The laws of the church of Christ, received in Kirtland, Ohio, 9 February 1831, through Joseph Smith Jr. in the presence of twelve elders. Instructions are given to Joseph Smith Jr., Sidney Rigdon, and Edward Partridge.

  1. First — Shall the church come together into one place or continue in separate establishments?
    Hearken, O you elders of my church who have assembled yourselves together in my name, even Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, the Savior of the world, inasmuch as they believe on my name and keep my commandments. Again I say unto you, hearken, and hear, and obey the laws which I shall give unto you, for verily I say, as you have assembled yourselves together according to the commandment wherewith I commanded you, and are agreed as touching this one thing, and have asked the Father in my name, even so you shall receive.
  2. Behold, verily I say unto you, I give unto you this first commandment — that you shall go forth in my name, every one of you, except my servants Joseph and Sidney. And I give unto them a commandment that they shall go forth for a little season, and it shall be given by the power of my spirit when they shall return. And you shall go forth in the power of my spirit, preaching my gospel two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with the voice of a trump, declaring my word like unto angels of God. And you shall go forth baptizing with water, saying, Repent, repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. And from this place you shall go forth into the regions westward. And inasmuch as you shall find them that will receive, you shall build up my church in every region, until the time shall come when it shall be revealed unto you from on high & the city of the New Jerusalem shall be prepared, that you may be gathered in one, that you may be my people, and I will be your God.
  3. And again, I say unto you that my servant Edward shall stand in the office wherewith I have appointed him, and it shall come to pass that if he transgress, another shall be appointed in his stead. Even so, Amen.
  4. Second — The Law
    Again, I say unto you that it shall not be given unto anyone to go forth to preach my gospel or to build up my church, except he be ordained by someone that has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and have been regularly ordained by the leaders of the church.
  5. And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church shall teach the scriptures which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in the which is the fullness of the gospel. And you shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and this shall be your teachings. And you shall be directed by the spirit, which shall be given you by the prayer of faith, and if you receive not the spirit, you shall not teach. And all this you shall observe to do as I have commanded concerning your teaching, until the fullness of my scriptures are given. And as you shall lift your voices by the Comforter, you shall speak and prophesy as seems good to me; for behold, the Comforter knows all things and bears record of the Father and of the Son.
  6. And now behold, I speak unto the church: you shall not kill, and he that kills shall not have forgiveness, neither in this world nor in the world to come. And again, you shall not kill; he that kills shall die. You shall not steal, and he that steals and will not repent shall be cast out. You shall not lie; he that lies and will not repent shall be cast out. You shall love your wife with all your heart, and shall cleave unto her and none else, and he that looks upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the spirit, and if he repent not he shall be cast out. You shall not commit adultery, and he that commits adultery and repents not shall be cast out; and he that commits adultery and repents with all his heart, and forsakes and does it no more, you shall forgive him; but if he does it again, he shall not be forgiven, but shall be cast out. You shall not speak evil of your neighbor or do him any harm. You know my laws, they are given in my scriptures. He that sins and repents not shall be cast out. If you love me, you shall serve me and keep all my commandments.
  7. And behold, you shall consecrate all your properties, that which you have, unto me, with a covenant and deed which cannot be broken, and they shall be laid before the bishop of my church and two of the elders, such as he shall appoint and set apart for that purpose. And it shall come to pass that the bishop of my church, after that he has received the properties of my church that it cannot be taken from the church, he shall appoint every man a steward over his own property, or that which he has received, inasmuch as it shall be sufficient for himself and family.
  8. And the residue shall be kept to administer to him that has not, that every man may receive according as he stands in need. And the residue shall be kept in my storehouse to administer to the poor and needy as shall be appointed by the elders of the church and the bishop, and for the purpose of purchasing land and the building up of the New Jerusalem, which is hereafter to be revealed, that my covenant people may be gathered in one in the day that I shall come to my temple. And this I do for the salvation of my people.
  9. And it shall come to pass that he that sins and repents not shall be cast out, and shall not receive again that which he has consecrated unto me, for it shall come to pass, that which I spoke by the mouth of my prophets shall be fulfilled, for I will consecrate the riches of the gentiles unto my people, which are of the house of Israel.
  10. And again, you shall not be proud in your heart. Let all your garments be plain, and their beauty the beauty of the work of your own hands, and let all things be done in cleanliness before me. You shall not be idle, for he that is idle shall not eat the bread, nor wear the garment of the laborer.
  11. And whoever among you that is sick and has not faith to be healed, but believes, shall be nourished in all tenderness with herbs and mild food, and that, not of the world. And the elders of the church, two or more, shall be called, and shall pray for and lay their hands upon them in my name; and if they die, they shall die unto me, and if they live, they shall live unto me.
  12. You shall live together in love, insomuch that you shall weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection. And it shall come to pass that they that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them. And they that die not in me, woe unto them, for their death is bitter.
  13. And again, it shall come to pass that he that has faith in me to be healed, and is not appointed unto death, shall be healed. He that has faith to see shall see. He that has faith to hear shall hear. The lame that have faith to leap shall leap. And they that have not faith to do these things, but believe in me, have power to become my sons; and inasmuch as they break not my laws, you shall bear their infirmities.
  14. You shall stand in the place of your stewardship. You shall not take your brother’s garment, you shall pay for that which you shall receive of your brother. And if you obtain more than that which would be for your support, you shall give it into my storehouse, that all things may be done according to that which I have spoken.
  15. You shall ask, and my scriptures shall be given as I have appointed. And for your safety, it is expedient that you shall hold your peace concerning them, until you have received them. And then, I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach them unto all men. And they also shall be taught unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. You shall take the things which you have received, which you know to have been my law, to be my law to govern my church. And he that does according to these things shall be saved, and he that does them not shall be damned, if he continue.
  16. If you shall ask, you shall receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that you may know the mysteries and the peaceable things of the Kingdom, that which brings joy, that which brings life eternal. You shall ask, and it shall be revealed unto you in my own due time, when the New Jerusalem shall be built.
  17. And behold, it shall come to pass that my servants shall be sent both to the east and to the west, the north and to the south. And even now, let him that goes to the east teach them that are converted, to flee to the west, and this in consequence of that which is to come and of secret combinations.
  18. Behold, you shall observe all these things, and great shall be your reward. You shall observe to keep the mysteries of the Kingdom unto yourself, for it is not given to the world to know the mysteries. And these laws which you have received are sufficient for you, both here and in the New Jerusalem. But he that lacks knowledge, let him ask of me and I will give him liberally, and upbraid him not. Lift up your hearts and rejoice, for unto you the Kingdom is given. Even so, Amen.
  19. Third — How the elders are to dispose of their families while they are proclaiming repentance, or are otherwise engaged in the service of the church.
    The priests and teachers shall have their stewardship given them, even as the members. And the elders are to assist the bishop in all things. And he is to see that their families are supported out of the property which is consecrated to the Lord, either a stewardship or otherwise, as may be thought best by the elders and bishop.
  20. Fourth — How far it is the will of the Lord that we should have dealings with the world, and how we should conduct our dealings with them.
    You shall contract no debts with them. And again, the elders and bishop shall counsel together, and they shall do, by the directions of the spirit, as it must needs be necessary.
  21. Fifth — What preparations we shall make for our brethren from the east, and where and how.
    There shall be as many appointed as must needs be necessary to assist the bishop in obtaining places for the brethren from New York, that they may be together, as much as can be, and as they are directed by the holy spirit. And every family shall have places that they may live by themselves, and every church shall be organized in as close bodies as they can be, in consequence of the enemy.