Revelation, 15 May 1831
- Source Note
The heading that included with this document in Revelation Book 1 explains only that it was “givn to & concerning a farm &c.” The farm in question belonged to , and when Williams copied this revelation into Revelation Book 2, he provided a different heading: “Revelation given May 1831 in concerning the farm owned by Frederick and also concrning Joseph & Ezra.” JS dictated this revelation while Williams was in on a mission to the American Indians. Despite Williams’s absence, the revelation addressed the situation of those living on his land and apparently referred to a legal dispute surrounding the property.acquired 144 acres of land, with at least one accompanying house, by means of an exchange of land with resident Isaac Moore in the winter of 1829–1830. Moore took possession of Williams’ 140½ acres in Warrensville, Ohio, while Williams received Moore’s Kirtland holdings. The two properties differed in value by $500, in part because the Kirtland property included a house and possibly other structures. Although the exchange took place in late 1829 or early 1830, the 1830 census lists Moore and nine members of his household as residents of Kirtland rather than of Warrensville but does not indicate where in Kirtland they actually resided. While Moore had apparently already been paid $100 toward the difference in the property value, this revelation suggests that he had refused to vacate the house on the Kirtland property, probably awaiting the receipt of the balance due before turning over the property entirely to Williams. Moore’s refusal was likely also influenced by Williams’s recent into the . Moore was a leader of the Campbellite group in the Kirtland area, and he had vociferously resisted the efforts of the earliest missionaries to make converts among those belonging to the movement. Not only had Williams embraced the teachings of the Mormon proselytizers, he had also joined them on their mission to preach to the Indians in the area around western . Whether motivated by his religious opposition to the new Mormon faith or by financial concerns, or a mixture of both, Moore’s opposition in the dispute over the farm was enough for the revelation to refer to him as an “advisary.” Moore’s refusal to leave may even have led to a legal dispute between the two parties. In a letter sent from Missouri in April 1831, Williams included instructions to his wife, Rebecca, “that respecting that suit at Law that there can be nothing done on there part more till August term.” This letter was likely received in Kirtland just prior to the date of this revelation and may have led to the inquiries that precipitated it.Other factors contributed to the need for a resolution of the ongoing dispute about the property. Although had been in for some time, his wife, , had recently arrived from with eight members of their family, and they were all staying in the crowded accommodations temporarily provided for them in the home of and Lucy Morley. More permanent living arrangements for the Smith family were anticipated in the home on ’s farm, once Moore departed. The revelation commanded that payments to Moore be ended until he fulfilled his part of the bargain, indicating that the Mormons saw Moore’s refusal to vacate the property as a breach of the agreement between Moore and Williams. This cessation of payments, rather than the legal suit mentioned by Williams, may have motivated Moore to move to Warrensville. In any case, Moore vacated the house by late May 1831, and it was soon occupied by and her family.Difficulties concerning the farm and its management apparently continued after this revelation. A subsequent revelation dated 15 June 1831 suggests that may have been the one who paid the $100 toward satisfying a portion of the debt on the property. Thayer may have attempted to obtain some sort of title to a portion of the farm, as the 15 June revelation declared that “there shall no divisions be made upon the land” and that Thayer could either go on his mission to or “otherwise he shall receive the money which he has paid & shall leave the place & shall be cut off out of my Church.” A few months later, on 10 October 1831, a church reproved both Thayer and for the “unwise course they have taken.” The conference further directed that “Br ’ family be provided with a comfortable dwelling by this Church,” indicating that perhaps the reproof of Smith and Thayer was partly for their subsequent failure to build a house and see that the “wants be supplied” for Williams’s family, as directed in this revelation. The minutes of the October conference referred to the directions given in this revelation as a “commandment of the Lord.”The final paragraph of this document, separated from the first section by “Amen,” was likely another revelation received the same day, perhaps even at the same time. It begins with the question “What shall the Brethren do with their money[?],” and was apparently not referring to or . later added a notation to this paragraph indicating that it was “to the Church.” The group of members from Palmyra had only recently arrived in , and this section of the text directs them to obtain lands and save some of the money to be consecrated to purchase land for their “everlasting enheritance” in the West.At some point, wrote across the top of this revelation in Revelation Book 1, “This is not to be printed.” Unlike most other revelations found in Revelation Book 1, it was not published in either the 1833 Book of Commandments or the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
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