Revelation, , Seneca Co., NY, 2 Jan. 1831. Featured version, titled “41st Commandment Jan 2nd AD 1831,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 49–52; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
This revelation, dictated at a church in , New York, came three days after a 30 December 1830 revelation commanded the church to “assemble together at the .” The 2 January 1831 revelation elaborated on the earlier commandment by reiterating the call to gather and promising the members they would be thereafter endowed with “power from on high.”
In his later history, wrote that as JS addressed the conference on 2 January and discussed the to move to as a group, those present “desired to know somewhat more concerning this matter.” In response, “the Seer enquired of the Lord in the presence of the whole congregation, and thus came the word of the Lord.” Recalling the conference later, noted that “we were instructed as a people, to begin the gathering of Israel, and a revelation was given to the Prophet on this subject.”
Some church members were reticent to leave their homes and relocate to , and a few, according to , even wondered if “Joseph had invented it [the revelation] himself to deceive the people that in the end he might get gain.” Several weeks later, a resident of Waterloo, New York, wrote that “this command was at first resisted by such as had property, (the brethren from the neighboring counties being all assembled by special summons,) but after a night of fasting, prayer and trial, they all consented to obey the holy messenger.” JS’s saw the revelation in a positive light. She wrote to her brother Solomon Mack to explain that after they gathered together, God would “come and reign on ea[r]th with them a thousand years.” She also indicated, “We expect to go away to the Ohio early in the spring.”
The that ye should go to the & there I will give unto you my law & there you shall be endowed with power from on high & from thence whomsoever I will shall go forth among all Nations & it shall be told them what they shall do for I have a great work laid up in store for Israel shall be saved & I will lead them whithersoever I will & no power can stay my hand And now I give unto the in these parts a commandment that certain men among them shall be appointed & they shall be appointed by the voice of the Church & they shall look to the poor & the needy & administer to their relief that they shall not suffer & send them forth to the place which I have commanded them & this shall be their Work to govern the affairs of the Church Property of this the Church & they that have farms that cannot be sold let them be left or rented as as seemeth them good see that all things are preserved & when men are endowed with power from on high & are sent forth all these things shall be gethered unto the Bosom of the Church & if ye seek the riches which is the will of the Father to give unto you ye shall be the richest of all People for ye shall have the riches of eternity & it must needs be that the riches of the Earth is mine to give but beware of Pride lest ye become as the of old & again I say unto you I give unto you a commandment that evry man both & & also Member go to with his might with the Labour of his hands to prepare & accomplish these things which I have commanded & let your preaching be the warning voice evry man to his Neighbour in mildness & in meekness & go ye out from among the wicked save yourselves be ye clean that bear the vesels of the Lord even so amen [p. 52]
Porter, Larry C. “‘Ye Shall Go to the Ohio’: Exodus of the New York Saints to Ohio, 1831.” In Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Ohio, edited by Milton V. Backman Jr., 1–25. Provo, UT: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 1990.
Each congregation in New York made plans to leave for Ohio as a group. With several properties coming on the market at the same time in a given locality, land prices dropped considerably. Newel Knight later recorded, “As might be expected we wer obliged to make great sacrifices of our property.” (See Knight, Autobiography and Journal, 28.)
Knight, Newel. Autobiography and Journal, ca. 1846. CHL. MS 767.