Revelation, [, OH], 20 May 1831. Featured version, titled “54 Commandment,” copied [between ca. May and June 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 86–87; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
After revelations in late December 1830 and early January 1831 instructed all church members in to move to , believers “made preperations to Journey to the Ohio, with their wives, and children and all that they possessed, to obey the of the Lord.” The group of sixty or more members residing in and around in Broome and Chenango counties, New York, constituted one of three groups that emigrated from New York to Ohio. Under the leadership of , they left their homes in mid-April 1831; their monthlong journey included a delay in , New York, for more than a week because of ice in the harbor. Once vessels were again able to navigate, the group sailed for , Ohio, and arrived in the area in mid-May.
later wrote that upon their arrival “it was advised that the Branch remain together and go to [a] neigboring town called as a man by the name owned a considerabl tract of land there which he offered to let the Brethren occuppy.” An earlier revelation had directed newly appointed to institute new economic arrangements among church members, who were each to consecrate property to the church and in turn be appointed steward either over the property thus consecrated or over other property distributed by the bishop. The revelation presented here gave specific directions to Partridge about how he should implement the of properties and money in Thompson among the newly arrived Colesville members. Although Copley apparently offered to allow church members to live on his land in exchange for making improvements upon it, he may have lacked clear title, a possibility suggested by the language in this revelation that instructed Partridge to “go & obtain a deed or Article of this land.” ’s later history affirmed that one of JS’s revelations gave instruction “to purchase a thousand acres of Land which was Claimed By Leman Copley and not paid for.”
There was little opportunity to do as this revelation directed because soon rescinded his agreement to permit the group to live and work on his land. This occurred after Copley’s early May mission to the Shaker settlement at North Union, Ohio, and sometime before 6 June 1831. Neither nor the Colesville church members would have another opportunity to implement the principles of consecration expressed in this and other revelations until they arrived in .
Porter, Larry C. A Study of the Origins of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, 1816–1831. Dissertations in Latter-day Saint History. Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History; BYU Studies, 2000.
After his arrival in Missouri in July 1831, Partridge received similar instructions to “stand in the office which I have appointed him, to divide the saints their inheritance, even as I have commanded.” (Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:7].)
54 <Com> A Revelation given to the at Ohio May 20th. 1831 concerning the property of the &c
Hearken unto me saith the lord your God & I will speak unto my Servent & give unto him directions for it must needs be that he receive directions how to organize this people for it must needs be that they are organized according to my laws if otherwise they will be cut off wherefore let my Servent receive the properties of this People which have covenanted with me to obey the Laws which I have given & let my Servent receive the money as it shall be laid before him according to the covenant & go & obtain a deed or Article of this land unto himself for I have appointed him to receive these things & thus through him the Properties of this Church shall be covenanted unto me wherefore let my Servent & those whom he has chosen in whom I am well pleased appoint unto this People their portion every man alike according to their families according to their wants & their needs & let my servent when he shall appoint a man his portion give unto him a writing that shall secure unto him his portion that he shall hold it of the Church untill he transgress & is not counted worthy by the Church voice of the Church according to the to belong to the Church & thus all things shall be made sure according to the laws of the land & let that which belongeth to this people be appointed unto this people & the money which is left unto this people let there be an agent appointed unto this people to take the money to provide food & raiment according to the wants of this people & let every man deal honestly & be alike among you this People & receive alike that ye may be one even as I have commanded you & let that which belongeth to this people not be taken & given unto that of another church wherefore if another Church would receive money of this Church let them pay unto this church again according as they shall agree & this shall be done through the or the agent which shall be appointed by the voice of the church & again let the appoint a unto this Church & let all things both in in money & in meat [p. 86]
This phrasing suggests that by the date of this revelation Partridge had already selected the two men who would soon be ordained as his counselors. A 9 February 1831 revelation instructed that he should be assisted in administering the consecration of properties by “two of the Elders such as he shall appoint & set apart for that purpose.” Isaac Morley and John Corrill were “ordained assistants to the Bishop” in a church conference in early June. (Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:31]; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.)