“Doctrine and Covenants 82,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 82,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, Independence, Jackson Co., MO, 26 Apr. 1832. Featured version, titled “78 Revelation Independence Jackson County Missori April 26. 1832,” copied [between 26 Apr. and ca. Aug. 1832] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 128–129; handwriting of John Whitmer; CHL. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
This revelation was dictated in the second half of the first day of a council of high priests and elders held 26–27 April 1832 in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.1 Its contents reflected some of the business transacted by that council, including the resolution of a disagreement between Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge. The first part of the revelation acknowledged Rigdon and Partridge’s reconciliation, forgave them for the offenses in their earlier conflicts, and required the recipients of the revelation to forgive each other and obey God’s commandments. The second part of the revelation reiterated the need to organize a governing firm for the church’s business and publishing interests and named the individuals who were to participate in this organization.2 They included five men living in Missouri (Partridge, Sidney Gilbert, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, and William W. Phelps) and four living in Ohio (JS, Rigdon, Newel K. Whitney, and Martin Harris).3 The revelation indicated that each of these individuals had a stewardship over some aspect of church business and that uniting them in the firm would allow them to draw on each other’s resources to manage these endeavors, thereby producing more “tallents,” or surplus, for the church’s storehouses.
The revelation also highlighted the evolving relationship between the church in Kirtland, Ohio, and the church in Missouri. A January 1831 revelation designated Kirtland as a temporary place for members of the church to stay until the Lord identified the location of the New Jerusalem.4 Subsequent revelations indicated, however, that the settlement at Kirtland was not to be quite so short lived. A May 1831 revelation stated that the Lord had consecrated Kirtland “for a little season untill I the Lord shall provide for them otherwise.”5 In July 1831, a revelation designated Independence as the “centre place” of Zion, where the church would build the New Jerusalem in preparation for Christ’s second coming,6 but a September 1831 revelation explained that the Lord would still “retain a strong hold in the Land of Kirtland for the space of five years.”7 The 26 April revelation featured here, evoking imagery used in Isaiah 54:2–3, designated Kirtland as a “stake” of Zion, or a place that would support the establishment of Zion.
As the clerk of the 26–27 April council, Whitmer likely recorded this revelation as JS dictated it, though the original manuscript is no longer extant. Whitmer likely copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 shortly after its dictation.8 Sometime later, Whitmer wrote “Not to be published now” on the first page of the manuscript in Revelation Book 1. The second page of the manuscript was crossed out, likely also to indicate the intention not to publish the revelation at that time.9 This is consistent with a similar notation, “Not to be printed at present,” in the manuscript of a 20 July 1831 revelation mandating extensive acquisition of land for Zion in Jackson County.10 Church leaders apparently believed that publication of plans for their commercial and real estate ventures could be detrimental to their larger goals. The 26 April revelation was not published in the Book of Commandments, but it was published in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, with pseudonyms for the names of the elders in the revelation and for the name of the church’s governing business firm, which by 1835 had been discontinued.11
Verily Verily I say unto you my Servents that inasmuch as ye have forgiven one another your tresspasses even so I the Lord forgive you nevertheless there are those among you who have sinned exceedingly yea even all of you have sinned but Verily I say unto you beware from henceforth & refrain from sin lest sore Judgements fall upon your heads for unto whom much is given much is required14 & he who sinneth against the greater light shall receive the greater condemnation ye call upon my name for revelations & I give them unto you & inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings which I give unto you ye become15 transgressors & Justice & Judgement is the panalty which is affixed unto my law therefore what I say unto one I say unto all watch for the advisary spreadeth his dominions & darkness reigneth & the anger of God kindleth against the inhabitants of the Earth & none doeth good for all have gone out of the way & now verily I say unto you I the Lord will not lay any sin to your charge go your ways & Sin no more but unto that soul who sin[n]eth shall the former sins return saith the Lord your God. And again I say unto you I give unto you a new commandment that you may understand my will concerning you or in other words I give unto you directions how you may act before me that it may turn to you for your salvation, I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say but when ye do not what I say ye have no promise therefore verily I say unto you it is expedient for you my Servants Edward [Partridge] & Newel [K. Whitney] Sidney Gilbert & Sidney Rigdon & my Servant Joseph & John [Whitmer] & Oliver [Cowdery] & William [W. Phelps] & Martin [Harris] be bound together by a bond & Covennant that cannot be broken in your several Stewartships to manage the literary & Mercantile concerns & the Bishoprick
s both in the Land of Zion & in the Land of Kirtland16 for I have consecrated the land of Kirtland in mine own due time for the benefit s of the Saints of the most high God & for a stake to Zion for Zion must increase in beauty & in holy-ness her borders must increase be enlarged [p. 128] her stakes must in be strengthened yea I verily I say unto you Zion must arise & put on her beautyful garments17 Therefore I give unto you this commandment that ye bind yourselves by this covenant & it shall be done according to the Laws of the Land behold here is wisdom also in in me for your good & you r are to be equal or in other words you are to have equal claims on the properties18 for the benefit s of managing the concerns of your stewartship every man according to his wants & his needs inasmuch as his wants are Just19 & all this for the benefit of the Church of the living God that every man may improve upon his tallent s that he may gain other tallents yea even an hundred fold to be cast into the Lords Storehouse to become the common property of the whole conduct Churc[h]20 every man seeking the interest of his neighbour & doing al[l] things with an eye single to the glory of God this firm I have [appointed] to be an everlasting firm unto you & unto your Successor◊21 inasmuch as you sin not & the soul that sins against th[e] covenant & holdeth hardeneth his heart against it shall be dealt with according according to the laws of my Church22 & shall be delivered over to the buffitings of Satan untill the day of Redemtion23 And now verily I say unto you & this is wisdom make unto yourselves friends with the mam mamon of unrightness24 & they will not destroy you leave Judgement alone with me for it is mine & I will repay Peace be with you my blessings continue with you for even yet the kingdom is yours & shall be forever if ye fall not from your Steadfastness even so Amen