Revelation, , Ontario Co., NY, to , Apr. 1830. Featured version, titled “18th. Commandment AD Ap[r]il 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 29; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
Each of the following five revelations, which were dictated soon after the organization of the on 6 April 1830, addressed one of JS’s family members or a close associate who desired to know the Lord’s will concerning himself. All five texts include similar content and phrasing, and JS likely dictated them one after the other. recorded them separately in Revelation Book 1 and assigned the date “AD 1830” to each one. Though the editors of the Book of Commandments printed the revelations separately and gave each the date of 6 April 1830, that date appears to be in error and was dropped two years later, in 1835, when the Doctrine and Covenants combined the texts into a single document with a general “April, 1830” date. JS’s history and other sources suggest that the revelations date between the 6 April organization and an 11 April meeting, both of which took place in , New York.
Four of the five revelations, including this one, indicate that the recipients were “under no condemnation.” In those for Hyrum Smith and Samuel Smith, “also” is added (“thou also art under no condemnation”), suggesting that they were dictated after this one to Oliver Cowdery, as Revelation Book 1 orders them. The revelation for Joseph Smith Sr. uses “also” in reference to “exhortation,” as does Samuel Smith’s revelation, again suggesting both order and the close relationship of these texts. In subsequent printed versions of these revelations, they were arranged in the same order as in Revelation Book 1. (See Revelation Book 1, pp. 29–30; Book of Commandments 17–21.)
See JS History, vol. A-1, 37–39. The text featured here told Oliver Cowdery to “make known thy Calling,” another clue that JS likely dictated it after 6 April, since a revelation on that day named Cowdery “first Preacher of this Church.” (Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:10–12].)
A Revelation to given at Ontario Co State of New York Soon after his calling to the Minstery
Behold I say unto you a few words Behold thou art Blessed & art under no condemnation but beware of pride lest thou shouldest enter into temptation make known thy Calling unto the & also before the World & thy heart shall be opened to Preach the truth from henceforth & for ever amen [p. 29]
John Whitmer probably created this heading when he copied the text into Revelation Book 1. At the time this revelation was dictated, Cowdery and JS were likely at the Hyrum Smith residence in Palmyra. If this is the case, the revelation originated in Palmyra, not in Manchester. The “calling to the Minstery” apparently refers to Cowdery’s appointment and ordination on 6 April 1830 as second elder of the newly organized church and to his calling as “first Preacher of this Church.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 37; Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:12].)
Since Cowdery was already designated “first Preacher of this Church unto the Church & before the world,” he may have been acting in obedience to this injunction to “make known thy Calling” when at a church meeting on 11 April, he “preached the first public discourse that was delivered by any of our number.” In addition, a Palmyra, New York, newspaper reported in early June that Cowdery was “on board a boat, with a load of ‘gOld bibles,’ under a command, (as he says) to declare the truth (according to Jo Smith,) ‘in all the principal cities in the Union.’” (Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:12]; JS History, vol. A-1, 39; News Item, Reflector (Palmyra, NY), 1 June 1830, 28, nonstandard capitalization in original.)