Revelation, , Cattaraugus Co., NY, 12 Oct. 1833; handwriting of ; two pages; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes docket and archival marking.
Bifolium measuring 12½ × 7¼ inches (32 × 18 cm). The document was folded in half and then trifolded in the conventional filing pattern, and a docket was added by in graphite: “Revelation to J & | when they went to | Octo 1833”.
This and several other revelations, along with many personal and institutional documents kept by , were inherited by his daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who married Isaac Groo. This collection was passed down in the Groo family and donated by members of the family to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University during the period 1969–1974.
Andrus and Fuller, Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 24.
Andrus, Hyrum L., and Chris Fuller, comp. Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers. Provo, UT: Division of Archives and Manuscripts, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 1978.
Among the most fruitful areas for proselytizing in the early years of the were the regions around eastern Lake Erie and southwestern Lake Ontario. In the words of the 12 October 1833 revelation featured here and the minutes from a church , that region was primed for the “salvation of souls.” In March 1833, several men left , Ohio, to go eastward to this region and “preach by the way.” That summer, The Evening and the Morning Star published letters from various missionaries that described their successful conversion efforts. wrote that “in all the regions round about, especially east, much addition is made to several churches, and new ones are springing up.” reported on fifteen churches established between and , New York, some of which were composed of almost one hundred members, and “in nearly all of them, the work is still going on.” Missionaries were also successfully proselytizing in western . In an early September 1833 letter, JS mentioned the proselytizing work of in New York, near the border along the southern shore of Lake Ontario, that brought about eighty members into the church. In 1833, also traveled to nearby , New York, and other areas where he “held one hundred and fifty-two meetings, and saw one hundred souls added to the church.” JS and also experienced a successful missionary journey in this region. In October 1833, they traveled to Upper Canada at the request of new converts and Huldah Nickerson.
In April 1833, had , who lived in , Cattaraugus County, New York. , who lived in , visited his parents, Freeman and Huldah, in Perrysburg in June 1833 and, according to his later autobiography, “heard for the first time what was then known as Mormonism.” He recalled being “favorably inclined towards the doctrine preached” and requested his parents to “have some of the elders visit us in if they could make it convenient.” In September, Freeman and Huldah visited and requested that JS and preach to others in the Nickerson family in and Upper Canada. On 5 October 1833, JS and Rigdon left Kirtland to go east with Freeman and Huldah Nickerson. Before JS left, also requested that JS and Rigdon “call on his Brother in Law” in Upper Canada, and JS’s uncle asked him to call on Richard Lyman, John’s brother-in-law, in the same region. In a letter written five days after JS, Rigdon, and the Nickersons left Kirtland, explained that they had gone on a proselytizing mission through northwestern , southwestern New York, and a portion of Upper Canada near the northeastern shore of Lake Erie and the southwestern shore of Lake Ontario.
On 12 October 1833, a week after their departure, the party reached the Nickerson home in . Upon arriving, JS wrote in his diary, “I feel very well in my mind the Lord is with us but have much anxiety about my family.” The revelation featured here, recorded the same day, assured both JS and that their families were well and would remain so. The main thrust of the revelation, however, was to encourage both men to preach according to the thoughts that would be given to them, assuring them that the Holy Spirit would confirm their message to many individuals in the region who were prepared to receive it. In addition, this revelation called Rigdon to act as a “spokesman” for JS and offered comfort concerning the hardships of church members in , Missouri, who were currently facing expulsion.
No doubt encouraged by this revelation, JS and proceeded north from and , New York, and then west across the Niagara River into . On 18 October 1833 they reached the village of , near , and were “kindly received” by ’s sons and . On Sunday, 20 October, they held a morning meeting at Brantford and an evening meeting at Mount Pleasant, at which “a very large” congregation “gave good heed to the things which were spoken.” After preaching in the area the next week, the two missionaries baptized twelve people on Sunday, 27 October, and two more on Monday, 28 October; those baptized included Moses and Eleazer Freeman Nickerson, as well as Lydia Goldthwaite Bailey. JS and Rigdon also conferred the on those recently baptized and ordained Eleazer Freeman Nickerson an . The two missionaries departed for their homes in on 29 October and arrived on 4 November. JS wrote in his journal that he found his family “all well according to the promise of the Lord. for which blessings I feel to thank his holy name; Amen.”
After JS and ’s preaching efforts, the church began to grow in the area; by late December 1833 another twenty people had joined the Mount Pleasant of the Church of Christ. wrote to on 29 December, informing him that “your labors while in have been the beginning of a good work: there are 34 members attached to the church at Mount Pleasent.”
Historian’s Office, Obituary Notices of Distinguished Persons, 45; 1830 U.S. Census, Perrysburg, Cattaraugus Co., NY, 224. On 12 March 1833, a council of high priests instructed Zerubbabel Snow and Horace Cowin to journey together “to the East.” It is not clear if Huldah Nickerson, Freeman’s wife, was baptized at the same time as her husband, though she appears to have been a member of the church by June 1833. (Minute Book 1, 12 Mar. 1833; “Autobiography of Moses C. Nickerson,” True Latter Day Saints’ Herald, 15 July 1870, 425.)
Historian’s Office. Obituary Notices of Distinguished Persons, 1854–1872. CHL. MS 3449.
Census (U.S.) / U.S. Bureau of the Census. Population Schedules. Microfilm. FHL.
Verily thus saith the Lord unto you my friends & Joseph your families are well they <are> in mine hands and I will do with them as seemeth me good for in me there is all power therefore follow me and listen to the council which I shall give unto you behold and lo I have much people in this place in the regeons round about and an effectual door shall be opened in the regeons round about in this eastern land therefore I the Lord have suffired you to come unto this place for thus it was expedient in me for the salvation of souls therefore verely I say unto you lift up your voices unto this people speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts and ye shall not be confounded before men for it shall be given you in the very hour yea in the very moment what ye shall say but a I give unto you that ye shall declare whatsoever things ye declare in my name in solemnity of heart in the spirit of meekness in all things and I give unto you this promise that inasmuch as ye do this the holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever ye shall say and it is expedient in me that you should be spokesman unto this people yea verily I will you [p. ]
TEXT: This revelation bears punctuation marks that have not been transcribed because they appear to be later redactions. However, the punctuation may have been inserted at the time of original inscription. The heading for this revelation in Revelation Book 2 reads, “A Revelation to Joseph and Sidney, given them while on their journey to Canada, according to direction of the Spirit.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 71.)
Several Church of Christ missionaries had previously labored in this region. (See “Progress of the Church of Christ,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1833, 108–109; Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 Sept. 1833; and “Amasa Lyman’s History,” Deseret News [Salt Lake City], 8 Sept. 1858, 117.)
The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.
According to JS, the day after he dictated this revelation, “the Lord gave his spirit in marvilous man[n]er.” John P. Greene, who attended the 13 October meeting, stated that Sidney Rigdon “preac[h]ed in the demmonstrtion [demonstration] of the Spirrit.” Two weeks later, at the conclusion of his and Rigdon’s mission in Canada, JS wrote that during one of their meetings, “the spirit was given in great power to some and the rest had great peace.” (JS, Journal, 13 and 27–28 Oct. 1833; Greene, Diary, 13 Oct. 1833.)
Greene, Evan Melbourne. Diaries, 1833–1852. CHL. MS 1442.