Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 58–59

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 58–59, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 58–59, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 58–59

Independence, Missouri, 1831

Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, USA. The composition depicts the temple site in the background, the courthouse in which Joseph Smith purchased the temple property, and Newel K. Whitney’s log cabin as they might have appeared in the summer of 1831.

Al Rounds, Independence, Missouri, 1831, 1985, watercolor.


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

Revelation, 1 August 1831 [D&C 58]

On 1 August 1831, Joseph Smith dictated this revelation to the elders of the Church who had joined him in western Missouri. Just a few days earlier, a revelation had designated Jackson County, Missouri, as the location at which to build the “City of Zion.” More …

Revelation, 7 August 1831 [D&C 59]

On 7 August 1831, Joseph Smith dictated a revelation in Missouri “instructing the sa[i]nts how to keep the sabath & how to fast and pray.” More …


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Revelations in Context

Essays on the background of each revelation

The Center Place

D&C 52, 57, 58

At the time when Indian removal—the separation of one race from another—had become a national policy of the U.S. government, Joseph Smith’s revelations moved in another direction. Rather than marginalizing Indians, pushing them to the outskirts of civilization, the revelations brought Zion to them, putting God’s holy city in their midst. More …

Ezra Booth and Isaac Morley

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

A revelation on August 1 (Doctrine and Covenants 58) instructed the missionaries to dedicate the land but hinted that Zion would be built up only “after much tribulation.” The revelation chastised those who, like Ezra Booth, had murmured complaints. More …

The Journey of the Colesville Branch

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

Leaving Thompson in early June 1831, sixty members of the branch reached Kaw Township in Jackson County, Missouri, on July 26 after a journey of about a thousand miles. 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

Shortly after the Colesville Saints left, the prophet, Sidney, and Edward Partridge set out for Missouri with several elders of the Church. They traveled mostly on land, preaching the gospel along the way and talking about their hopes for Zion. More …

Volume 1, Chapter 26

A Holy and Consecrated Land

The winter of 1838 was long and cold. As the families of Joseph and Sidney pushed west, Oliver Cowdery trudged through northern Missouri, battling rain and snow to scout locations for new stakes of Zion. More …

A Latter-day Zion in Missouri

“Little more than a year after the Church was organized, Joseph Smith traveled from Kirtland, Ohio, to Independence, Missouri, and there dictated a revelation designating Missouri as the land of Zion.”

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations

Gathering of Israel

Old Testament prophecies reassured the children of Israel that, although they would be scattered among the nations, they would also one day be gathered again. More …

Sacrament Meetings

When the Church was organized in 1830, revelation to Joseph Smith directed “that the church meet together oft to partake bread and wine in Remembrance of the Lord Jesus.” 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 …


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 …