2086503

Revelation, 4 December 1831–A [D&C 72:1–8]

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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December 4th— 1831
Hearken and listen to the voice of the Lord o ye who have assembled yourselves together who are the 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...

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of my 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
to whom the kingdom and power have been given for verily thus saith the Lord it is expedient in me for a 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
to be appointed unto you or of you unto the church in this part of the Lords vineyard1

That is, in Ohio. The book of Isaiah states that “the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel.” The Book of Mormon, however, also uses the term “vineyard” to refer to the world. (Isaiah 5:7; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 90, 131–139 [2 Nephi 15:7; Jacob 5].)  


and verily in this thing ye have done wisely for it is required of the Lord at the hand of every steward to render an account of his stewardship

One who managed property and goods under the law of consecration; also someone given a specific ecclesiastical responsibility. According to the “Laws of the Church of Christ,” members of the church were to make donations to the bishop, who would record the...

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both in time and in eternity2

See Luke 16:1–8.  


for he who is faithfull and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mantions prepared for them of my father3

See Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:19]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 565 [Ether 12:32, 34, 37]; and Revelation, 7 Aug. 1831 [D&C 59:2].  


verily I say unto you 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 in this part of my vineyard shall render an account of their stewardship unto the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

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which shall be appointed of me in this part of my vinyard these things shall be had on record to be handed over unto the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
in Zion4

According to a November 1831 revelation, the “Saints which are abroad in the Earth” were to “send forth their accounts to the Land of Zion.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 69:5].)  


and the duty of the Bishop shall be made known by the 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 have been given5

See Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:31–36, 71–73]; Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:81–82]; Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51]; and Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:74].  


and by the voice of the 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...

View Glossary
.
And now I say unto you my servent 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...

View Full Bio
is the man who shall be appointed and 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
unto this power this is the will of the Lord your God your Redeemer even so Amen— [p. [1]]
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
December 4th— 1831
Hearken and listen to the voice of the Lord o ye who  have assembled yourselves together who are the 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
of  my 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
to whom the kingdom and power have been given  for verily thus saith the Lord it is expedient in me for a  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
to be appointed unto you or of you to unto the chur ch in this part of the Lords vineyard1

That is, in Ohio. The book of Isaiah states that “the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel.” The Book of Mormon, however, also uses the term “vineyard” to refer to the world. (Isaiah 5:7; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 90, 131–139 [2 Nephi 15:7; Jacob 5].)  


and verily in this  thing ye have done wisely for it is required of the Lord at the  hand of every steward to render an account of his stewardship

One who managed property and goods under the law of consecration; also someone given a specific ecclesiastical responsibility. According to the “Laws of the Church of Christ,” members of the church were to make donations to the bishop, who would record the...

View Glossary
 both in time and in eternity2

See Luke 16:1–8.  


for he who is faithfull and  wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mantions  prepared for them of my father3

See Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:19]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 565 [Ether 12:32, 34, 37]; and Revelation, 7 Aug. 1831 [D&C 59:2].  


verily I say unto you 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 in this part of my vineyard shall render an account  of their stewardship unto the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
which shall be appointed  of me in this part of my vinyard these things shall be had  on record to be handed over unto the Bishop

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
in Zion4

According to a November 1831 revelation, the “Saints which are abroad in the Earth” were to “send forth their accounts to the Land of Zion.” (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 69:5].)  


and the  duty of the Bishop shall be made known by the 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 have been given5

See Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:31–36, 71–73]; Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:81–82]; Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51]; and Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:74].  


and by the voice of the 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...

View Glossary
.
And now I say unto you my servent 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...

View Full Bio
is the man who  shall be appointed and 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
unto this power this is the will  of the Lord your God your Redeemer even so Amen— [p. [1]]
This revelation and the two that follow were all dictated on 4 December 1831 in the same setting. On 3 December 1831, JS and 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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traveled 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
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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, Ohio, to fulfill a commandment given in a 1 December revelation to preach “unto the world in the regions round about and in the church.”1 According to a later JS history, “on the 4th several of the Elders and members assembled together to learn their duty and for edification”—a gathering described in the revelation as a conference of high priests. Minutes of this meeting are not extant, but the JS history notes that it included conversations about “our temporal and Spiritual welfare.”2 JS and Rigdon may have also instructed the elders on the need to counter the published criticisms of former church member Ezra Booth

14 Feb. 1792–before 12 Jan. 1873. Farmer, minister. Born in Newtown, Fairfield Co., Connecticut. Admitted on trial to Methodist ministry, 4 Sept. 1816, and stationed in the Ohio District in Beaver, Pike Co. Admitted into full connection and elected a deacon...

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.
This revelation, the first of three JS apparently dictated during the conference, focused on the appointment of 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...

View Full Bio
as the second bishop in the church. In August 1831, Whitney was designated as “an agent unto the Desiples,” a role that included some responsibilities that were similar to the duties he would have as bishop.3

Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:45].  


Edward Partridge

27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...

View Full Bio
was originally called as bishop 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
in February 1831,4

Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:9].  


but in the summer he relocated to 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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, Missouri, where he served as the bishop in Zion.5 In November 1831, a revelation explained that as the church grew, “other Bishops” were “to be set apart unto the church to minister even according to the first.” These bishops, the revelation continued, were to “be appointed by a confrenc [conference] of high priests.”6 Accordingly, after Whitney was selected by revelation, he was appointed during the 4 December conference.7

The same pattern had been followed earlier when John Whitmer was selected by revelation and appointed by a conference to be the church historian. After a March 1831 revelation for Whitmer stated “it shall be appointed unto you to Keep the Church Record & History,” a conference held on 9 April “appointed” Whitmer to undertake those tasks “agreeable” to the revelation. (Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–B [D&C 47:3]; Minute Book 2, 9 Apr. 1831.)  


A second revelation dictated at this same conference dealt with Whitney’s duties as bishop, while the third revelation gave requirements for those migrating to Zion.8

Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–B [D&C 72:9–23]; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–C [D&C 72:24–26].  


Because no minutes of the 4 December conference exist, it is difficult to determine the exact circumstances under which these revelations were dictated. Conference attendees may have decided before the first revelation was dictated—possibly in connection with their conversation on “temporal and Spiritual welfare”—to appoint a bishop for Ohio. If so, the first revelation apparently affirmed this decision, since it told the assembled high priests that “in this thing ye have done wisely.” The revelation then identified 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...

View Full Bio
as the man appointed.
When the three 4 December revelations were published, they were presented as a single combined text,9

See, for example, “A Revelation Given December 4, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1832, [5]–[6]; and Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 89, 1835 ed. [D&C 72].  


but manuscript copies indicate they were originally three separately dictated texts. The first revelation refers 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...

View Full Bio
as “the man who shall be appointed and ordained,” whereas the second revelation begins with a sentence referring to the bishop who “has been ordained,” indicating that Whitney’s appointment and ordination occurred after the first revelation was dictated but before the second. The second revelation begins with “The word of the Lord”—a conventional textual marker for the beginning of a discrete revelation text.10 A copy of these two revelations made by JS and 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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in Revelation Book 2 around March 1832 supports this assessment: a clear break exists in the text between the first and second revelations, and a new heading with a date appears before the second revelation. The table of contents to Revelation Book 2 also treats these as two separate 4 December revelations, referring to one as “A Revelation given to choose a Bishop” and the other as “also another in addition to the Law making known the duty of the Bishop.”11

Revelation Book 2, Index, [1], in JSP, MRB:413; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 2, in JSP, MRB:409; and Revelation Book 2, pp. 13–15, in JSP, MRB:439–443.  


Furthermore, other early manuscript copies (including the copy held by Whitney) preface the second revelation with the heading “The duty of the Bishop as made known at the same time.”12

John Whitmer made a copy of the revelation in Revelation Book 1, probably sometime after April 1832. Orson Hyde also copied the revelation, probably early in 1832 before departing on a mission to the eastern United States. Hyde’s copy contains the heading “The duty of the Bishop as made Known at the same time” before the second revelation. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 1, in JSP, MRB:5; Revelation Book 1, pp. 132–134, in JSP, MRB:236–240; and Hyde and Smith, Notebook [48]–[50].)  


Although there is not a similar break or heading in manuscript copies before the third revelation, it too appears to be separate: the second revelation ends with the words “and now I make an end of my sayings Amen,” indicating the formal closure of a discrete revelation text.13
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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probably served as the original scribe for these three revelations. The copy featured here, which is in Rigdon’s handwriting and was held by 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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, may be the original manuscript. The versions of the 4 December revelations featured in this volume were written on the same sheet of paper as a 1 December 1831 revelation, but the 4 December revelations were apparently inscribed first, meaning that Rigdon could have written the revelations on the paper as JS dictated and then copied the 1 December revelation thereafter.14

The evenness of the inscription of the 4 December revelations, however, suggests that they are copies. When John Whitmer copied the 4 December revelations into Revelation Book 1, he placed them before the 1 December revelation which matches the order in the Whitney copy. (Revelation Book 1, pp. 132–134, in JSP, MRB:237—241.)  


Facts