Revelation, 26 April 1838 [D&C 115]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Revelation given in , April 26<​th​>, 1838, Making known the will of God, concerning the building up of this place and of the &c.
Verrily thus Saith the Lord unto you my Servant Joseph Smith Jr. and also my Servant , and also my Servant , and your counselors who are and who shall be hereafter appointed, and also unto my Servant and his , and also unto my faithfull Servants, who are of the of my in (for thus it shall be called) and unto all the and people of my Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Scattered abroad [p. 32] in all the world, For thus shall my Church be called in the Last days even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Verrily I say unto you all; arise and shine forth forth that thy light may be a standard for the nations and that thy gathering to-gether upon the land of and upon her may be for a defence and for a reffuge from the storm and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole Earth, Let the City , be a holy and land unto me, and <​it shall​> be called <​most​> holy for the ground upon which thou standest is holy Therefore I command you to build an unto me for the togethering of my Saints that they may worship me, and let there be a begining of this work; and a foundation and a preparatory work, this following Summer; and let the begining be made on the 4th day of July next; and from that time forth let my people labour diligently to build an , unto my name, and in one year from this day, let them recommence laying the foundation of my ; thus let them from that time forth laibour diligently untill it shall be finished, from the Corner Stone thereof unto the top thereof, untill there shall not any thing remain that is not finished.
Verrily I say unto you let not my servant Joseph neither my Servant , neither my Servant , get in debt any more for the building of an unto my name. But let my be built unto my name according to the pattern which I will shew unto them, and if my people build it not according to the pattern which I Shall shew unto their , I will not accept it at their hands, But if my people do build it according to the pattern which I shall shew unto their presidency, even my servant Joseph and his Councilors; then I will accept it at [p. 33] the hands of my people, And again; Verrily I say unto you it is my will, that the City should be built up spedily, by the gathering of my Saints, and also that other places should be appointed for in the regions round about as they shall be manifested unto my Servant Joseph from time to time. For behold I will be with him and I will Sanctify him before the people for unto him have I given the of this Kingdom and ministry even so— Amen. [p. 34]


  1. 1

    In the September 1837 reorganization conference held in Kirtland, JS presented the names of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams as his counselors in the First Presidency, with Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith Sr., Hyrum Smith, and John Smith as “assistant councillors.” The full group constituted “the heads of the Church.” In the November 1837 reorganization conference held in Far West, Hyrum Smith replaced Williams as JS’s second counselor in the First Presidency; the names of the other assistant counselors were not presented in that meeting. (Minutes, 3 Sept. 1837; Minutes, 7 Nov. 1837.)  

  2. 2

    Bishop Partridge’s two counselors were Isaac Morley and Titus Billings. (Minutes, 7 Nov. 1837.)  

  3. 3

    See Nehemiah 1:8; Matthew 9:36; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 216, 464, 496 [Mosiah 28:17; 3 Nephi 5:24; 20:13].  

  4. 4

    The first name used to identify the church that JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ.”a In 1834 a conference of church leaders changed the name to “The Church of the Latter Day Saints,” perhaps to avoid confusion with other churches named Church of Christ.b On occasion, the two names of the church were combined as “the church of Christ of Latter Day Saints.”c The Kirtland dissenters seem to have criticized church leaders for removing Christ’s name from the formal name of the church. In a June 1838 letter, Thomas B. Marsh wrote that the dissenters “claimed, themselves to be the old standard, called themslves the Church of Christ, excluded that of saints, and set at naught Br. Joseph and the whole Church, denounceing them as Heriticks.” Restoring the name of Christ to the name of the church may have answered this criticism.d The name specified in the revelation, a combination of the two earlier names of the church, began to be used in the early months of 1838.e  

    Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

    (aRevelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:11]; Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:1].bMinutes, 3 May 1834.cDoctrine and Covenants 5, 1835 ed. [D&C 102]; Minutes, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1836, 2:266.dLetter to Wilford Woodruff, ca. 18 June 1838.eLetter from Thomas B. Marsh, 15 Feb. 1838; see also Letter to the Presidency in Kirtland, 29 Mar. 1838; JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, p. 15; and Resolution, ca. 8 Apr. 1838.)
  5. 5

    See Isaiah 60:1.  

  6. 6

    See Jeremiah 50:2; 51:27; and Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45:9].  

  7. 7

    JS dictated a revelation in 1831 that designated “the land of Missorie” as “the Land which I, have appointed & consecrated for the gethering of the Saints” and as “the Land of Zion.” The term stake, used by Saints to describe an approved place for gathering outside of the principal Mormon community in Missouri, derived from the biblical metaphor of Zion as a tent whose “curtains” were stretched out, with cords fastened to the ground by stakes. (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:1, 14]; Isaiah 54:2–3; Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:13–14].)  

  8. 8

    See Psalm 59:16; see also Psalm 94:22.  

  9. 9

    See Isaiah 25:4.  

  10. 10

    See Revelation 14:10.  

  11. 11

    See Exodus 3:5; see also Acts 7:33. The Book of Mormon teaches that the Americas, like the land of Canaan in the Bible, are a “land of promise” and a “holy land.”a JS dictated a revelation in 1831 specifically designating Missouri as a “land of promise.”b In his 4 September 1837 letter to the Saints in Far West, JS began by blessing the name of the Lord, who “has delivered you many times from the hands of your enimies And planted you many times in an heavenly or holy place,” implying that Far West was a holy place.c On 23 July 1838, Reynolds Cahoon wrote a letter to Newel K. Whitney, reporting: “It is said by some that Jacson Co. is where the gardon of Edon was[.] Far west is where Adam dwelt after he was driven from the gardin[.] Adam on-di Ahman is where he built an alter & blest his sons this I have not heard from Br. Joseph but expect it is his teachings.”d  

    Cahoon, Reynolds, and Edward Partridge. Letter, Far West, MO, to Newel K. Whitney, Kirtland Mills, OH, 23 and 24 July 1838. CHL.

    Peck, Reed. Letter, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1839. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

    Whitney, Orson F. Life of Heber C. Kimball, an Apostle; the Father and Founder of the British Mission. Salt Lake City: Kimball Family, 1888.

    (aBook of Mormon, 1830 ed., 26, 143–144 [1 Nephi 12:1; Enos 1:10].bRevelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:1–2].cLetter to John Corrill and the Church in Missouri, 4 Sept. 1837.dReynolds Cahoon, Far West, MO, to Newel K. Whitney, Kirtland, OH, 23 July 1838, CHL; see also Reed Peck, Quincy, IL, to “Dear Friends,” 18 Sept. 1839, pp. 19–20, Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA; and Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 219–220.)
  12. 12

    At the conclusion of the November 1837 reorganization conference in Far West, Rigdon “called upon the Lord” in prayer “to dedicate this land for the gathering of the Saints.” Previous JS revelations directed the Latter-day Saints to build temples at Independence and Kirtland. (Minutes, 7 Nov. 1837; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:1–3]; Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:119]; Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95].)  

  13. 13

    The version of the revelation published in the August 1838 issue of the Elders’ Journal has “and let there be a beginning of this work, and a foundation, and a preparatory work for the foundation, in this following season, and let this beginning be made on the 4th day of July next.” An excavation for a cellar, measuring 110 by 80 feet, had been dug the previous summer. On 4 July 1838, church leaders laid the four cornerstones. (“An Extract of Revelation,” Elders’ Journal, Aug. 1838, 52; Letter from William W. Phelps, 7 July 1837; “Celebration of the 4th of July,” Elders’ Journal, Aug. 1838, 60.)  

  14. 14

    See 1 Kings 5:5; 8:19; Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–B [D&C 94:10]; and Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97:15].  

  15. 15

    JS and other Latter-day Saints had gone into debt to finance the construction of the temple in Kirtland, and eventually the temple had to be mortgaged. In 1838 JS was deeper in debt than ever before. (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 99–101; Mortgage to Mead, Stafford & Co., 11 July 1837; Madsen, “Tabulating the Impact of Litigation,” 232–240.)  

    Robison, Elwin C. The First Mormon Temple: Design, Construction, and Historic Context of the Kirtland Temple. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1997.

    Madsen, Gordon A. “Tabulating the Impact of Litigation on the Kirtland Economy.” In Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith’s Legal Encounters, edited by Gordon A. Madsen, Jeffrey N. Walker, and John W. Welch, 227–246. Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 2014.

  16. 16

    See Exodus 25:9; 2 Kings 16:10; Hebrews 8:5; and Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–B [D&C 94:6, 12].  

  17. 17

    This directive followed the precedent set with the design of the temple in Kirtland. In 1833 JS dictated a revelation stating that the Lord would reveal the pattern of the Kirtland temple.a Within a few days, JS and his counselors in the church presidency reported a vision in which they saw a model of the temple.b Soon thereafter, they sent drawings of the model, which they called a “pattern,” to the church in Jackson County to use in building a temple there.c  

    Angell, Truman O. Autobiography, 1884. CHL. MS 12334. Also available in Archie Leon Brown and Charlene L. Hathaway, 141 Years of Mormon Heritage: Rawsons, Browns, Angells—Pioneers (Oakland, CA: By the authors, 1973), 119–135.

    First Presidency (John Taylor). Correspondence, 1877–1887. CHL.

    Journal of Discourses. 26 vols. Liverpool: F. D. Richards, 1855–1886.

    Robison, Elwin C. The First Mormon Temple: Design, Construction, and Historic Context of the Kirtland Temple. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1997.

    (aRevelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95:14]; see also Minutes, ca. 1 June 1833.bAngell, Autobiography, 14–15; see also Truman Angell, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to John Taylor, 11 Mar. 1885, First Presidency [John Taylor] Correspondence, CHL; and Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 9 Apr. 1871, 14:273.cLetter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833; see also Robison, First Mormon Temple, 9.)
  18. 18

    See Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97:11].  

  19. 19

    Earlier revelations directed the church to purchase land not only at Independence and other areas in Jackson County but also “in the adjoining Counties round about.” The Saints may have interpreted these revelations to mean that church members could venture to new settlements outside of Caldwell County.a A committee was created in November 1837 to explore the land northward, searching for locations for additional settlements.b By April 1838, Lyman Wight moved north to Daviess County, and the church was considering settling Saints to the east in De Witt, Carroll County.c This expansion conflicted with the understanding of Missourians in neighboring counties that the Latter-day Saints would confine themselves to Caldwell County.d  

    LeSueur, Stephen C. “Missouri’s Failed Compromise: The Creation of Caldwell County for the Mormons.” Journal of Mormon History 31, no. 3 (Fall 2005): 113–144.

    (aRevelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:3–6, 14]; Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:71]; Revelation, 22 June 1834 [D&C 105:28].bTravel Account and Questions, Nov. 1837; Minute Book 2, 6–7 Dec. 1837; Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 21 Jan. 1838.cMinutes, 7–8 Apr. 1838; JS, Journal, 18 May–1 June 1838; Letter from David Thomas, 31 Mar. 1838.dSee LeSueur, “Missouri’s Failed Compromise,” 113–144.)
  20. 20

    See Matthew 16:19. JS’s revelations affirmed that God had given him the “keys” of the kingdom. (See, for example, Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:4–5]; Revelation, ca. Aug. 1835 [D&C 27:12–13]; and Questions and Answers, between ca. 16 and ca. 29 Mar. 1838–A [D&C 113:6].)