Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 85–87

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 85–87, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 85–87, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 85–87

River bend with green banks

The Blue River, Jackson County, Missouri, USA. Latter-day Saints established a settlement and several farms near the river in 1831.


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

Letter to William W. Phelps, 27 November 1832

After returning to Kirtland, Ohio, on 6 November 1832 from his trip with Newel K. Whitney to New York and New England, Joseph Smith answered letters he had received from “the brethren” in Missouri. More …

Revelation, 6 December 1832 [D&C 86]

Joseph Smith wrote in his journal that on 6 December 1832, he spent part of the day “translating,” or working on his revision of the Bible. More …

Revelation, 25 December 1832 [D&C 87]

On Christmas Day, 25 December 1832, Joseph Smith dictated this revelation warning of the outbreak of war across all nations, beginning in South Carolina. More …


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Revelations in Context

Essays on the background of each revelation

Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation

D&C 45, 76, 77, 86, 91

Joseph and Emma left the Johnson farm and returned to Kirtland in September 1832. Over the next few months, Joseph continued to work diligently on the translation. More …

Peace and War

D&C 87

A few days before Christmas 1832, Latter-day Saints in Kirtland came in from the cold, damp air to sit by the light of their warm, flickering fires. They opened up their local paper, the Painesville Telegraph, to find alarming news. More …

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

Narrative history of events surrounding the revelations

Volume 1, Chapter 15

Holy Places

A few days before Christmas, a local newspaper published reports that government leaders in the state of South Carolina were fighting taxes on imported goods and threatening to declare independence from the United States. Some people were calling for war. More …

Volume 1, Chapter 42

Round Up Your Shoulders

Mercy Fielding Thompson and Mary Fielding Smith collected pennies from the women in Nauvoo as part of a fund-raising effort for the temple. Late the previous year, while praying to know what she could do to help build up Zion, Mercy had been inspired to start the penny drive. More …

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations

Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible

While translating the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery found they held different views on the meaning of a passage in the Bible. More …

Prophecies of Joseph Smith

While most of the revelations Joseph Smith received gave instructions, counsel, and doctrinal teachings, a few contained historically specific prophecies about impending events. 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 …

Painting of bundles of wheat at harvest time.

The Lord interpreted the parable of the wheat and tares in section 86.

Lorus Pratt, The Harvest, 1896, oil on canvas, Church History Museum.