Revelation, , OH, 10 Jan. 1832. Featured version copied [ca. 10 Jan. 1832]; handwriting of ; one page; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes docket and archival marking.
The revelation is inscribed on one sheet, with dockets on the verso. The left side of the recto was unevenly cut, suggesting that it was excised from a book. The resulting sheet measures 12¾ × 7¾ inches (32 × 19 cm). The paper bears the watermark “P & C”. The notations appearing on the back of the unfolded document correspond with two different folding patterns. In the first folding, the document was folded in half three times, making a pocket-size square. This folding pattern corresponds with ’s ink notation designating as the intended recipient of this copy of the revelation. The second folding, Whitney’s typical tri-fold pattern for filing, corresponds with his graphite docket: “Command to Elders | what to do till Conference | Rivtn [Revelation] of— 1831 & 2”.
This document and several other revelations, along with many other personal and institutional documents kept by , were inherited by his daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who married Isaac Groo. This collection was passed down in the Groo family and donated by members of the family to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University during the period 1969–1974.
Andrus et al., “Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 1825–1906,” 5–6.
Andrus, Hyrum L., Chris Fuller, and Elizabeth E. McKenzie. “Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 1825–1906,” Sept. 1998. BYU.
This revelation instructed JS, , and the other of the to continue preaching “in the reagions round about” until the convening of another church . In accordance with direction given in a December 1831 revelation, JS and Rigdon had set aside their Bible revision work so they could preach to church members and others in the general vicinity around and , Ohio. Their preaching, as well as that of other elders sent from Kirtland, was intended in part to combat misinformation and criticism published by former church member in the Ohio Star. Following instructions in the December revelation to “call upon” the church’s critics “to meet you both in publick and in private,” Rigdon challenged Booth and , a former member in Hiram, to defend their claims against the church in public, but neither man accepted. According to a later JS history, these efforts “did much towards allaying the excited feelings” that stemmed from Booth’s influence.
JS and returned to , Ohio, around 8 January 1832, and on 10 January JS dictated this revelation, “making known the will of the Lord” regarding what they and the elders should do until the next conference, which was held two weeks later. In addition to instructing JS, Rigdon, and the other elders to continue preaching, the revelation directed JS and Rigdon to renew their work on the Bible revision after the conclusion of the upcoming conference.
JS probably dictated this revelation to in an upstairs bedroom of the and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson home where they worked on the Bible revision. A copy of the revelation inscribed by Rigdon was provided to , the newly appointed in , perhaps shortly thereafter. The revelation’s instructions to the elders preaching in the area were probably spread through other copies or by word of mouth.
JS History, vol. A-1, 179–180. A conference held in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on 25–26 October 1831 appointed 25 January 1832 as the date of the next “General Conference.” (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831.)
The document appears to be a copy for several reasons. After a revelation was taken down from oral dictation, one or more fair copies were generally made and the copies were kept or distributed. Rigdon wrote “N K. WhitneyKirtland ohio” on the back of this revelation. That this document was marked as being intended for Whitney suggests that it was a copy, not the original. The replacement in the body of the initial inscription of “it is expedient” (a later phrase in the revelation) with “it is practicable” is apparently the correction of a copying error, which also suggests that this document is a copy. Whitney may have received a copy because a December 1831 revelation instructed “the Elders of the church” in Ohio to “render an account of their stewardship unto the Bishop” in Ohio. “Stewardship” in this instance may have encompassed responsibilities to preach. Whatever the reason, elders sent accounts of their missions to Whitney in 1831 and 1832. As is evident from analysis of the Newel K. Whitney Papers at Brigham Young University, Whitney received copies of revelations and other documents as well, perhaps in his role as overseer of church property and resources in Ohio. (See, for example, revelations in Newel K. Whitney Papers, BYU; and Joseph Coe, Report, 7 Mar. 1832, Missionary Reports, 1831–1900, CHL; see also Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–A [D&C 72:5].)
A Revelation to Joseph. and . The word of the Lord unto them Concerning the of the of the Living God established in the last days, making known the will of the Lord unto the Elders what they shall do untill For For verily thus saith the Lord it is expediant in me that they should continue preaching the gospel and in exhortation to the churches in the reagions round about untill conference and behold then it shall be made known unto them by the voice of the conference their severall missions.
Now verily I say unto my Servents Joseph and saith the Lord it is expedient to again and inasmuch as it is expedient practicable to preach in the reagions round about untill conference and after that it is expedient to continue the work of translating translation untill it be finished. And let this be a pattern unto the Elders untill further knowledge even as it is written and now I give no more unto you at this time gird up your loines and be sober even so Amen [1/2 page blank] [p. ]
There were many congregations of church members in northeastern Ohio at this time. (See Hyrum Smith, Diary and Account Book, 19 Dec. 1831–27 Jan. 1832; John Smith, Diary, 4–21; and Cahoon, Diary, June–Dec. 1831.)
Smith, Hyrum. Diary and Account Book, Nov. 1831–Feb. 1835. Hyrum Smith, Papers, ca. 1832–1844. BYU.
By 20 November, when John Whitmer left Ohio for Missouri, JS’s revision of the Bible was completed at least through Mark 9:1, at which point the handwriting changes from Whitmer’s to Rigdon’s. By 16 February 1832, JS was reviewing John chapter 5. (Whitmer, History, 37–38; New Testament Revision 2, p. 24 [second numbering] [Joseph Smith Translation, Mark 9:1]; Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 67; Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76:15].)
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.