Doctrine and Covenants Study
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 40
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“Doctrine and Covenants 40,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 40,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 40

Revelation, 6 January 1831

Source Note

Revelation, Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, to JS and Sidney Rigdon, 6 Jan. 1831. Featured version, titled “43rd. Commandment January 6th. 1831,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 60; 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

By 6 January 1831, the day after a revelation called him to preach the gospel,1 Methodist minister James Covel had departed Fayette, New York, leaving JS and Sidney Rigdon searching for an explanation. As JS later recalled, after Covel “rejected the word of the Lord, and returned to his former principles and people,” the Lord gave JS and Sidney Rigdon this 6 January 1831 revelation, “explaining why he obeyed not the word.”2


43rd. Commandment January 6th. 1831

A Revelation to Joseph & Sidney [Rigdon] Recd at Fayette Seneca County state of NY telling them why James [Covel] Receivd not the obeyed not the Command which he Received &c3

[1]Behold verily I say unto you that his heart was right before me for he covenanted with me that he would obey my word [2]& he Received the word with Gladness but Straitway Satan came & tempted him & the fear of persecution & the cares of the world caused him to reject the word4 [3]wherefore he broke5 the covenant which he had made & it Remaineth in me to do with him as seemeth me good