The Doctrine and Covenants

Section 47

Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, March 8, 1831. John Whitmer, who had already served as a clerk to the Prophet, initially hesitated when he was asked to serve as the Church historian and recorder, replacing Oliver Cowdery. He wrote, “I would rather not do it but observed that the will of the Lord be done, and if he desires it, I desire that he would manifest it through Joseph the Seer.” After Joseph Smith received this revelation, John Whitmer accepted and served in his appointed office.

1–4, John Whitmer is designated to keep the history of the Church and to write for the Prophet.

1 Behold, it is expedient in me that my servant John should write and keep a regular ahistory, and assist you, my servant Joseph, in transcribing all things which shall be given you, until he is called to further duties.

2 Again, verily I say unto you that he can also alift up his voice in meetings, whenever it shall be expedient.

3 And again, I say unto you that it shall be appointed unto him to keep the church arecord and history continually; for Oliver Cowdery I have appointed to another office.

4 Wherefore, it shall be given him, inasmuch as he is faithful, by the aComforter, to write these things. Even so. Amen.

Revelations in Context

The Book of John Whitmer