Revelation, 15 March 1833 [D&C 92]
- Source Note
On 8 March 1833, a revelation declared equal “in holding the of this Last Kingdom” with JS and in the . A week later, the following revelation, dated 15 March, elevated Williams within the from assistant scribe to a member in full partnership with JS, Rigdon, and other founding members of the firm. In addition to becoming equal with JS and Rigdon in holding the keys, Williams now became similarly responsible for overseeing the financial and temporal matters of the church under JS’s direction.In accordance with a revelation dated 1 March 1832, JS organized a group of men called the on 26 April 1832 to manage the “Literary and Merchantile establishments” of the church. As a governing financial council, the firm was responsible for printing church publications, holding church properties in trust, assisting the poor, and operating general stores in , Missouri, and , Ohio, to generate funds for the church. Among other duties, members of the United Firm oversaw city planning for Independence and Kirtland, including the construction of a and other buildings. The firm was also directed to manage land, including allotting portions of Williams’s farmland to members of the church.On 26 April 1832, JS dictated a revelation that named the initial members of the United Firm as himself, , , , , , , , and . Cowdery, Gilbert, Partridge, Phelps, and Whitmer oversaw the business and financial affairs in , while JS, Harris, Rigdon, and Whitney represented the firm in . The 26 April revelation also emphasized that members of the organization were equal with one another: they were to “have equal claims on the properties” managed by the United Firm, “every man according to his wants & his needs,” in order to “improve upon his tallent,” which was “to be cast into the Lords Storehouse to become the common property of the whole Churc[h].”was the first member added to the firm since its organization. JS wrote to the members of the United Firm on 21 April 1833 and inserted the featured revelation in the letter to inform them of Williams’s new status. Members of the United Firm in Missouri apparently raised questions in a follow-up letter about Williams’s intended role in the firm. On 25 June 1833, JS, , Williams, and responded to their letter and affirmed Williams’s status to the Missouri members when they wrote, “As to Bro Frederick, all members of the United Firm are considered one” for the support of “the mercantile establishment God commanded.”inscribed the revelation featured here into Revelation Book 2. He also made note of this revelation in Minute Book 1. Williams later copied the revelation into JS’s letterbook as part of the 21 April 1833 letter to the church leaders.
Backman, Milton V., Jr. The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830–1838. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983.
Cook, Lyndon W. Joseph Smith and the Law of Consecration. Provo, UT: Grandin Book, 1985.
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Parkin, Max H. “Joseph Smith and the United Firm: The Growth and Decline of the Church’s First Master Plan of Business and Finance, Ohio and Missouri, 1832–1834.” BYU Studies 46, no. 3 (2007): 5–66.