Revelation, , OH, [Feb.] 1831. Featured version, titled “45th. Commandment AD 1831,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 67–70; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
JS dictated this revelation following his arrival in , Ohio. It clarified JS’s position as the only person authorized to “receive & Revelations” for the . Before JS’s arrival in Kirtland, the converts in the area were left for several months without any experienced leadership. and many of his followers in had been into the church in November 1830, and Rigdon then left Ohio to meet JS in while and other missionaries who had baptized the Ohio believers left for the western borders of the . Concerned about the lack of leadership, JS sent to Ohio with copies of the revelations “to comfort and strengthen my brethren in that land.” When Whitmer arrived in mid-January, the conduct of the Ohio members surprised and concerned him. He wrote, “The enemy of all righteous had . . . made them think that an angel of God appeard to them, and showed them writings on the outside cover of the Bible, and on parchment, which flew through the air, and on the back of their hands, and many such foolish and vain things, others lost their strength, and some slid on the floor, and such like maneuvers, which proved greatly to th[e] injury of the cause.” Whitmer concluded that it was “ne[ce]ssary that this people should have instruction, and learn to decern between the things of God and the works of Satan.”
In this atmosphere of religious excess came a specific challenge to JS’s authority. In February 1831, the same month that JS and other members arrived from , a woman referred to as Mrs. “Hubble” claimed to receive revelations, which she shared publicly with other members. As explained in his later history: “About these days there was a woman by the name of Hubble who professed to be a prophetess of the Lord. and professed to have many revelations, and knew that the Book of mormon was true; and that she should become a teacher in the Church of Christ. She appeard very sanctimonious and deceived some, who were not able to detect her in her hypocracy.” According to Whitmer, “The Lord gave [this] Revelation that the saints might not be decived.” Similarly, the introduction to this revelation in JS’s history notes that “a woman came with great pretentions to revealing commandments, laws and other curious matters” and that JS felt it was “necessary to inquire of the Lord.”
This revelation appears to have been dictated between 9 February and the end of the month. copied it into Revelation Book 1 directly after a 9 February 1831 revelation and before a revelation dated “Febu. 1831.” Sometime later a revelation dated 23 February was inserted on a loose sheet immediately following the 9 February 1831 revelation and before the revelation featured here.
For an earlier event that resulted in similar clarification, see Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28]; and Minutes, 26 Sept. 1830. The instruction in the September 1830 text was a response to revelations that Hiram Page had received from a seer stone and that Oliver Cowdery and others had accepted as divine communications. The September revelation stated that only JS had “the keys of the mysteries of the Revelations which are sealed until I shall appoint unto him another in his stead.” (Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:7].)
Sidney Rigdon apparently arrived in Kirtland 1 February 1831, and JS arrived three days later. ([Matthew S. Clapp], “Mormonism,” Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 15 Feb. 1831,  –; see also JS History, vol. A-1, 92.)
Whitmer, History, 18. This was possibly Laura Fuller Hubbell, older sister of Edson Fuller, who had joined the church and been ordained an elder, but the woman was more likely “Mrs. Louisa Hubbell,” who had converted from the Disciples of Christ and later rejoined the Disciples in May 1831. (Hayden, Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, 472; Staker, Hearken, O Ye People, 79–80, 111–114.)
Hayden, Amos Sutton. Early History of the Disciples in the Western Reserve, Ohio; with Biographical Sketches of the Principal Agents in Their Religious Movement. Cincinnati: Chase and Hall, 1875.
Staker, Mark L. Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2009.
Whitmer, History, 18. Critic Ezra Booth reported that Hubbell “so ingratiated herself into the esteem and favor of some of the Elders, that they received her, as a person commissioned to act a conspicuous part in Mormonizing the world.” Booth added, “Rigdon, and some others, gave her the right hand of fellowship, and literally saluted her with what they called the kiss of charity. But Smith viewing her as encroaching upon his sacred premises, declared her an impostor, and she returned to the place from whence she came.” (Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—Nos. VIII–IX,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 8 Dec. 1831, .)
Revelation Book 1, pp. 62–70. Although the insertion of the 23 February 1831 revelation immediately after the 9 February 1831 revelation may indicate that Whitmer thought the text featured here was written after 23 February, it is equally plausible that Whitmer simply meant to bring together the 9 and 23 February revelations, which were later published as a single text. (Revelation, 9 and 23 Feb. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 13, 1835 ed. [D&C 42].)
Come before you with as Revelations or commandments & this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me for Verily I say unto you that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate & be as I have told you before to teach those Revelations which you have received & shall receive through him whom I have appointed— & now Behold I give unto you a commandment that when ye are assembled yourselves together ye shall note with a Pen how to act, & for my Church to act upon the points of my law & commandments which I have given & thus it shall become a law unto you being Sanctified by that which ye have received that ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me that in as much as ye do this glory shall be ad[d]ed to the Kingdom which ye have received, inasmuch as ye do it not it shall be taken even that which ye have received, purge ye out the iniquity which is among you Sanctify yourselves before me & if ye desire the glories of the Kingdom appoint ye my Servent & uphold him before me by the prayer of faith & again I say unto you that if you desire the mysteries of the Kingdom provide for him food & raiment & whatsoever is thing he needeth to accomplish the work which I have commanded him & if ye do it not he shall remain unto them that have received him that I may reserve unto myself a pure People before me—
Again I say hearken ye of my whom I have appointed ye are not sent forth to be taught but to teach the Children of men the things which I have put in your hands by the power of my Spirit & ye are to be taught from on high Sanctify yourselves & ye shall be endowed with power from on high that ye may give even as I have spoken hearken ye for Behold the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand for the day cometh that the Lord shall utter his voice out of [p. 68]
Here the usage suggests that this instance of “my law” may refer not only to the 9 February 1831 revelation but to the revelations of God more broadly. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation, 9 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:1–72].)