Revelation, 22–23 September 1832 [D&C 84]
Revelation,Kirtland Township, OH, 22–23 Sept. 1832; Featured version copied [ca. 23 Sept. 1832]; handwriting of
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 InfoThree leaves, measuring 9⅞ × 8¼ inches (25 × 21 cm). Inscribed in a homemade manuscript book. Along the left margin are ten holes from an unevenly sewn binding; the threads are not extant. Each of the leaves has a vertical compression mark at the edge of its former binding. The revelation was subsequently removed from its binding, folded in half, and then tri-folded. The verso of the last page contains a graphite docket in the handwriting ofNewel K. Whitney: “A Revelation | relative to order of P.H | to N.K.W going to
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 BioThis and several other revelations, along with many other personal and institutional documents kept byWhitney, were inherited by his daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who married Isaac Groo. This collection was passed down in the Groo family and donated by members of the family to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University during the period 1969–1974.
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 Bio1
Andrus, Hyrum L., Chris Fuller, and Elizabeth E. McKenzie. “Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 1825–1906,” Sept. 1998. BYU.
- 1 Andrus et al., “Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 1825–1906,” 5–6.
After JS relocated fromHiramto
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 InfoKirtland, Ohio, on 12 September 1832,
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 Infoelderswho had returned from preaching in the eastern
A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...View GlossaryUnited Statescame to JS to report on their proselytizing. While JS and these elders were “together in these seasons of joy,” a later history recounts, JS “inquired of the Lord and received” a revelation dated 22 and 23 September 1832.
North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...More Infohigh Priestssave one.” Because JS was living in
An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. The Book of Mormon used the term high priest to denote one appointed to lead the church. However, the Book of Mormon also discussed...View GlossaryNewel K. Whitney’s
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 BioThe revelation was dictated over the course of two days, most likely beginning the evening of 22 September and continuing into the early morning hours of 23 September.2Textual evidence indicates a pause in the dictation at some point on 23 September. The three existing manuscript copies of the revelation (one in the handwriting of
Richards, Lula Greene. “Brief Sketch of the Life of Evan M. Greene.” Typescript. Private Possession.Frederick G. Williams, another by Williams and JS, and one by
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 BioJohn Whitmer) all contain a clear break between the phrase “for he is full of mercy Justice grace and truth and peace for ever and ever Amen” and the phrase “And again verily verily I say unto you it is expedient . . . ,” marking an interruption in the dictation.d. day of September AD 1832” as a notation several pages before this break, indicating that material presented before the interruption was also dictated on 23 September. It may be that the dictation went into the early morning hours of 23 September, halted for a period of time, and then recommenced later that day.
27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...View Full BioThe index of Revelation Book 2, one of the volumes in which this revelation was recorded, designated the revelation as one “explaining the twopriest hoodsand commissioning the
Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of...View GlossaryApostlesto preach the gospel.”Book of Mormon indicated that authority from God was necessary to perform certain ordinances, such as
A title indicating one sent forth to preach; later designated as a specific ecclesiastical and priesthood office. By 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery were designated as apostles. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained that an “apostle is an elder...View Glossarybaptismand conferring the
An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...View Glossarygift of the Holy Ghost, which led JS and
A right or privilege bestowed through the confirmation ordinance. Individuals were confirmed members of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands. The Book of Mormon explained that remission of sins requires not only...View GlossaryOliver Cowderyto petition God for such authority as they worked together in
3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...View Full Biotranslatingthat record.
To produce a text from one written in another language; in JS’s usage, most often through divine means. JS considered the ability to translate to be a gift of the spirit, like the gift of interpreting tongues. He recounted that he translated “reformed Egyptian...View Glossaryordinances.
A religious rite. JS taught that ordinances were covenants between man and God, in which believers could affirm faith, gain spiritual knowledge, and seek blessings. Some ordinances were considered requisite for salvation. The manner in which ordinances were...View Glossary6However, extant records up to June 1831 did not call such authority “priesthood”; that term—while appearing in both the Book of Mormon and in JS’s Bible revision—did not appear in any other contemporary documents until the minutes of a June 1831
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.conference, which noted that several individuals “were ordained to the
A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...View Glossaryhigh Priesthood.”Articles and Covenants” of the church explained the different duties of apostles, elders,
The authority and power held by certain officers in the church. The Book of Mormon referred to the high priesthood as God’s “holy order, which was after the order of his Son,” and indicated that Melchizedek, a biblical figure, was a high priest “after this...View Glossarypriests,
An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...View Glossaryteachers, and
Generally, one who instructs, but also an ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The Book of Mormon explained that teachers were to be ordained “to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end...View Glossarydeaconsbut did not explicitly associate these offices with the priesthood.
An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The “Articles and Covenants” directed deacons to assist teachers in their duties. Deacons were also to “warn, expound, exhort, and teach and invite all to come unto Christ.” Although deacons did not have the authority...View GlossaryBy late 1831, the high priesthood was understood to refer to both the office of high priest and to a broader authority. The office, according to an 11 November 1831 revelation, was superior to other offices in the church, just as the authority seemed to be the highest authority. This revelation stated that after the offices of deacon, teacher, priest, and elder came “the high Priest hood which is the greatest of all.”history JS began writing around summer 1832 suggests that he had received two separate powers with different responsibilities. In that history, JS noted that “the ministring of—Aangels” gave him an authority that allowed him “to adminster the letter of the Gospel.” He also recorded receiving “the high Priesthood after the holy order of the son of the living God,” which gave him “power and ordinence from on high to preach the Gospel in the administration and demonstration of the spirit.”
Being who acts as a minister and messenger between heaven and earth. JS taught that angels were individuals who “belonged to this earth”; those who had already lived on earth were often resurrected beings. In addition to giving instruction, direction, and...View GlossaryThis 22–23 September revelation similarly delineated the existence of two priesthoods: a greater priesthood that containskeysto the mysteries of the kingdom and to the knowledge of God, and a
Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...View Glossarylesser priesthoodholding the keys of the ministering of angels and of the gospel of repentance and baptism.
The lower, or lesser, of two divisions of the priesthood. Sometimes called the Levitical priesthood. It was named for Aaron, the brother of Moses, “because it was conferred upon Aaron and his seed” in antiquity. JS and other church leaders taught that the...View Glossary11The revelation traced the lineage of the two priesthoods, noting that the greater priesthood was held by Moses, who received it from a line of individuals (including Melchizedek) who had ultimately received it from God. Aaron, meanwhile, held the lesser priesthood, which was passed to his descendants until it reached John the Baptist. Both priesthoods, the revelation posited, are eternal, and men in the
Campbell, Alexander. Delusions. An Analysis of the Book of Mormon; with an Examination of Its Internal and External Evidences, and a Refutation of Its Pretences to Divine Authority. Boston: Benjamin H. Greene, 1832.
Staker, Mark L. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.Church of Christcould become the “sons of Moses” and the “sons of Aaron” by receiving these priesthoods and “magnifying there calling.” Doing so would enable these “sons” to enter the
The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...View Glossarytemplethat the Saints would construct in
A sacred edifice “built unto the Lord.” In both the Bible and Book of Mormon, temples were built as places of worship. As early as 1830, church members expected to build a temple in the New Jerusalem, or city of Zion. Revelations in 1830 and 1831 indicated...View GlossaryMissouri, allowing them to receive God’s glory that would fill the temple. Some of this information seems a culmination of ideas first expressed in JS’s revisions to passages in Hebrews, Genesis, and Exodus, which were completed in the six months leading up to September.
Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...More Info12The revelation also explained how the different offices in the church are connected to the two priesthoods. The offices of elder and
Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.
New Testament Revision 2 / New Testament Revision Manuscript 2, 1831–1832. CCLA. Also available in Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 235–581.
Old Testament Revision 2 / Old Testament Revision Manuscript 2, 1831–1833. CCLA. Also available in Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 591–851.
Godfrey, Matthew C. “A Culmination of Learning: D&C 84 and the Doctrine of the Priesthood.” In You Shall Have My Word: Exploring the Text of the Doctrine and Covenants, edited by Scott C. Esplin, Richard O. Cowan, and Rachel Cope, 167–181. Provo, UT : Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2012.bishop, it states, are “appendages” to the high priesthood, or to the office of high priest; the offices of teacher and deacon, meanwhile, are appendages to the lesser priesthood, or to the office of priest.
An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...View Glossary13High priests, elders, and priests, the revelation continued, have an obligation to travel to proclaim the gospel, while teachers and deacons are responsible for watching over the church in local congregations.
McLellin, William E. Journal, Apr.–June 1836. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. MS 13538, box 1, fd. 6. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).After providing a detailed explanation of the greater and lesser priesthoods, their offices, and their duties, the revelation emphasized the necessity of preaching to the world and provided an extensive discussion of many aspects of missionary work. Revelations from 1830, 1831, and 1832 called specific individuals on missions,Frederick G. Williams, who was serving as JS’s scribe, probably recorded the revelation as JS dictated it.
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 Bio17Williams also inscribed a copy of this revelation that was given to
Richards, Lula Greene. “Brief Sketch of the Life of Evan M. Greene.” Typescript. Private Possession.Whitney, stating that he was transcribing it “for N K, Whitney and Joseph the Seer.” Whitney and JS traveled together inNew Yorkand other states in October 1832, and the copy was likely made for the two men to carry with them on that trip.Revelation Book 2, probably soon after the revelation was dictated.Book of Mormon, and the explanation of appendages to the greater and lesser priesthoods—were discussed in early 1833 issues of the church’s periodical The Evening and the Morning Star. A conference of high priests also wrote a letter in January 1833 calling church members in
Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...More InfoMissourito repentance in conformance with instructions given in the revelation.
Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...More Info20Since at least six elders and ten high priests heard portions of the revelation while it was dictated, it is probable that information in it was also spread through word of mouth.
The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.
- 1 JS History, vol. A-1, 229.
- 2 A life sketch of Evan Greene (who was presumably present) gives the revelation’s date as “the night of the 22nd and 23rd of September, 1832.” (Richards, “Brief Life Sketch of Evan Melbourne Greene,” 2.)
- 3 The Williams copy is featured herein. For the Williams and JS copy and the Whitmer copy, see Revelation Book 2, pp. 20–31; and Revelation Book 1, pp. 149–156.
- 4 Revelation Book 2, Index, .
- 5 See, for example, Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 477–478, 493 [3 Nephi 11:21–22; 18:36–37].
- 6 Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:15–16; JS History, vol. A-1, 17–18.
- 7 Minute Book 2, 3 June 1831. For more information on the meaning of “high Priesthood” in 1831, see Historical Introduction to Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.
- 8 Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20].
- 9 Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:64].
- 10 JS History, ca. Summer 1832.
- 11 Positing the existence of multiple priesthoods was not unique. In 1827, Alexander Crawford, a Scottish minister living in Canada, discussed three distinct priesthoods: a patriarchal priesthood (which he also called a priesthood after the “order of Melchizedec”), an Aaronical priesthood (originally held by Aaron), and a priesthood held by Jesus Christ. Alexander Campbell and the Disciples of Christ were influenced by Crawford’s ideas, though Campbell differed somewhat in his conception of the priesthood, arguing that God had given a “priesthood” to the tribe of Levi and a “high priesthood” to Aaron and his sons. As a former associate of Campbell, Sidney Rigdon was probably familiar with these ideas. (Campbell, Delusions, 11; Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 148–151.)
- 12 Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 69–71. See also, for example, New Testament Revision 2, pp. 139–140 (second numbering) [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 7:3, 19–21, 25–26]; Old Testament Revision 1, p. 34 [Joseph Smith Translation, Genesis 14:27–40]; and Old Testament Revision 2, p. 70 [Joseph Smith Translation, Exodus 34:1–2]; see also Godfrey, “Culmination of Learning,” 175.
- 13 For use of the term “high priesthood” to refer to the office of high priest, see, for example, Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107 (partial)]. For use of the term “lesser priesthood” to refer to the office of priest, see McLellin, Journal, 25 Oct. 1831.
- 14 See, for example, Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24]; Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52]; and Revelation, 7 Mar. 1832 [D&C 80].
- 15 A 1 November 1831 revelation provided instructions on missionary work to Orson Hyde, Luke Johnson, Lyman Johnson, William Smith, and “all the faithful Elders of my church,” and a 1 December 1831 revelation to JS and Sidney Rigdon regarding preaching contained the universalizing instruction “whoso readeth let him understand and receive also.” A 10 January 1832 revelation likewise instructed “the Elders of the church of the Living God” to “continue preaching the gospel.” (Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:7]; Revelation, 1 Dec. 1831 [D&C 71]; Revelation, 10 Jan. 1832 [D&C 73].)
- 16 Matthew 28:20.
- 17 A version of the life sketch of Evan Greene in the possession of Greene’s descendants states that Oliver Cowdery came into the room as JS was dictating the revelation and then, after discovering that no one was writing it down, served as scribe. This account is suspect, however, because minutes from Missouri meetings place Cowdery in Missouri at both the end of August and the first of October, making it highly unlikely that he was in Kirtland in late September. (Richards, “Brief Life Sketch of Evan Melbourne Greene,” 1; Minute Book 2, 24 Aug. and 2 Oct. 1832.)
- 18 Letter to Emma Smith, 13 Oct. 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 240.
- 19 Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 2.
- 20 “The Book of Mormon,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1833, ; “Some of Mormon’s Teaching,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1833, ; “The Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, –; Letter to Edward Partridge and Others, 14 Jan. 1833.