Revelation, 1 June 1833 [D&C 95]
In late December 1832 and early January 1833, as part of a call to educate men for the ministry, a revelation instructed church members to organize a “” and to build a wherein individuals would learn the law and receive power that had been previously promised. The revelation further told them that they should “prepare evry needful [thing]” for the school and that the house should be “an house of prayer, an house of fasting, an house of faith, an house of Learning, an house of glory, an house of order an house of God.” During the early months of 1833, before construction on the house began, the first School of the Prophets, which involved just over a dozen church , met in , Ohio. On 11 January 1833, JS emphasized the urgency of building the house and holding the school in a letter to in , Missouri. JS stated, “You will see that the Lord commanded us in Kirtland to build an house of God, & establish a school for the Prophets, this is the word of the Lord to us, & we must— yea the Lord helping us we will obey, as on conditions of our obedience, he has promised us great things, yea even a visit from the heavens to honor us with his own presence.”On 4 May, nearly four months after JS wrote about the urgent need to build the , a committee was formed to raise funds for the building’s construction. A unanimously voted that a committee, consisting of , , and , be formed to raise the money. Nearly a month later, neither this committee nor other church leaders had taken any steps toward constructing the building.The revelation featured here, dictated on 1 June, stated that church leaders’ unresponsiveness to the call to build this religious structure would halt the growth and spiritual work of the church. The revelation also specified the building’s dimensions and directed the manner in which church members should construct it. Immediately following this revelation, a conference of discussed the revelation and began drafting construction plans. The conference appointed JS, , and —the —to serve as the planning committee, which was responsible for obtaining “a draft or construction of the inner court of the house.”Likely in response to this revelation, the building committee, which still comprised , , and , prepared a circular for the members of the that same day, writing that they had been officially charged with soliciting subscriptions to establish a fund to build the . “Unless we fulfil this command vis establish an house,” they warned, “and prepare all things necessary whereby the Elders may gather into a school called the school of the prophets and receive that instruction that the Lord designs they should receive we may all dispare of obtaining the great blessing that God has promised to the faithful of the Church of Christ.” The circular reiterated the promise found in the 2 January 1831 revelation that God would endow individuals with “power from on high,” which they would gain from “that instruction that the Lord designs” in the School of the Prophets. The committee encouraged church members to “make evry possable exertion to aid temporally as well as spiritually in this great work that the Lord is bringing about and is about to accomplish.” The circular also called for church members to pay their subscriptions and to send the funds to by 1 September 1833. Hyrum Smith, Reynolds Cahoon, and others began construction on the multipurpose House of the Lord by 7 June 1833. The House of the Lord, completed in 1836, eventually served as both a school and a place of worship; it was the church’s first temple.
Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.
Backman, Milton V., Jr. The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830–1838. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983.
Robison, Elwin C. The First Mormon Temple: Design, Construction, and Historic Context of the Kirtland Temple. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1997.
Angell, Truman O. Autobiography, 1884. CHL. MS 12334. Also available in Archie Leon Brown and Charlene L. Hathaway, 141 Years of Mormon Heritage: Rawsons, Browns, Angells—Pioneers (Oakland, CA: By the authors, 1973), 119–135.
Historic American Buildings Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service. “Kirtland Mormon Temple, Ohio Route Number 306, Kirtland, Ohio,” Mar. 1934. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington DC. Digital image accessed 7 Oct. 2013. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/oh0043/.