Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, August 6, 1833. This revelation came in consequence of the persecution upon the Saints in Missouri. Increased settlement of Church members in Missouri troubled some other settlers, who felt threatened by the Saints’ numbers, political and economic influence, and cultural and religious differences. In July 1833, a mob destroyed Church property, tarred and feathered two Church members, and demanded that the Saints leave Jackson County. Although some news of the problems in Missouri had no doubt reached the Prophet in Kirtland (nine hundred miles away), the seriousness of the situation could have been known to him at this date only by revelation.
1–3, The afflictions of the Saints will be for their good; 4–8, The Saints are to befriend the constitutional law of the land; 9–10, Honest, wise, and good men should be supported for secular government; 11–15, Those who lay down their lives in the Lord’s cause will have eternal life; 16–18, Renounce war and proclaim peace; 19–22, The Saints in Kirtland are reproved and commanded to repent; 23–32, The Lord reveals His laws governing the persecutions and afflictions imposed on His people; 33–38, War is justified only when the Lord commands it; 39–48, The Saints are to forgive their enemies, who, if they repent, will also escape the Lord’s vengeance.
1 Verily I say unto you my friends, afear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give bthanks;
2 aWaiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.
3 Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been aafflicted shall work together for your bgood, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord.
4 And now, verily I say unto you concerning the alaws of the land, it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever I command them.
5 And that alaw of the land which is bconstitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.
6 Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the aconstitutional law of the land;
7 And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil.
8 I, the Lord God, make you afree, therefore ye are free indeed; and the law also maketh you free.
9 Nevertheless, when the awicked brule the people mourn.
10 Wherefore, ahonest men and wise men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold; otherwise whatsoever is less than these cometh of evil.
11 And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all agood, that ye shall live by every bword which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.
12 For he will agive unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will btry you and prove you herewith.
13 And whoso alayeth down his life in my cause, for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal.
14 Therefore, be not aafraid of your enemies, for I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will bprove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, ceven unto death, that you may be found worthy.
15 For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me.
16 Therefore, arenounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to bturn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children;
17 And again, the hearts of the aJews unto the prophets, and the prophets unto the Jews; lest I come and smite the whole earth with a curse, and all flesh be consumed before me.
18 Let not your hearts be troubled; for in my Father’s house are amany mansions, and I have prepared a place for you; and where my Father and I am, there ye shall be also.
19 Behold, I, the Lord, am not well apleased with many who are in the church at Kirtland;
20 For they do not aforsake their sins, and their wicked ways, the pride of their hearts, and their covetousness, and all their detestable things, and observe the words of wisdom and eternal life which I have given unto them.
21 Verily I say unto you, that I, the Lord, will achasten them and will do whatsoever I list, if they do not repent and observe all things whatsoever I have said unto them.
22 And again I say unto you, if ye observe to ado whatsoever I command you, I, the Lord, will turn away all bwrath and indignation from you, and the cgates of hell shall not prevail against you.
23 Now, I speak unto you concerning your families—if men will asmite you, or your families, once, and ye bbear it patiently and crevile not against them, neither seek drevenge, ye shall be erewarded;
24 But if ye bear it not patiently, it shall be accounted unto you as being ameted out as a just measure unto you.
25 And again, if your enemy shall smite you the second time, and you revile not against your enemy, and bear it patiently, your reward shall be an ahundred-fold.
26 And again, if he shall smite you the third time, and ye bear it apatiently, your reward shall be doubled unto you four-fold;
27 And these three atestimonies shall stand against your enemy if he repent not, and shall not be blotted out.
28 And now, verily I say unto you, if that enemy shall escape my vengeance, that he be not brought into judgment before me, then ye shall see to it that ye awarn him in my name, that he come no more upon you, neither upon your family, even your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.
29 And then, if he shall come upon you or your children, or your children’s children unto the third and fourth generation, I have delivered thine aenemy into thine hands;
30 And then if thou wilt spare him, thou shalt be rewarded for thy arighteousness; and also thy children and thy children’s children unto the third and fourth generation.
31 Nevertheless, thine enemy is in thine hands; and if thou rewardest him according to his works thou art justified; if he has sought thy life, and thy life is endangered by him, thine enemy is in thine hands and thou art justified.
32 Behold, this is the law I gave unto my servant Nephi, and thy afathers, Joseph, and Jacob, and Isaac, and Abraham, and all mine ancient prophets and apostles.
33 And again, this is the alaw that I gave unto mine ancients, that they should not go out unto battle against any nation, kindred, tongue, or people, save I, the Lord, commanded them.
34 And if any nation, tongue, or people should proclaim war against them, they should first lift a standard of apeace unto that people, nation, or tongue;
35 And if that people did not accept the offering of peace, neither the second nor the third time, they should bring these testimonies before the Lord;
36 Then I, the Lord, would give unto them a commandment, and justify them in going out to battle against that nation, tongue, or people.
37 And I, the Lord, would afight their battles, and their children’s battles, and their children’s children’s, until they had avenged themselves on all their enemies, to the third and fourth generation.
38 Behold, this is an aensample unto all people, saith the Lord your God, for justification before me.
39 And again, verily I say unto you, if after thine aenemy has come upon thee the first time, he repent and come unto thee praying thy forgiveness, thou shalt forgive him, and shalt hold it no more as a testimony against thine enemy—
40 And so on unto the second and third time; and as oft as thine enemy repenteth of the trespass wherewith he has trespassed against thee, thou shalt aforgive him, until seventy times seven.
41 And if he trespass against thee and repent not the first time, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.
42 And if he trespass against thee the second time, and repent not, nevertheless thou shalt forgive him.
43 And if he trespass against thee the third time, and repent not, thou shalt also forgive him.
44 But if he trespass against thee the fourth time thou shalt not forgive him, but shalt bring these testimonies before the Lord; and they shall not be blotted out until he repent and areward thee four-fold in all things wherewith he has trespassed against thee.
45 And if he do this, thou shalt forgive him with all thine heart; and if he do not this, I, the Lord, will aavenge thee of thine enemy an hundred-fold;
46 And upon his children, and upon his children’s achildren of all them that bhate me, unto the cthird and fourth generation.
47 But if the achildren shall repent, or the children’s children, and bturn to the Lord their God, with all their hearts and with all their might, mind, and strength, and crestore four-fold for all their trespasses wherewith they have trespassed, or wherewith their fathers have trespassed, or their fathers’ fathers, then thine indignation shall be turned away;
48 And vengeance shall ano more come upon them, saith the Lord thy God, and their trespasses shall never be brought any more as a testimony before the Lord against them. Amen.