2477012

Revelation, 22–23 September 1832 [D&C 84]

under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant even the book of Mormon and the former 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
which I have given them, not only to say but to do according to that which I have writen28

In January 1833, William W. Phelps devoted several pages of The Evening and the Morning Star to the Book of Mormon. In reference to this passage in the revelation, he wrote, “The inhabitants of Zion are brought under condemnation for neglecting the book of Mormon, from which they not only received the new covenant, but the fulness of the gospel. Has this been done for the sake of hunting mysteries in the prophecies? or has it come to pass by carelessness?” Phelps did not expound on the exact reason the Missouri Saints were under condemnation. (“Some of Mormon’s Teaching,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1833, [4].)  


that they may bring forth fruit meet for there fathers kingdom otherwise there remaineth a scorge and a Judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
for shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land verily Verily I say unto you nay. verily, verily, I say unto you who now hear my words which is my voice blessed are you inasmuch as you receive these things for I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment that you remain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of prayer in bearing testamony to all the world of those things which are communicated unto you, therefore go ye into all the world and whatsoever place ye cannot go into ye shall send, that the testamony may go from you into all the world unto every creature,29

See Mark 16:15.  


and as I said unto mine apostles even so I say unto you, for you are mine 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
, even Gods High priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
ye are they whom my father hath given me, ye are my friends30

See John 15:14. Biblical accounts say that Abraham was a “Friend of God” and that the Lord spoke to Moses “as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (James 2:23; Exodus 33:11.)  


therefore as I said unto mine Apostles I say unto you again that evry soul who believeth on your words and are baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
by water for the remission of there sins shall receive the holy-ghost

After baptism, new converts were confirmed members of the church “by the laying on of the hands, & the giving of the Holy Ghost.” According to JS’s history, the first confirmations were administered at the organization of the church on 6 April 1830. By March...

View Glossary
, and these signs shall follow them,31

The copy of this revelation in Revelation Book 2 changes “follow them” to “follow them that believe.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 26.)  


in my name they shall do many wonderful works, in my name they shall cast out devels. in my name they shall heal the sick in my name they shall open the eyes of the blind and unstop the ears of the deaf, and the tongue of the dumb shall speak, and if any man shall administer poison unto them it shall not hurt them, and the poison of a serpent shall not have power to harm them,33

See Mark 16:15–18; see also Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24:13]; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:10].  


but a commandment I give unto them that they shall not boast themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world for these things are given unto you for your proffet and for salvation, verily, verily I say unto you he who believeth not on your words, and are not baptized by water in my name for the remission of there sins, that they may receive the holy ghost shall be damned and shall not come into my fathers kingdom where my father and I am and this revelation unto you and commandment is in force from this very hour upon all the world, and this gospel is unto all who have not received it, but verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given from you it must be preached unto them that they shall repent of ther former evil works for they are to be upbraded for there evil hearts of unbelief34

See Hebrews 3:12.  


and your brethren in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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for there rebellion against you at the time I sent you,35

In April 1832, JS, Sidney Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney, and Jesse Gause traveled to Missouri to “sit in councel with the saints who are in zion otherwise satan seeketh to turn there hearts away from the truth.” After arriving in Missouri, JS held a council that resolved differences existing between Rigdon and Edward Partridge, and the minutes of that meeting indicate that “the hearts of all run together in love.” The reconciliation, however, did not last. And when JS returned to Ohio, he received two letters from William W. Phelps and John Corrill that suggested to him that “the devel had set to work . . . by stirring up your hearts (I mean those who were engaged in this wickedness) by raking up evry fault, which those eyes that are filled with beams could see in looking for motes in the eyes of those who are laboring with tender and prayerful hearts continually for there salvation.” (Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:9]; Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832.)  


and again I say unto you my friends, for from this time forth I shall call you friends, it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment that you become even as my friends in days when I was with them in travling to preach this gospel in my power for I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats36

See Matthew 10:9–10; and Luke 10:4.  


behold I send you out to proove the world, and the Laborer is worthy of his hire37

See Luke 10:7; 1 Timothy 5:17–18; and Revelation, Sept. 1830–F [D&C 31:5].  


and any man that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom and fail not to continue [p. [3]]
under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant even the book  of Mormon and the former 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
which I have given them, not only to  say but to do according to that which I have writen28

In January 1833, William W. Phelps devoted several pages of The Evening and the Morning Star to the Book of Mormon. In reference to this passage in the revelation, he wrote, “The inhabitants of Zion are brought under condemnation for neglecting the book of Mormon, from which they not only received the new covenant, but the fulness of the gospel. Has this been done for the sake of hunting mysteries in the prophecies? or has it come to pass by carelessness?” Phelps did not expound on the exact reason the Missouri Saints were under condemnation. (“Some of Mormon’s Teaching,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1833, [4].)  


that they may bring forth  fruit meet for there fathers kingdom otherwise there remaineth a scorge  and a Judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

View Glossary
for shall  the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land verily Verily I say unto  you na[y]. verily, verily, I say unto you who now hear my words which is  my voice blessed are you inasmuch as you receive these things for  I will forgive you of your sins with this commandment that you rem ain steadfast in your minds in solemnity and the spirit of p[r]ayer in  bearing testamony to all the world of those things which are commu nicated unto you, therefore go ye into all the world and whatsoever pl ace ye cannot go into ye shall send, that the testamony may go from  you into all the world unto every creature,29

See Mark 16:15.  


and as I said unto mine apos tles even so <I> says unto you, for you are mine Apos tles

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
, even Gods High priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
 ye are they whom my father hath given me, ye are my friends30

See John 15:14. Biblical accounts say that Abraham was a “Friend of God” and that the Lord spoke to Moses “as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (James 2:23; Exodus 33:11.)  


therefore as I said  unto mine Apostles I say unto you again that evry soul who believeth on your  words and are baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
by water for the remission of there sins shall receive the  holy-ghost

After baptism, new converts were confirmed members of the church “by the laying on of the hands, & the giving of the Holy Ghost.” According to JS’s history, the first confirmations were administered at the organization of the church on 6 April 1830. By March...

View Glossary
, and these signs shall follow them,31

The copy of this revelation in Revelation Book 2 changes “follow them” to “follow them that believe.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 26.)  


in my name they shall do  many wonderful works, in my name they shall cast out devels. in my na me they shall heal the sick in my name they shall open the eyes of the  blind and unstop the ears of the deaf, and the tongue of the dumb  shall speak, and if any man shall administer poison unto them it  shall not hurt them, and the poison of the <a> serpent shall not [have]32

TEXT: A later redaction in unidentified handwriting inserts “have” at this point.  


power to  harm them,33

See Mark 16:15–18; see also Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24:13]; and Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:10].  


but a commandment I give unto them that they shall not boast  themselves of these things, neither speak them before the world for these things are given  unto you for your proffet and for salvation, verily, verily I say unto you  he who believeth not on your words, and are not baptized by water in my name  for the remission of there sins, that they may receive the holy ghost shall be  damned and shall not come into my fathers kingdom where my father and  I am and this revelation unto you and commandment is in force from  this very hour upon all the world, and this gospel is unto all who have not  received it, but verily I say unto all those to whom the kingdom has been given  from you it must be preached unto them that they shall repent of ther former  evil works for they are to be upbraded for there evil hearts of unbelief34

See Hebrews 3:12.  


and your  brethren in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
for there rebellion against you at the time I sent you,35

In April 1832, JS, Sidney Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney, and Jesse Gause traveled to Missouri to “sit in councel with the saints who are in zion otherwise satan seeketh to turn there hearts away from the truth.” After arriving in Missouri, JS held a council that resolved differences existing between Rigdon and Edward Partridge, and the minutes of that meeting indicate that “the hearts of all run together in love.” The reconciliation, however, did not last. And when JS returned to Ohio, he received two letters from William W. Phelps and John Corrill that suggested to him that “the devel had set to work . . . by stirring up your hearts (I mean those who were engaged in this wickedness) by raking up evry fault, which those eyes that are filled with beams could see in looking for motes in the eyes of those who are laboring with tender and prayerful hearts continually for there salvation.” (Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:9]; Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832.)  


and again  I say unto you my friends, for from this time forth I shall call you friends, it is  expedient that I give unto you this commandment that you become even as my  friends in days when I was with them in travling to preach this gospel in my po wer for I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats36

See Matthew 10:9–10; and Luke 10:4.  


behold I send  you out to proove the world, and the Laborer is worthy of his hire37

See Luke 10:7; 1 Timothy 5:17–18; and Revelation, Sept. 1830–F [D&C 31:5].  


and any man  that shall go and preach this gospel of the kingdom and fail not to continue [p. [3]]
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After JS relocated from 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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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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, Ohio, on 12 September 1832, 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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who had returned from preaching in the eastern United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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came to JS to report on their proselytizing. While JS and these elders were “together in these seasons of joy,” a later history recounts, JS “inquired of the Lord and received” a revelation dated 22 and 23 September 1832.1

JS History, vol. A-1, 229.  


The beginning of the revelation identified its audience as JS and six elders, but partway through the revelation, the audience shifted to “Eleven high Priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...

View Glossary
save one.” Because JS was living in Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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’s white store

In Apr. 1826, Whitney purchased quarter-acre lot on northeast corner of Chardon and Chillicothe roads and built two-story, 1500-square-foot, white store. Mercantile store also functioned as Kirtland Mills post office. Whitney met JS at store, 4 Feb. 1831....

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, the revelation was probably dictated in either the store’s upstairs “translating room” or the upstairs “council room,” places where JS frequently worked.
The revelation was dictated over the course of two days, most likely beginning the evening of 22 September and continuing into the early morning hours of 23 September.2

A life sketch of Evan Greene (who was presumably present) gives the revelation’s date as “the night of the 22nd and 23rd of September, 1832.” (Richards, “Brief Life Sketch of Evan Melbourne Greene,” 2.)  


Textual evidence indicates a pause in the dictation at some point on 23 September. The three existing manuscript copies of the revelation (one in the handwriting of 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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, another by Williams and JS, and one by 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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) all contain a clear break between the phrase “for he is full of mercy Justice grace and truth and peace for ever and ever Amen” and the phrase “And again verily verily I say unto you it is expedient . . . ,” marking an interruption in the dictation.3

The Williams copy is featured herein. For the Williams and JS copy and the Whitmer copy, see Revelation Book 2, pp. 20–31; and Revelation Book 1, pp. 149–156.  


Whitmer’s copy even adds “Received on the 23 day of September 1832” between those two lines. However, the three manuscripts also include “viz 23d. day of September AD 1832” as a notation several pages before this break, indicating that material presented before the interruption was also dictated on 23 September. It may be that the dictation went into the early morning hours of 23 September, halted for a period of time, and then recommenced later that day.
The index of Revelation Book 2, one of the volumes in which this revelation was recorded, designated the revelation as one “explaining the two priest hoods

Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of...

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and commissioning the 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
to preach the gospel.”4

Revelation Book 2, Index, [1].  


An understanding of priesthood was still developing among followers of JS, especially in terms of its connection to different offices in the church. The Book of Mormon indicated that authority from God was necessary to perform certain ordinances, such as baptism

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

View Glossary
and conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost

A right or privilege bestowed through the confirmation ordinance. Individuals were confirmed members of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands. The Book of Mormon explained that remission of sins requires not only...

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, which led JS 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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to petition God for such authority as they worked together in translating

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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that record.5

See, for example, Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 477–478, 493 [3 Nephi 11:21–22; 18:36–37].  


Later accounts indicate that in May 1829 and sometime thereafter, they received angelic visitations that provided them first with the authority to baptize and later with the authority to officiate in other 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
.6

Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:15–16; JS History, vol. A-1, 17–18.  


However, extant records up to June 1831 did not call such authority “priesthood”; that term—while appearing in both the Book of Mormon and in JS’s Bible revision—did not appear in any other contemporary documents until the minutes of a June 1831 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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, which noted that several individuals “were ordained to the high Priesthood

The authority and power held by certain officers in the church. The Book of Mormon referred to the high priesthood as God’s “holy order, which was after the order of his Son,” and indicated that Melchizedek, a biblical figure, was a high priest “after this...

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.”7

Minute Book 2, 3 June 1831. For more information on the meaning of “high Priesthood” in 1831, see Historical Introduction to Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.  


Moreover, the “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained the different duties of apostles, elders, priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

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, teachers

Generally, one who instructs, but also an ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The Book of Mormon explained that teachers were to be ordained “to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end...

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, and deacons

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The “Articles and Covenants” directed deacons to assist teachers in their duties. Deacons were also to “warn, expound, exhort, and teach and invite all to come unto Christ.” Although deacons did not have the authority...

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but did not explicitly associate these offices with the priesthood.8
By late 1831, the high priesthood was understood to refer to both the office of high priest and to a broader authority. The office, according to an 11 November 1831 revelation, was superior to other offices in the church, just as the authority seemed to be the highest authority. This revelation stated that after the offices of deacon, teacher, priest, and elder came “the high Priest hood which is the greatest of all.”9 A history JS began writing around summer 1832 suggests that he had received two separate powers with different responsibilities. In that history, JS noted that “the ministring of—Aangels

Being who acts as a minister and messenger between heaven and earth. JS taught that angels were individuals who “belonged to this earth”; those who had already lived on earth were often resurrected beings. In addition to giving instruction, direction, and...

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” gave him an authority that allowed him “to adminster the letter of the Gospel.” He also recorded receiving “the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God,” which gave him “power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit.”10
This 22–23 September revelation similarly delineated the existence of two priesthoods: a greater priesthood that contains keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

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to the mysteries of the kingdom and to the knowledge of God, and a lesser priesthood

The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...

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holding the keys of the ministering of angels and of the gospel of repentance and baptism.11

Positing the existence of multiple priesthoods was not unique. In 1827, Alexander Crawford, a Scottish minister living in Canada, discussed three distinct priesthoods: a patriarchal priesthood (which he also called a priesthood after the “order of Melchizedec”), an Aaronical priesthood (originally held by Aaron), and a priesthood held by Jesus Christ. Alexander Campbell and the Disciples of Christ were influenced by Crawford’s ideas, though Campbell differed somewhat in his conception of the priesthood, arguing that God had given a “priesthood” to the tribe of Levi and a “high priesthood” to Aaron and his sons. As a former associate of Campbell, Sidney Rigdon was probably familiar with these ideas. (Campbell, Delusions, 11; Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 148–151.)  


The revelation traced the lineage of the two priesthoods, noting that the greater priesthood was held by Moses, who received it from a line of individuals (including Melchizedek) who had ultimately received it from God. Aaron, meanwhile, held the lesser priesthood, which was passed to his descendants until it reached John the Baptist. Both priesthoods, the revelation posited, are eternal, and men in the Church of Christ

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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could become the “sons of Moses” and the “sons of Aaron” by receiving these priesthoods and “magnifying there calling.” Doing so would enable these “sons” to enter the temple

A sacred edifice “built unto the Lord.” In both the Bible and Book of Mormon, temples were built as places of worship. As early as 1830, church members expected to build a temple in the New Jerusalem, or city of Zion. Revelations in 1830 and 1831 indicated...

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that the Saints would construct 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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, allowing them to receive God’s glory that would fill the temple. Some of this information seems a culmination of ideas first expressed in JS’s revisions to passages in Hebrews, Genesis, and Exodus, which were completed in the six months leading up to September.12

Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 69–71. See also, for example, New Testament Revision 2, part 2, pp. 139–140 [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3, 19–21, 25–26]; Old Testament Revision 1, p. 34 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:27–40]; and Old Testament Revision 2, p. 70 [Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2]; see also Godfrey, “Culmination of Learning,” 175.  


The revelation also explained how the different offices in the church are connected to the two priesthoods. The offices of elder and 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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, it states, are “appendages” to the high priesthood, or to the office of high priest; the offices of teacher and deacon, meanwhile, are appendages to the lesser priesthood, or to the office of priest.13

For use of the term “high priesthood” to refer to the office of high priest, see, for example, Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107 (partial)]. For use of the term “lesser priesthood” to refer to the office of priest, see McLellin, Journal, 25 Oct. 1831.  


High priests, elders, and priests, the revelation continued, have an obligation to travel to proclaim the gospel, while teachers and deacons are responsible for watching over the church in local congregations.
After providing a detailed explanation of the greater and lesser priesthoods, their offices, and their duties, the revelation emphasized the necessity of preaching to the world and provided an extensive discussion of many aspects of missionary work. Revelations from 1830, 1831, and 1832 called specific individuals on missions,14

See, for example, Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24]; Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52]; and Revelation, 7 Mar. 1832 [D&C 80].  


but few revelations gave general procedural instructions about missionary work.15

A 1 November 1831 revelation provided instructions on missionary work to Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, William Smith, and “all the faithful Elders of my church,” and a 1 December 1831 revelation to JS and Sidney Rigdon regarding preaching contained the universalizing instruction “whoso readeth let him understand and receive also.” A 10 January 1832 revelation likewise instructed “the Elders of the church of the Living God” to “continue preaching the gospel.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:7]; Revelation, 1 Dec. 1831 [D&C 71]; Revelation, 10 Jan. 1832 [D&C 73].)  


This 22–23 September revelation, however, provided direction on who should serve missions, how they should serve, how they should receive sustenance while serving, what they should proclaim, and what would happen to those who did not accept their message. These instructions parallel New Testament accounts of the resurrected Jesus Christ’s directions to the eleven apostles before his ascension into heaven. As in those accounts, Christ tells the high priests in this revelation that they have a responsibility to preach to all nations and to baptize those who believe. Signs will follow the believers, the revelation continues, and the Lord will go before them, just as Christ promised the ancient apostles that he would be with them always, “even unto the end of the world.”16

Matthew 28:20.  


The revelation specifically refers to “Eleven high Priests save one” (perhaps a reference to the eleven apostles to whom Christ spoke in the New Testament) and calls these high priests “apostles” and “friends” of Jesus Christ. Although many had preached the gospel before this time, this revelation seemed to launch a more urgent and comprehensive missionary campaign, even including in its preaching assignments individuals such as Bishop Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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, who generally oversaw temporal, not spiritual, concerns.
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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, who was serving as JS’s scribe, probably recorded the revelation as JS dictated it.17

A version of the life sketch of Evan Greene in the possession of Greene’s descendants states that Oliver Cowdery came into the room as JS was dictating the revelation and then, after discovering that no one was writing it down, served as scribe. This account is suspect, however, because minutes from Missouri meetings place Cowdery in Missouri at both the end of August and the first of October, making it highly unlikely that he was in Kirtland in late September. (Richards, “Brief Life Sketch of Evan Melbourne Greene,” 1; Minute Book 2, 24 Aug. and 2 Oct. 1832.)  


Williams also inscribed a copy of this revelation that was given to Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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, stating that he was transcribing it “for N K, Whitney and Joseph the Seer.” Whitney and JS traveled together 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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and other states in October 1832, and the copy was likely made for the two men to carry with them on that trip.18

Letter to Emma Smith, 13 Oct. 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 240.  


Williams and JS also made a copy of the revelation in Revelation Book 2, probably soon after the revelation was dictated.19

Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 2.  


Parts of the revelation—including a “new song” on millennial themes, a condemnation of the church for neglecting the Book of Mormon, and the explanation of appendages to the greater and lesser priesthoods—were discussed in early 1833 issues of the church’s periodical The Evening and the Morning Star. A conference of high priests also wrote a letter in January 1833 calling church members 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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to repentance in conformance with instructions given in the revelation.20

“The Book of Mormon,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1833, [3]; “Some of Mormon’s Teaching,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1833, [4]; “The Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, [1]–[2]; Letter to Edward Partridge and Others, 14 Jan. 1833.  


Since at least six elders and ten high priests heard portions of the revelation while it was dictated, it is probable that information in it was also spread through word of mouth.

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