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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]

QWhat is to be understood by the two witnesses in  the eleventh Chapt. of Rev.?20

The two witnesses were to prophesy for 1,260 days. They were to have “power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy.” After this period, they would be killed and their bodies would lie in the street “of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified” for three and a half days. They would then come back to life and ascend to heaven in a cloud. (Revelation 11:3–12.)  

 
AThey are two prophets that are to be raised up to  the Jewish nation in the last days at the time  of the restoration and to prophesy to the Jews after  they are gathered and have built the city of Jerusalem  in the Land of their Fathers
[p. 144]
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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, 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 (who was serving as JS’s scribe) to “omit the translation for the present time” so that they could travel to Missouri.2 By the night of 24–25 March 1832, when the pair was attacked by a group of men in Hiram, 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.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Because he was inscribing the New Testament revision, Rigdon probably served as the original scribe for the explanation, but Jesse Gause 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.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.

Jennings, Erin B. “The Consequential Counselor: Restoring the Root(s) of Jesse Gause.” Journal of Mormon History 34 (Spring 2008): 182–227.

The earliest surviving copy is an undated one made by John Whitmer in Revelation Book 1, where it is identified only as “Revelation Explained.” Whitmer, who was residing in Missouri 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.  

 

Facts