Doctrine and Covenants Study
Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 87
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“Doctrine and Covenants 87,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 87,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 87

Revelation, 25 December 1832

Source Note

Revelation, [Kirtland Township, OH], 25 Dec. 1832. Featured version, titled “A Prophecy given Decm. 25th 1832,” copied [between 22 Jan. and ca. 27 Feb. 1833] in Revelation Book 2, pp. 32–33; handwriting of Frederick G. Williams; CHL. Includes redactions. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 2 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.

Historical Introduction

On Christmas Day, 25 December 1832, JS dictated this revelation warning of the outbreak of war across all nations, beginning in South Carolina. Remarking on the context of this revelation, a later JS history states: “Appearances of troubles among the nations, became more visible, this season, than they had previously done, since the church began her journey out of the wilderness.”1 The Painesville Telegraph of 21 December 1832 highlighted some of these problems. It contained an article titled “Revenge and Magnanimity. A Tale of the Cholera” about the worldwide cholera epidemic, as well as information about a plague in India that was killing 150 to 200 people a day.2 The newspaper also included extensive coverage of the passage of a resolution by a Nullification Convention held in November in South Carolina. This resolution declared the federal tariff acts of 1828 and 1832, which levied high duties against imports, “null and void” in the state. Many South Carolina residents believed the acts were passed solely to protect northern manufacturing at the expense of the South. Not only did South Carolinians claim the right to nullify the law, they also stated their willingness to “organize a separate Government” should the federal government try to enforce the tariffs in the state. The governor called for two thousand men to form a militia “for the defence of Charleston and its dependencies.”3 President Andrew Jackson responded quickly to this resolution, stating, according to the Telegraph, “that the laws and the Union must be maintained, at all events.”4 Because Painesville, Ohio, was only about ten miles from Kirtland, Ohio, it is probable that JS saw or heard about the articles in the 21 December Telegraph within a day or so. These developments troubled JS, who saw in them the threat of the “immediate dissolution” of the United States.5 Indeed, the 25 December revelation predicted that rebellion on the part of South Carolina would lead not only to civil war and war among nations but also to slave rebellions and an uprising of remnants of the house of Israel. This violence, combined with plague and other natural disasters, would ultimately lead to the “full end of all Nations.” Using millenarian language, the revelation cast such events as portents of the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.6

Frederick G. Williams wrote the revelation as JS dictated it, but the original manuscript is no longer extant. Probably between late January and late February 1833, Williams copied the revelation into Revelation Book 2, titling it “Prophecy given Dec 25— 1832 concerning concerning the wars” in that book’s index.7


A Prophecy given Decm. 25th 18328

[1]Verily thus saith the Lord, concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass begining at the rebellion of South Carolina which will eventually terminate in the death and missery of many souls, [2]and the days will come that war will be poured out upon all Nations9 begining at this place [3]for [p. 32] behold the southern states shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other [Nations]10 even the Nation of Great Britian as it is called11 and they shall also call upon other Nations in order to defend themselves against other Nations and thus war shall be poured out upon all Nations [4]and it shall come to pass after many days Slaves shall rise up against there Masters12 who shall be Martialed and disaplined for war [5]and it shall come to pass also that the remnants who are left of the land will martial themselves also and shall become exceding angry and shall vex the Gentiles with a soar vexation13 [6]and thus with the sword and by bloodshed the inhabitants of the earth shall mourn and with famine and plague, and Earthquake and the thunder of heaven and the fierce and vivid lightning also shall the inhabitants of the earth be made to feel the wrath and indignation and chastning hand of an Almighty God untill the consumption decribed decreed14 hath made a full end of all Nations15 [7]that the cry of the saints and of blood of the saints shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Saboath16 from the earth to be avenged of their enimies,17 [8]wherefore stand ye in holy places and be not moved untill the day of the Lord come,18 for be hold it cometh quickly saith the Lord. Amen

Given by Joseph the Seer writtn by F[rederick] G Williams