Revelation, 1 March 1832 [D&C 78]

Kirtland March 1 1832
Hearken unto me saith the Lord your God O ye who are  ordained unto the High Priesthood of my church who have assem bled yourselves together1

These high priests were likely JS, Sidney Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney, Reynolds Cahoon, Joseph Coe, and Hyrum Smith. Hyrum Smith recorded in his diary that these individuals met in Kirtland, Ohio, on 1 March. The diary reports that “farther Coe” was there—probably in reference to Joseph Coe. Smith and Cahoon were appointed counselors to Bishop Newel K. Whitney on 10 February 1832 and likely attended the meeting in that capacity. (Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 10 Feb. and 1 Mar. 1832.)
Comprehensive Works Cited



Smith, Hyrum. Diary and Account Book, Nov. 1831–Feb. 1835. Hyrum Smith, Papers, ca. 1832–1844. BYU.

& listen to the councel of him who has ordai ned you from on high who shall speak in your ear the  words of wisdom that salvation may be unto you in that  thing which you have presented before me saith the  Lord God for verily I say unto you the time has come and  and is now at hand and behold & lo it must needs be  that there be an organization of the Literary and Merchantile  establishments of my church both in this place and in the  land of Zion for a perminent and everlasting establish ment and firm unto my church to advance the cause wh ich ye have espaused [espoused] to the salvation of man and to the  glory of your Father who is in heaven that you may  be equal in the bonds of heavenly things yea and  earthly things also for the obtaining of heavenly of  heavenly things for if ye are not equal in earthly  things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly thing[s]2

A February 1831 revelation gave specific directions to the church and its leaders concerning the consecration and distribution of property to attain economic equality. Those instructions came in response to a previous revelation that promised such a law as a means of achieving temporal unity. This revelation further admonished the members of the church that “if ye are not one ye are not mine.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:1–73]; Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:27].)  

 for if ye will that I give unto you a place in the celest iel world3

JS and Sidney Rigdon reported experiencing a vision of the “celestial world” two weeks prior to this revelation. (Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76].)  

you must prepare yourselves by doing <the> thing  which I have commanded & required of you & now verily  thus saith the Lord it is expedient that all things be done  unto my glory that ye should who are joined together in  this firm or in other words that my Servant Newel [K. Whitney]4

When this revelation was first published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the names here were replaced with substitute names to protect the identities of those involved. (Doctrine and Covenants 75, 1835 ed.; see also Whittaker, “Substituted Names in the Published Revelations of Joseph Smith,” 103–112; and “Substitute Words in the 1835 and 1844 Editions of the Doctrine and Covenants,” in JSP, R2:708–711.)
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).

Whittaker, David J. “Substituted Names in the Published Revelations of Joseph Smith.” BYU Studies 23 (Winter 1983): 103–11.

and  my servant Joseph and my servant Sidney [Rigdon] sit in coun cel with the saints who are in zion otherwise satan  seeketh to turn there hearts away from the truth that  they become blinded & understand not the things wh ich are prepared for them wherefore a commandment  I give unto you to prepare an[d] organize yourselves by an  everlasting covinent5

The copy of this revelation that John Whitmer made in Revelation Book 1 sometime after April 1832 has “a bond or an everlasting covenant” here. At some point, JS inserted “a bond or” before “an everlasting covenant” in the copy in Revelation Book 2. (Revelation Book 1, p. 145, and Revelation Book 2, p. 16, in JSP, MRB:267, 445 [D&C 78].)  

which cannot be broken & he who breaketh  it shall loose his office & standing in the church and shall  be delivered over unto the buffitings of satan untill the  day of redemption, Behold this is the preperation  wherewith I prepare you and the foundation & the [p. [1]]
This revelation deals with the church’s mercantile and publishing endeavors. As church members gathered to Jackson County, Missouri, in 1831 to establish Zion, the need for money to purchase land became pressing. In July 1831, a revelation instructed Sidney Gilbert, who was a partner with Newel K. Whitney in N. K. Whitney & Co., to “establish a store” in Independence, Jackson County, so that the church could receive “money to buy lands for the good of the Saints.”1

Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:8].  

Gilbert opened a store in Missouri in early 1832 that was funded in part by Whitney and operated under the name Gilbert & Whitney. Whitney, who remained in Kirtland, Ohio, to run his own store (which had been in existence since at least 1824), received direction in 1831 to provide funding for the establishment of Zion.2

Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:42–43]; Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, 1827–1909, vol. B, p. 33, 20 Feb. 1832, microfilm 1,017,978, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Eakin and Eakin, Jackson County Missouri Court Minutes Book 1, 127, 143–144; Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 209.
Comprehensive Works Cited



U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

Eakin and Eakin, Jackson County Missouri Court Minutes Book 1, [page]

Staker, Mark L. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.

Money was also needed to fund the publication of JS’s revelations, another venture church leaders began exploring in 1831. On 12 November 1831, a special conference in Hiram, Ohio, gave JS, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, and Sidney Rigdon the responsibility of managing the “sacred writings” of the church, including the revelations.3 That same day, a revelation directed that JS, Cowdery, Whitmer, Rigdon, Martin Harris, and William W. Phelps be ordained “stewards over the revelations & commandments” and that any “profits” they gained from publishing church materials over and above their needs be placed in the Lord’s storehouse to benefit “the inhabtants of Zion & . . . their generations.”4

Revelation, 12 Nov. 1831 [D&C 70:3, 8].  

On 1 March 1832, JS, who was in Kirtland on a short visit, assembled a group of high priests, presumably to discuss the coordination of the church’s publication and mercantile endeavors.5 At the meeting, JS dictated this revelation, which instructed himself, Rigdon, and Whitney to organize a “firm” to manage the “Literary and Merchantile establishments” of the church. The revelation also required JS, Rigdon, and Whitney to travel to Zion and “sit in councel” with the church there and emphasized the need for church members to be equal in temporal things in order for unity to prevail in spiritual matters.
The original manuscript of the revelation is not extant. Frederick G. Williams, who spent some time in March 1832 copying revelations into Revelation Book 2, made a copy of the document for Whitney, probably at the same time Williams recorded it in Revelation Book 2. Although it is unclear exactly when the Whitney copy was made, Williams probably made the entry in Revelation Book 2 sometime between 8 March (the date of a note that precedes the revelation) and 1 April (when JS departed for Missouri). He titled the Revelation Book 2 copy “A Revelation given for Sidney Joseph & Newel to go an[d] sit in council with the elders in Zion, March 1—1832.”6

See Revelation Book 2, Index, [1], in JSP, MRB:413.