[Book of Commandments 17–21, Kirtland D&C 45, LDS D&C 23]
This section is a composite of five revelations given through Joseph Smith, Jr., at Manchester, New York, April 1830, and addressed to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith, Sr., and Joseph Knight, Sr. They were given in answer to the prayers of these brethren concerning their relation to the work of the church. Each paragraph in Doctrine and Covenants 21 was printed as a separate chapter in the “Book of Commandments,” but the chapters were combined in the 1835 (first) edition of the Doctrine and Covenants and have been published in this form ever since. They were received on the day the church was organized.
1a. Behold, I speak unto you, Oliver, a few words. Behold, thou art blessed, and art under no condemnation. But beware of pride, lest thou shouldst enter into temptation.
1b. Make known thy calling unto the church, and also before the world; and thy heart shall be opened to preach the truth from henceforth and forever. Amen.
2a. Behold, I speak unto you, Hyrum, a few words, for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy heart is opened, and thy tongue loosed; and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church continually.
2b. Wherefore thy duty is unto the church for ever; and this because of thy family. Amen.
3. Behold, I speak a few words unto you, Samuel, for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church. And thou art not as yet called to preach before the world. Amen.
4. Behold, I speak a few words unto you, Joseph; for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy calling also is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church. And this is thy duty from henceforth and for ever. Amen.
5a. Behold, I manifest unto you, Joseph Knight, by these words, that you must take up your cross, in the which you must pray vocally before the world, as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your friends, and in all places.
5b. And, behold, it is your duty to unite with the true church, and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the laborer. Amen.