The history of the Word of Wisdom, Aug 25, 1830

-- Aug 25, 1830
The JOURNAL OF HEALTH, published semi-monthly at Philadelphia, concludes a year-long series of articles denouncing the use of ardent spirits, tobacco, tea, and coffee in the strongest terms. It claims, "The most deadly of all poisons, the prussic acid, has been detected in green tea." It also advises, "A substitution almost entire, of vegetable for animal substances . . ." (1)

-- During Aug. 1830
Joseph begins to arrange and copy the revelations he has received to date. Oliver moves to the Whitmer home in Fayette, N. Y., and writes Joseph a letter stating that D&C 20:37 is in error and commanding Joseph in the name of God to change it. Joseph goes to the Whitmer home and talks with the Whitmers and Oliver, convincing them that the verse is acceptable.About this time Isaac Hale, Emma's father, is convinced by a Methodist preacher that Joseph is an imposter. Newel Knight and wife visit Joseph Smith for Knight's confirmation. Joseph sets out to buy wine for the sacrament; he meets a heavenly messenger and is told not to buy wine or strong drink from his enemies. (D&C 27; the first four paragraphs were written in August and the remainder was written in September.)Joseph and the Whitmers visit the Colesville Branch. They pass miraculously unrecognized through a hostile mob. Since there is also persecution in Harmony, Joseph and his family move to the Whitmer home in Fayett
e. (2)

-- Sep 4, 1830
and 1833-1835, Harmony, Pennsylvania. Doctrine and Covenants 27. Use whatever you want for the sacrament. What matters is that you remember my sacrifice for your sins. Do not purchase alcohol from enemies -drink only what you produce yourselves. Soon I will drink with you and Moroni , other prophets and patriarchs who hold keys of restoration, turning hearts of fathers to children and vice versa, and others. John the Baptist, in the spirit of Elias, ordained Joseph and Oliver to the first priesthood ; Elijah committed the keys of the turning of hearts. Promises remain by virtue of the patriarchs. Peter, James, and John ordained you apostles. I have given you keys of the last dispensation. Put on the armor of God.

When Newel and Sally Knight visit Joseph and Emma Smith and John Whitmer in Harmony, Joseph goes out to buy wine for the sacrament and receives this revelation not to purchase it from enemies.

D&C 27 is a combination of two revelations. The first (vss. 1-5, 14-15 of the current version) discusses the elements to be used in the sacrament. It was first published after the Articles and Covenants in "Mormon Creed," PT, April 19, 1831. No date is provided for the revelation.

The second and third published versions of the first revelation ("Revelations. / A Commandment Given, September 4, 1830," EMS 1, no. 10 (Mar. 1833): {6}; and BC 28-date the revelation September 4, 1830. The date given in the 1834-1836 History, 51, is August 1830.

The second revelation (date unknown), dealing with the keys of the priesthood, was not published until the 1851 Pearl of Great Price (Robert J. Woodford, "Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants," Dissertation. BYU, 1974, 398). Later it was combined with the first revelation.

Book of Commandments 28 heading: A Commandment to the church of Christ, given in Harmony, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1830,

1835 Doctrine and Covenants 50, which combines the two revelations for the first time, gives a date of September 1830. (3)

1 - On This Day in Mormon History,
2 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
3 - Kenny, Scott; Saints Without Halos, 'Doctrine and Covenants,'

LDS History Chronology: the Word of Wisdom

Mormon Timeline: the Word of Wisdom