Church History
Doctrine and Covenants 135–136

Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources: Doctrine and Covenants 135–136, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources (2020)

Doctrine and Covenants 135–136, Doctrine and Covenants Historical Resources

Doctrine and Covenants 135–136

Carthage Illinois Jail

Jail in Carthage, Illinois, USA, where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred on June 27, 1844.


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

Doctrine and Covenants 135

Section 111 (now section 135), a tribute to the slain Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, is believed to have been written by John Taylor, the publisher of the 1844 Doctrine and Covenants and an eyewitness to the murders. More …

The Word and Will of the Lord Concerning the Camp of Israel [D&C 136]

At Winter Quarters on the banks of the Missouri River, with Saints suffering from cold and starvation, Brigham Young received a revelation that he titled, “The Word and Will of the Lord.” He “laid [it] before the councils of the Church”1 who received it as inspired revelation. The text was recorded in the Historian’s Office, History of the Church and circulated widely among those traveling West. View the manuscript here.


Biographical facts and historical images of individuals associated with the revelations

Historical Background

Revelations in Context

Essays on the background of each revelation

Remembering the Martyrdom

D&C 135

When Joseph and Hyrum Smith left for a jail in Carthage, Illinois, to wait for a legal hearing, few suspected the two were leaving their homes for the last time. More …

Death Masks

Upon seeing the bodies of her sons, Lucy Mack Smith commented, “As I looked upon their peaceful, smiling countenances, I seemed to almost hear them say: mother, weep not for us; we have overcome the world by love; we carried to them the gospel, that their souls might be saved.” These molds of the faces of Joseph Smith Jr. and Hyrum Smith were made by George Cannon with layers of plaster and fabric strips after their deaths.

Joseph and Hyrum Death Masks, 1844, plaster, Church History Museum.

“This Shall Be Our Covenant”

D&C 136

In February 1846, Brigham Young led a handpicked vanguard company of 300 men across the ice-filled Mississippi River. More …

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

Narrative history of events surrounding the revelation.

Volume 1, Chapter 44

A Lamb to the Slaughter

After hearing from Joseph about the city council’s reasons for destroying the press, Governor Thomas Ford understood that the Saints had acted in good faith. More …

Winter Quarters

C.C.A. Christensen, Winter Quarters 1846–47, ca. 1880, oil on board, gift to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the five children of Jeanette Taggart Holmes (2009).

Volume 2, Chapter 3

Word and Will of the Lord

As colder weather settled over Winter Quarters, Brigham prayed often to know how to prepare the Church for the journey beyond the Rocky Mountains. More …

Phoebe Carter Woodruff and Child Joseph

This painting of Phebe Carter Woodruff holding Joseph Woodruff was, done in 1845 from life while her husband was serving a mission in England. Joseph was their first child born after Phebe and Wilford received their temple endowments, a fact that held special significance for them when Joseph passed away at Winter Quarters the following year. In his journal, Wilford recorded how important this painting was as the grieving family looked forward to the reunion promised by those covenants: “Mrs. Woodruff took out of her family box her portrait to see the likeness of her little Joseph we had buried.”

Thomas Ward, Phebe Carter Woodruff and Child Joseph, 1845, oil on canvas, Church History Museum.

Church History Topics

Essays on subjects related to the revelations

Deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith

On several occasions during his time in Nauvoo, Joseph Smith told the Saints he feared for his life. More …

Departure from Nauvoo

Between February and September 1846, thousands of Latter-day Saints departed Nauvoo, Illinois. More …

Nauvoo Expositor

On Friday, June 7, 1844, dissenters from the Church published the one and only issue of an opposition newspaper they called the Nauvoo Expositor. More …

Pioneer Trek

Between 1847 and 1868, 60,000–70,000 Latter-day Saints migrated from the United States, Canada, and Europe across the North American Great Plains to Utah and the surrounding regions. More …

Settlement of Joseph Smith’s Estate

As President of the Church, Joseph Smith led out in efforts to fulfill revealed obligations to build cities and temples. He borrowed money from creditors since the Church was small and had few resources. More …

Succession of Church Leadership

Despite the shock of the Prophet’s death, most Saints remained committed. 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 …

HS--Winter Quarters Cemetery--Web

A few of the many headstones at the Winter Quarters Cemetery, Omaha, Nebraska. The Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple is in the background.


  1. Historian’s Office, History of the Church, volume 17, Jan. 15, 1847, 19.