JS dictated a revelation on 20 March 1841, directing and to assist in the effort to build the . The revelation was given at a time when JS was trying to consolidate settlement in and around , Illinois, and focusing efforts on constructing the Nauvoo and the Nauvoo House in accordance with a January 1841 revelation. JS dictated this 20 March revelation in response to a specific question from Allred and Miller. Though recorded 20 March as the date of the revelation, he did not record the precise date Allred and Miller made their inquiry, listing only “March” and leaving a space for the exact date to be written later. It is possible the two men posed their question several days before the revelation was dictated.
A few weeks after this revelation was dictated, the cornerstones of the were laid during a ceremony preceding a general church . During the conference, JS spoke on the necessity of building not only the temple but also “the , that suitable accommodations might be afforded for the strangers who might visit this city.” At that same conference meeting, the charter for the was read.
The revelation’s appointment of and to assist the Nauvoo House Association anticipated the eventual dissolution of the of and Freedom, where Allred was a and Miller was a stake . In a 24 May 1841 letter, JS instructed members that “all the stakes, excepting those in this county , and in , Iowa, are discontinued, and the saints instructed to settle in this county as soon as circumstances will permit.” In accordance with the revelation featured here, on 10 April 1841 Miller and Allred received $4,000 and $500, respectively, in stock certificates “to sell and account for.”
Brother , of the at , and also Brother of the Stake at Freedom, desire Joseph Smith to enquire of the Lord, his will concerning them.
City of March 20th. 1841
Let my servants , and have an for the selling of stock for the , and assist my servants , , and in building said , and let my servants and take stock in the , that the poor of my people may have employment, and that accomodations may be made for the strangers who shall come to visit this place, and for this purpose let them devote all their properties saith the Lord. [p. 15]
In an October 1840 general conference meeting, Miller requested the creation of a stake in Adams County, Illinois, where he resided. According to the minutes of that conference, “An opportunity was given to the brethren who had any remarks to make suitable locations for stakes. Elder H. Miller stated that it was the desire of a number of the brethren residing in Adams county to have a stake appointed at Mount Ephraim in that county, and stated the advantages of the place for agricultural purposes &c. On motion. Resolved, that a stake be appointed at Mount Ephraim in Adams county.” On 27 October 1840, Miller was appointed president of the newly created Freedom stake, near Payson in Adams County. (Minutes and Discourse, 3–5 Oct. 1840; JS History, vol. C-1 Addenda Book, 1.)