Revelation, , Jackson Co., MO, 8 Aug. 1831. Featured version, titled “63 Commandment given in Missorie Jackson County Independence August 8th. 1831,” copied [ca. Sept. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 100–101; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
On 8 August 1831, JS dictated a revelation instructing “some of the ” who had traveled to to return to , preaching along the way. These elders had reached Missouri in mid- to late July and participated in the dedication of the land for the building of the , the dedication of a , and a with JS and other leaders. “Finding but little or no business for us to accomplish” once this “work” was done, wrote, “most of us became anxious to return home.” A later JS history recounts that the elders inquired of JS “what they were to do,” and this revelation was the response.
The original manuscript of this revelation is not extant. copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 (which he was keeping in ), probably shortly after the elders returned from . Others present at the time the revelation was dictated may have made personal copies as well; , for example, referenced the revelation in a September letter to , suggesting that he had his own copy.
given in Missorie Jackson County August 8th. 1831 directions to some of the to return to their homes & & own land &c &c
Behold thus saith the Lord unto the Elders of this who are to return speedily to the land from whence they came behold it pleaseth me that you have come up hither but with some I am not well pleased for they will not open their mouths but hide the tallent which I have given <unto> them because of the fear of man wo unto such for mine anger is kindelled against them & it shall come to pass if they are not more faithfull unto me it shall be taken away even that which they have for I the Lord ruleth in the heavens above & among the armies of the Earth And in the day when I shall make up my Jewels all men shall know what it is that bespeaketh the power of God but verily I will speak unto you concerning your Journey unto the Land from whence you came let there be a craft made or bought as seemeth you good it mattereth not unto me & take your Journey speedily for the place which is called . & from thence let my Servent & Joseph & take their Journey for & in this place let them lift up their voice & declare my word with loud voices without wrath or doubting lifting up holy hands upon them for I am able to make you holy & your sins are forgiven you & let the residue take their Journey from two by two & preach the word not in haste among the congregations of the wicked untill they return to the churches from whence they came & all this for the good of the churches for this intent have I sent them & let my servent impart of the money which I have given him a portion unto mine Elders which are commanded to return & he that is able let him return it by the way of the & he that is not of him it is not required And now I speak of the [p. 100]
Ezra Booth, who traveled to Missouri at this time but later left the church, recounted, “For more than two weeks, while I remained there [in Missouri], the disposition of the Elders appeared to be averse to preaching.” (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. V,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 10 Nov. 1831, .)
A 1 August 1831 revelation stated, “It is not meet that I should command in all things for he that is compelled in all things the same is a slothfull & not a wise Servent.” (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:26].)
On the trip to Independence in June, JS and his companions went on foot from St. Louis, Missouri, parallel to the eastward-flowing Missouri River. On their return trip, they could more easily travel downriver to St. Louis by water. Ezra Booth later recollected that he and one other elder were given the task of “procuring the means of conveyance down the river.” JS and others began their return to Ohio in canoes. (JS History, vol. A-1, 126, 142; Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. V,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 10 Nov. 1831, ; Minutes, 4 Aug. 1831.)