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.
unto this calling even to be a spokesman unto my servant Joseph and I will give unto him power to be mighty in testimony and I will give unto the<e> power to be mighty in expounding all that thou mayest be a spokesman unto him and he shall be a revelator unto thee that thou mayest know the certanty of all things pertaining to the things of my kingdom on the earth Therefore continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice for behold and lo I am with you even unto the end and
And now I give unto you a word concerning Zion Zion shall be redeemed altho she is chasened for a little season thy breatheren my servents and are in my hands and inasmuch as they keep my they shall be saved therefore let your hearts be comforted for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly and to the sactifycation [sanctification] of the for I will raise up unto myself a pure people that will serve me in righteousness and all that call on the name of the Lord and keep his commandments shall be saved even so Amen [p. ]
Rigdon later stated that he had been “consecrated a spokesman” to JS. The day after this revelation was dictated, JS noted each of their ministerial roles: “Brother Sidney preached & I bear record to the people.” Shortly after their return from Canada, JS wrote that Sidney Rigdon was “a man of great power of words and [could] gain the friendship of his hearrers very quick.” (Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Minutes, 7 Aug. 1844; JS, Journal, 13 Oct. and 14–19 Nov. 1833; see also Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830 [D&C 35:23].)
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Minutes, 1840–1844. CHL.
Responding to the news of violence perpetrated against church members in Jackson County, Missouri, JS sent Orson Hyde and John Gould with letters, other documents, and information to the Church of Christ leadership in Jackson County in late August 1833. Hyde and Gould arrived in Jackson County in the latter half of September and assisted beleaguered church members in their efforts to obtain protection against violence. Hyde and Gould returned to Kirtland shortly after attacks against church members again erupted in early November. They arrived on 25 November 1833 with “the melencholly intelegen [intelligence] of the riot in Zion with the inhabitants in pers[e]cuting the breth[r]en.” (Historical Introduction to Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 18 Aug. 1833; Knight, History, 439; “History of Orson Hyde,” 12, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1856–1858, 1861, CHL; JS, Journal, 25 Nov. 1833.)
Knight, Newel. History. Private possession. Copy in CHL. MS 19156.
Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.