History of the Church Vol. 1 Chapter 18. [Dec. 1831 - Mar. 1832]
The Amherst Conference--The Vision of the Degrees of Glory In Man's Future Life.(1)
[For an explanation of abbreviations used see vol. 1 chapter 1.]
[Copyright © 1998 BOAP. All rights reserved.]
After Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer had departed for Jackson county, Missouri(2), I resumed the translation of the Scriptures, and continued to labor in this branch of my calling(3) with Elder Sidney Rigdon as my scribe, until I received the following:
Revelation, given December 1st, 1831. [D&C 71](4)
1. Behold, thus saith the Lord unto you my servants Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, that the time has verily come that it is necessary and expedient in me that you should open your mouths in proclaiming my gospel, the things of the kingdom, expounding the mysteries thereof out of the scriptures, according to that portion of Spirit and power which shall be given unto you, even as I will.
2. Verily I say unto you, proclaim unto the world in the regions round about, and in the church also, for the space of a season, even until it shall be made known unto you.
3. Verily this is a mission for a season, which I give unto you.
4. Wherefore, labor ye in my vineyard. Call upon the inhabitants of the earth, and bear record, and prepare the way for the commandments and revelations which are to come.(5)
5. Now, behold this is wisdom; whoso readeth, let him understand and receive also;
6. For unto him that receiveth it shall be given more abundantly, even power.
7. Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest.(6)
8. Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord.
9. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you--there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
10. And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time.
11. Wherefore, keep my commandments; they are true and faithful. Even so. Amen.
Knowing now the mind of the Lord, that the time had come that the Gospel should be proclaimed in power and demonstration to the world, from the Scriptures, reasoning with men as in days of old, I took a journey to Kirtland, in company with Elder Sidney Rigdon on the 3rd day of December, to fulfill the above revelation. On the 4th, several of the Elders and members assembled together to learn their duty, and for edification, and after some time had been spent in conversing about our temporal and spiritual welfare, I received the following:
Revelation Given December 4th, 1831. [D&C 72](7)
1. Hearken, and listen to the voice of the Lord, O ye who have assembled yourselves together, who are the high priests of my church, to whom the kingdom and power have been given.
2. For verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient in me for a bishop to be appointed unto you, or of you, unto the church in this part of the Lord's vineyard.
3. And verily in this thing ye have done wisely, for it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity.
4. For he who is faithful and wise in time is accounted worthy to inherit the mansions prepared for him of my Father.
5. Verily I say unto you, the elders of the church in this part of my vineyard shall render an account of their stewardship unto the bishop, who shall be appointed of me in this part of my vineyard.
6. These things shall be had on record, to be handed over unto the bishop in Zion.
7. And the duty of the bishop shall be made known by the commandments which have been given, and the voice of the conference.
8. And now, verily I say unto you, my servant Newel K. Whitney is the man who shall be appointed and ordained unto this power. This is the will of the Lord your God, your Redeemer. Even so. Amen.
9. The word of the Lord, in addition to the law which has been given, making known the duty of the bishop who has been ordained unto the church in this part of the vineyard, which is verily this--
10. To keep the Lord's storehouse; to receive the funds of the church in this part of the vineyard,
11. To take an account of the elders as before has been commanded; and to administer to their wants, who shall pay for that which they receive, inasmuch as they have wherewith to pay;
12. That this also may be consecrated to the good of the church, to the poor and needy.
13. And he who hath not wherewith to pay, an account shall be taken and handed over to the bishop of Zion, who shall pay the debt out of that which the Lord shall put into his hands.
14. And the labors of the faithful who labor in spiritual things, in administering the gospel and the things of the kingdom unto the church, and unto the world, shall answer the debt unto the bishop in Zion;
15. Thus it cometh out of the church, for according to the law every man that cometh up to Zion must lay all things before the bishop in Zion.
16. And now, verily I say unto you, that as every elder in this part of the vineyard must give an account of his stewardship unto the bishop in this part of the vineyard--
17. A certificate from the judge or bishop in this part of the vineyard, unto the bishop in the vineyard, unto the bishop in Zion, rendereth every man acceptable, and answereth all things, for an inheritance, and to be received as a wise steward and as a faithful laborer;
18. Otherwise he shall not be accepted of the bishop of Zion.
19. And now, verily I say unto you, let every elder who shall give an account unto the bishop of the church in this part of the vineyard be recommended by the church or churches, in which he labors, that he may render himself and his accounts approved in all things.
20. And again, let my servants who are appointed as stewards over the literary concerns of my church have claim for assistance upon the bishop or bishops in all things--
21. That the revelations may be published, and go forth unto the ends of the earth; that they also may obtain funds which shall benefit the church in all things;
22. That they also may render themselves approved in all things, and be accounted as wise stewards.
23. And now, behold, this shall be an ensample for all the extensive branches of my church, in whatsoever land they shall be established. And now I make an end of my sayings. Amen.
24. A few words in addition to the laws of the kingdom, respecting the members of the church--they that are appointed by the Holy Spirit to go up unto Zion, and they who are privileged to go up unto Zion--
25. Let them carry up unto the bishop a certificate from three elders of the church, or a certificate from the bishop;
26. Otherwise he who shall go up unto the land of Zion shall not be accounted as a wise steward. This is also an ensample. Amen.
From this time until the 8th or 10th of January, 1832, myself and Elder Rigdon continued to preach(8) in Shalersville, Ravenna, and other places, setting forth the truth, vindicating the cause of our Redeemer; showing that the day of vengeance was coming upon this generation like a thief in the night; that prejudice, blindness and darkness filled the minds of many, and caused them to persecute the true Church, and reject the true light; by which means we did much towards allaying the excited feelings which were growing out of the scandalous letters then being published in the Ohio Star, at Ravenna, by the before-mentioned apostate, Ezra Booth(9). On the 10th of January(10), I received the following revelation making known the will of the Lord concerning the Elders of the Church until the convening of the next conference(11).
Revelation of January 10th, 1832. [D&C 73](12)
1. For verily, thus saith the Lord, it is expedient in me that they should continue preaching the gospel, and in exhortation to the churches in the regions round about, until conference;
2. And then, behold, it shall be made known unto them, by the voice of the conference, their several missions.
3. Now, verily I say unto you my servants, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, saith the Lord, it is expedient to translate again;
4. And, inasmuch as it is practicable, to preach in the regions round about until conference; and after that it is expedient to continue the work of translation until it be finished.
5. And let this be a pattern unto the elders until further knowledge, even as it is written.
6. Now I give no more unto you at this time. Gird up your loins and be sober. Even so. Amen.
Upon the reception of the foregoing word of the Lord, I recommenced the translation of the Scriptures(13), and labored diligently until just before the conference, which was to convene on the 25th of January. During this period, I also received the following, as an explanation of the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 7th chapter, 14th verse:
Revelation. [D&C 74](14) [Between Jan. 10, 1832 and Jan. 25, 1832]
1. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean, but now are they holy.
2. Now, in the days of the apostles the law of circumcision was had among all the Jews who believed not the gospel of Jesus Christ.
3. And it came to pass that there arose a great contention among the people concerning the law of circumcision, for the unbelieving husband was desirous that his children should be circumcised and become subject to the law of Moses, which law was fulfilled.
4. And it came to pass that the children, being brought up in subjection to the law of Moses, gave heed to the traditions of their fathers and believed not the gospel of Christ, wherein they became unholy.
5. Wherefore, for this cause the apostle wrote unto the church, giving unto them a commandment, not of the Lord, but of himself, that a believer should not be united to an unbeliever; except the law of Moses should be done away among them.
6. That their children might remain without circumcision; and that the tradition might be done away, which saith that little children are unholy; for it was had among the Jews;
7. But little children are holy, being sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ; and this is what the scriptures mean.
A few days before the conference was to commence in Amherst, Lorain county, I started with the Elders that lived in my own vicinity, and arrived in good time(15). At this conference much harmony prevailed, and considerable business was done to advance the kingdom, and promulgate the Gospel to the inhabitants of the surrounding country(16). The Elders seemed anxious for me to inquire of the Lord that they might know His will, or learn what would be most pleasing to Him for them to do, in order to bring men to a sense of their condition; for, as it was written, all men have gone out of the way, so that none doeth good, no, not one(17). I inquired and received the following:
Revelation, given January [25th], 1832. [D&C 75](18)
1. Verily, verily, I say unto you, I who speak even by the voice of my spirit, even Alpha and Omega, your Lord and your God--
2. Hearken, O ye who have given your names to go forth to proclaim my gospel, and to prune my vineyard.
3. Behold, I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry, neither be idle but labor with your might--
4. Lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump, proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you.
5. And thus, if ye are faithful ye shall be laden with many sheaves, and crowned with honor, and glory, and immortality, and eternal life.
6. Therefore, verily I say unto my servant William E. M'Lellin, I revoke the commission which I gave unto him to go unto the eastern countries;
7. And I give unto him a new commission and a new commandment, in the which I, the Lord, chasten him for the murmurings of his heart;
8. And he sinned; nevertheless, I forgive him and say unto him again, Go ye into the south countries.
9. And let my servant Luke Johnson go with him, and proclaim the things which I have commanded them--
10. Calling on the name of the Lord for the Comforter, which shall teach them all things that are expedient for them--
11. Praying always that they faint not and inasmuch as they do this, I will be with them even unto the end.
12. Behold, this is the will of the Lord your God concerning you. Even so. Amen.
13. And again, verily thus saith the Lord, let my servant Orson Hyde and my servant Samuel H. Smith take their journey into the eastern countries, and proclaim the things which I have commanded them; and inasmuch as they are faithful, lo, I will be with them even unto the end.
14. And again, verily I say unto my servant Lyman Johnson, and unto my servant Orson Pratt, they shall also take their journey into the eastern countries; and behold, and lo, I am with them also, even unto the end.
15. And again, I say unto my servant Asa Dodds(19), and unto my servant Calves Wilson(20), that they also shall take their journey unto the western countries, and proclaim my gospel, even as I have commanded them.
16. And he who is faithful shall overcome all things, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
17. And again, I say unto my servant Major N. Ashley, and my servant Burr Riggs, let them take their journey also into the south country.
18. Yea, let all those take their journey, as I have commanded them, going from house to house, and from village to village, and from city to city.
19. And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you, leave your blessing upon that house.
20. And in whatsoever house ye enter, and they receive you not, ye shall depart speedily from that house, and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimony against them.
21. And you shall be filled with joy and gladness; and know this, that in the day of judgment you shall be judges of that house, and condemn them;
22. And it shall be more tolerable for the heathen in the day of judgment, than for that house; therefore, gird up your loins and be faithful, and ye shall overcome all things and be lifted up at the last day. Even so. Amen.
23. And again, thus saith the Lord unto you, O ye elders of my church, who have given your names that you might know his will concerning you--
24. Behold, I say unto you, that it is the duty of the church to assist in supporting the families of those, and also to support the families of those who are called and must needs be sent unto the world to proclaim the gospel unto the world.
25. Wherefore, I, the Lord, give unto you this commandment, that ye obtain places for your families inasmuch as your brethren are willing to open their hearts.
26. And let all such as can obtain places for their families, and support of the church for them, not fail to go into the world, whether to the east, or to the west, or to the north, or to the south.
27. Let them ask and they shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto them, and be made known from on high, even by the Comforter, whither they shall go.
28. And again, verily I say unto you, that every man who is obliged to provide for his own family, let him provide, and he shall in nowise lose his crown; and let him labor in the church.
29. Let every man be diligent in all things. And the idler shall not have place in the church, except he repent and mend his ways.
30. Wherefore, let my servant Simeon Carter and my servant Emer Harris be united in the ministry;
31. And also my servant Ezra Thayre and my servant Thomas B. Marsh;
32. Also my servant Hyrum Smith and my servant Reynolds Cahoon;
33. And also my servant Daniel Stanton and my servant Seymour Brunson;
34. And also my servant Sylvester Smith and my servant Gideon Carter;
35. And also my servant Ruggles Eames and my servant Stephen Burnett;
36. And also my servant Micah B. Welton and also my servant Eden Smith. Even so. Amen.
Upon my return from Amherst conference(21), I resumed the translation of the Scriptures. From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled. It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body the term "Heaven," as intended for the Saints' eternal home must include more kingdoms than one. Accordingly, on the 16th of February, 1832, while translating St. John's Gospel, myself and Elder Rigdon saw the following vision(22):
Vision of the Glories. [D&C 76](23)
1. Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, and rejoice ye in habitants thereof, for the Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior.
2. Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out.
3. His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand.
4. From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail.
5. For thus saith the Lord--I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end.
6. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory,
7. And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.
8. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.
9. And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.
10. For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will--yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.
11. We, Joseph Smith, Jun., and Sidney Rigdon, being in the Spirit on the sixteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-two--
12. By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God--
13. Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning;
14. Of whom we bear record; and the record which we bear is the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision.
15. For while we were doing the work of translation, which the Lord had appointed unto us, we came to the twenty-ninth verse of the fifth chapter of John, which was given unto us as follows:
16. Speaking of the resurrection of the dead, concerning those who shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth--
17. They who have done good in the resurrection of the just, and they who have done evil in the resurrection of the unjust--
18. Now this caused us to marvel, for it was given unto us of the Spirit.
19. And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about.
20. And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fullness;
21. And saw the holy angels, and them who are sanctified before his throne, worshiping God, and the Lamb, who worship him forever and ever.
22. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him; That he lives!
23. For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--
24. That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.(24)
25. And this we saw also, and bear record, that an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, who rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down from the presence of God and the Son,
26. And was called Perdition, for the heavens wept over him--he was Lucifer, a son of the morning.
27. And we beheld, and lo, he is fallen! is fallen, even a son of the morning!
28. And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ--
29. Wherefore, he maketh war with the saints of God, and encompasseth them round about.
30. And we saw a vision of the sufferings of those with whom he made war and overcame, for thus came the voice of the Lord unto us;
31. Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power--
32. They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;
33. For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity;
34. Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come--
35. Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.
36. These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels--
37. And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;
38. Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath.
39. For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.
40. And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us--
41. That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
42. That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
43. Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.
44. Wherefore, he saves all except them--they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment--
45. And the end thereof, neither the place thereof, nor their torment, no man knows;
46. Neither was it revealed, neither is, neither will be revealed unto man, except to them who are made partakers thereof;
47. Nevertheless, I, the Lord, show it by vision unto many, but straightway shut it up again;
48. Wherefore, the end, the width, the height, the depth, and the misery thereof, they understand not, neither any man except those who are ordained unto this condemnation,
49. And we heard the voice, saying; Write the vision, for lo, this is the end of the vision of the sufferings of the ungodly.
50. And again we bear record--for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just--
51. They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given--
52. That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53. And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
54. They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
55. They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things--
56. They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fullness, and of his glory;
57. And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
58. Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God--
59. Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's.
60. And they shall overcome all things.
61. Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
62. These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.
63. These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on earth over his people.
64. These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.
65. These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just.
66. These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
67. These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.
68. These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.
69. These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.
70. These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even, the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.
71. And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fullness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.
72. Behold, these are they who died without law;
73. And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;
74. Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
75. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
76. These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fullness.
77. These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fullness of the Father.
78. Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun.
79. These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.
80. And now this is the end of the vision which we saw of the terrestrial, that the Lord commanded us to write while we were yet in the Spirit.
81. And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.
82. These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.
83. These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit.
84. These are they who are thrust down to hell.24a
85. These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.
86. These are they who receive not of his fullness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;
87. And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial.
88. And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.
89. And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding;
90. And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it.
91. And thus we saw the glory of the terrestrial which excels in all things the glory of the telestial, even in glory, and in power, and in might, and in dominion.
92. And thus we saw the glory of the celestial, which excels in all things--where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever;
93. Before whose throne all things bow in humble reverence, and give him glory forever and ever.
94. They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they see as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fullness and of his grace;
95. And he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.
96. And the glory of the celestial is one, even as the glory of the sun is one.
97. And the glory of the terrestrial is one, even as the glory of the moon is one.
98. And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world;
99. For these are they who are of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas.
100. These are they who say they are some of one and some of another--some of Christ and some of John, and some of Moses, and some of Elias, and some of Esaias, and some of Isaiah, and some of Enoch;
101. But received not the gospel, neither the testimony of Jesus, neither the prophets, neither the everlasting covenant.
102. Last of all, these all are they who will not be gathered with the saints, to be caught up unto the church of the Firstborn, and received into the cloud.
103. These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers, and whoremongers, and whosoever loves and makes a lie.
104. These are they who suffer the wrath of God on earth.
105. These are they who suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.
106. These are they who are cast down to hell and suffer the wrath of Almighty God, until the fullness of times, when Christ shall have subdued all enemies under his feet, and shall have perfected his work;
107. When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying; I have overcome and have trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.
108. Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever.
109. But behold, and lo, we saw the glory and the inhabitants of the telestial world, that they were as innumerable as the stars in the firmament of heaven, or as the sand upon the seashore;
110. And heard the voice of the Lord, saying: These all shall bow the knee, and every tongue shall confess to him who sits upon the throne forever and ever;
111. For they shall be judged according to their works, and every man shall receive according to his own works, his own dominion, in the mansions which are prepared;
112. And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.
113. This is the end of the vision which we saw, which we were commanded to write while we were yet in the Spirit.
114. But great and marvelous are the works of the Lord, and the mysteries of his kingdom which he showed unto us, which surpass all understanding in glory, and in might and in dominion;
115. Which he commanded us we should not write while we were yet in the Spirit, and are not lawful for man to utter;
116. Neither is man capable to make them known, for they are only to be seen and understood by the power of the Holy Spirit, which God bestows on those who love him, and purify themselves before him;
117. To whom he grants this privilege of seeing and knowing for themselves;
118. That through the power and manifestation of the Spirit, while in the flesh, they may be able to bear his presence in the world of glory.
119. And to God and the Lamb be glory, and honor, and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Nothing could be more pleasing to the Saints upon the order of the kingdom of the Lord, than the light which burst upon the world through the foregoing vision. Every law, every commandment, every promise, every truth, and every point touching the destiny of man, from Genesis to Revelation, where the purity of the scriptures remains unsullied by the folly of men(25), go to show the perfection of the theory [of different degrees of glory in the future life] and witnesses the fact that that document is a transcript from the records of the eternal world. The sublimity of the ideas; the purity of the language; the scope for action; the continued duration for completion, in order that the heirs of salvation may confess the Lord and bow the knee; the rewards for faithfulness, and the punishments for sins, are so much beyond the narrow-mindedness of men, that every honest man is constrained to exclaim: "It came from God."
About the first of March(26), in connection with the translation of the Scriptures, I received the following explanation of the Revelation of St. John:
Revelation, given at Hiram, Portage County, Ohio. [D&C 77](27) [After March 8th ?]
1. Q. What is the sea of glass spoken of by John, 4th chapter, and 6th verse of the Revelation?
A. It is the earth, in its sanctified, immortal, and eternal state.
2. Q. What are we to understand by the four beasts, spoken of in the same verse?
A. They are figurative expressions, used by the Revelator, John, in describing heaven, the paradise of God, the happiness of man, and of beasts, and of creeping things and of the fowls of the air; that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal; and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual; the spirit of man in the likeness of his person, as also the spirit of the beast, and every other creature which God has created.
3. Q. Are the four beasts limited to individual beasts, or do they represent classes or orders?
A. They are limited to four individual beasts, which were shown to John, to represent the glory of the classes of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation, in the enjoyment of their eternal felicity.
4. Q. What are we to understand by the eyes and wings, which the beasts had?
A. Their eyes are a representation of light and knowledge, that is, they are full of knowledge; and their wings are a representation of power, to move, to act, etc.
5. Q. What are we to understand by the four and twenty elders, spoken of by John?
A. We are to understand that these elders whom John saw, were elders who had been faithful in the work of the ministry and were dead; who belonged to the seven churches, and were then in the paradise of God.
6. Q. What are we to understand by the book which John saw, which was sealed on the back with seven seals?
A. We are to understand that it contains the revealed will, mysteries, and works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence.
7. Q. What are we to understand by the seven seals with which it was sealed?
A. We are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years, and the second also of the second thousand years, and so on until the seventh.
8. Q. What are we to understand by the four angels, spoken of in the 7th chapter and 1st verse of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that they are four angels sent forth from God, to whom is given power over the four parts of the earth, to save life and to destroy; these are they who have the everlasting gospel to commit to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people; having power to shut up the heavens, to seal up unto life, or to cast down to the regions of darkness.
9. Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?
A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things.
10. Q. What time are the things spoken of in this chapter to be accomplished?
A. They are to be accomplished in the sixth thousand years, or the opening of the sixth seal.
11. Q. What are we to understand by sealing the one hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel--twelve thousand out of every tribe?
A. We are to understand that those who are sealed are high priests, ordained unto the holy order of God, to administer the everlasting gospel; for they are they who are ordained out of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, by the angels to whom is given power over the nations of the earth, to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn.
12. Q. What are we to understand by the sounding of the trumpets, mentioned in the 8th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that as God made the world in six days, and on the seventh day he finished his work, and sanctified it, and also formed man out of the dust of the earth, even so, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years will the Lord God sanctify the earth, and complete the salvation of man, and judge all things, and shall redeem all things, except that which he hath not put into his power, when he shall have sealed all things, unto the end of all things; and the sounding of the trumpets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing of his work, in the beginning of the seventh thousand years--the preparing of the way before the time of his coming.
13. Q. When are the things to be accomplished, which are written in the 9th chapter of Revelation?
A. They are to be accomplished after the opening of the seventh seal, before the coming of Christ.
14. Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.
15. Q. What is to be understood by the two witnesses, in the eleventh chapter of Revelation?
A. They are two prophets that are to be raised up to the Jewish nation in the last days, at the time of the restoration, and to prophesy to the Jews alter they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem in the land of their fathers.
Besides the work of translating, previous to the 20th of March, I received the four following revelations:--
Revelation, given March, 1832. The order given of the Lord to Enoch
[Joseph Smith, Jun.,(28) (29)] for the purpose of establishing the poor(30). [D&C 78](31) [March 1, 1832]
1. The Lord spake unto Enoch [Joseph Smith, Jun.], saying; Hearken unto me, saith the Lord your God, who are ordained unto the high priesthood of my church, who have assembled yourselves together;
2. And listen to the counsel of him who has ordained you from on high, who shall speak in your ears the words of wisdom, that salvation may be unto you in that thing which you have presented before me, saith the Lord God.
3. For verily I say unto you, the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion--
4. Or in other words, the city of Enoch--Joseph--, for a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused, to the salvation of man, and to the glory of your Father who is in heaven;
5. That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.
6. For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;
7. For if you will that I give unto you a place in the celestial world, you must prepare yourselves by doing the things which I have commanded you and required of you.
8. And now, verily thus saith the Lord, it is expedient that all things be done unto my glory, by you who are joined together in this order;
9. Or, in other words, let my servant Ahashdah [Newel K. Whitney] and my servant Gazelam, or Enoch [Joseph Smith, Jun.,] and my servant Pelagoram [Sidney Rigdon], sit in council with the saints which are in Zion;
10. Otherwise Satan seeketh to turn their hearts away from the truth, that they become blinded and understand not the things which are prepared for them.
11. Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, to prepare and organize yourselves by a bond or everlasting covenant that cannot be broken.
12. And he who breaketh it shall lose his office and standing in the church, and shall be delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until the day of redemption.
13. Behold this is the preparation wherewith I prepare you, and the foundation, and the ensample which I give unto you, whereby you may accomplish the commandments which are given you;
14. That through my providence, notwithstanding the tribulation which shall descend upon you, that the church may stand independent above all other creatures beneath the celestial world;
15. That you may come up unto the crown prepared for you, and be made rulers over many kingdoms saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Zion, who hath established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman;
16. Who hath appointed Michael your prince, and established his feet, and set him upon high, and given unto him the keys of salvation under the counsel and direction of the Holy One, who is without beginning of days or end of life
17. Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
18. And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.
19. And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him even an hundred fold, yea, more.
20. Wherefore, do the things which I have commanded you, saith your Redeemer, even the Son Ahman, who prepareth all things before he taketh you;
21. For ye are the church of the Firstborn, and be will take you up in a cloud, and appoint every man his portion.
22. And he that is a faithful and wise steward shall inherit all things. Amen.
Revelation, given March, 1832. [D&C 79](32) [March 12, 1832]
1. Verily I say unto you, that it is my will that my servant Jared Carter should go again into the eastern countries, from place to place, and from city to city, in the power of the ordination wherewith he has been ordained, proclaiming glad tidings of great joy, even the everlasting gospel.
2. And I will send upon him the Comforter, which shall teach him the truth and the way whither he shall go;
3. And inasmuch as he is faithful, I will crown him again with sheaves.
4. Wherefore, let your heart be glad, my servant Jared Carter, and fear not, saith your Lord, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
Revelation, given March, 1832. [D&C 80](33) [March 7, 1832]
1. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Stephen Burnett: Go ye, go ye into the world and preach the gospel to every creature that cometh under the sound of your voice.
2. And inasmuch as you desire a companion, I will give unto you my servant Eden Smith.
3. Wherefore, go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss.
4. Therefore, declare the things which ye have heard, and verily believe, and know to be true.
5. Behold, this is the will of him who hath called you, your Redeemer, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
Revelation, given March, 1832. [D&C 81](34) [March 15, 1832]
1. Verily, verily I say unto you my servant Frederick G. Williams: Listen to the voice of him who speaketh, to the word of the Lord your God, and hearken to the calling wherewith you are called, even to be a high priest in my church, and a counselor unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.
2. Unto whom I have given the keys of the kingdom, which belong always unto the Presidency of the High Priesthood(35);
3. Therefore, verily I acknowledge him and will bless him, and also thee, inasmuch as thou art faithful in counsel, in the office which I have appointed unto you, in prayer always, vocally and in thy heart in public and in private, also in thy ministry in proclaiming the gospel in the land of the living, and among thy brethren.
4. And in doing these things thou wilt do the greatest good unto thy fellow beings, and wilt promote the glory of him who is your Lord.
5. Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.
6. And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father.
7. Behold, and lo, these are the words of Alpha and Omega, even Jesus Christ. Amen.
Notes Chapter 18.
Return to History Page
1. In this chapter, as in others in the history, various minor changes in spelling and transposition of phrases are apparent from the ms history. We will note only a few where the editorial hand was slightly heavier. Compare PJS 1:369-373.
2. During their trip, Cowdery and Whitmer held several conferences to regulate matters in the Winchester, Indiana branch of the Church along the way. Winchester was about 225 miles southwest of Kirtland. The conferences began Nov. 30 and continued Dec. 1, 6, 7. See FWR for details. Various practices of the early Church are illustrated in these meetings, especially Church discipline. The two men began their journey from Ohio on Nov. 20, 1831 and arrived at Independence, Missouri on January 5, 1832.
3. Joseph regarded this work as being very significant. Its consequences were manifold. The translation work resulted in many revelations already enumerated. The formal effort essentially terminated two years later but for the rest of his life Joseph Smith remarked about further corrections to the text.
4. Two early mss of this revelation exist, both in the handwriting of F. G. Williams. No consequential variations exist among copies of this revelation. The mss predate the first published version in the 1835 D&C (section 90 in the 1835 edition). The purpose of this revelation was to invite Joseph and Sydney to counteract the influence of Ezra Booth and other apostates like Simonds Ryder. It was an unusual exception to the rule of not contending with enemies of the Church on doctrinal issues - compare with the Lamanite missionaries who politely refused to dabate during their Ohio sojourn. As already noted, Booth had published letters against the character of Joseph Smith and Mormonism and Booth and Ryder had given speeches in several Ohio towns. This revelation does give precedent for those occasions where Church leaders debated critics in a public forum. The Dec. 20 issue of the Painesville Telegraph, contained this notice in typical sarcastic language:
Sidney Rigdon, the viceregant[sic] and champion of Jo. Smith, has thrown out a challenge, in the Ohio Star, to Mr. Booth and Deacon Rider, who have renounced the Mormon faith, to meet him in mortal combat (of words) on the subject of the Gold Bible.
On Dec. 26, Sydney Rigdon gave a speech rebutting Booth. Ryder refused to debate Rigdon as noted in the following letter to the Ohio Star (Jan. 12, 1832):
Simons, like the worker of iniquity, has sought a hiding place. Let the public remember, when he goes forth again to proclaim his assertions against the book of Mormon, that he has been invited upon honorable principles to investigate its merits, and dare not do it.
5. Remarkable new doctrines were about to be revealed, beginning with D&C 76.
6. The injunction of the Lord to Joseph and Sydney to call upon their enemies and challenge them to debate before "the world" was fulfilled by the two men as shown in note 4 above. Joel Johnson notes in his journal the criticisms of the Mormons even prior to Booth's:About this time there was considerable excitement about the Mormons at Kirtland, Geauga county, where there had been a branch of the church built up and Joseph Smith had arrived at that place, and held a conference, and was sending out elders through the country, and many evil reports were in circulation concerning them which most of the people believed to be true. I obtained the Book of Mormon, and read it some, but was too filled with prejudice on account of the evil reports in circulations, that I returned it before I had read it through. But soon there arrived two Mormon Elders in the neighborhood by the names of Harvey Whitlock and Edson Fuller who preached in a schoolhouse nearby. Myself and my wife went out to hear them. They preached upon the first principles of the Gospel; treating upon faith, repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, with the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost, with signs following the believers, etc. This preaching filled me with astonishment, it being the first discourse that I had ever heard that corresponded with the New Testament. But when they spoke of the Book of Mormon, they made it equal to the Bible, but my prejudice was so great against the Book, that I would not receive their testimony. I heard them twice and concluded to stay at home, but they continued preaching in the vicinity and soon commenced baptizing. In a few days Lyman Wight, Samuel H. Smith, and others came to their assistance, and in a few weeks they baptized about fifty in the vicinity. All this time I kept at home except the two first meetings. My wife, who had always been a strong Methodist, had a desire at this time to attend their meetings which were held every day, and I gave my consent, for I would never abridge anyone's liberty in religious matters. She attended several meetings and began to believe in the work, and myself having searched the Bible daily while staying at home began to think the work might possibly be true. I therefore concluded to the advice of Paul 'to prove all things and hold fast the good.' I accordingly came to the conclusion to take my Bible in my hand and attend all their meetings, and investigate the subject thoroughly, with prayer for divine direction which I did for several days; comparing their preaching with the Scriptures which brought me to the following conclusions: Firstly, that as all Protestant sects had sprung from the Church of Rome, they have no more authority to administer in the ordinances of the Church of Christ, than the Church of Rome had, . . . therefore, none of them could be the Church of Christ. Secondly; that a Supernatural power did attend the Morman[sic] Church, and it had risen independent of all denominations, therefore, it's origin must be from Heaven or hell. Thirdly; that it is unreasonable to suppose that God would suffer the devil to bring forth a work with the gifts and blessings of the ancient Church of Christ, corresponding with that which He promised to bring forth in the last days for the gathering of the House of Israel and by that means lead astray all the honest men of the earth, and, Fourthly; that as the principles taught in the Book of Mormon corresponded with the Bible, and the Doctrine of the Church was the same that was taught by Christ and His apostles with the signs following the believer. I concluded that the work was of God, and embraced it with all my heart and soul, and was baptized on the first day of June 1831, by Elder Sylvester Smith. My wife had been baptized a few days previous. I then immediately sold out my share in the sawmill and endeavored to prepare myself for whatever my calling might be, and on the 24th day of August, 1831 I was ordained a teacher and on the 20th day of September of the same year I was ordained an Elder . . .
Booth began his public criticisms of Joseph Smith prior to September 1831.
7. This revelation initiated an important expansion in Church leadership with the call of another bishop in the Church. The revelation was first published in Dec. 1832 in ES. It appears in several ms versions, one in the hand of Sydney Rigdon which may be the original. It appears in the KRB as two separate revelations, vss 1-8 and vss 9-26. Vss 9-15 may not actually be a part of the revelation but a preface written by Church leaders to vss 16-26. [Woodford] The revelation confirms the injunction of previous revelations that a bishop must be a high priest. See KRB, pp. 13-15. The index notes: "A revelation given to choose a Bishop - N.K. Whitney was chosen & was sanctioned by the Lord and also another [revelation] in addition to the Law [section 42] making known the duty of the Bishop." These words probably refer to the two parts of the present revelation.
8. William E. McLellin notes in his journal that on the 27th and 28th of December Joseph visited him on his sickbed (probably with pleurisy/pneumonia) at Weathersfield, Ohio. He states: " . . . in the morning Brother Joseph came to my bed side and laid his hands upon me and prayed for me and I was healed so that I got up and eat breakfast and attended an ap[pointment] made for them. The brethren spoke. I then arose and was enabled to speak about half an hour and I gave opportunity to any and all to join us. Bro S. Burwell's wife (Celia) came forward and joined. We ap[pointed] another meeting to be that eve at friend Reed's. We met and I baptized sister Celia. Br Hiram and myself preached to a large company. I then dismissed and after the wicked went away I arose & spoke about half an hour. Bro Jos[eph] then prayed & laid his hands upon sister Celia and she expressed great joy in the reception of the Holy spirit." On the 29th McLellin and the others came back to Hiram, Ohio and on the 30th a conference was held; the minutes of this conference are not located.
9. These are the letters referred to at p. 217, note.(BHR)
10. The ms history text is slightly different from the text here:
"On the 10th of January, I received the following
Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon, January 1832. The word of the Lord unto them concerning the church of the Living God, established in the last days, making known the will of the Lord unto the elders, what they shall do until conference."
11. These are the letters referred to at p. 217, note.(BHR)
12. No significant variants exist among extant copies of this revelation. A ms exists in the hand of Sidney Rigdon and may be the original. The Lord instructs Joseph and Sydney to return to the inspired translation work and preach when time allows. Rigdon penned the following preface to this ms: "A Revelation to Joseph and Sidney. The word of the Lord unto them concerning the Elders of the church of the Living God established in the last days making known the will of the Lord unto the Elders what they shall do until conference" [Ms at BYU library.]
13. On the 11th William E. McLellin notes in his journal that he met a Campbellite minister. Their discussion led McLellin to bring him to Hiram where Joseph had recommenced the bible translation work. The minister spent the evening of the 13th talking with Joseph.
14. As noted by Williard Richards (recorder of the ms history at this point), this revelation has to do with the translation work. This revelation is found twice in the KRB. Evidently an error since there are no essential differences between the two texts. The first ms in KRB (recorded prior to August 18, 1834) is in the hand of F. G. Williams. The KRB mss do not contain verse one. [Woodford]
15. In fulfillment of the revelation given (see note 37 chapter 17) the previous year, at this conference Joseph is ordained president of the high priesthood (i.e., president of all high priests.) By the nature of this office he presides over the whole Church. This is the beginning of the 'First Presidency' of the Church (however this term was not used until 1834). See Roberts' note below and note 34.
16. The chief item of interest connected with this Amherst conference held on the 25th of January, 1832, is the fact that it was here that the Prophet Joseph was sustained and ordained as President of the High Priesthood.(BHR)
17. Quotation of Romans 3:12.
18. This revelation probably consists of two separate revelations (vss 1-22 and vss 23-36.) Two mss [located at BYU library - Newel K. Whitney collection] exist in Rigdon's handwriting, one containing vss 1-22, the other vss 23-36. Rigdon gives both revelations a similar title: "A command given to 10 Elders at Amhurst Conference Jan. 2? 1832" and "A command given to the Elders at conference in Amhurst Jan 2 ? 1832". Several member families lived at Amherst according to Joel Johnson. A reminiscent account of the circumstance by Edson Barney indicates that Rigdon wrote down the original of this revelation. [RJS, 152]
19. Asa Dodds, b. 1793 in New York. A mason by trade. Baptized and ordained to the priesthood before January 1832. Joined Orson Pratt on a mission to Ohio from Missouri October 1831. Stopped in Indiana. Ordained high priest by Hyrum Smith February 2, 1832. Residing in Farmington, Trumball County, Ohio, 1850. [RJS, 154]
20. Calves Wilson, baptized before 25 October 1831. Ordained priest by Oliver Cowdery 25 October 1831 at Orange, Ohio. (It is not known if Wilson accompanied Dodds on the assigned mission.) In company with Lyman Wight in spring of 1832 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where scores were baptized into Church. Baptized John S. Higbee May 1832 in Cincinnati area. [RJS, 157]
21. During this period an important conference was being held in Missouri. Several important Church policies were made and a number of important terms receive further definition. Oliver Cowdery kept minutes of the conference which he sent to Joseph Smith. We include them here. [Cp. Appendix A, Cannon and Cook, "Far West Record."]
Oliver Cowdery to Joseph Smith
January 28, 1832
According to promise I transmit to you the proceedings of the confrences held 23-24, and 27th. which are as follows.
Minuets of a General Confrence held in the land of Zion (Kaw Township Jackson County Mo.) at the dwelling house of bro. Newel Knight 23 First Month Jan. AD. 1832. 3 o clock P.M.
Names of Elders Present who were ordained to the H.P.H. [High Priesthood]
Wm W Phelps
Names of Elders who were not ordained to the H.P.H.
Edward Partrage appointed moderator and Oliver Cowdery
Clerk. Prayer by bro. John Murdock.
By joint resolution commandments read relative to various subjects. Resolution offered by bro. Lyman Wight to take into consideration the circumstances of two brethren present. (Isaac & George Bebee) who desired to preach the Gospel. Commandment read by the Clerk certain remarks made by him and bro. Wm W. Phelps relative to the subject.
Commandment read and remarks made by bro. Edward Partrage concerning the duties of Priests Teachers and deacons their duties read by bro. John Whitmer from the Articles and Covenants. remarks by bro. John Carrell stating the office of a Priest Teacher or Deacon to be as important as that of a High Priest.
Resolved therefore that there be no person ordained in the churches in the land of Zion to the office of Elder Priest Teacher or Deacon without the united voice of the Church in writing in which such individual resides.
The above Resolution adopted by unanimous vote. Records of the church which came from Chardon Geauga Co. Ohio received and laid on the Table. Presented by their Teacher Isaac Bebee.
The Bishop brought forward a statement of the lands purchased for inheritances for the saints amounting to nearly twelve hundred acres. After a long discussion upon the expediency of mechanics immediately moving to this land for the benefit of the Church, the following resolution was proposed.
Resolved that the Bishop be instructed to request the Churches in the east to send to this land a blacksmith, two shoemakers, a carpenter one joiner and mason one waggon and plow maker
one tanner and currier one millwright one hatter one chair & cabinet maker, one silver Smith and one wheelwright. The last Resolution adopted by unanimous vote upon motion of the Clerk. Confrence adjourned until half past 8 o clock A.M. closed.
Prayer by brother Daniel Cathcart. Oliver Cowdery Clerk of Confrence 4 O clock. eve
[January 24, 1832]
Confrence convened according to adjournment names called and prayer by the Clerk. Minuets of yesterdays proceedings read. The Bishop brought forward his acount of moneys received from the churches and also a statement of the expenditures of the same. The Bishop made certain remarks relative to the subject now before the Confrence stating that in consequence of not making minuets at the time of paying out moneys last summer while traveling to this land and after arriving he could not account for nearly sixty dollars and after presenting the accou nt bro. Wm W Phelps arose and said that he was knowing to the Bishops paying at one time, more than thirty dollars last summer for passage to this land which was not on the account presented. By unanimous vote the above sum allowed the Bishop. The following is a list of the Bishops account.
Amount of funds paid over to the Bishop to Jan 24 1832 including moneys of his own $9508.24
Amount of disbursements on the lands and other necessares for the church up to January 24, 1832 $8449.90
Total amount of funds now remaining in the Bishops hands at this date Jan 24. 1832 $1058.24
By unanimous vote the above account accepted.
Resolved that the Bishop lay before each General con held by the Elders in this land a regular account of moneys and properties received and expended for the use and benefit of this church.
The above carried by unanimous vote. The con. then proceeded to take into consideration the subject of Schools. After deliberate discussion the following Resolution passed by unanimous vote.
Resolved that this Confrence appoint Brs. Oliver Cowdery William W. Phelps and John Correll to superintend Schools in the Churches in this land. The records of the Church which came from Colesville N.Y. received and laid on the Table. presented by their Priest Hezekiah Peck. Upon motion of bro John Murdock bro John Carrell appointed by unanimous vote to keep the General Church Record of names of the Desiples in this land. According to the Church Covenants. Resolved that the Bishop be instructed to establish a house of entertainment in the Town of Independence to accommodate the traveling Elders of this Church and other brethren whose circumstances may require. Also inquirers from a distance &c. to be supported out of the General Church fund a regular return of its expenditures and income to be made to each General Confrence held in this land Said establishment to be put in operation as soon as circumstances may permit. Carried by unanimous vote.
Confrence adjourned until 3 oclock P.M. Oliver Cowdery Clerk of Confrence.
Con. convened according to adjournment 3 oclock P.M.
Quotation from the Lord. "And it shall come to pass that the Bishop of my church after that he has received the properties of my Church that it cannot be taken from the Church" &c. The Confrence therefore Resolved that the Bishop of this Church at the time of receiving moneys or other properties for the use and benefit of this Church of any member of the same shall give a receipt to the person at the time covenant for himself and his heirs that such moneys or properties shall be expended for the use and benefit of this church according to the covenants and Laws of the same and that whatever amount of such moneys or properties may be in his possession should he be removed from his said office of Bishop by death or otherwise shall be handed over to his successor By unanimous vote the above resolution passed.
Bro. Edward Partrage brought forward certain letters written by bro. Sidney Rigdon one addressed to himself bearing date Kirtland September 10th 1831 . another addressed to bro. John
Carrell and Isaac Morley, bearing date Hiram Portage Co. Ohio 14th Nov. 1831. After a few remarks a motion was carried to have the said letters read by the Clerk After deliberate discussion it was Resolved that W'haras this Confrence has been made acquainted with certain difficulties existing between the Bishop of this Church (Edward Partrage) and bro. Sidney Rigdon and Wharas the said Sidney has prefered certain charges against the said Bishop (Edward Partrage) detrimental to his character and standing as a Bishop in the church of Christ. Therefore we the Confrence having no legal right to proceed to a trial of the same in the absence of one of the parties Recommend that the Elders stationed in this land converse with the said Bishop (Edward Partrage) on this subject and write the said Sidney a friendly humiliating letter advising that this difficulty be settled and thereby the wound of the Church be healed. By unanimous vote.
General Confrence adjourned to tuesday the 3d of 4 month (April) 1832. Closed. Singing Prayer by bro. Edward Partrage. Oliver Cowdery Clerk of Confrence.
In consequence of the ill health and crowd of business our bro. Sidney Gilbert was unable to attend the General Confrence for which cause we thought proper to hold a special one to examine his accounts &c. by his request.
Minuets of a Special Confrence held at the dwelling house of bro. Sidney Gilberts Independence Jan. 27, 1832 (evening) Edward Partrage appointed moderator., and Oliver Cowdery Clerk
Names of Elders present
William W. Phelps
Prayer by B ro John Carrell. Brother Sidney Gilbert brought forward the following account of moneys received of N.K. Whitney & co. Received of N. K. Whitney agent of the churches at the east and sundry brethren on the way to this land $1692.00.
The following is the amount of disbursements
Paid out for Gilbert & Whitney for goods and transportation to this place $ 827.94
Paid for transportations for families and bagage from ohio to this place $ 804.89
Other necessaries for the use and benefit of the Church $1045.00
Total amount received $2694.70
Total amount paid out $2677.83
Sums remaining 16.87
By unanimous vote the above account accepted.
After certain remarks from bro. Sidney Gilbert relative to the store in this place it was Resolved that a letter be addressed by brs. Edward Partrage Sidney Gilbert and Oliver Cowdery on the subject of the store in this place to the Agent of the Disiples in the east (NK Whitney) requesting a special confrence to sit upon the contents of said letter. By unanimous vote. Singing.
Prayer by bro. Wm Phelps. Closed. Oliver Cowdery Clerk of Confrence
The following items I insert to accompany the foregoing documents by request of the Bishop which I copy from his own hand. "Although the Bishop has reported that there is nearly twelve hundred acres of land purchased that you may have a better understanding we think propper to state that it is mostly woodland & not in a situation to be improved this season even if it should be thought advisable to clear it faster than what is wanted for timber. And further we would state that one piece of the land is not as yet paid for which when added to what has been now paid to the Elders who go east will reduce the amount of funds in the' Bishops hands more than 200 dollars. We would further state that provisions are scarce & dear nearly double what they were one year ago. We have not a large supply on hand probably not more than enough for the brethren here. The store not getting opened as soon as we expected has injured us verry much in the purchase of provisions. According to instructions sent here it was expected to be opened about the middle of Oct. & thinking that purchases might be made with goods & the money saved in the Church we neglected to buy expecting bro. Gilbert would certainly be here soon. From the funds in the Bishops hands you will redily perceive that we are not in a situation to buy much more land & procure a stock of provisions & cows for those who are coming here this spring. For the foregoing reasons we have sent only for mechanics knowing that others are commanded to come & believing that others will come without a command not knowing but what that they may . We do not expect that all the mechanics will be found & sent but we have sent for those most needed." Among the mechanics sent for it is expected that one blacksmith one shoemaker and one mason will come in the Church from Nelson. and brother Elliott Babit Kingsberry and Stebbens, and a brother from Winchester Indiana who is a tanner. Advise the brethren by all means to come by land and thus obey the command of the Lord. We think that it would be well for the brethren to bring one barrell buckwheat, and one of clover seed, or half a bbl clover seed if possible.
Ten of our brethren have started to proclaim the Gospel namely (John Murdock & Lyman Wight) (Parley Pratt & Levi Hancock) these four are going on the south side of the Missouri to St. Lewis Cincinnati and Bethany Virginia. (Calvin Bebee & Peter Dustin) through the more settled parts of Illinois & Indiana Michigan into Ohio. Daniel Cathcart & Joshua Fairchild through the north part of this state through Ill. Indi. to Ohio.
Say to brother Oliver Olney that if he can send a carding machine and clothiers tools this spring by water we think that it will be well, which can be put in operation as soon as circumstances may permit. Also say to brother Ashley of Strongsville that the Bishop says if he can send the leather up to this land as he talk to me last Oct as Confrence in Orange it will be of great worth to the Desiples.
The brethren are generally well and rejoicing in the Lord. The Bishop and all the Elders with all the brethren send love to the eastern churches.
I remain your brother in the Lord
Joseph Smith Jun.
P.S. We expect soon to be ready to print and hope that brother Martin can supply with paper at present you can tear off the bottom of this sheet which will serve him for a bill you see if ten thousand copies are struck it will take double the amount of the first mentioned Ream and we feel anxious that it may be so for I think there is no fear of sale O.C.
22. The word "vision" is capitalized VISION in the ms history.
23. This revelation was published in ES just five months after it was received. The KRB dates the revelation as February 16, 1832. Its effect on most Church members was electrifying. Hence it appears in many ms versions. As usual, when the number of ms copies is high, there appear many variations in the text. For the most part, these variations appear to be the result of omissions and scribal errors. This revelation made contact with many Church members assumptions about the nature of the hereafter and was a significant trial to many. To begin our discussion of the revelation, we note Philo Dibble's account of the circumstance of its reception:The vision which is recorded in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants was given at the house of 'Father Johnson,' in Hyrum, Ohio, and during the time that Joseph and Sidney were in the spirit and saw the heavens open, there were other men in the room, perhaps twelve, among whom I was one during a part of the time-probably two-thirds of the time-I saw the glory and felt the power, but did not see the vision.
The events and conversation, while they were seeing what is written (and many things were seen and related that are not written,) I will relate as minutely as is necessary.
Joseph would, at intervals, say: 'What do I see?' as one might say while looking out the window and beholding what all in the room could not see. Then he would relate what he had seen or what he was looking at. Then Sidney replied, 'I see the same.' Presantly Sidney would say 'what do I see?' and would repeat what he had seen or was seeing, and Joseph would reply, 'I see the same.'
This manner of conversation was repeated at short intervals to the end of the vision, and during the whole time not a word was spoken by any other person. Not a sound nor motion made by anyone but Joseph and Sidney, and it seemed to me that they never moved a joint of limb during the time I was there, which I think was over an hour, and to the end of the vision.
Joseph sat firmly and calmly all the time in the midst of a magnificent glory, but Sidney sat limp and pale, apparently as limber as a rag, observing which, Joseph remarked, smilingly, 'Sidney is not used to it as I am.' [Juvenile Instructor (Salt Lake City), May 15, 1892, pp. 403, 404. Cp. Lundwall, N., The Vision, (Bookcraft), p. 11 and note.]
Dibble indicates that Joseph and Sidney saw many things in this vision which were not written. [See also vss 114-119 in the revelation.]
D&C 137 [cp. HC 2:380] indicates that Joseph did not have every aspect of salvation revealed to him in this vision.
The majesty of this revelation was not universally appreciated by the Church. Brigham Young observed,. . . my traditions were such, that when the Vision came first to me, it was so directly contrary and opposed to my former education, I said, wait a little; I did not reject it, but I could not understand it. I then could feel what incorrect traditions had done for me. Suppose all that I have ever heard from my priest and parents-the way they taught me to read the Bible, had been true; -my understanding would be diametrically opposed to the doctrine revealed in the Vision. I used to think and pray, to read and think, until I knew, and fully understood it for myself, by the visions of the Holy Spirit. At first, it actually came in contact with my own feelings, though I never could believe like the mass of the Christian world around me; but I did not know how nigh I believed as they did. I found, however, that I was so nigh, I could shake hands with them any time I wished. [Deseret News Extra (Salt Lake City) Sept. 14, 1852, p. 24.]
The revelation was given in the Smith's temporary residence in the home of John Murdock. Murdock wrote his experience of trouble regarding how the revelation was received among the Saints: "[we came] to warrenvilled & Orrange & the brethren had just received the Revilation called the vision & were stumbling at it I called them togather & confirmed them in the truth." [Murdock diary, p.18]
Orson Pratt and Murdock both recorded other incidents where it was necessary to work with the Saints regarding this vision. [Pratt journal Sept. 16, 1833; Dec. 29, 1833; Murdock diary, Jan. 1834.]
Joseph Smith instructed Heber C. Kimball and the first missionaries to England to avoid discussing these deeper matters until prospective members had been fed milk for awhile. Circumstances proved his wisdom. [HC 2:494, 505; Kimball Journal book 49c, p. 66]
24. This verse could be interpreted in several ways. For example the phrase concerning begotten children may mean the "second birth" through Christ. It could also mean the somewhat deeper idea that the inhabitants are actually the children of God in the spirit. In a poetic version of the vision published in TS, Feb. 1, 1841 we find some expansion of the thought here, often quoted by Church writers. Although the poem bears Joseph Smith's name, it was probably authored by W. W. Phelps (but could very well have been reviewed by Smith.) [see Michael Hicks, "Joseph Smith, W. W. Phelps, and the Poetic Paraphrase of 'The Vision.'" JMH Fall 1994; vol 20 no. 2, pp. 63-84]
24a. The expression should not suggest that the inhabitants of this place are in hell. Quite this opposite. They are in heaven, but not the highest of heavens. The "hell" description shows their pre-heaven category. It is only the sons of perdition that are the permanent residents of hell. In Smith's theology, nearly everyone accepts Christ when it comes down to it.
25. The ms history reads "where the purity of either remains unsullied from the wisdom of men"
26. On February 27th, Joseph received the following revelation:
"Behold thus saith the Lord unto you my servants, that I have chosen Lincoln [Haskin] to be a servant unto me; wherefore verily I say unto you let him be ordained and receive the articles and covenants [D&C 20] which I have given unto you and some of the commandments that he may go forth and proclaim my gospel whithersoever I will send him in the congregation of the wicked and inasmuch as he is faithful I will proper him. Even so Amen." Haskin does not appear anywhere in the official history.
Joseph was on his way to Kirtland on the 27th of February (see KRB p.10) Hence this revelation may have been given in either Hiram or Kirtland. Data on Haskin is not complete at this writing. The proper name may be Haskins. It appears he was baptized by Reynolds Cahoon and confirmed a member by Hyrum Smith (brother of Joseph Smith) 21 Feb 1832 in Kirtland, Ohio. [See Hyrum Smith missionary journal, p. 19, L. Tom Perry Special Collections Library, Brigham Young University.]
27. "The date of reception for this section of scripture is uncertain. Although the Prophet's history (Times and Seasons, 1 August 1844) suggests that section 77 was received 'about the first of March ,' a notation in the 'Kirtland Revelation Book' makes it clear that if this was a normal dictated revelation, it was received after 8 March 1832. However, it is possible that Joseph Smith did not recognize this section as a dictated revelation at the time it was recorded. The format and style in which these explanations were recorded fit more consistently with the deductive-revelatory method applied by the Prophet in his Bible translation. Unfortunately, early manuscript copies of section 77 have not survived. A copy of the revelation in Willard Richard's 'Pocket Companion' (recorded in England sometime in 1839-40) is the earliest manuscript presently available. Richards's undated account, entitled a 'Key to the Revelations of John,' was probably copied from a record book owned by John Taylor (see Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph [Provo: Religious Studies Center, 1980], p. 17). Section 77, together with certain of the Prophet's teachings, was copied and recopied by a handful of his disciples. See, for example, James Burgess's 'Notebook' and Joseph F. Smith's 'Private Account Book,' both at Church Archives. The account of section 77 in the former source was copied by Burgess in England (1840-41); the latter report, undoubtedly taken from William Clayton's 'Private Book' (presently unavailable), was copied by Joseph F. Smith in Utah." [RJS, 167, n1]
The revelation was published first in TS Aug. 1, 1844. It also appeared as part of the first edition of the Pearl of Great Price, 1851. There are some variations among the extant copies of section 77, they involve the dating of events in verses 10 and 12. For vs 10, some mss say the events will take place in the 6000th year and other mss say in the sixth thousand years. A similar variation exists for vs 12: 7000th year as opposed to the "seventh thousand years." [Woodford]
28. It was not always desirable that the individuals whom the Lord addressed in revelations should at the time be known by the world, and hence in this and in some subsequent revelations the brethren were addressed by other than their own names. The temporary necessity having passed for keeping the names of the individuals addressed unknown, their real names were subsequently given in brackets.(BHR)
29. This revelation and others whose subject was the United Firm [see following note] and the individuals involved, had pseudonyms substituted for the names of the principals. One reason was to prevent New York creditors of various Firm members from persecuting other members of the Firm [Orson Pratt to Brigham Young, Nov. 20, 1852, HDC]. The danger of cash-eating frivolous lawsuits against the principals of the Firm was also a real possibility and the names in the Zion's camp revelations might give enemies of the Mormons the ability to pursue the camp's leaders and members. Hence we find interesting pseudonyms in D&C 78, 82, 92, 96, 103,104, and 105. See also pp. 362-364 below for their use in other communications. Over the years since these revelations were published with these strange names, the reasons for them were forgotten along with whatever logic might have dictated their selection and most importantly, the real names they covered. Various documents from Orson Pratt provide some information regarding the names and David J. Whittaker discovered other information from W. W. Phelps providing explanations for the names. (See BYUS 23, no. 1, 103-112) Whittaker provides the following table:
Compare Appendix 2, Regional Studies, Ohio for meanings and origins of some of these names. An early critic of Mormonism, William S. West, published a pamphlet containing a list of meanings for some of the names in D&C 104.
Pseudonym Section in 1921 D&C As identified by Orson Pratt As identified by William W. Phelps Meanings suggested by Phelps Enoch 78, 82, 92, 96, 104 Joseph Smith, Jr. Gazalem 78, 82, 104 Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph Smith, Jr. The light of the Lord Baurak Ale 103, 105 Joseph Smith, Jr. Joseph Smith, Jr. Blessed of God Ahashdah 78, 82, 96, 104 Newel K. Whitney Newel K. Whitney A close watcher Alam 82 Edward Partridge Everlasting helmet Pelagoram 78, 82, 104 Sidney Rigdon Mahalaleel 82 A. S. Gilbert He shined from God Olihah 82, 103 Oliver Cowdery Oliver Cowdery God have mercy Horah 82 John Whitmer A conceiver Mahemson 82, 104 Martin Harris He turns back Shalemanasseh 82 William W. Phelps A tried broken Pillar Shinehah 82, 96, 104, 105 Kirtland Kirtland stake Talents 104 Dollars Cainhannoch 104 New York Shederlaomach 92, 103 F. G. Williams F. G. Williams unbound sheaf Zombre 96, 104 John Johnson John Johnson slow to hear Seth 96 Joseph Tahhanes 104 The Tannery Laneshire House 104 Printing office Printing office at Kirtland Printing office Ozondah 104 Store Storehouse at Kirtland Ashery Shule 104 Ashery Ashery at Kirtland Ashery Shinelah 104 Shinelane 104 printing Baneemy 105 Sidney Rigdon Mine Elders My sons
30. As the notes for the following revelations indicate, "establishing the poor" was actually a "trickle down effect" of the primary function of the bureaucracy established by the following revelation. However, following this revelation, further clarification was received which may have focused the intent - see notes 31 and 34 below.
31. This revelation expands the changes in Church finances begun in D&C 70 (the Literary Firm.) Here the Lord asked certain brethren to organize a business concern known as the "United Firm." Its main purpose was to provide support for certain brethren who gave full time service to the Church and for some Church operations. While the current text of the revelation is not so clear regarding this function, earlier mss offer a better historical view of the original purpose of the revelation. The earliest mss are in the hand of Frederick G. Williams with the date March 1, 1832 assigned.
Verses 3 and 4 in these mss read:
KRB text, p. 16 Current (1981) text D&C 78:3-4; identical to 1835 D&C For verily I say unto you the time has come, and is now at hand, and behold and lo it must needs be that there be an organization of the literary and mercantile establishments of my church both in this place and in the land of Zion
for a permanent and everlasting establishment and firm unto my Church to advance the cause which ye have espoused
3 For verily I say unto you, the time has come, and is now at hand; and behold, and lo, it must needs be that there be an organization of my people, in regulating and establishing the affairs of the storehouse for the poor of my people, both in this place and in the land of Zion--
4 For a permanent and everlasting establishment and order unto my church, to advance the cause, which ye have espoused,
In verse 3 the expansion concerning the purpose of the Firm to care for the poor is clearly in accordance with the decisions made at the organizational meetings of the Firm.
In verse 8 once again the word "order" has replaced the term "firm" in the current published version of section 78. In verses 15-16, the words "Holy One of Zion" appear as Holy One of Israel" in the mss. Also in vss 15-16, the words "who hath established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman; Who had appointed Michael your prince, and established his feet and set him upon high, and given unto him the keys of salvation under the counsel and direction of the Holy One, who is without beginning of days or end of life." do not appear in the mss. Verses 20-22 read in the mss as "Wherefore do the things which I have commanded you saith your Redeemer even Jesus Christ who prepareth all things before he cometh and then he will come even with the church of the first born and receive you in the cloud and appoint every man his portion and he that is a faithful and wise steward whall inherit all things. Amen." All these additions and changes were made by the time the revelation appeared (as section 75) of the 1835 D&C. No doubt a part of the reason for these changes concerns the fate of the United Firm which was dissolved because of the Missouri persecutions on April 10, 1834. Lyndon Cook writes:This order, variously known as the "United Order," the "Order of Enoch," and the "United Firm," was created at this time. The United Firm was a business partnership consisting of about a dozen Church leaders. Members of the firm were either landowners or merchants whose purpose was to work in concert, using the financial means at their disposal, to generate profits. Inasmuch as the members of the partnership were also presiding Church leaders, it is difficult to determine which of their financial transactions were purely personal and which were Church-related. This dual relationship has led some writers to erroneously conclude that the United Firm administered the law of consecration. Specifically, the Church bishop administered the program of consecration. The United Order was essentially a private business concern.
The nucleus from which the United Firm grew was the Gilbert-Whitney mercantile establishment in Kirtland, Ohio. The Gilbert-Whitney store, as it was called, expanded to two branches (one in Kirtland and one in Independence) after Newel K. Whitney and Sidney Gilbert joined the Church and Gilbert was called by revelation to reside in Missouri. Other Church brethren who had financial means, namely Martin Harris, Frederick G. Williams, and John Johnson, were called by revelation to be part of this order.
Section 78 directed that the order be formed and commanded that Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Newel K. Whitney "sit in council with the Saints in Zion," to regulate the affairs of the poor. Obeying the command, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Jesse Gause, and Newel K. Whitney left Ohio on 1 April 1832 and traveled to Independence, Missouri, arriving 24 April. During their visit in Missouri, a meeting of the United Firm essentially incorporated the Missouri branch of the Gilbert-Whitney Store into the firm.
William E. McLellan stated on more than one occasion that there were nine members of the United Firm, but there may have been more. The following are known to have been members in 1832: Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Jesse Gause, Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, A. Sidney Gilbert, Newel K. Whitney; undoubtedly Edward Partridge, William W. Phelps, and John Whitmer were also members in that year. Frederick G. Williams and John Johnson became members of the order in 1833.
The members of the United Firm were consecrated in their respective responsibilities, and although they were to benefit personally from the profits of the firm, the surplus profits were to be used for the operation and blessing of the whole Church.
The United Firm was short-lived. On 10 April 1834 members of the firm met and decided that the order should be dissolved, and on 23 April 1834 a revelation (section 104), commanded that the two branches of the firm become separate entities and that the members discontinue operating jointly. [RJS, 167-168, emphasis added.]
Some of the textual changes in this revelation are related to the motive of protecting firm members from persecution. What does the current text of the revelation regarding the "order" actually mean? Our opinion is that not only were the names in code by 1835, but the whole revelation as it pertains to the United Firm. It stands to reason that if the Lord wanted the brethren protected, changing just the names was not enough. The circumstances must be disguised also. This was effectively accomplished. Other reasons for some of these changes may stem from a revelation given about March 5, 1832. Instructions given there may suggest that the United Firm was to be involved in assisting the poor (see note 34 below.)
Critics of Smith may ascribe such acts to cowardice or phony "subterfuge in the name of the Lord." But in terms of religious examples of precisely the same thing we need look no further than the Father of the Faithful himself, Abraham. Compare the episode in the book of Abraham 2:22-25, Genesis 12:11-13. Perhaps the clearest evaluation of the firm and its history is found in Max H. Parkin, "Joseph Smith and the United Firm," BYUS 46/3 (2007), 1-73.
32. The earliest known copy of the revelation (found in KRB) dates it as March 12, 1832. The object was to call Jared Carter on a proselyting mission. We quote from his journal regarding this mission - Carter was a high priest as he notes below - he baptized ninety-eight persons on this mission. (Original spelling preserved below.). . . I at length went to Hyram [Hiram, Ohio] to the Seaer [Joseph Smith] to enquier the will of the Lord concerning my minestry the ensuing season and the word of the lord came forth that showed that it was his will that I sould go forth to the Eastern Countrys in the Power of the ordinance weare with I had been ordained which was to the high privilige of administering in the name of Jesus christ even to seal on earth and to build up the Church of Christ and to work mericles in the name of Christ acordingly I came to Kirkland to Know if there was a companion for me in the minstry there but it apeared that there was none . . .
. . . after continuing to pray some time I came to the following conclusion to make the following proposition to Brother Simeon to travel with him untill the next conferance to be held the 10th of next November in Shafford onondga county NY state to travel with him where he felt led by the Spirit to travel untill one half of the time should be xpired between the preasant time and the time of the conferec in Shaffor if he would travel with me where I wished to the other half of the above mentioned turn of time and I allso fully resolve that if he would not or could not comply with the proposition as I have stated that I would lay my course immediately for Lansenburg Troy & Albany if the Lord would and I felt fully convinsed that in making these conclusions that I was acting according to the will of the Lord for I have received a revelation of the Will of the Lord to me by the mouth of Joseph the Sear that I should not only preach the gospel from place to place but from citty to sitty and now I cannot unite with Brother Simeon the ministry unless he will go with me some part of the time from citty to citty for the time is short when it will be my duty to return to my family and I am determined to go from citty to citty before I've turn from this mission acording to the reveiled Will of God to me these resulusions recorde this the 16th day of August 
. . . from here I went to amherst where my family resides found them well & my Brethren & Sisters also and now while I make this record [October 1832] I remember the goodness of the Lord to me in the mission that I have Lately been to the East I have Enjoyed my health continuely and the Lord not with standing the great opposition to this glorious work he has blessed me with Sheas [sheaves] allmost continuly in this mission in which I have been gone 6 months & 2 days the Lord has permitted me to administer the gospel to 79 souls and many others by my instrumantity have been convinsed of this most glorious work where I have been in this mission all that have been Baptised whill [while] I have been in the regionss where I have been in this mission is 98 and many others have been convinced of the work that sooner or later I think will obey the work . . . [Carter journal, pp. 53, 54, 110-112, 123, 124, as quoted in Woodford, pp. 1005-1006]
33. It is not known if the two men in this revelation carried out its commission. The earliest copy is in KRB. It is dated there as March 7, 1832, placing it before the Carter revelation. The revelation was first published in the 1835 D&C. No significant variations exist in the known copies of the text.
34. The ms history leaves out an important event which took place on March 8, 1832. Joseph had, in January, been "ordained" President of the High Priesthood by Sidney Rigdon, fulfilling a revelation received the previous November (see vol. 1, chapter 17 note 37). The November revelation only mentioned the "President" of the High Priesthood, no counselors were mentioned. On March 8, Joseph took two counselors, Jesse Gause and Sidney Rigdon, now forming a "presidency." Joseph notes this as follows:Chose this day and ordained brother Jesse Gause [rhymes with "house"] and Broth Sydney to be my counsellors of the ministry of the presidency of the high Priesthood and from the 16th of February up to this date have been at home except a journey to Kirtland on the 27th Feby and returned home on the 4th of March we received revelation in Kirtland [D&C 78] and one since I returned home [this second revelation was not included as part of the D&C, but is important historically and appears below.] blessed be the name of the Lord." [KRB, p. 10, handwriting of Frederick G. Williams.]Gause seems to have been "1st" counselor from this and other information (Gause was ten years senior to Rigdon for example), although no designation was officially given.
The second revelation mentioned in the KRB note above gave important regulations concerning the two Church bishops, their relation to other Church officers and the structure and function of the Presidency of the High Priesthood. The revelation designated the Presidency of the High Priesthood as presiding over not just the high priests and other priesthood officers, but over the whole Church. This clarifies the November 1831 revelation revealing the office of this President (see note 37, vol. 1 chapter 17.) Hence it is an important step in understanding this presidency which later became known as the First Presidency. The revelation was given as noted near March 5th 1832 (before March 7?). Two counselors in the Presidency of the High Priesthood were selected on the 8th of March. The revelation confirms again that Joseph Smith will not be removed from office except by transgression - see notes at D&C 43. It also gave instruction that the two Church bishops, Partridge and Whitney were to be provided for from Church funds as they were to devote all their time to Church matters - however, the contributions of Church members were not to be conceived of as belonging to the bishops - they were the property of the Church. This in contrast to the regulations of the Literary Firm [see D&C 70.] The revelation states:Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my servent Sidney and Joseph I reveal unto you for your own prophet [profit] and instruction concerning the Bishops of my church what is their duty in the church behold it is their duty to stand in the office of their Bishoprick and to fill the judgement seat which I have appointed unto them to administer the benefits of the church or the overpluss of all who are in their stewardships according to the Commandments as they are sever[al]ly appointed and the property or that which they receive of the church is not their own but belongeth to the church wherefore it is the property of the Lord and it is for the poor of the church to be administered according to the law for it is the will of the Lord that the church should be made equal in all things wherefore the bishops are accountable before the Lord for their stewardships to administer of their stewardship in the which they are appointed by commandment jointly with you my servents unto the Lord as well as you my servents or the rest of the church that the benef[i]ts of all may be dedicated unto the Lord that the Lords storehouse may be filled always that ye may all grow in temporal as well as spiritual things and now verily I say unto you the bishops must needs be seperated unto their bishoppricks and judgement seats from care of business but not from claim neither from council Wherefore I have given unto you commandment that you should be joined together by covenant and bond wherefore see that ye do even as I have commanded and unto the office of the presidency of the high Priesthood I have given authority to preside with the assistence of his councellers over all the concerns of the church [compare D&C 81:1-2 given a few days later] wherefore stand ye fast claim your priesthood in authority yet in meekness and I am able to make you abound and be fruitfull and you shall never fall for unto you I have given the keys of the kingdom and if you transgress not they shall never be taken from you. Wherefore feed my sheep even so Amen (Original, Newel K. Whitney Collection, Brigham Young University Library).
If Joseph Smith asked for this revelation, there are several matters that may have motivated his question. First, Rigdon's controversy with Partridge rested in part on the relative position of Joseph and the bishop in the hierarchy. Second, with the appointment of a new bishop and the fact that Whitney (the new bishop) was a store-keeper, the question of priority of service might have come up (i.e., was Whitney to divide his time between his business and Church matters?) Finally, the separation of personal from Church funds and properties may have been an issue.
The new first counselor in the Presidency, Jesse Gause, had been a Shaker (see below) and his second wife, Minerva, was living in a Shaker community in Ohio at the time he went to Missouri with Joseph (April 1832). On Gause' return trip home he stopped at North Union, Ohio, to retrieve his wife from the society of the Shakers there. An elder of this Shaker community, Matthew Houston, wrote a letter to his friend, Seth. Y. Wells, who was a member of the Shaker bishopric at New Lebanon, about Jesse Gause's vain attempt to reunite with his wife. Part of his letter reads as follows:And sure enough I presume you was acquainted with Jesse Gause from Hancock he was here a few days since after his wife Minerva--she utterly refused being his slave [Houston evidently means that Minerva would not submit to any further marital relations with Gause] any longer--he had to go away without her. altho he tryed what the law could do for him he was very much inraged threatened to take away Minerva's child--she presented it to him but he went away without it and her--he is yet a Mormon--& and is second to the Prophet or Seer--Joseph Smith--this state of exaltation may tend to steady him or keep him away from us a little longer--for which I am heartily glad for he is certainly the meanest of men. But Minerva certainly conducts herself cleverly so far. We find no fault with her--at any rate she cut off Old Jesse verry handsomely--& he felt it to his gizzard. [as quoted in Robert J. Woodford, BYUS 15 no. 3, 363]
Note that Houston refers to Gause as being next to Joseph in LDS Church leadership. The revelation of D&C 81 was not originally directed to Frederick G. Williams, but to Gause. The earliest known copy is found in KRB, where someone crossed out Gause' name and inserted Williams'. Williams was not actually called as a counselor [to replace Gause] until January 4, 1833 [in an uncanonized revelation] and also on March 8, 1833, [see D&C 90] and was ordained to this office on March 18, 1833. [See notes at D&C 90 in this history.]
Gause is somewhat of a mystery. Gause was appointed a member of the Literary Firm and the United Firm evidently because he was a counselor to Joseph Smith. [See FWR, April 30, 1832]
Gause was the son of William Goss and Mary Beverly. After a brief disaffection with the Quakers, William and Mary joined the Society of Friends in 1781 and changed the spelling of Goss to Gause. Jesse was born about 1784 at East Marlborough, Chester County, Pennsylvania. In 1806, Jesse joined the Society of Friends. He married Martha Johnson at Philadelphia in 1815. Moved to Ohio in 1816 and then to Wilmington, Delaware in 1822. Martha died in 1828. Five known children: Harriett, Amelia, Hannah, Owen Beverly, and Martha. Jesse married Minerva in 1828. One known child. Resigned as Quaker preacher Jan. 30, 1829. Converted to United Society of Believers of Christ's Second Appearing (Shakers) in July 1829. Associated with Shaker community in Hancock, Essex County, Massachusetts in 1829. The Shakers believe in a celibate life and even though Gause and Minerva were only recently married, both accepted the faith. Located in a Shaker community in North Union, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, by May 1831. Jesse, but not Minerva, was baptized by Mormon elders after October 22, 1831. Ordained a high priest on or before March 8, 1832. Ordained a member of original Presidency of High Priesthood March 8, 1832. The revelation dated March 15, 1832 [now D&C 81] confirmed this appointment. Member of United and Literary firms 1832. Traveled to Independence, Missouri, with Joseph Smith and others April 1832. Remained in Independence area after Prophet's departure for Ohio May 1832. Taught John Whitmer grammar while in Jackson County, Missouri. Returned to Kirtland by August 1832. Mission to Pennsylvania August 1832 with Zebedee Coltrin. Left Kirtland August 1, 1832. Parted company with Coltrin about August 19, 1832, apparently enroute to Fayette County, Pennsylvania--Gause's preaching area as a Quaker. Coltrin wrote "Brother Jesse and I after prayer with and for each other parted in the fellowship of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Sometime after this Gause lost faith and left the Church by December 1832. Gause was excommunicated December 3, 1832. After Gause's second marriage, his children by his first marriage were raised by relatives. Gause died before September 1836 at age 52. [D. Michael Quinn, "Jesse Gause: Joseph Smith's little-known counselor," BYUS vol. 23 (fall 1983) pp. 487-493; Woodford; RJS, 171.]
35. It has been said that there was no First Presidency in the Church of Jesus Christ in former days and that this body is peculiar to the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times. Here the Lord declares that the keys of the kingdom belong always unto the presidency of the High priesthood. In other words they belong to the Presidency of the Church in a discourse delivered July 2 1839 the prophet Joseph Smith said that Adam held the keys of the First presidency then Noah also held this office. He said: "The priesthood is everlasting. The Savior, Moses and Elias gave the keys to Peter, James and John, on the mount when they were transfigured before him." This being true, then Peter, James and John were chosen by the Lord as a First Presidency and served in that capacity in the Church of Jesus Christ in their dispensation. It was by virtue of this calling that they were sent to confer upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery the keys of the kingdom (D&C 27:13.)(BHR)
[Compare Smith's remarks at the organization of the Kirtland High Council: "He [the ancient apostle Peter] had two men appointed as counsellors with him, and in case Peter was absent, his counselors could transact business alone." KCMB, Feb. 17, 1834]