Revelation, 4 February 1831 [D&C 41]

Children of the Kingdom should be cast before  Swine5

See Matthew 7:6.  

& again it is meet that my servent Joseph  should have a house built in which to live &  translate6

Rather than accepting Copley’s apparent offer to live in Thompson, JS stayed in the Kirtland area. After their initial stay with the family of Newel K. Whitney, JS and Emma Smith moved into a small frame home on the property of Isaac Morley, another landowning Ohio convert. (Cox, “Brief History of Patriarch Isaac Morley,” [1].)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Cox, Cordelia Morley. “A Brief History of Patriarch Isaac Morley and Family Written by Mrs. Cordelia Morley Cox, Especially for Isaac Morley, Jr.,” June 1907. CHL.

& again it is meet that my Servent Sidney  should have a comfortable Room to live in & again  I have called my Servent Edward & give him a  commandment that he should be appointed by the  voice of the Church & be ordained a bishop unto  the Church7

It is uncertain when Partridge was approved in his new office “by the voice of the church.” This was possibly part of the “Church business” mentioned without detail in the minutes of the “special meeting of the Elders of the Church of Christ held at Kirtland” on 9 April 1831. His bishop’s license created in 1831 states that he was “appointed Bishop of this church on the fourth of February one thousand eight hundred and thirty one with and by the consent of the whole church agreeable to the appointment of God and ordained to this office,” apparently conflating his original calling with its approval by the church. In any case, by the 3 June 1831 church conference Partridge was functioning in the office of bishop, and at that meeting two assistants to the bishop were ordained to serve with him. (Minute Book 2, 9 Apr. 1831; License for Edward Partridge, [ca. 4 August 1831–ca. 5 Jan. 1832], JS Collection, CHL; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL.

& leave his merchandise & spend all  his time in the labours of the Church8

Partridge owned a hat shop near the town square in Painesville, Ohio, a few miles from Kirtland, as well as multiple pieces of property in the area. Partridge’s daughter later recalled that after this revelation was dictated, her father sold his property and “realized but little” from the transactions. She added, “My fathers course in joining the mormon religion and sacrificing his property caused his friends of the world to think him insane. They could not see what there was in religion to make a man give up all worldly considerations for it.” Partridge’s willingness to part with both his business and property in the area, however, predated his affiliation with the Church of Christ. On 8 September 1829, the Painesville Telegraph carried a notice of Partridge’s intent to liquidate all of his Ohio assets: “Wishing to quit the Hatting business, and leave Painesville, I now offer my stand for sale, together with an assortment of Stock, Trimings and Tools. My shop is large and commodious, and is pleasantly situated on Main-street near the Public square, and is the only Hat Shop in town. On the lot with the shop, is a convenient dwelling house, barn and an excellent well of water.” Partridge also offered for sale other large parcels of land, including “a farm lying in the south part of Harpersfield, containing 100 acres.” He promised liberal terms to potential purchasers and a willingness to divide the properties and sell them separately. Despite this attempt to sell all and leave Painesville, Partridge stayed and apparently still owned these properties at the time of this revelation.

When Partridge left Painesville for Missouri in June 1831, he still had not disposed of many of these properties and, as his daughter Emily later claimed, he took great losses when they eventually were sold. The hat shop was still open for business in November 1831, and while his hundred-acre farm near Harpersfield, Ohio, had been sold, Partridge received only one horse, with accompanying bridle and saddle, as payment. Some of Partridge’s land remained unsold until March 1832. (Young, “Incidents,” 11–12; Advertisement, Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 8 Sept. 1829, [3]; David Harvey Redfield, Painesville, OH, to Edward Partridge, Independence, MO, 8 Nov. 1831, in Edward Partridge, Papers, CHL; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 15, pp. 331–332, 6 Mar. 1832, microfilm 20,236, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)

Comprehensive Works Cited



Young, Emily Dow Partridge. “Incidents of the Life of a Mormon Girl,” ca. 1884. CHL.

Painesville Telegraph. Painesville, OH. 1831–1838.

Partridge, Edward. Papers, 1818–1839. CHL.

U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

& see to  all things as it shall be appointed in my Laws  in the day that I shall give them & this because  his heart is pure before me for he is like unto  Nathaniel of old in whome there is no guile9

See John 1:47.  

these  words are given unto you & they are pure before  me wherefore be ye aware how you hold them  for they are to be answered upon your souls  in the day of Judgement even so amen [p. 62]
This revelation was dictated the same day JS arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, from New York.1

Revelations dated 30 December 1830 and 2 January 1831 directed church members to gather in Ohio. According to an article in the Painesville Telegraph, Sidney Rigdon arrived on 1 February and JS arrived three days later. (Revelation, 30 Dec. 1830 [D&C 37:1, 3]; Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32]; [Matthew S. Clapp], “Mormonism,” Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 15 Feb. 1831, [1].)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Painesville Telegraph. Painesville, OH. 1831–1838.

According to John Whitmer’s headnote, inscribed a few months later in spring 1831, the revelation was a response to JS’s prayer regarding an offer made by new convert Leman Copley to provide JS and Sidney Rigdon “houses & provisions” on his farm in Thompson Township, Ohio, about twenty miles east of Kirtland.2

Copley was formerly a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, more commonly known as Shakers. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 7 May 1831 [D&C 49].)  

JS and his family were in need of housing because of their recent move, and Sidney and Phebe Rigdon had lost a house apparently being built for them by his former Campbellite congregation in nearby Mentor, Ohio, when he converted to the Church of Christ.3

Rigdon’s son later recalled that his father’s congregation in Mentor, Ohio, had “bought him a little farm . . . and were engaged in building him a house on it” when Oliver Cowdery and Parley P. Pratt introduced him to the Book of Mormon. After Sidney and Phebe Rigdon were baptized, the family moved in with other converts in the Kirtland area. (Rigdon, “Lecture on the Early History of the Mormon Church,” 14, 19–20.)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Rigdon, John Wickliff. Lecture on the Early History of the Mormon Church, [1906]. CHL.

Early published versions of this revelation did not include Whitmer’s headnote,4

Book of Commandments 43; Doctrine and Covenants 61, 1835 ed.
Comprehensive Works Cited



A Book of Commandments, for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized according to Law, on the 6th of April, 1830. Zion [Independence], MO: W. W. Phelps, 1833.

Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.

and in their later histories neither JS nor Whitmer connected Copley’s offer to this revelation. Both histories instead place the revelation in the context of concerns about religious excesses among the new church members in Ohio. The revelation, however, does not explicitly address this matter.
In setting the scene for the revelation, John Whitmer wrote in his history: “About these days Joseph the Prophet and Sidney [Rigdon] arrived at Kirtland to the joy and satisfaction of the Saints. The disciples had all things common, and were going to destruction very fast as to temporal things: for they considered from reading the scripture that what belonged to a brother belonged to any of the brethren, therefore they would take each others clothes and other property and use it without leave: which brought on confusion and disappointments: for they did not understand the scripture. After Joseph lived here a few days the word of the Lord came.”5

Whitmer, History, 11; see also Acts 2:44–45.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Whitmer, History / Whitmer, John. “The Book of John Whitmer Kept by Commandment,” ca. 1838–1847. CCLA.

JS’s history gave a similar introduction: “The branch of the church in this part of the Lord’s vineyard, which had increased to nearly one hundred members, were striving to do the will of God, so far as they knew it; though some strange notions and false spirits had crept in among them. With a little caution, and some wisdom, I soon assisted the brethren and sisters to overcome them. The plan of ‘common stock,’ which had existed in what was called ‘the family,’ whose members generally had embraced the ever lasting gospel, was readily abandoned for the more perfect law of the Lord: and the false spirits were easily discerned and rejected by the light of revelation.”6
The revelation instructed church members that JS “should have a house built in which to live & translate” and that Sidney Rigdon “should have a comfortable Room to live in.” Though silent about Copley’s offer of assistance, JS’s history explained that upon their arrival in Kirtland JS and Emma Smith “were kindly received and welcomed into the house of brother N[ewel] K. Whitney.” The history continues, “I and my wife lived in the family of Brother Whitney several weeks, and received every kindness and attention, which could be expected, and especially from Sister [Elizabeth Ann] Whitney.”7 Although neither JS nor Sidney Rigdon accepted Copley’s offer to live in Thompson, Copley made a similar offer a few months later to the group of church members migrating to Ohio from Colesville, New York.8

Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 29–30; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51].
Comprehensive Works Cited



Knight, Newel. Autobiography and Journal, ca. 1846. CHL.

John Whitmer’s headnote in Revelation Book 1 listed another purpose for this revelation: “pointing at [out] the office of Edward [Partridge],” who the revelation commanded to be ordained as the church’s first bishop. This is the first extant document that uses bishop as an office in the church. JS first met Ohio businessman and hatter Edward Partridge in December 1830 in Fayette, New York. Partridge had accompanied recent convert Sidney Rigdon on a trip to New York to meet JS. On 9 December, JS dictated a revelation calling Partridge to “preach my Gospel as with the voice of a Trump,” and Partridge was baptized by JS two days later.9

Revelation, 9 Dec. 1830 [D&C 36:1]; JS History, vol. A-1, 94; Young, “Incidents,” 3.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Young, Emily Dow Partridge. “Incidents of the Life of a Mormon Girl,” ca. 1884. CHL.

Partridge spent the next month and a half sharing his new faith with relatives and friends in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, an effort that his daughter Emily later characterized as unsuccessful.10

Young, “Incidents,” 3–4; see also Partridge, Genealogical Record, 5–6.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Young, Emily Dow Partridge. “Incidents of the Life of a Mormon Girl,” ca. 1884. CHL.

Partridge, Edward Jr. Genealogical Record. 1878. CHL.

He returned to New York from Massachusetts in time to join JS, Emma, and Sidney Rigdon in their move to Ohio during the last week of January 1831.11

Revelation, 30 Dec. 1830 [D&C 37:1]; Young, “Incidents,” 5.
Comprehensive Works Cited



Young, Emily Dow Partridge. “Incidents of the Life of a Mormon Girl,” ca. 1884. CHL.