation than either the journal copy or the copy John Whitmer made in Revelation Book 1. The journal copy probably predates the other two versions, but the spelling of certain words (“shew” instead of “show,” which is in the journal copy, for example), the use of contractions, and the lack of punctuation suggest that the copies in McLellin’s notebook and in Revelation Book 1 were derived from a nonextant copy of the original. The notebook version also appears to be more complete than the copy in Revelation Book 1 because the notebook contains an endnote regarding McLellin belonging to the lineage of Ephraim in the Old Testament (a note that also appears in the journal copy).

Facts