Revelation, 1 November 1831–A [D&C 68]

John Whitmer handwriting begins.  

given in Hiram Nov. 1. 1831

John Whitmer assigned this number to the revelation when recording it in Revelation Book 1.  

A Revelation to

John Whitmer handwriting ends; Oliver Cowdery begins.  

Orson [Hyde] Luke [Johnson] & Lyman [Johnson] & William [E. McLellin]
The mind & will of the Lord as made known by the voice of the  spirit made <known to> a confrence held November first 1831 concerning  certain Elders who requested of the Lord to kno his will concerning  them & also certain items as made known in addition to the Laws  & commandments which have been given to the church2

This heading may not have appeared in the original manuscript; it may have been added by Oliver Cowdery when he copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1.  

firstly  my servant Orson was called by his ordinance3

“Ordinance” likely refers to Hyde’s ordination to the high priesthood. “Ordinance”—which, according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, could mean “appointment”—was changed to “ordination” in the 1921 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. Hyde later recalled that, at the same conference where this ordination occurred, he was “appointed on a mission to Elyria and Florence [Ohio] in connection with Bro. Hyrum Smith.” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:1, 1921 ed.; “Ordinance,” in American Dictionary [1828]; “History of Orson Hyde,” 8, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL.)
Comprehensive Works Cited



The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Containing Revelations Given to Joseph Smith, the Prophet; with Some Additions by His Successors in the Presidency of the Church. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1921.

Letter of Transfer, Salt Lake City, UT, 13 Dec. 1988. CHL.An American Dictionary of the English Language: Intended to Exhibit, I. the Origin, Affinities and Primary Signification of English Words, as far as They Have Been Ascertained. . . . Edited by Noah Webster. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880. CHL.

to proclaim the  everlasting Gospel by the spirit of the living God from people  to people & from land to land from <in the> congregtions of the wicked  in their Synagogues4

Although “synagogue” refers specifically to a Jewish house of worship, it is also used in the Book of Mormon to denote a general place of worship. (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.

reas[o]ning with & expounding all scriptures <un>to  them5

See Revelation, 29 Oct. 1831 [D&C 66:7].  

& behold & lo this is an ensample unto all those who were  ordained unto this priesthood whose mission is appointed unto  them to go forth & this is the ensample unto them that they shall  speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost & whatsoever they  shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be Scrip ture6

Former church member Ezra Booth claimed that it was JS’s responsibility to determine whether revelations received by other individuals were “from the Lord or the devil.” A September 1830 revelation declared that JS was the only one “appointed to Receive commandments & Revelations” for the church. (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. II,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 20 Oct. 1831, [3]; Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:2]; see also Revelation, Feb. 1831–A [D&C 43:2–4].)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Ohio Star. Ravenna. 1830–1854.

shall be the will of the Lord shall be the mind of the Lord  shall be the voice of the Lord & shall be the power of God unto  Salvation7

See Romans 1:16.  

behold this is the promise of the Lord unto you o ye my  servants wherefore be of good cheer & do not fear for I the Lord  am with you & will stand by you & you <ye> shall bear record  of me even Jesus christ that I am the Son of God that  I was that I am & that I am to come this is the word  of the Lord unto you my Servant Orson & also to my ser vant Luke & unto my servant Lyman & unto my servant  William & unto all the faithful Elders of my church  go ye unto all the world preach the gospel to every creature  acting in the authority which I have given you baptising  in the name of the Father & of the Son & of <of the> Holy Ghost & he that  believeth & is baptised shall be saved & he that believeth not shall  be damned & he that believeth shall be blessed with signs  following even as it is written8

See Mark 16:15–18; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 537 [Mormon 9:22–24]; and Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830 [D&C 35:8–9].
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.

& unto you it shall be given to  know the signs of the times & the signs of the coming of the Son of man9

A March 1831 revelation delineated some of these signs. (Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45:39–44].)  

 & of as many as the Father shall bear record to you it shall be  given to seal them up unto Eternal life10

The minutes of the conference held in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a week earlier record that “Br. Joseph Smith jr. said that the order of the High priesthood is that they have power given them to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.” (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831.)  

And now conc[e]rning the items in addition to the Laws & com mandments11

That is, in addition to the “Laws of the Church of Christ,” dated February 1831, and other commandments. (See Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:1–73]; Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:74–93].)  

they are these there rema[i]neth hereafter in the due [p. 113]
On 1–2 November 1831, ten elders convened a conference in Hiram, Ohio, to discuss the publication of the Book of Commandments, a compilation of JS’s revelations.1

For more information on this conference, see Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831.  

According to a later JS history, four of the conference attendees—Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, and William E. McLellin—approached JS during the conference and requested to know the Lord’s will concerning them.2

JS History, vol. A-1, 163. A few days earlier, JS had dictated a revelation to McLellin regarding God’s will for him, but McLellin and his copetitioners apparently desired more direction. (Revelation, 29 Oct. 1831 [D&C 66].)  

This revelation came in response to their inquiry.3 The revelation provided more information about the evangelizing duties of the four men specifically and of elders in general. While Hyde, McLellin, and Luke Johnson were all ordained to the high priesthood at a conference held in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a week earlier, Lyman Johnson was ordained to the high priesthood at the Hiram conference on 2 November.4
After closing the portion of the revelation addressed specifically to the four men with an “Amen,” the document shifts its audience to the church in general and gives additional information about the office of bishop, as well as counsel to members of the church “in Zion” about teaching and baptizing their children and avoiding idleness and greed. The text may originally have been dictated as two discrete revelations, which, like some other revelations closely related in time or content, were then copied together and presented as a single, unified text. All extant copies of the text—whether in manuscript or published form—present both parts as one revelation.
The original manuscript of the revelation is not extant, and the conference minutes do not mention the revelation.5 However, the copy in Revelation Book 1 is dated 1 November 1831 and a heading states that it was “given in Hiram Nov. 1. 1831.”6

A 2 November date for the revelation cannot, however, be ruled out. A later JS history places the revelation as the final event of the two-day conference. (JS History, vol. A-1, 157–163.)  

John Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1, probably soon after its dictation.7

Cowdery and Whitmer left for Missouri on 20 November 1831 with Revelation Book 1, and the revelation was likely copied before they left. When this revelation was published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, additional verses were included. (Whitmer, History, 38, in JSP, H2:49; Doctrine and Covenants 22, 1835 ed.)
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.

Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835. Also available in Robin Scott Jensen, Richard E. Turley Jr., Riley M. Lorimer, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. Vol. 2 of the Revelations and Translations 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, 2011).