Revelation, , Seneca Co., NY, to , [Sept.] 1830. Featured version, titled “34th Commandment AD 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 43–44; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
According to his history, JS dictated this revelation for during the 26 September 1830 . Marsh, a resident of Charlestown, Massachusetts, who had earlier been affiliated with the Methodist church, first learned of JS and his activities when he visited , New York, in 1829. He later recounted that in the summer of that year, “I thought the Spirit required me to make a journey West. I started in co[mpan]y. with on[e] Benj. Hall, who was also led by the Spirit. We went to Lima Livingston Co N. Y. where we stayed some 3 mos. and then left for home.” Before returning home, however, he stopped in Lyons, just fifteen miles east of Palmyra, where he learned of the printing of the Book of Mormon. He then traveled on to Palmyra, where he met , saw proof sheets of the first pages of the Book of Mormon, and spoke with , who, according to Marsh, “gave me all the information concer[n]ing the Book I wanted.” Marsh returned to his home interested in what he had learned and carrying the first sixteen printed pages of the book. On 25 October, Marsh wrote to Cowdery to express his interest in the little band of believers and to inquire about their welfare. Cowdery reported to JS that although Marsh had found some unwilling to listen, he had talked “to Some respecting our work.” The correspondence continued, but the letters are no longer extant. After learning by letter of the April organization of the , Marsh and his family moved to Palmyra in September 1830. Shortly before the second conference of the church in late September, Marsh and Oliver Cowdery him an , most likely shortly before JS dictated this revelation.
Echoing revelations from April and June of 1829 that called for the formation of a church and the gathering of believers, this text emphasized the urgency of the work and admonished to “thrust in thy Sickle with all thy Soul.” Like , , and others before him, as well as and soon after, Marsh was reminded that the “harvest” was near; in vivid apocalyptic language, the revelation warned that the field was “already to be burned.”
The revelation also addressed ’s understandable concerns about his family’s welfare as he traveled and preached, promising him that his family would be blessed during his absence. Though the revelation does not indicate where he was to preach, he remained in until the spring of 1831 and corresponded with relatives in , urging them to join the believers. In June 1831 he was called to travel to and preach along the way.
Those that revile govern thy house in meekness & be steadfast Behold I say unto you that thou shalt be a P[h]ysician unto the Church but not unto the World for they will not receive thee go thy way whithersoever I will & it shall be given thee by the Comforter what thou shalt do & whither thou shalt go pray always lest ye enter into temptation & loose thy reward be faithful unto the end & Lo! I am with you these words are not of man neither of men but of me even Jesus Christ your Redeemer by the will of the father even so amen [p. 44]
Two accounts in Marsh’s brief autobiography indicate that during the early years of his church membership he was called upon to act in a medical capacity. While en route from Ohio to Missouri, he was summoned to care for a “br. Blackslee” suffering from cholera but was unable to reach him in time to treat him. Another time he cared for Joseph Knight, who was “sick with the bloody flux,” or dysentery. (“T B Marsh,” –, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL.)
Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.