Not long after the vision [now known as Doctrine and Covenants 76] was first recorded, it was copied into a new record book consistent with the pattern that had been followed up to that point. The front cover of the new record book was labeled “Book of Revelations,” and at some point a paper label was added to the spine reading “Kirtland Revelations.” As a result, it became known as the Kirtland Revelation Book.
In addition to the two official record books of revelations—the Book of Commandments and Revelations and the Kirtland Revelation Book—a few other manuscript revelation books were developed during the early history of the Church. These were compilations made by individuals who wanted access to copies of the revelations before they were generally available to the public in printed book form.
An example of such manuscript revelation books is the “Book of Commandments, Laws, and Covenants” kept by Orson Hyde and Samuel H. Smith, brother of Joseph Smith, during a mission to which they were called in a revelation dated January 25, 1832.11
Samuel Smith made an entry in his journal on November 16, 1832, while he and his missionary companion were in the state of Maine. According to his journal, they stopped that day in part because they wanted to record revelations to which they had access. The book into which they copied these revelations has survived and today is part of the collections of the Church History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.12
Others also compiled manuscript revelation books for their own use until published copies of revelations became readily accessible to them.13
11. Doctrine and Covenants (1981) 75:13; Robert J. Woodford, “The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants” (Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1974), 101–2.
12. Woodford, “Historical Development,” 102.
13. Woodford, “Historical Development,” 101–7.