Revelation, 8 March 1833 [D&C 90]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

8th of March 1833
A Commandment given unto Joseph saying thus saith the Lord verily verily I say unto you my son thy sins are forgiven thee according to thy petition for thy prayers and the prayers of thy brethren have come up into my ears therefore thou art blessed from henceforth that bear the of the kingdom given unto you which kingdom is coming forth for the Last time verily I say unto you the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you whilst thou art in the world neither in the world to come never[the]less through you shall the oricles be given unto another yea even unto the and all they who receive the oricles of God let them be aware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing and are brought under condemnation thereby and stumble and fall when the storms descend <​&​> the winds blow and the rains descend and beat upon their house and again verily I say unto thy brethren and there sins are forgiven them also and they are accounted as equal with thee in holding the keys of this Last Kingdom as also through your administration the <​keys of the​> which I have to be organized that thereby they may be perfected in their minstry for the salvation of and of the Nations of Israel and of the as many as will believe that through your administration they may receive the word and through their administration the word may go forth unto the ends of the earth unto the Gentiles first and then behold and Lo they shall turn unto the Jews and then cometh the day when the arm of the Lord shall be reveiled in power in convincing the nations the heathen nations the house of Joseph of the Gospel of their salvation for it shall come to pass in that day that evry man shall hear the fulness of the Gospel in his own Tongue and in his own Language through thou who are unto this power [p. [1]] by the administration of the comforter shed forth upon them for the revelation of Jesus Christ and now verely I say unto you I give unto you a that you continue in this ministry and and when you have finished the translation of the prophets you shall from them <​thence​> forth preside over the affairs of the and the and from time to time as shall be manifest by the comfo[r]ter receive revelations to unfold the mystres [mysteries] of the kingdom and set in order the churches and study and Learn and become acquainted with all good books and with Languages tongues and people &c &c and this shall be your business and mission in all your Lives to preside in and set in order all the affairs of this Church and kingdom be not ashamed neither confounded but be admonished in all your high mindedness and pride for it bringeth a snare upon your souls set in order your houseses keep slothfulness and uncleanliness far from you now verily I say unto you let there be a place provided as soon as it is possable for you for the family of thy councellor & scribe even and <​let​> mine Aged servant continue with his family upon the place <​where he now lives​> and let it not be sold untill the mouth of the Lord shall name and let thy councellor even remain where he now resides untill the mouth of the Lord shall name <​and​> let the search dilligently to obtain an agent and let it be a man who has got riches in store a man of God and of strong faith that thereby he may be enabled to discharge evry debt that the of the Lord may not be brought in to disrepute before the eyes of the people search diligently pray always and be believing and all things shall work together for your good if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant where with ye have covenanted [p. [2]] one with another let your families be small especially my mine aged Servant as pertaining to thou who do not belong to your families that those things that are provided for you to bring to pass my work are not taken from you and given to those that are not worthy and thereby you are hindred in accomplishing <​those things which​> I have commanded you and again verely I say unto you it is my will that my hand maiden should receive money to bear her expences and go up unto the Land of and the residue of her money I will unto myself and reward her in mine own due time verely I say unto you <​that​> it is meet in mine eyes that she should go up unto the Land of Zion and receive an from the hand of the that she may settle down in peace <​in as much as she is faithful​> and not be Idle in her days from thenceforth and behold verely I say unto you that ye shall write this commandment and say unto your brethren in Zion in Love greeting that I have called you also to preside over Zion in mine own due time therefore let them cease wear[y]ing me concerning this matter behold I say unto you that your brethren in Zion begin to repent and the Angels rejoice over them nevertheless I am not well pleased with many things and I am not well please[d] with my servant neithe[r] with my servant and the also and others have many things to repent of but verely I say unto you that I the Lord will contend with Zion and plead with her strong ones and chasten her untill she overcome and are clean before me for she shall not be moved out of her place I the Lord have spoken it— Am[en]— [p. [3]]


  1. 1

    TEXT: It is likely that the punctuation found in this manuscript was added after its initial inscription; however, it is possible that the punctuation is contemporaneous with the document’s initial creation. In the transcript featured here, all punctuation has been omitted.  

  2. 2

    The 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants expanded the text of a previously published revelation, originally dictated in summer 1830. The expanded text, which refers to the “keys of the kingdom,” reported the voice of the Lord speaking to JS about many of the angelic visitations JS had received by mid-1830: “Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry: and of the same things which I revealed unto them: unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times.” (Revelation, ca. Aug. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 50:3, 1835 ed. [D&C 27:12–13].)  

  3. 3

    See Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:4–5]; Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831 [D&C 65:2]; and Revelation, 15 Mar. 1832 [D&C 81:2].  

  4. 4

    See Luke 11:2; 1 John 2:18; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 137 [Jacob 5:62]; and Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:84]; see also Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831 [D&C 65:5–6].  

  5. 5

    See Matthew 16:19. Regarding JS’s receipt of divine keys, see Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:7]; and Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:5].  

  6. 6

    Webster’s 1828 dictionary states that “among christians, oracles . . . denotes the communications, revelations or messages delivered by God to prophets.” (“Oracle,” in American Dictionary, italics in original; see also 1 Peter 4:11.)  

    An American Dictionary of the English Language: Intended to Exhibit, I. the Origin, Affinities and Primary Signification of English Words, as far as They Have Been Ascertained. . . . Edited by Noah Webster. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

  7. 7

    A JS revelation dictated the previous September similarly declared, “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief and because you have treated lightly the things you have received which vanity and unbelief hath brought the whole church under condemnation . . . and thay shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant even the book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them not only to say but to do according to that which I have writen.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:54–57]; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 446, 583–584 [Helaman 14:19; Moroni 9:6].)  

  8. 8

    See Isaiah 8:15; Romans 11:11; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 94 [2 Nephi 18:15].  

  9. 9

    See Matthew 7:27.  

  10. 10

    TEXT: Possibly “their”.  

  11. 11

    Two months earlier, a revelation called for the establishment of an “Elders school” to help educate the men of the church in doctrinal, social, and political matters. It was intended that through instruction, study, fasting, and prayer, church elders would “be prepared, in all things . . . that you may be perfected, in your ministry to go forth among the gentiles, for the last time.” The School of the Prophets was organized 22–23 January in Kirtland and met thereafter until late March, when many of the elders were sent on missions. (Revelation Book 2, Index, [1]; Revelation, 3 Jan. 1833 [D&C 88:127–137]; Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833; Minutes, 22–23 Jan. 1833; Minutes, 23 Mar. 1833–A; Coltrin, Diary and Notebook, 23 Mar. 1833; see also Samuel Smith, Diary, 8 May 1833.)  

    Coltrin, Zebedee. Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL. MS 1443.

    Smith, Samuel. Diary, Feb. 1832–May 1833. CHL. MS 4213.

  12. 12

    The theology of the Church of Christ envisioned that in the last days, in an apparent reversal of the New Testament sequence given in Romans 2:9–10, the Jews would receive the gospel only after the “times of the Gentiles” were fulfilled. A revelation in November 1831, therefore, exhorted the church to “send forth the Elders of my Church” to “call upon all nations firstly upon the gentiles & then upon the Jews.” (Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45:25]; Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831 [D&C 133:8]; see also Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84]; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 32 [1 Nephi 13:42].)  

  13. 13

    Early church members believed that the “house of Joseph” referred to American Indians. When chronicling the first appointments of missionaries to go to the American Indians, JS’s history described the native peoples as “remnants of the house of Joseph—the Lamanites residing in the west.” (“The Elders in the Land of Zion to the Church of Christ Scattered Abroad,” The Evening and the Morning Star, July 1832, [5]; JS History, vol. A-1, p. 60; Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28]; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 485, 566 [3 Nephi 15:12; Ether 13:7–8].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  14. 14

    See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 23, 36 [1 Nephi 10:14; 15:13].  

  15. 15

    See Acts 2:6–8; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 303, 565 [Alma 29:8; Ether 12:39].  

  16. 16

    See Acts 2:33.  

  17. 17

    See Galatians 1:12; 1 Peter 1:13; and Revelation 1:1.  

  18. 18

    A note in Minute Book 1 suggests that JS completed his review and translation of the New Testament on 2 February 1833. Having completed that work, JS, with the assistance of Sidney Rigdon and Frederick G. Williams, turned to revising the Old Testament. In March 1833, JS and Williams were translating books “of the prophets” in the Old Testament, including Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. They completed that work on 2 July 1833. (Minute Book 1, 2 Feb. 1833; Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833; see also Old Testament Revision 2, p. 119; for more information on JS’s Bible translation, see Historical Introduction to Visions of Moses, June 1830 [Moses 1]; and Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 6, 72.)  

    Old Testament Revision 2 / Old Testament Revision Manuscript 2, 1831–1833. CCLA. Also available in Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 591–851.

    Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

  19. 19

    See John 14:21–26.  

  20. 20

    See, for example, Matthew 13:11; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 131, 333–334 [Jacob 4:18; Alma 40:3].  

  21. 21

    A previous revelation spoke of the need to seek out the “best books” for learning and to take the “everlasting gospel” to “all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.” (Revelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:80, 84, 118].)  

  22. 22

    At this point, the revelation transitions to addressing the entire presidency of the high priesthood, not just JS.  

  23. 23

    See Proverbs 18:7; 22:25.  

  24. 24

    Two months before this revelation was dictated, an editorial comment in the church’s newspaper encouraged readers to “be cleanly; no matter what condition yours may be, cleanliness is a virtue, that will be required in Zion. Heaven shines with glory, and the Lord clothes his angels with white robes: How necessary, then, that his saints should be decent.” (“Let Every Man Learn His Duty,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Jan. 1833, [5], emphasis in original; see also Ecclesiastes 10:18; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 537 [Mormon 9:28].)  

    The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

  25. 25

    Since early 1831, Williams had allowed JS to use 144 acres of land in Kirtland for church purposes. This revelation seems to be reiterating a decision made by a conference in October 1831 that “Br Frederick G Williams’ family be provided with a comfortable dwelling by this Church.” (Minute Book 2, 10 Oct. 1831; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, 15 May 1831.)  

  26. 26

    In January 1833, a revelation directed Williams to “let thy farm be consecratd f[o]r bringing forth of the revelations.” In early May 1834, after a revelation gave JS stewardship over the farm and lot “upon which his father now resides,” Williams formally deeded the title to JS. Williams’s property was immediately south of the planned location for future church buildings in Kirtland. (Revelation, 5 Jan. 1833; Revelation, 23 Apr. 1834 [D&C 104:43]; Geauga Co., OH, Deed Records, 1795–1921, vol. 18, pp. 477–478, 5 May 1834, microfilm 20,237, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Parkin, “Joseph Smith and the United Firm,” 17; regarding the lodgings of Joseph Smith Sr. and his family in relationship to Frederick G. Williams’s property, see Historical Introduction to Revelation, 15 May 1831.)  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    Parkin, Max H. “Joseph Smith and the United Firm: The Growth and Decline of the Church’s First Master Plan of Business and Finance, Ohio and Missouri, 1832–1834.” BYU Studies 46, no. 3 (2007): 5–66.

  27. 27

    In his journal entry for 26 May 1832, Reynolds Cahoon recorded that Sidney Rigdon had just returned from Jackson County, Missouri, and moved to the Kirtland flats. (Cahoon, Diary, 26 and 31 May 1832.)  

    Cahoon, Reynolds. Diaries, 1831–1832. CHL. MS 1115.

  28. 28

    Newel K. Whitney, the bishop in Kirtland.  

  29. 29

    A September 1832 revelation similarly directed that Bishop Newel K. Whitney employ “an agent for to take charge and to do his [Whitney’s] seccular business as he shall direct.” The identity of this agent remains unknown. An agent would have been needed in part because the revelation indicated that Whitney would be away from Kirtland, traveling “round about and among all the churches searching after the poor.” If Whitney did not travel as extensively as the revelation directed, he may not have employed such an agent at all and may have taken care of such matters himself. (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:112–113].)  

  30. 30

    This sentence likely refers to Joseph Smith Sr.’s arrangement to live and work on Frederick G. Williams’s farm. Lucy Mack Smith later wrote that “on this farm my family were all established with this arrangement, that we were to cultivate the farm and from the fruit of our labor we were to receive our support; but all over and above this was to be used for the comfort of strangers or brethren, who were travelling through the place.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 206; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, 15 May 1831.)  

  31. 31

    See, for example, Numbers 34:14; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 565 [Ether 12:32].  

  32. 32

    See Psalm 4:8; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 158, 332 [Mosiah 2:28; Alma 38:15].  

  33. 33

    Jaques had recently “collected her means and gathered with the Saints, and by her liberality rendered such pecuniary assistance to the Church in its infancy.” The following month a conference of high priests decided that “Sister Vean Jaqush [Vienna Jaques] should not immediately procede on her Journy to Zion but to wait untill William Hobert gets ready and go in company with him.” On 2 July 1833, the presidents of the high priesthood wrote to church leaders in Zion, saying that “we rejoiced greatly to hear of the safe arival of Sister Viana and brother William and thank our heavenly father that their lives have been spared them till their arival.” JS wrote to Jaques in September 1833 thanking her for her financial contributions; he noted that he was indebted to her for her offering. (George Hamlin, “In Memoriam,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Mar. 1884, 12:152; Minutes, 30 Apr. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 2 July 1833; Letter to Vienna Jaques, 4 Sept. 1833.)  

    Woman’s Exponent. Salt Lake City. 1872–1914.

  34. 34

    See Isaiah 7:13; and Malachi 2:17.  

  35. 35

    A reference to the ongoing disputes between church leaders in Kirtland, Ohio, and those in Jackson County, Missouri. (See Letter to William W. Phelps, 11 Jan. 1833; and Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833.)  

  36. 36

    JS soon learned that the letter calling the Missouri leaders to repentance, sent on 14 January 1833 from Kirtland, achieved its desired goal of effecting a reconciliation between church leaders in Independence and those in Kirtland. The Missouri elders sent a penitent and peace-proffering letter dated 26 February 1833, which was received by church officials in Kirtland with relief and delight. (Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 21 Apr. 1833.)  

  37. 37

    A conference met in Kirtland on 3 December 1832 and excommunicated McLellin for reasons that were not specified but were likely related to either his earlier failure to complete several missions or his unauthorized immigration to Missouri. At the time of this revelation, McLellin was serving a mission with Parley P. Pratt in Illinois and eastern Missouri. Sidney Gilbert may have been chastised here because of failure to satisfactorily carry out instructions given him in a July 1831 revelation to serve as an agent for the church, to “establish a store” to obtain money for the “good of the Saints” in Missouri, and to do his business “in righteousness.” Gilbert also penned a letter, no longer extant, on 10 December 1832 to JS, which a conference of high priests and elders in Kirtland decided contained “low, dark, & blind insinuations.” In a letter to Missouri leaders on behalf of the conference, Orson Hyde and Hyrum Smith encouraged Gilbert to “do his business in the spirit of the Lord” and to repent and do the work that the Lord commanded of him. In April, JS wrote, “We have learned of the Lord that it is his [Gilbert’s] duty to assist all the poor brethren that are pure in heart and that he has done rong in with holding credit from them as they must have assistence for the Lord established him in Zion for that express purpose.” The other individual reprimanded here is Edward Partridge, who was serving as bishop in Independence at this time. The specific reasons for the displeasure with Partridge remain unclear. Though Gilbert and Partridge had both been embroiled in intermittent tensions with JS and Ohio church leaders for more than a year and a half, they were also involved in the 26 February 1833 “special council of High Priests” in Missouri that “kneeled before the Lord & asked him to effect a perfect harmony” between them and their “brethren in Kirtland.” At the time of this revelation, however, JS had not yet learned of the spirit of reconciliation that had come out of that council. (JS, Journal, 3 Dec. 1832; Revelation, 25 Jan. 1832–A [D&C 75:6–8]; Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; McLellin, Journal, 8 Mar. 1833; Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57:6, 8]; Letter to Edward Partridge et al., 14 Jan. 1833; Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson Co., MO, 21 Apr. 1833; Minute Book 2, 26 Feb. 1833.)  

    McLellin, William E. Journal, Apr.–June 1836. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. MS 13538, box 1, fd. 6. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).

  38. 38

    See Isaiah 49:25; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 56 [2 Nephi 6:17].  

  39. 39

    See Psalms 10:10; 35:1; and Jeremiah 8:16.  

  40. 40

    See Psalm 46:5; see also 2 Samuel 7:10; and 1 Chronicles 17:9.