Church History
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 81

“Doctrine and Covenants 81,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 81,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 81

Revelation, 15 March 1832

Source Note

Revelation, Hiram Township, OH, 15 Mar. 1832. Featured version copied [between 15 Mar. and ca. 1 Apr. 1832] in Revelation Book 2, pp. 17–18; handwriting of Frederick G. Williams; CHL. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 2 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.

Historical Introduction

The index to Revelation Book 2 identifies “Jesse Gauze [Gause]” as the subject of this 15 March 1832 revelation, although the revelation refers to him only as “Jesse.” Gause had recently been called as a counselor to JS in the presidency of the high priesthood.1 A November 1831 revelation declared that presidents were to be appointed to preside over groups of men who held various offices, including the office of high priest.2 JS was ordained president of the high priesthood at a 25 January 1832 conference in Amherst, Ohio.3 On 8 March 1832, JS appointed Gause and Sidney Rigdon as “councillers of the ministry of the presidency of th[e] high Pristhood.”4 While Rigdon had been associated with JS almost since Rigdon’s baptism in November 1830, Gause was a relatively new member, baptized sometime in late 1831 or early 1832.5 This 15 March 1832 revelation instructed Gause in his duties as counselor. In addition, it acknowledged JS as president of the high priesthood and stated that “the keys of the Kingdom” rested with him.

Because Gause apparently acted as a scribe for JS’s revisions of the New Testament between 8 March and 20 March 1832,6 it is likely that the nonextant original manuscript of this revelation was in Gause’s own handwriting. Frederick G. Williams copied the revelation into Revelation Book 2, probably sometime before 1 April 1832. At a later point—sometime after the appointment of Williams as a counselor to JS in January 18337—Oliver Cowdery replaced Gause’s name with Williams’s in the Revelation Book 2 copy (which is the version featured below).8 Someone—likely Cowdery—crossed out Gause’s name as well. The published versions of this revelation in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the 1844 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, and the 15 August 1844 issue of the Times and Seasons all have Williams’s name instead of Gause’s.9 This indicates that JS and others regarded this revelation as containing general information about the duties of a counselor, rather than instructions specific to Gause.

Hiram Portage Co Ohio March 15th 183210

[1]Verily Verily I say unto you my servant Jesse [Gause] listen to the voice of him who speaketh to thee the word of the Lord your God, and hearken [p. 17] to the calling wherewith your called even to be a high Priest in my church11 and councellor unto my servant Joseph [2]unto whom <I> have given the keys of the Kingdom which belongs to always to the prisidency of the high Priesthood;12 [3]therefor verily I acknowledge him and will bless him and also thee inasmuch as thou art faithful in councel in the office which I have appointed unto you and in prayer always vocally and in thy heart in public and in private also in the ministry in proclaiming the gospel in the Land of the living and among thy Brethren [4]and in doing these things thou wilt do the greatest good unto thy fellow beings and will promote the glory of him who is your Lord [5]wherefore be faithful stand in the office I have appointed you succour the weak lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the weak knees13 [6]and if thou act faithfully unto the end thou shalt have a crown of Immortality and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my father, [7]Behold and lo these are the words of Alpha and Omega even Jesus Christ Amen


  1. Revelation Book 2, Index, [1], in JSP, MRB:413; Note, 8 Mar. 1832, in JSP, D2:204.

  2. Revelation, 11 Nov. 1831–B [D&C 107:60–65], herein.

  3. Minute Book 2, 26–27 Apr. 1832.

  4. For more information on the appointment of Gause and Rigdon as counselors, see Historical Introduction to Note, 8 Mar. 1832, in JSP, D2:202.

  5. No record of Gause’s baptism has been found. In October 1831, he was living in North Union, Ohio, a Shaker community fifteen miles from Kirtland, which indicates that his baptism did not occur until sometime after that. (Jennings, “Consequential Counselor,” 198–199.)

  6. Jennings, “Consequential Counselor,” 183.

  7. Williams replaced Gause, who was excommunicated in December 1832. (JS, Journal, 3 Dec. 1832, in JSP, J1:10.)

  8. Revelation Book 2, pp. 17–18, in JSP, MRB:447–449; Minute Book 1, 18 Mar. 1833. In the copy of this revelation made by John Whitmer in Revelation Book 1, Gause’s name was also later crossed out and Williams’s name inserted. (Revelation Book 1, p. 139, in JSP, MRB:254–255.)

  9. Doctrine and Covenants 79, 1835 ed.; Doctrine and Covenants 80, 1844 ed.; “History of Joseph Smith,” Times and Seasons, 15 Aug. 1844, 5:609.

  10. It is unknown whether this heading appeared in the original manuscript; Frederick G. Williams may have added it when he copied the revelation into Revelation Book 2.

  11. The date of Gause’s ordination to the high priesthood is not known.

  12. “Prisidency of the high Priesthood” likely refers here to the office of president, since JS’s counselors were not made “equal in holding the keys of the Kingdom with Brother Joseph Smith” until 18 March 1833. (Minute Book 1, 18 Mar. 1833.)

  13. See Hebrews 12:12; and Isaiah 35:3.