Revelation, , Susquehanna Co., PA, to JS, July 1830. Featured version, titled “25th. Commandment AD July 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 32–34; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
During the two months after the was organized, JS met with believers in three locations: the areas of , , and . Several people were and the first church was convened before JS returned home to his wife in , Pennsylvania, around mid-June. About 26 June, JS, Emma, , , and traveled to Colesville, where Emma and a number of others were baptized, even though several Colesville residents destroyed a previously constructed dam in the stream in an attempt to prevent the baptisms. Before these believers could be , however, JS was twice arrested and charged, as his history recounted, with “being a disorderly person; of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon.” He was released in both instances, but he needed the help of a constable to escape from his antagonists and make his way to the house of Emma’s sister, Elizabeth Hale Wasson, in , where he and Emma were reunited. They returned to Harmony the next day, quite likely 3 July, and a few days later JS and Cowdery came back to Colesville to confirm the recently baptized converts. Before they could do so, a mob assembled, and JS and Cowdery quickly left again. Sometime between their return to Harmony and Cowdery’s departure for Fayette around mid-July, JS dictated this and the following two revelations. This text instructed JS and Cowdery “concerning their Calls”; JS had earlier been identified as prophet, , and translator, as well as an and first , and Cowdery as second elder.
The revelation specifically commanded JS to continue confirming baptized believers, dictating revelations, and expounding the , and commanded (and perhaps JS with him) to go forth and preach. Although the word apostle is not used in this passage, the language describing Cowdery’s calling closely parallels Jesus’s instructions to his apostles. For Cowdery, it may have reinforced the June 1829 revelation describing him as having the same calling as “Paul mine apostle” and the 6 April 1830 revelation that referred to him as “mine Apostle.”
JS History, vol. A-1, 44; see also pp. 37–44. The baptisms took place on Monday, 28 June. According to Sarah (Sally) Coburn Knight’s obituary, she was baptized the next day, 29 June. (Obituary for Sally Knight, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:12–13.)
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.
JS History, vol. A-1, 44–48. JS spent the night of 30 June in the custody of Constable Ebenezer Hatch preceding his court appearance on 1 July 1830 before Justice Joseph Chamberlin in South Bainbridge. After JS’s acquittal on 1 July, he was immediately arrested again and tried before Justice Joel K. Noble in Colesville, apparently on 2 July. After his discharge, JS and Emma probably spent the night at the home of Benjamin and Elizabeth Hale Wasson in Harpursville. (Ebenezer Hatch, Bill of Services, 4 July 1830, Chenango County Historical Society, Norwich, NY; Trial bill, 1 June 1830, People v. JS [J.P. Ct. 1830], Chenango County Courthouse, Norwich, NY; “Mormonism,” Morning Star, 16 Nov. 1832, 114; Knight, Reminiscences, 8; see also [Abram W. Benton], “Mormonites,” Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate, 9 Apr. 1831, 120; “Mormonism,” Boston Christian Herald, 19 Sept. 1832, –; Joel K. Noble to Jonathan B. Turner, Bainbridge, NY, 8 Mar. 1842, Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield; “Some of the Remarks of John S. Reed,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1844, 5:549–552; and John S. Reed, Mexico, NY, to Brigham Young, 6 Dec. 1861, Brigham Young Office Files, CHL.)
Hatch, Ebenezer. Bill of Services, 4 July 1830. Chenango County Historical Society, Norwich, NY.
Trial bill, 1 June 1830. People of Chenango County, New York v. Joseph Smith (J.P. Ct. 1830). Chenango County Courthouse, Norwich, NY.
Morning Star. Limerick, ME. 1826–1904.
Knight, Joseph, Sr. Reminiscences, no date. CHL. MS 3470.
Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate. Utica, NY. 1830–1850.
Boston Christian Herald. Boston. 1829–1833.
Noble, Joel K. Letter to Jonathan B. Turner, Bainbridge, NY, 8 Mar. 1842. Illinois State Historical Society, Springfield.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Oliver Cowdery apparently left early enough in the month that before the end of July, he had made the roughly three-day journey to Fayette and sent JS a letter, and JS had sent a return letter to Cowdery, traveled to Fayette, and returned to Harmony. (JS History, vol. A-1, 50–51.)
Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:10]. Though mockingly, the PalmyraReflector referred to Cowdery in this vein, calling him “the apostle to the NEPHITES.” The 6 April revelation also designated Cowdery “the first Preacher of this Church unto the Church & before the world.” (News Item, Reflector [Palmyra, NY], 1 June 1830, 28, emphasis in original; Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:12].)
A Revelation to Joseph & given at Susquehannah County Pennsylvania telling them concerning their Calls &c
Behold thou wast called & Chosen to write the Book of Mormon & to my ministery & I have lifted thee up out of thine afflictions & have counseled thee that thou hast been delivered from all thine enemies & thou hast been delivered from the power of satan & from darkness Nevertheless thou art not excusable in thy Transgressions Nevertheless go thy way & sin no more magnify thy office & after that thou hast sowed thy fields & Secured them then go speedily unto the which is in & & they shall support thee & I will bless them both spiritually & temporally but if they receive thee not I will send upon them a cursing instead of a blessing & thou shalt continue in calling upon [God] in my name & writing the [p. 32]
The nature of any “transgressions” is unknown. JS’s “office” was described in a revelation three months earlier: “Thou shalt be called a seer & Translater & Prop[h]et an Apostle of Jesus Christ an Elder of the Church.” (Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:1].)
This late sowing of JS’s fields was necessary because JS did not return home from New York until mid-June and thereafter found himself making several trips from Harmony, Pennsylvania, to Colesville, New York. A revelation dictated shortly after this one also dealt with JS’s labor on his farm. (See JS History, vol. A-1, 42–49; and Revelation, July 1830–B. [D&C 26:1])
The demands of church leadership required much of JS’s time and energy. Other revelations contained similar instructions to provide for JS and his family. (See, for example, Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41:7]; and Revelation, Feb. 1831–A [D&C 43:13].)