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Revelation, 9 May 1831 [D&C 50]

52nd Commandment May 9th. 1831
A Revelation to the Elders of this Church given  at Kirtland geauga Ohio in consequence of their  not being perfectly acquainted with the different  opperations of the Spirits which are abroad in the Earth  & thus saith the Lord unto them as follows
Hearken o ye Elders of my Church & give ear to the voice of  the living God & attend to the words of wisdom which shall be  given unto you according as ye have asked & are agreed as touch ing the Church & the spirits which have gone abroad in the  Earth Behold verily I say unto you that there are many spirits  which are false spirits which have gone forth in the Earth  deceiving the world & also Satan hath sought to deceive you that  he might overthrow you Behold I the Lord have looked upon you  & have seen abominations in the Church which profess my name  but blessed are they who are faithfull & endure whether in life  or in death for they shall inherit eternal life but wo be  unto them that are deceivers & hypocrites for thus saith the  Lord I will bring them to Judgement behold verily I say unto  you there are hypocrites among you & have deceived some which  have given the adve[r]sary power but behold such shall be recla imed but the hypocrites shall be detected & shall be cut off  either in life or in death even as I will & wo is them that is  cut off from my Church for the same is overcome of the  world wherefore let every man be aware lest he do that  which is not in truth & righteousness before me & now  come saith the Lord by the spirit by the Elders of his  Church & let us reason together that ye may understand [p. 82]
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In March 1831, JS wrote to his brother Hyrum in New York that he had been engaged in “regulating the Churches” in Ohio because of the presence of what he considered questionable and false spiritual manifestations (Letter to Hyrum Smith, 3–4 March 1831). John Whitmer later remarked in his history that “many would not turn from their folly, unless God would give a revelation.” Urging church members to seek the best gifts, this revelation also warned them to avoid the seduction of “evil spirits.” (Compare Revelation, ca. 8 March 1831–A [D&C 46].)
This text was addressed to the elders of the church, and John Whitmer copied it into Revelation Book 1, where it is designated “52nd Commandment May 9th 1831,” sometime between May and June 1831. Sidney Gilbert and Orson Hyde also recorded copies in revelation notebooks, possibly between June 1831 and early 1832. The 1833 Book of Commandments dates the revelation to May 1831 at Kirtland, Ohio, while the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants gives the same date but no location.

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