Religious Educator: Perspectives on the Restored Gospel


Jennifer Reeder


women, Emma Smith, history, teaching

Document Type



In early July 1830, shortly following her baptism, Emma Smith received a revelation through her husband, Joseph Smith, about her position and responsibilities in the new Church of Christ. In the revelation (now known as section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants), the Lord described Emma as an “elect lady” and charged her to “expound scriptures and exhort the church according as it shall be given thee by my spirit.” The responsibilities were weighty: the 1828 American Webster dictionary defines exhort as “to encourage, to embolden, to cheer, to advise, to excite or to give strength, spirit, or courage.” Likewise, expound means “to explain, to lay open the meaning, to clear out of obscurity, to interpret.” The revelation contained specific counsel for Emma, but at the conclusion the charge to teach and preach applied to a more general audience: “this is my voice unto all.”