Part 3: Hiram, Ohio, Winter 1831–1832

From December 1831 to March 1832, JS spent most of his time in , Portage County, Ohio, working on his revision of the Bible. For a brief period in December, he traveled to nearby townships, such as Shalersville and Ravenna, Ohio, to preach. These efforts stemmed from a December 1831 revelation instructing JS and to preach in the vicinity of to “confound” their “enemies.” One of these “enemies” was , a former church member who wrote a series of letters critical of JS. The Ohio Star, a weekly Anti-Masonic newspaper printed in Ravenna, published the first of these nine letters in October 1831 and the final installment in December. The letters generated enough agitation in Portage County that after publishing six of Booth’s letters, the editor of the Ohio Star declared, “We have reason to believe that these letters are exerting an important influence in opening the eyes of many of the really deluded subjects of Mormonism.” A later JS history recounts that the “scandalous letters” produced “excited feelings.”
Throughout December, JS, , and other continued to preach in the area, though they also held meetings in , Ohio. A 10 January 1832 revelation directed JS and Rigdon to return to their Bible revision, while other January revelations instructed other elders to keep preaching. On 25 January, JS attended a conference in , Ohio, where he was appointed and , fulfilling instructions given in a November 1831 revelation. This further formalizing of his leadership role did not immediately affect his day-to-day life; after the conference concluded, he returned to and continued his Bible revision. Working on the revision through the winter spurred JS and his associates to pray for answers to a number of questions, which in turn led to the dictation of several revelatory texts.
Part three of this volume contains ten documents, several of which were likely dictated in the upstairs bedroom in the and Alice (Elsa) Jacobs Johnson home in , where JS resided with his and children. Others were dictated in or . This part comprises eight revelations, a letter, and the record of a vision. They were originally inscribed by various associates of JS, including , , and .
  1. 1

    Revelation, 1 Dec. 1831 [D&C 71:2, 7].  

  2. 2

    “Mormonism,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 24 Nov. 1831, [3]. When editor Lewis L. Rice began publishing the Ohio Star on 6 January 1830, he stated in his prospectus that the paper was “opposed to all secret combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character.” (History of Portage County, Ohio, 363.)  

    Ohio Star. Ravenna. 1830–1854.

    History of Portage County, Ohio. Containing a History of the County, Its Townships, Towns, Villages, Schools, Churches, Industries, Etc. . . . Chicago: Warner, Beers, 1885.

  3. 3

    JS History, vol. A-1, 179.  

  4. 4

    Revelation, 10 Jan. 1832 [D&C 73:1]; JS History, vol. A-1, 179.  

  5. 5

    Revelation, 10 Jan. 1832 [D&C 73:3]; see also Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–A [D&C 75:1–22]; and Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–B [D&C 75:23–36].  

  6. 6

    Minutes, 26–27 Apr. 1832; JS History, vol. A-1, 180; “History of Orson Pratt,” 12, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL; Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:65].  

    Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.

  7. 7

    JS History, vol. A-1, 183; see, for example, Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76].