Doctrine and Covenants 77 to 80 – “I Will Lead You Along”

In March 1832, as the Church continued to grow, Joseph Smith received direction about the Revelation of John, the organization of Church finances and publications, and mission calls.

 

“Joseph Smith and the United Firm: The Growth and Decline of the Church’s First Master Plan of Business and Finance, Ohio and Missouri, 1832–1834,” Max H Parkin, BYU Studies, Vol. 46, no. 3
The United Firm was a business management company that oversaw the Church’s economic pursuits, such as maintaining properties, and some spiritual matters, such as publishing revelations and planning the city of Zion. An unpublished part of the revelation that became D&C 78 states that leaders needed “an organization of the literary and mercantile establishments of my church both in this place [Kirtland] and in the land of Zion [Missouri].” This article gives the history of the United Firm’s activities in land purchases, publications, and stewardships.

“An Introduction to the Kirtland Flats Ashery,” Benjamin C. Pykles, BYU Studies 41, no. 1

Newel K. Whitney consecrated his prosperous ashery in Kirtland as well as his store and other businesses to the Church. The ashery was used to secure loans and helped finance Church printing and the building of the temple.

“The Laws of Consecration, Stewardship, and Tithing,” Craig James Ostler, Sperry Symposium Classics: The Doctrine and Covenants, BYU Religious Studies Center

The Lord directed that, in addition to the previously appointed Literary Firm, the brethren were to organize a Church-owned mercantile firm referred to in Church records as the United Firm, the United Order, and also the Order of Enoch. The United Firm eventually included about a dozen Church leaders, specified by the Lord in revelation to receive responsibility as His stewards to hold legal title to Church property and buildings. Continuing the pattern revealed regarding the Literary Firm, members of the order were governed by principles of the laws of consecration and stewardship. That is, each individual member had specific responsibilities within the United Firm given them as a stewardship.

“Historical Context and Background of D&C 77,” by Steven C. Harper and Casey Paul Griffiths, Doctrine and Covenants Central

In early 1832, Joseph Smith continued to work his way through the New Testament. This revelation was likely received between March 4 and March 20.

“Historical Context and Background of D&C 78,” by Steven C. Harper and Casey Paul Griffiths, Doctrine and Covenants Central

Joseph Smith purposely veiled the meaning of section 78 to avoid giving the Church’s enemies information they could use to cripple the Church financially.

“Historical Context and Background of D&C 79,”  Steven C. Harper and Casey Paul Griffiths, Doctrine and Covenants Central

Jared Carter was baptized by Hyrum Smith in February 1831 and spent much of late 1831 and early 1832 preaching. In March 1832, Joseph Smith dictated a revelation directing Carter to preach again, which he successfully did.

“Historical Context and Background of D&C 80,” by Steven C. Harper and Casey Paul Griffiths, Doctrine and Covenants Central

Stephen Burnett served a mission with Eden Smith starting in July 1832 and then went further east.