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Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 38

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“Doctrine and Covenants 38,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 38,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 38

Revelation, 2 January 1831

Source Note

Revelation, Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, 2 Jan. 1831. Featured version, titled “41st Commandment Jan 2nd AD 1831,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 49–52; 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, dictated at a church conference in Fayette, New York, came three days after a 30 December 1830 revelation commanded the church to “assemble together at the Ohio.”1 The 2 January 1831 revelation elaborated on the earlier commandment by reiterating the call to gather and promising the members they would be thereafter endowed with “power from on high.”

In his later history, John Whitmer wrote that as JS addressed the conference on 2 January and discussed the commandment to move to Ohio as a group, those present “desired to know somewhat more concerning this matter.” In response, “the Seer enquired of the Lord in the presence of the whole congregation, and thus came the word of the Lord.”2 Recalling the conference later, Newel Knight noted that “we were instructed as a people, to begin the gathering of Israel, and a revelation was given to the Prophet on this subject.”3

Some church members were reticent to leave their homes and relocate to Ohio, and a few, according to Whitmer, even wondered if “Joseph had invented it [the revelation] himself to deceive the people that in the end he might get gain.”4 Several weeks later, a resident of Waterloo, New York, wrote that “this command was at first resisted by such as had property, (the brethren from the neighboring counties being all assembled by special summons,) but after a night of fasting, prayer and trial, they all consented to obey the holy messenger.”5 JS’s mother saw the revelation in a positive light. She wrote to her brother Solomon Mack to explain that after they gathered together, God would “come and reign on ea[r]th with them a thousand years.” She also indicated, “We expect to go away to the Ohio early in the spring.”6

41st Commandment Jan 2nd AD 1831

Received at farette [Fayette] Seneca County State of New york A Comandment to the Churches in New York at a conference they being Commanded to flee to Ohio &c7

Saying [1]thus saith the Lord God even Jesus Christ the great I am Alph[a] & Omega the begining & the end the same which looked upon the wide expance of eternity & all the Scerifick [seraphic] hosts of Heaven before the world was made [2]the same which k[n]oweth all things for all things are present before mine eyes [3]I am the same which spoke & the world was made & all things came by me [4]I am the same which hath taken the Zion of Enoch into mine own bosom8 & verily I say even as many as have believed on my name for I am Christ & in mine own name by the [p. 49] Virtue of the blood which I have spilt have I pled before the Father for them [5]but Behold the residue of the wicked have I kept in Chains of darkness untill the Judgement of the great day9 which shall come at the end of the Earth [6]& even so will I cause the wicked that will not hear my voice but harden their hearts & wo, wo, is their doom [7]But Behold Verily Verily I say unto you that mine eyes are upon you I am in your midst & ye cannot see me [8]but the day soon cometh that ye shall see me & know that I am for the chains <vails> of vails of darkness shall soon be rent & he that is not purified shall not abide the day10 [9]wherefore gird up your loins & be prepared Behold the Kingdom is yours & the enemy shall not overcome [10]Verily I say unto you that ye are clean but not all11 & there is none else with whoom I am well pleased [11]for all flesh is corruptabl before me & the powers of darkness prevail upon the Earth among the Children of men in the presence of all the host <of> Heaven [12]which causeth silence to reign & all eternity is pained & the Angels are waiting the great command to Reap down the Earth to gether the tears [tares] that they may be burned & Behold the enemy is combined12 [13]& now I shew unto you a Mystery a thing which is had in seecret Chambers to bring to pass even your distruction in process of time & ye knew it not [14]but now I tell it <unto> you & ye are blessed not because of your iniquity neither your hearts of unbelief, for Verily <some of> ye you are guilty before me [15]Therefore be ye strong from henceforth fear not for the Kingdom is yours [16]& for your Salvation I gave it unto you a commandment for I have heard your prayers & the poor have complained before me & the rich have I made & all flesh is mine & I am no respector to & I persons [17]& I have made the earth rich & Behold it is my footstool Wherefore again I will stand upon it [18]& I hold forth & deign to give unto you greater [p. 50] Riches even a land of promise a land flowing with milk & Honey upon which there shall be no curse [19]& I will give it unto you for the land of your enheritance13 if you seek it with all your hearts [20]& this shall be my covenant with you ye shall have it for the land of your inheritence & for the inheritance of your Children forever while the Earth shall stand & ye shall Possess it again in eternity no more to pass away [21]But Verily I say unto you that in time ye shall have no King nor Ruler for I will be your King & watch over you [22]Wherefore hear my voice & follow me & ye shall be a free People & ye shall have no laws but my laws for I am your Law giver & who can stay my hand [23]But Verily I say unto you teach one another according to the Office wherewith I have appointed you [24]& let evry man esteem his brother as himself & practice Virtue & Holyness before me [25]& again I say unto you let evry man esteem his Brother as himself [26]for what man among you having twelve sons & is no respector to them & they Serve him obediently & he saith unto the one be thou clothed in Robes & sit thou here & to the other be thou clothed in Raggs & sit thou there & looketh upon his sons & saith I am Just [27]Behold I have given unto you a Parable & it is even as I am I say unto you be one & if ye are not one ye are not mine14 [28]& again I say unto you that the Enemy in the Seecret Chambers seek<[e]th> your lives [29]ye hear of wars in far Countries & you say in your hearts there will soon be great wars in far Countries but ye know not the hearts of they in your own Land [30]I tell you these things because of your prayers Wherefore treasure up Wisdom in your bosoms lest the wickedness of men reveal reveal these things in your unto you by their wicke[d]ness in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the Earth but if ye are prepared ye need not fear [31]& that ye might escape the power of the enemy & be gethered unto me a Righteous people without spot & blameless15 [32]Wherefore for this cause I gave unto you [p. 51] The commandment that ye should go to the Ohio & there I will give unto you my law16 & there you shall be endowed with power from on high17 [33]& from thence whomsoever I will shall go forth among all Nations & it shall be told them what they shall do for I have a great work laid up in store for Israel shall be saved & I will lead them whithersoever I will & no power can stay my hand [34]And now I give unto the church in these parts a commandment that certain men among them shall be appointed & they shall be appointed by the voice of the Church [35]& they shall look to the poor & the needy & administer to their relief that they shall not suffer & send them forth to the place which I have commanded them [36]& this shall be their Work to govern the affairs of the Church Property of this the Church18 [37]& they that have farms that cannot be sold let them be left or rented as as seemeth them good19 [38]see that all things are preserved & when men are endowed with power from on high & are sent forth all these things shall be gethered unto the Bosom of the Church [39]& if ye seek the riches which is the will of the Father to give unto you ye shall be the richest of all People for ye shall have the riches of eternity & it must needs be that the riches of the Earth is mine to give but beware of Pride lest ye become as the Nephites of old20 [40]& again I say unto you I give unto you a commandment that evry man both Elder Priest & Teacher & also Member go to with his might with the Labour of his hands to prepare & accomplish these things which I have commanded [41]& let your preaching be the warning voice evry man to his Neighbour in mildness & in meekness [42]& go ye out from among the wicked save yourselves be ye clean that bear the vesels of the Lord21 even so amen