“Stewards over the Revelations and Commandments”

Doctrine and Covenants 70:1–8

1 Behold, and hearken, O ye inhabitants of Zion, and all ye people of my church who are afar off, and hear the word of the Lord which I give unto my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and also unto my servant Martin Harris, and also unto my servant Oliver Cowdery, and also unto my servant John Whitmer, and also unto my servant Sidney Rigdon, and also unto my servant William W. Phelps, by the way of commandment unto them.
2 For I give unto them a commandment; wherefore hearken and hear, for thus saith the Lord unto them—
3 I, the Lord, have appointed them, and ordained them to be stewards over the revelations and commandments which I have given unto them, and which I shall hereafter give unto them;
4 And an account of this stewardship will I require of them in the day of judgment.
5 Wherefore, I have appointed unto them, and this is their business in the church of God, to manage them and the concerns thereof, yea, the benefits thereof.
6 Wherefore, a commandment I give unto them, that they shall not give these things unto the church, neither unto the world;
7 Nevertheless, inasmuch as they receive more than is needful for their necessities and their wants, it shall be given into my storehouse;
8 And the benefits shall be consecrated unto the inhabitants of Zion, and unto their generations, inasmuch as they become heirs according to the laws of the kingdom.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“At the conference held November 12, 1831, the Lord issued a proclamation to the inhabitants of Zion, and to all the members of the Church, announcing that He had made Joseph Smith, Jun., Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, Sidney Rigdon, and William W. Phelps, stewards of the revelations and commandments which He had given, and which were yet to be given, and the members of the Church were to hearken to these brethren. An account of the stewardship of these brethren would be required of them in the day of judgment. Not only were these brethren held responsible for the care of the revelations, which the Lord valued so highly, but also for the printing and distribution of the books when they were printed. These books were to be sold, not given away, and all surplus was to be given into the hands of the bishop and placed in the Lord’s storehouse where it would be consecrated to the inhabitants of Zion, ‘inasmuch as they bec[a]me heirs according to the laws of the kingdom’ [D&C 70:8].”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:267–68.)

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