Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 51–57

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 51–57, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 51–57, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 51–57

Lush green field with trees in the distance

Site of Leman Copley’s farm, Thompson, Ohio, USA, where a group of Latter-day Saints lived for a short time.


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

Revelation, 20 May 1831 [D&C 51]

After revelations in late December 1830 and early January 1831 instructed all church members in New York to move to Ohio, believers “made preperations to Journey to the Ohio, with their wives, and children and all that they possessed, to obey the commandment of the Lord.” More …

Revelation, 6 June 1831 [D&C 52]

In June 1831 a conference was held in Kirtland, Ohio, which all of the elders of the Church had been directed to attend by a February revelation. More …

Revelation, 8 June 1831 [D&C 53]

Sidney Gilbert, the recipient of this revelation, was Newel K. Whitney’s business partner and an early convert to the Church. More …

Revelation, 10 June 1831 [D&C 54]

This revelation provided instructions to the church members from Colesville, New York, after they encountered difficulties settling in Thompson, Ohio. More …

Revelation, 14 June 1831 [D&C 55]

In 1830, William W. Phelps was the publisher of an anti-Masonic newspaper, the Ontario Phoenix, in Canandaigua, New York. More …

Revelation, 15 June 1831 [D&C 56]

When he copied the following revelation into Revelation Book 1, John Whitmer introduced it by writing, “Thomas [B.] Marsh was desirous to know what he should do as the Lord had commanded him & Ezra Thayer to take their Journey to the land of Missorie but Thayer could not get ready as soon as Thomas wanted that he should.” More …

Revelation, 20 July 1831 [D&C 57]

A 6 June 1831 revelation instructed Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and certain elders to travel to “the land of Missorie,” which God would “consecrate” to his people. More …


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Conference Minutes, 3 June 1831

Minutes of a general Conference held in Geauga County Ohio June 3. 1831. More …

Revelations in Context

Essays on the background of each revelation

The Journey of the Colesville Branch

D&C 26, 51, 54, 56, 59

The Knights and other members of the Colesville Branch sought counsel and guidance from Joseph Smith as to what they should do next. More …

“A Bishop unto the Church”

D&C 41, 42, 51, 54, 57

Partridge faced one of his first major tasks as bishop with the arrival in Ohio of the Saints who had been commanded to flee New York. More …

The Center Place

D&C 52, 57, 58

Across the long span of Western history, Christians of all kinds have longed for a new heaven and a new earth. More …

Ezra Booth and Isaac Morley

D&C 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 71, 73

On July 20, anxious to understand God’s timing and intentions, Joseph turned to the Lord. “When will the wilderness blossom as the rose?” he prayed. More …

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

Narrative history of events surrounding the revelations

Volume 1, Chapter 12

After Much Tribulation

In the spring of 1831, seven-year-old Emily Partridge lived in a town northeast of Kirtland with her parents, Edward and Lydia, and four sisters. More …

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations.

Church Discipline

The Articles and Covenants of the Church, now canonized as Doctrine and Covenants 20, outlines the procedures for administering Church business, including how to discipline “transgressors” in the Church. More …

Consecration and Stewardship

Since the dawn of the Christian era, many groups have tried to emulate the New Testament Christians who “had all things common.” More …

Dissent in the Church

Early Latter-day Saints made great sacrifices to gather together and build a society inspired by Enoch’s Zion. More …

Early Missionaries

Even before the organization of the Church in 1830, the Lord commanded Latter-day Saints to take the restored gospel to the world. More …


Elder: A male leader in the Church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. More …

High priest: An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. Christ and many ancient prophets, including Abraham, were described as being high priests. More …

Seventy: A priesthood office with the responsibility to travel and preach and assist the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, similar to the seventy in the New Testament. 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 …

A painting showing a young family plowing in the spring.

Building the Church in the 1830s was a temporal endeavor as well as a spiritual one. In this idealized depiction, a young family completes spring plowing in preparation for a bountiful harvest.

John Leo Fairbanks, Life Is the Reward of Love and Labor, ca. 1920, oil on canvas, Church History Museum.