Revelation, , OH, 1 Nov. 1831. Featured version, titled “70 A Revelation to Orson Luke Lyman & William,” copied [ca. Nov. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 113–114; handwriting of and ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
On 1–2 November 1831, ten convened a in , Ohio, to discuss the publication of the Book of Commandments, a compilation of JS’s revelations. According to a later JS history, four of the conference attendees—, , , and —approached JS during the conference and requested to know the Lord’s will concerning them. This revelation came in response to their inquiry. The revelation provided more information about the evangelizing duties of the four men specifically and of elders in general. While Hyde, McLellin, and Luke Johnson were all to the at a conference held in , Cuyahoga County, Ohio, a week earlier, Lyman Johnson was ordained to the high priesthood at the Hiram conference on 2 November.
After closing the portion of the revelation addressed specifically to the four men with an “Amen,” the document shifts its audience to the church in general and gives additional information about the office of , as well as counsel to members of the church “in ” about teaching and their children and avoiding idleness and greed. The text may originally have been dictated as two discrete revelations, which, like some other revelations closely related in time or content, were then copied together and presented as a single, unified text. All extant copies of the text—whether in manuscript or published form—present both parts as one revelation.
The original manuscript of the revelation is not extant, and the conference minutes do not mention the revelation. However, the copy in Revelation Book 1 is dated 1 November 1831 and a heading states that it was “given in Nov. 1. 1831.” and copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1, probably soon after its dictation.
time of the Lord other to be set apart unto the to minister even according to the first wherefore it shall be an who is worthy & he shall be appointed by a of high priests And again no Bishop or judge which shall be set apart for this ministry shall be tried or condemned for any crime save it be before a confrence of high priests & inasmuch as he is found guilty before a confrenc of high priests by testimony that cannot be impeached he shall be condemned or forgiven according to the Laws of the church And again inasmuch as parents have children in that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance faith in Christ the Son of the living God & of & 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 & their children shall be baptised for the remission of their sins when eight years old & receive the laying on of the hands & they also shall teach their children to pray & to walk uprightly before the Lord & the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe to the Sabath day to keep it holy & 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 with the inhabitants of Zion for there are idlers among them & their children also are 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 & must be done away from among them wherefore let my servant cary these sayings unto the land of & a I give unto them that he that obse[r]veth <not> his prayers before the Lord in the season thereof let them be had in remembrance before the of my people these sayings are true & faithful wherefore transgress them not neither take therefrom behold I am Alpha & Omega & I come quickly Amen
Given a in November first 1831 by Joseph the [p. 114]
Extant records predating this revelation generally use the term “high priesthood” instead of “high priests.”a After this revelation, the term “high priests” is increasingly used in records.b Although a conference of elders appointed “assistants” to Edward Partridge in June 1831, there is no extant record of a conference appointing Partridge bishop.c A license created for Partridge, however, states that Partridge had been appointed bishop “with and by the consent of the whole church.”d
An August 1831 revelation explained that one of the functions of a bishop was to “be a Judge in Israel” and “to Judge his people by the testimony of the Just.” (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:17–18].)
The February 1831 revelation of the “Laws of the Church of Christ” stated, “If he [Partridge] transgress another shall be appointed in his Stead.” This same revelation provided instructions on how to deal with church members who committed adultery or offended other members of the church. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:10]; Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:80–83, 88–93].)
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.
Sidney Gilbert, who had returned to Kirtland, Ohio, in August 1831 to “procure the necessaries” for his store in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, was similarly told to communicate “that which he hath seen & heard . . . unto my Deciples” in Missouri “that they perish not & for this cause have I spoken these things.” (Edward Partridge, Independence, MO, to Lydia Clisbee Partridge, 5–7 Aug. 1831, Edward Partridge, Letters, 1831–1835, CHL; Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:19].)
Partridge, Edward. Letters, 1831–1835. CHL. MS 23154.