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Revelation, 12 November 1831 [D&C 70]

for they have been faithful over many things & have done well  inas much as they have not sin[n]ed behold I the Lord am merciful  & will bless them & they shall enter into the joy of these things5

See Matthew 25:21–23; and Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52:13].  

 
even so Amen and again verily I say unto you that my  servant William [W. Phelps] shall be included in this commandment with  you in this same stewardship6

According to the minutes of the 12 November 1831 meeting, JS did not include Phelps in his list of individuals who had “claim on the church for recompence” because of their work on the revelations. Unlike the others, Phelps had not yet assisted but had been appointed church printer and thus would have a key role in publishing the revelations. (Minutes, 12 Nov. 1831; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:11].)  

 
even so Amen [p. 125]
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On 12 November 1831, JS dictated this revelation in which he and others were appointed stewards over the revelations and commandments of the church. JS may have dictated this revelation during or immediately after a conference held that same day, in which he petitioned the elders to compensate those who had assisted him in producing the “sacred writings” of the church.1

Minutes, 12 Nov. 1831. For additional information on this conference, see Minutes, 12 Nov. 1831.  

 
Although the 12 November minutes do not explicitly mention the revelation, the similar subject matter of both the conference and the revelation indicate that the two are closely related. A later history states that the revelation came “in answer to an enquiry” and suggests that JS dictated it after the conference approved a resolution stating that the revelations were “worth to the church, the riches of the whole earth, speaking temporally.”2 It is unclear what the original inquiry was, but the revelation’s designation of JS and five others as stewards over the publishing concerns of the church allowed them to claim compensation for their service in recording, preserving, and publishing the revelations.
According to the revelation, the stewards would have claim to any profits resulting from the publication of the revelations “for their necessities & their wants,” with any remainder to be transferred to the Lord’s storehouse. This mode of compensation through stewardships followed earlier instructions given to church members about consecrating property, whereby Saints were appointed stewards over an inheritance and then donated any surplus to the bishop. Church members had also been told that the elders and their families would be “supported out of the property which is consecrated to the Lord either a stewardship or otherwise.”3

Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:30–35, 70–73].  

 
This revelation reemphasized these principles while also reiterating that none—not even those in leadership positions—were exempt from “this law.” All were required to adhere to the principles embedded in the consecration commandments.
The original manuscript of this revelation is not extant. Oliver Cowdery, who as clerk of the conference may have been the original scribe for the revelation, copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1, which he and John Whitmer were preparing to take to Missouri.4

See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 1, in JSP, MRB:5; and Whitmer, History, 38, in JSP, H2:49.
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.

Facts