2477609

Revelation, 6 December 1832 [D&C 86]

to reap down the fields.6

See Revelation 14:15–20. In 1830, JS explained that this passage meant that “the wicked must soon be destroyed from off the face of the earth, for the Lord hath spoken it.” Similarly, a January 1831 revelation warned that “the Angels are waiting the great command to Reap down the Earth to gether the tears [tares] that they may be burned.” (Letter to Newel Knight and the Church in Colesville, 28 Aug. 1830; Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:12].)  


but the Lord saith unto them pluck not up the tears while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak) least you distroy the wheat also, therefore let the wheat and the tears grow together untill the harvest is fully ripe then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tears and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo the tears are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned7

Speaking of the time when Christ would return to the earth, JS’s 30 August 1831 revelation explained that “at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous & the wicked & in that day will I send mine angels & pluck out the wicked & cast into unquenchable fire.” (Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:54].)  


therefore thus saith the Lord unto you with whom the priesthood

Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of...

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hath continued through the lineage of your fathers, for ye are lawful heirs according to the flesh8

The revelation of 22–23 September 1832 explained that anciently the priesthood had been transmitted from individual to individual “through the linage of thare fathers.” This same revelation also declared that those who were “faithful unto the attaining” of the priesthood became “the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:14–15, 31–34].)  


and have been hid from the world with christ in God9

See Colossians 3:3.  


therefore your life, and the Priesthood hath remained and must needs remain through you and your lineage untill the restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began,10

See Acts 3:21.  


therefore blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

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11

See Acts 13:47.  


and through this Priesthood a saviour12

In the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, “saviour” reads “savor.” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:4, 1835 ed.)  


unto my people Israel the Lord hath said it
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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December 6th. AD 1832 given by Joseph the seer

The Book of Mormon identified a seer as a “revelator, and a prophet also,” specifying, however, that a seer was “greater than a prophet.” A seer could “know of things which has past, and also of things which is to come.” The work of a seer included translation...

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and writen by 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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the scribe and Councellor,13

JS appointed Rigdon as one of his counselors on 8 March 1832. Rigdon had been serving as a scribe since late 1830. John Whitmer referred to Rigdon as “Sidney the Scribe.” (Note, 8 Mar. 1832; see Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 63; and Whitmer, History, 37.)  


& Transcribed by 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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assistent scribe and counceller—— [p. 32]
to reap down the fields.6

See Revelation 14:15–20. In 1830, JS explained that this passage meant that “the wicked must soon be destroyed from off the face of the earth, for the Lord hath spoken it.” Similarly, a January 1831 revelation warned that “the Angels are waiting the great command to Reap down the Earth to gether the tears [tares] that they may be burned.” (Letter to Newel Knight and the Church in Colesville, 28 Aug. 1830; Revelation, 2 Jan. 1831 [D&C 38:12].)  


but the Lord saith unto  them pluck not up the tears while the blade is yet  tender (for verily your faith is weak) least you  distroy the wheat also, therefore let the wheat and  the tears grow together untill the harvest is  fully ripe then ye shall first gather out the  wheat from among the tears and after the gathering  of the wheat, behold and lo the tears are bound  in bund[l]es, and the field remaineth to be burned7

Speaking of the time when Christ would return to the earth, JS’s 30 August 1831 revelation explained that “at that hour cometh an entire separation of the righteous & the wicked & in that day will I send mine angels & pluck out the wicked & cast into unquenchable fire.” (Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:54].)  


 therefore thus saith the Lord unto you with  whom the priesthood

Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of...

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hath continued through  the lineage of your fathers, for ye are lawful  heirs according to the flesh8

The revelation of 22–23 September 1832 explained that anciently the priesthood had been transmitted from individual to individual “through the linage of thare fathers.” This same revelation also declared that those who were “faithful unto the attaining” of the priesthood became “the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham.” (Revelation, 22–23 Sept. 1832 [D&C 84:14–15, 31–34].)  


and have been  hid from the world with christ in God9

See Colossians 3:3.  


therefore  your life, and the Priesthood hath remained  and must needs remain through you and  your lineage untill the restoration of all things  spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets  since the world began,10

See Acts 3:21.  


therefore blessed are ye  if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto  the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

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11

See Acts 13:47.  


and th[r]ough this Priesthood a saviour12

In the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, “saviour” reads “savor.” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:4, 1835 ed.)  


 unto my people Israel the Lord hath said it
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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December 6th. A[D] 1832 given by  Joseph the seer

The Book of Mormon identified a seer as a “revelator, and a prophet also,” specifying, however, that a seer was “greater than a prophet.” A seer could “know of things which has past, and also of things which is to come.” The work of a seer included translation...

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and writen by 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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the  scribe an[d] Councellor,13

JS appointed Rigdon as one of his counselors on 8 March 1832. Rigdon had been serving as a scribe since late 1830. John Whitmer referred to Rigdon as “Sidney the Scribe.” (Note, 8 Mar. 1832; see Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 63; and Whitmer, History, 37.)  


& Transcribed by 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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 assistent scribe and counceller—— [p. 32]
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JS wrote in his journal that on 6 December 1832, he spent part of the day “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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,” or working on his revision of the Bible. It is not known whether he was working that day on the New Testament revision or the Old Testament revision. But on that same day, he “received a Revelation explaining the Parable [of] the wheat and the tears [tares],” found in Matthew 13, suggesting that he may have been working on the New Testament.1

JS, Journal, 6 Dec. 1832; see also JS History, vol. A-1, 243.  


When JS worked on that parable more than a year earlier while revising the New Testament,2

JS originally worked on Matthew 13 sometime between 7 April and 19 June 1831. (New Testament Revision 1, pp. 21, 63 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 9:1; 26:63–71]; see also New Testament Revision 1, pp. 34–35 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:15–46].)  


he made few significant changes.3

See New Testament Revision 1, p. 35 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:31–46]; New Testament Revision 2, part 1, p. 26 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:31–50]; and Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 65.  


Between late July 1832 and early February 1833, however, he apparently spent time reviewing his revisions to the New Testament.4

Frederick G. Williams served as scribe as JS finished his revisions to the book of Revelation between 20 and 31 July 1832. On 2 February 1833, Williams wrote that JS finished the “translation and the reviewing of the New testament.” (See Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70; Frederick G. Williams, Statement, no date, Frederick G. Williams Papers, CHL; Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; and Minute Book 1, 2 Feb. 1833.)  


At some point, 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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changed the text of Matthew 13:30 (which JS had originally left intact) from “I will say to the reapers, gather ye together first the tares” to “gather ye together first the wheat into my barn, and the tares are bound in bundles to be burned.”5

New Testament Revision 1, p. 34 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:30]; New Testament Revision 2, part 1, p. 25 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:30]. An August 1831 revelation maintained the original order, with the tares first being gathered and then the wheat. That revelation explained that the wicked would be plucked out when Christ returned, implying that the righteous would remain. (Revelation, 30 Aug. 1831 [D&C 63:54]).  


This inverted order followed the eschatological sequence of events outlined in a November 1831 revelation: the righteous were to “flee unto Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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” and Jerusalem, leaving the wicked nations behind.6

Revelation, 3 Nov. 1831 [D&C 133:12–14].  


This 6 December revelation, which has the Lord telling the angels to “first gather out the wheat,” goes in the same direction as that revision, changing the wording slightly regarding the disposition of the tares. Whether the revelation was dictated before or after the revision was made is unclear, as the revision could have been made anywhere within a roughly six-month window of time.7

See New Testament Revision 2, part 1, pp. 25–26 [Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 13:30–50].  


It is also possible that the “translating” JS mentioned in his 6 December journal entry referred not to his review of his earlier New Testament revisions but to his work of revising the Old Testament, which he was engaged in at the same time. Between July 1832, 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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became the principal scribe for JS’s revision of the Old Testament, and July 1833, when JS and Williams completed that work, 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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filled in as scribe only once—for the revision of Jeremiah 18–24.8

Letter to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832; see also Old Testament Revision 2, p. 119 [Joseph Smith Translation, Malachi]; Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70–72; and Old Testament Revision 2, pp. 111–112 [Joseph Smith Translation, Jeremiah 18:18–24].)  


Since an extant copy of the 6 December revelation attests that Rigdon wrote the revelation as JS dictated it, Rigdon may have helped JS with the Bible revision that day, in which case JS may have been revising those chapters in Jeremiah on 6 December. The chapters include passages on the scattering and gathering of Israel, including verses explaining that the Lord would “gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them” and “set up shepherds over them which shall feed them.”9

Jeremiah 23:3–4.  


The revelation on the wheat and the tares emphasizes the gathering of the righteous in the last days. It incorporates elements of the book of Revelation to recast the parable as a history of Christianity from the days of the apostles to the world’s end. The description of a second sowing in the last days clearly depicts Mormonism as a restoration of primitive Christianity. Likewise, the end of the revelation expounds on the idea of priesthood

Power or authority of God. The priesthood was conferred through the laying on of hands upon adult male members of the church in good standing; no specialized training was required. Priesthood officers held responsibility for administering the sacrament of...

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, addressing those in “whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers.” The revelation seems to indicate that those 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 priesthood are essential to the gathering of Israel, as it counsels them to be a “light unto the Gentiles

Those who were not members of the House of Israel. More specifically, members of the church identified gentiles as those whose lineage was not of the Jews or Lamanites (understood to be the American Indians in JS’s day). Certain prophecies indicated that ...

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” and a “savior” to Israel. The priesthood component of the revelation was apparently perceived as its key aspect: upon its publication in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the revelation bore the heading “On Priesthood.”10
The original manuscript of this revelation is no longer extant. 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 it into Revelation Book 2, probably between late January and late February 1833.11

Williams noted on the Revelation Book 2 copy that he was JS’s “assistant scribe and councellor”; he was designated as a counselor and scribe to JS in a 5 January 1833 revelation, so this 6 December 1832 revelation may have been copied as early as 5 January.a However, it is uncertain when Williams was formally appointed to his office. Such formal appointments usually occurred in a conference. Williams had apparently been appointed by 22 January because he is listed as “assistant scribe and counselor” in the minutes of a conference held that day.b In Revelation Book 2, Williams signed two of the three revelations immediately following the one dated 6 December 1832—revelations of 27–28 December 1832 and 3 January 1833—in the same way.c The five items that immediately follow Revelation, 3 January 1833, appear to have been copied soon after the dates they bear. The first is dated 27 February, suggesting that the previous revelations had been copied by around this time.d However, the December 1832 and January 1833 revelations in Revelation Book 2 could have been copied anytime up to 18 March 1833, when Williams was ordained “to be equal with him [JS] in holding the Keys of the Kingdom and also to the Presidency of the high Priesthood.”e At some point—probably while preparing revelations for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants—JS wrote “To go into the covenants” at the head of the copy in Revelation Book 2.  


aRevelation Book 2, p. 32; Revelation, 5 Jan. 1833.

bMinute Book 1, 22–23 Jan. 1833.

cRevelation, 27–28 Dec. 1832 [D&C 88:1–126]; Revelation, 3 Jan. 1833 [D&C 88:127–137].

dSee Historical Introduction to Revelation Book 2.

eMinute Book 1, 18 Mar. 1833.

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