“Doctrine and Covenants 114,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 114,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, [Far West, Caldwell Co., MO], 11 Apr. 1838. Featured version copied [ca. mid- or late Apr. 1838] in JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, p. 32; handwriting of George W. Robinson. Includes use marks. For more information, see the source note for JS, Journal, Mar.–Sept. 1838, on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
On 11 April 1838, JS dictated a revelation for David W. Patten, directing him to settle his business affairs and prepare for a mission. At the time, Patten and fellow apostle Brigham Young were serving as assistants to Thomas B. Marsh in the pro tempore presidency over the church in Missouri.1 This appointment was apparently temporary because, as members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Marsh, Patten, and Young were eventually expected to travel, proselytize, and supervise the church conferences and branches outside of Zion and its stakes—that is, outside of the main church congregation in Missouri and any other places designated for gathering.2 The previous summer, Patten had asked the Zion high council in Far West, Missouri, to relieve him of his debts and allow him to travel and preach.3 Though the high council resolved to grant Patten’s request, instead of embarking on a mission Patten soon departed for Kirtland with Marsh in an effort to reunite the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Shortly after they arrived in Kirtland, JS dictated a revelation for Marsh, the president of the quorum, directing him and the other apostles to purify themselves “and then go ye into all the world and preach my gospel unto every creature who have not received it.”4 At the same time, apostles Heber C. Kimball and Orson Hyde were beginning a mission in England. The missionaries wrote to their fellow Latter-day Saints in the United States with news of the hundreds of people in England who had joined the church.5
The 11 April 1838 revelation to Patten, probably dictated in Far West,6 stated that Patten would be sent on a mission the following spring and implied that he would go with the other apostles. Another revelation, received about three months later, specified that in 1839 the twelve apostles would “depart to go over the great waters and there promulge my gospel,” suggesting they would serve a mission in Europe to follow up on the success of Kimball and Hyde’s mission in England.7 Patten, however, was killed in October 1838 in the conflict between the Latter-day Saints and other Missourians.
As JS dictated the 11 April revelation, it may have been inscribed by Patten, who was presumably present, or by George W. Robinson, the First Presidency’s scribe. Robinson transcribed the original into JS’s “Scriptory Book,” probably in mid- or late April.8
Revelation to D[avid] W. Patten. given April 11th. 1838 Verily thus Saith the Lord, it is wisdom in my Servant D. W. Patten, that he settle up all his buisness, as soon as he possibly, can, and make a disposition of his merchandise,9 that he may perform a mission unto me next spring, in company with others even twelve including himself, to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world,10 for verrily thus Saith the Lord that inasmuch as there are those among you who deny my name,11 others shall be planted in their stead12 and receive their bishoprick13 Amen.——