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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]

AThey are to be accomplished in the sixth thousandth  year or the opening of the Sixth seal.
QWhat are we to understand by sealing the one hundred  and forty four thousand out of all the tribes of Israel  twelve thousand out of every tribe?13

These 144,000 were the servants of God who had been “sealed . . . in their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:3–8.)  

 
AWe are to understand that those who are sealed are  high Priests ordained unto the holy order of God to  administer the everlasting Gospel for they are they who  are ordained out of every Nation kindred tongue and  people by the angels to whom is given power over the  Nations of the earth to bring as many as will come to  the church of the first born.14

Philo Dibble, who claimed he was present when JS and Sidney Rigdon experienced their 16 February 1832 vision of the afterlife, implied to a congregation in Payson, Utah, in 1877 that in the course of that vision, JS and Rigdon saw the “hundred and forty four thousand [that] should stand on the earth in the last days as Saviors of men.” (Payson Ward, General Minutes, vol. 5, 7 Jan. 1877; see also Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Payson Ward. General Minutes, 1850–1892. CHL.

QWhat are we to understand by the sounding of the trump ets mentioned in the 8th. Chap. of Rev.15

Seven angels stood before God after the seventh seal had been opened and each subsequently blew a trumpet. (Revelation 8:1–12; 9:1, 13; 10:7.)  

 
AWe are to understand that <as> God made the world in six days  and on the seventh day he finished his work and sancti fied it and also formed man out of the dust of the  earth evens so in the begining of the seven thousandth  year will the Lord God Sanctify the earth and to comp lete the Salvation of man and Judge all things and shall  redeem all things except that which he hath not put  into his power when he shall have sealed all things  unto the end of all things and the sounding of the trum pets of the seven angels are the preparing and finishing  of his work in the begining of the seven thousandth  year the preparing of the way before the time of his  coming16

Archbishop James Ussher of the Church of Ireland composed an influential and widely referenced biblical chronology in 1658 that dated the creation of Adam to 4004 BC, meaning that the opening of the seventh thousand years would not occur until around the year 2000. Some of JS’s followers, however, apparently believed that the opening of the seventh thousand years would be much sooner. William W. Phelps, for example, contended in the August 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star that Adam was created 4,159 years before Christ, which meant that there remained only “NINE years” until “the begining of the seven thousandth year, or sabbath of creation.” (Ussher, Annals of the World, 1; “Present Age of the World,” The Evening and the Morning Star, Aug. 1832, [5]–[6].)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Ussher, James. The Annals of the World. Deduced from the Origin of Time, and Continued to the Beginning of the Emperour Vespasians Reign . . . . London: Printed by E. Tyler, for J. Crook and G. Bedell, 1658.

The Evening and the Morning Star. Independence, MO, June 1832–July 1833; Kirtland, OH, Dec. 1833–Sept. 1834.

QWhen are the things to be accomplished which are  written in the ninth Chap. of Rev.17

This chapter of Revelation covers the sounding of the trumpets of the fifth and sixth angels. It describes John’s vision of the pestilences and wars that occurred at the sounding of these trumpets.  

 
AThey are to be accomplished after the opening of the  seventh seal before the coming of Christ
QWhat are we to understand by the little book which was  eaten by John as mentioned in the 10th. Chapt. of Rev.18

The “little book” was held by an angel who came down from heaven and placed his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the earth. John was told to take the book and to eat it. “It shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.” (Revelation 10:1–2, 8–10.)  

 
AWe are to undeerstand that it was a Mission and an ordi nance for him to gather the tribes of Israel19

An 1829 revelation stated that John the Revelator did not die but was physically transformed so that he could remain on earth until the second coming of Jesus Christ. At a conference in June 1831, JS reportedly “prophecied that John the Revelator was then among the ten tribes of Israel who had been lead away by Salmanaser King of israel [Assyria], to prepare them for their return, from their Long dispersion, to again possess the land of their father’s.” (Account of John, Apr. 1829–C [D&C 7]; Whitmer, History, 27, in JSP, H2:39.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

JSP, H2 / Davidson, Karen Lynn, Richard L. Jensen, and David J. Whittaker, eds. Histories, Volume 2: Assigned Historical Writings, 1831–1847. Vol. 2 of the Histories 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, 2012.

Behold  this is Elias who as it is written must come and  restore all things.
[p. 143]
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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