26096

Revelation, 4 February 1831 [D&C 41]

44 Commandment given Feb. 4th. 1831
at Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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Geauga County Ohio given to the Church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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in these parts it pointing at the office of Edward [Partridge]

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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&c & there was a man by the name of Coply [Leman Copley]

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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in the Township of Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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who had requested his Brother [JS] & Sidney [Rigdon]

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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to live with him & he would furnish them houses & provisions &c then Joseph enquired of the lord & Received as follows
Hearken & hear oh! my People saith your lord & your God ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of blessings ye that hear me & ye that hear me not will I curse with that have professed my name with the heaviest of all cursings hearken oh ye Elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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of my Church whom I have called Behold I give unto you a commandment

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

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that ye shall assemble yourselves to gether to agree upon my my word & by the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

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that ye may know how to govern my Church & have all things right before me & I will be your ruler & ye shall see that my law is kept he that Receiveth my law & doeth it the same is my Deciple & he that saith he Receiveth it & Doeth it not the same is not my Deciple & shall be cast out from among you for it is not meet that the things which belong to the [p. 61]
44 Commandment given Feb. 4th. 1831
at Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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Geauga County Ohio given to the Church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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 in these parts it pointing at1

The word “at” was crossed out and “out” was inserted in its place by John Whitmer sometime after his initial inscription of the manuscript. (Revelation Book 1, p. 61.)  


the office of Edward [Partridge]

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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&c & there  was a man by the name of Coply [Leman Copley]

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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in the Township of  Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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who had requested <his> Brother [JS]2

Text supplied based on John Whitmer’s later insertion in the manuscript. (Revelation Book 1, p. 61.)  


& Sidney [Rigdon]

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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& to live with  him & he would furnish them houses & provisions &c then  By Joseph enquired of the lord & Received as follows3

John Whitmer likely created this heading when he copied the text into Revelation Book 1.  


Hearken & hear oh! my People saith your lord & your  God ye whom I delight to bless with the greatest of  blessings ye that hear me & ye that hear me not will I  curse with that have professed my name with the heaviest  of all cursings hearken oh ye Elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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of my Church  whom I have called Behold I give unto you a commandm ent

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

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that ye shall assemble yourselves to gether to agree  upon my my word & by the prayer of your faith ye shall  receive my law

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

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4

The 2 January 1831 revelation directing the members in New York to remove to Ohio had promised the reception of “my law” in Ohio. The first part of a revelation titled in Revelation Book 1 “The laws of the Church of Christ” was received five days after this 4 February revelation. (Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32]; Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:1–72].)  


that ye may know how to govern my Church  Church & have all things right before me & I will be  your ruler & ye shall see that my law is kept he that  Receiveth my law & doeth it the same is my Deciple &  he that saith he Receiveth it & Doeth it not the same is  not my Deciple & shall be cast out from among you  for it is not meet that the things which belong to the [p. 61]
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This revelation was dictated the same day JS arrived in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio, from New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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.1

Revelations dated 30 December 1830 and 2 January 1831 directed church members to gather in Ohio. According to an article in the Painesville Telegraph, Sidney Rigdon arrived on 1 February and JS arrived three days later. (Revelation, 30 Dec. 1830 [D&C 37:1, 3]; Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32]; [Matthew S. Clapp], “Mormonism,” Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 15 Feb. 1831, [1].)  


According to John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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’s headnote, inscribed a few months later in spring 1831, the revelation was a response to JS’s prayer regarding an offer made by new convert Leman Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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to provide JS and Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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“houses & provisions” on his farm in Thompson Township

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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, Ohio, about twenty miles east of Kirtland.

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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2

Copley was formerly a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, more commonly known as Shakers. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49].)  


JS and his family were in need of housing because of their recent move, and Sidney and Phebe Rigdon had lost a house apparently being built for them by his former Campbellite congregation in nearby Mentor

Located in northeastern Ohio, about three miles northeast of Kirtland. Area claimed by Connecticut (referred to as Western Reserve), 1786. Surveyed 1796. Settled by early 1798. Organized 1815. Population in 1830 about 700. Included village of Mentor. Sidney...

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, Ohio, when he converted to the Church of Christ.3

Rigdon’s son later recalled that his father’s congregation in Mentor, Ohio, had “bought him a little farm . . . and were engaged in building him a house on it” when Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt introduced him to the Book of Mormon. After Sidney and Phebe Rigdon were baptized, the family moved in with other converts in the Kirtland area. (Rigdon, “Lecture on the Early History of the Mormon Church,” 14, 19–20.)  


Early published versions of this revelation did not include Whitmer’s headnote,4

Book of Commandments 43; Doctrine and Covenants 61, 1835 ed.  


and in their later histories neither JS nor Whitmer connected Copley’s offer to this revelation. Both histories instead place the revelation in the context of concerns about religious excesses among the new church members in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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. The revelation, however, does not explicitly address this matter.
In setting the scene for the revelation, John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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wrote in his history: “About these days Joseph the Prophet and Sidney [Rigdon]

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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arrived at Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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to the joy and satisfaction of the Saints. The disciples had all things common, and were going to destruction very fast as to temporal things: for they considered from reading the scripture

The sacred, written word of God containing the “mind & will of the Lord” and “matters of divine revelation.” Members of the church considered the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s revelations to be scripture. Revelations in 1830 and 1831 directed JS to ...

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that what belonged to a brother belonged to any of the brethren, therefore they would take each others clothes and other property and use it without leave: which brought on confusion and disappointments: for they did not understand the scripture. After Joseph lived here a few days the word of the Lord came.”5

Whitmer, History, 11; see also Acts 2:44–45.  


JS’s history gave a similar introduction: “The branch of the church in this part of the Lord’s vineyard, which had increased to nearly one hundred members, were striving to do the will of God, so far as they knew it; though some strange notions and false spirits had crept in among them. With a little caution, and some wisdom, I soon assisted the brethren and sisters to overcome them. The plan of ‘common stock,’ which had existed in what was called ‘the family,’ whose members generally had embraced the ever lasting gospel, was readily abandoned for the more perfect law of the Lord: and the false spirits were easily discerned and rejected by the light of revelation.”6
The revelation instructed church members that JS “should have a house built in which to live & translate

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process, by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened ...

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” and that Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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“should have a comfortable Room to live in.” Though silent about Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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’s offer of assistance, JS’s history explained that upon their arrival in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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JS and Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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“were kindly received and welcomed into the house of brother N[ewel] K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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.” The history continues, “I and my wife lived in the family of Brother Whitney several weeks, and received every kindness and attention, which could be expected, and especially from Sister [Elizabeth Ann] Whitney

26 Dec. 1800–15 Feb. 1882. Born at Derby, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Daughter of Gibson Smith and Polly Bradley. Moved to Ohio, 1819. Married Newel K. Whitney, 20 Oct. 1822, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Shortly after, joined reformed Baptist (later Disciples...

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.”7 Although neither JS nor Sidney Rigdon accepted Copley’s offer to live in Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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, Copley made a similar offer a few months later to the group of church members migrating to Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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from Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

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, New York.8

Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 29–30; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51].  


John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

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’s headnote in Revelation Book 1 listed another purpose for this revelation: “pointing at [out] the office of Edward [Partridge]

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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,” who the revelation commanded

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

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to be ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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as the church’s first bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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. This is the first extant document that uses bishop as an office in the church. JS first met Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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businessman and hatter Edward Partridge in December 1830 in Fayette

Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...

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, New York. Partridge had accompanied recent convert Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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on a trip to New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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to meet JS. On 9 December, JS dictated a revelation calling Partridge to “preach my Gospel as with the voice of a Trump,” and Partridge was baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

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by JS two days later.9

Revelation, 9 Dec. 1830 [D&C 36:1]; JS History, vol. A-1, 94; Young, “Incidents,” 3.  


Partridge spent the next month and a half sharing his new faith with relatives and friends in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, an effort that his daughter Emily later characterized as unsuccessful.10

Young, “Incidents,” 3–4; see also Partridge, Genealogical Record, 5–6.  


He returned to New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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from Massachusetts

One of original thirteen colonies that formed U.S. Capital city, Boston. Colonized by English religious dissenters, 1620s. Population in 1830 about 610,000. Population in 1840 about 738,000. Joseph Smith Sr. born in Massachusetts. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde...

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in time to join JS, Emma

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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, and Sidney Rigdon in their move to Ohio during the last week of January 1831.11

Revelation, 30 Dec. 1830 [D&C 37:1]; Young, “Incidents,” 5.  


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