Revelation, , OH, 11 Sept. 1831. Featured version, titled “67 Revelation Kirtland Sept 11th. 1831,” copied [ca. Sept. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 108–111; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
JS dictated a revelation in , Ohio, on 11 September 1831, just a few days after arriving back from , Jackson County, Missouri. Although the trip involved the identification of the site for the and the dedication of land for the construction of a , it generated disappointment and disillusionment for some. Despite high expectations, and his companions had been unsuccessful in their attempts to preach to the American Indians, or “,” west of the Missouri border. Their subsequent efforts among the white population of , Missouri, yielded little success. Disappointment also stemmed from the designation of Independence, a rough frontier village, as the “centre place” for the city of Zion. , one of the called to travel to Missouri in the summer of 1831, also expressed disillusionment with JS himself. Booth complained that he and his companion, , had to walk to Missouri while JS, , and other church leaders traveled by way of stagecoach and canal. Apparently, Booth witnessed a confrontation between and JS over the quality of Missouri land selected for purchase. Booth believed that JS’s conduct in these disagreements was unbecoming a Christian. Rigdon, likely referring to the same incident, placed the blame on Partridge, stating he had “insulted the Lord’s prophet in particular & assumed authority over him in open violation of the Laws of God.” Partridge was later penitent: the same minutes that contain Rigdon’s accusation record Partridge saying that “if Br. Joseph has not forgiven him he hopes he will, as he is & has always been sorry.” Booth, on the other hand, apparently became more resentful, and a barred him from preaching as an elder in the church on 6 September 1831.
A week later, this 11 September revelation expounded on the necessity of forgiveness and specifically referred to problems involving , , and , indicating that the latter two were forgiven for their sins. It also discussed preparations for the gathering to . The revelation clarified the relationship between and Missouri: a previous revelation had established as the “centre place” at which to build the , and this revelation declared that Kirtland, where the Saints had previously gathered, would remain “a strong hold” for five years. It also indentified what property should be retained in Kirtland. Portraying a bright future for the land of Zion, the revelation offered encouragement to those who remained committed to the mission and leadership of JS.
The original manuscript of the revelation is not extant. copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 probably soon after its dictation, calling it “Directions to the Elders &c &c.” also made a copy, dating the revelation 12 September 1831. Although JS held a conference of elders on 12 September—an appropriate setting for dictating a revelation—all other manuscript copies bear the same 11 September date as the version of the text featured here.
Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 8 Apr. 1831; Richard W. Cummins, Delaware and Shawnee Agency, to William Clark, [St. Louis, MO], 15 Feb. 1831, U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency, Records, vol. 6, pp. 113–114; Whitmer, Journal, Dec. 1831, ; Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—No. V,” Ohio Star (Ravenna), 10 Nov. 1831, .
U.S. Office of Indian Affairs, Central Superintendency. Records, 1807–1855. Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Also available at kansasmemory.org.
Whitmer, Peter, Jr. Journal, Dec. 1831. CHL. MS 5873.
to pass in its time wherefore be not weary in well doing for ye are laying the foundation of a great work & out of small things proceedeth that which is great behold the Lord requireth the hearts & a willing mind & the willing & obedient shall eat the good of the Land of in these Last days & the rebelious shall be cut off out of the Land of & shall be sent away & shall not inherit the Land for verily I say that the rebelious are not of the blood of Ephraim wherefore they shall be plucked out Behold I the Lord have made my in these last days like unto a Judge setting on a hill or in an high place to Judge the Nations for it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of shall Judge all things & all liars & hypocrites shall be proved by them & they which are not shall be known & even the & his councellors if they are not faithfull in their shall be condemned & an others shall be planted in their stead for behold I say unto you that Zion shall flourish & the glory of the Lord shall be upon her & she shall be an ensighn unto the People & these shall shall come unto her out of every Nation under heaven & the days shall come when the Nations of the Earth shall tremble because of her & shall fear because of her terable ones the Lord hath spoken it amen
Ephraim was one of two sons of Joseph, son of Jacob, in the Old Testament. In discussing the duties of the “Elders of my Church,” an early August 1831 revelation echoed language from Deuteronomy 33:17 referring to the blessings pronounced by Moses on the tribe of Joseph. In October 1831, a revelation for William E. McLellin stated that he was “a true descendant from Joseph who was sold into Egypt down through the loins of Ephraim his Son.” A November 1831 revelation clarified that “the Children of Ephraim” were God’s servants who would help gather the scattered tribes of Israel to Zion before the second coming of Jesus Christ. (Revelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:1, 45]; McLellin, Journal, 29 Oct. 1831; Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831 [D&C 133:30–34]; see also Revelation, 29 Oct. 1831, in Revelation Book 2, pp. 95–97 [D&C 66].)
McLellin, William E. Journal, 18 July–20 Nov. 1831. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. MS 13538, box 1, fd. 1. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).
In an August 1831 letter, Partridge commented to his wife, Lydia, that “as I am occasionally chastened I sometimes feel as though I must fall.” (Edward Partridge, Independence, MO, to Lydia Clisbee Partridge, 5–7 Aug. 1831, Edward Partridge, Letters, 1831–1835, CHL.)
Partridge, Edward. Letters, 1831–1835. CHL. MS 23154.