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Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 48
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“Doctrine and Covenants 48,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 48,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 48

Revelation, 10 March 1831

Source Note

Revelation, Kirtland Township, OH, 10 Mar. 1831. Featured version, titled “49 Commandment March 10th. 1831,” copied [between ca. Mar. and June 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 79; 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 addressed the concern about where the believers emigrating from New York to Ohio would settle when they arrived. During the fall and winter of 1830–1831, revelations directed the New York believers to gather to Ohio, declared that a holy city known as Zion or the New Jerusalem was to be built “among the Lamanites,” and appointed Edward Partridge as bishop to the Church of Christ, all matters relevant to this question.1 Because “the Law,” an extensive revelation dated 9 February, declared that the bishop had the responsibility to oversee “the properties of my church” and “administer to the poor and needy,” the question was especially relevant to Partridge.2

The immediate context for both this revelation and key parts of the 9 February revelation a month earlier was the anticipated arrival of more than one hundred church members from New York.3 In response to a question from Ohio believers, “What preperations we shall make for our Brethren from the East & when & how?”4 the 9 February revelation stated that individuals should be appointed to assist the bishop in “obtaining places” for the New York believers and advised that members cluster together, with “every Church … organized in as close bodies as they can be.”5 JS also requested that New York church member Martin Harris aid in the efforts to organize the settlement, telling Harris in a 22 February letter, “It is nec[e]ssary for you to come here as soon as you can in order to choose a place which may be best adapted to the circumstances of yourself and breatheren in the east to settle on.”6 By 10 March, Harris had not yet arrived and, according to John Whitmer, there had been “no preparation made for the reception of the Saints,” making Edward Partridge “anxious to know something” about how places were to be obtained for the anticipated newcomers.7 Whitmer further explained that another purpose of the revelation was to provide clarification because “some had supposed that it [Ohio] was the place of gathering even the place of the New Jerusalam spoken of in the Book of Mormon. according to the visions and revelations received in the last days.”8


49 Commandment March 10th. 1831

A Revelation Received at Kirtland Geauga County Ohio concerning the Bretheren in New York how to Manage with their property &c9

[1]It is nessessary that ye should remain for the present time in your places of abode as it shall be suitable to your circumstances [2]& inasmuch as ye [have] lands ye shall impart to the Eastern Brethren [3]& in as much as ye have not lands let them buy for the present time in those regions round about as seemeth them good for it must needs be nessessary that they have places to live for the present time [4]it must needs be nessessary that ye save all the money that ye can (& that ye obtain all that ye can) that in time ye may be enabled to purchase lands for an inheritance (even the City) [5]the place is not yet to be revealed but after your Brethren come from the East there are to be certain men to be appointed & to them it shall be given to know the place as to them it shall be revealed10 [6]& they shall be appointed to purchase the lands & to lay the foundation make a commencement to lay the foundation of the City11 & then ye shall begin to be gethered with your families evry man according to his family according to his circumstances & as is appointed to them by the Bishop & Elders of the Church according to the laws & commandments which ye have received & which ye shall hereafter receive12