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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.?
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]
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]
Previous
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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