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Revelation, 4 November 1830 [D&C 34]

37th 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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AD 1830
A Commandment to Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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his call to the ministery &c given at 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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Seneca county State of New York1

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


My Son Orson

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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hearken ye & Behold what I the Lord God say unto you even Jesus Christ your Redeemer the light & the life of the world2

See, for example, Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 189, 473, 477 [Mosiah 16:9; 3 Nephi 9:18; 11:11]; compare John 8:12.  


a light which shineth in darkness & the darkness Comprehendeth it not4

See, for example, John 1:5; Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:58]; and Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6:21].  


who so loved the world that he gave his own life that as many as would believe might become the Sons & daughters of God5

See John 1:4–5, 12; 3:16.  


Wherefore ye are my Son & blessed are ye because ye have believed & more blessed are ye because ye are called of me to Preach my Gospel to lift up your voice as with the sound of a Trump both long & loud & cry repentance to a crooked & perverse generation6

See Deuteronomy 32:5; Philippians 2:15; and Revelation, Oct. 1830–B [D&C 33:2].  


prepareing the way of the Lord for his second Coming for Behold Verily Verily I say unto you the time is soon at hand that I will come in a cloud with power & great glory7

See Matthew 24:30.  


& it shall be a great day at the [p. 45]
37th 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...

View Glossary
AD 1830
A Commandment to Orson [Pratt]

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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his call to the ministery &c  given at 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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Seneca county State of New York1

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


My Son Orson

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

View Full Bio
hearken ye & Behold what I the Lord God  say unto you even Jesus Christ your Redeemer the light & the  life of the world2

See, for example, Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 189, 473, 477 [Mosiah 16:9; 3 Nephi 9:18; 11:11]; compare John 8:12.  


& a3

TEXT: “a” possibly inserted later by an unidentified scribe.  


light which shineth in darkness & the  darkness Comprehendeth it not4

See, for example, John 1:5; Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:58]; and Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6:21].  


who so loved the world that  he gave his own life that as many as would believe might  become the Sons & daughter[s] of God5

See John 1:4–5, 12; 3:16.  


Wherefore ye are my Son &  blessed are ye because ye have believed & more blessed are  ye because ye are called of me to Preach my Gospel to lift  up your voice as with a the sound of a Trump both long  & loud & cry repentance to a crooked & perverse generation6

See Deuteronomy 32:5; Philippians 2:15; and Revelation, Oct. 1830–B [D&C 33:2].  


prepareing  the way of the Lord for his second Coming for Behold Verily Verily  I say unto you the time is soon at hand that I will come in a  cloud with power & great glory7

See Matthew 24:30.  


& it shall be a great day at the [p. 45]
Next
Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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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 his older brother Parley

12 Apr. 1807–13 May 1857. Farmer, editor, publisher, teacher, school administrator, legislator, explorer, author. Born at Burlington, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Traveled west with brother William to acquire land, 1823....

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on 19 September 1830, Orson’s nineteenth birthday, in Canaan, New York.1

“History of Orson Pratt,” 9–10, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL; Pratt, “Book of Orson,” [9].  


In October he traveled over two hundred miles to Fayette Township

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, to meet JS. He arrived just after Parley and several others had been called by revelation “to go forth unto the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

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, to proclaim glad tidings of great joy unto them, by presenting unto them the fulness of the Gospel.”2 Orson Pratt later explained that he too wanted to know his duty and requested that JS “inquire of the Lord” for him. The result, according to Pratt’s account, was the following 4 November 1830 revelation, dictated by JS in his presence and written down by 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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.3

Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 18 Sept. 1859, 7:311; “History of Orson Pratt,” 10, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL.  


James Van Cleave preserved a lengthier secondhand account of the reception of this revelation by reporting in a letter a later interview he had with Orson Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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. According to Van Cleave, Pratt recounted that “after he was 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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an Elder

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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in the Church of Christ

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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, he was anxious to know what his mission was and would be, and at Peter Whitmer Sr

14 Apr. 1773–13 Aug. 1854. Farmer. Born at Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer and likely Maria Salome. Member of Presbyterian church. Married Mary Musselman, before 1798, in Pennsylvania. Lived in Lebanon Township, Dauphin Co., by...

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’s residence he asked Joseph whether he could not ascertain what his mission was, and Joseph answered him that he would see, & asked Pratt and 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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to go upstairs with him, and on arriving there Joseph produced a small stone called a seer stone, and putting it into a Hat soon commenced speaking and asked Elder P[ratt] to write as he would speak, but being too young and timid and feeling his unworthiness he asked whether Bro. John W[hitmer] could not write it, and the Prophet said that he could: Then came the revelation.”4

James R. B. Van Cleave, Richmond, MO, to Joseph Smith III, Plano, IL, 29 Sept. 1878, CCLA. Van Cleave appears to be in error in stating that the revelation occurred after Pratt had already been ordained an elder. Pratt dated both his confirmation and ordination as an elder to 1 December 1830, almost a month after this revelation. (“History of Orson Pratt,” 10, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL.)  


Though the revelation itself does not specify the area where Pratt

19 Sept. 1811–3 Oct. 1881. Farmer, writer, teacher, merchant, surveyor, editor, publisher. Born at Hartford, Washington Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to New Lebanon, Columbia Co., New York, 1814; to Canaan, Columbia Co., fall...

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was to preach, he later explained that his “mission was to 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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, Broome County, N.Y.”5

“History of Orson Pratt,” 10, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL.  


The revelation left a deep impression on Pratt: “I thought that was a very great and important calling. . . . I felt, therefore, the importance of those sayings; and truly, when I looked at the magnitude and importance of the command

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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given to me to prophesy by the power of the Holy Ghost, I felt oftentimes to tremble and shrink, for fear I never should be able to fulfill and accomplish so great a work.”6

Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 18 Sept. 1859, 7:311.  


Despite such trepidations, Pratt had by 2 December 1830 been ordained an elder and was on his way to Colesville to begin his mission.7

Pratt carried with him a letter from JS and John Whitmer that declared to the members in Colesville that Pratt had been “chosen, ordained, sanctified and sent” as “another servant and Apostle.” (Letter to the Church in Colesville, 2 Dec. 1830.)  


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