27468

Journal, March–September 1838

the hands of my people, And again; Verrily I say unto you it is my will, that the City Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

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should be built up spedily, by the gathering

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

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of my Saints, and also that other places should be appointed for stakes

Ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. Stakes were typically large local organizations of church members; stake leaders could include a presidency, a high council, and a bishopric. Some revelations referred to stakes “to” or...

View Glossary
in the regions round about as they shall be manifested unto my Servant Joseph from time to time. For behold I will be with him and I will Sanctify him before the people for unto him have I given the Keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
of this Kingdom and ministry even so— Amen.

Editorial Note
Up to this point in the journal, George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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apparently copied documents to catch up on recent events. From this point forward, the journal generally consists of regular entries, especially during the next six weeks. However, given the large size of the record book containing this journal, it is unlikely that Robinson carried it as he accompanied JS on various activities. A number of entries may have been written several days after the events.

27 April 1838 • Friday

Friday April the 27th 1838. This day was chiefly spent in writing a history of this Church

27 Apr. 1838

With Sidney Rigdon and George W. Robinson, JS commenced writing detailed history of the church, Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri.

from the earliest perion [period] of its existance up to this date, By Presidents, Joseph Smith Jr & 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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, myself

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

View Full Bio
also engaged in keeping this record

28 April 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 28th This morning Prests Smith & [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...

View Full Bio
& myself

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

View Full Bio
, were invited to attend the High Council

A governing body of twelve high priests. The first high council was organized in Kirtland, Ohio, on 17 February 1834 “for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop...

View Glossary
; and accordingly attended, the buisness before the high council, was the trial of a case appealed, from the branch

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

View Glossary
of the Church, near gymans [Guymon’s] horse mill

Near small Mormon settlement. Built by Lyons brothers, fall 1833.

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; Whereas [blank] [Henry] Jackson

Ca. 1798–1887. Basket maker. Born in Ohio. Married first Sarah, by 1820. Baptized into LDS church and ordained an elder, before 1831. Moved to Indiana, by 1831. Disciplined at church conference at Winchester, Randolph Co., Indiana, and subsequently reordained...

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was plantiff, and Aaron Lyon

Ca. 1781–30 Sept. 1839. Born in Holland, Hampton Co., Massachusetts. Married Roxana (Rocksey) Palmer, 15 July 1804, at Orwell, Rutland Co., Vermont. Presumably baptized into LDS church. Acquired land at Caldwell Co., Missouri, including town lot at Far West...

View Full Bio
defendant. Council called to order. Thomas B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

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&. David W. Patten

14 Nov. 1799–25 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Vermont. Son of Benoni Patten and Edith Cole. Moved to Theresa, Oneida Co., New York, as a young child. Moved to Dundee, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, as a youth. Married Phoebe Ann Babcock, 1828, in Dundee. Affiliated...

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, Presiding, It appeared in calling the council to order, that some of the seats were vacated; the council then proceeded to fill those seats: &c. And as there appeared to be no persons to fill Said Seats, Eligible to that office; Presidents Smith & 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...

View Full Bio
, were strongly solisited to act as councilors, or to Preside, and let the then presiding officers sit on the council; &c. They accepted of the former proposal, and accordingly Prest. Smith was choosen to act on the part of the defence, and to speak upon the case, together with Geo. W. Harris

1 Apr. 1780–1857. Jeweler. Born at Lanesboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Harris and Diana (Margaret) Burton. Married first Elizabeth, ca. 1800. Married second Margaret, who died in 1828. Moved to Batavia, Genesee Co., New York, by 1830. Married...

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. Prest. 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...

View Full Bio
, was chosen to act on the part of the prossecution, and to speak upon the case together with Geo. M. Hinkle

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

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, after the council was organized, and opened by prayer; the notorious case of Aaron Lyon

Ca. 1781–30 Sept. 1839. Born in Holland, Hampton Co., Massachusetts. Married Roxana (Rocksey) Palmer, 15 July 1804, at Orwell, Rutland Co., Vermont. Presumably baptized into LDS church. Acquired land at Caldwell Co., Missouri, including town lot at Far West...

View Full Bio
, was called in question; after some arbitrarious speeches, to know whether witnesses should be admitted, to testify against A. Lyon

Ca. 1781–30 Sept. 1839. Born in Holland, Hampton Co., Massachusetts. Married Roxana (Rocksey) Palmer, 15 July 1804, at Orwell, Rutland Co., Vermont. Presumably baptized into LDS church. Acquired land at Caldwell Co., Missouri, including town lot at Far West...

View Full Bio
, or whether he should have the privilege of confessing his own Sins, It was desided; that witnesses Should be admited, and also the writen testimo [p. 34]
the hands of my people, And again; Verrily I say  unto you it is my will, that the City Far West

Originally called Shoal Creek. Located fifty-five miles northeast of Independence. Surveyed 1823; first settled by whites, 1831. Site purchased, 8 Aug. 1836, before Caldwell Co. was organized for Latter-day Saints in Missouri. William W. Phelps and John Whitmer...

More Info
should  be built up spedily, by the gathering

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
of my Saints, and  also that other places should be appointed for stakes

Ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. Stakes were typically large local organizations of church members; stake leaders could include a presidency, a high council, and a bishopric. Some revelations referred to stakes “to” or...

View Glossary
in  the regions round about as they shall be manifested unto  my Servant Joseph from time to time. For behold I will  be with him and I will Sanctify him before the people for  unto him have I given the Keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
of this Kingdom and min istry even so— Amen.

Editorial Note
Up to this point in the journal, George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

View Full Bio
apparently copied documents to catch up on recent events. From this point forward, the journal generally consists of regular entries, especially during the next six weeks. However, given the large size of the record book containing this journal, it is unlikely that Robinson carried it as he accompanied JS on various activities. A number of entries may have been written several days after the events.

27 April 1838 • Friday

Friday April the 27th 1838. This day was chiefly spent  in writing a history of this Church

27 Apr. 1838

With Sidney Rigdon and George W. Robinson, JS commenced writing detailed history of the church, Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri.

from the earliest perion [period]  of its existance up to this date, By Presidents, Joseph Smith Jr  & 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...

View Full Bio
, myself

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

View Full Bio
also was engaged in keeping this  record79

Having failed to obtain John Whitmer’s earlier work on a history of the church, JS and his associates here began the work anew. Work on this history continued under JS’s direction until his death. The work was then carried on under the direction of Willard Richards and later by George A. Smith, who completed the six massive manuscript volumes in Utah. (Jessee, “Writing of Joseph Smith’s History.”)  


28 April 1838 • Saturday

Saturday 28th This morning Prests Smith & [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...

View Full Bio
&  myself

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

View Full Bio
, were invited into attend the High Council

A governing body of twelve high priests. The first high council was organized in Kirtland, Ohio, on 17 February 1834 “for the purpose of settling important difficulties which might arise in the church, which could not be settled by the church, or the bishop...

View Glossary
; and acc ordingly attended, the buisness before the high council,  was the trial of an case appealed, from the branch

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

View Glossary
of the Church,  near gymans [Guymon’s] horse mill

Near small Mormon settlement. Built by Lyons brothers, fall 1833.

More Info
; Whereas [blank] [Henry] Jackson

Ca. 1798–1887. Basket maker. Born in Ohio. Married first Sarah, by 1820. Baptized into LDS church and ordained an elder, before 1831. Moved to Indiana, by 1831. Disciplined at church conference at Winchester, Randolph Co., Indiana, and subsequently reordained...

View Full Bio
was plantiff,  and Aaron Lyon

Ca. 1781–30 Sept. 1839. Born in Holland, Hampton Co., Massachusetts. Married Roxana (Rocksey) Palmer, 15 July 1804, at Orwell, Rutland Co., Vermont. Presumably baptized into LDS church. Acquired land at Caldwell Co., Missouri, including town lot at Far West...

View Full Bio
defendant.80

Aaron Lyon was charged with improperly using priesthood authority to attempt to coerce Sarah Jackson, Henry Jackson’s wife, to marry Lyon. (Minute Book 2, 28 Apr. 1838, 137–140, 157–159.)  


Council called to order. T[homas] B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

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 &. D[avid] W. Patten

14 Nov. 1799–25 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Vermont. Son of Benoni Patten and Edith Cole. Moved to Theresa, Oneida Co., New York, as a young child. Moved to Dundee, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, as a youth. Married Phoebe Ann Babcock, 1828, in Dundee. Affiliated...

View Full Bio
, Presiding, It appeared in calling the council to order,  that some of the seats were vacated; the council then proceeded  to fill those seats: &c. And as there appeared to be no persons to fill  Said Seats, Eligible to that office; Presidents Smith & 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...

View Full Bio
,  were strongly solisited to act as councilors, or to Preside, and  let the then presiding officers sit on the council; &c. They accepted  of the former proposal, and accordingly Prest. Smith was choosen to  act on the part of the defence, and to speak upon the case, togeth[er]  with Geo. W. Harris

1 Apr. 1780–1857. Jeweler. Born at Lanesboro, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Harris and Diana (Margaret) Burton. Married first Elizabeth, ca. 1800. Married second Margaret, who died in 1828. Moved to Batavia, Genesee Co., New York, by 1830. Married...

View Full Bio
. and Prest. 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...

View Full Bio
, was chosen to act on  the part of the prossecution, and to speak upon the case together  with Geo. M. Hinkle

13 Nov. 1801–Nov. 1861. Merchant, physician, publisher, minister, farmer. Born in Jefferson Co., Kentucky. Son of Michael Hinkle and Nancy Higgins. Married first Sarah Ann Starkey. Baptized into LDS church, 1832. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri....

View Full Bio
, after the council was organized, and op[e]ned  by prayer; the notorious case of Aaron Lyon

Ca. 1781–30 Sept. 1839. Born in Holland, Hampton Co., Massachusetts. Married Roxana (Rocksey) Palmer, 15 July 1804, at Orwell, Rutland Co., Vermont. Presumably baptized into LDS church. Acquired land at Caldwell Co., Missouri, including town lot at Far West...

View Full Bio
, was called in  question; after some arbitrarious81

“Not governed by any fixed rules.” (“Arbitrary,” in American Dictionary, 48.)  


speeches, to know whether witnesses  should be admitted, to testify against A. Lyon

Ca. 1781–30 Sept. 1839. Born in Holland, Hampton Co., Massachusetts. Married Roxana (Rocksey) Palmer, 15 July 1804, at Orwell, Rutland Co., Vermont. Presumably baptized into LDS church. Acquired land at Caldwell Co., Missouri, including town lot at Far West...

View Full Bio
, or whether he should  have the privilege of confessing his own Sins, It was desided;  that witnesses Should be admited, and also the writen testimo [p. 34]
PreviousNext
JS, “The Scriptory Book—of Joseph Smith Jr.—President of The Church of Jesus Christ, of Latterday Saints In all the World,” Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838; handwriting of George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

View Full Bio
and James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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; sixty-nine pages; in “General,” Record Book, 1838, verso of Patriarchal Blessings, vol. 5, CHL. Includes redactions and archival marking.
JS’s “Scriptory Book” is recorded on pages 15 to 83 of a large record book entitled “General” that also includes a list of church members in Caldwell County

Located in northwest Missouri. Settled by whites, by 1831. Described as being “one-third timber and two-thirds prairie” in 1836. Created specifically for Latter-day Saints by Missouri state legislature, 29 Dec. 1836, in attempt to solve “Mormon problem.” ...

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, Missouri (pages 2–14), a copy of JS’s 16 December 1838 letter from the jail in Liberty

Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...

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, Missouri (pages 101–108), and an aborted record partially entitled “Recor” in unidentified handwriting (page 110). The book, which measures 13 x 8¼ x 1¾ inches (33 x 21 x 4 cm), has 182 leaves of ledger paper sized 12½ x 7¾ inches (32 x 20 cm) with thirty-seven lines in blue ink per page. There are eighteen gatherings of various sizes, each of about a dozen leaves. The text block is sewn all along over three vellum tapes. The heavy pink endpapers each consist of a pastedown and two flyleaves pasted together. The text block edges are stained green. The volume has a hardbound ledger-style binding with a hollow-back spine and glued-on blue-striped cloth headbands. It is bound in brown split-calfskin leather with blind-tooled decoration around the outside border and along the turned-in edges of the leather on the inside covers. At some point the letter “G” was hand printed in ink on the front cover. The original leather cover over the spine—which appears to have been intentionally removed—may have borne a title or filing notation.
The journal is inscribed in black ink that later turned brown and is almost entirely in the handwriting of George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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. James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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’s handwriting appears in a copy of the 23 July 1837 revelation for Thomas B. Marsh

1 Nov. 1800–Jan. 1866. Farmer, hotel worker, waiter, horse groom, grocer, type foundry worker, teacher. Born at Acton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of James Marsh and Molly Law. Married first Elizabeth Godkin, 1 Nov. 1820, at New York City. Moved to ...

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(D&C 112) on pages 72–74. Running heads added by Robinson throughout the journal indicate the months of the entries on the page. The volume was later used in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, as a source for JS’s multivolume manuscript history of the church. During the preparation of the history, redactions and use marks were made in graphite pencil. Redactions in graphite and ink may have been made at other times as well. In 1845, the book was turned over so that the back cover became the front and the last page became the first. This side of the book was used to record patriarchal blessings. The original spine may have been removed at this time. The spine is now labeled with a number “5”, designating its volume number in a series of books of patriarchal blessings.
The volume is listed in Nauvoo and early Utah inventories of church records, indicating continuous custody.1

Historian’s Office, “Schedule of Church Records”; “Historian’s Office Catalogue,” [2]; Historian’s Office, “Index of Records and Journals,” [12], Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL; JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, microfilm, JS Collection, CHL.  


At some point, the leaf containing pages 54 and 55 was torn from the journal. This removed leaf—which is transcribed herein and contains, among other writings, the earliest extant text of an 8 July 1838 revelation for the Quorum of the Twelve (D&C 118)—was for a time kept in Revelation Book 2.2

Best, “Register of the Revelations Collection,” 19.  


It is now part of the Revelations Collection at the Church History Library.

Facts