Revelation, 31 Aug. 1831; handwriting of ; one page; Jameson Family Collection, 1825–1938, CHL.
Measures 2 × 7½ inches (5 × 19 cm). The revelation was written on a slip of paper cut unevenly along both the top and the bottom from a loose leaf. The text fills most of the front, and the back is blank. Marked dampstaining. The item was donated to the Historical Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1994 by a descendant of , whose family had it in their possession for several generations.
See Catalog Entry and Case Files for Jameson Family Collection, CHL.
On 31 August 1831, JS dictated a revelation instructing three church members—, , and —to travel to the land of in the fall of that year. The revelation was probably dictated in , Ohio, where JS had dictated another revelation the day before. The 31 August revelation did not provide further information about what the three men were to do in , whether they were to relocate or just visit, or what prompted this instruction, nor did JS provide any background to the revelation. But a revelation dictated 1 August, when JS was in Missouri, directed, “In as much as there is lands obtained let there be workmen sent forth of all kinds unto this land to labour for the saints of God.” Burk, Babbitt, and Elliott had mechanical skills that may have been useful in Missouri as the Saints strove to build the : Babbitt was a carpenter and millwright, Elliott was a blacksmith, and Burk may have been trained in sawmill operations. This 31 August revelation may be an instance of JS acting on the promise from the previous day’s revelation that the Lord would give “power” to JS “to descern by the spirit those who shall go up unto the land of & those of my that shall tarry.” It appears, however, that none of the men followed the revelation’s instructions immediately.
The scribe for the original manuscript of this revelation is unknown, but copies may have been made for each recipient. The only extant copy, which retained in his possession, is in ’s handwriting.
In a collection of Burk family documents, a record dated 14 May 1828 indicates that Sidney Gilbert entered into a contract with an unidentified party for the sawing of several thousand feet of timber. Since documents surrounding the contract are Burk’s tax records, the unidentified party is probably Burk. (Sidney Gilbert, Note, 14 May 1828, Jameson Family Collection, CHL.)
In October 1831 and January 1832, Burk purchased land in Kirtland. Kirtland Township records indicate that Babbitt, meanwhile, was still in Kirtland in October 1831. In January 1832, Oliver Cowdery requested that Elliott and Babbitt relocate to Missouri, indicating they still had not gone. Burk eventually moved to Clay County, Missouri, and Elliott moved there in 1838, but it does not appear that Babbitt ever relocated. (Nathan Goodell to John M. Burk, Warranty Deed, 1 Oct. 1831, Jameson Family Collection, CHL; John M. Burk to Platt Card and Orin Holmes, Quitclaim Deed, 10 Jan. 1832, Jameson Family Collection, CHL; Kirtland Township Trustees’ Minutes and Poll Book, 82; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.)
Behold thus saith the Lord by the voice of the Spirit it is wisdom in me that my Servent should take their Journey this fall to the land of