Revelation, , OH,  Jan. 1832. Featured version copied [ca. 25 Jan. 1832]; handwriting of ; two pages; Newel K. Whitney, Papers, BYU. Includes dockets and archival marking.
One leaf, measuring 12¾ × 7½ inches (32 × 19 cm). The top and bottom of the leaf, as well as the left side of the recto, have the square cut of manufactured paper. The right side, however, has been unevenly cut. It appears to have been excised from a bifolium—perhaps from a blank book—because part of the excised edge bears a straight fold line. After being folded for filing, the document was docketed by : “A Command Given to 10 | at | Jan.y [blank] 1832”. This docket is written over an earlier docket: “A Command Given to ten | [illegible] | Conference at Amherst | Mar [blank] 1832 | 25 Jan.y—”. The folds are partially broken.
This document and several other revelations, along with many other personal and institutional documents kept by , were inherited by his daughter Mary Jane Whitney, who married Isaac Groo. This collection was passed down in the Groo family and donated by members of the family to the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University during the period 1969–1974.
Andrus et al., “Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 1825–1906,” 5–6.
Andrus, Hyrum L., Chris Fuller, and Elizabeth E. McKenzie. “Register of the Newel Kimball Whitney Papers, 1825–1906,” Sept. 1998. BYU.
JS dictated this revelation and the one that follows at a general in , Ohio, fifty miles west of , Ohio, on 25 January 1832. On 10 January 1832, a revelation stated that at the next conference, the “severall missions” the were to fulfill would be “made known unto them.” later wrote that the 25 January conference was attended by “between 70 and 80 official characters”—apparently men who held church offices—from various locations. Minutes of the conference, if kept, are not extant, but a later JS history recounts that “considerable business was done to advance the kingdom.” This included the licensing of one or more elders, the appointment of as president of the elders, and the of JS as the “,” following instruction in a November 1831 revelation that “one be appointed” to that office.
Some of the conference participants apparently also petitioned JS for guidance. In response, this 25 January 1832 revelation and the revelation that follows assigned various individuals to preach the gospel in specific locations. The 25 January revelations indicate that the men appointed to missions were ones who volunteered to preach, but earlier instructions suggest that proselytizing was a duty rather than a choice for faithful elders. The minutes of an October 1831 conference noted that “the Spirit” declared that proclaiming the gospel and “warn[ing] the inhabitants of the earth of the things known in the in these last days” was one of the elders’ duties. A November 1831 revelation reiterated that , instructing “all the faithful Elders” to go “unto all the world” and “preach the gospel to every creature acting in the authority which I have given you baptising in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Ghost.” However, it seems the practice was that the men who made known their desire or willingness to preach were then assigned. Most of the individuals mentioned in this 25 January revelation attended an October 1831 conference; at that conference, “several brethren were then called by the Clerk who were desirous to preach the gospel,” and JS examined them for fitness to be ordained. These men were likely the ones assigned in this revelation to preach.
Perhaps because the two 25 January revelations were later printed together, reminiscences describe JS dictating a revelation on that day but do not specifically describe two separate texts. A reminiscence written by , for example, states that a revelation was “written in the presence of the whole assembly” on 25 January. , who was also present, recalled that inscribed the revelation text as JS pronounced it on that day. In both of these accounts, it is unclear whether the author is referring to just one or to both of the 25 January revelations. Yet it appears that these were indeed two distinct revelations. ’s copies of the 25 January 1832 revelations, which are in the handwriting of Rigdon, are inscribed on two separate leaves differing in both size and thickness. Whitney also added separate dockets to the two revelations, noting that the first was given to “10 Elders” while the second was given to “the Elders.” The collection of revelations kept by and —who were appointed as companion missionaries in the first revelation—includes the first revelation but not the second. When copied both revelations into Revelation Book 1, he introduced the second as “Another Revelation Received at the same time & place.” Upon their publication in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, however, the revelations were combined into a single text, a pattern followed in subsequent publications.
Although there are no surviving minutes from the 25 January 1832 conference, it is clear that it was a general conference because the minutes of a 25–26 October 1831 general conference note that “another General Conference” was to be held in Amherst on 25 January 1832. (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831.)
JS History, vol. A-1, 180. Given the importance of the conference, it seems likely that minutes would have been kept. If so, Frederick G. Williams, who served as clerk of the conference, likely kept them. (See Elder’s License for Reynolds Cahoon, 25 Jan. 1832, Reynolds Cahoon, Papers, private possession.)
Pratt recounted that, at “the request of the priesthood,” JS “inquired of the Lord, and a revelation was given.” A later JS history explains that the elders “seemed anxious for me to enquire of the Lord, that they might know his will.” (“History of Orson Pratt,” 12, Historian’s Office, Histories of the Twelve, ca. 1858–1880, CHL; JS History, vol. A-1, 180.)
Historian’s Office. Histories of the Twelve, 1856–1858, 1861. CHL. CR 100 93.
“Prophet Joseph’s Birthday,” Saint George Utah Stake, General Minutes, 23 Dec. 1880. It is possible that Barney’s memory was faulty and that Frederick G. Williams initially inscribed the revelation. A license for Reynolds Cahoon created at the same conference is in the handwriting of Williams, clerk of the conference. (Elder’s License for Reynolds Cahoon, 25 Jan. 1832, Reynolds Cahoon, Papers, private possession.)
St. George Utah Stake. General Minutes, 1864–1977. CHL. LR 7836 11.
Verily <verily> I say unto you I who speak even by the voice of my spirit even alpha and Omega your Lord and your God Hearkon o you ye who have given your names to go forth to proclaim my gospel and to prune my vinyard behold I say unto you that it is my will that you should go forth and not tarry neither be idle but labour with your mights lifting up your voices as with the sound of a trump proclaiming the truth according to the revelations and which I have given you and thus if ye are faithfull ye shall be laden with many sheeves and crowned with honor and glory and immortality and eternal life
Therefore verily I say unto my servent I revoke the commission which I gave unto him to go unto the eastern countries and I give unto him a new commission and a new commandment in the which I the Lord chasteneth him for the murmerings of his heart and he sinned nevertheless I forgive him and say unto him again go ye into the south countries and let my servent go with him and proclaim the things which I have commanded them calling on the name of the Lord teaching for the comforter which shall teach them all things that is expedient for them praying always that they faint not and inasmuch as they do this I will be with them even unto the end behold this is the will of the Lord your God concerning you even so Amen
And again verily thus saith the Lord let my servent and my servent take their journey into the eastern countries and proclaim the things which I have commanded them and inasmuch as they are faithfull lo I will be with them even unto the end
and again verily I say unto my servent and unto my servent they shall also take [p. ]
As commanded in a 29 October 1831 revelation, McLellin and JS’s brother Samuel Smith departed Hiram on a mission in mid-November 1831. About a month later, however, they had to discontinue their work. As Samuel Smith wrote, “Becaus of disobedience our way was hedged up before us Brother William was taken Sick and I returned about the 25 of december (1831).” Smith’s meaning is not entirely clear: He may have meant that some kind of disobedience, perhaps mere reluctance to preach, led to the failure of the mission, which was followed by McLellin’s illness. Or he may have been implying that some kind of disobedience led to McLellin’s illness, which in itself then halted the work. JS visited the bedridden McLellin on 28 December. McLellin wrote that he was healed by JS and returned with him to Hiram the next day. (Revelation, 29 Oct. 1831 [D&C 66]; Samuel Smith, Diary, Nov.–Dec. 1831, ; McLellin, Journal, 28 Dec. 1831.)
Smith, Samuel. Diary, Feb. 1832–May 1833. CHL. MS 4213.
McLellin, William E. Journal, Apr.–June 1836. William E. McLellin, Papers, 1831–1836, 1877–1878. CHL. MS 13538, box 1, fd. 6. Also available as Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831–1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies; Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994).