53991806

Revelation, 6 August 1833 [D&C 98]

that they shall be fulfilled and all things wherewith you have been afflicted shall work together for your good and to my names glory saith the Lord2

See Romans 8:28. The copy in the 6 August 1833 letter includes the word “God” here. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:3].)  


and now verely I say unto you concerning the Laws of the land it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them3

See Matthew 28:20.  


and that Law of the land which is constitutonal suporting the principles of freedom in maintaning rights and privealiges belonging to all mankind4

The copy in the 6 August 1833 letter includes the word “and” here. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:5].)  


is justifyable before me therefore I the Lord5

Missing word supplied from the copy in the 6 August 1833 letter. Frederick G. Williams later inserted “Lord” in the Revelation Book 2 copy. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:6]; Revelation Book 2, p. 67 [D&C 98:6].)  


justify6

Instead of “justify,” the copy in the 6 August 1833 letter has “justifieth.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:6].)  


you and your Brotheren of my Chirch in befriending that Law which is7

Missing word supplied from the copy in the 6 August 1833 letter. Frederick G. Williams later inserted “is” in the Revelation Book 2 copy. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:6].)  


the constitutoonal Law of the land8

Several earlier revelations instructed church members to abide by the laws of the land. (See, for example, Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:79, 84–86]; Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:4–6]; and Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:21].)  


and as pertaining to law of man whatsoever is more or less then this cometh of evil9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 479 [3 Nephi 11:40].  


I the Lord your God maketh you free therefore ye are free indeed and the law also maketh you free— nevertheless when the wicked rule the people mourn10

See Proverbs 29:2.  


wherefore honest men and wise men should be sought for dilligently and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold11

Later in August 1833, after receiving Oliver Cowdery’s firsthand report of the trouble in Missouri, JS emphasized the church’s fundamental commitment to obey civil law. “We think it would be wise,” he wrote to church officers in Missouri, “to try to git influence by offering to print a paper in favor of the goverment as you know we are all friends to the Constitution yea true friends to that Country for which our fathers bled.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


otherwise whatsoever is less then these cometh of evil12

Several months later, Oliver Cowdery echoed the sentiments of this paragraph in a letter to his friend John Whitmer: “We are pleased to hear that the Governor is likely to give you aid; for we pray continually that the Lord will stir up the hearts of the Rulers & men in authority, to avenge his children. The Law is sufficient, the constitution was established according to the will of Heaven, and all the lack, is, for those whose duty it is to see that they are kept inviolable do their duty; pray that this may be the case; for God is able to turn the hearts of all men sufficiently to bring his purposes to pass.” (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to John Whitmer, Missouri, 1 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 14.)  


and I give unto you a 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
that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good that ye shall live by evry word that procedeth forth out of the mouth of God13

See Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; and Luke 4:4.  


for he will give unto the faithful line upon line precept upon precept14

See Isaiah 28:10, 13; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 114 [2 Nephi 28:30].  


and I will try you and prove you herewith15

See Malachi 3:10; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 504 [3 Nephi 24:10].  


and whoso layeth down his life in my cause for my name sake shall find it again even life eternal16

See Matthew 10:39; 16:25.  


therefore be not afraid of your enemies for I have decreed in my heart saith the Lord that I will prove you in all things whether you will abide in my covenant

A binding agreement between two parties, particularly between God and man. The term covenant was often associated with “commandments,” referring to revelation texts. The gospel as preached by JS—including the need for faith, repentance, baptism, and reception...

View Glossary
even unto death that ye may be found worthy for if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are [p. 67]
that they shall be fulfilled and all things where with you have been afflicted shall work  together for your good and to my names  glory saith the Lord2

See Romans 8:28. The copy in the 6 August 1833 letter includes the word “God” here. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:3].)  


and now verely I say  unto you

Frederick G. Williams handwriting ends; JS begins.  


concerning the Laws of the land it is  my will that my people should observe to do  all things whatsoever I command them3

See Matthew 28:20.  


and that  Law of the land which is constitutonal supor ting the principles of freedom in maintaning  rights and privealiges belonging to all mankind4

The copy in the 6 August 1833 letter includes the word “and” here. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:5].)  


 is justifyable before me therefore I the [Lord]5

Missing word supplied from the copy in the 6 August 1833 letter. Frederick G. Williams later inserted “Lord” in the Revelation Book 2 copy. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:6]; Revelation Book 2, p. 67 [D&C 98:6].)  


justify6

Instead of “justify,” the copy in the 6 August 1833 letter has “justifieth.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:6].)  


 you and your Brotheren of my Chirch in  befriending that Law which [is]7

Missing word supplied from the copy in the 6 August 1833 letter. Frederick G. Williams later inserted “is” in the Revelation Book 2 copy. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 6 Aug. 1833 [D&C 98:6].)  


the constituto onal Law of the land8

Several earlier revelations instructed church members to abide by the laws of the land. (See, for example, Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:79, 84–86]; Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51:4–6]; and Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:21].)  


JS handwriting ends; Frederick G. Williams begins.  


and as pertaining to law  of man whatsoever is more or less then this cometh of evil9

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 479 [3 Nephi 11:40].  


 I the Lord your God maketh you free therefore ye are  free indeed and the law also maketh you free—  nevertheless when the wicked rule the people mourn10

See Proverbs 29:2.  


 wherefore honest men and wise men should be sought  for dilligently and good men and wise men ye should  observe to uphold11

Later in August 1833, after receiving Oliver Cowdery’s firsthand report of the trouble in Missouri, JS emphasized the church’s fundamental commitment to obey civil law. “We think it would be wise,” he wrote to church officers in Missouri, “to try to git influence by offering to print a paper in favor of the goverment as you know we are all friends to the Constitution yea true friends to that Country for which our fathers bled.” (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.)  


otherwise whatsoever is less then these  cometh of evil12

Several months later, Oliver Cowdery echoed the sentiments of this paragraph in a letter to his friend John Whitmer: “We are pleased to hear that the Governor is likely to give you aid; for we pray continually that the Lord will stir up the hearts of the Rulers & men in authority, to avenge his children. The Law is sufficient, the constitution was established according to the will of Heaven, and all the lack, is, for those whose duty it is to see that they are kept inviolable do their duty; pray that this may be the case; for God is able to turn the hearts of all men sufficiently to bring his purposes to pass.” (Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to John Whitmer, Missouri, 1 Jan. 1834, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 14.)  


and I give unto you a commandm ent

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
that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto  all good that ye shall live by evry word that procedeth  forth out of the mouth of God13

See Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4; and Luke 4:4.  


for he will give unto the  faithful line <line> upon line precept upon precept14

See Isaiah 28:10, 13; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 114 [2 Nephi 28:30].  


and I  will try you and prove you herewith15

See Malachi 3:10; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 504 [3 Nephi 24:10].  


and whoso layeth  down his life in my cause for my name sake shall  find it again even life eternal16

See Matthew 10:39; 16:25.  


therefore be not  afraid of your enemies for I have decreed in my  heart saith the Lord that I will prove you in  all things whether you will abide in my covenant

A binding agreement between two parties, particularly between God and man. The term covenant was often associated with “commandments,” referring to revelation texts. The gospel as preached by JS—including the need for faith, repentance, baptism, and reception...

View Glossary
 even unto death that ye may be found worthy  for if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are [p. 67]
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JS dictated this 6 August 1833 revelation, which encouraged peace amid escalating violence, approximately two weeks after a church leader

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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and another member

26 Dec. 1806–after 1870. Farmer, auctioneer. Born in Somerset Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Charles Allen and Mary. Married first Eliza Tibbits, ca. 1832. Baptized into LDS church. Moved to Independence, Jackson Co., Missouri. Tarred and feathered during mob ...

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were tarred and feathered and the church 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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was destroyed in 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. Though he may have known about increasing tensions 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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, at this time JS had no knowledge of these specific events. In surviving documents, JS neither explained the immediate background of this revelation nor offered any interpretation of its text. On the same day JS dictated the revelation, the presidency

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...

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copied it into a letter that they sent to church leaders in Jackson County, noting simply, “Here follows another revelation received to day.” In the letter, following the transcription of this and two other revelations, the presidency commented briefly about the revelations’ contents, but nothing pertained to the 6 August revelation in particular.1
Though contemporary sources provide little information as to what prompted the revelation, it may have come in response to the growing opposition against the church. On 9 July 1833, 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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wrote a letter, no longer extant, to 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. That letter and another, also not extant, from participants in 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...

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school of the prophets

A term occasionally used to refer to a Protestant seminary; specifically used by JS to refer to a school to prepare elders of the church for their ministry. A December 1832 revelation directed JS and the elders of the church in Kirtland, Ohio, to establish...

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prompted JS and the presidency of the high priesthood to respond to Missouri leaders in the aforementioned 6 August letter.2 When Cowdery wrote to Kirtland, he may have expressed concern about the sporadic violence against church members in Jackson County and sought guidance from JS and the presidency of the high priesthood on how to respond to the problem.3

In a later history, Missouri bishop Edward Partridge, one of the men harmed in the violence, wrote that in early summer 1833, the “mob spirit” began to “show itself openly, in the stoning of houses and other insults.” Partridge’s history indicates that attacks on church members’ homes took place as early as spring 1832 and again in 1833 and were a precursor to more widespread violence that took place in the latter half of 1833. ([Edward Partridge], “A History, of the Persecution,” Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:17.)  


On 15 July, only days after Cowdery wrote his letter, an influential faction in 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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issued a manifesto declaring their intent “to rid our society” of Mormons “peacably if we can, forcibly if we must.”4

Letter from John Whitmer, 29 July 1833; Whitmer, History, 39–42; see also “To His Excellency, Daniel Dunklin,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1833, 114–115; and Memorandum of Agreement, 23 July 1833, CHL.  


A later article printed in Kirtland in an extra to The Evening and the Morning Star noted that some Jackson County residents had long made “every effort to fan the flames” of opposition “till this demoniac spirit became general.”5

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


Cowdery left Jackson County sometime in late July, just after violence had erupted, and arrived in Kirtland on 9 August 1833, three days after JS dictated the 6 August revelation. In a letter to church leaders in Missouri that he wrote on 10 August, Cowdery mentioned the presidency’s 6 August letter and described its contents as “three revelations concerning 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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.”6 Yet the revelation featured here never specifically mentions Jackson County or the circumstances there.
Since this revelation is addressed to the presidency of the high priesthood, who were 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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, it may also reflect concerns about circumstances 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...

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. Although a 2 July letter written from Kirtland indicated that “the spirit of bitterness among the people is fast subsiding and a spirit of enquiry is taking its place,” and an area newspaper suggested that the church in Kirtland was “far removed from danger,” some evidence indicates that opposition against the church in Kirtland had been intensifying.7

Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833; Editorial, Painesville (OH) Telegraph, 30 Aug. 1833, [3]; JS, Journal, 28 Jan. 1834; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833.  


In late June 1833, a bishop’s court

Official church proceedings convened to handle disputes or allegations of misconduct. The officers of the court were a bishop, his assistants or counselors, and additional high priests or elders assembled on an ad hoc basis. Until high councils were established...

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excommunicated Doctor Philastus Hurlbut

3 Feb. 1809–16 June 1883. Clergyman, farmer. Born at Chittenden Co., Vermont. “Doctor” was his given name. Preacher for Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamestown, Chautauque Co., New York. Baptized into LDS church, 1832/1833, at Jamestown. Ordained an elder...

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, and following a brief reinstatement by JS, a general council excommunicated Hurlbut again. JS recorded that after being cut off from the church, Hurlbut “then saught the distruction of the sainst [Saints] in this place and more particularly myself and family.”8

Minutes, 23 June 1833; JS, Journal, 28 Jan. 1834; see also Historical Introduction to Appeal and Minutes, 21 June 1833.  


Less than two weeks after this revelation was dictated, JS wrote to 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
and other church leaders that church members in Kirtland suffered “great persicution on account of” Hurlbut, who lied “in a wonderful manner and the peapl [people] are running after him and giveing him mony to b[r]ake down mormanism which much endangers our lives.” In the same letter, JS declared, “We are no safer here in Kirtland then you are 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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the cloud is gethering arou[nd] us with great fury and all pharohs host or in other words all hell and the com[bined] powrs of Earth are Marsheling their forces to overthrow us.”9 Thus, this revelation may be related to aggression and escalating tension in one or both of the church centers.
This revelation counseled church members to remain temperate in their reactions to violent confrontation. It advocated following constitutional law and supporting civil authority, though it says nothing explicit about using the laws of the land to respond to the violence perpetrated by enemies of the church. Rather, it advised church members to patiently bear their afflictions, to “renounce war and proclaim peace,” and to offer forgiveness to wrongdoers. At the same time, this revelation explained in detail the conditions under which self-defense was permissible.
Though this revelation proved to have great relevance for church members in their coming trials, it was rarely mentioned in contemporary sources. One possible contemporary allusion to this revelation appears in a letter written by an unidentified church member on 30 October 1833 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...

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, Missouri. The letter echoed the instructions of the revelation, reporting that when “the mob, or at least some of the leaders began to move; strict orders were given with us not to be the aggressors—but to warn them not to come upon us.”10
Several versions of this revelation exist. Two versions are contemporaneous: one was written in a letter sent 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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on 6 August 1833 and the second appears in Revelation Book 2.11 Insufficient evidence exists to determine which is the earliest extant copy. Since the 6 August letter is published in its entirety elsewhere in this volume, the version featured here is from the manuscript revelation book. Significant differences between the two versions are noted.

Facts