Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 37–40

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 37–40, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 37–40, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 37–40

Interior of a 19th-century log home showing the hearth and various furniture items.

The interior of the reconstructed Peter and Mary Whitmer home in Fayette, New York, USA. Joseph received the revelations now contained in Doctrine and Covenants 37–40 while in Fayette.


Historical background and the earliest manuscript of each revelation, as published in The Joseph Smith Papers

Revelation, 30 December 1830 [D&C 37]

A September 1830 revelation declared that all members of the Church of Christ should gather together into one place. More …

Revelation, 2 January 1831 [D&C 38]

This revelation, dictated at a church conference in Fayette, New York, came three days after a 30 December 1830 revelation commanded the Church to “assemble together at the Ohio.” More …

Revelation, 5 January 1831 [D&C 39]

Joseph Smith dictated this revelation in Fayette, New York, for James Covel, a Protestant minister, three days after the Church of Christ’s third conference. More …

Revelation, 6 January 1831 [D&C 40]

By 6 January 1831, the day after a revelation called him to preach the gospel, Methodist minister James Covel had departed Fayette, New York, leaving Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon searching for an explanation. More …


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Conference Minutes, 1 January 1831

Conference convened according to adjournment but there were no minutes taken, save a commandment received, giving directions to the Saints, see Book of Commandments. More …

Book of Commandments

Oliver Cowdery’s copy of the Book of Commandments was used, along with several other source texts, by the editors of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants as they were preparing Joseph Smith’s revelations for publication in that volume. More …

Revelations in Context

Essays on the background of each revelation

“Go to the Ohio”

D&C 35, 36, 37, 38

As Joseph and Sidney Rigdon traveled from Fayette to Canandaigua, New York, in late December, they received a revelation directing the Church to “go to the Ohio.” More …

James Covel and the “Cares of the World”

D&C 39, 40

James Covel, a Methodist minister, was preaching in the Richmond circuit, 45 miles east of Fayette, New York, when he attended a conference of Latter-day Saints. More …

Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days

Narrative history of events surrounding the revelations

Volume 1, Chapter 10

Gathered In

At the end of December, the Lord instructed Joseph and Sidney to pause their work on the translation. “A commandment I give unto the church,” He declared, “that they should assemble together at the Ohio.” More …

Volume 1, Chapter 12

After Much Tribulation

Some of the New York Saints came to Ohio with measles, and since they often stayed at the Partridge house, it was not long before Emily Partridge and her sisters developed high fevers and rashes. More …

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations

Endowment of Power

Before early Church members were “sent forth” among all nations to gather Israel, the Lord promised to “endow” them “with power from on high.” More …

Opposition to the Early Church

In 1823, the angel Moroni warned Joseph Smith that his “name should be had for good and evil among all nations.” More …

Zion/New Jerusalem

The Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith’s early revelations spoke of a future city of Zion that would serve as a gathering place for the scattered descendants of Israel in the last days. More …


Conference: A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. More …

Gathering: As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. More …


Maps and information about places associated with the revelations from The Joseph Smith Papers, Historic Sites, and other helpful sources


Timeline placing each revelation in the context of key events in the Church’s first century

View the chronology …