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Old Testament Revision 1

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And the Lord God spake unto Moses saying The Heavens there are many & they cannot be numbered unto man but they are numbered unto me for they are mine & as one Earth shall pass away & the Heavens thereof even so shall another come And there is no end to my works neither my words for behold this is my work to my glory to the immortality & the eternal life of man And now Moses my Son I will speak unto you concerning this Earth upon which thou standest & thou shalt write the things which I shall speak & in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught & take many of them from the Book which thou shalt write behold I will raise up another like unto thee & they shall be had again among the Children of men among even as many as shall believe These words was spoken unto Moses in the mount the name of which shall not be known among the Children of men And now they are also spoken unto you shew them not unto any except them that believe Amen
A Revelation given to the Elders of the Church of Christ On the first Book of Moses
Chapter first
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses saying Behold I reveal unto you concerning this Heaven & this Earth write the words which I speak I am the beginning & the end the Almighty God by mine only begotten I created these things yea in the beginning I created the Heaven & the Earth upon which thou standest & the Earth was without form & void & I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep & my Spirit moved upon the face of the waters for I am God & I God said Let there be light & there was light & I God saw the light & the light was good & I God divided the light from the darkness & I God called the light day & the darkness I called night & this I done by the Word of my power & it was done as I spake & the evening & the morning were the first day And again I God said let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters & it was so even as I spake And I said Let it divide the waters from the waters & it was done & I God made the firmament & divided the waters yea the great waters under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament & it was so even as I spake And I God called the firmament Heaven & the evening & the morning were the second day And I God said Let the waters under the Heaven be gathered together unto one place & it was so & I God said Let there be dry land [&] it was so & I God called the dry land Earth & the gathering together of the waters called I the Seas & I God saw that all things which I had made were good & I God said Let the Earth bring forth grass the herb yielding seed the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind & the tree yielding fruit whose seed should be in itself upon the Earth & it was so even as I spake & the Earth brought forth grass every herb yielding seed after his kind & the tree yielding fruit whose seed should be in itself after its kind— [p. 3]
And the Lord God spake unto Moses saying The Heavens there are many  & they cannot be numbered unto man but they are numbered unto  me for they are mine & as one Earth shall pass away & the Heavens there of even so shall another come And there is no end to my works neither my  words for behold this is my work to my glory to the immortality & the  eternal life of man And now Moses my Son I will speak unto you concer ning this Earth upon which thou standest & thou shalt write the things wh ich I shall speak & in a day when the children of men shall esteem my  words as naught & take many of them from the Book which thou shalt write  behold I will raise up another like unto theee thee & they shall be had  again among the Children of men among even as many as shall believe  These words was spoken unto Moses in the mount the name of which  shall not be known among the Children of men And now they are  also spoken unto you shew them not unto any except them that believe <Amen>
A Revelation given to the Elders of the Church of Christ  On the first Book of Moses given to Joseph the Seer
Chapter first
And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses saying Behold  I reveal unto you concerning this Heaven & this Earth write the words  which I speak I am the beginning & the end the Almighty God by mine  only begotten I created these things yea in the beginning I created the  Heaven & the Earth upon which thou standest & the Earth was without  form & void & I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep  & my Spirit moved upon the face of the waters for I am God & I God  said Let there be light & there was light & I God saw the light & the  light was good & I God divided the light from the darkness & I God call ed the light day & the darkness I called night & this I done by the  Word of my power & it was done as I spake & the evening & the morning were  the first day And again I God said let there be a firmament in the midst <midst>  of the waters & it was so even as I spake And I said Let it divide the wa ters from the waters & it was done & I God made the firmament & divide[d]  the waters yea the great waters under the firmament from the waters  which were above the firmament & it was so even as I spake And I God  called the firmament Heaven & the evening & the morning were the second  day And I God said Let the waters under the Heaven be gathered to gether unto one place & it was so & I God said Let there be dry land [&]  it was so & I God called the dry land Earth & the gathering together <of> the  waters called I <the> Seas & I God saw that all things which I had made  were good & I God said Let the Earth bring forth grass the herb yield ing seed the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind & the tree yielding  fruit whose seed should be in itself after upon the Earth & it was so even as  I spake & the Earth brought forth grass every herb yielding seed after his  kind & the tree yielding fruit whose seed should be in itself after it[s]  kind— [p. 3]
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In June 1830, only weeks after the Book of Mormon was published (in March) and the Church of Christ organized (in April), JS began dictating to Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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a revelation dealing with several key Old Testament figures. The revelation opens with “the words of God which he spake unto Moses,” a visionary experience in which Moses receives a knowledge of God and his Only Begotten and learns the purpose of creation. He sees the spirit creation of all things, the appointment of Christ during a premortal council, the effects of the Fall, and the introduction of the gospel to fallen mankind. Moses understands the place of man in the divine plan and foresees his own future role. The manuscript continues with the story of Adam and Eve and several generations of their descendants. A detailed exposition of the experiences of Enoch is included, even though the biblical account contains only a brief mention of that ancient prophet. The manuscript records Enoch’s prophecies of the coming of the Son of Man and recounts the ministry of Noah and the life of Abraham.
Like many other revelations, this manuscript bears a simple heading. Written in the hand of scribe Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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, the heading reads, “A Revelation given to Joseph the Revelator June 1830.” What prompted this revelation when JS first began dictating in June 1830 is unknown, but the resulting lengthy manuscript opened an ambitious project of biblical expansion and revision. After the vision of Moses, which recounts a conversation with Deity unrelated to known biblical texts, on the third page and under a new heading (“A Revelation given to the Elders of the Church of Christ On the First Book of Moses”) the manuscript begins an account of the Creation that resembles Genesis 1. The lengthy opening vision and some portions later in the manuscript record prophetic experience at best hinted at in biblical texts, but as the transcript unfolded over the next several months, it became a commentary on and often an expansion of the King James Version of Genesis.
At some point during the creation of this manuscript, JS came to see such “restoration” of lost biblical texts as part of his prophetic mission. Book of Mormon passages he dictated to Oliver Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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in 1829 spoke of “plain and precious things” missing from “the Book, which is the Book of the Lamb of God” and promised that these “plain and most precious parts of the Gospel of the Lamb” would be restored. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 30–31 [1 Nephi 13:28, 32].) On the third page of this manuscript, just before the beginning of the creation account, this revelation similarly declares that lost scriptural passages “shall be had again among the Children of men.” An early December 1830 revelation was explicit. After affirming that JS had been given keys to unlock ancient knowledge, the revelation addressed 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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, commanding “that thou shalt write for [JS] and the scriptures shall be given even as they are in mine own bosom.” (Revelation, 7 Dec. 1830, in Doctrine and Covenants 11:5, 1835 ed. [D&C 35:20].)
This manuscript was begun at a time when JS and his religious associates in the Susquehanna valley of northern Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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(JS resided in Harmony

Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...

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) and southern New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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(a number of followers lived in nearby Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

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) faced intense opposition from both neighbors and civil authorities. Despite such pressures, JS and Cowdery

3 Oct. 1806–3 Mar. 1850. Clerk, teacher, justice of the peace, lawyer, newspaper editor. Born at Wells, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of William Cowdery and Rebecca Fuller. Raised Congregationalist. Moved to western New York and clerked at a store, ca. 1825–1828...

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may have begun this manuscript in Harmony, but in part to escape harassment later in June they moved north to Fayette Township

Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...

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, New York, a more hospitable environment. When Cowdery departed Fayette in early fall 1830 for a mission to the West, he had he written nine manuscript pages from JS’s dictation. His replacement as scribe, 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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, inscribed seventeen lines under the date of 21 October 1830, and then another page and a half under the date of 30 November 1830. The next day Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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began writing and inscribed two pages under the date of 1 December 1830. After his early December arrival, 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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, an educated new convert from Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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, became the main scribe (as commanded in the revelation already noted). Most of the remainder of the sixty-page manuscript is in his hand.
A January 1831 move to Ohio

French explored area, 1669. British took possession following French and Indian War, 1763. Ceded to U.S., 1783. First permanent white settlement established, 1788. Northeastern portion maintained as part of Connecticut, 1786, and called Connecticut Western...

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interrupted progress on what was now clearly a work of biblical revision, but JS and 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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resumed work in February and finished this manuscript in March. After 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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made a second copy of the completed manuscript, he documented his work by inserting a final date at the end of this copy: “April 5th 1831 transcribed thus far.” This original manuscript was then retired and JS and Rigdon continued the ambitious Bible revision using Whitmer’s copy. Bible revision remained an important concern of JS into 1833.
Note: The transcript of Old Testament Revision 1 presented here is used with generous permission of the Brigham Young University Religious Studies Center. It was published earlier, with some differences in style, in Scott H. Faulring, 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), 75–152.

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