43990402

Revelation Book 2

or the Bishop’s council to the satisfaction of the  parties. Joseph Smith Jur., Sidney Rigdon and Frederick  G Williams, were acknowledged Presidents by the voice of  the council; and Joseph Smith Sen. John Smith,  Joseph Coe, John Johnson, Martin Harris, John S  Carter, Jared Carter, Oliver Cowdery, Saml. H  Smith, Orson Hyde, Sylvester Smith and Luke Johnson  high priests, were chosen to be a standing council  for the church by the unanimous voice of the council.  The above named counsellors were then asked whether  they accepted their appointments and whether they would act  in that office according to the law of heaven, to which  they all answered that they accepted their several appointme[n]ts,  and would fill their offices according to the grace of  God bestowed upon them. The number composeing the council  who voted in the name and for the church in appointing  the above named counsellors, were forty Three, as follows;  Nine High Priests, Seventeen Elders, four priests, and thirteen  members.—
Voted, that the high council cannot have power  to act without seven of the above named counsellors  or their regularly appointed successors, are present. These  seven shall have power to appoint other high priests  whom they may consider worthy and capable to act  in the place of absent counsellors. Voted, that whenever  any vacancy shall occur by the death, removal from office  for transgression, or removal from the bounds of this church  goverment of any one of the above named counsellors,  it shall be filled by the nomination of the President or  Presidents and sanctioned by the voice of a general  council of High Priests convened to act in the name  of the church. The president of the church who is  also the president of the council, is appointed by the  voice of the Savior and acknowledged in his ad [p. 112]
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Revelation Book 2, also known as “Book of Revelations” or “Kirtland Revelation Book,” is a manuscript book of revelations and other items. Some of these items, such as a revelation to Lincoln Haskins, are not found anywhere else.1 Items were copied into the manuscript book over a period of almost three years, from late February or early March 1832 to late 1834. Internal evidence, historical context, and comparison with other manuscript revelations suggest approximate dates that many items were copied. Specific dates are known for several other items, such as a single journal entry recorded 8 March 1832.2 Notations by Orson Hyde date the copying of three revelations, two on 18 August 1834 and one on 27 August 1834.3 Only three revelations dated before 1831 were copied into the manuscript book.
Some items within Revelation Book 2 contain ink or graphite editing marks made to prepare them for printing in publications such as the 1835–1836 reprint of The Evening and the Morning Star and the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.4

For an example of editing marks that were likely made in preparation for the 1835–1836 reprint of The Evening and the Morning Star, see Vision, 16 Feb. 1832 [D&C 76]. For an example of editing marks made in preparation for the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, see Revelation, 2 Aug. 1833–A [D&C 97].  

 
Similar marks appear in Revelation Book 1, which is even more heavily marked. Revelation Book 2 was used for the preparation of the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants circa 1834–1835 in Kirtland, Ohio. All but eight items in the manuscript book were published therein,5 while just three revelations appear in both the manuscript book and the Book of Commandments.6

The following revelations from Revelation Book 2 were published in the Book of Commandments: Revelation, ca. 8 Mar. 1831–B [D&C 47]; Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41]; and Revelation, 23 Feb. 1831 [D&C 42:74–77].  

 
Two revelations in the manuscript book were first published in the 1844 Doctrine and Covenants, although no evidence indicates that Revelation Book 2 was used as the source for publication.7

The following revelations herein from Revelation Book 2 were first published in the 1844 Doctrine and Covenants: Revelation, 22 June 1834 [D&C 105]; and Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103].  

 
The first item in the manuscript book, titled “The Vision” and dated 16 February 1832, commands JS and Sidney Rigdon four times to commit the vision to paper. The version in Revelation Book 2 does not appear to be the original copy, although it was copied into the manuscript book shortly after the date it bears.8 In fact, all of the revelatory items copied into the manuscript book appear to be copies from earlier manuscripts, not the original dictated versions, and more than half are in chronological order. Frederick G. Williams acted as principal scribe for Revelation Book 2 and inscribed full or partial copies of forty items. Orson Hyde, Oliver Cowdery, and JS inscribed full or partial copies of seventeen items (eight items in the manuscript book were inscribed by more than one person). These four men, as well as William W. Phelps and Sidney Rigdon, also made later corrections.
The first two items in Revelation Book 2 (manuscript pages 1–10) were most likely copied between 16 February 1832, the date the first item bears, and 8 March 1832, the date the third item bears. The revelations on manuscript pages 11–19 were likely copied before JS left Hiram, Ohio, on 1 April 1832 to journey to Missouri, as commanded in a revelation in this portion of the manuscript book. JS dictated several revelations while in Missouri, but his scribes did not copy them into the manuscript book when he returned to Ohio in early summer 1832. One of these revelations, dated 30 April 1832, was eventually copied into the manuscript book circa 1834. A second revelation, dated 26 April 1832, was never copied into Revelation Book 2, although it was copied into Revelation Book 1 shortly after the date it bears.
The next two revelations in the manuscript book (manuscript pages 19–31) are dated August and September 1832, and both are signed by Frederick G. Williams, who served as a scribe for JS during this period. He likely copied these revelations into Revelation Book 2 shortly after they were initially recorded. The next four revelations (manuscript pages 31–48), the first of which was signed by Williams as both scribe and counselor to JS, were likely copied after Williams was appointed as counselor, which occurred by 22 January 1833.9

Minute Book 1, 22 Jan. 1833.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Minute Book 1 / “Conference A,” 1832–1837. CHL. Also available at josephsmithpapers.org.

The next five items (manuscript pages 48–55) were likely copied soon after the dates they bear—late winter and early spring 1833.
Orson Hyde copied the next three revelations (manuscript pages 56–61), perhaps while acting as clerk for the presidency of the church, a service he performed starting 6 June 1833.10

Minute Book 1, 6 June 1833.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Minute Book 1 / “Conference A,” 1832–1837. CHL. Also available at josephsmithpapers.org.

Hyde likely copied these revelations before he left on a proselytizing mission to Pennsylvania the last week of July 1833.11

Coltrin, Diary, 30 July 1833, [6].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Coltrin, Zebedee. Diary, Mar. 1833–Feb. 1834. Zebedee Coltrin, Diaries, 1832–1834. CHL.

The three revelations on manuscript pages 61–71 were quoted in a letter dated 6 August 1833 and were likely copied into Revelation Book 2 about the same time.12

Sidney Rigdon et al., Kirtland, OH, to Edward Partridge et al., Independence, MO, 6 Aug. 1833, JS Collection, CHL.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL.

The next revelation (manuscript pages 71–72) was copied by Oliver Cowdery, something Cowdery could have done only after his return to Kirtland in late October 1833.13

See Oliver Cowdery, Kirtland, OH, to Warren Cowdery, Freedom, NY, 30 Oct. 1833, in Cowdery, Letterbook, 1–3.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Cowdery, Oliver. Letterbook, 1833–1838. Henry E. Huntington Library, San Marino, CA.

The revelation following this (manuscript pages 73–83) was likely copied into the manuscript book before being published as a broadsheet circa January 1834.14

Verily, I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted, [Kirtland, OH: ca. Jan. 1834], copy at CHL [D&C 101].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Verily, I say unto you, concerning your brethren who have been afflicted [D&C 101]. [Kirtland, OH: ca. Jan. 1834]. Copy at CHL.

The next ten revelations (manuscript pages 83–97) are dated between October 1830 and the end of April 1832 and are not in chronological order. While three of the ten had been published previously (one in the 1833 Book of Commandments15

Revelation, 4 Feb. 1831 [D&C 41] was published as chapter 43 in the Book of Commandments.  

 
and two in The Evening and the Morning Star16

Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831 [D&C 65] was published in the September 1832 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star. Revelation, 30 Apr. 1832 [D&C 83] was published in the January 1833 issue of The Evening and the Morning Star.  

 
), the presence of the other seven appears to be the result of an effort to collect revelations that were not in print by 1834. All are dated several years before they were copied into Revelation Book 2, and four of them were not included in the Book of Commandments although they were available for publication. Of these ten revelations, nine were later published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.17

See Revelation, 15 May 1831 for the revelation not published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.  

 
While Williams, the scribe for all ten revelations, might have coped this portion of the manuscript book in late 1833 or early 1834, internal and external evidence suggests that he copied the revelations following his return from the “Camp of Israel” expedition to Missouri in 1834 (later known as “Zion’s Camp”). August 1834 is the most probable copying date for two reasons. First, Williams erroneously dated one revelation “August 20” rather than “May 20,” suggesting that he copied it into the manuscript book in August.18 Second, a committee to publish the revelations was appointed by late September 1834, indicating that church leaders had begun to plan for another publication of the revelations by that time, possibly as early as August.19

Minute Book 1, 24 Sept. 1834; see also Frederick G. Williams, Kirtland, OH, to “Dear Brethren,” Independence, MO, 10 Oct. 1833, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 58; and F. G. Williams and Company, Account Book, 1.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Minute Book 1 / “Conference A,” 1832–1837. CHL. Also available at josephsmithpapers.org.

JS Letterbook 1 / Smith, Joseph. “Letter Book A,” 1832–1835. Joseph Smith Collection. CHL.

F. G. Williams & Co., Account Book, 1833–1835. CHL.

Despite this evidence, however, late 1833 and early spring 1834 cannot be ruled out as the period Williams did this copying work.
Cowdery, Hyde, and Williams penned the next nine revelations (manuscript pages 97–120), perhaps as part of the continued attempt to collect revelations for publication. Hyde provided late August 1834 as the date he finished copying three of these revelations.20 Following these, only five revelations were copied into the manuscript book, four dated earlier than August 1834 and one dated 25 November 1834. These last five were likely copied before the end of 1834, but the copying dates are unknown.
Though space remained, scribes copied no additional revelations into Revelation Book 2. It is unknown why later revelations were not copied or who possessed the book from 1834 to 1843. Revelations of that period were recorded in other places, such as JS’s journals. When working on JS’s history in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1843, William W. Phelps and Willard Richards used three blank leaves in the back of Revelation Book 2 to record information not incorporated into the history, often citing sources for the new material.
In addition to marking corrections, those preparing the items in Revelation Book 2 for publication pinned into the manuscript book slips of paper that contained additions or clarifications to the original text. Two such slips are extant in Revelation Book 2, and they are transcribed as separate leaves where they appear in the manuscript book. Elsewhere in Revelation Book 2, visible pinholes likely mark where additional slips were fastened to the page as texts were copied or prepared for publication.21

See here for an example of a slip of paper that was pinned to the page. A series of pinholes is also visible on manuscript page 69.  

 
These marks, which suggest how the manuscript book was created, are identified in the textual annotation.
The leaf containing pages 54–55 of JS’s March–September 1838 journal, entitled “Scriptory Book,” was torn from that journal and inserted into Revelation Book 2, probably in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century when revelations from different locations in the Church Historian’s Office were assembled into one collection. That leaf is no longer in Revelation Book 2; it remains separated from the journal and is in the Revelations Collection. The leaf includes two revelations dated 8 July 1838 and is transcribed in its original location in the first volume of the Journals series. A document related to the history-writing effort in Nauvoo was also inserted into Revelation Book 2 at some point, thereby becoming associated with the book though not physically part of it.
Note: At present, the transcript of Revelation Book 2 on this website includes only the original inscriptions, not the later redactions made to the manuscript book to prepare the revelations for publication. A transcript showing the later redactions will eventually be added to this site. Until that time, readers will notice many discrepancies between the images and the transcript. For a transcript that includes the redactions, consult Revelations and Translations: Manuscript Revelation Books, facsimile ed. (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2009) or Revelations and Translations, Volume 1: Manuscript Revelation Books (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2011).
Except as described in this note, Revelation Book 2 is presented here electronically as a complete record. In contrast, the Documents series (multiple volumes forthcoming in print; selections also available on this site) presents each revelation separately, placed in chronological order with other documents of various genres. That series includes the earliest and best extant version of each revelation, providing contextual annotation and a historical introduction for each. Readers should consult the Documents series for information about the setting and significance of individual revelations.

Facts