Revelation, circa June 1835 [D&C 68]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

REVELATIONS.
A Revelation, given November, 1831, to , , and . The mind and will of the Lord, as made known by the voice of the Spirit to a conference concerning certain elders: and also certain items, as made known, in addition to the covenants and commandments:
My servant, , was called, by his , to proclaim the everlasting gospel, by the spirit of the living God, from people to people, and from land to land, in the congregations of the wicked, in their synagogues, reasoning with and expounding all scriptures unto them: And behold and lo, this is an ensample unto all those who were ordained unto this priesthood, whose mission is appointed unto them to go forth: And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and whatsoever they shall speak, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost, shall be scripture; shall be the will of the Lord; shall be the mind of the Lord; shall be the word of the Lord; shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation; Behold this is the promise of the Lord unto you, O ye my servants: wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear record of me even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God; that I was; that I am; and that I am to come. This is the word of the Lord unto you my servant, ; and also unto my servant, , and unto my servant, , and unto my servant ; and unto all the faithful elders of my church: Go ye into all the world; preach the gospel to every creature; acting in the authority which I have given you; baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned; and he that believeth shall be blessed with signs following, even as it is written: And unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the times, and the signs of the coming of the Son of man; and of as many as the Father shall bear record, to you it shall be given power to them up unto eternal life: Amen.
And now concerning the items in addition to the covenants and commandments, they are these; there remaineth hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other to be set apart unto the church to minister even according to the first: Wherefore they shall be who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the of the , except they be literal descendants of Aaron; and if they be literal descendants of Aaron, they have a legal right to the , if they are the first born among the sons of Aaron: for the first born holds the right of presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the first born of Aaron: but as a high priest of the Melchizedek priesthood, has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found; provided he is called and set apart, and ordained unto this power under the hands of the first presidency of the Melchizedek priesthood. And a literal descendant of Aaron, also, must be designated by this presidency, and found worthy, and annointed, and ordained under the hands of this presidency, otherwise they are not legally authorized to officiate in their priesthood: but by virtue of the decree concerning their right of the priesthood descending from father to son, they may claim their annointing, if at any time they can prove their lineage, or do ascertain it by revelation from the Lord under the hands of the above named presidency.
And again, no bishop or high priest, who shall be set apart for this ministry, shall be tried or condemned for any crime save it be before the first presidency of the church; and inasmuch as he is found guilty before this presidency, by testimony that cannot be impeached, he shall be condemned, and if he repents he shall be forgiven, according to the covenants and commandments of the church.
And again, inasmuch as parents have children in , or in any of her which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance; faith in Christ the Son of the living God; and of and the by the , when eight years old: the sin be upon the head of the parents, for this shall be a law unto the inhabitants of Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, and their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands: and they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. And the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. And the inhabitants of Zion, also, shall remember their labors, inasmuch as they are appointed to labor, in all faithfulness, for the idler shall be had in remembrance before the Lord. Now I the Lord am not well pleased [p. 73] with the inhabitants of , for there are idlers among them; and their children are also growing up in wickedness: They also seek not earnestly the riches of eternity, but their eyes are full of greediness. These things ought not to be, and must be done away from among them: wherefore let my servant , carry these sayings unto the land of . And a commandment I give unto them, that he that observeth not his prayers before the Lord in the season thereof, let him be had in remembrance before the judge of my people. These sayings are true and faithful: wherefore transgress them not, neither take therefrom. Behold I am Alpha and Omega, and I come quickly: Amen. [p. 74]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    According to a later JS history, this revelation was originally dictated after Hyde, Johnson, Johnson, and McLellin asked JS at a 1–2 November 1831 conference to tell them the Lord’s will concerning them. Hyde, Luke Johnson, and McLellin had all been ordained high priests at a 25–26 October 1831 conference held in Orange, Ohio. Lyman Johnson was ordained a high priest at the 1–2 November 1831 conference. (JS History, vol. A-1, 163; Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831.)  

    JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). Historian’s Office, History of the Church, 1839–ca. 1882. CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

  2. 2

    The Revelation Book 1 version includes here “held November first 1831.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113 .)  

    Revelation Book 1 / “A Book of Commandments and Revelations of the Lord Given to Joseph the Seer and Others by the Inspiration of God and Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost Which Beareth Re[c]ord of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost Which Is One God Infinite and Eternal World without End Amen,” 1831–1835. CHL.

  3. 3

    The Revelation Book 1 version includes here “who requested of the Lord to kno[w] his will concerning them.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113.)  

  4. 4

    The Revelation Book 1 version has “Laws” instead of “covenants.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113.)  

  5. 5

    In the Revelation Book 1 version, this passage beginning with “The mind and will of the Lord” and ending with “and commandments” is included as part of the revelation, not as a heading. That version also has “which have been given to the church” at the end of the passage. The whole heading is omitted in the version published in the October 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star. (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  6. 6

    The Revelation Book 1 version includes “firstly” here. (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113.)  

  7. 7

    That is, ordination as a high priest.  

  8. 8

    The phrase “shall be the word of the Lord” is in the October 1832 published version of the revelation, but it is not in the Revelation Book 1 version. (“A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3]; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113 [D&C 68:4].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  9. 9

    The Revelation Book 1 version includes “shall be” here. (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113 [D&C 68:4].)  

  10. 10

    “The living” is not included in the Revelation Book 1 version, but it is in the October 1832 publication. (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:6].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  11. 11

    See Mark 16:15–17; and Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:62–65].  

  12. 12

    “Power” is not in the Revelation Book 1 version, but it is in the October 1832 publication. (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:12].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  13. 13

    According to the minutes of a conference held in Orange, Ohio, on 25 and 26 October 1831, JS said “that the order of the High priesthood is that they have power given them to seal up the Saints unto eternal life.” (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831.)  

  14. 14

    The Revelation Book 1 version and the October 1832 publication have “Laws” instead of “covenants.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 113; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:13].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  15. 15

    Edward Partridge was appointed the first bishop in the church in February 1831. Newel K. Whitney was appointed a bishop in Ohio in December 1831. (Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:9]; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–A [D&C 72:2, 8].)  

  16. 16

    The Revelation Book 1 version and the October 1832 publication have “a conference of high priests” instead of “the first presidency of the Melchisedek priesthood.” This appears to be one of the first times that the presidency of the high priesthood is referred to as the “first presidency.” The change may have been made to distinguish the presidency of the high priesthood from the presidencies of the high councils in Kirtland and Missouri. None of the text after this point and up through the sentence ending “under the hands of the above named presidency” is in the Revelation Book 1 version or the October 1832 publication. (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:15].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  17. 17

    The Instruction on Priesthood states that “the bishopric is the presidency” of the priesthood of Aaron “and holds the keys, or authority of the same.” (Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:15].)  

  18. 18

    Oliver Cowdery published an article in the March 1835 Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate that referred to the priesthood being “conferred upon Aaron and his seed throughout their generations” and stated that “if the literal descendants of Aaron are no more, then this priesthood is lost from Israel, unless God bestows it upon another family.” (“Delusion,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Mar. 1835, 1:91.)  

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

  19. 19

    See Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:10–12].  

  20. 20

    See Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:16–17].  

  21. 21

    A September 1832 revelation states that “the Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed throughout all the generations of the Jews.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:18].)  

  22. 22

    At this point, the text found in the Revelation Book 1 version and the October 1832 published version resumes.  

  23. 23

    The Revelation Book 1 version and the October 1832 publication have “judge” instead of “high priest.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:22].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  24. 24

    The Revelation Book 1 version and the October 1832 publication have “a conference of high priests” instead of “the first presidency of the church.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:22].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  25. 25

    The Revelation Book 1 version and the October 1832 publication have “a conference of high priests” instead of “this presidency.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:23].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  26. 26

    The Revelation Book 1 version and the October 1832 publication include here “or forgiven according to the Laws of the church.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:23].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  27. 27

    Neither the Revelation Book 1 version nor the October 1832 publication contains “or in any of her stakes which are organized.” Kirtland was designated as the first stake of Zion in an April 1832 revelation. No other locations had received a similar designation by June 1835. (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:25]; Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:13].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  28. 28

    Neither the Revelation Book 1 version nor the October 1832 publication contains “or in any of her stakes which are organized.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114; “A Revelation, Given November, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Oct. 1832, [3] [D&C 68:26].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  29. 29

    According to an 1829 revelation, children were not to be baptized until they reached the “years of accountability.” Sometime between 1 February and 7 March 1831, JS revised Genesis 17:11 to include the explanation “that children are not accountable before me till eight years old.” (Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:42]; Old Testament Revision 1, p. 41 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 17:11]; see also Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 64.)  

    Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

  30. 30

    See Revelation, 7 Aug. 1831 [D&C 59:12–13].  

  31. 31

    The “Laws of the Church of Christ” specifically prohibited idleness, stating “he that is Idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garment of the labourer.” (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:42].)  

  32. 32

    Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer were directed in a November 1831 revelation to take copies of JS’s revelations to Independence, Missouri, where the church was to publish them. The two departed for Missouri on 20 November 1831 and arrived in Independence on 5 January 1832. Cowdery stayed in Missouri until summer 1833, when he returned to Kirtland, Ohio. (Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 69:1–2]; Whitmer, History, 38; Minute Book 2, 23 Jan. 1832; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 10 Aug. 1833.)