“Doctrine and Covenants 117,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 117,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, Far West, Caldwell Co., MO, 8 July 1838. Featured version copied [between 8 July 1838 and 27 May 1840]; handwriting of Edward Partridge; two pages; Revelations Collection, CHL. Includes dockets. For more information, see the source note on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
On Sunday, 8 July 1838, JS dictated five revelations, each of which concerned church leadership or finances; one of these revelations was directed mainly to William Marks and Newel K. Whitney, with some information concerning Oliver Granger.1 Following JS’s departure from Kirtland, Ohio, in January 1838, Marks was designated to preside over the church there and to act as a financial agent for JS and Sidney Rigdon in arranging payment of their debts. Whitney was the bishop in Kirtland, overseeing the temporal operations of the church there. It was apparently expected that Marks and Whitney would quickly settle the church’s affairs and then move to Missouri in accordance with the 12 January 1838 revelation directing faithful Saints to relocate there, and it seems that Whitney had been planning to move since at least June 1838.2 Yet, neither Whitney nor Marks departed Kirtland with the “Kirtland Camp,” a large group of emigrating Saints that left Kirtland on 6 July.3 This revelation was the last of the 8 July revelations that George W. Robinson copied into JS’s journal.4 The content of this revelation suggests it may have come in response to information conveyed by Granger, a church financial agent and a member of the Kirtland high council, who arrived in Far West, Missouri, by 8 July 1838, probably on church business.5
JS apparently dictated this and the other 8 July revelations in the leadership meeting held prior to the Sunday worship services for the day.6 In a letter to Marks and Whitney written the same day, the First Presidency specified that this revelation was received in the morning.7 The revelation directed Marks and Whitney to relocate to Missouri before winter. Once in Missouri, they were to preside over the Saints in their respective callings, Marks as president of the church in Missouri and Whitney as a bishop in Adam-ondi-Ahman. Granger was to return to Kirtland and continue to act as an agent for the First Presidency in settling remaining business affairs, thereby allowing Marks and Whitney to move to Missouri sooner.
The revelation, which is somewhat personal in nature, may not have been read during the worship services on 8 July, as were at least some of the other revelations dictated that day. JS and his counselors in the First Presidency included a transcript of the revelation in the letter they wrote to Marks and Whitney and encouraged the two men to follow the revelation’s direction.8
George W. Robinson apparently copied the revelation into JS’s journal sometime in mid- or late July.9 Copies were also made by Edward Partridge, Newel K. Whitney, Lydia Granger, and James Mulholland, among others.10 A comparison of the early copies suggests that Partridge’s version most closely represents the wording of the original revelation.11 Partridge was present when the revelation was dictated and probably made the copy shortly thereafter; the latest possible copying date is 27 May 1840, the day he died.
A revelation given at Far West July 8th A.D. 1838
verily thus saith the Lord unto my servants12 William Marks and N[ewel] K. Whitney, Let them settle up their businss speedily and journey from the land of Kirtland, before I the Lord sendeth snow13 again upon the ground. Let them awake and arise and come forth14 and not tarry, for I the Lord commandeth it.— therefore if they tarry, it shall not be well with them.— Let them repent of all their sins, and all their covetous desires before me saith the Lord:
And whatsoever remaineth, let it remain in your hands for what is property unto me saith the Lord. Let the properties at Kirtland be turned out for debts saith the Lord.15 Let them go saith the Lord; and whatsoever remaineth, let it remain in your hands saith the Lord: for have I not the fowls of Heaven, and also the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the mountains. Have I not made the earth?16 Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth? Therefore will I not make the solitary places to bud and to blossom17 and to bring forth in abundance saith the Lord. Is there not room enough upon the mountains of Adamondi awman,18 or19 upon the plains of Olea Shinihah,20 or the land21 where Adam dwelt, that you should not covet that which is but but the drop, and neglect the more w[e]ighty matters.—22 Therefore come up hither unto the land of my people even Zion. Let my servant William Marks be faithful over a few things, and he shall be ruler over many things.23 Let him preside in the midst of my people in the city Far West, and let him be blessed with the blessings of my people.—24 Let my servant N. K. Whitney be ashamed of the Nicolitans,25 and of all their secret abominations, and of all his littleness of soul before me saith the Lord, and come up unto the land of Adam ondi awman and be a man bishop unto my people saith the Lord, not in name but in deed saith the Lord.26 And again verily I say unto you I remember my servant Oliver Granger. Behold verily I say unto him, that his name shall be had in sacred rememberance from generation to generation forever and ever saith the Lord. Therefore let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the first presidency of my church saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again; for his sacrifice shall be more sacred to me, than his increase saith [p. ] the Lord; therefore let him come up hither speedily unto the land of Zion, and in due time he shall be made a merchant unto my name saith the Lord for the benefit of my people:27 therefore let no man despise28 my servant Oliver Granger,29 but let the blessings of my people be upon him forever and ever. Amen.
And again I say unto you let all the saints in the land of Kirtland remember the Lord their God, and mine house to preserve it holy, and to overthrow the money changers30 in mine own due time said the Lord [3/4 page blank] [p. ]