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Revelation, 10 June 1831 [D&C 54]

57th. Commandment June 10th. 1831
A Revelation to 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...

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at Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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giving them Directions what to do &c
Behold thus saith the Lord even Alpha & Omega the begining & the end even him that was crusified for the sins of the World Behold verily verily I say unto you my servent Newel [Knight]

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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you shall stand fast in the office wherewith I have appointed you & if your Brethren desire to escape their enemies let them repent of all their sins & become truly humble before me & contrite & as the covenant which they make unto me has been broken even so it hath become void & of none affect & wo to him by whom this offence cometh for it had been better for him that he had been drownded in the depth of the sea but blessed are they who have kept the covenant & observed the 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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for they shall obtain mercy wherefore go to now & flee the land lest your enemies come upon you And take your Journey & appoint whom you will to be your leader & to pay moneyes for you & thus you shall take your Journeys into the regions westward unto Missorie

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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unto the borders of the Lamanites

A name used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, one of the sons of Lehi. The Book of Mormon explained that Lehi and his Israelite family migrated from Jerusalem to America around 600 BC. After Lehi’s death, his family ...

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& after you have done Journeying Behold I say unto you seek ye a living like unto men untill I prepare a place for you & again be patient in tribulation untill I come & Behold I come quickly & my reward is with me [p. 90]
57th. Commandment June 10th. 1831
A Revelation to 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
at Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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giving them  Directions what to do &c1

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


Behold thus saith the Lord even Alpha & Omega the begining & the  end even him that was crusified for the sins of the World Behold verily  verily I say unto you my servent Newel [Knight]

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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you shall stand fast in the  office wherewith I have appointed you2

It is unknown whether Knight was appointed to a specific priesthood office, but Shaker leader Ashbel Kitchell clearly recognized Knight as the leader of the Mormons living in Thompson. A revelation dictated four days earlier called Knight, along with many others, to journey to Missouri, preaching as they went. (“Mormon Interview,” 15; Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52:32].)  


& if your Brethren desire to escape  their enemies let them repent of all their sins & become truly humble  before me & contrite & as the covenant which they make unto me has  been broken even so it hath become void & of none affect & wo to him  by whom this offence cometh for it had been better for him that he had  been drownded in the depth of the sea3

See Matthew 18:6.  


but blessed are they who have  kept the covenant & observed the 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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for they shall obtain  mercy wherefore go to now & flee the land lest your enemies  come upon you4

Concerning the eviction from Leman Copley’s land, Joseph Knight Sr. explained that “we sold out what we Could But Copley took the advantege of us, and we Could not git any thing for what we had done so we left Copleys in June.” According to a newspaper report, the group was forced to “leav their spring crops all upon the ground.” (Knight, Reminiscences, 9; News Item, Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 28 June 1831, [3].)  


And take your Journey & appoint whom you  will to be your leader5

The church members at Thompson wanted Newel Knight to continue as their leader. (See Revelation, 15 June 1831 [D&C 56:6–7].)  


& to pay moneyes for you & thus you shall  take your Journeys into the regions westward unto Missorie

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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6

After the group left Thompson, they departed Wellsville, Ohio, on 3 July by boat and arrived in St. Louis on the thirteenth. From there they traveled on the steamer Chieftain to Independence, Missouri. (Knight, History, 310–311.)  


unto the  borders of the Lamanites

A name used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, one of the sons of Lehi. The Book of Mormon explained that Lehi and his Israelite family migrated from Jerusalem to America around 600 BC. After Lehi’s death, his family ...

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& after you have done Journeying Behold I  say unto you seek ye a living like unto men untill I prepare  a place for you & again be patient in tribulation7

See Romans 12:12.  


untill I  come & Behold I come quickly & my reward is with me [p. 90]
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This revelation provided instructions to the church members from 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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, New York, after they encountered difficulties settling in Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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, Ohio. In May 1831, shortly after they arrived in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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in compliance with revelations directing all New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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members to gather there,1 JS instructed Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, he functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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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...

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to settle the Colesville members in Thompson on land offered by convert Leman Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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, a former Shaker.2
When JS moved to Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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in early February, Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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had invited 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...

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to live with him at Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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, offering to “furnish them houses & provisions &c.”3 While both JS and Rigdon made other living arrangements for their families, Joseph Knight Sr.

3 Nov. 1772–2 Feb. 1847. Farmer, miller. Born at Oakham, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Son of Benjamin Knight and Sarah Crouch. Lived at Marlboro, Windham Co., Vermont, by 1780. Married first Polly Peck, 1795, in Windham Co. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge...

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, who accompanied JS to Ohio, recalled that in March he and JS went to Thompson, presumably to see about settling the soon-to-be-emigrating 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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congregation on Copley’s property.4

Knight, Reminiscences, 9.  


Once the Colesville members arrived in Ohio, JS sent them to Thompson to live on Copley’s extensive landholdings.5

Geauga County tax records from 1832 show Copley in possession of 759 acres in Thompson. (Geauga Co., OH, Duplicate Tax Records, 1832–1833, p. 282, microfilm 506,577, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


The arrangement with Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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apparently granted the 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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members the privilege to live on the property in return for making improvements upon it, and according to Joseph Knight Sr.

3 Nov. 1772–2 Feb. 1847. Farmer, miller. Born at Oakham, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Son of Benjamin Knight and Sarah Crouch. Lived at Marlboro, Windham Co., Vermont, by 1780. Married first Polly Peck, 1795, in Windham Co. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge...

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, they “all went to work and made fence and planted and sowed the fields.”6

Knight, Reminiscences, 9.  


On 7 May Copley was called to preach, along with 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 Parley P. Pratt

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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, to the Shaker settlement in nearby North Union, Ohio.7 However, the missionary expedition failed to convert any of the Shakers, and the resulting confrontation between the Mormon elders and the Shakers apparently disturbed Copley. He soon went back to North Union, where he apparently reconciled with the Shaker community, and he then returned to Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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with Shaker leader Ashbel Kitchell, perhaps intending to evict the Mormons.8

See “Mormon Interview,” 4–15. Although Newel Knight explained that the problems with Copley occurred before the important conference in early June 1831, Copley was reportedly present at the conference, perhaps to learn how the land dispute would be resolved. His name is not among church office holders listed in the conference minutes, but Levi Hancock’s account of the conference describes not only Copley’s presence but his apparent possession by the devil, which was reportedly cast out by Lyman Wight. (Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 30; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831; Hancock, Autobiography, 91–92.)  


During his visit to Thompson, Kitchell held a meeting with the Mormons on Copley’s farm, was involved in a contentious altercation, and initiated efforts to remove them.9

“Mormon Interview,” 15–17.  


Joseph Knight Jr.

21 June 1808–4 Nov. 1866. Miller, carder, millwright. Born at Halifax, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, 1808. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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recalled, “We had to leave his [Copley’s] farm and pay sixty dollars damage,” adding bitterly that the payment was for “fitting up his houses and planting his ground.”10

Knight, Autobiographical Sketch, 2–3.  


Because of the difficulties with Copley

Ca. 1781–20 Apr./May 1862. Born in Connecticut. Son of Samuel Copley. Moved to Pittsford, Rutland Co., Vermont, by 1800. Married Sally Cooley. Joined United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (Shakers). Moved to Thompson Township, Geauga Co...

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, Newel Knight

13 Sept. 1800–11 Jan. 1847. Miller, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Knight Sr. and Polly Peck. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge), Chenango Co., New York, ca. 1809. Moved to Windsor (later in Colesville), Broome Co., New...

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, the presiding 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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over the 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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group, went to 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...

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to consult with JS before the 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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held in early June. Knight later explained that as a result of a revelation on 6 June,11 the last day of that conference, “we now understood that this [Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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] was not the land of our inheritance—the land of promise, for it was made known in a revelation, that 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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was the place chosen for the gathering of the Church, and several were called to lead the way to that state.”12

Knight, History, 290.  


Though that 6 June revelation addressed the church generally, the 10 June revelation responded specifically to the concerns of the Colesville members living in Thompson

Located about twenty miles northeast of Kirtland, Ohio. Settled 1800. Surveyed 1809. Incorporated 1817. Population in 1830 about 700. Population in 1840 about 1,000. Latter-day Saints from Colesville, New York, were directed to settle in area on 759 acres...

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. Knight later introduced the revelation with these words: “As I had come to see brother Joseph concerning our position in Thompson, he enquired of the Lord and received the following revelation.”13

Knight, History, 307.  


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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similarly recalled, “At this time the Church at Thompson Ohio was involved in difficulty, becaus of the rebellion of Leman Copley. Who would not do as he had previously agreed. Which thing confused the whole church and finally the Lord spake unto Joseph Smith Jr the prophit.”14

Whitmer, History, 29.  


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