Doctrine and Covenants Study
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 60

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“Doctrine and Covenants 60,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 60,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 60

Revelation, 8 August 1831

Source Note

Revelation, Independence, Jackson Co., MO, 8 Aug. 1831. Featured version, titled “63 Commandment given in Missorie Jackson County Independence August 8th. 1831,” copied [ca. Sept. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 100–101; 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

On 8 August 1831, JS dictated a revelation instructing “some of the Elders” who had traveled to Missouri to return to Ohio, preaching along the way. These elders had reached Missouri in mid- to late July and participated in the dedication of the land for the building of the city of Zion, the dedication of a temple site, and a conference with JS and other leaders.1 “Finding but little or no business for us to accomplish” once this “work” was done, Ezra Booth wrote, “most of us became anxious to return home.”2 A later JS history recounts that the elders inquired of JS “what they were to do,” and this revelation was the response.3

The original manuscript of this revelation is not extant. John Whitmer copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 (which he was keeping in Ohio), probably shortly after the elders returned from Missouri.4 Others present at the time the revelation was dictated may have made personal copies as well; Booth, for example, referenced the revelation in a September letter to Edward Partridge, suggesting that he had his own copy.5

636 Commandment

given in Missorie Jackson County Independence August 8th. 1831 directions to some of the Elders to return to their homes & & own land &c &c7

[1]Behold thus saith the Lord unto the Elders of this Church who are to return speedily to the land from whence they came behold it pleaseth me that you have come up hither [2]but with some I am not well pleased for they will not open their mouths but hide the tallent which I have given <unto> them because of the fear of man8 wo unto such for mine anger is kindelled against them [3]& it shall come to pass if they are not more faithfull unto me it shall be taken away even that which they have9 [4]for I the Lord ruleth in the heavens above & among the armies of the Earth10 And in the day when I shall make up my Jewels11 all men shall know what it is that bespeaketh the power of God [5]but verily I will speak unto you concerning your Journey unto the Land from whence you came let there be a craft made or bought as seemeth you good it mattereth not unto me12 & take your Journey speedily for the place which is called St. Lewis.13 [6]& from thence let my Servent Sidney [Rigdon] & Joseph & Oliver [Cowdery] take their Journey for Cincinnati14 [7]& in this place let them lift up their voice & declare my word with loud voices without wrath or doubting lifting up holy hands upon them15 for I am able to make you holy & your sins are forgiven you [8]& let the residue take their Journey from St. Lowis two by two & preach the word not in haste among the congregations of the wicked untill they return to the churches from whence they came [9]& all this for the good of the churches for this intent have I sent them [10]& let my servent Edward [Partridge] impart of the money which I have given him a portion unto mine Elders which are commanded to return16 [11]& he that is able let him return it by the way of the agent17 & he that is not of him it is not required [12]And now I speak of the [p. 100] residue which is to come to this Land18 [13]Behold they have been sent to preach my gospel among the congregations of the wicked wherefore I give unto them a commandment Thus thou shalt not Idle away thy time19 neither shalt thou bury thy tallent that it may not be known20 [14]& after thou hast come up unto the land of Zion & have proclaimed my word thou shalt speedily return preaching the word among the congregations not in haste neither in wrath nor with strife [15]& shake off the dust of thy feet against those who receive thee not not in their presence lest thou provoke them but in secret & wash thy feet as a testimony against them in the day of Judgement21 [16]this is sufficient for you & the will of him who hath sent you [17]& by the mouth of my servent Joseph it shall be made known concerning sidney & Oliver the residue hereafter even so amen——