Revelation, 1 November 1831–B [D&C 1]
Revelation, , OH, 1 Nov. 1831. Featured version, titled “77 Revelation Given in Hiram Novm. 1st. 1831,” copied [between 12 and 20 Nov. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 125–127; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
At a of in , Ohio, on 1 November 1831, JS dictated a revelation designated as a preface for the Book of Commandments, a proposed compilation of JS’s revelations. According to the minutes of the 1 November conference, this revelatory preface was “received by inspiration” during a recess between the morning and afternoon sessions. , one of the conference participants, gave a more detailed account of the production of the preface fifty years later to William Kelley, an elder in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. According to Kelley’s account of the conversation, McLellin said that he, , and had been given the assignment to write the preface to the Book of Commandments, but when they presented their draft to the conference, the “Conference picked it all to pieces” and requested that JS petition the Lord for a preface. After JS and the elders bowed in prayer, JS, who was “sitting by a window,” dictated the preface “by the Spirit,” while Rigdon served as scribe. “Joseph would deliver a few sentences and Sydney would write them down,” McLellin told Kelley, “then read them aloud, and if correct, then Joseph would proceed and deliver more.” In this way, “the preface was given.”As with prefaces to other published works, this revelation informed readers of the subject and purpose of the volume. Speaking in the voice of Deity, it told both the and the world why God revealed these to JS and painted an apocalyptic picture of the wrath that God would unleash against the wicked unless they responded to the new revelations by repenting. The revelations were thus a “voice of warning” to the world to prepare them for Jesus Christ’s second coming.The original manuscript of the preface is no longer extant. copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 likely between 12 November 1831, the date of the revelation that precedes it in the revelation book, and 20 November, the date that he and left for with the revelation book. The revelation was printed as the preface to the Book of Commandments about a year later.
For additional information on this conference, see Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831.
Minutes, 1–2 Nov. 1831. A later JS history merely relates that the revelation came at a “Special Conference” in Hiram. (JS History, vol. A-1, 157.)
“Letter from Elder W. H. Kelley,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Mar. 1882, 67.
Saints’ Herald. Independence, MO. 1860–.
See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 1; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–B, in Revelation Book 1, pp. 125–127 [D&C 1]; Whitmer, History, 38.
The first gathering of the Book of Commandments was printed in December 1832; The Evening and the Morning Star published the preface in March 1833. (Notice, The Evening and the Morning Star, Dec. 1832, ; “Revelation Given, Hiram, Ohio, November 1, 1831,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Mar. 1833, .)
The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.