30710

Revelation, 15 March 1833 [D&C 92]

Kirtland

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 Info
15th March 1833—
Verely thus saith the Lord I give unto the united firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

View Glossary
organized agreeable to the commandment previously given1 a revelation & commandment concerning my servant Frederick G. Williams

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 Bio
that ye shall receive him into the firm2

In Minute Book 1, Williams expanded on this statement, writing that this revelation indicated he “should be received into the United firm in full partnership agreeable to the specification of the bond.” The “bond” refers to the covenant, or legal agreement, that William W. Phelps and Sidney Gilbert were assigned to draft the day after the United Firm was constituted. The founding members of the firm entered into this agreement, which enabled them to act as equal trustees of the church’s financial resources. The bond is not extant and its exact wording is unknown, but it seems to have had both religious and legal elements. The revelation dictated by JS on 26 April 1832 offers some insight into the content of the bond and Williams’s understanding of his new role as a member of the United Firm. The revelation states: “I give unto you this commandment that ye bind yourselves by this covenant & it shall be done according to the Laws of the Land behold here is wisdom also in me for your good & you are to be equal or in other words you are to have equal claims on the properties” and to seek “the interest of his neighbour & doing al[l] things with an eye single to the glory of God.” (Note, 15 Mar. 1833; Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:15–17, 19].)  


what I say unto one I say unto all.3

See Mark 13:37; Luke 7:8; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 255 [Alma 12:5].  


and again I say unto you my servent Frederick

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 Bio
thou shalt be a lively member in this firm and inas much as thou art faithful in keeping all former commandments thou shalt be blessed for ever Amen—— [p. 55]
Kirtland

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 Info
15th March 1833—
Verely thus saith the Lord I give unto the united firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

View Glossary
 organized agreeable to the commandment previously  given1 a revelation & commandment concerning  my servant Frederick [G. Williams]

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 Bio
that ye shall r[e]ceive him into  the firm2

In Minute Book 1, Williams expanded on this statement, writing that this revelation indicated he “should be received into the United firm in full partnership agreeable to the specification of the bond.” The “bond” refers to the covenant, or legal agreement, that William W. Phelps and Sidney Gilbert were assigned to draft the day after the United Firm was constituted. The founding members of the firm entered into this agreement, which enabled them to act as equal trustees of the church’s financial resources. The bond is not extant and its exact wording is unknown, but it seems to have had both religious and legal elements. The revelation dictated by JS on 26 April 1832 offers some insight into the content of the bond and Williams’s understanding of his new role as a member of the United Firm. The revelation states: “I give unto you this commandment that ye bind yourselves by this covenant & it shall be done according to the Laws of the Land behold here is wisdom also in me for your good & you are to be equal or in other words you are to have equal claims on the properties” and to seek “the interest of his neighbour & doing al[l] things with an eye single to the glory of God.” (Note, 15 Mar. 1833; Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:15–17, 19].)  


what I say unto one I say unto all.3

See Mark 13:37; Luke 7:8; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 255 [Alma 12:5].  


and  again I say unto you my servent Frederick

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 Bio
thou shalt  be a lively member in this firm and inas much as thou  art faithful in keeping all former commandments  thou shalt be blessed for ever Amen—— [p. 55]
On 8 March 1833, a revelation declared Frederick G. Williams

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 Bio
equal “in holding the keys

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 Glossary
of this Last Kingdom” with JS and Sidney Rigdon

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 Bio
in the presidency of the high priesthood

Both the office of the president of the high priesthood and the body comprising the president and his counselors; the presiding body of the church. In November 1831, a revelation directed the appointment of a president of the high priesthood. The individual...

View Glossary
.1

Revelation, 8 Mar. 1833 [D&C 90:6].  


A week later, the following revelation, dated 15 March, elevated Williams within the United Firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

View Glossary
from assistant scribe to a member in full partnership with JS, Rigdon, and other founding members of the firm.2

Williams had been serving as assistant scribe, paid by the United Firm, as early as January 1833. Williams also served as scribe for JS and as clerk for the Kirtland council meetings recorded in Minute Book 1. Since an administrative record for the United Firm is not extant, it is unclear if Williams continued to act as a part-time scribe for the firm after this revelation was dictated. Williams did, however, continue his scribal duties for JS and the Kirtland council meetings for the next several months. (Minute Book 1, 9 Jan. 1833.)  


In addition to becoming equal with JS and Rigdon in holding the keys, Williams now became similarly responsible for overseeing the financial and temporal matters of the church under JS’s direction.
In accordance with a revelation dated 1 March 1832, JS organized a group of men called the United Firm

An organization that supervised the management of church enterprises and properties from 1832 to 1834. In March and April 1832, revelations directed that the church’s publishing and mercantile endeavors be organized. In accordance with this direction, the...

View Glossary
on 26 April 1832 to manage the “Literary and Merchantile establishments” of the church. As a governing financial council, the firm was responsible for printing church publications, holding church properties in trust, assisting the poor, and operating general stores in Independence

Located twelve miles from western Missouri border. Permanently settled, platted, and designated county seat, 1827. Hub for steamboat travel on Missouri River. Point of departure for Santa Fe Trail. Population in 1831 about 300. Mormon population by summer...

More Info
, Missouri, and Kirtland

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 Info
, Ohio, to generate funds for the church.3

Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:3]; see also Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:11–22]; Backman, Heavens Resound, chap. 5; and Cook, Joseph Smith and the Law of Consecration, chap. 5.  


Among other duties, members of the United Firm oversaw city planning for Independence and Kirtland, including the construction of a house of the Lord

The official name for the sacred edifice in Kirtland, Ohio, later known as the Kirtland temple; also the official name for other planned religious structures in Missouri. JS and the Latter-day Saints also referred to the House of the Lord in Kirtland as “...

View Glossary
and other buildings.4 The firm was also directed to manage land, including allotting portions of Williams’s farmland to members of the church.5

A January 1833 revelation directed Frederick G. Williams to consecrate his farm for the “bringing forth of the revelations.” Williams officially deeded his farmland to JS on 5 May 1834. The land became central to church development in Kirtland. (Revelation, 5 Jan. 1833; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 18, pp. 497–498, 480–481, 5 May 1834, microfilm 20,237, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; see also Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–B [D&C 94]; Plat of Kirtland, OH, not before 2 Aug. 1833; and Parkin, “Joseph Smith and the United Firm,” 17.)  


On 26 April 1832, JS dictated a revelation that named the initial members of the United Firm as himself, Oliver Cowdery

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 Bio
, Sidney Gilbert

28 Dec. 1789–29 June 1834. Merchant. Born at New Haven, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Eli Gilbert and Lydia Hemingway. Moved to Huntington, Fairfield Co., Connecticut; to Monroe, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, by Sept. 1818; to Painesville, Geauga Co...

View Full Bio
, Martin Harris

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 Bio
, Edward Partridge

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 Bio
, William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

View Full Bio
, Sidney Rigdon

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 Bio
, John Whitmer

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 Bio
, and Newel K. Whitney

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 Bio
. Cowdery, Gilbert, Partridge, Phelps, and Whitmer oversaw the business and financial affairs in Missouri

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 Info
, while JS, Harris, Rigdon, and Whitney represented the firm in Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

More Info
.6

Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:11–12].  


The 26 April revelation also emphasized that members of the organization were equal with one another: they were to “have equal claims on the properties” managed by the United Firm, “every man according to his wants & his needs,” in order to “improve upon his tallent,” which was “to be cast into the Lords Storehouse to become the common property of the whole Churc[h].”7

Revelation, 26 Apr. 1832 [D&C 82:17–18].  


Williams

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 Bio
was the first member added to the firm since its organization.8

The United Firm added another member, John Johnson, in early June 1833. (Revelation, 4 June 1833 [D&C 96].)  


JS wrote to the Missouri

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 Info
members of the United Firm on 21 April 1833 and inserted the featured revelation in the letter to inform them of Williams’s new status.9 Members of the United Firm in Missouri apparently raised questions in a follow-up letter about Williams’s intended role in the firm. On 25 June 1833, JS, Rigdon

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 Bio
, Williams, and Harris

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 Bio
responded to their letter and affirmed Williams’s status to the Missouri members when they wrote, “As to Bro Frederick, all members of the United Firm are considered one” for the support of “the mercantile establishment God commanded.”10
Williams

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 Bio
inscribed the revelation featured here into Revelation Book 2. He also made note of this revelation in Minute Book 1.11 Williams later copied the revelation into JS’s letterbook as part of the 21 April 1833 letter to the Missouri

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 Info
church leaders.12

Facts