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Revelation, April 1829–A [D&C 6]

9 Behold thou art Oliver

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 I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires, therefore, treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments

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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of God, and I will incircle thee in the arms of my love.
10 Behold I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto my own and my own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.5

See John 1:5, 11; see also Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:57–58].  


11 Verily, verily I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things; did I not speak peace to your mind concering the matter?— What greater witness can you have than from God? And now behold, you have received a witness, for if I have told you things which no man knoweth, have you not received a witness? And behold I grant unto you a gift if you desire of me, to translate even as my servant Joseph.
12 Verily, verily I say unto you, that there are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people; and now I command you, that if you have good desires, a desire to lay up treasures for yourself in heaven, then shall you assist in bringing to light, with your gift, those parts of my scriptures

The sacred, written word of God containing the “mind & will of the Lord” and “matters of divine revelation.” Members of the church considered the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s revelations to be scripture. Revelations in 1830 and 1831 directed JS to ...

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which have been hidden because of iniquity.
13 And now behold I give unto you, and also unto my servant Joseph, the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

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of this gift, which shall bring to light this ministry;6

On Cowdery sharing the gift of translating ancient records, see Revelation, Apr. 1829–B [D&C 8:1, 11]; and Revelation, Apr. 1829–D [D&C 9:1–6].  


and in the mouth of two or three witnesses, shall every word be established.7

See, for example, 2 Corinthians 13:1; and Matthew 18:16; see also Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:11–12].  


14 Verily, verily I say unto you, if they reject my words, and this part of my gospel and ministry, bles [p. 16]
9 Behold thou art Oliver

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...

View Full Bio
, and I have spoken unto  thee because of thy desires, therefore, treasure up  these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent  in keeping the commandments

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...

View Glossary
of God, and I will  incircle thee in the arms of my love.
10 Behold I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I  am the same that came unto my own and my own  received me not. I am the light which shineth in  darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.5

See John 1:5, 11; see also Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:57–58].  


11 Verily, verily I say unto you, if you desire a  further witness, cast your mind upon the night that  you cried unto me in your heart, that you might  know concerning the truth of these things; did I not  speak peace to your mind concering the matter?—  What greater witness can you have than from God?  And now behold, you have received a witness, for  if I have told you things which no man knoweth,  have you not received a witness? And behold I  grant unto you a gift if you desire of me, to trans late even as my servant Joseph.
12 Verily, verily I say unto you, that there are  records which contain much of my gospel, which  have been kept back because of the wickedness of  the people; and now I command you, that if you  have good desires, a desire to lay up treasures for  yourself in heaven, then shall you assist in bringing to  light, with your gift, those parts of my scriptures

The sacred, written word of God containing the “mind & will of the Lord” and “matters of divine revelation.” Members of the church considered the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s revelations to be scripture. Revelations in 1830 and 1831 directed JS to ...

View Glossary
 which have been hidden because of iniquity.
13 And now behold I give unto you, and also un to my servant Joseph, the keys

Authority or knowledge of God given to humankind. In the earliest records, the term keys primarily referred to JS’s authority to unlock the “mysteries of the kingdom.” Early revelations declared that both JS and Oliver Cowdery held the keys to bring forth...

View Glossary
of this gift, which  shall bring to light this ministry;6

On Cowdery sharing the gift of translating ancient records, see Revelation, Apr. 1829–B [D&C 8:1, 11]; and Revelation, Apr. 1829–D [D&C 9:1–6].  


and in the mouth  of two or three witnesses, shall every word be estab lished.7

See, for example, 2 Corinthians 13:1; and Matthew 18:16; see also Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:11–12].  


14 Verily, verily I say unto you, if they reject my  words, and this part of my gospel and ministry, bles [p. 16]
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This revelation was dictated for 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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soon after he arrived 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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, Pennsylvania, and began serving as JS’s scribe for the translation

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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of the plates

A record engraved on gold plates, which JS translated and published as the Book of Mormon. The text explained that the plates were an abridgement of other ancient records and were written by an American prophet named Mormon and his son Moroni. The plates ...

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. JS’s history stated, “Two days after the arrival of Mr Cowdery (being the seventh of April) I commenced to translate the book of Mormon and he commenced to write for me, which having continued for some time I enquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin

A device used to translate and receive revelation. In the Old Testament, the high priest of Israel used a device by this name to discern God’s will for Israel. The Book of Mormon gives an account of an ancient prophet, Mosiah, who translated records into ...

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and obtained the following revelation.”1

JS History, vol. A-1, 13.  


The exact date this text was dictated is unknown. The revelation apparently answered questions Cowdery had contemplated but not expressed to JS. According to Cowdery’s friend David Whitmer

7 Jan. 1805–25 Jan. 1888. Farmer, livery keeper. Born near Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Raised Presbyterian. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, shortly after birth. Attended German Reformed Church. Arranged...

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, “Soon after Oliver’s arrival in Harmony, he wrote to me and said that Joseph had envuired [inquired] of the Lord concerning him, and had told him secrets of his life that he knew could not be known to any person but himself, in any other way than by revelation from the Almighty.”2

James H. Hart, “About the Book of Mormon,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 9 Apr. 1884, 190; see also “Report of Elders Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith,” Deseret News, 27 Nov. 1878, 674.  


JS’s history recounted, “After we had received this revelation he (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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) stated to me that after he had gone to my father

12 July 1771–14 Sept. 1840. Cooper, farmer, teacher, merchant. Born at Topsfield, Essex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Asael Smith and Mary Duty. Nominal member of Congregationalist church at Topsfield. Married to Lucy Mack by Seth Austin, 24 Jan. 1796, at Tunbridge...

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’s to board, and after the family communicated to him concerning my having got the plates, that one night after he had retired to bed, he called upon the Lord to know if these things were so, and that the Lord had manifested to him that they were true.”3

JS History, vol. A-1, 15.  


JS also explained that Cowdery had seen the Lord and the plates in a vision and “was desiorous to come and write” for JS 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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.4

JS History, ca. Summer 1832, [6]; see also Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 8, [1].  


The revelation featured below built on that experience by announcing that if Cowdery desired, the Lord would grant him a gift “to translate even as my servant Joseph.”

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