“Doctrine and Covenants 66,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 66,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, Hiram Township, OH, 29 Oct. 1831. Featured version copied [between ca. 30 Oct. 1831 and 15 Nov. 1831]; handwriting of William E. McLellin; two pages; in back of William E. McLellin notebook, “W. E. Mc.Lellan Jan— 1877”; William E. McLellin, Papers, CHL. Includes redactive pagination. For more information, see the source note on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
On 29 October 1831, William E. McLellin wrote in his journal, “The Lord condecended to hear my prayr and give me a revelation of his will, through his prophet or Seer (Joseph).”1 McLellin, a recent convert from Paris, Illinois, met JS for the first time at the 25–26 October 1831 conference in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, where McLellin was ordained to the high priesthood. At the conclusion of the conference, he accompanied JS to Hiram, Ohio, arriving there on 29 October.2 McLellin later recalled that on that day, he “went before the Lord in secret, and on my knees asked him to reveal the answer to five questions through his Prophet.”3 At McLellin’s request, JS dictated a revelation for him,4 perhaps in the southeast upstairs bedroom of the John and Alice (Elsa) Johnson home, where JS worked on his revision of the Bible.5 According to McLellin, the revelation answered the questions “to my full and entire satisfaction.”6 Although McLellin never explained what his five queries were, the revelation’s contents indicate that he was probably concerned about his standing before God and about what the Lord desired him to do.
McLellin recounted that he wrote the words of this revelation as JS spoke them.7 Two copies of the revelation in McLellin’s handwriting exist, but it does not appear that either is the original manuscript.8 One copy is in McLellin’s journal,9 probably made soon after the revelation was dictated. The other is the copy in McLellin’s notebook, featured below. McLellin apparently inscribed this copy sometime before 16 November 1831, when he departed on a mission. Three revelations precede the 29 October revelation in McLellin’s notebook, including one dated 30 October 1831, indicating McLellin did not make these copies before that date. McLellin’s journal corroborates this dating, stating that he stayed in Hiram from 29 October to 16 November and “read and copyed revelations, &c.”10 John Whitmer also copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 sometime before he left for Missouri on 20 November.11
McLellin’s notebook copy appears to be a more complete reflection of the original revelation than either the journal copy or the copy John Whitmer made in Revelation Book 1. The journal copy probably predates the other two versions, but the spelling of certain words (“shew” instead of “show,” which is in the journal copy, for example), the use of contractions, and the lack of punctuation suggest that the copies in McLellin’s notebook and in Revelation Book 1 were derived from a nonextant copy of the original. The notebook version also appears to be more complete than the copy in Revelation Book 1 because the notebook contains an endnote regarding McLellin belonging to the lineage of Ephraim in the Old Testament (a note that also appears in the journal copy).
Behold thus saith the Lord u[n]to you my servant William [E. McLellin]. Blessed are you inasmuch as you have turned away from your inequities and have received my truths saith the Lord your Redeemer, the Saviour of the world, even of as many as believe on my name. Verily I say unto you blessed are you for receiving mine everlasting Covenant even the fulness of my Gospel12 sent forth unto the children of men that they might have life and be made partakers of the glories which are13 to be revealed in the last days as it was written by the prophets and Apostles in days of old.14 Verily I say unto you my servant Wm. that you are clean but not all15 Repent therefore of those things which are not pleasing in my sight saith the Lord for the Lord will shew them unto you. And now Verily I the
the Lord will shew unto you what I will concerning you or what is my will concerning you. Behold Verily I say unto you that it is my will that you should proclaim my Gospel from land to land and from City to City. Yea in those regions round about where it hath not been proclaimed. Tarry not many days in this place16 Go not up unto the Land of Zion as yet But in as much as you can send. Send, otherwis[e] think not of thy property. Go unto Eastern lands. Bear testimony in every place, unto every people and in their synagogues17 reasoning with the people Let my servant [p. ] Samuel (Smith) go with <you> and forsake him not and give him thine instructions18 and he that is faithful shall be made strong in every place And I the Lord will go with you. Lay your hands upon the sick and they shall recover.19 Return not until I the Lord shall send you, Be patien[t]20 in afflictions.21 Ask and ye shall receive Knock and it shall be opened unto you22 Seek not to be cumbered. Forsake all unrighteousness. Commit not adultery, ◊23 temptation with which thou hast been troubled.24 Keep these sayings true and fait[h]ful and thou shalt magnify thine office and push many people to Zion with songs of everlasting joy upon their heads25 Continue in these things even unto the end and you shall have a Crown of etern[al]26 life on the right hand of my Father w[ho]27 is full of grace and truth.28 Verily thus saith the Lord your God, your Redeemer even Jesus Christ. Amen——
A revelation given to Wm. E. McLelin a true decendant from Joseph who was sold into Egypt down through the loins of Ephraim his son——
Given in Portage Co. Ohio. Hiram Township on the 29th. of October 1831
Joseph Smith, Revelator [p. ]29