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Revelation, April 1829–D [D&C 9]

CHAPTER VIII.
1 A Revelation given 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 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, April, 1829.1

The partially extant transcript of this revelation in Revelation Book 1 provides a more descriptive introductory statement (likely created by John Whitmer): “A Revelation to Oliver he was disrous [desirous] to know the reason why he could not Translate & thus said the Lord unto him.” The text in Revelation Book 1 also includes the date “1829,” with a later editorial insertion by Cowdery giving the month as April. (Revelation Book 1, p. 14.)  


BEHOLD I say unto you, my son, that, because you did not translate

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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according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant Joseph, even so I would that you should continue until you have finished this record,2 which I have intrusted unto you: and then behold, other records have I, that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate.3

In the mid-1830s, JS began preparing “A translation Of some ancient Records . . . purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt.”a Several extant items of the Kirtland-era Egyptian papers (although not manuscript pages of the Book of Abraham translation itself) are in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery.b  


a“A Translation,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842, 3:704.

bSee, for example, [Egyptian Alphabet] and “Valuable Discovery of Hiden Reccords,” Kirtland Egyptian Papers, ca. 1835–1836, CHL; see also JS, Journal, 1 Oct. 1835; Oliver Cowdery, “Egyptian Mummies,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, 2:234–237; and Gee, “Eyewitness, Hearsay, and Physical Evidence,” 196.

2 Be patient my son, for it is wisdom in me, and it is not expedient that you should translate at this present time. Behold the work which you are called to do, is to write for my servant Joseph; and behold it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you begun to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you. Do not murmur my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner.
3 Behold you have not understood, you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took [p. 20]
CHAPTER VIII.
1 A Revelation given 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 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...

More Info
,  Pennsylvania, April, 1829.1

The partially extant transcript of this revelation in Revelation Book 1 provides a more descriptive introductory statement (likely created by John Whitmer): “A Revelation to Oliver he was disrous [desirous] to know the reason why he could not Translate & thus said the Lord unto him.” The text in Revelation Book 1 also includes the date “1829,” with a later editorial insertion by Cowdery giving the month as April. (Revelation Book 1, p. 14.)  


BEHOLD I say unto you, my son, that, because  you did not translate

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...

View Glossary
according to that which  you desired of me, and did commence again to write  for my servant Joseph, even so I would that you  should continue until you have finished this record,2  which I have intrusted unto you: and then behold,  other records have I, that I will give unto you pow er that you may assist to translate.3

In the mid-1830s, JS began preparing “A translation Of some ancient Records . . . purporting to be the writings of Abraham, while he was in Egypt.”a Several extant items of the Kirtland-era Egyptian papers (although not manuscript pages of the Book of Abraham translation itself) are in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery.b  


a“A Translation,” Times and Seasons, 1 Mar. 1842, 3:704.

bSee, for example, [Egyptian Alphabet] and “Valuable Discovery of Hiden Reccords,” Kirtland Egyptian Papers, ca. 1835–1836, CHL; see also JS, Journal, 1 Oct. 1835; Oliver Cowdery, “Egyptian Mummies,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, Dec. 1835, 2:234–237; and Gee, “Eyewitness, Hearsay, and Physical Evidence,” 196.

2 Be patient my son, for it is wisdom in me, and  it is not expedient that you should translate at this  present time. Behold the work which you are cal led to do, is to write for my servant Joseph; and  behold it is because that you did not continue as  you commenced, when you begun to translate, that  I have taken away this privilege from you. Do not  murmur my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have  dealt with you after this manner.
3 Behold you have not understood, you have sup posed that I would give it unto you, when you took [p. 20]
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Revelation, Harmony Township

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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, Susquehanna Co., PA, 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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, Apr. 1829. Featured version, titled “Chapter VIII,” typeset [between 1 Nov. and 31 Dec. 1832] for Book of Commandments, 20–21. 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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copied this revelation [ca. Mar. 1831] into Revelation Book 1, but the page on which the final portion of the revelation was copied was removed at some point from that volume and is no longer extant.1

See Revelation Book 1, pp. 14, [207].  


The version found in the Book of Commandments and featured below is the earliest complete, extant version. For more complete source information, see the source note for the Book of Commandments.

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