53992351

Revelation, 27 February 1833 [D&C 89]

A Word of Wisdom
A word of wisdom for the benefit of the Saints in these last days2

Instead of “of the Saints in these last days,” the copy of this revelation in Revelation Book 2 reads, “of the council of high Priests assembled in Kirtland and Church.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 49 [D&C 89:1].)  


and also the Saints in Zion to be sent greeting, not by commandment

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
or Constraint, but by Revelation & the word of wisdom3

Before its association with this revelation, the phrase “word of wisdom” was understood as one of the “spiritual gifts.” (1 Corinthians 12:8; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 586 [Moroni 10:9]; Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:17].)  


shewing forth the order & will of God in the temporal salvation of all Saints,4

The Revelation Book 2 copy includes “in the last days” here. (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:2].)  


given for a principle with promise, adapted to the Capacity of the weak & the weakest of all Saints who are or can be called Saints—
Behold verily thus Saith the Lord unto you in consequence of evils & designs which will exist5

Instead of “which will exist,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “which do and will exist.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:4].)  


in the hearts of conspiring men in these6

Instead of “these,” the Revelation Book 2 copy has “the.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:4].)  


last days, I have warned you & forewarned7

Instead of “forewarned,” the Revelation Book 2 copy has “forewarn.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:4].)  


you by giving unto you this word of wisdom by Revelation, that inasmuch as any man drinketh wine or Strong drink8

“Strong drink” probably refers to distilled drinks like whiskey and rum, which had an average alcohol content of forty-five percent. Wine and other fermented drinks like hard cider and beer had significantly lower alcohol content, ranging from about five percent for beer to around eighteen percent for wine. (Rorabaugh, Alcoholic Republic, 7, 9.)  


among you behold it is not good, neither mete in the sight of your Father, only in assembling yourselves in your Sacraments9

Instead of “in your Sacraments,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “together to offer up your sacrament.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:5].)  


before him, & behold this should be wine of your own make10

Instead of “wine of your own make,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “wine yea pure wine of the grape of the vine of your own make.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:6].)  


& again Strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies,11

Distilled drinks like whiskey were used topically to treat wounds and other injuries at the time. The extent to which they were used as a body wash is less clear, though JS and others washed themselves with whiskey on at least one occasion in January 1836 in order to “be clean before the Lord for the Sabbath.” Oliver Cowdery recorded that they confessed their sins and covenanted to be faithful as they washed and that their “minds were filled with many reflections upon the propriety of the same, and how the priests anciently used to wash always before ministering before the Lord.” (Whitney, Family Physician, 419, 421–422; Cowdery, Diary, 16 Jan. 1836.)  


& Tobacco is not for man12

Instead of “& Tobacco is not for man,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “and again Tobacco is not for the body neither for the belly and is not good for man.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:8].)  


but is for bruises13

Instead of “but is for bruises,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “but is an herb for bruises.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:8].)  


& all sick cattle to be used with judgement & skill.14

In addition to being smoked, chewed, and used in snuff, tobacco had been used for centuries as a cure and preventative for scores of diseases, injuries, and conditions. Its use to treat bruises, for instance, dates back to at least 1633. By 1833, however, a growing number of physicians, educators, and clergy were questioning its medicinal use and effectiveness, and by 1860, most physicians had eliminated it from their pharmacopeia. Tobacco was also used extensively to treat a variety of maladies in cattle, sheep, swine, and horses. Users were cautioned to use it carefully, however, as its effects could be lethal, even in topical application. (Stewart, “History of the Medicinal Use of Tobacco,” 240, 244–247; Richardson, New-England Farrier and Family Physician, 37, 53, 254, 281, 307, 321; Clater, Every Man His Own Cattle Doctor, 193, 277, 342.)  


And again hot drinks are not for the body or belly,15

The Revelation Book 2 copy includes “and again verily I say unto you” here. Several other early nineteenth-century authors argued that any liquid taken at a high temperature could cause injury. (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:10]; Bush, “Word of Wisdom,” 170–171.)  


all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution & nature16

Instead of “constitution & nature,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “constitution nature.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:10].)  


& use of man,17

At the time, herb could refer to “all the grasses, and numerous plants used for culinary purposes.” (“Herb,” in American Dictionary.)  


every herb in the season thereof & every fruit in the season thereof, all these to be [p. [113]]
A Word of Wisdom1

TEXT: “Word of Wisdom” is double underlined. This phrase or title does not appear in the copy of this revelation made in Revelation Book 2, which begins with the phrase “A Revelation for the benefit of the saints &c.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 49 [D&C 89:1].)  


A word of wisdom for the benefit of the  Saints in these last days2

Instead of “of the Saints in these last days,” the copy of this revelation in Revelation Book 2 reads, “of the council of high Priests assembled in Kirtland and Church.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 49 [D&C 89:1].)  


and also the Saints in  Zion to be sent greeting, not by commandment

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
or  Constraint, but by Revelation & the word of wisdom3

Before its association with this revelation, the phrase “word of wisdom” was understood as one of the “spiritual gifts.” (1 Corinthians 12:8; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 586 [Moroni 10:9]; Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–A [D&C 46:17].)  


 shewing forth the order & will of God in the  temporal salvation of all Saints,4

The Revelation Book 2 copy includes “in the last days” here. (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:2].)  


given for a  principle with promise, adapted to the Capa city of the weak & the weakest of all Saints  who are or can be called Saints—
Behold verily thus Saith the Lord unto you  in consequence of evils & designs which will  exist5

Instead of “which will exist,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “which do and will exist.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:4].)  


in the hearts of conspiring men in  these6

Instead of “these,” the Revelation Book 2 copy has “the.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:4].)  


last days, I have warned you & forewarned7

Instead of “forewarned,” the Revelation Book 2 copy has “forewarn.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:4].)  


 you by giving unto you this word of wisdom  by Revelation, that inasmuch as any man  drinketh wine or Strong drink8

“Strong drink” probably refers to distilled drinks like whiskey and rum, which had an average alcohol content of forty-five percent. Wine and other fermented drinks like hard cider and beer had significantly lower alcohol content, ranging from about five percent for beer to around eighteen percent for wine. (Rorabaugh, Alcoholic Republic, 7, 9.)  


among you  behold it is not good, neither mete in the  sight of your Father, only in assembling your[s]elves  in your Sacraments9

Instead of “in your Sacraments,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “together to offer up your sacrament.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:5].)  


before him, & behold this  should be wine of your own make10

Instead of “wine of your own make,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “wine yea pure wine of the grape of the vine of your own make.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:6].)  


& again  Strong drinks are not for the belly, but for  the washing of your bodies,11

Distilled drinks like whiskey were used topically to treat wounds and other injuries at the time. The extent to which they were used as a body wash is less clear, though JS and others washed themselves with whiskey on at least one occasion in January 1836 in order to “be clean before the Lord for the Sabbath.” Oliver Cowdery recorded that they confessed their sins and covenanted to be faithful as they washed and that their “minds were filled with many reflections upon the propriety of the same, and how the priests anciently used to wash always before ministering before the Lord.” (Whitney, Family Physician, 419, 421–422; Cowdery, Diary, 16 Jan. 1836.)  


& Tobacco is  not for man12

Instead of “& Tobacco is not for man,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “and again Tobacco is not for the body neither for the belly and is not good for man.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:8].)  


but is for bruises13

Instead of “but is for bruises,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “but is an herb for bruises.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:8].)  


& all sick  cattle to be used with judgement & skill.14

In addition to being smoked, chewed, and used in snuff, tobacco had been used for centuries as a cure and preventative for scores of diseases, injuries, and conditions. Its use to treat bruises, for instance, dates back to at least 1633. By 1833, however, a growing number of physicians, educators, and clergy were questioning its medicinal use and effectiveness, and by 1860, most physicians had eliminated it from their pharmacopeia. Tobacco was also used extensively to treat a variety of maladies in cattle, sheep, swine, and horses. Users were cautioned to use it carefully, however, as its effects could be lethal, even in topical application. (Stewart, “History of the Medicinal Use of Tobacco,” 240, 244–247; Richardson, New-England Farrier and Family Physician, 37, 53, 254, 281, 307, 321; Clater, Every Man His Own Cattle Doctor, 193, 277, 342.)  


And again hot drinks are not for the body or  belly,15

The Revelation Book 2 copy includes “and again verily I say unto you” here. Several other early nineteenth-century authors argued that any liquid taken at a high temperature could cause injury. (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:10]; Bush, “Word of Wisdom,” 170–171.)  


all wholesome herbs God hath ordained  for the constitution & nature16

Instead of “constitution & nature,” the Revelation Book 2 copy reads, “constitution nature.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 50 [D&C 89:10].)  


& use of man,17

At the time, herb could refer to “all the grasses, and numerous plants used for culinary purposes.” (“Herb,” in American Dictionary.)  


 every herb in the season thereof & every fruit  in the season thereof, all these to be [p. [113]]
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Revelation, Kirtland Township

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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, Geauga Co., OH, 27 Feb. 1833. Featured version, titled “A Word of Wisdom,” copied [ca. June 1833] in Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, [113]–[115]; handwriting of 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...

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; Revelations Collection, CHL. Includes archival marking. .
Sidney Gilbert, Notebook, [ca. June 1831–ca. June 1833]; handwriting of 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...

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; 116 pages; Revelations Collection, CHL. Includes archival marking.
Each leaf measures 6⅛ × 3⅝ inches (16 × 9 cm); the notebook, which contains copies of revelations and miscellaneous notes, measures 6¼ × 4 × ⅜ inches (16 × 10 × 1 cm).
Following 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...

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’s death in June 1834, it appears that the Gilbert notebook transferred to the custody of the Rollins family—early members of the church 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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. Descendants donated the notebook to the Church Historian’s Office sometime in the mid-twentieth century.1

Note, Revelations Collection, CHL.  


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