2477012

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

A revelation given in 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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the 22d & 23d. day of Sept AD 18321

This heading, or one similar to it, may have been in the original inscription. The copy of the revelation in Revelation Book 2 has “A Revelation given the 22 and 23d. of Sept. 1832,” while the copy in Revelation Book 1 says, “A Revelation given at Kirtland September 22 & 23, 1832.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 20; Revelation Book 1, p. 149.)  


A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph and six 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...

View Glossary
as they united there hearts in lifting there voice on high, yea the word of the Lord, concerning his 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
established in the last days. for the restoration of his people as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets and for the gathering, of his saints to stand upon mount Zion which shall be called the city New Jerusalem

The Book of Mormon indicated that, in preparation for Jesus Christ’s second coming, a city should be built on the American continent and called the New Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon further explained that the remnant of the seed of Joseph (understood to be...

View Glossary
, which city shall be built begining at the temple lot

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed temple to be built short distance west of courthouse on hill just outside of Independence, Missouri. JS directed dedication of temple site by Sidney Rigdon, 3 Aug. 1831. On same date, church claimed site for eventual...

More Info
which is appointed by the finger of the Lord in the western boundaries of the State of 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...

More Info
and dedicated by the hand of Joseph and others with whom the Lord was will pleased,2

The temple site was on a lot approximately one-half mile west of the courthouse in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. On 3 August 1831, JS, in company with Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, William W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and Joseph Coe, laid a cornerstone for the temple, and Rigdon then “pronounced this Spot of ground wholy dedicated unto the Lord forever.” Partridge purchased sixty-three acres in this area, including the temple site, on 19 December 1831. (JS History, vol. A-1, 139; Whitmer, History, 32; Jones H. Flournoy and Clara Hickman Flournoy to Edward Partridge, Deed, Jackson Co., MO, 19 Dec. 1831, CHL.)  


verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathring

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
of the saints begining at this place, even the place of the Temple

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed temple to be built short distance west of courthouse on hill just outside of Independence, Missouri. JS directed dedication of temple site by Sidney Rigdon, 3 Aug. 1831. On same date, church claimed site for eventual...

More Info
, which Temple shall be reared in this generation for verely this generation shall not all pass away untill an house shalt be built unto the Lord and a cloud shall rest upon it which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord which shall fill the house,3

See Exodus 40:34.  


and the sons of Moses according to the holy 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...

View Glossary
4

The term “holy” had previously been used in connection with both the high priesthood and the offices of elder, priest, and teacher. In this revelation, “holy Priesthood” is used exclusively in reference to the higher priesthood. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 258–260 [Alma 13:1–19]; License for John Whitmer, 9 June 1830; License for Joseph Smith Sr., 9 June 1830; License for Christian Whitmer, 9 June 1830.)  


which he received under the father in Law Jethro,6

The Bible says Jethro was a priest but does not say Moses received priesthood from him. (See Exodus 3:1.)  


and Jethro received it under the hand of Caleb. and Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu and Elihu under the hand of Jeremy and Jeremy under the hand of Gad and Gad under the hand of Esaius and Esaius received it under the hand of God,8

This delineation of the priesthood line is not found in the Bible, nor are these individuals (except for Jethro) identified in the Bible. “Jeremy” is used in the New Testament to refer to the prophet Jeremiah, but the Jeremy in this revelation appears to be a different person. (See Matthew 27:9.)  


Esaius also lived in the days of Abraham and was blessed of him which Abraham received the Priesthood from Melchesedec9

By this time, Melchizedek was already associated with the high priesthood in the theology articulated by JS. The Book of Mormon referenced Melchizedek when speaking about the high priesthood.a When JS revised Genesis 14 as part of his translation of the Bible, he explained that Melchizedek was “a high Preist after the order of the covenent which God made with Enoch it being after the order of the Son of God.”b His revision of Hebrews 7:3 clarified that “Melchisedec was ordained a priest after the order of the son of God.”c Likewise, JS and Sidney Rigdon stated in a description of their 16 February 1832 vision of the afterlife that individuals who inherited the celestial kingdom (the highest degree of heavenly glory) were “priests of the most high after the order of Melchesadeck which was after the order of Enoch which was after the order of . . . the only begotten son.”d Ezra Booth, a former member of the Church of Christ who wrote a series of letters critical of JS and his followers in late 1831, also indicated that a connection existed between the high priesthood and Melchizedek. Speaking about JS’s followers, he said, “Many of them have been ordained to the High Priesthood, or the order of Melchisedec; and profess to be endowed with the same power as the ancient apostles were.”e  


aBook of Mormon, 1830 ed., 259–260 [Alma 13:9–19].

bOld Testament Revision 1, p. 34 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:24].

cNew Testament Revision 2, part 2, p. 139 [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3].

dVision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:57].

eEzra Booth, “Mormonism—No. II,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 20 Oct. 1831, [3].

who received it through the linage of his fathers even till Noah, and from Noah till Enoch, through the linage of thare fathers and from Enoch to abel who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother who received the Priesthood by the commandment of God by the hand of his father Adam who was the first man,10

JS’s revision of the book of Genesis, part of which became known as the Book of Moses, referenced a “genealogy of the sons of Adam,” concluding with the declaration that Adam “was the son of God with whom God himself conversed.” (Old Testament Revision 2, p. 15 [Moses 6:22].)  


which Priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations and is without begining of days or end of years11

JS’s revision of Hebrews 7:3, completed sometime in February or March 1832, stated that “Melchisedec was ordained a priest after the order of the son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither begining of days, nor end of life.” Likewise, the Book of Mormon stated that “the high priesthood of the holy order of God” was “without beginning of days or end of years.” (New Testament Revision 2, part 2, p. 139 [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 259 [Alma 13:6–7].)  


and the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron

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...

View Glossary
and his seed throughout all the generations12

See Exodus 28:1; and Leviticus 8:6–12.  


of the Jews. which priesthood also continueth and abideth for ever with the Priesthood which is after the holiest order of God, and this greater Priesthood adminestereth the gospel and holdeth the key

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...

View Glossary
of the misteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God therefore in the ordinences

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
thereof the power of Godliness is manifest and without the ordinences thereof, and the authority of the Priesthood, the power of Godliness is not manifest unto man in the flesh, for without this no man can see the face of God even the father and live, now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness,13

In Exodus 33:20, the Lord tells Moses, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” JS’s revision of this verse, completed sometime between 20 and 31 July 1832, states that “no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time that shall see my face and live.” (Old Testament Revision 2, p. 70 [Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 33:20]; see also Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 71.)  


and saught diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God, but they hardened ther hearts and could not endure his presence therefore the Lord in his wrath (for his anger was kindled against them) swore that they should not enter into his rest, which rest is the fulness of his glory while in the wilderness, therefore he took Moses out of there midst and the holy Priesthood also,14

In JS’s revision of Exodus 34:1–2, completed sometime between 20 and 31 July 1832, the Lord tells Moses, “I will take away the priest-hood out of there midst; therefore my holy order; and the ordinences thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in there midst Least I distry [destroy] them. But I will give unto them the law as at the fi[r]st, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of there pilgrimage.” Likewise, his revision of Hebrews 4:3 says, “For we who have beleived, do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath; If they will not harden their hearts they shall not enter unto my rest.” (Old Testament Revision 2, p. 70 [Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34: 1–2]; New Testament Revision 2, part 2, p. 139 [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 4:3]; see also Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 71).  


and the lesser Priesthood continued, which Priesthood holdeth the keys of the ministring of Angels and the preparitory gospel, which gospel is the gospel of repentence and of 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 the remission of sins, and the Law of carnal commandments—15

See Hebrews 7:16. The office of priest was referred to as the “lesser priesthood” as early as October 1831. When writing in his journal about his ordination to the high priesthood on 25 October 1831, William E. McLellin noted that a “number of others present were ordained to the lesser Priest-Hood.” (McLellin, Journal, 25 Oct. 1831.)  


which the lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John whom God raised up being fillid with the holy ghost from his Mothers womb,16

See Luke 1:15.  


for he was baptised while he was yet in the womb17

In preparation for the publication of this revelation in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, JS crossed out “the womb” in the Revelation Book 2 manuscript and inserted “his Childhood.” All published versions read “baptized while he was yet in his childhood.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 23; Doctrine and Covenants 4:4, 1835 ed.)  


and was ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
by the Angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews and to make straight the way of the Lord [p. [1]]
A revelation given in 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...

More Info
the 22d & 23d. day of Sept AD 18321

This heading, or one similar to it, may have been in the original inscription. The copy of the revelation in Revelation Book 2 has “A Revelation given the 22 and 23d. of Sept. 1832,” while the copy in Revelation Book 1 says, “A Revelation given at Kirtland September 22 & 23, 1832.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 20; Revelation Book 1, p. 149.)  


A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his saints servant Joseph and six 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...

View Glossary
as they united  there hearts in lifting there voice on high, yea the word of the Lord, concerning his chu rch

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
established in the last days. for the restoration of his people as he has spoken by  the mouth of his prophets and for the gathering, of his saints to stand upon mount Zion  which shall be called the city New Jerusalem

The Book of Mormon indicated that, in preparation for Jesus Christ’s second coming, a city should be built on the American continent and called the New Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon further explained that the remnant of the seed of Joseph (understood to be...

View Glossary
, which city shall be built begining at the  temple lot

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed temple to be built short distance west of courthouse on hill just outside of Independence, Missouri. JS directed dedication of temple site by Sidney Rigdon, 3 Aug. 1831. On same date, church claimed site for eventual...

More Info
which is appointed by the finger of God the Lord in the western boundaries of the State of Missou[ri]

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...

More Info
 and dedicated by the hand of Joseph and others with whom the Lord was will pleased,2

The temple site was on a lot approximately one-half mile west of the courthouse in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri. On 3 August 1831, JS, in company with Sidney Rigdon, Edward Partridge, William W. Phelps, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, and Joseph Coe, laid a cornerstone for the temple, and Rigdon then “pronounced this Spot of ground wholy dedicated unto the Lord forever.” Partridge purchased sixty-three acres in this area, including the temple site, on 19 December 1831. (JS History, vol. A-1, 139; Whitmer, History, 32; Jones H. Flournoy and Clara Hickman Flournoy to Edward Partridge, Deed, Jackson Co., MO, 19 Dec. 1831, CHL.)  


verily this is the  word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathring

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
of the saints begining  at this place, even the place of the Temple

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, directed temple to be built short distance west of courthouse on hill just outside of Independence, Missouri. JS directed dedication of temple site by Sidney Rigdon, 3 Aug. 1831. On same date, church claimed site for eventual...

More Info
, which Temple shall be built <reared> in this generation  for verely this generation shall not all pass away untill an house shalt be built unto  the Lord and a cloud shall rest upon it which cloud shall be even the glory of  the Lord which shall fill the house,3

See Exodus 40:34.  


and the sons of Moses according to the holy Priest hood

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...

View Glossary
4

The term “holy” had previously been used in connection with both the high priesthood and the offices of elder, priest, and teacher. In this revelation, “holy Priesthood” is used exclusively in reference to the higher priesthood. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 258–260 [Alma 13:1–19]; License for John Whitmer, 9 June 1830; License for Joseph Smith Sr., 9 June 1830; License for Christian Whitmer, 9 June 1830.)  


which he received under the5

TEXT: A later redaction in unidentified handwriting inserts “hand of his” at this point.  


father in Law Jethro,6

The Bible says Jethro was a priest but does not say Moses received priesthood from him. (See Exodus 3:1.)  


and Jethro received it u[n]der  the ha[n]d7

TEXT: “ha[hole in paper]d”.  


of Caleb. and Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu and Elihu under  the hand of Jeremy and Jeremy under the hand of Gad and Gad under the hand  of Esaius and Esaius received it under the hand of God,8

This delineation of the priesthood line is not found in the Bible, nor are these individuals (except for Jethro) identified in the Bible. “Jeremy” is used in the New Testament to refer to the prophet Jeremiah, but the Jeremy in this revelation appears to be a different person. (See Matthew 27:9.)  


Esaius lived also lived in  the days of Abraham and was blessed of him which Abraham received the Priesthood  from Melchesedec9

By this time, Melchizedek was already associated with the high priesthood in the theology articulated by JS. The Book of Mormon referenced Melchizedek when speaking about the high priesthood.a When JS revised Genesis 14 as part of his translation of the Bible, he explained that Melchizedek was “a high Preist after the order of the covenent which God made with Enoch it being after the order of the Son of God.”b His revision of Hebrews 7:3 clarified that “Melchisedec was ordained a priest after the order of the son of God.”c Likewise, JS and Sidney Rigdon stated in a description of their 16 February 1832 vision of the afterlife that individuals who inherited the celestial kingdom (the highest degree of heavenly glory) were “priests of the most high after the order of Melchesadeck which was after the order of Enoch which was after the order of . . . the only begotten son.”d Ezra Booth, a former member of the Church of Christ who wrote a series of letters critical of JS and his followers in late 1831, also indicated that a connection existed between the high priesthood and Melchizedek. Speaking about JS’s followers, he said, “Many of them have been ordained to the High Priesthood, or the order of Melchisedec; and profess to be endowed with the same power as the ancient apostles were.”e  


aBook of Mormon, 1830 ed., 259–260 [Alma 13:9–19].

bOld Testament Revision 1, p. 34 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:24].

cNew Testament Revision 2, part 2, p. 139 [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3].

dVision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:57].

eEzra Booth, “Mormonism—No. II,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 20 Oct. 1831, [3].

who received it through the linage of his fathers even till  Noah, and from Noah till Enoch, through the linage of thare fathers and from  Enoch to abel who was slain by the conspiracy of his brother who received the  Priesthood by the commandment of God by the hand of his father Adam who  was the first man,10

JS’s revision of the book of Genesis, part of which became known as the Book of Moses, referenced a “genealogy of the sons of Adam,” concluding with the declaration that Adam “was the son of God with whom God himself conversed.” (Old Testament Revision 2, p. 15 [Moses 6:22].)  


which Priesthood continueth in the church of God in all gen erations and is without begining of days or end of years11

JS’s revision of Hebrews 7:3, completed sometime in February or March 1832, stated that “Melchisedec was ordained a priest after the order of the son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither begining of days, nor end of life.” Likewise, the Book of Mormon stated that “the high priesthood of the holy order of God” was “without beginning of days or end of years.” (New Testament Revision 2, part 2, p. 139 [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 259 [Alma 13:6–7].)  


and the Lord confir med a priesthood also upon Aaron

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...

View Glossary
and his seed throughout all the generations12

See Exodus 28:1; and Leviticus 8:6–12.  


 of the Jews. which priesthood also continueth and abideth for ever with the Priesthood which  is after the holiest order of God, and this greater Priesthood adminestereth the gospel  and holdeth the key

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...

View Glossary
of the misteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of  God therefore in the ordinences

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
thereof the power of Godliness is manifest and without  the ordinences thereof, and the authority of the Priesthood, the power of Godliness is  not manifest unto man in the flesh, for without this no man can see the face of  God even the father and live, now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel  in the wilderness,13

In Exodus 33:20, the Lord tells Moses, “Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” JS’s revision of this verse, completed sometime between 20 and 31 July 1832, states that “no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time that shall see my face and live.” (Old Testament Revision 2, p. 70 [Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 33:20]; see also Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 71.)  


and saught diligently to sanctify his people that they might  behold the face of God, but they hardened ther hearts and could not endure  his presence therefore the Lord in his wrath (for his anger was kindled against them)  swore that they should not enter into his rest, which rest is the fulness of his glory  while in the wilderness, therefore he took Moses out of there midst and the holy Priesthood  also,14

In JS’s revision of Exodus 34:1–2, completed sometime between 20 and 31 July 1832, the Lord tells Moses, “I will take away the priest-hood out of there midst; therefore my holy order; and the ordinences thereof, shall not go before them; for my presence shall not go up in there midst Least I distry [destroy] them. But I will give unto them the law as at the fi[r]st, but it shall be after the law of a carnal commandment; for I have sworn in my wrath, that they shall not enter into my presence, into my rest, in the days of there pilgrimage.” Likewise, his revision of Hebrews 4:3 says, “For we who have beleived, do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath; If they will not harden their hearts they shall not enter unto my rest.” (Old Testament Revision 2, p. 70 [Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34: 1–2]; New Testament Revision 2, part 2, p. 139 [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 4:3]; see also Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 71).  


and the lesser Priesthood continued, which Priesthood holdeth the keys of the minis tring of Angels and the preparitory gospel, which gospel is the gospel of repentence  and of 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 the remission of sins, and the Law of carnal commandments—15

See Hebrews 7:16. The office of priest was referred to as the “lesser priesthood” as early as October 1831. When writing in his journal about his ordination to the high priesthood on 25 October 1831, William E. McLellin noted that a “number of others present were ordained to the lesser Priest-Hood.” (McLellin, Journal, 25 Oct. 1831.)  


 which the lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the  children of Israel until John whom God raised up being fillid with the holy ghost from  his Mothers womb,16

See Luke 1:15.  


for he was baptised while he was yet in his the mothers womb17

In preparation for the publication of this revelation in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, JS crossed out “the womb” in the Revelation Book 2 manuscript and inserted “his Childhood.” All published versions read “baptized while he was yet in his childhood.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 23; Doctrine and Covenants 4:4, 1835 ed.)  


and was  ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
by the Angel of God at the time he was eight days old unto this power  to overthrow the kingdom of the Jews and to make straight the way of the Lord [p. [1]]
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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...

More Info
, 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...

View Glossary
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...

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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...

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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...

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.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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