Part 2: Hiram, Ohio, Fall 1831

After returning to from in late August 1831, JS made preparations to move his family from to , Ohio, where he planned to resume his “,” or revision, of the Bible—a project he had been working on since 1830. The move occurred on 12 September 1831, following a held in Kirtland that same day. In Hiram, JS and his family stayed at the and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson home, sleeping probably in a back room on the main level. In the end of October, the Johnsons partitioned an upstairs room, creating a work space for JS in the southeast portion of the house, where he worked on the Bible revision. Beginning in September, served as scribe for this project, working on the books of Matthew and Mark, until assumed this responsibility in November. Periodically, JS traveled to Kirtland or other townships in northeastern Ohio to conduct church business, but he spent most of the fall in Hiram.
In , JS was surrounded by many prominent church , with whom he consulted on various matters. , , , and all stayed in the vicinity of the Johnson farm during this period. In November 1831, JS held several conferences of elders in the Johnson home to discuss a proposal to publish the revelations in a compilation that would be titled the Book of Commandments. In these meetings, the elders deliberated about how many copies of the book to print, the appointment of individuals to prepare the revelations for publication, and the designation of a group to oversee the publication and share any profits generated by the sale of the volume.
The impending departure of and for with manuscript copies of the revelations led to an outpouring of direction about publishing the revelations and of guidance for the Saints in Missouri. Seven revelations dictated at the conferences either had a direct connection with the publication of the revelations or gave specific instructions for church members in Missouri. A revelation dictated on 1 November 1831 was designated as the preface to the Book of Commandments, while another dictated on 3 November eventually served as the compilation’s appendix. Still another appointed six “ over the revelations.” Other revelations instructed “the inhabitants of ” in parental duties and explained to “the in the land of ” the responsibilities of the various church offices.
During the fall of 1831, JS also provided instruction and revelations on church administration. In a conference held in , Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on 25–26 October, he gave direction about the duties of the , to which elders had first been in June 1831. Such instruction was followed in November by revelations dealing both with priesthood responsibilities and with the necessity of calling presidents for each group of officers in the church. One revelation noted the need for more as the church’s membership grew, and a month later, was appointed a bishop in . JS also explained that elders required more training in “the ancient manner of conducting meetings as they were led by the .”
Part two of this volume includes twenty documents, mostly revelations and conference minutes. These documents were inscribed mainly by , , and . The majority of the original documents were produced in the upstairs room of the Johnson home where JS worked, but some originated in or other northeastern townships.
  1. 1

    JS History, vol. A-1, 151; Minutes, 12 Sept. 1831.  

  2. 2

    JS History, vol. A-1, 153; Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 310–311, 314.  

    Staker, Mark L. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.

  3. 3

    Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 67.  

    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.

  4. 4

    See, for example, JS History, vol. A-1, 154.  

  5. 5

    Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 310.  

    Staker, Mark L. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.

  6. 6

    Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831.  

  7. 7

    Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831; Revelation, 12 Nov. 1831 [D&C 70:3]; Minutes, 8 Nov. 1831; Minutes, 12 Nov. 1831.  

  8. 8

    Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 1]; Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831 [D&C 133]; “Revelations,” The Evening and the Morning Star, May 1833, [1].  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  9. 9

    These stewards were appointed to supervise the publication of JS’s revelations. (Revelation, 12 Nov. 1831 [D&C 70:3].)  

  10. 10

    Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:25–32].  

  11. 11

    Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:59–92].  

  12. 12

    Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831; Minutes, ca. 3–4 June 1831.  

  13. 13

    See Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68]; and Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107 (partial)].  

  14. 14

    Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A [D&C 68:14]; Revelation, 4 Dec. 1831–A [D&C 72:7–8].  

  15. 15

    Minutes, 11 Oct. 1831.