“Doctrine and Covenants 106,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 106,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, Kirtland Township, Geauga Co., OH, 25 Nov. 1834. Featured version copied [ca. 25 Nov. 1834] in Revelation Book 2, p. 116; handwriting of Oliver Cowdery; CHL. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 2 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
On 25 November 1834, JS dictated this revelation explaining God’s will for Warren Cowdery, the older brother of Oliver Cowdery. Warren Cowdery, who lived in Freedom, New York, had been baptized into the church sometime between May and September 1834. Before his baptism, he had sympathized with the Saints’ plight in Missouri.1 He had also opened his home to JS when JS and others came to Freedom in March 1834 to recruit members for the Camp of Israel.2 Shortly after JS’s visit, a branch of the church was established in Freedom; when Parley P. Pratt visited the area in April 1834, he noted that “a large Church” was there, “consisting of some forty members or more,” many of whom had been baptized by Orson Pratt.3 Sometime after his own baptism, Warren Cowdery noted that the members of the church in Freedom were in need of “a preacher of our order” who could “do us good, by strengthening and building us up in the most holy faith.”4 Although he seemed to be calling for an elder to be sent to the branch, he may have meant that the branch needed a presiding authority, the position to which he was called in this revelation. In an October 1834 letter, he told Oliver that he “had thoughts of requesting you to enquire what is the will of the Lord concerning me,” stating that he sometimes thought he could be “useful in the vineyard of the Lord.”5 This revelation was apparently dictated after Oliver received Warren’s letter.6 In addition to designating Warren as a presiding high priest in Freedom, the revelation gave admonitions and promises to him and provided instruction concerning the second advent of Jesus Christ.
Warren Cowdery was likely not present when the revelation was dictated, because he wrote letters to Oliver Cowdery from Freedom on 22 and 28 November.7 However, he may have come to Kirtland, Ohio, shortly thereafter, because the Kirtland high council had determined in September 1834 that high priests were to be ordained by that council, and there is no indication Warren Cowdery was a high priest before this revelation was dictated.8 Whatever the case, commentary in the December 1834 issue of the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate called him “the presiding elder of the church at Freedom, N. Y.,” indicating that by the time that issue was published, some action had been taken on this revelation’s instructions.9
The original of this revelation is not extant. Sometime after its dictation, Oliver Cowdery recorded it in Revelation Book 2.
Kirtland, November 25; 1834
It is my will that my servant Warren [Cowdery]10 should
receive <be> appointed and ordained a presiding High Priest over my Church in the land of Freedom and the regions round about;11 and should preach my everlasting gospel, and lift up his voice and warn the people, not only in his own place, but in the adjoining countries, and devote his whole time in this high and holy calling which I now give unto him; seeking dilligently the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness, and all things necessary shall be added thereunto; for the laborer is worthy of his hire.12
And again, verily I say unto you, the coming of the Lord draweth nigh,13 and it overtaketh the world as a thief in the night:14 therefore, gird up your loins, that ye may be the children of the light,
and and that day shall not overtake you as a thief.15
And again, verily I say unto you, there was joy in heaven when my servant Warren bowed to my scepter and separated himself from the crafts of men.16 Therefore, blessed is my servant Warren, for I will have mercy on him, and notwithstanding the vanity of his heart, I will lift him up,
and inasmuch as he will humble himself before me; <and> I will give <unto> him grace and assurance wherewith he may stand; and if he continues to be a faithful witness, and a light unto the Church, I have prepared a crown for him in the mansion of my Father:17 even so. Amen. [p. 116]