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TitleSection 92
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHarper, Steven C.
Book TitleDoctrine and Covenants Contexts
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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People live by the law of consecration and stewardship. When people say that early saints lived the United Order, they do not understand what it is—or was. United Order is actually a pseudonym for the United Firm, a group of several Church leaders the Lord named specifically in section 82. “As a governing financial council, the firm was responsible for printing church publications, holding church properties in trust, assisting the poor, and operating general stores in Independence, Missouri, and Kirtland, Ohio, to generate funds for the church.”[1]

The Lord established the United Firm in 1832 (see section 82).[2] In 1833, the Lord called Frederick Williams to be a counselor and scribe to Joseph and to consecrate his substantial farm to the Church. “Let thy farm be consecrated for bringing forth of the revelations and tho[u] shalt be blessed,” the Lord told Frederick.[3] Section 92 made Frederick a member of the United Firm.[4] The minutes describing what that means say that Frederick “should be received into the United Firm in full partnership agreeable to the specification of the bond” mentioned in D&C 78:11 and 82:11.[5] Section 92 instructs the members of the United Firm to receive Frederick and instructs him to be a “lively member.”

Joseph sent a copy of the revelation to the members of the firm in Missouri. They apparently raised some questions about Frederick’s role. He joined the firm, consecrated his farm, was ordained a counselor to Joseph Smith, continued to serve as a scribe, and was otherwise “lively” though soft-spoken in building Zion. Joseph’s journal says, “Brother Frederick is one of those men in whom I place the greatest confidence and trust for I have found him ever full of love and Brotherly kindness. . . . He is perfectly honest and upright and seeks with all his heart to magnify his presidency in the church.”[6]

[1] Historical Introduction to “Revelation, 15 March 1833 [D&C 92],” p. 55, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed July 9, 2020.

[2] Max H. Parkin, “Joseph Smith and the United Firm,” BYU Studies 46, no. 3 (2007): 13.

[3]Revelation, 5 January 1833,” p. [1], The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed July 9, 2020.

[4]Revelation, 15 March 1833 [D&C 92],” p. 55, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed July 9, 2020.

[5]Minute Book 1,” p. 11, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed July 9, 2020.

[6]History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834],” p. 380, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed July 9, 2020.



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