Doctrine and Covenants Study
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 62

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“Doctrine and Covenants 62,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 62,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 62

Revelation, 13 August 1831

Source Note

Revelation, Bank of the Missouri River [at Chariton, Chariton Co.], MO, 13 Aug. 1831. Featured version copied [ca. Sept. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, p. 104; 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 13 August 1831, as JS and several elders were on their way back to Ohio after spending a few weeks in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, JS dictated this revelation outlining the responsibilities of elders traveling to Missouri who had not yet reached the land of Zion.1 At this time, some elders commanded to journey to Missouri had been delayed, in part because of their efforts to preach along the way and in part because of illness.2 John Murdock and Hyrum Smith, for example, were instructed in a June 1831 revelation to go to Missouri by way of Detroit, Michigan Territory.3 They followed this direction but were delayed when Murdock fell ill in the first part of August. Murdock and Hyrum Smith spent a week in Chariton, Chariton County, Missouri, while Murdock recovered, and were soon joined by David Whitmer and Harvey Whitlock, who were also en route to Independence.4 In anticipation of the arrival of these missionaries, a 1 August revelation had instructed “the residue of the Elders of this church which are coming to this land” to “hold a conference” in Jackson County once they arrived.5

On 13 August, JS and his companions crossed the Missouri River at Chariton and found Murdock, Hyrum Smith, Whitmer, and Whitlock there. “After the joyful salutations with which brethren meet each other,” a later history recounted, JS dictated the present revelation.6 The copy of the revelation made by John Whitmer locates the revelation “on the Bank of the river Missorie,” likely meaning the northern bank, at Chariton. The revelation instructed those elders to continue to Zion, to hold a meeting there, and then to return to their homes.

The original manuscript of this revelation is not extant. John Whitmer copied the text featured here into Revelation Book 1, probably shortly after JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Oliver Cowdery returned to Kirtland, Ohio, at the end of August.7 Some personal copies of the revelation were also made, including a copy Elizabeth Van Benthusen Gilbert showed to Levi Hancock when he came to Independence in late 1831.8

Route from Independence Missouri

Route of trip to and from Independence, Missouri, summer 1831. In accordance with instructions in a June 1831 revelation, Joseph Smith and several others traveled from Kirtland to Independence in summer 1831, where a revelation designated Independence as the “centre place” of the city of Zion. On the trip to Independence in June and early July, Smith and his party traveled down the incomplete Ohio and Erie Canal (to Newark, Ohio) and Miami and Erie Canal (from Dayton to Cincinnati, Ohio) before taking a steamboat on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to St. Louis, Missouri. They then traveled overland from St. Louis to Independence. On the return trip in August, Smith and his party took canoes down the Missouri River but were told by a 12 August 1831 revelation that it was not safe to travel by water. Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Oliver Cowdery therefore left the river and took a stagecoach the rest of the way to Kirtland, Ohio, stopping in Cincinnati. Although extant records do not indicate the route they traveled from Cincinnati to Kirtland, this map shows the course they likely took, given that a major stagecoach route existed between Cincinnati and Cleveland. (Research by Matthew C. Godfrey and Sherilyn Farnes. Design by Jonathan West.)

659 Commandment

given Aug 13th. 1831 on the Bank of the river Missorie at a meeting of some of the Elders which had not yet arived at their Journeys end &c10

[1]Behold & hearken oh ye Elders of my Church saith the Lord your God even Jesus Christ your advocate who knoweth the weakness of man & how to sucour they that are tempted11 [2]& verily mine eyes are upon you those who have not as yet gone up unto the Land of Zion12 wherefore your mission is not yet full [3]nevertheless ye are blessed for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the Angels to look upon13 & they rejoice over you & your sins are forgiven you [4]& now continue your Journey assemble yourselves upon the land of Zion & hold a meeting & rejoice together14 & offer a sacrament unto the most high15 [5]& then you may return to bear record16 yea even all together or two by two as seemeth you good it mattereth not unto me17 only be faithfull & declare glad tidings unto the inhabitants of the Earth or among the Congregations of the wicked [6]Behold I the Lord have brought you together that the promise might be fulfilled that the faithfull among you should be preserved & rejoice together in the Land of Missorie18 I the Lord promised the faithfull, & cannot lie [7]I the Lord am willing if any among you desireth to ride upon horses or upon mules or in chariots shall receive this blessing19 if he receive it from the hand of the Lord with <a> thankfullness hearts in all things [8]these things remain with you to do according to Judgement & the directions of the spirit20 [9]Behold the kingdom is yours21 And Behold & lo I am with the faithfull always even so Amen——