“Doctrine and Covenants 53,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 53,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, [Kirtland Township, OH], to Sidney Gilbert, 8 June 1831. Featured version, titled “56th Commandment June 8th. 1831,” copied [ca. June 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 89–90; handwriting of John Whitmer; CHL. Includes redactions. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
Sidney Gilbert, the recipient of this revelation, was Newel K. Whitney’s business partner and an early convert to the church. He may have been present at a 5 June 1831 meeting at which JS taught that “the Elders would have large congregations to speak to and they must soon take there departure into the Reagions west.”1 The next evening, JS dictated a revelation that commissioned a number of elders to accompany him to Missouri, which the text called “the land which I will consecrate unto my People which are a remnant of Jacob & those who are heirs according to the covenant.”2 The 6 June revelation did not name Gilbert among those who should travel to Missouri. JS’s history records that shortly after the reception of that revelation, Gilbert approached JS and requested direction for himself.3 In response, JS dictated this revelation that gave Gilbert assignments in the church, including the instruction to travel to Missouri with JS and Sidney Rigdon. Gilbert left for Missouri on 18 June with JS and Rigdon.4
55 56th Commandment June 8th. 1831
A Revelation to Sidney Gilbert his Call &c5
Behold I say unto you my servent Sidney that I have heard your prayers & ye have called upon me that it should be made known unto you of the lord your God concerning your calling & election in this Church which I the Lord have raised up in these last days [p. 89] Behold I
my the Lord who was crusified for the sins of the world giveth unto you a commandment that you shall forsake the world6 take upon you mine ordinances even that of an Elder7 to Preach faith & repentance & remission of sins according to my word & the reception of the Holy spirit by the laying on of hands & also to be an agent unto this Church8 in the Place which shall be appointed by the Bishop according to commandments which shall be given hereafter9 & again verily I say unto you you shall take your Journey with my servent Joseph & sidney [Rigdon] Behold these are the <firist> ordinances which you shall receive & the residue shall be made known unto you in a time to come according to your labour in my vinyard & again I would that ye should learn that it is hi◊ only who is saved that endureth unto the end even so amen