Revelation, , Geauga Co., OH, 1 June 1833. Featured version copied [likely between 6 June and 30 July 1833] in Revelation Book 2, pp. 59–60; handwriting of ; Revelations Collection, CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 2.
Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary and Notebook, 1832–1833. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL. MS 1443, fd. 2.
In late December 1832 and early January 1833, as part of a call to educate men for the ministry, a revelation instructed church members to organize a “” and to build a wherein individuals would learn the law and receive power that had been previously promised. The revelation further told them that they should “prepare evry needful [thing]” for the school and that the house should be “an house of prayer, an house of fasting, an house of faith, an house of Learning, an house of glory, an house of order an house of God.” During the early months of 1833, before construction on the house began, the first School of the Prophets, which involved just over a dozen church , met in , Ohio. On 11 January 1833, JS emphasized the urgency of building the house and holding the school in a letter to in , Missouri. JS stated, “You will see that the Lord commanded us in Kirtland to build an house of God, & establish a school for the Prophets, this is the word of the Lord to us, & we must— yea the Lord helping us we will obey, as on conditions of our obedience, he has promised us great things, yea even a visit from the heavens to honor us with his own presence.”
On 4 May, nearly four months after JS wrote about the urgent need to build the , a committee was formed to raise funds for the building’s construction. A unanimously voted that a committee, consisting of , , and , be formed to raise the money. Nearly a month later, neither this committee nor other church leaders had taken any steps toward constructing the building.
The revelation featured here, dictated on 1 June, stated that church leaders’ unresponsiveness to the call to build this religious structure would halt the growth and spiritual work of the church. The revelation also specified the building’s dimensions and directed the manner in which church members should construct it. Immediately following this revelation, a conference of discussed the revelation and began drafting construction plans. The conference appointed JS, , and —the —to serve as the planning committee, which was responsible for obtaining “a draft or construction of the inner court of the house.”
Likely in response to this revelation, the building committee, which still comprised , , and , prepared a circular for the members of the that same day, writing that they had been officially charged with soliciting subscriptions to establish a fund to build the . “Unless we fulfil this command vis establish an house,” they warned, “and prepare all things necessary whereby the Elders may gather into a school called the school of the prophets and receive that instruction that the Lord designs they should receive we may all dispare of obtaining the great blessing that God has promised to the faithful of the Church of Christ.” The circular reiterated the promise found in the 2 January 1831 revelation that God would endow individuals with “power from on high,” which they would gain from “that instruction that the Lord designs” in the School of the Prophets. The committee encouraged church members to “make evry possable exertion to aid temporally as well as spiritually in this great work that the Lord is bringing about and is about to accomplish.” The circular also called for church members to pay their subscriptions and to send the funds to by 1 September 1833. Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, and others began construction on the multipurpose House of the Lord by 7 June 1833. The House of the Lord, completed in 1836, eventually served as both a school and a place of worship; it was the church’s first temple.
chosen with power from on high, for this is the promise of the Father unto you. Therefore, I you to tarry even as mine Apostles at Jerusalem. nevertheless my servants sinned a verry grievous sin and contentions arose in the , which was verry grievous unto me saith your Lord. therefore I sent them forth to be chastened. Verily I say unto you, it is my will that you should build an . If ye keep my commandments ye shall have power to build it. If ye keep not my commandments the love of the father shall not continue with you therefore ye shall walk in darkness. now here is wisdom and the mind of the Lord, Let the be built not after the manner of this <the> world. for I give not unto you that ye shall live after the manner of the world. Therefore let it be built after the manner which I shall show unto three of you whom ye shall appoint and unto this power and the size thereof shall be fifty and five feet in width and let it be sixty and five feet in length in the inner court thereof, and let the lower part of the inner court thereof be dedicated unto me for your offering and for your preaching and your fasting and your praying and the offering up your most holy desires unto me saith your lord, and let the higher part of the inner court be dedicated unto me for the school of mine Apostles saith Son Ah Man, or in otherwords Alphas, or in other words Omegas even Jesus Christ your lord Amen.—— [p. 60]
According to an architectural study of the Kirtlandtemple, the building was unlike other churches built around the same time, especially in its use of interior space and pulpits. The Kirtland temple also incorporated contemporaneous architectural styles with an eclectic “mixture of Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival, and Gothic elements.” (Robison, First Mormon Temple, 16.)
Robison, Elwin C. The First Mormon Temple: Design, Construction, and Historic Context of the Kirtland Temple. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1997.
At a conference held in early June 1833, JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams were appointed “to obtain a draft or construction of the inner court of the house.” Reportedly, Williams later said that the three men were shown by revelation “the plan or model of the House to be built.” “We went upon our knees,” he remembered, “called on the Lord, and the Building appeared within viewing distance, I being the first to discover it Then all of us viewed it together. After we had taken a good look at the exterior, the building seemed to come right over us; and the makeup of this Hall seems to coincide with what I there saw to a minutia.” Several weeks later, the presidency sent plans for a similar structure to church leaders in Missouri with the counsel that “should you not understand the explanations Sent with the drafts you will inform us, so as you may have a propper understanding, for it is meet that all things should be done according to the pattern.” On the actual draft Williams wrote, “For your satisfaction we inform you that . . . the size form and dime[n]sions of the house were given us of the Lord.” (Minutes, ca. 1 June 1833; Angell, Autobiography, 14–15; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 25 June 1833; Plan of the House of the Lord, between 1 and 25 June 1833.)
Angell, Truman O. Autobiography, 1884. CHL. MS 12334. Also available in Archie Leon Brown and Charlene L. Hathaway, 141 Years of Mormon Heritage: Rawsons, Browns, Angells—Pioneers (Oakland, CA: By the authors, 1973), 119–135.
The dimensions of the interior of the completed assembly halls of the Kirtlandtemple closely match the dimensions given here. However, a vestibule added at the entrance to accommodate stairways and a vestry, as well as the thickness of the walls, makes the actual exterior dimensions 79 feet by 59 feet, 2 inches. (See Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Parks Service, “Kirtland Mormon Temple, Ohio Route Number 306, Kirtland, Ohio,” Mar. 1934, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington DC.)
Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. “Kirtland Mormon Temple, Ohio Route Number 306, Kirtland, Ohio,” Mar. 1934. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington DC. Digital image accessed 7 Oct. 2013. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/oh0043/.
See Revelation 1:8, 11; 21:6; 22:13. Nowhere in the Greek transliterations or standard English translations of the Bible or in other JS revelations do the plural words “Alphas” or “Omegas” appear in place of the singular “Alpha” and “Omega.”