On 1 November 1835, JS dictated a revelation that chastised for “his iniquities[,] his covetous and dishonest principles in himself and family” and for failing to “set his house in order.” At the time, Cahoon was serving as a counselor to and as a member of the building committee for the in , Ohio. This was not the first time he had been accused of shirking his duties at home—on 10 August 1835, the high council ruled that Cahoon had “failed to do his duty in correcting his children, and instructing them in the way of truth & righteousness,” a decision that Cahoon acknowledged as being justified. The revelation presented here demonstrates that concerns relating to Cahoon’s domestic affairs persisted after the high council’s ruling.
JS’s 1 November journal entry explains that he recorded this revelation during the morning and immediately sent for ; JS then “read what the Lord had said concerning him.” Cahoon allegedly “acknowledged that it was verily so & expressed much humility.” Though it is not clear what actions Cahoon took in response to this revelation, he remained in his position in the bishopric and on the building committee.
The original text of the revelation is no longer extant, but a transcript was copied into JS’s journal by his scribe, .
Verily thus Saith the Lord unto me, his servant Joseph Smith jun mine anger is kindle[d] against my servant because of his iniquities his covetous and dishonest principles in himself and family and he doth not purge them away and set his house in order, therefore if he repent not chastisment awaiteth him even as it seemeth good in my sight therefore go and declare unto him this <these> word<s> [p. 16]
It is not entirely clear what “iniquities” or “covetous and dishonest principles” were being referred to here. It is possible that Cahoon, when operating the building committee store, was reluctant to distribute goods to those who donated to or worked on the House of the Lord. In a 15 December letter to JS, Orson Hyde accused Cahoon of being stingy with committee store credit, when Hyde himself had given the committee “$275 in cash besides some more.” Concerning Hyde’s treatment at the committee store, JS’s journal noted that “on the part of the committee [store], he [Hyde] was not treated, right in all thing[s].” (Letter from Orson Hyde, 15 Dec. 1835; JS, Journal, 17 Dec. 1835.)