Book of Commandments, 1833
Book of Commandments, 1833
A Book of Commandments, for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized according to Law, on the 6th of April, 1830; Zion [This book was printed in sextodecimo format on five sheets. The sheets were probably printed using a work-and-turn technique, yielding two copies of the same gathering for each sheet. The sheets were folded into five gatherings of sixteen leaves each, making a text block of 160 pages. In the copy of the book featured herein, three nonprinted gatherings were also bound with the printed gatherings: two folio gatherings of two leaves each, and an octavo gathering of eight leaves, which includes the back pastedown. The pages of the book featured herein measure 4½ × 3⅛ inches (11 × 8 cm), but these dimensions vary somewhat in other extant copies of the volume. The book’s final printed gathering ends on page 160, partway through the revelation labeled “CHAPTER LXV.” That at least one more gathering was intended is evident from several sources, including editing marks made in Revelation Book 1, which was the source text for much of the Book of Commandments.1Changes made during printing resulted in variations among known copies of the Book of Commandments, the most obvious of which are the differences found on the title page.2
JSP, R2 / Jensen, Robin Scott, Richard E. Turley Jr, and Riley M. Lorimer, eds. Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. Vol. 2 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City: Church Historian's Press, 2011.Because destruction of the print shop halted printing and destroyed most of the stock before any books were bound, the bindings of the surviving copies vary. The copy presented herein, which belonged to early church member and leaderWilford Woodruff, measures 4½ × 3¼ × ⅞ inches (11 × 8 × 2 cm). The cover is made from heavy paperboard material and bound in brown leather, which is now worn. In both the material and the manner of binding, the binding is similar to that of Woodruff’s first journal, which was begun sometime in late 1834, suggesting both books were bound at the same time.
1 Mar. 1807–2 Sept. 1898. Farmer, miller. Born at Farmington, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of Aphek Woodruff and Beulah Thompson. Moved to Richland, Oswego Co., New York, 1832. Baptized into LDS church by Zera Pulsipher, 31 Dec. 1833, near Richland. Ordained...View Full Bio3The thread used in sewing the volume is visible along the spine of the book. A slip of blue-lined paper, measuring 1⅞ × 2⅛ inches (5 × 5 cm), is pasted to the outside front cover of this copy of the Book of Commandments. “No. 1” is written in red ink on this label, and an additional notation, reading “Book of Commandments”, is written in graphite. On the inside front cover, a notation written in black ink in
Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352. Also available as Wilford Woodruff’s Journals, 1833–1898, edited by Scott G. Kenney, 9 vols. (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983–1985).Thomas Bullock’s handwriting reads “Presented to the | Historian’s Office | by Wilford Woodruff | July 19 54”. In the center of the same page, a library notation that was written in ink but has since been erased reads “No 904”. The recto of the front flyleaf bears a notation in graphite, apparently in Woodruff’s handwriting: “Wilford | Woodruff | Woodruff”. On this same page, a stamp applied sideways in purple ink reads “HISTO[RI]AN’S OFFICE. | Chur[ch] of Jesus Christ | of Latter-day Saints.” The same stamp appears on the copyright page three pages later, at the bottom of page 60, and on the inside back cover. The flyleaf’s verso bears several inscriptions: Woodruff’s signature (with the first name spelled “Willford”) in black ink near the top of the page; “Tuskalusa | Allabama” in graphite in the middle of the page; and “6” followed by an illegible character, both written sideways in black ink roughly three-quarters down the page. On eleven of the twelve blank leaves he bound into the back of this book, Woodruff copied the remaining text of the partially printed chapter 65, another revelation, and several hymns.
23 Dec. 1816–10 Feb. 1885. Farmer, excise officer, secretary, clerk. Born in Leek, Staffordshire, England. Son of Thomas Bullock and Mary Hall. Married Henrietta Rushton, 25 June 1838. Moved to Ardee, Co. Louth, Ireland, Nov. 1839; to Isle of Anglesey, Aug...View Full BioWoodrufflikely acquired this copy of the Book of Commandments on 12 August 1834.5He appears to have retained this volume until he donated it to the Church Historian’s Office on 19 July 1854. Library markings indicate the volume has remained in continuous church custody.
Whitmer, John. Daybook, 1832–1878. CHL. MS 1159.6
“Library Record for the Listing or Cataloguing of Books.” In Historian’s Office, Library Accession Records, ca. 1890–ca. 1930. CHL. CR 100 429.
- 1 See “Proposed Sixth Gathering of the Book of Commandments;” see also Phelps, “Short History,” ; and Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to John Murdock, 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 61–62.
- 2 The title page of the Book of Commandments appears in two different formats, the first without a decorative border. Sometime during the printing, a border was inserted, forcing the compositor to compress the spaces between and within the lines of text. For photographs of the two iterations, see JSP, R2:13, 600. A systematic analysis of printing variants among extant copies of the Book of Commandments is beyond the scope of this edition.
- 3 Wilford Woodruff , Journal, 1834–1838, Wilford Woodruff , Journals and Papers, CHL.
- 4 The twelfth leaf is the back pastedown, which Woodruff left blank. He completed Revelation, 11 September 1831 [D&C 64], and copied in full Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89], after which he copied eight hymns, four of which he gave headings. Each hymn was printed in The Evening and the Morning Star, and all four of Woodruff’s hymn headings match the headings given in the Star. The hymn that begins “Age after age has roll’d away” was printed in the May 1833 issue of the Star; “The great and glorious gospel light,” in July 1833; “Ere long the vail will rend in twain,” in May 1833; “Come ye children of the kingdom,” in April 1833; “My soul is full of peace and love,” in June 1833; “The happy day has rolled on,” in June 1833; “Beyond these earthly scenes in sight,” in July 1832; and “There is a land the Lord will bless,” in September 1834.
- 5 Whitmer, Daybook, 12 Aug. 1834.
- 6 “1303” is written in black ink on the bottom of page . This number corresponds to an entry made sometime after 1930 in an early Church Historian’s Office catalog book. In addition, the Church Historian’s Office stamp used to mark several pages of the volume appears to have been in use in the late nineteenth century and possibly in the early twentieth century. (“Library Record,” book no. 1303.)
Church leaders took the first formal step toward printing the Book of Commandments at a conference of elders atHiram, Ohio, on 1 November 1831. The minutes for this conference open with a request from
Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...More InfoOliver Cowderythat the conference determine “the mind of the Lord” on the subject of how many copies to print. The conference decided to publish ten thousand copies.1This resolution was likely the product of prior discussion, but no record of any such discussion exists.A July 1831 revelation had already appointedWilliam W. Phelpsto be church printer and2Phelps acquired a printing press and type in
Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835. Also available in Robin Scott Jensen, Richard E. Turley Jr., Riley M. Lorimer, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. Vol. 2 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011).Cincinnati, Ohio, en route to
Area settled largely by emigrants from New England and New Jersey, by 1788. Village founded and surveyed adjacent to site of Fort Washington, 1789. First seat of legislature of Northwest Territory, 1790. Incorporated as city, 1819. Developed rapidly as shipping...More Info3The previous summer,
JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1-7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.
Stower, Caleb. The Printer’s Grammar; or, Introduction to the Art of Printing: Containing a Concise History of the Art, with the Improvements in the Practice of Printing, for the Last Fifty Years. London: Caleb Stower, 1808. As excerpted in Richard-Gabriel Rummonds, Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, 2 vols. (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2004).Edward Partridgepurchased a lot near the center of town upon which the building that likely became the
27 Aug. 1793–27 May 1840. Hatter. Born at Pittsfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of William Partridge and Jemima Bidwell. Moved to Painesville, Geauga Co., Ohio. Married Lydia Clisbee, 22 Aug. 1819, at Painesville. Initially a Universal Restorationist...View Full Bio4Cowdery, who arrived in
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Berrett, LaMar C., ed. Sacred Places: A Comprehensive Guide to Early LDS Historical Sites. 6 vols. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999–2007.Martin Harriscould supply the paper.The Evening and the Morning Star,
18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...View Full Bio6indicating that by this time the press was functional despite a shortage of paper.
Phelps, William W. “A Short History of W. W. Phelps’ Stay in Missouri,” 1864. Information concerning Persons Driven from Jackson County, Missouri in 1833, 1863–1868. CHL. MS 6019, fd. 7.7A revelation dictated by JS in
Missouri Intelligencer and Boon’s Lick Advertiser. Fayette. 1827–1835.
Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.Newel K. Whitneyto purchase printing paper—by credit if necessary—and JS and his associates to transport it to Missouri. They did so, purchasing paper in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia), around the first of April 1832 and arriving in Missouri later that month.
3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...View Full Bio8In May, after JS had departed on the return journey to Ohio, Phelps, Cowdery,
Whitney, Newel K. Papers, 1825–1906. BYU.
Historian’s Office. Joseph Smith History Documents, 1839–1860. CHL. CR 100 396courthouseand public square, to formally dedicate the building and the materials.
Independence became county seat for Jackson Co., 29 Mar. 1827. First courthouse, single-story log structure located on lot 59 at intersection of Lynn and Lexington Streets, completed, Aug. 1828. Second courthouse, two-story brick structure located at center...More Info9Active publishing began the following month, when issues of the Star first began to appear. Around this same time, the Mormon printing office also began to publish issues of the Upper Missouri Advertiser, a community newspaper.10While JS and other leaders were in11The firm appointed a committee of three individuals—
Whitney, Newel K. Papers, 1825–1906. BYU.12The committee acted upon that instruction by both selecting and revising manuscripts, using Revelation Book 1 as their primary source text. The committee did not include all items found in Revelation Book 1; some items therein were explicitly marked for exclusion from the Book of Commandments, and some others bear no such mark but were nonetheless excluded.13The title page of the Book of Commandments indicates that the book was printed by W. W. Phelps & Co., and while Phelps is traditionally recognized as the publisher and printer, all three individuals appointed to review the revelations contributed to the work of printing the Book of Commandments.14
Cowdery, Oliver. Letterbook, 1833–1838. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.Many of the revelations in the Book of Commandments appear in Revelation Book 1 with editing marks that were made in preparation for the publication. Revelation Book 1 was not, however, the sole source for the Book of Commandments. One revelation and part of another that appear in the Book of Commandments do not appear in Revelation Book 1; the manuscript sources for these revelations are unknown.15Furthermore, some revelations that appeared in the Book of Commandments had been printed earlier in The Evening and the Morning Star. When revelations had already been printed in the Star, the editors appear to have used the newspaper, rather than Revelation Book 1, to set type for the Book of Commandments.
A Book of Commandments, for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized according to Law, on the 6th of April, 1830. Zion [Independence], MO: W. W. Phelps, 1833. Also available in Robin Scott Jensen, Richard E. Turley Jr., Riley M. Lorimer, eds., Revelations and Translations, Volume 2: Published Revelations. Vol. 2 of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011).The incomplete Book of Commandments contains most of the revelations known to have been dictated by JS through September 1831, organized largely chronologically. Seven items that were dictated before September 1831 and copied into Revelation Book 1 were not published in the Book of Commandments.17The apparent intent of editorial work on the revelations—and in any case, the result of that work—was primarily to polish the revelations for publication. Most of the editorial revisions were in the nature of copyediting changes: inserting versification; standardizing language; correcting punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and spelling. A smaller subset of revisions was significant, usually involving the addition of a phrase or the substitution of a word or two.19the editors preparing the Book of Commandments for publication did not introduce the term “high priest” into revelations predating June 1831 where it would have been logical to do so. A 9 February 1831 revelation, for instance, states that the bishop is to be assisted in certain duties by the elders. In 1835, as part of an effort to update the revelations to reflect changes in church government and policy, this language was expanded to clarify that the high priests are also to assist in these duties.20The update presumably could have been made earlier, for inclusion in the Book of Commandments, but was not. In fact, the office of high priest is not mentioned anywhere in the Book of Commandments. More systematic updating of the revelations to reflect changes in church government and policy occurred two years later in connection with the publication of the Doctrine and Covenants.Printing standards of the day called for printers to recopy heavily edited manuscripts to provide a clean copy for typesetting.21Some of the text of Revelation Book 1 was almost certainly recopied before the Book of Commandments was typeset, as evidenced by differences between the text in the marked-up Revelation Book 1 and the final printed Book of Commandments.
De Vinne, Theodore Low. The Printers’ Price List: A Manual for the Use of Clerks and Book-Keepers in Job Printing Offices. New York: Francis Hart, 1871. As excerpted in Richard-Gabriel Rummonds, Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, 2 vols. (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2004).Theprint shopwas small enough that it likely carried only one size of paper. Considering this, the Book of Commandments was likely printed on royal-size paper, which measures approximately 25 × 20 inches (64 × 51 cm), because The Evening and the Morning Star was printed on royal quarto (a royal-size sheet folded twice, yielding four leaves approximately 12½ × 10 inches [32 × 25 cm] each).23Had the Book of Commandments, which was printed in sextodecimo format, been printed on royal-size paper with a sheetwise technique (one gathering per sheet), the process would have yielded sixteen leaves measuring approximately 6¼ × 5 inches (16 × 13 cm) each, a page size significantly larger than was needed for the Book of Commandments, which measures approximately 4½ × 3⅛ inches (11 × 8 cm) (allowing for small variations in page size for different copies). This is not an impossibility, because the excess paper around the margins could have been trimmed. However, some untrimmed or partially untrimmed extant copies of the Book of Commandments have roughly half an inch (1 cm) of excess paper (beyond the point where the edge should be trimmed) on the bottom of the leaves, suggesting a far more likely scenario: If a work-and-turn technique (printing two copies of the same gathering per sheet) had been used, each sheet would have yielded thirty-two leaves measuring 5 × 3⅛ inches (13 × 8 cm) each, leaving only half an inch to be trimmed from each leaf.
Mackellar, Thomas. The American Printer: A Manual of Typography, Containing Complete Instructions for Beginners, as Well as Practical Directions for Managing All Departments of a Printing Office. Philadelphia: L. Johnson, 1866. As excerpted in Richard-Gabriel Rummonds, Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, 2 vols. (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2004).Textual and other sources suggest time frames in which the individual gatherings of the Book of Commandments were likely typeset and printed. In this regard, analyzing the filial relationship between common texts in Revelation Book 1, the Book of Commandments, and The Evening and the Morning Star is especially useful.Star was printed), analysis of typefaces used at the26The second gathering (pages 33–64) was of course printed after the first, meaning after December 1832. Moreover, independent textual evidence definitively places the typesetting date of the second gathering after September 1832.pages 65–96) was printed sometime after January 1833 and before circa May 1833.28The fourth (pages 97–128) and fifth (pages 129–160) gatherings were printed after the third gathering (circa May 1833) and before the destruction of theBy mid-1833, a reported seven individuals were working in the30and were likely close to completing their work on the Book of Commandments. On 13 February 1833, W. W. Phelps & Co. filed for a copyright on the book, depositing a copy of the title page with the federal district court in31In May, The Evening and the Morning Star published a revelation intended as the last revelation, or “appendix,” for the new book.
Woodford, Robert J. “The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants.” 3 vols. PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1974.
Wheaton, Clarence L., and Angela Wheaton. The Book of Commandments Controversy Reviewed. Independence, MO: Church of Christ (Temple Lot), 1950.32In the same issue, editors of the paper announced that the finished volume would “be published in the course of the present year” and cost “from 25, to 50 cents a copy.”33In a letter dated 25 June, JS and his associates in36The corrections, however, arrived in Missouri too late to be incorporated into the printed volume.
McLellin, William E. Letter, Independence, MO, to Joseph Smith III, [Plano, IL], July 1872. Letters and Documents Copied from Originals in the Office of the Church Historian, Reorganized Church, no date. Typescript. CHL. MS 9090. Original at CCLA.37Letters could take anywhere from about ten days to a month to make the journey between northeastern Ohio and
JS Letterbook 2 / Smith, Joseph. “Copies of Letters, &c. &c.,” 1839–1843. Joseph Smith Collection. CHL. MS 155, box 2, fd. 2.
Hartley, William G. “Letters and Mail between Kirtland and Independence: A Mormon Postal History, 1831–33.” Journal of Mormon History 35, no. 3 (Summer 2009): 163–189.38The delay in communication between JS and those printing the revelations prevented JS from maintaining a close supervisory role over the press. That JS saw advance sheets of the Book of Commandments, however, indicatesPhelps,What proved to be the final known communication from church headquarters inSidney Rigdonand
19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...View Full BioFrederick G. Williamssent instructions for shipping copies of the Book of Commandments to
28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...View Full BioKirtland.
Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...More InfoBy the time that letter could reach40The assailants gave the press, which had apparently been pushed out of the second-story window and damaged in the fall, to Robert Kelly and William Davis, who used it beginning in early January 1834 to publish a newspaper inLiberty, Missouri, titled the Upper Missouri Enquirer.
Located in western Missouri, thirteen miles north of Independence. Settled 1820. Clay Co. seat, 1822. Incorporated as town, May 1829. Following expulsion from Jackson Co., 1833, many Latter-day Saints found refuge in Clay Co., with church leaders and other...More Info41
Missouri Writers’ Project, Works Progress Administration, comp. Missouri: A Guide to the “Show Me” State. American Guide Series. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1941.
Gladden, Sanford C. “An Early Printing Press Used in Colorado.” Unpublished paper. Boulder, CO, 1977. Copy at CHL.Several Latter-day Saints were able to save sheets of the unbound Book of Commandments, and copies were later individually bound for private use. It is unclear how many copies were saved and bound, but fewer than three dozen are currently known to exist. Also unclear is how those who saved the sheets from the attackers were able to salvage sheets from all five gatherings. Inside the42If the process of folding and collating the sheets had already begun, however, it would have been easier to collect all five sheets.
Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2009.43
Whitmer, David. An Address to Believers in the Book of Mormon. Richmond, MO: No publisher, 1887.44Whether official agents were appointed to sell copies is unknown, but it appears that church leaders gathered known copies and distributed them.
Whitmer, John. Daybook, 1832–1878. CHL. MS 1159.45The scarcity of the volume likely contributed to church leaders’ prompt renewal of interest in printing a compilation of revelations—an objective that would not be realized until the 1835 publication of the Doctrine and Covenants in
Deseret News. Salt Lake City. 1850–.
- 1 Minute Book 2, 1 Nov. 1831.
- 2 Revelation, 20 July 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 27:5, 1835 ed. [D&C 57:11–13]. An earlier revelation appointed Phelps to assist Cowdery in printing the revelations. (Revelation, 14 June 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 68:2, 1835 ed. [D&C 55:4].)
- 3 JS History, vol. A-1, 154. After the Independence printing office was destroyed in summer 1833, Phelps claimed that five thousand pounds of type had been lost, which would have been about five times the amount normally on hand in a printing office at this time. (Declaration, in Missouri Circuit Court [5th Circuit], Feb. 1834 term, Phelps and Cowdery v. Olmstead et al., Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO; Stower, Printer’s Grammar, 57, as excerpted in Rummonds, Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices, 1:232.)
- 4 Jackson Co., MO, Deed Records, bk. A, pp. 111–113, microfilm 1,017,978, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; see also Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:51–52.
- 5 Oliver Cowdery, Independence, MO, to JS, Kirtland Mills, OH, 28 Jan. 1832, JS Collection, CHL. In a postscript and a now-missing notation to be used as a bill or receipt, Cowdery apparently informed JS how much paper should be purchased in order to provide enough stock for ten thousand copies of the Book of Commandments.
- 6 The prospectus for The Evening and the Morning Star, dated 23 February 1832 and no longer extant, was included as the first item in the first issue of the later, Ohio-based Evening and Morning Star. (William W. Phelps, The Evening and the Morning Star Prospectus, Evening and Morning Star, June 1832 [Jan. 1835], 1–2; see also Phelps, “Short History,” –; and “To Man,” The Evening and the Morning Star, June 1832, .)
- 7 The next known publication of the press was a political circular (no longer extant) dated 21 May 1832. (Lilburn W. Boggs, “To the People of Missouri,” Missouri Intelligencer, 2 June 1832, ; Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:33.)
- 8 Revelation, 20 Mar. 1832, in Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU; Newel K. Whitney, Statement, ca. 1842, Historian’s Office, JS History Documents, CHL; Minute Book 2, 30 Apr. 1832. It is unknown exactly how much paper JS and his associates brought to Missouri, but Phelps and Cowdery listed the total amount of paper lost in the July 1833 destruction of the printing office at one hundred reams. If Phelps and Cowdery’s accounting is accurate, it is unclear whether the listed one hundred reams of paper was only the amount that was lost or was the total amount of paper brought to Missouri. (Declaration, in Missouri Circuit Court [5th Circuit], Feb. 1834 term, Phelps and Cowdery v. Olmstead et al., Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO.)
- 9 Minute Book 2, 29 May 1832; Berrett, Sacred Places, 4:51–52.
- 10 Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:34–35.
- 11 Minute Book 2, 30 Apr. 1832. Assuming that the Book of Commandments was to comprise six gatherings (with two identical gatherings printed on each sheet), and assuming five hundred sheets per ream, a print run of ten thousand copies of the Book of Commandments would require sixty reams, whereas a print run of three thousand copies would require eighteen reams. Paper was expensive and in short supply and would need to be divided among several printing projects. Besides the Book of Commandments and the two newspapers, an almanac and a hymnal were also planned (but ultimately neither was published in Missouri). It is possible JS and his companions purchased the paper on credit, which could suggest they did not have sufficient funds to purchase the amount of paper originally contemplated. (See Revelation, 20 Mar. 1832, in Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU.)
- 12 Minute Book 2, 30 Apr. 1832.
- 13 See, for example, Explanation of scripture, ca. Dec. 1830, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 60–61 [D&C 74], which bears the notation “Not to be printed.” Revelation, ca. early 1830, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 30–31, which bears no such notation, was also omitted from the Book of Commandments. That there was a systematic review of Revelation Book 1 is suggested by a notation on page 76 of Revelation Book 1: “Compared thus far by J[ohn Whitmer] & O[liver Cowdery].”
- 14 Late in his life Phelps stated, “I was ordained and appointed to take the lead in printing, as printer to the church . . . with Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer as my assistants.” (Phelps, “Short History,” –; see also Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, [Clay Co., MO], [30 Mar. 1834], in Cowdery, Letterbook, 36–38; and Declaration, in Missouri Circuit Court [5th Circuit], Feb. 1834 term, Phelps and Cowdery v. Olmstead et al., Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO.)
- 15 Revelation, May 1829–B, in Book of Commandments 11 [D&C 12]; Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831, in Book of Commandments 47 [D&C 42:78–93].
- 16 See “Table 1: Relationship between Items in Revelation Book 1 and The Evening and the Morning Star.” In most cases, the revelations as published in the Star were typeset from Revelation Book 1.
- 17 Within Revelation Book 1, see the following: Revelation, ca. June 1829, pp. 23–24; Revelation, ca. early 1830, pp. 30–31; Explanation of scripture, ca. Dec. 1830, pp. 60–61 [D&C 74]; Revelation, 15 May 1831, p. 85; Revelation, 20 May 1831, pp. 86–87 [D&C 51]; and Revelation, 20 July 1831, pp. 93–94 [D&C 57]. The seventh revelation in this category is Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17]. A partial index to Revelation Book 1 indicates that this revelation was copied on page 25 of the manuscript book, but the page on which it was inscribed is among those now missing. (See Revelation Book 1, p. .) There is no apparent pattern among these seven items to explain why they were not published.
- 18 For a list of revelations published in the Book of Commandments identifying the types of editing marks made in Revelation Book 1 to prepare each revelation for publication, see “Table 2: Relationship between Items in Revelation Book 1 and the Book of Commandments.”
- 19 Minute Book 2, 3 June 1831.
- 20 Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831, in Book of Commandments 44:26, 54 [D&C 42:31, 71]; Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 13:8, 19, 1835 ed. [D&C 42:31, 71].
- 21 De Vinne, The Printers’ Price List, 402, as excerpted in Rummonds, Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices, 2:822–823.
- 22 The mark-up of Revelation Book 1, including versification, does not always match the final version of the text printed in the Book of Commandments. While it is technically possible that the discrepancies between the texts as edited in Revelation Book 1 and as printed in the Book of Commandments could have resulted from corrections introduced in the galley proof stage (the stage at which the typeset page was proofed for the last time), the amount of labor that would be involved in changing versification and paragraphing in galleys strongly suggests that these discrepancies were introduced on an interim copy rather than in galleys.
- 23 MacKellar, American Printer, 271, as excerpted in Rummonds, Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices, 1:459. The paper size for The Evening and the Morning Star was noted in its prospectus, and measurements of extant copies confirm that the paper was indeed printed on royal quarto–size paper. (William W. Phelps, The Evening and the Morning Star Prospectus, Evening and Morning Star, June 1832 [Jan. 1835], 1–2.)
- 24 Because the Book of Commandments and The Evening and the Morning Star share a common source (Revelation Book 1) for many texts, and because different layers of editing within Revelation Book 1 clearly pertain to one published version or the other, it is often possible to determine whether a particular text was first printed in the Book of Commandments or in the Star.
- 25 The first six issues of The Evening and the Morning Star (June through November 1832) were printed in two sizes of type: long primer (about 10 point) and brevier (about 8 point). Beginning with the December 1832 issue and continuing for the remainder of the Missouri publication, the newspaper was printed in only long primer. Because the Book of Commandments was printed in brevier size, it is likely that the printers stopped using brevier for the newspaper in November 1832 so they could use it instead for the Book of Commandments. While it is not known how much type the Missouri printers began the operation with, they apparently started running out of brevier while typesetting two different gatherings of the Book of Commandments, suggesting a supply limited enough that it could not support two printing projects at once.
- 26 Notice, The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1832, . JS noted in his journal on 1 December 1832 that he “wrote and corrected revelations.” If typesetting for the Book of Commandments did not begin until at least November 1832, a proof of the first gathering probably could not have been printed and delivered to Ohio in time for JS to be reviewing it on 1 December. (JS, Journal, 1 Dec. 1832.)
- 27 A comparison of the different layers of editing marks in Revelation Book 1 clearly indicates that Revelation, September 1830–A [D&C 29], was typeset for the September 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star before it was typeset for chapter 29 of the Book of Commandments, which begins on page 61, in the second gathering, and continues into the third.
- 28 A comparison of the respective versions of Revelation, 2 January 1831 [D&C 38], in Revelation Book 1, the January 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star, and chapter 40 of the Book of Commandments indicates that the newspaper version was typeset before the Book of Commandments version. JS and others wrote a letter dated 25 June 1833 in which they made corrections to a proof sheet of the third gathering, likely sent to them sometime in late May. A letter from JS and others dated a week later, 2 July, responded to a 7 June letter from Independence, suggesting that the galley sheet was put in the mail to Ohio no later than circa 31 May. (JS et al., Kirtland, OH, to Edward Partridge et al., Independence, MO, 25 June 1833, JS Collection, CHL; Sidney Rigdon et al., Kirtland, OH, to “Brethren,” [Independence, MO], 2 July 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 51–54.)
- 29 Editing marks in Revelation Book 1 indicate that Revelation, 30 August 1831 [D&C 63], was typeset for the February 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star before it was typeset for chapter 64 of the Book of Commandments, which is in the fifth gathering.
- 30 “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115.
- 31 The original copyright registration has not been located. A certified copy was made in 1921 by H. C. Geisberg. (Woodford, “Development of the Doctrine and Covenants,” 1:31; Wheaton and Wheaton, Book of Commandments Controversy Reviewed, 52–53.)
- 32 Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 116–121 [D&C 133]; “Revelations,” The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1833, –.
- 33 “Revelations,” The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1833, .
- 34 JS et al., Kirtland, OH, to Edward Partridge et al., Independence, MO, 25 June 1833, JS Collection, CHL.
- 35 JS et al., Kirtland, OH, to Edward Partridge et al., Independence, MO, 25 June 1833, JS Collection, CHL. The corrections were as follows: “The following errors we have found in the commandments as printed 40th Chap 10th verse third line, instead of corruptable put corrupted 14 verse of the same chapter 5th line instead of respecter to persons, put respecter of persons, 21st verse 2nd line of the same chapter, instead of respecter to, put respecter of 44 Chapter 12 verse last line, instead of hands, put heads.” In the Woodruff copy of the Book of Commandments (featured herein), these corrections are marked in an unidentified hand.
- 36 William E. McLellin, who lived in Independence in 1833 and therefore may have had firsthand knowledge of some details of the printing operation, later stated that the Missouri editors sent a gathering of the Book of Commandments to Kirtland for correction. (William E. McLellin, Independence, MO, to Joseph Smith III, [Plano, IL], July 1872, typescript, Letters and Documents Copied from Originals in the Office of the Church Historian, Reorganized Church, CHL.)
- 37 The 25 June 1833 letter with the corrections arrived in Independence 29 July 1833, by which time the first five gatherings had been printed and the printing office had been destroyed by vigilantes. (John Whitmer with William W. Phelps postscript, Independence, MO, to JS and Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland Mills, OH, 29 July 1833, in JS Letterbook 2, pp. 52–56; see also Hartley, “Postal History,” 185.)
- 38 Hartley, “Postal History,” 176.
- 39 Sidney Rigdon et al., Kirtland, OH, to “Brethren,” [Independence, MO], 2 July 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 51–54.
- 40 Declaration, in Missouri Circuit Court [5th Circuit], Feb. 1834 term, Phelps and Cowdery v. Olmstead et al., Jackson County Records Center, Independence, MO.
- 41 Missouri Writers’ Project, Missouri, 108; JS History, vol. A-1, 412. One author has tracked the press to mid- and late-nineteenth-century newspapers published in Colorado and New Mexico. (Gladden, “An Early Printing Press Used in Colorado.”)
- 42 For an overview of folding and collating practices of the time, see Gaskell, New Introduction to Bibliography, 6, 143–145.
- 43 Another possible explanation for why so many volumes contain all five sheets is that a small number of advance copies may have been nearly completed, in which case it is possible that the majority of the surviving copies come from this advance collation. A David Whitmer reminiscence suggests as much, though he evidently misunderstood or misremembered what state the volume was in when he received it: “I received my Book of Commandments, complete before the press was destroyed by the mob, as did many other brethren.” It is also possible that those gathering sheets collected many redundant sheets that were later discarded after complete volumes were assembled. (Whitmer, Address to Believers in the Book of Mormon, 5.)
- 44 Whitmer, Daybook, 6 and 13 July 1834; 3 and 12 Aug. 1834; 16 Sept. 1834.
- 45 For example, Mary Elizabeth Lightner recalled later that Oliver Cowdery took the several sheets saved by Lightner and her sister Caroline and bound them, giving one assembled copy to Lightner. (Mary Elizabeth Rollins Lightner, “Ran from the Mob,” Deseret Evening News, 20 Feb. 1904, 24.)