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Revelation, 23 February 1831 [D&C 42:74–93]

and covenants

A binding agreement between two parties, particularly between God and man. The term covenant was often associated with “commandments,” referring to revelation texts. The gospel as preached by JS—including the need for faith, repentance, baptism, and reception...

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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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and it shall come to pass that if any person among you shall kill they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the Laws of the land for remember that he hath no forgiveness and it shall be proven according to the Laws of the land but if any man shall commit Adultery he Shall be tried before two 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
of the Church or more and every word shall be established against him by two witnesses of the Church and not of the world but if there are more than two witnesses it is better but he shall be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses and the Elders shall lay the case before the Church and the Church shall lift up their hands against them that they may be dealt with according to the Law and if it can be it is necessary that 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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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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is present also and thus ye shall do in all cases which shall come before you and if a man shall rob he shall be delivered up unto the Law and if he shall steal he shall be delivered up unto the Law and if he lie he shall be delivered up unto the Law if he do any manner of iniquity he shall be delivered up unto the Law even that of God and if thy Brother offend thee, thou shalt take him between him and thee alone and if he confess thou shalt be reconciled and if he confess not thou shalt take another with thee and then if he confess not thou Shalt deliver him up unto the Church not to the members but to the Elders and it shall be done in a meeting and that not before the world and if thy Brother offend many he shall be chastened before many and if any one offend openly he shall be rebuked openly that he may be ashamed and if he confess not he Shall be delivered up unto the law, if any shall offend in secret he shall be rebuked in Secret that he may have oportunity to confess in Secret to him whome [p. [7]]
and covenants

A binding agreement between two parties, particularly between God and man. The term covenant was often associated with “commandments,” referring to revelation texts. The gospel as preached by JS—including the need for faith, repentance, baptism, and reception...

View Glossary
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
and it shall  come to pass that if any person among you  shall kill they shall be delivered up and  dealt with according to the Laws of the land for  remember that he hath no forgiveness and  it shall be proven according to the Laws of the  land but if any man shall commit Adultery  he Shall be tried before two 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
of the Church  or more and every word shall be established  against him by two witnesses of the Church  and not of the world but if there are more  than two witnesses it is better but he shall  be condemned by the mouth of two witnesses  and the Elders shall lay the case before the  Church and the Church shall lift up their  hands against them that they may be dealt  dealt with according to <the> Law and if it can  be it is necessary that 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

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
is present  also and thus ye shall do in all cases which  shall come before you3

For earlier disciplinary guidelines, see Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:80].  


and if an man shall  rob he shall be delivered up unto the Law  and if he shall steal he shall be delivered up  unto the Law and if he lie he shall be  delivered up unto the Law if he do any  manner of iniquity he shall be delivered  up unto the Law even that of God and if  thy Brother offend thee, thou shalt take him  between him and thee alone and if he  confess thou shalt be reconciled and if he con fess not thou shalt take another with thee  and then if he confess not thou Shalt deliver  him up unto the Church not to the members  but to the Elders and it shall be done in a  meeting and that not before the world4

See Matthew 18:15–17.  


and  if thy Brother offend many he shall be  chastened before many and if any one  offend openly he shall be rebuked openly that  he may be ashamed5

See 1 Timothy 5:20.  


and if he confess not  he Shall be delivered up unto the law, if  any shall offend in secret he shall be  rebuked in Secret the <that he> may have oportu nity to confess in Secret to him whome he [p. [7]]
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On 22 February 1831, JS wrote to Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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referencing the “Laws of 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...

View Glossary
” that JS had dictated 9 February: “We have received the laws of the Kingdom since we came here and the Disciples

Generally, a follower of Jesus Christ, and in certain cases, one selected to lead the ministry. In the New Testament, Christ ordained twelve of his disciples as apostles. The Book of Mormon recounted that during his ministry to the Nephites, Christ similarly...

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in these parts have received them gladly.”1 The next day, 23 February, JS and seven elders met to determine “how the 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
of the church of Christ are to act upon the points of the Law,” and the following revelation was recorded. In providing detailed guidance on how to discipline serious transgressors of the moral law, the revelation significantly elaborated on the few lines offered on the subject in the church’s earlier “Articles and Covenants

A foundational document presented at the first conference of the church for the approval of church members. The Articles and Covenants included a brief historical prologue, a declaration of beliefs, and a description of the offices, ordinances, and procedures...

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.”2
Early members evidently saw the 23 February revelation as building upon the 9 February revelation, also known as “the Law,” by expanding on the guidelines it provided. After this revelation was dictated, “the Law” comprised eight sections in all, five received on 9 February and three on 23 February. Of the earliest extant copies of the Law, only the Symonds Rider

20 Nov. 1792–1 Aug. 1870. Farmer, teacher, minister. Born in Hartford, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joshua Ryder and Marilla Loomis. Moved to Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio, 6 Jan. 1814. Married Mahitable Loomis, 12 Nov. 1818, in Portage Co. Served as captain in...

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copy, the version featured here, includes all eight sections; it separates the 9 February revelation from the 23 February revelation by including the date and an introductory heading between the fifth and sixth sections. The version found in Revelation Book 1 includes the first five sections, dictated 9 February, as well as a loose leaf containing only the eighth section, or final paragraph, of the 23 February dictation.3

Revelation Book 1, pp. 62–67. A manuscript in Sidney Gilbert’s handwriting and one in Zebedee Coltrin’s both include only the first five parts. An early newspaper version includes only the first two parts. A manuscript in Orson Hyde’s hand includes parts two through four as well as parts seven and eight. (Gilbert, Notebook, [13]–[23]; Coltrin, Diary, [11]–[18]; “Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier [Ravenna, OH], 1 Sept. 1831, [1]; Hyde and Smith, Notebook, [12]–[22]; see also Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:1–72].)  


Some later published versions also exclude the first two paragraphs of the 23 February revelation, possibly because those sections seem to summarize content found in the first five sections. Textually, only the eighth and final paragraph in this document employs the divine first-person, which is possibly the reason it was the only portion of the 23 February revelation to be copied into Revelation Book 1.

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