26052

Revelation, circa Summer 1829 [D&C 19]

mighty power, that you confess your sins, lest you  suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of  which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree  you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.6

Lucy Mack Smith later wrote that when Harris announced the loss of the initial manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon translation, JS said, “Have you broken your oath and brought down condemnation upon my head as well as your own?” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [6]; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Smith, Lucy Mack. History, 1844–1845. 18 books. CHL. Also available in Lavina Fielding Anderson, ed., Lucy’s Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith’s Family Memoir (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2001).

22 And I command

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

View Glossary
you, that you preach nought  but repentance; and show not these things,7

A number of JS’s revelations contain a caveat that they not be shown to unbelievers. (See, for example, Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:35–37]; Visions of Moses, June 1830 [Moses 1:42]; and Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831, in Doctrine and Covenants 100:6, 1835 ed. [D&C 133:60].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.

neither  speak these things unto the world, for they can not  bear meat, but milk they must receive:8

See 1 Corinthians 3:1–3; and Hebrews 5:11–14.  

 
23 Wherefore, they must not know these things  lest they perish:
24 Wherefore, learn of me, and listen to my words;  walk in the meekness of my Spirit and you shall  have peace in me, Jesus Christ by the will of the  Father.
25 And again: I command you, that thou shalt  not covet thy neighbor’s wife.9

See Exodus 20:17. Lucy Harris, after she was estranged from Martin, insinuated publicly that he had carried on an illicit relationship with the wife of Daniel Haggard, who was living on his property at the time. (Lucy Harris, Statement, Palmyra, NY, 29 Nov. 1833, in Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 256–257.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Howe, Eber D. Mormonism Unvailed: Or, A Faithful Account of That Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time. With Sketches of the Characters of Its Propagators, and a Full Detail of the Manner in Which the Famous Golden Bible Was Brought before the World. To Which Are Added, Inquiries into the Probability That the Historical Part of the Said Bible Was Written by One Solomon Spalding, More Than Twenty Years Ago, and by Him Intended to Have Been Published as a Romance. Painesville, OH: By the author, 1834.

26 Nor seek thy neighbor’s life.
27 And again: I command you, that thou shalt  not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to  the printing of the book of Mormon, which contains  the truth and the word of God,10

The copy of this revelation in Revelation Book 1 originally read, “which contains the word of God.” (Revelation Book 1, p. 27 [D&C 19:26].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Revelation Book 1 / “A Book of Commandments and Revelations of the Lord Given to Joseph the Seer and Others by the Inspiration of God and Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost Which Beareth Re[c]ord of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost Which Is One God Infinite and Eternal World without End Amen,” 1831–1835. CHL.

which is my word to  Gentile

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

View Glossary
, that soon it may go to the Jew, of which  the Lamanites

A name used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, one of the sons of Lehi. The Book of Mormon explained that Lehi and his Israelite family migrated from Jerusalem to America around 600 BC. After Lehi’s death, his family ...

View Glossary
are a remnant; that they may be lieve the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come  which has already come.
28 And again: I command you, that thou shalt  pray vocally as well as to thyself:
29 Yea, before the world as well as in secret; in  public as well as in private.
30 And thou shalt declare glad tidings; yea, pub lish it upon the mountains, and upon every high  place, and among every people which thou shalt be  permitted to see.11

See Isaiah 52:7.  

 
31 And thou shalt do it with all humility, trusting  in me, reviling not against revilers. [p. 41]
PreviousNext
This revelation, directed to Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
, clarified doctrines regarding the nature of God, Christ’s atonement, repentance, and the afterlife, and it counseled Harris on a variety of matters. Its immediate purpose was to assure payment to printer E. B. Grandin

30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...

View Full Bio
by commanding Harris to “not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the book of Mormon.”
Although the first two published versions date this revelation to March 1830,1

Book of Commandments 16; Doctrine and Covenants 44, 1835 ed.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

A Book of Commandments, for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized according to Law, on the 6th of April, 1830. Zion [Independence], MO: W. W. Phelps, 1833.

Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.

the earliest extant manuscript and the context for the revelation better support a summer 1829 date. The earliest manuscript version, found in Revelation Book 1, is only partially extant. It includes only the final portion of the revelation and does not bear a date.2

The second half of this revelation appears on pages 27 and 28 of Revelation Book 1; the leaf containing pages 25 and 26 is missing from the volume. (See JSP, MRB:23–27.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

JSP, MRB / Jensen, Robin Scott, Robert J. Woodford, and Steven C. Harper, eds. Manuscript Revelation Books. Facsimile edition. First volume of the Revelations and Translations series of The Joseph Smith Papers, edited by Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, and Richard Lyman Bushman. Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2009.

But when John Whitmer

27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...

View Full Bio
inscribed it in Revelation Book 1, he placed it within a series of 1829 revelations and listed it in the book’s index as an 1829 revelation.3

Revelation Book 1, p. [207].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Revelation Book 1 / “A Book of Commandments and Revelations of the Lord Given to Joseph the Seer and Others by the Inspiration of God and Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost Which Beareth Re[c]ord of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost Which Is One God Infinite and Eternal World without End Amen,” 1831–1835. CHL.

When the revelation was first printed, in the 1833 Book of Commandments, it was dated March 1830, with the location and date in parentheses. The Book of Commandments used parentheses frequently to supply information not included in manuscript sources, while the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants eliminated all such parentheses, with one exception: it retained the parentheses around the dating of this revelation, suggesting that the 1830 date was not certain. Although a recollection by Joseph Knight Sr.

3 Nov. 1772–2 Feb. 1847. Farmer, miller. Born at Oakham, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Son of Benjamin Knight and Sarah Crouch. Lived at Marlboro, Windham Co., Vermont, by 1780. Married first Polly Peck, 1795, in Windham Co. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge...

View Full Bio
seems to provide evidence for a March 1830 date, Knight’s placement of the revelation in the later time frame is likely explained by his reliance on the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.4

In March 1830, Knight traveled with JS to Manchester, New York. As they arrived, they met Martin Harris, who was distraught because no one wanted to buy the Book of Mormon. According to Knight’s later narrative, Harris told JS, “I want a Commandment why says Joseph fullfill what you have got But says he I must have a Commandment.” That night Harris and Knight stayed at the Smith home, and when Harris departed the next morning, Knight heard him again tell JS that “he must have a Commandment.” When reconstructing this episode in his narrative, Knight consulted the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants to find the revelation that Harris had demanded and found the printed text of this revelation with the expected date. He then wrote, “And along in the after part of the Day Joseph and Oliver [Cowdery] Received a Commandmant whi[c]h is in Book of Covenants Page 174,” thus associating this revelation, dated “(March 1830)” in the Doctrine and Covenants, with his remembered experience.

This passage from Knight’s narrative may be viewed as corroborating the March 1830 date. More likely, however, Knight’s recollection of the conversation was accurate but he was mistaken in assuming that JS received a new revelation for Harris. By this line of reasoning, when JS told Harris in March 1830 to “fullfill what you have got,” he was referring to the revelation featured here, which Harris had received the previous summer. The March 1830 date requires interpreting the revelation as chastising Harris for delay in selling off enough of his mortgaged property to come up with some or all of the $3,000 owed to Grandin by the terms of the 25 August 1829 agreement. Given the actual terms of the agreement and the use Grandin made of it, this scenario seems unlikely. This revelation more closely fits a summer 1829 context, and it likely motivated Harris to complete the 25 August 1829 agreement with Grandin soon after. (Doctrine and Covenants 44, 1835 ed; Knight, Reminiscences, 6–7; see also discussion of Harris’s mortgage to Grandin.)


Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.

Knight, Joseph, Sr. Reminiscences, no date. CHL.

In June 1829, before this revelation was dictated, Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
and JS talked with several printers in Palmyra

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

More Info
and Rochester

Located at falls of Genesee River, seven miles south of Lake Ontario, on Erie Canal. Founded 1812. Incorporated as village, 1817. Originally called Rochesterville; name changed to Rochester, 1822. Incorporated as city, 1834. County seat. Population in 1820...

More Info
, New York, about printing the Book of Mormon, finally settling on E. B. Grandin

30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...

View Full Bio
of Palmyra. John H. Gilbert, the compositor who assisted Grandin in estimating the cost of the project and later typeset the Book of Mormon, recalled that Harris initiated the negotiations and planned to pay for the printing.5

John H. Gilbert, Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892, photocopy, CHL. In addition, Thurlow Weed, a printer in Rochester, stated that JS and Harris “applied to the Senior Editor of the Journal, then residing at Rochester, to Print his ‘Book of Mormon.’” Weed further explained that Harris had “offered to pay for the Printing.” After Harris reportedly received an offer from Rochester printer Elihu F. Marshall, he returned to Palmyra to renegotiate with Grandin, “assuring Grandin that the book would be printed in Rochester if he declined the job again.” (“Recent Progress of the Mormons,” Albany Evening Journal, 31 July 1854, [2], italics in original; see also “Prospect of Peace with Utah,” Albany Evening Journal, 19 May 1858, [2]; and “From the Troy Times,” Albany Evening Journal, 21 May 1858, [2].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Gilbert, John H. Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892. Photocopy. CHL.

Albany Evening Journal. Albany, NY. 1830–1863.

Gilbert also remembered that Grandin would not begin work or purchase the needed type from the foundry until “after Harris had promised to insure the payment for the printing.”6

“Mormon Leaders at Their Mecca,” New York Herald, 25 June 1893, 12.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

New York Herald. New York City. 1835–1924.

Grandin’s price to print five thousand copies was $3,000, which would require Harris to impart essentially all of the property to which he had legal right.7

Harris had previously deeded eighty acres of his property to his wife, Lucy, in 1825 (though the deed was not recorded until May 1828), leaving at least 151 acres under Harris’s control. That transfer to Lucy Harris was apparently part of a jointure agreement whereby she received her marital interest (often referred to as a dower interest) from Martin. Historian Andrew Jenson later noted that Lucy Harris “partially separated from him, which he patiently endured for the gospel’s sake.” (See Wayne Co., NY, Deed Records, 1823–1904, vol. 5, pp. 530–532, 29 Nov. 1825, microfilm 478,782; Wayne Co., NY, Deed Records, 1823–1904, vol. 10, pp. 515–516, 7 Apr. 1831, microfilm 478,786, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:275.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901–1936.

Printing began in September 1829.8

See John H. Gilbert, Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892, photocopy, CHL; Indenture, Martin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Wayne Co., NY, 25 Aug. 1829, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 3, pp. 325–326, microfilm 479,556, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; and Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 6 Nov. 1829.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Gilbert, John H. Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892. Photocopy. CHL.

U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

JS likely dictated the text of this revelation sometime after the negotiations in June and before 25 August 1829, when Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

View Full Bio
mortgaged his property to Grandin

30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...

View Full Bio
as payment for the publication, thus apparently fulfilling the revelation’s injunction to “pay the printer’s debt.”9

Indenture, Martin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Wayne Co., NY, 25 Aug. 1829, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 3, pp. 325–326, microfilm 479,556, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL. The mortgage did not require Harris to make regular payments, and for the full eighteen-month term of the mortgage Harris was entitled to occupy his property. He retained the option of selling it at any time and paying off Grandin from the profits. If Harris defaulted on the mortgage, Grandin could legally sell the property to obtain the money. If the property sold for more than $3,000, Harris would be legally entitled to the excess.

Grandin sold the mortgage in October 1830 for $2,000 cash to his wife’s great uncle, Thomas Rogers II, a transaction that may have been part of a larger financial deal. When Harris’s property was eventually sold, Rogers collected the full $3,000 from the buyer, Thomas Lakey. (Wayne Co., NY, Deed Records, 1823–1904, vol. 10, pp. 515–516, 7 Apr. 1831, microfilm 478,786, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Transfer, Egbert B. Grandin to Thomas Rogers II, 21 Oct. 1830, photocopy, Land Transactions Involving Martin Harris, CHL; Discharge, Thomas Rogers II, 28 Jan. 1832, photocopy, Land Transactions Involving Martin Harris, CHL.)


Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

Land Transactions Involving Martin Harris, 1829–1832. CHL.

The language of the revelation suggests that Harris had already agreed to Grandin’s terms but had not yet arranged payment. Grandin’s brother-in-law later recalled that “Harris became for a time in some degree staggered in his confidence; but nothing could be done in the way of printing without his aid.”10

Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 51.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Tucker, Pomeroy. Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism: Biography of Its Founders and History of Its Church. New York: D. Appleton, 1867.

Once Harris mortgaged his property, however, Grandin considered himself paid in full.11

Though it is unknown how Grandin originally intended to use the mortgage, his right to “assign” or sell the mortgage meant that he did not need to wait eighteen months for Harris to sell his farm to be compensated. Harris’s mortgage essentially paid for the cost of printing before the first page came off the press. Since Grandin’s investment was secured, he had no financial interest in whether the Book of Mormon sold well or not. This helps explain why there is no evidence Grandin was alarmed by the activities of Abner Cole who, using Grandin’s printshop and press, began illicitly printing pages of the Book of Mormon in January 1830 in the Palmyra Reflector. Even after the Book of Mormon was available for purchase beginning in late March 1830, Grandin continued to allow Cole to use his press to deride the Book of Mormon. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 9, [9]–[10]; “The First Book of Nephi,” Reflector [Palmyra, NY], 2 Jan. 1830, 9; News Item, Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, NY], 19 Mar. 1830, [3].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Smith, Lucy Mack. History, 1844–1845. 18 books. CHL. Also available in Lavina Fielding Anderson, ed., Lucy’s Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith’s Family Memoir (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2001).

Reflector. Palmyra, NY. 1821–1831.

Wayne Sentinel. Palmyra, NY. 1823–1852, 1860–1861.

According to Gilbert, printing then proceeded: “As quick as Mr. Grandin got his type and got things all ready to commence the work, Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

View Full Bio
brought to the office 24 pages of manuscript on foolscap paper.”12

John H. Gilbert, Palmyra, NY, to James T. Cobb, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, 10 Feb. 1879, in Theodore Schroeder Papers . . . Relating to Mormonism. There were no type foundries in the Palmyra area. Although there was a small foundry in Albany, Grandin more likely purchased the type in New York City. If he did not travel there to get it until after 25 August 1829, it is unlikely he returned before September. Cowdery reported to JS in early November that the work, though proceeding slowly, was well under way, with completion expected in February. (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 6 Nov. 1829.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Gilbert, John H. Letter, Palmyra, NY, to James T. Cobb, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, 10 Feb. 1879. Theodore Schroeder Papers: Corres., Writings and Printed Ephemera Relating to Mormonism. Microfilm. New York: New York Public Library Photographic Service, 1986. Copy at CHL.

Facts