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Answers to Questions, between circa 4 and circa 20 March 1832 [D&C 77]

Answers to Questions, between circa 4 and circa 20 March 1832 [D&C 77]

Ans.We are to understand that it contains the revealed will. mysteries and works of God. the hidden things of his economy concerning this Earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance or its temporal existence.
QWhat are we to understand by the Seven Seals with which it was sealed?
AWe are to understand that the first seal contains the things of the first thousand years and the second also of the second thousand years and so on until the seventh.
QWhat are we to understand by the four Angels spoken of by John 7 Chap & first verse of Rev.
AWe are to understand that they are four angels sent forth from God to whom is given power over the four parts of the Earth to save life and to destroy. these are they who have the everlasting Gospel to commit to every Nation kindred tongue and people having power to shut up the heavens to seal

To confirm or solemnize. In the early 1830s, revelations often adopted biblical usage of the term seal; for example, “sealed up the testimony” referred to proselytizing and testifying of the gospel as a warning of the approaching end time. JS explained in...

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up unto life, or to cast down to the regions of darkness.
QWhat are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east Rev 7. Chap. & 2 verse?
AWe are to understand that the angel ascended from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the tweleve tribes of Israel wherefore he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting Gospel to preach saying hurt not the earth neither the Sea nor the trees till we have sealed the Servants of our God in their foreheads and if you will receive it this is Elias which was to come to gether

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

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to gether the tribes of Israel and restore all things.
Q What time are things spoken of in this chapter to be accomplished?
[p. 142]
Ans.We are to understand that it contains the revealed  will. mystery mysteries and works of God. the hidden things  of his economy concerning this Earth during the  seven thousand years of its continuance or its  temporal existence.
QWhat are we to understand by the Seven Seals with  which it was sealed?
AWe are to understand that the first seal contains  the things of the first thousand years and the second  also of the second thousand years and so on until  the seventh.
QWhat are we to understand by the four Angels  spoken of by John 7 Chap & first verse of Rev.9

The four angels stood “on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” These four angels had it “given” to them “to hurt the earth and the sea.” (Revelation 7:1–2.)  


AWe are to understand that they are four angels sent  forth from God to whom is given power over  the four parts of the Earth to save life and to  destroy[.] these are they who have the everlasting  Gospel to commit to every Nation kindred tongue  and people having power to shut up the heavens  to seal

To confirm or solemnize. In the early 1830s, revelations often adopted biblical usage of the term seal; for example, “sealed up the testimony” referred to proselytizing and testifying of the gospel as a warning of the approaching end time. JS explained in...

View Glossary
up unto life, or to cast down to the  regions of darkness.10

See Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:12]; and Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:53–54].  


QWhat are we to understand by the angels ascending  from the east Rev 7. Chap. & 2 verse?11

This angel had “the seal of the living God.” (Revelation 7:2.)  


AWe are to understand that the angel ascended from  the east is he to whom is given the seal of the  living God over the tweleve tribes of Israel  wherefore he crieth unto the four angels having  the everlasting Gospel to preach saying hurt not  the earth neither the Sea nor the trees till we have  sealed the Servants of our God in their foreheads  and if you will receive it this is the Elias which  was to come to gether

As directed by early revelations, church members “gathered” in communities. A revelation dated September 1830, for instance, instructed elders “to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect” who would “be gathered in unto one place, upon the face of this land...

View Glossary
to gether the tribes of Israel  and restore all things.12

See Matthew 11:14; 17:11. JS’s Bible revision changed the explanation of Elias’s identity in Matthew 17:13 from “Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist” to “Then the Deciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, & also of another which should come & restore all things, as it is written by the Prophets.” (New Testament Revision 2, part 1, p. 32 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 17:13].)  


Q What time are things spoken of in this chapter  to be accomplished?
[p. 142]
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As JS continued his revision of the New Testament in February and March 1832, he reached the book of Revelation with its abundance of symbolic language. “About the first of march, in connection with the translation of the scriptures,” a later JS history explains, “I received the following explanation of the Revelations of Saint John.”1 Given that JS was 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, and was not working on the New Testament revisions between 29 February and 4 March 1832, this document was likely written sometime between 4 March and 20 March, when another revelation told 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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(who was serving as JS’s scribe) to “omit the translation for the present time” so that they could travel 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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.2 By the night of 24–25 March 1832, when the pair was attacked by a group of men in 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, JS and Rigdon were working on the eleventh chapter of the book of Revelation, the last chapter mentioned in the explanation.3

Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 422.  


Because he was inscribing the New Testament revision, 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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probably served as the original scribe for the explanation, but Jesse Gause

Ca. 1784–ca. Sept. 1836. Schoolteacher. Born at East Marlborough, Chester Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Gause (Goss) and Mary Beverly. Joined Society of Friends (Quakers), 1806. Moved to Fayette Co., Pennsylvania, 1808; to Chester Co., 1811; and to Wilmington...

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could have been the scribe instead.4

Gause apparently served as scribe for some of the Bible revisions between 8 March and 20 March, including those involving the first and second chapters of the book of Revelation. (Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70; Jennings, “Consequential Counselor,” 183.)  


The earliest surviving copy is an undated one made by 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...

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in Revelation Book 1, where it is identified only as “Revelation Explained.” Whitmer, who was residing in 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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at the time, probably made the copy sometime after April 1832, when JS likely brought the original document to Missouri along with copies of revelations dictated in March.5

See Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 1, in JSP, MRB:5.  


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