2476691

Revelation, 20 March 1832

First Shall we procure the paper required of our breatheren in their letter1 and carry it with us or not and if we do what moneys shall we use for that purpose
It is expedient saith the Lord unto you that the paper shall be purchesed for the printing of the book of the Lords commandments and it must needs be that you take it with you for it is not expedient that my servent Martin Harris

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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should as yet go up unto the land of Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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2

Oliver Cowdery had relayed his “hope” in a 28 January 1832 letter that Harris, who was apparently located in Ohio, could provide the necessary paper for the printing of the Book of Commandments. Cowdery even provided a bill for Harris in that letter.a Harris mortgaged his farm in 1829 for the printing of the Book of Mormon, and Cowdery may have assumed Harris would provide similar funding for the Book of Commandments.b Harris was also designated as one of several “stewards over the revelations” in a November 1831 revelation.c An August 1831 revelation instructed Harris and others who intended to come to Zion to consecrate their money to the church, partly as a requirement for obtaining Missouri land as their own “inheritance[s]” and partly so land could be purchased “for the house of the Printing.”d  


aLetter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.

bMartin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Indenture, Wayne Co., NY, 25 Aug. 1829, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 3, pp. 325–326, microfilm 479,556, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

cRevelation, 12 Nov. 1831 [D&C 70:1–3].

dRevelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:35–37].

let the purchase be made by the Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

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3 of if4

The Revelation Book 2 copy reads “if” instead of “of.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 19.)  


it must needs be by hire5

It is unclear what “by hire” means in this context. It could mean that Newel K. Whitney was to hire someone to purchase the paper and carry it to Missouri.  


let whatsoever is done be done in the name of the Lord6

In September 1831, Sidney Gilbert and Newel K. Whitney were told that, as agents to the church, they were “on the Lords errand & whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lords business.” Soon after leaving for Missouri, JS and his companions purchased paper in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). The terms by which the paper was acquired and how much was purchased are unknown. The type of printing paper most likely purchased by the group could have cost anywhere from $2.75 to $7.00 per ream. (Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:29]; “Statement of the Several Kinds of Paper at the Wholesale Prices,” American State Papers: Finance, 3:628; see JS History, vol. A-1, 209.)  


Second shall we finish the translation of the New testament before we go to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

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or wait till we return7

By 20 March, JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Jesse Gause completed revisions to chapter 11 in the book of Revelation. (Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70.)  


It is expedient saith the Lord that there be no delays and thus saith the Lord for the greatest good and benefit of the church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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Wherefore omit the translation for the present time [p. [1]]
First Shall we procure the paper required of our  breatheren in their letter1 and carry it with us or not  and if we do what moneys shall we use for that purpose
It is expedient saith the Lord unto you that the paper is  shall <be> purchesed for the <printing of the> book of the Lords commandments and it  must needs be that you take it with [you] for it is not expedient  that my servent Martin [Harris]

18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...

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should as yet go up unto the land  of Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
2

Oliver Cowdery had relayed his “hope” in a 28 January 1832 letter that Harris, who was apparently located in Ohio, could provide the necessary paper for the printing of the Book of Commandments. Cowdery even provided a bill for Harris in that letter.a Harris mortgaged his farm in 1829 for the printing of the Book of Mormon, and Cowdery may have assumed Harris would provide similar funding for the Book of Commandments.b Harris was also designated as one of several “stewards over the revelations” in a November 1831 revelation.c An August 1831 revelation instructed Harris and others who intended to come to Zion to consecrate their money to the church, partly as a requirement for obtaining Missouri land as their own “inheritance[s]” and partly so land could be purchased “for the house of the Printing.”d  


aLetter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.

bMartin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Indenture, Wayne Co., NY, 25 Aug. 1829, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 3, pp. 325–326, microfilm 479,556, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.

cRevelation, 12 Nov. 1831 [D&C 70:1–3].

dRevelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:35–37].

let the purchase be made by the Bishop

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. JS appointed Edward Partridge as the first bishop in February 1831. Following this appointment, Partridge functioned as the local leader of the church in Missouri. Later revelations described a bishop’s duties as receiving...

View Glossary
3 of [if]4

The Revelation Book 2 copy reads “if” instead of “of.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 19.)  


it  must needs <be> by hire5

It is unclear what “by hire” means in this context. It could mean that Newel K. Whitney was to hire someone to purchase the paper and carry it to Missouri.  


let whatsoever is done be done in  the name of the Lord6

In September 1831, Sidney Gilbert and Newel K. Whitney were told that, as agents to the church, they were “on the Lords errand & whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lords business.” Soon after leaving for Missouri, JS and his companions purchased paper in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). The terms by which the paper was acquired and how much was purchased are unknown. The type of printing paper most likely purchased by the group could have cost anywhere from $2.75 to $7.00 per ream. (Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:29]; “Statement of the Several Kinds of Paper at the Wholesale Prices,” American State Papers: Finance, 3:628; see JS History, vol. A-1, 209.)  


Second shall we finish the translation <of the New testament> before we go to  Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
or wait till we return7

By 20 March, JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Jesse Gause completed revisions to chapter 11 in the book of Revelation. (Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70.)  


It is expedient saith the Lord that there be no delays  and thus8

TEXT: Possibly “this”.  


saith the Lord for the greatest good and benef[i]t of  the church

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

View Glossary
Wherefore omit the translation for the  present time [p. [1]]
Next
In November 1831, 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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and 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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traveled 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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with manuscript copies of JS’s revelations so that William W. Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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, the church printer, could publish them.1

Whitmer, History, 38; JS History, vol. A-1, 166.  


In a January 1832 letter, Cowdery informed JS that publication of the revelations could proceed in Missouri as soon as a sufficient supply of paper was obtained.2 On 20 March 1832, the revelation featured here instructed JS to suspend work on his revision of the Bible and take paper to Missouri for the printing of the Book of Commandments. The instruction to travel immediately to Missouri allowed JS to comply with other revelations as well. On 1 March 1832, a revelation informed those who were ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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to the high priesthood

The authority and power held by certain officers in the church. The Book of Mormon referred to the high priesthood as God’s “holy order, which was after the order of his Son,” and indicated that Melchizedek, a biblical figure, was a high priest “after this...

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that “the time ha[d] come” for the church to organize its “Literary and Merchantile establishments” in both 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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and Missouri. The 1 March revelation also instructed JS, 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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, and Newel K. Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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to “sit in councel with the saints who are in zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
” to prevent Satan

A fallen angel, or son of God, known by many names, including Lucifer, the devil, the father of lies, the prince of darkness, perdition, and the adversary. In the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s Bible revisions, Satan was described as a tempter of men...

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from “turn[ing] there hearts away from the truth that they become blinded.”3

Revelation, 1 Mar. 1832 [D&C 78:1, 3, 9–10].  


Under these circumstances, questions arose of how to provide paper for the revelations and whether going to Missouri superseded completing the revision of the New Testament. The 20 March revelation answered these questions.
Both of the questions asked in this revelation begin with the words “shall we,” indicating that the questions were posed by more than one person and suggesting that more than one person was answered. Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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’s index for Revelation Book 2 characterized this set of questions and answers as a “commandment

Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...

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to Joseph Sidney

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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& Newel

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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to purchase paper and omit translating

To produce a text from one written in another language; in JS’s usage, most often through divine means. JS considered the ability to translate to be a gift of the spirit, like the gift of interpreting tongues. He recounted that he translated “reformed Egyptian...

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for the present time.”4

Williams probably created this entry in the book’s index by January 1833. (Revelation Book 2, Index, [1].)  


Whitney was not involved with the Bible revision, and it is not known if he was present when the revelation was dictated. However, Whitney, JS, and Rigdon were all commanded to 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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three weeks earlier. Regardless of whether Whitney was present, the answer to the first question directed Whitney to purchase the paper. The second question, “shall we finish the translation of the New testament before we go to Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
,” further indicates that the questions were asked by—and the answers directed to—those working on the Bible revision at this time. Between 16 February and 1 April 1832, Rigdon assisted JS with the revision, but toward the end of this period 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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apparently also provided assistance and therefore may also have been present when the revelation was dictated.5

See New Testament Revision 2, part 2, pp. 114–152 [Joseph Smith Translation, John 5:20–Revelation 12:12]; Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 69–70; and Jennings, “Consequential Counselor,” 183–185, 201–203.  


It is likely that 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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, JS’s principal scribe, wrote the revelation as JS dictated it. He may then have made a copy for Whitney

3/5 Feb. 1795–23 Sept. 1850. Trader, merchant. Born at Marlborough, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of Samuel Whitney and Susanna Kimball. Moved to Fairfield, Herkimer Co., New York, 1803. Merchant at Plattsburg, Clinton Co., New York, 1814. Mercantile clerk for...

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, but the lack of punctuation and the interlinear corrections and clarifications in the copy in Whitney’s possession suggest that it could be the original inscription. Whitney endorsed the revelation at the bottom of the page, dating it 20 March 1832 and giving the location as 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. He added two endorsements—probably at a later time—on the back of the document: “Revelation as to paper for Phelps

17 Feb. 1792–7 Mar. 1872. Writer, teacher, printer, newspaper editor, publisher, postmaster, lawyer. Born at Hanover, Morris Co., New Jersey. Son of Enon Phelps and Mehitabel Goldsmith. Moved to Homer, Cortland Co., New York, 1800. Married Sally Waterman,...

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1832” and “Command as to Paper for Zion

JS revelation, dated 20 July 1831, designated Missouri as “land of promise” for gathering of Saints and place for “city of Zion,” with Independence area as “center place” of Zion. Latter-day Saint settlements elsewhere, such as in Kirtland, Ohio, became known...

More Info
Apl. 1832.” The April date in the second endorsement is unlikely because JS departed for 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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on 1 April and Whitney’s apparently earlier endorsement of 20 March has corroboration.6

Also, in the phrase “Command as to Paper for Zion Apl. 1832,” it is possible that the date of April 1832 modifies only “Paper for Zion,” rather than the commandment to take it there. JS, Rigdon, and Whitney acquired the paper and started for Missouri in April.  


When Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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copied the revelation into Revelation Book 2, probably sometime before JS left for Missouri, he gave its place and date as “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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Portage County Ohio March 20th. 1832.”7

Revelation Book 2, p. 19. Even if Whitney’s copy is not the original, it is a more complete copy than those in Revelation Book 1 and Revelation Book 2. The Whitney copy contains two questions and two answers, while the copy in Revelation Book 1 (made by Whitmer, probably sometime after April 1832) includes only the first answer. The Revelation Book 2 copy, meanwhile, contains everything except for the first question. Further, the copy in Whitney’s possession is the only manuscript copy with “first” and “second” written before the questions. Although Rigdon may have inserted these words, they could also be a part of the original inscription. The copies in Revelation Books 1 and 2 each had an “X” drawn through them, presumably to exclude the revelation from publication. This revelation was never published, and no other manuscript copies of it are known beyond the three discussed here. (Revelation Book 1, p. 148.)  


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