During March 1832 Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon were working on the translation of the Bible. The Prophet Joseph Smith recorded simply: “Besides the work of translating, previous to the 20th of March, I received the four following revelations [D&C 78–81]” (History of the Church, 1:255).
Section 80 was given to Stephen Burnett and Eden Smith regarding their missionary activities. At the Church conference held at Amherst, Ohio, 25 January 1832, these two brethren had been called by the Lord to serve as missionaries (see D&C 75:35–36). Now they were assigned as missionary companions and sent forth to teach the gospel.
Notes and Commentary
D&C 80:4. The Importance of Personal Preparation for Missionary Work
Elder Orson Pratt observed: “I have been abroad with several companies of missionaries from this place, and I have seen them lament and mourn, and have heard them tell their feelings one to another, saying—‘O that I had occupied my time that I have spent as it were in folly, in treasuring up the principles of eternal life,—that I had studied the scriptures—that I had made myself acquainted more extensively with the doctrines of the Church—that I had made myself acquainted with those principles revealed from heaven for our guidance! I should then have been prepared to stand before the inhabitants of the earth and edify them with regard to our principles.’” (In Journal of Discourses, 7:76.)