On 11 April 1838, JS dictated a revelation for , directing him to settle his business affairs and prepare for a mission. At the time, Patten and fellow were serving as assistants to in the pro tempore over the in . This appointment was apparently temporary because, as members of the , Marsh, Patten, and Young were eventually expected to travel, proselytize, and supervise the church and outside of and its —that is, outside of the main church congregation in Missouri and any other places designated for gathering. The previous summer, Patten had asked the Zion in , Missouri, to relieve him of his debts and allow him to travel and preach. Though the high council resolved to grant Patten’s request, instead of embarking on a mission Patten soon departed for with Marsh in an effort to reunite the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Shortly after they arrived in Kirtland, JS dictated a revelation for Marsh, the president of the , directing him and the other apostles to purify themselves “and then go ye into all the world and preach my gospel unto every creature who have not received it.” At the same time, apostles and were beginning a mission in . The missionaries wrote to their fellow Latter-day Saints in the with news of the hundreds of people in England who had joined the church.
The 11 April 1838 revelation to , probably dictated in , stated that Patten would be sent on a mission the following spring and implied that he would go with the other apostles. Another revelation, received about three months later, specified that in 1839 the twelve apostles would “depart to go over the great waters and there promulge my gospel,” suggesting they would serve a mission in Europe to follow up on the success of and ’s mission in . Patten, however, was killed in October 1838 in the conflict between the Latter-day Saints and other Missourians.
As JS dictated the 11 April revelation, it may have been inscribed by , who was presumably present, or by , the ’s scribe. Robinson transcribed the original into JS’s “Scriptory Book,” probably in mid- or late April.
Patten submitted the following written request: “I am in debt and want to go away, will the Church pay my debts and take me for the same. and let me go and preach the Kingdom of God.” (Minute Book 2, 11 June 1837.)
Beginning with a revelation dated 26 April 1838, Robinson apparently kept the Scriptory Book regularly for some time, suggesting that he copied the 11 April revelation for Patten—which appears in chronological order among other April documents and journal entries—sometime in mid- or late April. (See JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, pp. 32–34.)
Revelation to . given April 11th. 1838 Verily thus Saith the Lord, it is wisdom in my Servant , that he settle up all his buisness, as soon as he possibly, can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others even including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world, for verrily thus Saith the Lord that inasmuch as there are those among you who deny my name, others shall be planted in their stead and receive their bishoprick Amen.—— [p. 32]