Revelation, 25 December 1832 [D&C 87]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

A Prophecy given Decm. 25th 1832
Verily thus saith the Lord, concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass begining at the rebellion of South Carolina which will eventually terminate in the death and missery of many souls, and the days will come that war will be poured out upon all Nations begining at this place for [p. 32] behold the southern states shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other [Nations] even the Nation of Great Britian as it is called and they shall also call upon other Nations in order to defend themselves against other Nations and thus war shall be poured out upon all Nations and it shall come to pass after many days Slaves shall rise up against there Masters who shall be Martialed and disaplined for war and it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will martial themselves also and shall become exceding angry and shall vex the with a soar vexation and thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn and with famine and plague, and Earthquake and the thunder of heaven and the fierce and vivid lightning also shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath and indignation and chastning hand of an Almighty God untill the consumption decribed decreed hath made a full end of all Nations that the cry of the saints and of blood of the saints shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Saboath from the earth to be avenged of their enimies, wherefore stand ye in holy places and be not moved untill the day of the Lord come, for be hold it cometh quickly saith the Lord. Amen
Given by Joseph the writtn by [p. 33]


  1. 1

    This heading may have been part of the original inscription. John Whitmer’s copy of the revelation in Revelation Book 1 contained a similar heading, “Prophecy or Commandments given Decem. 25. 1832.” (Revelation Book 1, p. 157.)  

  2. 2

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 34 [1 Nephi 14:15].  

  3. 3

    TEXT: A later redaction in the handwriting of Frederick G. Williams inserts “Nations” at this point. All other early manuscript versions have “nations” here, suggesting that “Nations” was likely part of the original inscription. (See, for example, Gilbert, Notebook, [109].)  

    Gilbert, Algernon Sidney. Notebook of Revelations, 1831–ca. 1833. Revelations Collection, 1831–ca. 1844, 1847, 1861, ca. 1876. CHL. MS 4583, box 1, fd. 2.

  4. 4

    In the wake of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, the United States continued to view Britain as both a political and economic rival in the Western Hemisphere. (Haynes, Unfinished Revolution, 8–9.)  

    Haynes, Sam W. Unfinished Revolution: The Early American Republic in a British World. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010.

  5. 5

    Brigham Young, who was not present when the revelation was dictated, claimed in 1860 that the revelation was the result of “serious reflections” by “the brethren” about “African slavery on this continent” and “the slavery of children [of] men throughout the world.” “After much deliberation and reflection etc. and being tolerably well acquainted with the customs of the north and south,” he continued, “the Lord gave a revelation concerning slavery.” In August 1831, a slave named Nat Turner led a rebellion in southeastern Virginia that resulted in the deaths of approximately sixty white people and the execution of twenty-one black people (including Turner). Many white Virginians and other white Southerners feared that further rebellions would follow. (Brigham Young, Discourse, 20 May 1860, in George D. Watt, Discourse Shorthand Notes, 20 May 1860, George D. Watt, Papers, as transcribed by LaJean Purcell Carruth, copy in editors’ possession; Oates, Fires of Jubilee, 125–126.)  

    Watt, George D. Papers, ca. 1846–1865. CHL.

    Oates, Stephen B. The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion. New York: Harper and Row, 1975.

  6. 6

    “Remnants” refers to the scattered descendants of ancient Israelites still found on the earth. The Book of Mormon uses the singular “remnant” to refer specifically to descendants of the family of Lehi but the plural “remnants” when discussing all descendants of Israel scattered throughout the world. A letter from JS to Noah C. Saxton, editor of the American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer, written just ten days after this revelation, used “remnants” in a similar way. In that letter, JS declared that God would “recover the remnants of his people which have been left from Assyria, and from Egypt and from Pathros &.c. and from the Islands of the sea.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 31, 117, 23, 496–497 [1 Nephi 13:34; 2 Nephi 30:3; 1 Nephi 10:14; 3 Nephi 20:10–23]; Letter to Noah C. Saxton, 4 Jan. 1833; see also Ashurst-McGee, “Zion Rising,” 263–264.)  

    Ashurst-McGee, Mark. “Zion Rising: Joseph Smith’s Early Social and Political Thought.” PhD diss., Arizona State University, 2008.

  7. 7

    See Isaiah 10:22; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 97 [2 Nephi 20:22].  

  8. 8

    See Jeremiah 30:11; 46:28. Earlier revelations described similar apocalyptic events. (See, for example, Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45]; Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831 [D&C 133]; and Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84].)  

  9. 9

    “Sabaoth” is Hebrew for “hosts” or “armies.” “Lord of Sabaoth” is a militaristic title for God used in Romans 9:29 and James 5:4.  

  10. 10

    This theme from the book of Revelation also appears in the Book of Mormon. (See, for example, Revelation 6:10; 16:1–6; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 106, 473, 534 [2 Nephi 26:3; 3 Nephi 9:11; Mormon 8:27].)  

  11. 11

    A March 1831 revelation discussed similar millenarian episodes and instructed “my Deciples” to “stand in Holy places” and “not be moved.” These “holy places” were apparently the Mormon communities in Jackson County, Missouri, and Geauga County, Ohio. JS’s revelations particularly designated Zion, in Missouri, as a “holy land” and as a refuge from the wars of nations. (Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45:26–32, 63–69]; Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:59]; Revelation, 13 Aug. 1831 [D&C 62:6]; Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:32–37].)