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Revelation, 30 August 1831 [D&C 63]

and ye receive the spirit through prayer wherefore without this there remaineth condemnation. Let my servants Joseph & Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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seek them a home as they are taught through prayer by the spirit40

Since JS was living on the Morley farm (which the revelation instructed should be sold), he needed to find a new residence.  


these things remain to overcome through patience that such may receive a more exceeding & eternal weight of glory41

See 2 Corinthians 4:17.  


otherwise a greater condemnation Amen.
Given by Joseph the Seer

The Book of Mormon identified a seer as a “revelator, and a prophet also,” specifying, however, that a seer was “greater than a prophet.” A seer could “know of things which has past, and also of things which is to come.” The work of a seer included translation...

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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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August 31, 1831 and written by Oliver

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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—— [p. [3]]
and ye receive the spirit through prayer wherefore without this there remain eth condemnation. Let my servants Joseph & Sidney

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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seek them a home as they  are led taught through the spirit prayer by the spirit40

Since JS was living on the Morley farm (which the revelation instructed should be sold), he needed to find a new residence.  


these things remain to  overcome through patience that such may receive a more exceeding & eternal  weight of glory41

See 2 Corinthians 4:17.  


otherwise a greater condemnation Amen.
Given by Joseph the Seer

The Book of Mormon identified a seer as a “revelator, and a prophet also,” specifying, however, that a seer was “greater than a prophet.” A seer could “know of things which has past, and also of things which is to come.” The work of a seer included translation...

View Glossary
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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August 31, 1831  and written by Oliver

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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—— [p. [3]]
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Three days after JS arrived 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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, Ohio, from Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

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, Jackson County, Missouri, a 30 August revelation provided information about the gathering of the Saints to 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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. As a later JS history explained, the identification of Independence as the “centre place” 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 ...

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made “‘the land of Zion’ . . . the most important temporal object” to church members.1

Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:3]; JS History, vol. A-1, 146.  


Despite Zion’s importance, much uncertainty still surrounded the process of gathering to Zion. Funds were required to purchase lands in and around Independence for the gathering. A 1 August 1831 revelation had intimated that not all of the Saints would migrate to Zion at once, and some members may have questioned how leaders would determine who would move. That same revelation also instructed that an epistle and subscription “be presented unto all the Churches to obtain money to be put into the hands of 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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,”2

Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:44, 51–52].  


but who would take these documents to the different churches had not been determined. Compounding the problem of this uncertainty, JS, Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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, 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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discovered upon their return to Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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that “many [had] apostitized” in their absence.3

Whitmer, History, 33.  


Coming on the heels of the antagonism that JS had apparently experienced from some of his company of 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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on the return trip to Ohio, the knowledge that many others had fallen away was distressing: “We could not help beholding,” a later JS history recounts about this time period, “the exertions of Satan to blind the eyes of the people so as to hide the true light that lights every man that comes into the world.”4

Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. VII,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 24 Nov. 1831, [1]; JS History, vol. A-1, 146.  


The 30 August revelation addressed many of the issues JS faced on his return 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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, providing instruction on how those who were to move to Zion would be selected, how quickly the Saints should gather to Zion, and how to prepare for Christ’s return to the earth. It condemned the wicked both in and out of the church, especially sign seekers and adulterers, and appointed 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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and 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 raise money for Zion. As Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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wrote the next day, the revelation gave instruction on how to “escape . . . the day of tribulation which is coming on the earth.”5

Sidney Rigdon, Kirtland, OH, “to the Churches,” 31 Aug. 1831, copy, Sidney Rigdon, Collection, 1832–1858, CHL.  


A passage in this revelation addressed the church members residing on “this farm,” indicating that JS dictated the revelation on the Isaac Morley

11 Mar. 1786–24 June 1865. Farmer, cooper, merchant, postmaster. Born at Montague, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Thomas Morley and Editha (Edith) Marsh. Family affiliated with Presbyterian church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, before 1812. Married...

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farm, where he had left his family in June and where many of the Saints traveling to Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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in 1831 relocated.6

Backman, Heavens Resound, 70; Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 309–310.  


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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served as scribe for this revelation. 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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had a copy of the revelation in Cowdery’s handwriting, which may be the original inscription. However, the handwriting is so compact and neat that it is likely a fair copy made by Cowdery. He may have made it for Whitney and himself to take with them as they traveled together to the different churches.7

Similar fold markings are evident in Whitney’s copy of the revelation and a copy he owned of a letter Rigdon wrote to church congregations to encourage donations, which suggests that the two documents were carried together. (Sidney Rigdon, Kirtland, OH, “to the Churches,” 31 Aug. 1831, copy, Sidney Rigdon, Collection, 1832–1858, CHL.)  


Whitney endorsed his copy with the date of 31 August 1831, likely an incorrect date. Other early copies of the revelation inscribed around this same time—including one that 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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made in Revelation Book 1 and one that Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

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made in his book of revelations—bear the date of 30 August.8

Revelation Book 1, p. 104; Gilbert, Notebook, [45]–[54]. When William W. Phelps published this revelation in the February 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star, he also dated it 30 August 1831. (“A Revelation Given, August 30, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Feb. 1833, [6]–[7].)  


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