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Revelation, 9 February 1831 [D&C 42:1–72]

The Laws of the Church of Christ

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

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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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Geauga Ohio May 23d 18311

This date possibly indicates when Symonds Rider copied the text into his journal; alternatively, it may have been intended to indicate 23 February, the date the second portion of the revelation was dictated. The copy published in the Western Courier suggests that this was the date of transcription. (Historical Introduction to Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:74–93]; “Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier [Ravenna, OH], 1 Sept. 1831, [1].)  


A Commandment to the Elders
First Shall the Church come to gether into one place or continue in seperate establishments?2

Text supplied from Revelation Book 1, p. 62. Another early version of this revelation included a similar question: “Question 1st—Shall the Church come together into one place or remain as they are in separate bodies?” (Gilbert, Notebook, [13].)  


Hearken oh! ye Elders 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
who have assembled yourselves together in my name even Jesus Christ the Son of the living God the Saveiour of the world in as much as they believe on my name & keep my 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
again I say unto you hearken & hear & obey the laws which I Shall give unto you for verily I say as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you and are agreed as touching this one thing & have asked me in my name even so ye shall receive3

See Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:2–3]. John Whitmer wrote that in preparation for this revelation, “the Elders were called together, and united in mighty prayer, and were agreed as touching the reception of the Law.” (Whitmer, History, 12.)  


Behold verily I say unto you I give unto you this first Commandment that ye shall go forth in my name every one of you except my servant Joseph & Sidny 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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& I give unto them a commandment that they shall go forth for a little Season & it shall be given by the power of my spirit when they Shall return & ye Shall go forth in the power of my Spirit preaching my Gospel two by two in my name lifting up your voices as with the voice of a trump declaring my word like unto Angels of God & ye shall go forth baptizing with water

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
saying repent ye repent ye for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand & from this place ye shall go forth in to the regions westward & in as much as ye shall find my deciples ye shall build up my church in every region4

John Whitmer later recorded that “after the above law or Revelation was receivd, the elders went forth to proclaim repentance according to commandment, and there were numbers added to the church.” John Corrill later wrote that he and his preaching companion “went to New London, about one hundred miles from Kirtland, where we built up a Church of thirty-six members in about three weeks time. . . . Other elders proceeded to erect churches in various places, and the work increased very fast.” (Whitmer, History, 17; Corrill, Brief History, 17.)  


untill the time shall come when it Shall be revealed unto you from on high & the City of the New Jerusalam Shall be prepared that ye may [p. [1]]
The Laws of the Church of Christ

Principles given to the church and its members in February 1831 revelations. In January 1831, a revelation promised the saints in New York that the law would be given after they gathered in Ohio. Once in Ohio, on 9 and 23 February 1831, JS dictated two revelations...

View Glossary
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
Geauga Ohio May 23d 18311

This date possibly indicates when Symonds Rider copied the text into his journal; alternatively, it may have been intended to indicate 23 February, the date the second portion of the revelation was dictated. The copy published in the Western Courier suggests that this was the date of transcription. (Historical Introduction to Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:74–93]; “Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier [Ravenna, OH], 1 Sept. 1831, [1].)  


A Commandment to <the> Elder[s]
[First Shall the Church come to gether into one place or continue in seperate establishments?]2

Text supplied from Revelation Book 1, p. 62. Another early version of this revelation included a similar question: “Question 1st—Shall the Church come together into one place or remain as they are in separate bodies?” (Gilbert, Notebook, [13].)  


Hearken oh! ye Elders 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
who  have assembled yourselves together in my  name even Jesus Christ the Son of God the  living God the Saveiour of the world in as  much as they believe on my name & keep  my 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
again I say unto you  hearken & hear & obey the laws which I  Shall give unto you for verily I say as  ye have assembled yourselves together  according to the commandment wherewith  I commanded you and are agreed as touching  this one thing & have asked me in my  name even so ye shall receive3

See Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:2–3]. John Whitmer wrote that in preparation for this revelation, “the Elders were called together, and united in mighty prayer, and were agreed as touching the reception of the Law.” (Whitmer, History, 12.)  


Behold  verily I say unto you I give unto you this first  Commandment that ye shall go forth in my  name every one of you except my servant Joseph  & Sidny [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...

View Full Bio
& I give unto them a commandment  that they shall go forth for a little Season  & it shall be given by the power of my spirit  when they Shall return & ye Shall go forth in  the power of my Spirit preaching my Gospel two  by two in my name lifting up your voices as  with the voice of a trump declaring my word  like unto Angels of God & ye shall go forth bap tizing with water

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
<saying> repent ye repent ye for the  kingdom of Heaven is at hand & from this place  ye shall go forth in to the regions westward  & in as much as ye shall find my deciples  ye shall build up my church in every region4

John Whitmer later recorded that “after the above law or Revelation was receivd, the elders went forth to proclaim repentance according to commandment, and there were numbers added to the church.” John Corrill later wrote that he and his preaching companion “went to New London, about one hundred miles from Kirtland, where we built up a Church of thirty-six members in about three weeks time. . . . Other elders proceeded to erect churches in various places, and the work increased very fast.” (Whitmer, History, 17; Corrill, Brief History, 17.)  


 untill the time shall come when it Shall be  revealed unto you from on high & the City of the  New Jerusalam Shall be prepared that ye may [p. [1]]
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Revelation, Kirtland Township

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
, OH, [9 Feb.] 1831. Featured version, titled “The Laws of the Church of Christ,” copied May 1831; handwriting of 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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; six pages; Revelations Collection, CHL. Includes archival marking.
Each of the three leaves, measuring 7½ × 6½–6¾ inches (19 × 17 cm), has a similar jagged cut on the left edge of the recto. Also running along the left edge of each recto are eight small holes, likely used for sewing the booklet together. Based on comparison of the cuts and tears of the pages, these pages, along with copies of Articles and Covenants, circa April 1830 [D&C 20], and Revelation, 23 February 1831 [D&C 42:74–93], were part of a notebook of at least sixteen leaves, likely created by 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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. It is unknown when these pages were removed from the notebook.
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...

View Full Bio
likely supplied a copy of this revelation to the Western Courier (Ravenna, OH), which first published it 1 September 1831.1

“Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier (Ravenna, OH), 1 Sept. 1831, [1]. When introducing the document, the editor of the Courier stated, “A responsible and intelligent individual, who has devoted much time to make himself acquainted with the principles, practices and objects of the Mormonite leaders, and at whose request we publish the following, assures us that it is a correct copy of the regulations to which the deluded followers are compelled to assent, after joining the church.” Because the Courier version appears to be textually dependent on the Rider manuscript, and because both the Rider manuscript and the Courier version have the same date (23 May 1831) in the heading of the revelation, Rider is probably the individual referred to in the Courier.  


The manuscript version featured here was possibly created 23 May 1831, the date found on the manuscript and the date given by the Western Courier. However, the same manuscript that includes a copy of the 9 February 1831 revelation also includes a copy of Revelation, 23 February 1831 [D&C 42:74–93], and gives the correct date of the latter revelation. It is possible that when he inscribed “May 23d 1831” near the top of the 9 February revelation, Rider intended to write “February 23d 1831” but gave May as the month rather than February. This possible error may hint that the copy was created simply sometime in May of 1831.
Of the many extant versions of this text, the Rider manuscript is likely the earliest, save the incomplete version found in Revelation Book 1.2

Revelation Book 1, pp. 62–67.  


According to a letter filed with this manuscript, this document, with several other manuscript revelations, was donated to the Church Historian’s Office in the early 1960s by a descendant of 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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. The rolled-up papers were discovered by the Rider family in 1958, having presumably been held by the family since Rider obtained them circa 1831.3

Note, [27 May 1964], in Revelations Collection, CHL; Faulring, “Examination of the 1829 ‘Articles of the Church of Christ’ in Relation to Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants,” 87n70.  


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