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Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51]

54 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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——
54 Com A Revelation given to the Bishop

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

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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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Ohio May 20th. 1831 concerning the property of 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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&c1

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


Hearken unto me saith the lord your God & I will speak unto my Servent 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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& give unto him directions for it must needs be that he receive directions how to organize this people for it must needs be that they are organized according to my laws if otherwise they will be cut off wherefore let my Servent Edward

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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receive the properties of this People which have covenanted with me to obey the Laws which I have given & let my Servent Edward

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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receive the money as it shall be laid before him according to the covenant & go & obtain a deed or Article of this land unto himself for I have appointed him to receive these things & thus through him the Properties of this Church shall be covenanted unto me wherefore let my Servent Edward

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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& those whom he has chosen2

This phrasing suggests that by the date of this revelation Partridge had already selected the two men who would soon be ordained as his counselors. A 9 February 1831 revelation instructed that he should be assisted in administering the consecration of properties by “two of the Elders such as he shall appoint & set apart for that purpose.” Isaac Morley and John Corrill were “ordained assistants to the Bishop” in a church conference in early June. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:31]; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)  


in whom I am well pleased appoint unto this People their portion every man alike according to their families according to their wants & their needs & let my servent Edward

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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when he shall appoint a man his portion give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion that he shall hold it of the Church untill he transgress & is not counted worthy by the voice of the Church according to the laws

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

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to belong to the Church3

The 9 February revelation directed that the bishop “shall appoint every man a Steward over his own property.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:32].)  


& thus all things shall be made sure according to the laws of the land & let that which belongeth to this people be appointed unto this people & the money which is left unto this people let there be an agent appointed unto this people to take the money to provide food & raiment according to the wants of this people & let every man deal honestly & be alike among this People & receive alike that ye may be one even as I have commanded you4

See Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:25–27].  


& let that which belongeth to this people not be taken & given unto that of another church5

The 9 February revelation did not outline demarcations between the property consecrated in one branch of the church as opposed to the property consecrated in branches located in other areas.  


wherefore if another Church would receive money of this Church let them pay unto this church again according as they shall agree6

The 9 February revelation instructed stewards to “pay for that which thou shall receive of thy Brother.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:54].)  


& this shall be done through the Bishop

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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or the agent which shall be appointed by the voice of the church7

The following month a revelation appointed Sidney Gilbert as “an agent unto this Church in the Place which shall be appointed by the Bishop.” (Revelation, 8 June 1831 [D&C 53:4].)  


& again let the Bishop

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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appoint a storehouse

Both a literal and a figurative repository for goods and land donated to the church. The book of Malachi directed the house of Israel to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.” In JS’s revision of the Old Testament...

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unto this Church & let all things both in in money & in meat [p. 86]
54 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
——
54 <Com> A Revelation given to the Bishop

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

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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Ohio  May 20th. 1831 concerning the property of 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
&c1

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


Hearken unto me saith the lord your God & I will speak unto  my Servent 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...

View Full Bio
& give unto him directions for it must needs  be that he receive directions how to organize this people for it must  needs be that they are organized according to my laws if otherwise  they will be cut off wherefore let my Servent Edward

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...

View Full Bio
receive the  properties of this People which have covenanted with me to obey  the Laws which I have given & let my Servent Edward

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...

View Full Bio
receive  the money as it shall be laid before him according to the covenant  & go & obtain a deed or Article of this land unto himself for I  have appointed him to receive these things & thus through him  the Properties of this Church shall be covenanted unto me where fore let my Servent Edward

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...

View Full Bio
& those whom he has chosen2

This phrasing suggests that by the date of this revelation Partridge had already selected the two men who would soon be ordained as his counselors. A 9 February 1831 revelation instructed that he should be assisted in administering the consecration of properties by “two of the Elders such as he shall appoint & set apart for that purpose.” Isaac Morley and John Corrill were “ordained assistants to the Bishop” in a church conference in early June. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:31]; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)  


in  whom I am well pleased appoint unto this People their  portion every man alike according to their families according  to their wants & their needs & let my servent Edward

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...

View Full Bio
when he  shall appoint a man his portion give unto him a writing  that shall secure unto him his portion that he shall hold it  of the Church untill he transgress & is not counted worthy by  the Church voice of the Church according to the laws

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

View Glossary
to belong  to the Church3

The 9 February revelation directed that the bishop “shall appoint every man a Steward over his own property.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:32].)  


& thus all things shall be made sure accord ing to the laws of the land & let that which belongeth to this  people be appointed unto this people & the money which is  left unto this people let there be an agent appointed unto  this people to take the money to provide food & raiment  according to the wants of this people & let every man deal  honestly & be alike among you this People & receive alike  that ye may be one even as I have commanded you4

See Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:25–27].  


& let that  which belongeth to this people not be taken & given unto that  of another church5

The 9 February revelation did not outline demarcations between the property consecrated in one branch of the church as opposed to the property consecrated in branches located in other areas.  


wherefore if another Church would receive  money of this Church let them pay unto this church again  according as they shall agree6

The 9 February revelation instructed stewards to “pay for that which thou shall receive of thy Brother.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:54].)  


& this shall be done through the  Bishop

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...

View Full Bio
or the agent which shall be appointed by the voice of  the church7

The following month a revelation appointed Sidney Gilbert as “an agent unto this Church in the Place which shall be appointed by the Bishop.” (Revelation, 8 June 1831 [D&C 53:4].)  


& again let the Bishop

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...

View Full Bio
appoint a storehouse

Both a literal and a figurative repository for goods and land donated to the church. The book of Malachi directed the house of Israel to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.” In JS’s revision of the Old Testament...

View Glossary
unto  this Church & let all things both in in money & in meat [p. 86]
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After revelations in late December 1830 and early January 1831 instructed all church members in 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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to move 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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, believers “made preperations to Journey to the Ohio, with their wives, and children and all that they possessed, to obey 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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of the Lord.”1

Whitmer, History, 9; see also Revelation, 30 Dec. 1830 [D&C 37:3]; and Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32].  


The group of sixty or more members residing in and around 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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in Broome and Chenango counties, New York, constituted one of three groups that emigrated from New York to Ohio.2

Porter, Study of the Origins, 119–127.  


Under the leadership of 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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, they left their homes in mid-April 1831; their monthlong journey included a delay in Buffalo

Located in western New York on eastern shore of Lake Erie at head of Niagara River and mouth of Buffalo Creek. County seat. Settled by 1801. Land for town allocated, 1810. Incorporated as village, 1813, but mostly destroyed later that year during War of 1812...

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, New York, for more than a week because of ice in the harbor. Once vessels were again able to navigate, the group sailed for Fairport

Situated on southern shore of Lake Erie; area originally called Grandon; settled 1803. Located twelve miles northeast of Kirtland. Harbor established at mouth of Grand River, by 1812. Harbor became significant port. Name officially changed to Fairport, 14...

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, Ohio, and arrived in the 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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area in mid-May.3

Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 28–29.  


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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later wrote that upon their arrival “it was advised that the Coalesville

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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Branch remain together and go to [a] neigboring town called 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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as a man by the name [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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owned a considerabl tract of land there which he offered to let the Brethren occuppy.”4

Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 29–30; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41].  


An earlier revelation had directed newly appointed bishop

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

View Glossary
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...

View Full Bio
to institute new economic arrangements among church members, who were each to consecrate property to the church and in turn be appointed steward either over the property thus consecrated or over other property distributed by the bishop.5

Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:30–33].  


The revelation presented here gave specific directions to Partridge about how he should implement the consecration

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...

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of properties and money in Thompson among the newly arrived Colesville members. Although Copley apparently offered to allow church members to live on his land in exchange for making improvements upon it, he may have lacked clear title, a possibility suggested by the language in this revelation that instructed Partridge to “go & obtain a deed or Article of this land.” 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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’s later history affirmed that one of JS’s revelations gave instruction “to purchase a thousand acres of Land which was Claimed By Leman Copley and not paid for.”6

Knight, Reminiscences, 9.  


There was little opportunity to do as this revelation directed because 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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soon rescinded his agreement to permit 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 to live and work on his land.7

Knight, Reminiscences, 9; Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 30.  


This occurred after Copley’s early May mission to the Shaker settlement at North Union, Ohio, and sometime before 6 June 1831.8

Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 30; see also Historical Introductions to Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49]; and to Revelation, 10 June 1831 [D&C 54].  


Neither 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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nor the Colesville church members would have another opportunity to implement the principles of consecration expressed in this and other revelations until they arrived in 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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.9

After his arrival in Missouri in July 1831, Partridge received similar instructions to “stand in the office which I have appointed him, to divide the saints their inheritance, even as I have commanded.” (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:7].)  


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