Revelation, , Geauga Co., OH, 12 Jan. 1838. Featured version copied [ca. 12 Jan. 1838]; handwriting of ; one page; Revelations Collection, CHL. Includes docket.
First page of bifolium, each page measuring 10 × 8 inches (25 × 20 cm). This document contains two horizontal folds, and tears along the folds have undergone conservation work. The docket on the verso of the second leaf reads, “Revelation | To The Presidency | Jan 12th, 1838”. The document contains docketing and other wear that are similar to those on other documents that have been in the custody of the church since the , Ohio, era, indicating that this document has likely been in continuous institutional custody since the time of its creation. Revelation, 12 January 1838–C is inscribed on the second page of the bifolium.
On 12 January 1838, before departing , Ohio, to move to , JS dictated a revelation that answered two questions about establishing new of —that is, new Latter-day Saint communities. leaders had been concerned about creating new settlements in Missouri for several months, and by fall 1837 they had determined that additional stakes were needed to accommodate the growth of the church and the Kirtland church members who intended to move there. In a 17 September , JS and were commissioned to designate locations for additional stakes. By early November JS and Rigdon had arrived in , Missouri, and appointed Far West specifically and generally as the site for the continued gathering of church members. They also instructed the Saints in Far West concerning the creation of new stakes. In a 10 November 1837 meeting, Rigdon outlined the procedure for acquiring and paying for land to be used for the of the Saints. Before leaving Missouri, JS and Rigdon also formed a committee to scout for additional areas in which the Saints could gather.
Despite the earlier instructions about new settlements, the 12 January revelation mandated that only the was authorized to appoint and dedicate a stake of Zion. The revelation also required members to acknowledge by vote the authority of the First Presidency before their branch could be considered a stake of Zion. Requiring the members of prospective stakes to accept the leadership of the presidency and specifying that only the First Presidency could designate new stakes ensured that no ad hoc stakes could be created by dissenting members.
This revelation and the other two revelations dictated on 12 January 1838 were read to the church in on 8 July 1838 and copied into JS’s journal around that time. The text of the revelation featured here was written on a loose sheet of paper, and textual analysis indicates it is likely the original text, written down as JS dictated the words. The revelation was also copied into the Book of the Law of the Lord by in 1841. There are no substantive differences between the versions.
Can the first any of the be concidered a of utill [until] they have acknowleged the authority of the , by a vote of said Church,
Thus saith the Lord verly I say unto you nay
Answer. No stake shall be appointed except by the first presidency and this Presidency be acknowleged by the voice of the same, otherwise it shall not be counted as a stake of Zion, And again except it be dedicated by this Presidency it cannot be acknowleged as a stake of Zion, For unto this end, have I appointed them, in laying the foundation of and establishing my Kingdom [p. ]