26097

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

Thou shalt not commit adultery & he that commi tteth adultery & repenteth not shall be cast out  & he that committeth adultery & repentteth with all  his heart & forsaketh & doeth it no more thou shalt  forgive him but if he doeth it again he shall not  be forgiven but shall be cast out Thou shalt not  speak evil of thy neighbour or do him any  harm Thou knowest my laws they <are> given in my  Scriptures he that sinneth & repenteth not  shall be cast out if thou lovest me thou shall  serve & keep all 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...

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& Behold  thou shalt conscrate all thy property properties

The dedicating of money, lands, goods, or one’s own life for sacred purposes. Both the New Testament and Book of Mormon referred to some groups having “all things common” economically; the Book of Mormon also referred to individuals who consecrated or dedicated...

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that which  thou hast unto me with a covena[n]t and Deed which  cannot be broken & they Shall be laid before the  Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, he 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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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...

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& two of 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
such as he  shall appoint & set apart for that purpose13

By May 1831, if not earlier, Bishop Edward Partridge appointed John Corrill and Isaac Morley as his assistants. They were formally “ordained assistants to the Bishop” in a church conference on 3 June 1831. (Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:3]; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)  

 
& it shall  come to pass that 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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of my church after  that he has received the properties of my church  that it cannot be taken from him you he shall  appoint every man a Steward

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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over his own  property or that which he hath received in as  much as shall be sufficient for him self and fam ily & the residue shall be kept to administer to  him that hath not that every man may recei ve according as he stands in need14

A few months later, another revelation provided greater clarification of the way in which property was to be consecrated and distributed. (See Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:4–6].)  

 
& the residue  shall be kept in my store house

Both a literal and a figurative repository for goods and land donated to the church. The Book of Malachi directed the House of Israel to bring “all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.” In JS’s revision of the Old Testament...

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to administer to the  poor and needy15

See Malachi 3:10.  

 
as shall be appointed by the Elders  of the church & 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
16

Printed deeds of consecration later issued in Missouri included a statement that Bishop Partridge covenanted “for himself and his heirs that such moneys or properties shall be expended for the use and benefit of this church according to the covenants and Laws of the same.” (Oliver Cowdery, Independence, MO, to JS, Kirtland, OH, 28 Jan. 1832, JS Collection, CHL.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

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

& for the purpose of  purchaseing Land & building up of the New Jerusalem

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in 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 focus ...

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 which is here after to be revealed17

Although a previous revelation indicated the New Jerusalem was to be built “among the Lamanites,” its exact location in Missouri was not revealed until July 1831. (Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:9]; Revelation, 20 July 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 27, 1835 ed. [D&C 57:1–3].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

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. Also available in Robin Scott Jensen, Richard E. Turley Jr., Riley M. Lorimer, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. Vol. 2 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011).

that my covenant  people may be gathered in one

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

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in the day that <I> shall  come to my temple & this I do for the salvation  of my people18 & it shall come to pass that he  that sinneth & rep[e]nteth not shall be cast out  & shall not receive again that which he hath  consecrated unto me, for it shall come to pass  that which I spake by the mouth of my prophets  shall be fulfilld for I will consecrate the riches  of the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

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unto my people which are of the  house of Israel19

See Isaiah 61:6.  

 
& Again thou Shalt not be  proud in thy heart let all thy garments be plain  & their beauty the beauty of the work of thine  own hands20

See Proverbs 16:5; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 237, 534 [Alma 5:53; Mormon 8:36].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Palmyra, NY: E. B. Grandin, 1830.

& let all things be done in cleanliness  before me—— [p. [3]]
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A late December 1830 revelation first directed members 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...

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to migrate from New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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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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, and at a church 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...

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a few days later, another revelation declared, “There [in Ohio] I will give unto you my law.”1 Within a month, JS himself relocated to Ohio, and immediately after his arrival 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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, the church received on 4 February 1831 the revelatory promise, “By the prayer of your faith ye shall receive my law that ye may know how to govern my Church.”2 Less than a week later, on 9 February, JS dictated the revelation featured here during the course of a meeting of twelve 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
who were “called together, and united in mighty prayer.”3

Whitmer, History, 12.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

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

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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titled it “The Laws of the Church of Christ.”
Outside of Revelation Book 1, there are few extant manuscript copies of most of JS’s early revelations. The 9 February 1831 revelation, however, is an exception: five early manuscript copies survive.4

In addition to the Rider manuscript featured here, four other early handwritten versions of this revelation are extant. The versions are in Revelation Book 1, pp. 62–67; Gilbert, Notebook, [13]–[23]; Coltrin, Diary, [11]–[18]; and Hyde and Smith, Notebook, [12]–[22].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Revelation Book 1 / “A Book of Commandments and Revelations of the Lord Given to Joseph the Seer and Others by the Inspiration of God and Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost Which Beareth Re[c]ord of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost Which Is One God Infinite and Eternal World without End Amen,” 1831–1835. CHL.

Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL.

Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL.

Hyde, Orson, and Samuel Smith. Notebook of Revelations, 1832. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL.

This was one of the earliest revelations to be published; it was printed in part by two 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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newspapers only a few months after its dictation.5

“Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier (Ravenna, OH), 1 Sept. 1831, [1]; “Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 13 Sept. 1831, [1].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Western Courier. Ravenna, OH. 1826–1833.

Painesville Telegraph. Painesville, OH. 1831–1838.

The most complete version of the revelation (presented here) is in the handwriting of early church member Symonds Rider

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

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and was possibly created 23 May 1831, the date Rider inscribed on the manuscript. This is likely the earliest of the five early surviving manuscripts, although it is possible that the partial copy found in Revelation Book 1 was recorded first.
The earliest extant copies of this revelation suggest that “the Law” may have originally been a compilation of five distinct revelatory 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
, each given in response to a practical question posed by the twelve 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
present at the 9 February 1831 meeting.6

The five questions answered in this revelation, as found in early copies of the text, are “First Shall the Church come to gether into one place or continue in seperate establishments?”;a “Question 2d the Law regulating the Church in her present situation till the time of her gathering”;b “3rd How the Elders are to dispose of their families while they are proclaiming repentance or are otherwise engaged in the Service of the Church?”; “4th How far it is the will of the Lord that we Should have dealing with the wo[r]ld & how we Should conduct our dealings with them?”; and “5th What preperations we shall make for our Brethren from the East & when & how?”c In place of the second question, Revelation Book 1 has “The Law,” and Symonds Rider’s copy (the text featured here) has “The Law?” When John Whitmer copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1, the questions served as introductory headings to each section. However, when the revelation was later prepared for publication, Oliver Cowdery crossed out the questions.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 


aRevelation Book 1, p. 62.

bGilbert, Notebook, [15].

cRevelation, 9 Feb. 1831.

 

Revelation Book 1 / “A Book of Commandments and Revelations of the Lord Given to Joseph the Seer and Others by the Inspiration of God and Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost Which Beareth Re[c]ord of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost Which Is One God Infinite and Eternal World without End Amen,” 1831–1835. CHL.

Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL.

The elders apparently asked questions of JS, who then dictated revelatory answers, closing each answer with the words “even so Amen.” The Rider document featured here collates the revelations into a single document divided into five sections. Although it is unknown whether the initial writing captured the texts as a single document, early manuscripts confirm that the individual answers were originally understood as separate commandments. For example, when 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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copied what he titled “The Church Law” into Zebedee Coltrin

7 Sept. 1804–21 July 1887. Born at Ovid, Seneca Co., New York. Son of John Coltrin and Sarah Graham. Member of Methodist church. Married first Julia Ann Jennings, Oct. 1828. Baptized into LDS church by Solomon Hancock, 9 Jan. 1831, at Strongsville, Cuyahoga...

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’s diary, he included only the second section, and in September 1831 local newspapers published the first and second sections as “the Law.”7

Coltrin, Diary, [11]–[18]; “Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier (Ravenna, OH), 1 Sept. 1831, [1]; “Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 13 Sept. 1831, [1].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL.

Western Courier. Ravenna, OH. 1826–1833.

Painesville Telegraph. Painesville, OH. 1831–1838.

Further, although only the second of the five sections was titled “the Law” in the early manuscripts, the composite document, including all five sections, also came to be known as “the Law.”8

Four of the five early manuscripts reference “the Law” in titling the second section.  

 
When the revelation was published in the Book of Commandments, it was introduced as “A Revelation given to twelve elders assembled 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; and also the law for the government of the church, given in the presence of the same.” By describing the revelation in two parts, the heading suggests that the second through fifth sections of the text were considered together as “the Law.”9

Book of Commandments 44.
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.

On 23 February, two weeks after the initial dictation of this text, JS and seven elders met to determine “How the Elders of the church of Christ are to act upon the points of the Law,” and JS dictated several additional paragraphs of instruction.10

The 9 February and 23 February revelations appeared separately in the Book of Commandments in 1833, but the two revelations were combined when published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. (Book of Commandments 44, 47; Doctrine and Covenants 13, 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.

Analysis of the early manuscripts of the 9 February revelation and the 23 February revelation suggests that “the Law” was a working document, meant to be revised or expanded as new circumstances raised new questions. In three of the five early manuscripts, the 23 February revelation was included at the end of the 9 February text.11

Only the Symonds Rider manuscript (featured below) includes the entirety of both texts. Revelation Book 1 includes the first four sections of the 9 February 1831 revelation and the last section of the 23 February revelation; Orson Hyde includes parts two, three, and four of the 9 February revelation, and the last two parts of the 23 February revelation. The Gilbert and Coltrin copies do not include the 23 February text (Revelation Book 1, pp. 62–67; Hyde and Smith, Notebook, [12]–[22]; Gilbert, Notebook, [13]–[23]; Coltrin, Diary, [11]–[18]; see also Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:74–93].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Revelation Book 1 / “A Book of Commandments and Revelations of the Lord Given to Joseph the Seer and Others by the Inspiration of God and Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost Which Beareth Re[c]ord of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost Which Is One God Infinite and Eternal World without End Amen,” 1831–1835. CHL.

Hyde, Orson, and Samuel Smith. Notebook of Revelations, 1832. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL.

Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL.

Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL.

The historical context for the 9 February revelation included the recent conversion of a significant number of 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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members and the imminent arrival of church members from New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, a migration the Ohio converts first learned of from 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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when he arrived in Ohio in mid-January.12

Whitmer explained, “The Lord manifested himself to Joseph the Revelater and gave commandment for me to go to the Ohio, and carry the commandments and revelations, with me, to comfort and strengthen my brethren in that land.” (Whitmer, History, 10.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

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

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
’ first question was whether the various communities should gather “into one place or continue in seperate establishments.” This question was answered in conjunction with a commandment that called the elders to preach “to the regions westward” and “build up my Church in every region.”
Second, 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
inquired about the “Law regulating the Church in her present situation till the time of her gathering.” The revelatory response codified basic matters of authority, moral conduct, and economic organization, addressing specific concerns among the membership. In the first six months after the organization 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
, questions had arisen in New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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about authority13 and also about who could receive revelation for the church.14

Several months earlier, Hiram Page reported receiving a number of revelations, which were taken seriously by Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmers. (See Knight, History, 145–147; JS History, vol. A-1, 53–54; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Knight, Newel. History. Private possession. Copy in CHL.

Converts in 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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asked similar questions. Many had been baptized by 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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and his companions, but the missionaries’ departure for 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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at the same time 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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left 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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to meet JS in New York left the new converts without experienced leaders.15 In the absence of such leadership, several charismatic individuals offered their own revelations to bolster their self-declared authority.16

See Whitmer, History, 10; and George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:2–4; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, Feb. 1831–A [D&C 43].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

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

Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1855–1886.

In addition, the second section responded to the form of communalism that many 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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converts had previously embraced. In their effort to strictly apply the New Testament passage calling for believers to have “all things common,” they formed a communal group called “the Family,” with several families sharing Isaac

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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and Lucy Morley’s home and farm.17

Acts 2:44; see also “Fanaticism,” Connecticut Courant (Hartford), 12 July 1831, [1]. JS had recently dictated, as part of his Bible revision, an account of the people of Enoch, who were “of one heart and of one mind” and who had “no poor among them.” (Old Testament Revision 1, p. 16 [Moses 7:18].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Connecticut Courant. Hartford, CT. 1764–.

Old Testament Revision 1 / “A Revelation Given to Joseph the Revelator June 1830,” 1830–1831. CCLA. Also available in Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 75–152.

However, “the Law” modified the 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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members’ communal ownership of property. It commanded members to “conscrate all [their] propertys,” which in the religious terminology of the day meant to “set apart, dedicate, or devote, to the service and worship of God” one’s possessions.18

“Consecrate,” in American Dictionary.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Letter of Transfer, Salt Lake City, UT, 13 Dec. 1988. CHL.An American Dictionary of the English Language: Intended to Exhibit, I. the Origin, Affinities and Primary Signification of English Words, as far as They Have Been Ascertained. . . . Edited by Noah Webster. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

This vision of consecration shared similarities with practices of other utopian communities, such as the Shakers and the Owenites.19

See Brewer, “Shakers of Mother Ann Lee,” 37–56; and Pitzer, “New Moral World of Robert Owen,” 88–134; see also May, “Communal Life and Values among the Mormons,” 135–158.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL. Brewer, Priscilla J. “The Shakers of Mother Ann Lee.” In America's Communal Utopias, edited by Donald E. Pitzer, 37–56. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Pitzer, Donald E. “The New Moral World of Robert Owen and New Harmony.” In America's Communal Utopias, edited by Donald E. Pitzer, 88–134. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

May, Dean L. “One Heart and Mind: Communal Life and Values among the Mormons.” In America's Communal Utopias, edited by Donald E. Pitzer, 135–158. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

This revelation not only provided a guideline for economic organization directed by the church but also outlined a code of conduct to which members of the church were expected to adhere, as well as procedures for casting out those who did not.
Third, knowing that many members of the church would leave their homes to preach, 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...

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then inquired about the welfare of their families while they were “proclaiming repentance or are otherwise engaged in the Service of the Church.” This concern was initially raised in New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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in late September and early October 1830, when several members were called to proselytizing missions.20

See Historical Introductions to Revelation, Oct. 1830–A [D&C 32]; and to Revelation, Oct. 1830–B [D&C 33].  

 
This revelation answered that they should “go forth in the power of my spirit preaching my Gospel two by two in my name” and that their families would be supported by the consecrated properties held by the church.
While the first three questions addressed in the 9 February revelation involved relationships within the church, the fourth question asked, perhaps with some urgency given the previous commandment to consecrate their property, “How far it is the will of the Lord that we Should have dealings with the wo[r]ld & how we Should conduct our dealings with them?” The brief answer was to avoid becoming indebted to the world but to counsel together and seek the Spirit in whatever dealings were necessary.
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...

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’ final question addressed the concerns of 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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members about the expected influx of members gathering from New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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: “What preperations we shall make for our Brethren from the East & when & how?” The revelation called for single residences for each family, located as close together as possible, and instructed the bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, he functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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, 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...

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, to appoint individuals who would assist him in procuring and distributing the land.
The text of this revelation, together with the church’s founding “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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,” may have served to unify the 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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and New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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membership into a single community of believers by organizing them under the same laws and regulations.21

On 22 February 1831, JS wrote to Martin Harris: “We have received the laws of the Kingdom since we came here and the Disciples in these parts have received them gladly.” (Letter to Martin Harris, 22 Feb. 1831.)  

 
The New York members had been promised such a commandment

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...

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as soon as they united with the Ohio members, and the questions asked at the 9 February meeting were followed by revelations that brought the two groups together under one law.22

For additional research about “the Law,” see Underwood, “Laws of the Church of Christ,” 108–141.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Underwood, Grant. “‘The Laws of the Church of Christ’ (D&C 42): A Textual and Historical Analysis.” In The Doctrine and Covenants: Revelations in Context, edited by Andrew H. Hedges, J. Spencer Fluhman, and Alonzo L. Gaskill, 108–141. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2008.

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