Doctrine and Covenants Study
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 36

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“Doctrine and Covenants 36,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 36,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 36

Revelation, 9 December 1830

Source Note

Revelation, [Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY], to Edward Partridge, 9 Dec. 1830. Featured version, titled “39th. Commandment Decm. 9th. AD 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 48–49; 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 was dictated for Edward Partridge, an Ohioan who had come to New York to meet JS. Partridge, a hatter living in Painesville, Ohio, and his wife, Lydia, were members of Sidney Rigdon’s reformed Baptist congregation.1 In early November 1830 they became interested in the Church of Christ when Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr. began preaching to and baptizing many individuals from Rigdon’s congregation.2 Lydia soon converted, but her husband remained skeptical and insisted on visiting JS in New York before becoming a member.3 Partridge and Rigdon traveled to the Palmyra area and then went on to Waterloo in Seneca County. They arrived at the home of Joseph Smith Sr. while JS was giving a sermon. When JS finished speaking, “a request was made that any who felt to speak should,” and Partridge stood and stated that he and Rigdon had visited the Smith family’s Manchester farm and had spoken with their neighbors about the character of the Smith family. Based on those conversations, Partridge declared that the Smiths “had sacraficed for the truth’s sake” and that he was ready to be baptized. After Partridge asked JS to baptize him, JS replied, “You have traveled a long way this morning and you are much fatigued and I think you had better rest and take some refreshment and tomorrow morning be baptized.”4 Soon thereafter, JS dictated this revelation for Partridge. Two days later, on 11 December, JS baptized Partridge, and on 15 December, Sidney Rigdon ordained him an elder.5

This revelation included language similar to several revelations dictated in 1829 and 1830 that called members of the church to preach. The earliest revelation expressing these sentiments, in February 1829, stated, “If ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.”6 Like the revelations given to missionaries in September and October of 1830, this revelation also declared with an eschatological urgency that the second coming of Jesus Christ was imminent.7

39th. Commandment Decm. 9th. AD 1830

A Commandment to Edard [Edward Partridge] his call to the Ministery &c8

[1]Saying thus saith the Lord God the mighty one of Israel behold I say unto you my Servent Edward thou art blessed & thy sins are forgiven thee & thou art called to preach my Gospel as with the voice of a Trump [2]& I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my Servent sidney [Rigdon] & thou shalt Receive my spirit (the Holy Ghost) even the comforter) which shall teach you the peacible things of the Kingdom [3]& thou shalt declare it with a loud voice Saying Blessed be the name of the most high God—9

[4]And now this calling & commandment give I unto all men [5]that as many as shall come before my Servent Sidney & Joseph embracing this calling & commandment shall be ordained & sent forth to preach the everlasting gospel among the Nation10 [6]crying Repentance saying save yourselves from this untoward generation11 & come forth out of the fire hating even the garment spotted with the flesh—12 [7]And this commandment shall be given unto the Elders of my Church that every man which will embrace it with singleness of heart may be ordained & sent [p. 48] forth even as I have spoken [8]I am Jesus Christ the Son of God Wherefore gird up your loins & I will suddenly come to my temple13 even so amen