“Doctrine and Covenants 75,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 75,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, Amherst Township, OH,  Jan. 1832. Featured version copied [ca. 25 Jan. 1832]; handwriting of Sidney Rigdon; two pages; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes dockets and archival marking. For more information, see the source note on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
JS dictated this revelation and the one that follows at a general conference in Amherst, Ohio, fifty miles west of Kirtland, Ohio, on 25 January 1832.1 On 10 January 1832, a revelation stated that at the next conference, the “severall missions” the elders were to fulfill would be “made known unto them.”2 William E. McLellin later wrote that the 25 January conference was attended by “between 70 and 80 official characters”—apparently men who held church offices—from various locations.3 Minutes of the conference, if kept, are not extant, but a later JS history recounts that “considerable business was done to advance the kingdom.”4 This included the licensing of one or more elders,5 the appointment of Orson Pratt as president of the elders, and the ordaining of JS as the “President of the High Priesthood,” following instruction in a November 1831 revelation that “one be appointed” to that office.6
Some of the conference participants apparently also petitioned JS for guidance.7 In response, this 25 January 1832 revelation and the revelation that follows assigned various individuals to preach the gospel in specific locations. The 25 January revelations indicate that the men appointed to missions were ones who volunteered to preach, but earlier instructions suggest that proselytizing was a duty rather than a choice for faithful elders.8 The minutes of an October 1831 conference noted that “the Spirit” declared that proclaiming the gospel and “warn[ing] the inhabitants of the earth of the things known in the Church of Christ in these last days” was one of the elders’ duties.9 A November 1831 revelation reiterated that commandment, instructing “all the faithful Elders” to go “unto all the world” and “preach the gospel to every creature acting in the authority which I have given you baptising in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Ghost.”10 However, it seems the practice was that the men who made known their desire or willingness to preach were then assigned. Most of the individuals mentioned in this 25 January revelation attended an October 1831 conference; at that conference, “several brethren were then called by the Clerk who were desirous to preach the gospel,” and JS examined them for fitness to be ordained.11 These men were likely the ones assigned in this revelation to preach.
Perhaps because the two 25 January revelations were later printed together, reminiscences describe JS dictating a revelation on that day but do not specifically describe two separate texts. A reminiscence written by Pratt, for example, states that a revelation was “written in the presence of the whole assembly” on 25 January.12 Edson Barney, who was also present, recalled that Sidney Rigdon inscribed the revelation text as JS pronounced it on that day.13 In both of these accounts, it is unclear whether the author is referring to just one or to both of the 25 January revelations. Yet it appears that these were indeed two distinct revelations. Newel K. Whitney’s copies of the 25 January 1832 revelations, which are in the handwriting of Rigdon, are inscribed on two separate leaves differing in both size and thickness. Whitney also added separate dockets to the two revelations, noting that the first was given to “10 Elders” while the second was given to “the Elders.” The collection of revelations kept by Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde—who were appointed as companion missionaries in the first revelation—includes the first revelation but not the second.14 When John Whitmer copied both revelations into Revelation Book 1, he introduced the second as “Another Revelation Received at the same time & place.”15 Upon their publication in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, however, the revelations were combined into a single text, a pattern followed in subsequent publications.16
Verily <verily> I say unto you I who speak even by the voice of my spirit even alpha and Omega your Lord and your God17 Hearkon o
you ye who have given your names to go forth to proclaim my gospel and to prune my vinyard18 behold I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry neither be idle but labour with your mights19 lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump20 proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and commandments which I have given you and thus if ye are faithfull ye shall be laden with many sheeves21 and crowned with honor and glory and immortality and eternal life22
Therefore verily I say unto my servent William [E. McLellin] I revoke the commission which I gave unto him to go unto the eastern countries23 and I give unto him a new commission and a new commandment in the which I the Lord chasteneth him for the murmerings of his heart and he sinned24 nevertheless I forgive him and say unto him again go ye into25 the south countries and let my servent Luke [Johnson] go with him and proclaim the things which I have commanded them calling on the name of the Lord
teaching for the comforter which shall teach them all things that is expedient for them26 praying always that they faint not27 and inasmuch as they do this I will be with them even unto the end28 behold this is the will of the Lord your God concerning you even so Amen
And again verily thus saith the Lord let my servent Orson Hyde and my servent Samuel [Smith] take their journey into the eastern countries and proclaim the things which I have commanded them and inasmuch as they are faithfull lo I will be with them even unto the end
and again verily I say unto my servent Lyman [Johnson] and unto my servent orson Pratt they shall also take [p. ] their journey into the eastern countries and behold and lo I am with them also even unto the end.
And again I say unto my servent Asa [Dodds] and unto my servent Calvas [Calves Wilson] that they also shall take their journey unto the western countries and proclaim my gospel even as I have commended29 them and he who is faithfull shall over come all things and shall be lifted up at the last day and again I say unto my servent Major [N. Ashley] and my Servent Burr [Riggs] take their journey also unto the south countries yea let all these take their journey as I have commended them going from house to house and from village to village and from City to City and in whatsoever house ye enter and they receive you leave your blessings upon that house and in whatsoever house ye enter and they receive you not ye shall depart speedily from that house and shake off the dust of your feet as a testimoney against <them> and you shall be filled with joy and gladness and know this that in the day of judgement you shall be judges of that house and condemn them and it shall be <more> tollarable for the heathen in the day of judgement than for that house30 therefore gird up your loines and be faithfull and ye shall over come all things and be lifted up at the last day even so Amen [1/4 page blank] [p. ]
Revelation, Amherst Township, OH,  Jan. 1832. Featured version copied [ca. 25 Jan. 1832]; handwriting of Sidney Rigdon; one page; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes dockets and archival marking. For more information, see the source note on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
This is the second of two revelations dictated at a general conference of elders held on 25 January 1832 in Amherst, Ohio.31 As with the first revelation, this revelation called several individuals to serve missions. It is unclear why these individuals were not included in the appointments made in the first 25 January revelation. The elders appointed in that revelation were expressly described as those who volunteered to travel to preach.32 The elders in this second revelation are described as those who requested to know the Lord’s will concerning them, perhaps indicating that they did not volunteer with the first group but nevertheless desired counsel.
This revelation also instructed the recipients on ways to provide for the families of absent elders, a previous topic of concern in the church. The February 1831 “Laws of the Church of Christ” instructed the bishop to ensure that the families of those elders who were “proclaiming repentance” were “supported out of the property which is consecrated to the Lord,” but some families still struggled.33 For example, Thomas B. Marsh, one of those appointed to preach in this 25 January revelation, was in Missouri during the summer and fall of 1831. While he was away, his family was “somewhat destitute,” according to the minutes of an October 1831 conference. After a discussion about the family’s situation at that conference, JS emphasized that “the Lord held the Church bound to provide for the families of the absent Elders while proclaiming the Gospel.”34 This 25 January revelation suggested that one way of providing this support was by having other church members take the families of those preaching into their own homes to care for them. Recently appointed bishop Newel K. Whitney, who had been commanded to administer to the wants of the elders, was likely responsible for coordinating aid for these families.35 Perhaps because of this assignment, Whitney was given a copy of the revelation.
Whitney’s copy of the revelation, which was inscribed by Sidney Rigdon, is transcribed here. Although manuscript copies, including Whitney’s, present the 25 January 1832 revelations as separate revelations, both were combined into a single text upon publication.36
And again thus saith the Lord unto you o ye Elders of my church who have given your names that you might know his will concerning you behold I say unto you that it is the duty of the church to assist in supporting the families of those and also to support the families of those who are called and must needs be esent unto the world to proclaim the gospel unto the world wherefor I the Lord give unto you this commandment that ye obtain places for your families inasmuch as your breatheren are willing to open their hearts and let all such as can obtain places for their families and support of the church for them not fail to go into the world wheather to the east or to the west or to the north or to the South let them ask and they shall receive knock and it shall be opened unto them37 and made known from on high even by the comforter whether38 they shall go And again verily I say unto you <that> every man who is obliged to provide for his own family let him provide and he shall in no wise loose his crown and let him labour in the church39 let every man be dilligent in all things40 and the idler shall not have place in the church except he repents and mends his ways41 Wherefore let my servent Simeon [Carter] and my servent Emer [Harris] be united in their ministry and also my servent Ezra [Thayer] and my servent Thomas [B. Marsh] also my servent Hiram [Hyrum Smith] and my servent Reynolds [Cahoon] and also my servent Daniel [Stanton] and my servent Seymore [Seymour Brunson], and also my servent Silvester [Sylvester Smith] and my servent Gideon [Carter] and also my servent Ruggles [Eames] and my servent Stephen [Burnett] and also my servent Micha [Micah Welton] and also my servent Eden [Smith] even so Amen [1/4 page blank]