June 16,1831 - D&C 55 was received
June 16,1831— Kirtland, Ohio. Joseph Smith received D&C 55, a revelation calling William W. Phelps to preach the gospel and to assist in making books of instruction for the children of the Church. (History of the Church, 1:180–81)
Historical Setting: Sometime during or slightly before the end of the conference on 6 June 1831, a nonmember named William Wines Phelps arrived in Kirtland with his family from Canandaigua, New York, and presented himself to the Prophet Joseph "to do the will of the Lord. "W. W. Phelps had earlier purchased a copy of the Book of Mormon from Parley P. Pratt and had in the meantime become convinced of the truth of the Restoration. Before moving to Kirtland, William Phelps had been a newspaper editor and publisher. When Joseph inquired the will of the Lord concerning Brother Phelps, he received the answer now recorded as Doctrine and Covenants 55.
W. W. Phelps brought great talent to the early Saints. His experience as a writer, editor, and publisher qualified him for the call issued here and helped him in his subsequent calling as publisher of the Church's first newspaper, The Evening and the Morning Star, in Missouri. Brother Phelps also wrote the lyrics to many favorite LDS hymns, including "Gently Raise the Sacred Strain," "Praise to the Man," and "The Spirit of God."
According to the Far West Record, W. W. Phelps (see D&C 55:2) and A. Sidney Gilbert (see D&C 53:3) were ordained elders by Joseph Smith on 6 June 1831, together with several others. It follows that sections 53 and 55, which accompanied those ordinations, ought to be dated together sometime on or before 6 June. Since Doctrine and Covenants 54 deals with events that probably took place after 6 June, it is likely that Doctrine and Covenants 55 is out of its correct chronological order, belonging properly with section 53 and prior to section 54. (A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2 by H. Dean Garrett, Stephen E. Robinson)
Joseph Smith, Jun. - About the middle of June, while we were preparing for our journey to Missouri, William W. Phelps and his family arrived among us—"to do the will of the Lord," he said: so I inquired of the Lord concerning him and received the following. . . (HC, Vol. 1, pp. 184-185)Background Narration:
Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl - About the middle of June, 1831, William W. Phelps with his family, arrived in Kirtland. He was born at Hanover, Morris County, N.J., February 17th, 1792. In the State of New York he had edited a newspaper and taken an active part in politics. In Missouri, whither he went in company with the Prophet Joseph, he founded The Evening and Morning Star, a monthly magazine devoted to the interests of the Church, and published by the Church. Its first number appeared at Independence, June, 1832. The printing office was destroyed by a mob in July, 1833, but in the following December another printing office was established at Kirtland, and the publication of the Star was resumed there. Phelps, in 1837, was appointed to act, with David and John Whitmer, as a President of the Church in Zion. In 1848 he came to Utah, where he attained some prominence. He assisted in the drafting of the Constitution of Deseret, and became preceptor in the University. He died in Salt Lake City, March 7th, 1872, eighty years of age. Many inspiring hymns, popular among the Latter-day Saints, were composed by him. (DCC, p. 317) Section Header Notes: Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to William W. Phelps, at Kirtland, Ohio, June 1831. HC 1: 184–186. William W. Phelps, a printer, and his family had just arrived at Kirtland, and the Prophet sought the Lord for information concerning him.
1–3, W. W. Phelps is called and chosen to be baptized, ordained an elder, and preach the gospel; 4, He is also to write books for children in church schools; 5–6, He is to travel to Missouri, which will be the area of his labors.
Versus amount: 6
Suggested link: D&C 53, 54
Summary and Conclusion: We have learned from this section that the most important thing in our life is to properly seek for and obtain a remission of sins through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Thus, we can be sanctified and stand approved of Him. (Sacred Truths of the Doctrine and Covenants , vol. 1, by L. G. Otten, C. M. Caldwell)
Andrew Jenson: - At a meeting held in Far West, Missouri, Feb. 6, 1838, Wm. W. Phelps and his co-laborers in the presidency were rejected by the saints in the Carter settlement, Missouri. Other branches of the Church subsequently voted the same way. During the sessions of the court of inquiry held at Richmond, Mo., in November, 1838, Wm. W. Phelps, who had become bitter in his feelings, was among those who testified against the Church leaders. He was finally excommunicated from the Church at a conference held at Quincy, Illinois, March 17, 1839, but early in 1841 he was received back into fellowship in the Church . . . (LDSBE, Vol. 3, p. 695)
Last edited by Hemidakota; 06-16-2010 at 07:53 AM.