Revelation, 9 February 1831 [D&C 42:1–72]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Geauga Ohio May 23d 1831 A to <​the​>
[First Shall the Church come to gether into one place or continue in seperate establishments?]
Hearken oh! ye Elders of my who have assembled yourselves together in my name even Jesus Christ the Son of God the living God the Saveiour of the world in as much as they believe on my name & keep my commandments again I say unto you hearken & hear & obey the laws which I Shall give unto you for verily I say as ye have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you and are agreed as touching this one thing & have asked me in my name even so ye shall receive Behold verily I say unto you I give unto you this first Commandment that ye shall go forth in my name every one of you except my servant Joseph & & I give unto them a commandment that they shall go forth for a little Season & it shall be given by the power of my spirit when they Shall return & ye Shall go forth in the power of my Spirit preaching my Gospel two by two in my name lifting up your voices as with the voice of a trump declaring my word like unto Angels of God & ye shall go forth with water <​saying​> repent ye repent ye for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand & from this place ye shall go forth in to the regions westward & in as much as ye shall find my deciples ye shall build up my church in every region untill the time shall come when it Shall be revealed unto you from on high & the City of the New Jerusalam Shall be prepared that ye may [p. [1]] be in one that ye may be my people & I will be your God & again I say unto you that my Servant shall stand in the wherewith I have appointed him & it shall come to pass that if he transgress another shall be appointed in his Stead even so Amen——
Again I say unto you that it shall not be given unto any one to go forth to preach my gospel or to build up my except they be by some one that hath authority & it is known to the church that he hath authority & have been regularly ordained by the leaders of the church & again the & of this Church shall teach the scriptures which are in the Bible & the Book of Mormon in the which is the fullness of the Gospel & thou Shalt observe the covenants & church articles to do them & <​this​> Shall be thy teaching<​s​> & thou shalt be directed by the spirit it shall be given the[e] by the prayer of faith & if ye receive not the spirit ye shall not teach & all this ye shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching untill the fulness of my Scripture be given & as ye Shall lift your voices by the comforter ye shall speak and prophecy as seemeth me good for behold the Comforter knoweth all things & beareth record of the father & the Son & now behold I Speak unto the church——
Thou shalt not kill & he that killeth shall not have forgiveness neither in this world neither in the world to come & again thou shallt not kill he that killeth shall die, Thou shalt not steel & he that steeleth & will not repent shall be cast out Thou shalt not lie he that lieth & will not repent shall be cast out Thoue shalt love thy wife with all thy heart & shalt cleave unto her & none else & he that looketh on a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith & shall not have the spirit & if he repent not he shall be cast out—— [p. [2]]
Thou shalt not commit adultery & he that committeth adultery & repenteth not shall be cast out & he that committeth adultery & repentteth with all his heart & forsaketh & doeth it no more thou shalt forgive him but if he doeth it again he shall not be forgiven but shall be cast out Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbour or do him any harm Thou knowest my laws they <​are​> given in my Scriptures he that sinneth & repenteth not shall be cast out if thou lovest me thou shall serve & keep all my & Behold thou shalt all thy property properties that which thou hast unto me with a covena[n]t and Deed which cannot be broken & they Shall be laid before the of my & two of the such as he shall appoint & set apart for that purpose & it shall come to pass that the of my church after that he has received the properties of my church that it cannot be taken from him you he shall appoint every man a over his own property or that which he hath received in as much as shall be sufficient for him self and family & the residue shall be kept to administer to him that hath not that every man may receive according as he stands in need & the residue shall be kept in my to administer to the poor and needy as shall be appointed by the Elders of the church & the & for the purpose of purchaseing Land & building up of the which is here after to be revealed that my covenant people may be in one in the day that <​I​> shall come to my temple & this I do for the salvation of my people & it shall come to pass that he that sinneth & rep[e]nteth not shall be cast out & shall not receive again that which he hath consecrated unto me, for it shall come to pass that which I spake by the mouth of my prophets shall be fulfilld for I will consecrate the riches of the unto my people which are of the house of Israel & Again thou Shalt not be proud in thy heart let all thy garments be plain & their beauty the beauty of the work of thine own hands & let all things be done in cleanliness before me—— [p. [3]]
Thou Shalt not be Idle for he that is Idle shall <​not​> eat the bread nor wear the garment of the labourer & whosoever among you that is sick & hath not faith to be healed but believeth Shall be nourished in all tenderness with herbs and mild food & that not of the world & the of the two or more Shall be called & shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name & if they die they shall die unto me & if they shall live <​they shall live​> unto me Thou shall <​shalt​> live together in love insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die & more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection & it shall come to pass that that they that die in me shall not taste of death for it shall be sweet unto them & they that die not in me wo is them for their death is bitter & again it shall come to pass that he that hath faith in me to be healed & is not appointed unto death shall be healed he that hath faith to see shall see he that hath faith to hear shall hear the Lame that have faith <​to​> leep shall <​leep​> & they that have not faith to do these things but believe in me hath power to become my sons & in asmuch as they break not my Laws thou Shalt bear their infirmities thou shalt stand in the place of thy thou shalt not take thy brothers garment thou shalt pay for that which thou <​shalt receive​> shall receive of thy Brother & if thou obtain more than that which would be for thy support thou shalt give it unto my that it may be done according to that which I have Spoken, Thou shalt ask & my scriptures shall be given as I have appointed & for thy Salvation thou shalt hold thy peace concerning them untill ye have received them & then I give unto you a that ye should teach them unto all men & they also shall be taught unto all nations kindreds Toungs & People thou Shalt take the things which thou hast received which thou knowest to have been my to be my Law to govern my church & he that doeth according to these things shall be saved & he that doeth them not [p. [4]] shall be damned if he continue[.] if thou shalt ask thou shalt receive Revelation upon Revelation knowledge upon knowledge that thou mayest know the mysteries & the peacible things of the kingdom that which bringeth joy that which life Eternal thou shalt ask & it shall be revealed unto you in mine own due time when the shall be built thou shalt ask & it shall be revealed in mine own due time & behold it shall come to pass that my Servants Shall be sent both to the East & to the west the north & to the South & even now let him that goes to the East teach them that are converted to flee to the west & this because [of] that which is to come & secret combinations Behold thou shalt observe all these things & great Shall be thy reward thou shalt observe to keep the mysteries of the Kingdom unto thy Self for it is not given unto the world to know the mysteries & these Laws which ye have received are sufficient for <​you​> both here & in the New Jerusalem but he that lacketh knowledge let him ask of me & I will give him liberally & & upbraid him not Lift up your hearts & rejoice for unto you the Kingdom is given
Even so Amen——
3d How the are to dispose of their families while they are proclaiming repentance or are otherwise engaged in the Service of the ?
The and Shall have their given them as the members. And the Elders are to assist the in all things & he is to see that their families are supported out of the property which is to the Lord either a stewardship or otherwise as may be thought best by the Elders & & [p. [5]]
4th How far it is the will of the Lord that we Should have dealings with the wo[r]ld & how we Should conduct our dealings with them?
Thou Shalt contract no debts with them & again the & shall together & they shall do by the directions of the spirit as it must be necessary——
5th What preperations we shall make for our Brethren from the East & when & how?
There shall be as many appointed as must needs be necessary to assist the in obtaining places that they may be together as much as can be & is directed by the holy Spirit & every family Shall have places that they may live by themselves & every Church Shall be organized in as close bodies as they can be in consequence of the enemy!—— [p. [6]]


  1. 1

    This date possibly indicates when Symonds Rider copied the text into his journal; alternatively, it may have been intended to indicate 23 February, the date the second portion of the revelation was dictated. The copy published in the Western Courier suggests that this was the date of transcription. (Historical Introduction to Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:74–93]; “Secret Bye Laws of the Mormonites,” Western Courier [Ravenna, OH], 1 Sept. 1831, [1].)  

    Western Courier. Ravenna, OH. 1826–1833.

  2. 2

    Text supplied from Revelation Book 1, p. 62. Another early version of this revelation included a similar question: “Question 1st—Shall the Church come together into one place or remain as they are in separate bodies?” (Gilbert, Notebook, [13].)  

    Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583, box 1, fd. 2.

  3. 3

    See Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:2–3]. John Whitmer wrote that in preparation for this revelation, “the Elders were called together, and united in mighty prayer, and were agreed as touching the reception of the Law.” (Whitmer, History, 12.)  

  4. 4

    John Whitmer later recorded that “after the above law or Revelation was receivd, the elders went forth to proclaim repentance according to commandment, and there were numbers added to the church.” John Corrill later wrote that he and his preaching companion “went to New London, about one hundred miles from Kirtland, where we built up a Church of thirty-six members in about three weeks time. . . . Other elders proceeded to erect churches in various places, and the work increased very fast.” (Whitmer, History, 17; Corrill, Brief History, 17.)  

  5. 5

    The idea of a physical gathering place for believers, or “New Jerusalem,” was mentioned in several earlier revelations. (See Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:7–8]; Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:9]; Revelation, 30 Dec. 1830 [D&C 37:3]; and Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:32]; see also Covenant of Oliver Cowdery and Others, 17 Oct. 1830.)  

  6. 6

    Partridge was appointed bishop. (Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:9]; see also License for Edward Partridge, [ca. 4 Aug. 1831–ca. 5 Jan. 1832].)  

  7. 7

    See Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:14–15]; and Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:17]. Partridge served as a bishop until his death in 1840. As the church grew, additional bishops were appointed.  

  8. 8

    In Sidney Gilbert’s copy of this revelation, the words “Question 2d the Law regulating the Church in her present situation till the time of her gathering” appear in place of “The Law?” The version in Revelation Book 1 contained a similar heading for this section—“2nd The Law”—but it was canceled in a later redaction. (Gilbert, Notebook, [15]; Revelation Book 1, p. 63.)  

    Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583, box 1, fd. 2.

  9. 9

    Instead of “leaders,” all other early manuscript versions have “heads.” The church’s “Articles and Covenants” included a directive to issue ministerial licenses, providing a means for certifying that authority had been appropriately granted. (Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:61–64]; for examples of licenses, see the 9 June 1830 licenses for John Whitmer, Joseph Smith Sr., and Christian Whitmer.)  

  10. 10

    Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20].  

  11. 11

    The phrase “fulness of my Scripture” here likely refers to JS’s ongoing project of Bible revision.  

  12. 12

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 87, 222–223, 319 [2 Nephi 9:35; Alma 1:13–14, 18; 34:12]; and Old Testament Revision 1, p. 24 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 9:6].  

  13. 13

    By May 1831, if not earlier, Bishop Edward Partridge appointed John Corrill and Isaac Morley as his assistants. They were formally “ordained assistants to the Bishop” in a church conference on 3 June 1831. (Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:3]; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)  

  14. 14

    A few months later, another revelation provided greater clarification of the way in which property was to be consecrated and distributed. (See Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:4–6].)  

  15. 15

    See Malachi 3:10.  

  16. 16

    Printed deeds of consecration later issued in Missouri included a statement that Bishop Partridge covenanted “for himself and his heirs that such moneys or properties shall be expended for the use and benefit of this church according to the covenants and Laws of the same.” (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.)  

  17. 17

    Although a previous revelation indicated the New Jerusalem was to be built “among the Lamanites,” its exact location in Missouri was not revealed until July 1831. (Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:9]; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:1–3].)  

  18. 18

    See Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:7–8].  

  19. 19

    See Isaiah 61:6.  

  20. 20

    See Proverbs 16:5; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 237, 534 [Alma 5:53; Mormon 8:36].  

  21. 21

    In antebellum America, herbal medicine was a popular alternative to regular medical therapeutics like bloodletting and the application of calomel. (See JSP, J2:281n486; see also J2:356n870.)  

    JSP, J2 / Hedges, Andrew H., Alex D. Smith, and Richard Lloyd Anderson, eds. Journals, Volume 2: December 1841–April 1843. Vol. 2 of the Journals series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011.

  22. 22

    See James 5:14–15; and Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24:13].  

  23. 23

    On faith healings among early Mormons, see Underwood, “Supernaturalism and Healing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” 299–309.  

    Underwood, Grant. “Supernaturalism and Healing in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” In Religions of the United States in Practice, vol. 1, edited by Colleen McDannell, 299–309. Princeton, NY: Princeton University Press, 2001.

  24. 24

    John Whitmer, who visited the “Morley Family,” wrote, “The disciples had all things common, and were going to destruction very fast as to temporal things: for they considered from reading the scripture that what belonged to a brother belonged to any of the brethren, therefore they would take each others clothes and other property and use it without leave: which brought on confusion and disappointments: for they did not understand the scripture.” (Whitmer, History, 11.)  

  25. 25

    For an example of a consecration agreement, see Joseph Knight Jr., Deed of Stewardship, 12 Oct. 1832, CHL.  

    Knight, Joseph, Jr., and Edward Partridge. Deed of Stewardship, 12 Oct. 1832. CHL. MS 5589.

  26. 26

    Several months later, in August 1831, a JS revelation similarly promised church members they would “be crowned with blessings from above; Yea and with commandments not a few; And with revelations in their time.” (Revelation, 7 Aug. 1831 [D&C 59:4].)  

  27. 27

    Similar caution to “show not these things . . . unto the world, for they can not bear meat” was expressed previously in Revelation, ca. Summer 1829 [D&C 19:21–22]; see also Matthew 13:11.  

  28. 28

    See James 1:5.  

  29. 29

    Variants of this question in other early copies of the revelation include: “How the Elders are to dispose of their families while they are proclaiming repentance or are otherwise engaged in the service of the Church[?],” and “How the Elders are to Dispose of their families whil they are proclaiming or otherways engaged in the service of the Church[?]” (Revelation Book 1, p. 66; Gilbert, Notebook, [21].)  

    Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583, box 1, fd. 2.

  30. 30

    In Sidney Gilbert’s copy of the revelation, this question appears as “How far is it the will of the Lord we should have dealings with them[?]” (Gilbert, Notebook, [22].)  

    Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583, box 1, fd. 2.

  31. 31

    Variants of this question in early manuscript copies include: “What preperations we shall make for our brothren from the East & where & how[?]” and “What preparation shall we make for our Brethren from the East & where & how?” The revelatory answer to the question explains “where” the Ohio believers were to make preparations for the settlement of the immigrants but not “when.” (Revelation Book 1, p. 67; Gilbert, Notebook, [21].)  

    Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583, box 1, fd. 2.

  32. 32

    Martin Harris was appointed to assist in securing places for the New York members to live. Two weeks after this revelation was dictated, JS wrote asking Harris to come to Ohio and to, on behalf of his associates, “choose any place which may best suit yourselves any where in this part of the country so as to be as compact as possable.” (Letter to Martin Harris, 22 Feb. 1831.)  

  33. 33

    This directive countered the communal living arrangements of the various “Family” organizations. Some groups lived together on a single property, as was the case on Isaac Morley’s farm in Kirtland. Others, such as the smaller group in Chardon, Ohio, reportedly shared a single house: “One man has torn away all the partitions of the lower part of a good two story dwelling house. Here a large number live together.” (“Fanaticism,” Connecticut Courant [Hartford], 12 July 1831, [1].)  

    Connecticut Courant. Hartford, CT. 1764–.