Scripture Stories
Chapter 17: The First Bishops of the Church: February and December 1831
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“Chapter 17: The First Bishops of the Church: February and December 1831,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories (2002), 64–66

“Chapter 17,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 64–66

Chapter 17

The First Bishops of the Church

February and December 1831

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Some people in New York were mean to the Saints and wanted them to leave. Jesus told Joseph Smith to leave New York and go to Kirtland, Ohio.

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Joseph and Emma, Sidney Rigdon, and Edward Partridge went to Kirtland. Joseph and Emma lived with a member of the Church named Newel K. Whitney.

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There were about 1,000 members of the Church in Kirtland. They were trying to obey God, but they did not understand all of the gospel.

Doctrine and Covenants 41, section heading

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Joseph prayed and received a revelation. Jesus told him that the Saints in Kirtland needed a bishop. The bishop should use his time to teach and help the Saints. The first bishop in the Church was to be Edward Partridge.

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As more people joined the Church, more bishops were needed. Newel K. Whitney was called to be the second bishop of the Church.

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Jesus told Joseph that the bishop should take care of a storehouse. The Saints should give food, clothing, and other offerings to the bishop to place in the storehouse. Then the bishop would use these things to help any Saints who were poor or needy.

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Jesus also said that the bishop should receive the money that the Saints give to the Church. The bishop would use this money to pay the bills of the Church and to help the poor.

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The bishop should love the Saints and try to help them. He should meet with the men who have the priesthood and talk about what they are doing to help the Saints.

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A bishop leads the Saints in each ward. A branch president is like a bishop. A branch president leads the Saints in each branch.

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Today there are thousands of bishops in the Church.