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Revelation, February 1831–B [D&C 44]

you that ye must visit the poor & the needy & administer to their releaf that they may be kept untill all things may be done according to my law which ye have receivd5

Part of the recently revealed “law” of the church called for the donation and redistribution, or “consecration,” of members’ property so “that every man may receive according as he stands in need.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:33].)  


amen [p. 71]
you that ye must visit the poor & the needy &  administer to their releaf that they may be kept untill  all things may be done according to my law which  ye have receivd5

Part of the recently revealed “law” of the church called for the donation and redistribution, or “consecration,” of members’ property so “that every man may receive according as he stands in need.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:33].)  


amen [p. 71]
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Shortly after JS and Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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relocated 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...

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, Ohio, in early February 1831, a revelation established laws to govern the church. The “first 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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” declared on that occasion was for 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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to go two by two “in to the regions westward” to preach the gospel and build up the church.1

Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:4–8].  


A short time later JS dictated the revelation featured here, which commanded the elders to assemble together so that the Lord could “pour out” his Spirit in preparation for more missionary work. 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 this text into Revelation Book 1, likely during summer 1831, he dated it simply February 1831. JS’s history dates the revelation to the “latter part of February” but likewise provides no specific date.2

JS History, vol. A-1, 103.  


However, JS implied a date prior to 22 February when he apparently alluded to this revelation in a letter to Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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, whom he instructed to “inform the Elders which are there that all of them who can be spared will come here without delay if possable this by Commandment of the Lord.”3 Similarly, John Whitmer explained in the heading to this document that the revelation was “a call to the Eldrs of this Church &c.,” and he later recorded that “the elders were sent for according to the . . . Revelation.”4

Whitmer, History, 21.  


JS wrote to his brother Hyrum

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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shortly after the revelation was written and told him that “the work is brakeing forth on the right hand and on the left and there is a great Call for Elders in this place.”5
There is some uncertainty as to when the proposed meeting of the elders, the “day that they assemble themselves together,” occurred. Minute Book 2 records a “special meeting of the Elders 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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held at 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 Co. Ohio, April 9. 1831. to do Church business &c.,” but little else is said about the content of that meeting.6

Minute Book 2, 9 Apr. 1831.  


However, JS’s history explains that this revelation “caused the church to appoint a 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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to be held on the 6th of June ensuing.”7

JS History, vol. A-1, 103.  


The records relating to the June 1831 conference include an extensive list of elders as well as accounts of ordinations

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...

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to the “High Priesthood

The authority and power held by certain officers in the church. The Book of Mormon referred to the high priesthood as God’s “holy order, which was after the order of his Son,” and indicated that Melchizedek, a biblical figure, was a high priest “after this...

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.”8 The June conference, rather than the 9 April meeting, is therefore more likely the meeting to which the elders were called to gather.

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