Revelation, [, Seneca Co., NY], to , 7 Dec. 1830. Featured version, titled “38th Commandment AD 1830. Dec.m. 7th,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 46–48; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
A portion of another early copy of this revelation in the handwriting of survived through the family, coming into the Church Historian’s Office in the 1960s. Symonds Rider supplied the text to the editor of the Ohio Star (Ravenna), which published it in the 5 January 1832 issue. Rider claimed that he received his version from David Whitmer. The text featured here, the Star version, and the existing portion of the Whitmer version from the Rider family are all similar, with no significant variants.
“Mormonism,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 5 Jan. 1832, ; Symonds Rider, Letter to the Editor, Ohio Star (Ravenna), 29 Dec. 1831, .
Ohio Star. Ravenna. 1830–1854.
The conversion of and others in northeastern in fall 1830 transformed the new geographically and demographically. Within a few weeks after missionaries arrived in Ohio, more than one hundred individuals were , and by the end of December church members in were commanded to move to Ohio. , where the first baptisms in Ohio took place, became an important gathering place for church members for the next seven years. The visit of Sidney Rigdon and to only a few weeks after Rigdon’s baptism helped bring about this transition. According to ’s history, Rigdon made the trip because he had “much anxiety to see Joseph Smith Jr. the Seer whom the Lord had raised up in these last days.” Rigdon and Partridge arrived in early December 1830, and shortly thereafter JS dictated a revelation for each of them. This revelation, for Rigdon, praised his previous ministerial labors and positioned him as JS’s scribe for JS’s inspired of the Bible. Rigdon remained in New York with JS for the next two months until they both moved to Ohio.
Pratt, Autobiography, 50; Anderson, “Impact of the First Preaching in Ohio,” 478.
Pratt, Parley P. The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Embracing His Life, Ministry and Travels, with Extracts, in Prose and Verse, from His Miscellaneous Writings. Edited by Parley P. Pratt Jr. New York: Russell Brothers, 1874.
who believe on my name & whoso shall ask it in my name in faith they shall cast out Devils they shall heal the sick they shall cause the blind to receive their sight & the deaf the to hear & the dumb to speak & the lame to walk & the time speedily cometh that great things are to be shewn forth unto the Children of men but without faith not any thing shall be shewn forth except desolations upon Babylon the same which has made all Nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication & there are none that do good except they that are ready to receive the fulness of my Gospel which I have sent forth to this generation Wherefore I have called upon the weak things of the world they that are unlearned & dispised to thresh the Nations by the Power of my spirit & their arm shall be mine arm & I will be their shield & their Buckler & I will gird up their loins & they shall fight manfully for me & their enemies shall be under their feet & I will let fall the sword in their behalf & by the fire of mine indignation will I preserve them & the poor & the meek shall have the Gospel preached unto them & they shall be looking forth for the time of my coming for it is nigh at hand & they shall learn the Parible of the figg tree for even now already summer is nigh & I have sent forth the fullness of the <my> Gospel by the hand of my servent Joseph & in weakness have I blessed him & I have given unto him the of the mystery of those things which have been sealed even things which was from the foundation of the world & the things which shall come from this time until the time of my coming if he abide in me & if not another will I plant in his stead Wherefore watch over him that his faith fail not & it shall be given by the comforter (the Holy Ghost) Which knoweth all things & a I give unto you that thou shalt write for him & the scriptures shall be given even as they are in mine own bosom to the salvation of mine own elect for th[e]y will hear my voice & shall see me & shall not be asleep & shall abide the day of my coming for they shall be purified even as I am pure & now I [p. 47]
The Ohio Star version has “pursue them.” In August 1830, JS and John Whitmerwrote to the church members in Colesville, New York, “Brethren be not dis-couraged when we tell you of perilous times, for they must shortly come, for the sword, famine, and pestilence are approaching, for there shall be great destructions upon the face of this land . . . and the Lord hath said that a short work will he make of it, and the righteous shall be saved if it be as by fire.” (“Mormonism,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 5 Jan. 1832, ; Letter to Newel Knight and the Church in Colesville, 28 Aug. 1830.)
See Matthew 24:32. One of JS’s contemporaries recalled that the Mormons “gained many proselytes . . . even among persons of intelligence, who had been filled with vague expectations of a speedy millennium.” (Richardson, Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, 347.)
Richardson, Robert. Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, Embracing a View of the Origin, Progress and Principles of the Religious Reformation Which He Advocated. Vol. 2. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1870.
An 1828 revelation reprimanded JS for the loss of the first part of the Book of Mormon manuscript, warning him that if he did not repent, he would “be delivered up & become as other men & have no more gift.” The command here to Rigdon to “watch over” JS acknowledges JS’s gifts but also his fallibility. Similarly, an earlier revelation admonished Oliver Cowdery to “stand by my servant Joseph faithfully in whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be, for the word’s sake. Admonish him in his faults and also receive admonition of him.” (Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:11]; Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6:18–19].)
This passage refers to JS’s revision of the Bible, a project he commenced earlier in 1830. By December he had reached Genesis 5. Pursuant to this revelation, Rigdon promptly commenced his scribal labors, writing JS’s dictation of a lengthy expansion of Genesis 5:22–24. (See Old Testament Revision 1, pp. 12–19 [Moses 6:26–8:4].)