Revelation, , OH, 11 Sept. 1831. Featured version, titled “67 Revelation Kirtland Sept 11th. 1831,” copied [ca. Sept. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 108–111; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
JS dictated a revelation in , Ohio, on 11 September 1831, just a few days after arriving back from , Jackson County, Missouri. Although the trip involved the identification of the site for the and the dedication of land for the construction of a , it generated disappointment and disillusionment for some. Despite high expectations, and his companions had been unsuccessful in their attempts to preach to the American Indians, or “,” west of the Missouri border. Their subsequent efforts among the white population of , Missouri, yielded little success. Disappointment also stemmed from the designation of Independence, a rough frontier village, as the “centre place” for the city of Zion. , one of the called to travel to Missouri in the summer of 1831, also expressed disillusionment with JS himself. Booth complained that he and his companion, , had to walk to Missouri while JS, , and other church leaders traveled by way of stagecoach and canal. Apparently, Booth witnessed a confrontation between and JS over the quality of Missouri land selected for purchase. Booth believed that JS’s conduct in these disagreements was unbecoming a Christian. Rigdon, likely referring to the same incident, placed the blame on Partridge, stating he had “insulted the Lord’s prophet in particular & assumed authority over him in open violation of the Laws of God.” Partridge was later penitent: the same minutes that contain Rigdon’s accusation record Partridge saying that “if Br. Joseph has not forgiven him he hopes he will, as he is & has always been sorry.” Booth, on the other hand, apparently became more resentful, and a barred him from preaching as an elder in the church on 6 September 1831.
A week later, this 11 September revelation expounded on the necessity of forgiveness and specifically referred to problems involving , , and , indicating that the latter two were forgiven for their sins. It also discussed preparations for the gathering to . The revelation clarified the relationship between and Missouri: a previous revelation had established as the “centre place” at which to build the , and this revelation declared that Kirtland, where the Saints had previously gathered, would remain “a strong hold” for five years. It also indentified what property should be retained in Kirtland. Portraying a bright future for the land of Zion, the revelation offered encouragement to those who remained committed to the mission and leadership of JS.
The original manuscript of the revelation is not extant. copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 probably soon after its dictation, calling it “Directions to the Elders &c &c.” also made a copy, dating the revelation 12 September 1831. Although JS held a conference of elders on 12 September—an appropriate setting for dictating a revelation—all other manuscript copies bear the same 11 September date as the version of the text featured here.
Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 8 Apr. 1831; Richard W. Cummins, Delaware and Shawnee Agency, to William Clark, [St. Louis, MO], 15 Feb. 1831, U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency, Records, vol. 6, pp. 113–114; Whitmer, Journal, Dec. 1831, ; Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. V,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 10 Nov. 1831, .
U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency. Records, 1807–1855. Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Also available at kansasmemory.org.
Whitmer, Peter, Jr. Journal, Dec. 1831. CHL. MS 5873.
of my hearken ye & hear & receive my will concerning you for verily I say unto you I will that ye should overcome the world wherefore I will have compassion upon you there are those among you who have sinned but verily I say for this once for mine own glory & for the salvation of Souls I have forgiven you your sins I will be mercyfull unto you for I have given unto you the Kingdom & the of the mysteries of the kingdom shall not be taken from my Servent Joseph while he liveth in-as-much as he obeyeth mine there are those who have sought occation against him without a cause nevertheless he hath sinned but verily I say unto you I the Lord forgiveth sins unto those who confess their sins before me & ask forgiveness who have not sinned unto death my Deciples in days of old sought occasion against one an other & forgave not one an other in their hearts & for this evil they were afflicted & sorely chastened wherefore I say unto you that ye had ought to forgive one another for he that forgiveth not his brother his tresspasses standeth condemned before the Lord for there remaineth in him the greater sin I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive but of you it is required to forgive all men & ye had ought to say in your hearts let God Judge between me & thee & reward thee according to thy deeds & he that repenteth not of his sins & confess them not then ye ye shall bring him before the church & do with him as the Scriptures direct Saith unto you either by or <by> revelation & this ye shall do that God might be glorified not because ye forgive not having not compassion but that ye may be Justified in the eyes of the law that ye may not offend him who is your lawgiver verily I say for this cause ye shall do these things Behold I the Lord was angery with him who was my Servent & also my Servent for they kept not the Law neither the commandment they sought evil in their hearts & I the Lord withheld my spirit they condemned for evil that thing in which there was no evil nevertheless I have forgiven my Servent & also my Servent Behold he hath sinned & Satan Seeketh to destroy his soul but when these things are made known unto them they repenteth [p. 109]
According to a September 1830 revelation, the Lord had given JS “the keys of the mysteries of the Revelations which are sealed until I shall appoint unto him another in his stead.” A December 1830 revelation similarly proclaimed that JS had “the Keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed . . . if he abide in me & if not another will I plant in his stead.” (Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:6–7]; Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830 [D&C 35:18].)
The word “occation” (occasion) here means “opportunity of attacking, of fault-finding, or of giving or taking offence.” The copy of the revelation made by Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde has “accusation” rather than “occation.” (“Occasion,” in Oxford English Dictionary, 7:42; Hyde and Smith, Notebook, ; see also Daniel 6:4; and Judges 14:4.)
Oxford English Dictionary. Compact ed. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.
Hyde, Orson, and Samuel Smith. Notebook of Revelations and Missionary Memoranda, ca. Oct. 1831–ca. Jan. 1832. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583, box 1, fd. 2.
A copy of this revelation, made by John Whitmer for Newel K. Whitney around the same time as the Revelation Book 1 copy, includes the words “from them” at this point. (Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831, Newel K. Whitney, Papers [D&C 64].)