Doctrine and Covenants Study
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 24

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“Doctrine and Covenants 24,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 24,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 24

Revelation, July 1830–A

Source Note

Revelation, Harmony Township, Susquehanna Co., PA, to JS, July 1830. Featured version, titled “25th. Commandment AD July 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 32–34; handwriting of John Whitmer; CHL. Includes redactions. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.

Historical Introduction

During the two months after the Church of Christ was organized, JS met with believers in three New York locations: the areas of Manchester, Fayette, and Colesville. Several people were baptized and the first church conference was convened before JS returned home to his wife Emma in Harmony, Pennsylvania, around mid-June. About 26 June, JS, Emma, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and John Whitmer traveled to Colesville, where Emma and a number of others were baptized, even though several Colesville residents destroyed a previously constructed dam in the stream in an attempt to prevent the baptisms. Before these believers could be confirmed, however, JS was twice arrested and charged, as his history recounted, with “being a disorderly person; of setting the country in an uproar by preaching the Book of Mormon.”1 He was released in both instances, but he needed the help of a constable to escape from his antagonists and make his way to the house of Emma’s sister, Elizabeth Hale Wasson, in Harpursville, where he and Emma were reunited. They returned to Harmony the next day, quite likely 3 July, and a few days later JS and Cowdery came back to Colesville to confirm the recently baptized converts. Before they could do so, a mob assembled, and JS and Cowdery quickly left again.2 Sometime between their return to Harmony and Cowdery’s departure for Fayette around mid-July,3 JS dictated this and the following two revelations. This text instructed JS and Cowdery “concerning their Calls”; JS had earlier been identified as prophet, seer, and translator, as well as an apostle and first elder, and Cowdery as second elder.4

The revelation specifically commanded JS to continue confirming baptized believers, dictating revelations, and expounding the scriptures, and commanded Cowdery (and perhaps JS with him)5 to go forth and preach. Although the word apostle is not used in this passage, the language describing Cowdery’s calling closely parallels Jesus’s instructions to his apostles. For Cowdery, it may have reinforced the June 1829 revelation describing him as having the same calling as “Paul mine apostle”6 and the 6 April 1830 revelation that referred to him as “mine Apostle.”7

25th. Commandment AD8 1831 1830

A Revelation to Joseph & Oliver [Cowdery] given at Harmony Susquehannah County Pennsylvania telling them concerning their Calls &c9

[1]Behold thou wast called & Chosen to write the Book of Mormon & to my ministery & I have lifted thee up out of thine afflictions & have counseled thee that thou hast been delivered from all thine enemies & thou hast been delivered from the power of satan & from darkness [2]Nevertheless thou art not excusable in thy Transgressions Nevertheless go thy way & sin no more [3]magnify thy office10 & after that thou hast sowed thy fields & Secured them11 then go speedily unto the Church which is in Colesvill Fayette & Manchester & they shall support thee12 & I will bless them both spiritually & temporally [4]but if they receive thee not I will send upon them a cursing instead of a blessing [5]& thou shalt continue in calling upon [God]13 in my name & writing the [p. 32] Things which shall be given thee by the Comforter14 & thou shalt expound all scriptures to unto the Church [6]& it shall be given thee in the very moment what thou shalt speak & write & they shall hear it or I will send unto them a cursing instead of a blessing [7]for thou shalt devote all thy service to in Zion & in this thou shalt have strength [8]be patient in afflictions for thou shalt have many but endure them for Lo! I am with thee even unto the end of thy days [9]& in temporal labo◊◊15 thou shalt not have strength for this is not thy calling attend to thy calling & thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thine Office & to expound all scriptures & continue in the laying of on of the hands & confirming the Churches16 [10]& thy brother Oliver Shall continue to in bearing my name before the world & also to the Church17 & he shall not suppose that he can say enough in my cause & lo! [I]18 am with him to the end [11]in me he shall have glory & not of himself whether in weakness or in strength whether in bonds on or free [12]& at all times & in all places he shall open his mouth & declare my Gospel as with the voice of a Trump both day & night & I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men[.] [13]require not Miracles except I shall command you except casting [out] Devils healing the sick & against Poisones [poisonous] Serpents & against deadly Poison19 [14]& these things ye shall not do except it be required of you by them who desire it that the Scriptures might be fulfilled for ye shall do according to that which is written in the Scriptures [15]& in whatsoever place ye shall enter in & they receive you not in my name ye shall leave a cursing instead of a blessing by casting off the dust of your feet against them as a testimony & cleansing your feet by the wayside20 [16]& it shall come to pass that whosoever shall lay their hands upon you by violence ye shall command to be smitten <in my name> & behold I will smite them according to their <thy> words in mine own due time21 [17]& whosoever shall go to law with thee shall be cursed by the Law [18]& thou shalt tak[e] no purse nor scrip neither staves neither two Coats for the Church shall give unto thee in the verry hour what thou needest for food & for raiment for shoes & for [p. 33] Money & for scrip22 [19]for thou art called to prune my vineyard with a mighty pruneing yea even for the last time23 yea & also all those which whom thou hast ordained & they shall do even according to this pattern amen