Section 79

DC 79 Historical Background and Introduction

"The revelations recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 79 and 80 were received by the Prophet Joseph Smith in March 1832. They are calls to missionary service. Section 79 was directed to Jared Carter, and section 80 to Stephen Burnett. The insight gained from these revelations comes from the contrast in the mission calls. Jared Carter was called specifically to 'go again into the eastern countries' (D&C 79:1). He had just returned from serving as a missionary for nearly six months in that very same area a few weeks before this revelation was received. In contrast, Stephen Burnett was told 'go ye and preach my gospel, whether to the north or to the south, to the east or to the west, it mattereth not, for ye cannot go amiss' (D&C 80:3).

"The first missionary was given a specific area of assignment, and the second missionary was told he could go anywhere. Apparently there are times and circumstances in which it matters very much where an individual is called to serve and other times when the area of assignment is not as important...

"The experience of Jared Carter when he responded to the Lord's call to return to the eastern countries illustrates the importance of that assignment. He accepted the call to return to the area of his previous mission with enthusiasm. After his service in this call came to an end, he recorded in his journal: 'Now while I make this record, I remember the goodness of the Lord to me in the mission that I have lately been to in the East. I have enjoyed my health continually and the Lord, not withstanding the great opposition to the glorious work, he has blessed me . . . in this mission in which I have been gone six months and two days. The Lord has permitted me to administer the gospel to 79 souls and many others by my instrumentality have been convinced of this most glorious work, where I have been in this mission.'

"The importance of serving a second time in the same calling is demonstrated by the many individuals who received the gospel due to Jared Carter's repeat service. This revelation reminds those who are called to the same callings more than once that the Lord is aware of their lives and talents and is mindful of those whom they may bless in their repeat service." (Leon R. Hartshorn, Dennis A. Wright, and Craig J. Ostler, eds., The Doctrine and Covenants, a Book of Answers: The 25th Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1996], 124-125.)

DC 79 Biographical Sketch

"Birth: 14 June 1801, Benson, Rutland County, Vermont. Son of Gideon Carter and Johanna Sims.

Death: July 1855, DeKalb County, Illinois.

In January 1831 twenty-nine-year-old Jared Carter, younger brother of Gideon Carter, left Chenango, New York, on a business journey. About twelve miles from his home, he stopped to visit John Peck, who, though opposing the Book of Mormon, shared it with him..." (Susan Easton Black, Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 51.)

"Jared Carter was on a business trip that should have lasted several days when he obtained the Book of Mormon not twelve miles from his home. 'After reading awhile ... and praying earnestly to the Lord that he would show me the truth of the book, I became immediately convinced that it was a revelation of God and it had such an influence on my mind that I had no mind to pursue, my business.'

"He went home, told his puzzled wife what had happened, and expressed his desire to seek out the Church. She was unwilling to encourage this 'delusion'; but as he continued to pray, she became 'entirely willing' for him to investigate further.

"He left his home in Broom County to go to Colesville, where he was baptized in February 1831. 'As I stepped out of the water I was wrapped in the spirit both soul and body, even so that the chill of the cold water was taken from me and I walked near a half of a mile and was no more cold than as though I had not been baptized.'  He and his brothers became some of the Church's great missionaries..." (Lavina Fielding Anderson, "Challenge to Greatness: The Nineteenth-Century Saints in New York," Ensign, Sept. 1978, 30-31)

DC 79:1 go again into the eastern countries... in the power of the ordination wherewith he has been ordained

Jared Carter has previously served a mission in the northeastern states.  He had set up the first branch of the church in Vermont. On this first mission, he "preached from Ohio to Chenango, New York, and then to Benson, Vermont. From Vermont he traveled to Galien, New York, to share the Book of Mormon with his family. He then journeyed to Springfield, Pennsylvania, before returning to Ohio." (S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard H. Jackson, eds., Historical Atlas of Mormonism [New York: Simon and Schuster, 1994], 14.)

His second mission would be even more fruitful. Indeed the word of the Lord was fulfilled wherein he declared that he would go forth in the power of his ordination.

Jared Carter

I remember the goodness of the Lord to me in the mission that I have lately been to in the east. . . . All that have been baptized while I have been in the regions where I have been in this mission is 98 and many others have been convinced of the work, that sooner or later, I think, will obey the work. I have been directed by the Spirit to bless in the name of Christ in many places or houses and... now I can say, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, for the marvelous works that He has done since I have come to this work."

I have seen many marvelous manifestations of the power of God in more than eighty instances, by the instrumentality of myself and other elders in this Church of Christ. Many of which miracles I have recorded in my journals. (Milton V. Backman, Jr. and Richard O. Cowan, Joseph Smith and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 70.)

While Brother carter recorded many miracles, only one is included for the sake of brevity.

"John Tanner was a Bible-reading Baptist who, hearing rumors of Mormons in the neighborhood, went to the meeting so he could protect his Baptist brethren. For some months, his leg had been afflicted with open sores, a condition apparently without remedy. Propping himself up in his cart, he drove to the meeting, listened to the preaching of two redoubtable elders, Simeon and Jared Carter, and brought a Book of Mormon home after warning his Baptist friends that 'they had better not fight against [the truth].'

"A few days later, Jared Carter visited the home, administered to John, and commanded him to rise and walk in the name of the Lord. He never used his crutches again. John and Elizabeth were baptized on 17 September 1832."  (Leonard J. Arrington, "The John Tanner Family," Ensign, Mar. 1979, 47)

Jared Carter

"We found while here the Lord had mercy upon a lame man by the name of Tanner, who was so lame that he could not bear his weight on one of his feet. He had been lame for months but we found that he was a believer in the Book of Mormon. I asked him to endeavor to walk in the name of Christ and he agreed to undertake. I then took him by the hand and commanded him in the name of Christ to walk and by the power of Christ he was enabled to walk. Brother Simeon was not that moment present but I found after this, at the very time he was healed, Brother Simeon had an exercise of faith for him in secret prayer to God ("Autobiography," p 19)."  (Milton V. Backman, Jr. and Richard O. Cowan, Joseph Smith and the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992], 70 - 71.)

John Tanner

I arose, threw down my crutches, and walked the floor back and forth-back and forth, praising God, and I felt as light as a feather. (Scraps of Biography: Faith-Promoting Series, no. 10 [Salt Lake City: Juvenile Instructor Office, 1883], 11.)

Subsequent missions would also prove Brother Carter to be a great missionary. The story of the Prophet's mother is particularly illustrative. On one occasion, Lucy Mack Smith found herself in a discussion with a disdainful and contentious pastor. While he mocked the idea of the Book of Mormon and retorted than none of his congregation would ever believe in such a church, she prophesied saying:

"'Now, Mr. Ruggles,' said I, and I spoke with emphasis, for the Spirit of God was upon me, 'mark my words-as true as God lives, before three years we will have more than one-third of your church; and, sir, whether you believe it or not, we will take the very deacon, too.'

"This produced a hearty laugh at the expense of the minister...

"When I returned, I made known to Joseph the situation of things where I had been, so he despatched Brother Jared Carter to that country. And in order that he might not lack influence, he was dressed in a suit of superfine broadcloth. He went immediately into the midst of Mr. Ruggles' church, and, in a short time, brought away seventy of his best members, among whom was the deacon, just as I told the minister." (History of Joseph Smith by His Mother [Salt Lake City: Stevens & Wallis, Inc., 1945], 216 - 217.)

DC 79:3 I will crown him again with sheaves

Certainly, we remorse to read the fate of so many of the early Brethren. Although not directly related to this revelation, many may wonder what was the end of a Brother whose beginning was so faithful and glorious. Brother Carter was a good man and a great missionary, but the early days of the Church were full of difficult trials.  His once impenetrable faith suffered as a result.  Only the Lord knows if Brother Carter has forever lost the promised crown and sheaves.

On 19 September 1835 he was tried by the Kirtland high council for preaching false doctrine. He was told that if he would make a public apology, 'in full faith, and ... truly humble before God,' he would be forgiven. Apparently he complied with this directive.

Unfortunately, by 1838 Jared had again become disaffected. He supported the 'Brothers of Gideon,' later called Danites, and was nicknamed 'the terrible Brother of Gidean [sic] [Carter].' In 1843 he was accused of conspiring with John C. Bennett, Sidney Rigdon, and George W. Robinson against the Prophet. In a letter to Sidney Rigdon dated 27 March 1843, Joseph wrote, 'Jared Carter, is as deep in the mire, as you, Sir, are in the mire, in your conspiracies.'  In September 1844 Jared was disfellowshipped for not following counsel.  Jared confessed his errors and promised abiding faithfulness.

He did not stay true to his promise. When the Saints fled from Nauvoo to the rigors of Iowa's wilderness, he settled in Chicago and by 1848 in DeKalb County, Illinois. He died at the age of fifty-four in DeKalb County.  In 1861 George A. Smith reflected on Jared Carter: 'I remember, when in Kirtland, having heard Jared Carter say that he had sacrificed everything that ever would be required of him. He said, I have sacrificed all my property once, but I will never do it again. Where is that man? He is numbered in the long catalogue of apostates.'" (Susan Easton Black, Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997], 53-55.)