31854

Revelation, 1 December 1831 [D&C 71]

After holding several conferences

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

View Glossary
early in November regarding the publication of the revelations, JS dictated a revelation on 1 December 1831 directing the Lord’s “Servents” to proclaim the gospel “in the regions round about . . . for the space of a season.” Later copies of this revelation identified the “Servents” as 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...

View Full Bio
.1

A copy of the revelation in Revelation Book 1, probably made around April 1832, calls it “A Revelation to Joseph & Sidney.” A copy in Revelation Book 2, probably made around March 1832, titles it “A commandment given to us Joseph and Sidney in these words.” (See Historical Introductions to Revelation Book 1 and Revelation Book 2; Revelation Book 1, p. 134; and Revelation Book 2, p. 11.)  


This revelation directed JS and Rigdon to pave the way for the publication of the revelations through preaching. The need to preach seems to have grown more urgent because of the actions of Ezra Booth

14 Feb. 1792–before 12 Jan. 1873. Farmer, minister. Born in Newtown, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. Admitted on trial to Methodist ministry, 4 Sept. 1816, and stationed in the Ohio District in Beaver, Pike Co. Admitted into full connection and elected a deacon...

View Full Bio
and Symonds Rider

20 Nov. 1792–1 Aug. 1870. Farmer, teacher, minister. Born in Hartford, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joshua Ryder and Marilla Loomis. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, 6 Jan. 1814. Married Mahitable Loomis, 12 Nov. 1818, in Portage Co. Served as captain in...

View Full Bio
, who had begun to antagonize the church. A conference of 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...

View Glossary
including JS disciplined Booth on 6 September 1831, and in October the Ravenna, Ohio, newspaper Ohio Star began publishing Booth’s letters criticizing JS and 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...

View Glossary
.2

Minutes, 6 Sept. 1831; Ezra Booth, Nelson, OH, to Rev. Ira Eddy, 12 Sept, 1831, Ohio Star (Ravenna), 13 Oct. 1831, [3].  


The issue of the Ohio Star published shortly before this revelation was dictated printed Booth’s seventh letter, which included a message to 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...

View Full Bio
. Booth counseled Partridge to “place yourself from under the influence of the men who have deceived you” and to “fly from the habitations haunted by impostors.”3

Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. VII,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 24 Nov. 1831, [1].  


A couple of months earlier, Rider

20 Nov. 1792–1 Aug. 1870. Farmer, teacher, minister. Born in Hartford, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joshua Ryder and Marilla Loomis. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, 6 Jan. 1814. Married Mahitable Loomis, 12 Nov. 1818, in Portage Co. Served as captain in...

View Full Bio
, who had also become disaffected, provided a copy of the February 1831 revelation titled “Laws of the Church of Christ” to the Western Courier, another Ravenna newspaper, stating that “the Prophets or Preachers, declare it to be a Law revealed to them from heaven.” Rider requested that the newspaper publish the revelation, noting that church leaders “were commanded not to communicate it to the world, nor even to their followers, until they become strong in the faith.”4

“Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier, (Ravenna, OH), 1 Sept. 1831, [1].  


Rider later declared that new converts could learn from these materials “that a plot was laid to take their property from them and place it under the control of Joseph Smith the prophet.”5

Symonds Rider, Hiram, OH, to A. S. Hayden, 1 Feb. 1868, in Hayden, Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, 221.  


This 1 December revelation instructed JS and 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
to counteract the work of such “enemies.”
In response to these criticisms and prompted by the revelation, 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
invited Booth

14 Feb. 1792–before 12 Jan. 1873. Farmer, minister. Born in Newtown, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. Admitted on trial to Methodist ministry, 4 Sept. 1816, and stationed in the Ohio District in Beaver, Pike Co. Admitted into full connection and elected a deacon...

View Full Bio
to a lecture in Ravenna on 25 December, where he would “review” Booth’s letters and show them to be “an unfair and false representation of the subjects on which they treat.” Rigdon also challenged Rider

20 Nov. 1792–1 Aug. 1870. Farmer, teacher, minister. Born in Hartford, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joshua Ryder and Marilla Loomis. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, 6 Jan. 1814. Married Mahitable Loomis, 12 Nov. 1818, in Portage Co. Served as captain in...

View Full Bio
to a public debate on the Book of Mormon.6

Sidney Rigdon, “To the Public,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 15 Dec. 1831, [3].  


Both men declined Rigdon’s invitations.7

See Sidney Rigdon, “To the Public,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 12 Jan. 1832, [3].  


Rigdon still lectured in Ravenna against Booth’s letters, and he and JS preached in Shalersville “and other places, setting forth the truth.”8

JS History, vol. A-1, 179; Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 25–26 Dec. 1831; Cahoon, Diary, Dec. 1831.  


JS probably dictated this revelation in the upstairs bedroom of the John

14 Apr. 1779–30 July 1843. Farmer, innkeeper. Born at Chesterfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Israel Johnson and Abigail Higgins. Married Alice (Elsa) Jacobs, 22 June 1800. Moved to Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont, ca. 1803. Settled at Hiram, Portage...

View Full Bio
and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson home in Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

More Info
, Ohio. 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
, who was then serving as JS’s scribe on the Bible revision, likely wrote the revelation as JS dictated it. The original manuscript is apparently not extant. The copy featured here, which is in Rigdon’s handwriting, later came into the possession of Newel 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...

View Full Bio
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...

More Info
, Ohio. But because Rigdon wrote this copy of the 1 December revelation on the same sheet of paper as a 4 December 1831 revelation—with the 4 December revelation coming first—it is unlikely that Whitney’s copy is the original inscription.

Facts