26106

Revelation, 15 May 1831

53 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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May 15th. 1831
givn to Ezra Thayer

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

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& Joseph Smith Sr.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
concerning a farm &c1

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


Hearken unto my words & behold I will make known unto you what ye shall do as it shall be pleasing unto me for verily I say unto you it must needs be that ye let the bargain stand that ye have made concerning these farms untill it be so fulfilled Behold ye are holden for the one even so likewise thine advisary is holden for the other wherefore it must needs be that ye pay no more money for the present time untill the contract be fulfilled & let my Servent Joseph Smith Sr.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
& his family go into the House after thine advisary is gone & let my Servent Ezra

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

View Full Bio
board with him & let all the Brethren immediately assemble together & put up an house for my Servent Ezra

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

View Full Bio
& let my Servent Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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’s family3

According to the 1830 census, the Williams household totaled six people, presumably including Frederick, his wife, Rebecca, and four children. (1830 U.S. Census, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, 272.)  


remain & let the house be repaired4

When copying this revelation into Revelation Book 2, Williams wrote “prepared” instead of “repaired,” apparently indicating that a house needed to be built, not just renovated. It is not known which text is in error. (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


& their wants be supplied & when my Servent Frederick

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
returns from the west Behold he taketh his family to the west5

Revelation Book 2 has “behold and lo he desireth to take his family in mine own due time unto the west.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


Let that which belongeth to my Servent Frederick

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
be secured unto him by deed or bond6

Neither Isaac Moore nor Frederick G. Williams secured the deeds to their respective properties until after the balance of Williams’s outstanding debt on the Kirtland farm was paid. Philo Dibble later described the circumstances in which the remaining debt was finally paid and the deed to Williams’s farm secured from Moore in early April 1832: “Brother F. G. Williams exchanged a farm he owned in Warrensville for Moore’s farm in Kirtland, on which the Smith family had moved, agreeing to pay $400.00 for the difference at a stated time. Just before the time expired for the payment of this money, Brother [Joseph] Coe, who was asked to raise it, said he could not for his wife held the money and she did not belong to the Church. I, being present, told Brother Joseph that I could raise the money. H[e] said if I would I should be blessed. This was on Saturday. I told him how I would have to raise this money. I owned 560 acres of land lying twenty miles south of Alleria [Elyria]. The Government, having sold more land there than they owned, had to buy to make up the deficiency. I told Joseph my land was worth $3.00 per acre, but that I would have to sell for $1.25. A Mr. [Leonard] Case was government agent for the purchase of that land. Joseph advised me to sell to Case who was cashier of the new bank at Cleveland [the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie]. Sunday morning I hitched up my carriage and drove to Cleveland, 28 miles away. The next morning I went and saw Case and told him my business. He said that he could offer only $1.25 an acre. I told him that under my circumstances I would have to let him have it. I then made him out a deed amounting to $700.00. I went to the bank and had to wait until the money was cut and signed, this being the first money that had been issued from the Cleveland bank. I then returned home and paid the $400.00 over to Joseph which saved the farm.” The Commercial Bank of Lake Erie opened for business on 2 April 1832; Dibble’s journey to Cleveland to sell his land and obtain the funds likely began on Sunday, 1 April. It is possible that Moore needed the outstanding balance in order to pay off his own debts on the land he had traded to Williams. Only three days after Dibble acquired the cash to pay Moore, Moore in turn paid Titus Street $360 to obtain the deed to nearly half the land he was about to deed over to Williams. Two weeks later, on 18 April, Moore paid another landowner, Turhand Kirtland, $200 for an additional parcel of roughly seventy acres that was also part of the eventual deed to Williams. After obtaining the deeds to the land from his own creditors, Moore finally signed the land over to Williams on 20 April 1832. (Dibble, Reminiscences, [4]; Orth, History of Cleveland Ohio, 640–641; Cuyahoga Co., OH, Deeds and Mortgages, 1815–1866, vol. N-13, pp. 89–90, 7 Apr. 1832, microfilm 1,994,223; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 15, pp. 425–426, 12 Oct. 1831, microfilm 20,236, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 16, pp. 22–23, 31 May 1832, microfilm 20,236, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


& thus he willeth that the Brethren reap the good thereof let my Servent7

Revelation Book 2 has “mine aged servant.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


Joseph Smith Sr.

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
govern the things of the farm & provide for the families & let him have help in as much as he standeth in need8

Lucy Mack Smith later wrote that “on this farm my family were all established with this arrangement that we were to cultivate the farm and the produce was to be applied to the suport of our families and the use of persons who were came to the place and had no acquaintances there.” Her account gives no indication of the troubles apparently surrounding the appropriation and administration of the farm. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 12, [6].)  


let my servent Ezra

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

View Full Bio
humble himself & at 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...

View Glossary
meeting he shall be ordained unto power from on high9 & he shall go from thence (if he be obedient unto my commandments) & proclaim my Gospel unto the western regions with my Servents that must go forth even unto the borders of the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
10

See Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52:22]. Revelation Book 2 has “borders by the Lamanites.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


for Behold I have a great work for them to do & it shall be given unto you to know what ye shall do at the conference meeting even so Amen——
What shall the Brethren do with their money11

This question and the following paragraph appear not to be related to what preceded, although they may have been dictated at the same time as the preceding material. It is also possible that the question may not have been a part of the original dictation but rather added later by a scribe in an attempt to clarify the impetus for the lines that follow. Oliver Cowdery later (probably in 1833) crossed out the question and added a notation that this part of the revelation was “to the Palmyra Church.”  


——
Ye shall go forth & seek dilligently among the Brethren & obtain lands & save the money that it may be consecrated

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

View Glossary
to purcchase lands in the west for an everlasting enheritance
even So Amen [p. 85]
53 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
May 15th. 1831
givn to Ezra Thayer

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

View Full Bio
& Joseph Smith [Sr.]

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
concerning a farm &c1

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


Hearken unto my words & behold I will make known  unto you what ye shall do as it shall be pleasing unto me for verily  I say unto you it must needs be that ye let the bargain stand that  ye have made concerning these2

TEXT: Or “those”.  


farms untill it be so fulfilled  Behold ye are holden for the one even so likewise thine advisary is  holden for the other wherefore it must needs be that ye pay no more  money for the present time untill the contract be fulfilled & let  my Servent Joseph [Smith Sr.]

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
& his family go into the House after thine adv isary is gone & let my Servent Ezra

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

View Full Bio
board with him & let all the  Brethren immediately assemble together & put up an house for  my Servent Ezra

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

View Full Bio
& let my Servents Frederick [G. Williams]

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
’s family3

According to the 1830 census, the Williams household totaled six people, presumably including Frederick, his wife, Rebecca, and four children. (1830 U.S. Census, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, 272.)  


remain  & let the house be repaired4

When copying this revelation into Revelation Book 2, Williams wrote “prepared” instead of “repaired,” apparently indicating that a house needed to be built, not just renovated. It is not known which text is in error. (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


& their wants be supplied & when my  Servent Frederick

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
returns from the west Behold he taketh his  family to the west5

Revelation Book 2 has “behold and lo he desireth to take his family in mine own due time unto the west.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


Let that which belongeth to my Servent  Frederick

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

View Full Bio
be secured unto him by deed or bond6

Neither Isaac Moore nor Frederick G. Williams secured the deeds to their respective properties until after the balance of Williams’s outstanding debt on the Kirtland farm was paid. Philo Dibble later described the circumstances in which the remaining debt was finally paid and the deed to Williams’s farm secured from Moore in early April 1832: “Brother F. G. Williams exchanged a farm he owned in Warrensville for Moore’s farm in Kirtland, on which the Smith family had moved, agreeing to pay $400.00 for the difference at a stated time. Just before the time expired for the payment of this money, Brother [Joseph] Coe, who was asked to raise it, said he could not for his wife held the money and she did not belong to the Church. I, being present, told Brother Joseph that I could raise the money. H[e] said if I would I should be blessed. This was on Saturday. I told him how I would have to raise this money. I owned 560 acres of land lying twenty miles south of Alleria [Elyria]. The Government, having sold more land there than they owned, had to buy to make up the deficiency. I told Joseph my land was worth $3.00 per acre, but that I would have to sell for $1.25. A Mr. [Leonard] Case was government agent for the purchase of that land. Joseph advised me to sell to Case who was cashier of the new bank at Cleveland [the Commercial Bank of Lake Erie]. Sunday morning I hitched up my carriage and drove to Cleveland, 28 miles away. The next morning I went and saw Case and told him my business. He said that he could offer only $1.25 an acre. I told him that under my circumstances I would have to let him have it. I then made him out a deed amounting to $700.00. I went to the bank and had to wait until the money was cut and signed, this being the first money that had been issued from the Cleveland bank. I then returned home and paid the $400.00 over to Joseph which saved the farm.” The Commercial Bank of Lake Erie opened for business on 2 April 1832; Dibble’s journey to Cleveland to sell his land and obtain the funds likely began on Sunday, 1 April. It is possible that Moore needed the outstanding balance in order to pay off his own debts on the land he had traded to Williams. Only three days after Dibble acquired the cash to pay Moore, Moore in turn paid Titus Street $360 to obtain the deed to nearly half the land he was about to deed over to Williams. Two weeks later, on 18 April, Moore paid another landowner, Turhand Kirtland, $200 for an additional parcel of roughly seventy acres that was also part of the eventual deed to Williams. After obtaining the deeds to the land from his own creditors, Moore finally signed the land over to Williams on 20 April 1832. (Dibble, Reminiscences, [4]; Orth, History of Cleveland Ohio, 640–641; Cuyahoga Co., OH, Deeds and Mortgages, 1815–1866, vol. N-13, pp. 89–90, 7 Apr. 1832, microfilm 1,994,223; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 15, pp. 425–426, 12 Oct. 1831, microfilm 20,236, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 16, pp. 22–23, 31 May 1832, microfilm 20,236, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


& thus he willeth  that the Brethren reap the good thereof let my Servent7

Revelation Book 2 has “mine aged servant.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


Joseph [Smith Sr.]

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

View Full Bio
 govern the things of the farm & provide for the families & let  him have help in as much as he standeth in need8

Lucy Mack Smith later wrote that “on this farm my family were all established with this arrangement that we were to cultivate the farm and the produce was to be applied to the suport of our families and the use of persons who were came to the place and had no acquaintances there.” Her account gives no indication of the troubles apparently surrounding the appropriation and administration of the farm. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 12, [6].)  


let my servent  Ezra

14 Oct. 1791–6 Sept. 1862. Farmer, gardener, builder. Born in New York. Married Elizabeth Frank. Lived at Bloomfield, Ontario Co., New York, 1820. Lived at Farmington, Ontario Co., 1830. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt and confirmed by JS, fall...

View Full Bio
humble himself & at 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...

View Glossary
meeting he shall be ordained  unto power from on high9 & he shall go from thence (if he be obedi ent unto my commandments) & proclaim my Gospel unto the weste rn regions with my Servents that must go forth even unto the bord ers of the Lamanit[e]s

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
10

See Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52:22]. Revelation Book 2 has “borders by the Lamanites.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 92.)  


for Behold I have a great work for them to do  & it shall be given unto you to know what ye shall do at the conferenc[e]  meeting even so Amen——
What shall the Brethren do with their money11

This question and the following paragraph appear not to be related to what preceded, although they may have been dictated at the same time as the preceding material. It is also possible that the question may not have been a part of the original dictation but rather added later by a scribe in an attempt to clarify the impetus for the lines that follow. Oliver Cowdery later (probably in 1833) crossed out the question and added a notation that this part of the revelation was “to the Palmyra Church.”  


——
Ye shall go forth & seek dilligently among the Brethren &  obtain lands & save the money that it may be consecrated

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

View Glossary
to purc chase lands in the west for an everlasting enheritance
even So Amen [p. 85]
Revelation, [Kirtland Township

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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, OH], 15 May 1831. Featured version, titled “53 Commandment May 15th. 1831,” copied [between ca. May and June 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 85; handwriting of 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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; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.

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