31843

Revelation, 1 November 1831–B [D&C 1]

hear may hear prepare ye prepare ye for that which is to come for the Lord is nigh & the anger of the Lord is kindled & his sword is bathed in heaven7

See Isaiah 34:5.  


& it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the Earth & the arm of the Lord shall be revealled8

See Isaiah 53:1; John 12:38; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 185 [Mosiah 14:1].  


& the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord neither his servants neither give heed to the words of the Prophets & Apostles

A title indicating one sent forth to preach; later designated as a specific ecclesiastical and priesthood office. By 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery were designated as apostles. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained that an “apostle is an elder...

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shall be cut off from among the People9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 58, 497 [1 Nephi 22:20; 3 Nephi 20:23].  


for they have strayed from mine ordinances

A religious rite. JS taught that ordinances were covenants between man and God, in which believers could affirm faith, gain spiritual knowledge, and seek blessings. Some ordinances were considered requisite for salvation. The manner in which ordinances were...

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& have broken mine everlasting Covenant10

See Isaiah 24:5.  


they seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness but every man walketh in his own way & after the Image of his own God whose Image is in the likeness of the world & whose substance is that of an Idol which waxeth old & shall perish in Babylon even Babylon the great, which shall fall11

See Revelation 14:8; 18:2.  


wherefore I the Lord knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the Earth called upon my Servent Joseph & spake unto him from heaven & gave him 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
& also gave commandments to others that they should proclaim these things unto the world & all this that it might be fulfilled which was written by the Prophets the weak things of the world should come forth & break down the mighty & strong ones that man should not council his fellow man neither trust in the arm of flesh13

See 1 Corinthians 1:26–29; and Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830 [D&C 35:13].  


but that every man might Speak in the name of God the Lord even the Saveiour of the world that faith also might increase in the Earth that mine everlasting Covenant might be established14

See Genesis 17:7, 19; and Ezekiel 16:60.  


that the fullness of my Gospel might be proclaimed by the weak & the Simple unto the ends of the world & before kings & Rulers Behold I am God & have spoken it these commandments are of me & were given unto my Servents in their weakness after the manner of their Language that they might come to understanding15

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 118 [2 Nephi 31:3].  


& in as much as they erred it might be made known & in as much as they sought wisdom it might be instructed & in as much as they sinned they might be chastened that they might repent16

For examples of such chastening, see Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:5–9]; and Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:14–16].  


& in as much as they were humble they might be made strong17

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 564 [Ether 12:27].  


& blessed from on high & receive knowledge from time to time After they having received the record of the Nephites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants and followers of Nephi, as well as those who later identified themselves as Nephites for religious reasons. According to JS and the Book of Mormon, Lehi and Sariah, Nephi’s parents, and their family...

View Glossary
18

That is, the Book of Mormon, which presents itself as the history of an ancient American people known as the Nephites.  


yea even my Servant Joseph might have power to translate

To produce a text from one written in another language; in JS’s usage, most often through divine means. JS considered the ability to translate to be a gift of the spirit, like the gift of interpreting tongues. He recounted that he translated “reformed Egyptian...

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through the mercy of God by the power of God19

Missing word supplied from the version of this revelation published in The Evening and the Morning Star. (“Revelation Given, Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [6].)  


the Book of Mormon & also those to whom these commandments were given might have power to lay the foundation of this 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...

View Glossary
& to bring it forth out of obscurity & out of darkness the only true & living Church upon the face of the whole Earth with which I [p. 126]
hear may hear prepare ye prepare ye for that which is to come for  the Lord is nigh & the anger of the Lord is kindled & his sword is bathed in  heaven7

See Isaiah 34:5.  


& it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the Earth & the arm of the  Lord shall be revealled8

See Isaiah 53:1; John 12:38; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 185 [Mosiah 14:1].  


& the day cometh that they who will not hear the  voice of the Lord neither his servants neith[er] give heed to the words of the  Prophets & Apostles

A title indicating one sent forth to preach; later designated as a specific ecclesiastical and priesthood office. By 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery were designated as apostles. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained that an “apostle is an elder...

View Glossary
shall be cut off from among the People9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 58, 497 [1 Nephi 22:20; 3 Nephi 20:23].  


for they  have strayed from mine ordinances

A religious rite. JS taught that ordinances were covenants between man and God, in which believers could affirm faith, gain spiritual knowledge, and seek blessings. Some ordinances were considered requisite for salvation. The manner in which ordinances were...

View Glossary
& have broken mine everlasting Coven ant10

See Isaiah 24:5.  


they seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness but every man  walketh in his own way & after the Image of his own God  whose Image is in the likeness of the world & whose substance is that  of an Idol which waxeth old & shall perish in Babylon even Babylon  the great, which shall fall11

See Revelation 14:8; 18:2.  


wherefore I the Lord knowing the calamity  which should come upon the inhabitants of the Earth called upon my  Servents Joseph & spake12

TEXT: Or “spoke”.  


unto him from heaven & gave him 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
 & also & gave commandments to others that they should proclaim these things  unto the world & all this that it might be fulfilled which was written by  the Prophets the weak things of the world should come forth & break  down the mighty & strong ones that men <man> should not council his fellow  man neither trust in the arm of flesh13

See 1 Corinthians 1:26–29; and Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830 [D&C 35:13].  


but that every man might  Speak in the name of God the Lord even the Saveiour of the world  that faith also might increase in the Earth that mine everlasting  Covenant might be established14

See Genesis 17:7, 19; and Ezekiel 16:60.  


that the fullness of my Gospel might  be proclaimed by the weak & the Simple unto the ends of the world  & before kings & Rulers Behold I am God & have spoken it these are  commandments are of me & were given unto my Servents in their weakness  after the manner of their Language that they might come to understanding15

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 118 [2 Nephi 31:3].  


 & in as much as they erred it might be made known & in as much as they  sought wisdom it might be made known instructed & in as much  as they sinned they might be chastened that they might repent16

For examples of such chastening, see Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:5–9]; and Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:14–16].  


& in as  much as they were humble they might be made strong17

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 564 [Ether 12:27].  


& blessed from  on high & receive knowledge from time to time After they having  received the record of the Nephites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants and followers of Nephi, as well as those who later identified themselves as Nephites for religious reasons. According to JS and the Book of Mormon, Lehi and Sariah, Nephi’s parents, and their family...

View Glossary
18

That is, the Book of Mormon, which presents itself as the history of an ancient American people known as the Nephites.  


yea even my Servant Joseph might have  power to translate

To produce a text from one written in another language; in JS’s usage, most often through divine means. JS considered the ability to translate to be a gift of the spirit, like the gift of interpreting tongues. He recounted that he translated “reformed Egyptian...

View Glossary
through the mercy of God by the power of [God]19

Missing word supplied from the version of this revelation published in The Evening and the Morning Star. (“Revelation Given, Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [6].)  


the  Book of Mormon & also those to whom these commandments  were given might have power to lay the foundation of this 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...

View Glossary
 & to bring it forth out of obscurity & out of darkness the only true  & living Church upon the face of the whole Earth with which I [p. 126]
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At a conference

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...

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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...

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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...

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, Ohio, on 1 November 1831, JS dictated a revelation designated as a preface for the Book of Commandments, a proposed compilation of JS’s revelations.1

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


According to the minutes of the 1 November conference, this revelatory preface was “received by inspiration” during a recess between the morning and afternoon sessions.2

Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831. A later JS history merely relates that the revelation came at a “Special Conference” in Hiram. (JS History, vol. A-1, 157.)  


William E. McLellin

18 Jan. 1806–14 Mar. 1883. Schoolteacher, physician, publisher. Born at Smith Co., Tennessee. Son of Charles McLellin and Sarah (a Cherokee Indian). Married first Cynthia Ann, 30 July 1829. Wife died, by summer 1831. Baptized into LDS church by Hyrum Smith...

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, one of the conference participants, gave a more detailed account of the production of the preface fifty years later to William Kelley, an elder in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. According to Kelley’s account of the conversation, McLellin said that he, 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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, and Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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had been given the assignment to write the preface to the Book of Commandments, but when they presented their draft to the conference, the “Conference picked it all to pieces” and requested that JS petition the Lord for a preface. After JS and the elders bowed in prayer, JS, who was “sitting by a window,” dictated the preface “by the Spirit,” while Rigdon served as scribe. “Joseph would deliver a few sentences and Sydney would write them down,” McLellin told Kelley, “then read them aloud, and if correct, then Joseph would proceed and deliver more.” In this way, “the preface was given.”3

“Letter from Elder W. H. Kelley,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Mar. 1882, 67.  


As with prefaces to other published works, this revelation informed readers of the subject and purpose of the volume. Speaking in the voice of Deity, it told both 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...

View Glossary
and the world why God revealed these commandments

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
to JS and painted an apocalyptic picture of the wrath that God would unleash against the wicked unless they responded to the new revelations by repenting. The revelations were thus a “voice of warning” to the world to prepare them for Jesus Christ’s second coming.
The original manuscript of the preface is no longer extant. 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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copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 likely between 12 November 1831, the date of the revelation that precedes it in the revelation book, and 20 November, the date that he and Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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left for Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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with the revelation book.4

See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 1; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 125–127 [D&C 1]; Whitmer, History, 38.  


The revelation was printed as the preface to the Book of Commandments about a year later.5

The first gathering of the Book of Commandments was printed in December 1832; The Evening and the Morning Star published the preface in March 1833. (Notice, The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1832, [8]; “Revelation Given, Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [6].)  


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