Doctrine and Covenants Study
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 30
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“Doctrine and Covenants 30,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 30,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 30

[This section comprises three separate revelations.]

Revelation, September 1830–C

Source Note

Revelation, Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, to David Whitmer, [Sept.] 1830. Featured version, titled “31 Commandment AD 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 42; 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

The revelation to David Whitmer featured here, as well as the two that follow (directed to Peter Whitmer Jr. and John Whitmer, respectively), originated during the second conference of the Church of Christ, held in Fayette, New York, in late September 1830. In describing that conference, JS’s history stated that “peace, and faith, and hope, and charity abounded in our midst” and then added, “Before we separated we obtained the following, Revelation to David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer Jr. and John Whitmer.”1 Although these three texts were treated as separate revelations in Revelation Book 1 and the 1833 Book of Commandments, they were combined into a single revelation in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.2

According to the conference minutes, “Br. David Whitmer [was] appointed to keep the Church records until the next Conference,” which was scheduled for January 1831.3 The revelation itself did not mention that appointment; rather, it declared that Whitmer “feared man” and gave no “heed unto my Spirit & to those who were set over thee.” Whether this rebuke alluded to Whitmer’s support of Hiram Page in his recent challenge to JS’s authority—a topic discussed at the conference—is not clear.4 In any case, this revelation instructed Whitmer to stay at his father’s house and preach nearby. In what way or to what extent Whitmer fulfilled the mandate to “attend to the ministery in the Church & before the world & in these regions round about” during the ensuing fall and winter is unknown.


31 Commandment AD 1830

A commandment to David [Whitmer] tellilg [telling] him that he feared man more than god &c given at fayette Seneca County New York5

[1]Behold I say unto you David that thou hast feared man & hast not relyed upon me for strength as thou hast ought [2]But thy mind has been on the things of Earth more than on the things of me thy Maker & the ministery whereunto thou hast been called & thou hast not given heed unto my Spirit & to those who were set over thee But hast been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded [3]wherefore thou art left to enquire for thy self at my hand & ponder upon the things which you have Received [4]& thy home shall be at thy fathers house until I give unto thee further commandment & thou shalt attend to the ministery in the Church & before the world & in these regions round about amen


Revelation, September 1830–D

Source Note

Revelation, Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, to Peter Whitmer Jr., [Sept.] 1830. Featured version, titled “32nd Commandment AD 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 42; 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

In June 1829, Peter Whitmer Jr. was baptized and told in a revelation that “the thing which will be of the most worth unto you, will be to declare repentance unto this people.”6 Just weeks later, Whitmer became one of the formal witnesses of the Book of Mormon when he saw and handled the gold plates,7 and by June 1830 he became one of the first elders of the church.8 The revelation featured here (like those that precede and follow it) originated at the second conference of the church, which was held in Fayette, New York, in late September 1830.9 It commanded Whitmer to accompany and support Oliver Cowdery, who had been called “to build my Church among thy Brethren the Lamanites.” According to the conference minutes, those present sang and prayed “in behalf of Br. Oliver Cowdery & Peter Whitmer jr.”10


32nd Commandment AD 1830

A Revelation to Peter [Whitmer Jr.] his calling to the Lamanites &c given at Fayette Seneca County state of New York11

[5]Behold I say unto you Peter that thou shalt take thy Journey with thy Brother oliver [Cowdery] for the time has come that it is expedient in me that thou shalt open thy mouth to declare my Gospel Therefore fear not but give heed unto the words & advice of thy Brother which he shall give thee [6]& be thou afflicted in all his afflictions ever lifting thy heart up unto me in prayer & faith for thine & his deliverance for I have given unto him to build my Church among thy Brethren the Lamanites12 [7]& none have I appointed to be over him in the Church except it is his Brother Joseph13 [8]wherefore give heed unto those <these>14 things & be dilligent in keeping my commandments & thou shalt be blessed unto eternal life & thus it is amen— [p. 42]


Revelation, September 1830–E

Source Note

Revelation, Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, to John Whitmer, [Sept.] 1830. Featured version, titled “33 Commandment AD 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 43; 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

This revelation for John Whitmer originated, like the two that precede it, at the second conference of the Church of Christ, which was held in Fayette, New York, in late September 1830.15 It commanded John Whitmer, who was one of the six founding elders of the church and who had received a license as an elder and an apostle,16 to preach the gospel. After the church’s first conference in June, Whitmer traveled with JS, Oliver Cowdery, and David Whitmer to Harmony, Pennsylvania, and they later traveled to Colesville, New York, to baptize believers. In July, after they returned to Harmony, JS dictated a revelation that instructed Whitmer, along with JS himself and Cowdery, to study the scriptures, preach, confirm the Colesville believers, and help on JS’s farm.17 The revelation featured here called Whitmer to “proclaim my Gospel as with the voice of a Trump” in Seneca Falls, New York, near his boyhood home.

Parley P. Pratt, who was baptized and ordained an elder on 1 September 1830, had preached successfully in Seneca Falls shortly after his conversion; he gave a sermon at Philip Burroughs’s home, a few miles northeast of the Whitmer farm, where he “spoke the word of God with power, reasoning out of the Scriptures and the Book of Mormon. The people were convinced, overwhelmed in tears, and four heads of families came forward, expressing their faith, and were baptized.”18 This revelation informed John Whitmer, “Thy Labour shall be at thy Brother Philips. [Philip Burroughs’s]” and in the surrounding area.


33 Commandment AD 183[0]

A Revelation to John [Whitmer] his call to the Ministery give &c given at Fayette Seneca County State of New York19

[9]Behold I say unto John that thou shalt commence from this time forth to proclaim my Gospel as with the voice of a Trump [10]& thy Labour shall be at thy Brother Philips. [Philip Burroughs’s]20 & in that region round about yea wheresoever thou canst be heard until I command thee to go from hence [11]& thy whole Labour shall be in my Zion with all thy Soul from henceforth yea thou shalt ever open thy mouth in my cause not fearing what man can do for I a◊ with thee even so amen