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Revelation Book 2

sixteenth of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and— thirty two and through the power of the spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlarged so as to see and understand the things of God even the things which were from the begining before the world was which was ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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of the Father through his only begoten son who was in the bosom of the father even from the begining of whom be [we] bear reccord and the reccord which we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ who is the son whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision for as we sat doing the work of translation

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

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which the lord had appointed unto us we came to the twenty ninth verse of in the fifth chapter of John which was given unto us thus speaking of the reserection of the dead who should hear the voice of the son of man and shall come forth they who have done good in the resurection of the just and they who have done evil in the resurection of the unjust now this caused us to marvel for it was given unto us of the spirit and while we meditated upon these thing the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened and the glory of the lord shone round about and we beheld the glory of the son on the right of the Father and received of his fulness and saw the holy Angels and they who are sanctified before his throne worshiping God and the lamb for ever and ever and now after the many testamonies which have been given of him this is the testamony last of all which we give of him that he lives [p. 2]
sixteenth of February in the year of our Lord  one thousand eight hundred and— thirty two  and through the power of the spirit our eyes  were opened and our understandings were enlarged  so as to see and understand the things of God even  the things which were from the begining before  the world was which was ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

View Glossary
of the Father  through his only begoten son who was in the  bosom of the father even from the begining  of whom be [we] bear reccord and the reccord which  we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ  who is the son whom we saw and with whom  we conversed in the heavenly vision for as we  sat doing the work of translation

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

View Glossary
which the  lord had appointed unto us we came to the  twenty ninth verse of in the fifth chapter  of John which was given unto us thus speak[i]ng  of the reserection of the dead who should hear  the voice of the son of man and shall come forth  they who have done good in the resurection of the  just and they who have done evil in the  resurection of the unjust now this caused us  to marvel for it was given <unto> us of the spirit  and while we meditated upon these thing  the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings  and they were opened and the glory of the  lord shone round about and we beheld the  glory of the son on the right of the Father and  received of his fulness and saw the holy Angels  and they who are sanctified before his throne  worshiping God and the lamb for ever and ever  and now after the many testamonies which  have been given of him this is the testamony  last of all which we give of him that he lives [p. 2]
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Revelation Book 2, also known as “Book of Revelations” or “Kirtland Revelation Book,” is a manuscript book of revelations and other items. Some of these items, such as a revelation to Lincoln Haskins

27 Aug. 1779–10 Dec. 1855. Farmer. Born in Shutesbury, Franklin Co., Massachusetts. Son of Nathan Haskins and Phebe Lincoln. Moved to Savoy, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, by Mar. 1802. Married Experience Paine, 12 Apr. 1802, in Savoy. Moved to Nunda, Allegany...

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, are not found anywhere else.1 Items were copied into the manuscript book over a period of almost three years, from late February or early March 1832 to late 1834. Internal evidence, historical context, and comparison with other manuscript revelations suggest approximate dates that many items were copied. Specific dates are known for several other items, such as a single journal entry recorded 8 March 1832.2 Notations by Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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date the copying of three revelations, two on 18 August 1834 and one on 27 August 1834.3 Only three revelations dated before 1831 were copied into the manuscript book.
Some items within Revelation Book 2 contain ink or graphite editing marks made to prepare them for printing in publications such as the 1835–1836 reprint of The Evening and the Morning Star and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.4

For an example of editing marks that were likely made in preparation for the 1835–1836 reprint of The Evening and the Morning Star, see Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76]. For an example of editing marks made in preparation for the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, see Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97].  


Similar marks appear in Revelation Book 1, which is even more heavily marked. Revelation Book 2 was used for the preparation of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants circa 1834–1835 in Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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, Ohio. All but eight items in the manuscript book were published therein,5 while just three revelations appear in both the manuscript book and the Book of Commandments.6

The following revelations from Revelation Book 2 were published in the Book of Commandments: Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–B [D&C 47]; Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41]; and Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:74–77].  


Two revelations in the manuscript book were first published in the 1844 Doctrine and Covenants, although no evidence indicates that Revelation Book 2 was used as the source for publication.7

The following revelations herein from Revelation Book 2 were first published in the 1844 Doctrine and Covenants: Revelation, 22 June 1834 [D&C 105]; and Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103].  


The first item in the manuscript book, titled “The Vision” and dated 16 February 1832, commands JS and Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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four times to commit the vision to paper. The version in Revelation Book 2 does not appear to be the original copy, although it was copied into the manuscript book shortly after the date it bears.8 In fact, all of the revelatory items copied into the manuscript book appear to be copies from earlier manuscripts, not the original dictated versions, and more than half are in chronological order. Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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acted as principal scribe for Revelation Book 2 and inscribed full or partial copies of forty items. Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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, Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, and JS inscribed full or partial copies of seventeen items (eight items in the manuscript book were inscribed by more than one person). These four men, as well as William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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and Sidney Rigdon, also made later corrections.
The first two items in Revelation Book 2 (manuscript pages 1–10) were most likely copied between 16 February 1832, the date the first item bears, and 8 March 1832, the date the third item bears. The revelations on manuscript pages 11–19 were likely copied before JS left Hiram

Area settled by immigrants from Pennsylvania and New England, ca. 1802. Located in northeastern Ohio about twenty-five miles southeast of Kirtland. Population in 1830 about 500. Population in 1840 about 1,100. JS lived in township at home of John and Alice...

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, Ohio, on 1 April 1832 to journey to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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, as commanded in a revelation in this portion of the manuscript book. JS dictated several revelations while in Missouri, but his scribes did not copy them into the manuscript book when he returned to Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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in early summer 1832. One of these revelations, dated 30 April 1832, was eventually copied into the manuscript book circa 1834. A second revelation, dated 26 April 1832, was never copied into Revelation Book 2, although it was copied into Revelation Book 1 shortly after the date it bears.
The next two revelations in the manuscript book (manuscript pages 19–31) are dated August and September 1832, and both are signed by Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, who served as a scribe for JS during this period. He likely copied these revelations into Revelation Book 2 shortly after they were initially recorded. The next four revelations (manuscript pages 31–48), the first of which was signed by Williams as both scribe and counselor to JS, were likely copied after Williams was appointed as counselor, which occurred by 22 January 1833.9

Minute Book 1, 22 Jan. 1833.  


The next five items (manuscript pages 48–55) were likely copied soon after the dates they bear—late winter and early spring 1833.
Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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copied the next three revelations (manuscript pages 56–61), perhaps while acting as clerk for the presidency of the church, a service he performed starting 6 June 1833.10

Minute Book 1, 6 June 1833.  


Hyde likely copied these revelations before he left on a proselytizing mission to Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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the last week of July 1833.11

Coltrin, Diary, 30 July 1833, [6].  


The three revelations on manuscript pages 61–71 were quoted in a letter dated 6 August 1833 and were likely copied into Revelation Book 2 about the same time.12

Sidney Rigdon et al., Kirtland, OH, to Edward Partridge et al., Independence, MO, 6 Aug. 1833, JS Collection, CHL.  


The next revelation (manuscript pages 71–72) was copied by Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, something Cowdery could have done only after his return to Kirtland

Located ten miles south of Lake Erie. Settled by 1811. Organized by 1818. Population in 1830 about 55 Latter-day Saints and 1,000 others; in 1838 about 2,000 Saints and 1,200 others; in 1839 about 100 Saints and 1,500 others. Mormon missionaries visited township...

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in late October 1833.13

See Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to Warren Cowdery, Freedom, NY, 30 Oct. 1833, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 1–3.  


The revelation following this (manuscript pages 73–83) was likely copied into the manuscript book before being published as a broadsheet circa January 1834.14

Verily, I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, [Kirtland, OH: ca. Jan. 1834], copy at CHL [D&C 101].  


The next ten revelations (manuscript pages 83–97) are dated between October 1830 and the end of April 1832 and are not in chronological order. While three of the ten had been published previously (one in the 1833 Book of Commandments15

Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41] was published as chapter 43 in the Book of Commandments.  


and two in The Evening and the Morning Star16

Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831 [D&C 65] was published in the September 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star. Revelation, 30 Apr. 1832 [D&C 83] was published in the January 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star.  


), the presence of the other seven appears to be the result of an effort to collect revelations that were not in print by 1834. All are dated several years before they were copied into Revelation Book 2, and four of them were not included in the Book of Commandments although they were available for publication. Of these ten revelations, nine were later published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.17

See Revelation, 15 May 1831 for the revelation not published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.  


While Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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, the scribe for all ten revelations, might have coped this portion of the manuscript book in late 1833 or early 1834, internal and external evidence suggests that he copied the revelations following his return from the “Camp of Israel

The name of the spring 1834 military expedition from Kirtland, Ohio, to Clay County, Missouri. It later came to be known as “Zion’s Camp.” This relief expedition, appointed by revelation and led by JS, consisted of about two hundred armed but largely untrained...

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” expedition to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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in 1834 (later known as “Zion’s Camp”). August 1834 is the most probable copying date for two reasons. First, Williams erroneously dated one revelation “August 20” rather than “May 20,” suggesting that he copied it into the manuscript book in August.18 Second, a committee to publish the revelations was appointed by late September 1834, indicating that church leaders had begun to plan for another publication of the revelations by that time, possibly as early as August.19

Minute Book 1, 24 Sept. 1834; see also Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” Independence, MO, 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 58; and F. G. Williams and Company, Account Book, 1.  


Despite this evidence, however, late 1833 and early spring 1834 cannot be ruled out as the period Williams did this copying work.
Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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, and Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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penned the next nine revelations (manuscript pages 97–120), perhaps as part of the continued attempt to collect revelations for publication. Hyde provided late August 1834 as the date he finished copying three of these revelations.20 Following these, only five revelations were copied into the manuscript book, four dated earlier than August 1834 and one dated 25 November 1834. These last five were likely copied before the end of 1834, but the copying dates are unknown.
Though space remained, scribes copied no additional revelations into Revelation Book 2. It is unknown why later revelations were not copied or who possessed the book from 1834 to 1843. Revelations of that period were recorded in other places, such as JS’s journals. When working on JS’s history in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, in 1843, William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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and Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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used three blank leaves in the back of Revelation Book 2 to record information not incorporated into the history, often citing sources for the new material.
In addition to marking corrections, those preparing the items in Revelation Book 2 for publication pinned into the manuscript book slips of paper that contained additions or clarifications to the original text. Two such slips are extant in Revelation Book 2, and they are transcribed as separate leaves where they appear in the manuscript book. Elsewhere in Revelation Book 2, visible pinholes likely mark where additional slips were fastened to the page as texts were copied or prepared for publication.21

See here for an example of a slip of paper that was pinned to the page. A series of pinholes is also visible on manuscript page 69.  


These marks, which suggest how the manuscript book was created, are identified in the textual annotation.
The leaf containing pages 54–55 of JS’s March–September 1838 journal, entitled “Scriptory Book,” was torn from that journal and inserted into Revelation Book 2, probably in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century when revelations from different locations in the Church Historian’s Office were assembled into one collection. That leaf is no longer in Revelation Book 2; it remains separated from the journal and is in the Revelations Collection. The leaf includes two revelations dated 8 July 1838 and is transcribed in its original location in the first volume of the Journals series. A document related to the history-writing effort in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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was also inserted into Revelation Book 2 at some point, thereby becoming associated with the book though not physically part of it.
Note: At present, the transcript of Revelation Book 2 on this website includes only the original inscriptions, not the later redactions made to the manuscript book to prepare the revelations for publication. A transcript showing the later redactions will eventually be added to this site. Until that time, readers will notice many discrepancies between the images and the transcript. For a transcript that includes the redactions, consult Revelations and Translations: Manuscript Revelation Books, facsimile ed. (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2009) or Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011).
Except as described in this note, Revelation Book 2 is presented here electronically as a complete record. In contrast, the Documents series (multiple volumes forthcoming in print; selections also available on this site) presents each revelation separately, placed in chronological order with other documents of various genres. That series includes the earliest and best extant version of each revelation, providing contextual annotation and a historical introduction for each. Readers should consult the Documents series for information about the setting and significance of individual revelations.

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