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Revelation, 16–17 December 1833 [D&C 101]

vineyard called upon his servants and said unto them why what is the cause of this great evil ought ye not to have done even as I commanded you and after you had planted the vineyard and built the hedge round about and set watchmen upon the walls thereof built the tower also and set a watchman upon the tower and watched for my vineyard and not have fallen asleep lest the enemy should come upon you And behold the watchman upon the tower would have seen the enemy while he was yet afar off and then ye could have made ready and kept the enemy from breaking down the hedge thereof and saved my vineyard from the hands of the distroyer And the Lord of the vineyard said unto one of his servants,43

A February 1834 revelation identified JS as the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spoke. (Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:21].)  


go and gather together the residue of my servants and take all the strength of mine house which are my wariors my young men and they that are of middle age also among all my servants who are the strength of mine house save th only whom I have appointed to tarry and go ye straitway unto the Land of my vineyard and redeem my vineyard for it is mine I have bought it with money therefore get ye straitway unto my Land break down the walls of mine enemies throw down their tower and scatter their watchmen and inasmuch as they gather to gether against you avenge me [p. 78]
vineyard called upon his servants and said  unto them why what is the cause of this great  evil ought ye not to have done even as  I commanded you and after you had  planted the vineyard and built the hedge  round about and set watchmen upon the  walls thereof built the tower also and set  a watchman upon the tower and watched  for my vineyard and not have fallen  asleep lest the enemy should come upon  you And behold the watchman upon  the tower would have seen the enemy  while he was yet afar off and then ye  could have made ready and kept the  enemy from breaking down the hedge  thereof and saved my vineyard from  the hands of the distroyer And the  Lord of the vineyard said unto one  of his servants,43

A February 1834 revelation identified JS as the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spoke. (Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:21].)  


go and gather togethe[r]  the residue of my servants and take  all the strength of mine house  which are my wariors my young men  and they that are of middle age also  among all my servants who are the  strength of mine house save th◊◊44

TEXT: Possibly “them”, “those”, or “those them”. All other early copies have “those” here. (See Revelation Book 1, p. 186; Verily, I Say unto You, concerning Your Brethren Who Have Been Afflicted, [Kirtland, OH: ca. Jan. 1834], copy at CHL; and Burket, Journal, [12]–[13] [D&C 101:55].)  


only  whom I have appointed to tarry and go  ye straitway unto the Land of my  vineyard and redeem my vineyard  for it is mine I have bought it with  money therefore get ye straitway unto  my Land break down the walls of mine  enemies th[r]ow down their tower and scatte[r]  their watchmen and inasmuch as they  gather to gether against you avenge me [p. 78]
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On 16–17 December 1833, JS dictated a revelation that addressed the November 1833 expulsion of church members from Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, Missouri, and explained the steps they should take to regain their lands. After members of the Church of Christ

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...

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settled in Jackson County, conflicts between them and their non-Mormon neighbors quickly developed. After incidents of violence occurred in July 1833, including the destruction of the church’s printing office

JS revelations, dated 20 July and 1 Aug. 1831, directed establishment of LDS church’s first printing office in Independence, Missouri. Dedicated by Bishop Edward Partridge, 29 May 1832. Located on Lot 76, on Liberty Street just south of courthouse square....

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and the tarring and feathering of 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...

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, church leaders, hoping to quell the attacks on their people, promised to move church members from Jackson County in two phases: half would leave by January 1834, and the other half would leave by April 1834.1

Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833; [Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:17–19.  


However, in August 1833, JS counseled 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...

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church members to not sell “one foot of land” in Jackson County, stating that God would “spedily deliver Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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.”2 Thereafter, church leaders 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...

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petitioned Governor Daniel Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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for protection while they pursued litigation against their assailants. After hearing of the Mormons’ efforts to seek protection and prosecute their attackers, other residents believed that the church members were not planning to leave as expected. Non-Mormon settlers organized themselves and attacked the homes of members of the Church of Christ in late October and early November 1833. A group of Mormons confronted their assailants on 4 November, killing two of them, but a militia (consisting of many who were antagonistic to the members of the Church of Christ) confiscated the Mormons’ weapons, and within a few days, most church members were driven from Jackson County.3

See Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2].  


On 25 November 1833, JS heard a verbal account about the “riot in Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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” from Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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and John Gould

21 Dec. 1784–25 June 1855. Pastor, farmer. Born in New Hampshire. Married first Oliva Swanson of Massachusetts. Resided at Portsmouth, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire, 1808. Lived in Vermont. Moved to northern Pennsylvania, 1817. Served as minister in Freewill...

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, who witnessed the violence.4

JS, Journal, 25 Nov. 1833.  


On 10 December, JS received letters from 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...

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, John Corrill

17 Sept. 1794–26 Sept. 1842. Surveyor, politician, author. Born at Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Married Margaret Lyndiff, ca. 1830. Lived at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 10 Jan. 1831, at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Ordained...

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, and 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,...

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, all giving more details about the events 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...

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and asking for counsel about what church members in Missouri should do.5 “We are in hopes that we shall be able to return to our houses & lands before a grea[t] while,” Partridge wrote, “but how this is to be accomplished is all in the dark to us as yet.” Partridge had little faith in receiving help from the executive or the judicial system, as they had proved ineffective in preventing the expulsion. He therefore believed that church members would probably return to Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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only through “the interposition of God.” He feared, too, that the expulsion was the beginning of church members being “driven from city to city & from sinagouge to sinagouge.” Understanding that JS had counseled church leaders to retain their lands in Jackson County, Partridge declared that he did not want to sell, but “if we are to be driven about for years I can see no use in keeping our possessions here.” Facing these circumstances, Partridge requested “wisdom & light” from JS “on many subjects.”6
As details of the violent events 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...

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reached 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...

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, Ohio, in late fall, JS pleaded to God for answers as to why church members were expelled from Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, what it meant for the gathering to Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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, and what church members should do to regain their lands.7 On 5 December 1833, he wrote to 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...

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, telling him that if initial reports that church members had surrendered and were evacuating Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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were incorrect, they were to “maintain the ground as Long as there is a man Left,” since it was “the place appointed of the Lord for your inheritance

Generally referred to land promised by or received from God for the church and its members. A January 1831 revelation promised church members a land of inheritance. In March and May 1831, JS dictated revelations commanding members “to purchase lands for an...

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.” Partridge could purchase land in Clay County

Settled ca. 1800. Organized from Ray Co., 1822. Original size diminished when land was taken to create several surrounding counties. Liberty designated county seat, 1822. Population in 1830 about 5,000; in 1836 about 8,500; and in 1840 about 8,300. Refuge...

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for a temporary place of refuge but was not to sell land in Jackson County. JS also urged Partridge “to use every lawful means in your power to seek redress for your grievances of your enemies and prosecute them to the extent of the Law.” Such means included petitioning judges, the governor, and the president of the United States

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 ...

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for aid.8 Five days later, JS informed Missouri church leaders that the Lord was keeping “hid” from him the larger issues of how Zion would be redeemed, when such redemption would occur, and “why God hath suffered so great calamity to come upon Zion.” The voice of the Lord would only say to him, “Be still, and know that I am God!”9

Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 10 Dec. 1833. After the violence in Jackson County in July 1833, JS stated that such tribulations were not a surprise to him and that he could “tell all the why’s & wherefores” of the “calamities,” but the actual expulsion of church members from Jackson County was a different issue, as the expulsion jeopardized the establishment of the city of Zion and the gathering of the Saints in Missouri. (Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 Sept. 1833.)  


The 16–17 December 1833 revelation featured here provided the direction that JS and other church leaders sought. The revelation gave clear reasons for the ejection of 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...

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church members from Jackson County

Settled at Fort Osage, 1808. County created, 16 Feb. 1825; organized 1826. Named after U.S. president Andrew Jackson. Featured fertile lands along Missouri River and was Santa Fe Trail departure point, which attracted immigrants to area. Area of county reduced...

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, stating that they were expelled because of their transgressions. Yet the revelation also provided hope that the Lord would be merciful to the Missouri church members and that Zion would not be moved out of her place. It reiterated that church members were not to sell their lands in Jackson County and that they were to seek redress through the judicial system, the governor of Missouri, and the president of the United States

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 ...

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. Through a parable of a nobleman and his vineyard, the revelation indicated how members of the church were to reclaim their lands: by gathering up the “strength of mine house which are my wariors my young men and they that are of middle age” and sending them to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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to redeem it. In addition, branches of the church outside of Missouri were to continue to raise money for land purchases and to gather to the area, thereby strengthening the church’s membership in Zion.
Details behind the immediate circumstances of the revelation are scant. According to a later account from Ira Ames

22 Sept. 1804–15 Jan. 1869. Farmer, tanner, shoemaker, courier, merchant, gristmill operator. Born in Bennington Co., Vermont. Son of Ithamer Ames and Hannah Clark. Moved to Schuyler, Herkimer Co., New York, before 1809; to Shoreham, Addison Co., Vermont;...

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, a church member living in 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...

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at the time, the revelation came to JS and 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...

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over the course of one night. Ames explained that he and 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...

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went to JS’s house in Kirtland early one December morning and “found Joseph and Oliver Cowdry at breakfast.” Cowdery greeted the two by saying, “Good morning Brethren, we have just received news from heaven.” That news was the revelation featured here, the manuscript copy of which was lying on the table.10

Ames, Autobiography, [10].  


Ames did not give the specific date of this encounter, and the earliest known copy of the revelation—made by 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...

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in Revelation Book 2 soon after the revelation’s dictation—also provided no date. Sometime before 24 January 1834, the church’s printing office

Following destruction of church printing office in Independence, Missouri, July 1833, JS and other church leaders determined to set up new printing office in Kirtland under firm name F. G. Williams & Co. Oliver Cowdery purchased new printing press in New ...

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in Kirtland published a broadsheet of the revelation, again without a date.11

Verily, I Say unto You, concerning Your Brethren Who Have Been Afflicted, [Kirtland, OH: ca. Jan. 1834], copy at CHL [D&C 101]. A March 1834 letter from JS to Edward Partridge, William W. Phelps, and others indicated that church leaders published the revelation because it had gone “into the hands of the world by stealth, through the means of false brethren,” and they worried that it would “reach the ears of the President and Governor, with a false coloring, being misrepresented.” Therefore, they decided to publish it and send it themselves “in its own proper light.” (Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 30 Mar. 1834, underlining in original.)  


A copy that 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...

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made sometime in 1834 in Revelation Book 1, however, dated the revelation to 16–17 December 1833; a copy of the revelation in the journal of George Burket

18 Oct. 1788–15 Mar. 1871. Store owner/keeper, carpenter. Born in Bedford, Bedford Co., Pennsylvania. Son of George Burket Sr. and Catharine Swovelin. Married first Sarah Smith, 1810. Purchased home in Winchester, Randolph Co., Indiana, 1821; extended house...

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, probably made in 1835, bears that same date.12

Revelation Book 1, pp. 183–189 [D&C 101]; Burket, Journal, [1]–[24].  


Although it is possible that David W. Patten

14 Nov. 1799–25 Oct. 1838. Farmer. Born in Vermont. Son of Benoni Patten and Edith Cole. Moved to Theresa, Oneida Co., New York, as a young child. Moved to Dundee, Monroe Co., Michigan Territory, as a youth. Married Phoebe Ann Babcock, 1828, in Dundee. Affiliated...

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and William Pratt

3 Sept. 1802–15 Sept. 1870. Schoolteacher. Born at Worcester, Otsego Co., New York. Son of Jared Pratt and Charity Dickinson. Moved to Ohio, 1830. Baptized into LDS church, 1831. Ordained an elder by Sidney Rigdon, 10 Feb. 1833, in Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio...

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took a copy of the revelation with them to 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...

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when they left 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...

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on 19 December 1833, carrying “dispatches” for the Missouri church leaders,13

JS, Journal, 19 Dec. 1833.  


it appears that JS first sent the revelation to Missouri in a letter dated 22 January 1834.14 According to a 24 January 1834 article in the Painesville Telegraph, the printed broadsheet of the revelation had also been “privately circulated” among church members.15

“A Scrap of Mormonism,” Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 24 Jan. 1834, [1].  


According to Eber D. Howe

9 June 1798–10 Nov. 1885. Newspaper editor and publisher, farmer, wool manufacturer. Born at Clifton Park, Saratoga Co., New York. Son of Samuel William Howe and Mabel Dudley. Moved with family to Ovid, Seneca Co., New York, 1804. Located at Niagara District...

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, editor of the Telegraph and one of JS’s detractors, “The publication of this proclamation . . . was taken up by all their priests and carried to all their congregations, some of which were actually sold for one dollar per copy.”16

Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 155.  


Church leaders also included the revelation in a petition they sent to Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin

14 Jan. 1790–25 July 1844. Farmer, tavern owner, businessman, investor, lawyer, politician. Born near Greenville, Greenville District, South Carolina. Son of Joseph Dunklin Jr. and Sarah Margaret Sullivan. Moved to what became Caldwell Co., Kentucky, 1806...

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, and they planned to send it with a petition to President Andrew Jackson, although it is unclear whether the revelation was ever sent to the president.17

Letter to the Church in Clay Co., MO, 22 Jan. 1834. Missouri leaders sent a petition to President Jackson in April 1834 and enclosed a handbill with it, but the handbill appears to have been a recitation of the attacks in Missouri that had been published as an extra of The Evening and the Morning Star in February 1834. Neither the petition from Kirtland to Governor Dunklin nor the possible petition from Kirtland to President Andrew Jackson is extant. (Edward Partridge et al., Petition to Andrew Jackson, 10 Apr. 1834, copy, William W. Phelps, Collection of Missouri Documents, CHL; Parley P. Pratt et al., “‘The Mormons’ So Called,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Extra, Feb. 1834, [1]–[2].)  


In February 1834, JS began implementing the revelation’s instructions to gather up the strength of the Lord’s house, declaring that he “was going to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
to assist in redeeming it” and requesting “volunteers to go with him.”18 For the next several weeks, JS and others recruited participants for what was called the Camp of Israel

A group of approximately 205 men and about 20 women and children led by JS to Missouri, May–July 1834, to redeem Zion by helping the Saints who had been driven from Jackson County, Missouri, regain their lands; later referred to as “Zion’s Camp.” A 24 February...

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, and in May 1834 the expedition started for Missouri.19

Minutes, 17 Mar. 1834; Woodruff, Journal, 1 May 1834. The Camp of Israel was later known as Zion’s Camp. (See Account with the Church of Christ, ca. 11–29 Aug. 1834; and Backman, Profile, appendix E.)  


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