“Writing and Making a History of All the Important Things”

Doctrine and Covenants 69:3–8

3 And also that he shall continue in writing and making a history of all the important things which he shall observe and know concerning my church;
4 And also that he receive counsel and assistance from my servant Oliver Cowdery and others.
5 And also, my servants who are abroad in the earth should send forth the accounts of their stewardships to the land of Zion;
6 For the land of Zion shall be a seat and a place to receive and do all these things.
7 Nevertheless, let my servant John Whitmer travel many times from place to place, and from church to church, that he may the more easily obtain knowledge—
8 Preaching and expounding, writing, copying, selecting, and obtaining all things which shall be for the good of the church, and for the rising generations that shall grow up on the land of Zion, to possess it from generation to generation, forever and ever. Amen.

Elder Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjödahl wrote:

“John Whitmer was to continue his labor as historian. The historical records of the Church are exceedingly valuable documents, and, as years go by, they increase in historical value to the entire world. In the records of the Church historians will always be found reliable sources of information concerning the Church. Other historians either ignore the Church or write about it from a prejudiced, or even hostile, point of view. But for the conscientious labor of the Church historians, there would be no Church history; only tradition and myth.”

(The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, rev. ed. [1951], 418.)