26030

Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3]

Thou do this thou shalt be delivered up & become as other men & have no more gift & when thou deliveredst up that Which that which God had given thee right to 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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thou deliveredest up that which was Sacred into the hands of a wicked man who has Set at naught the Councils of God & hath broken the most Sacred promises which was made before God4

Lucy Mack Smith wrote in 1845 that Martin Harris “bound himself in a written covenant of the most solemn nature, that he would strictly comply with the injunctions which he had received.” Though an earlier draft of her history never mentioned a written covenant, it did state that Harris “took the most solemn oath.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 127; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [1].)  


& hath depended upon his own Judgement & boasted in his own wisdom & this is the reason that thou hast lost thy Privileges for a Season for thou hast suffered that the council of thy directors to be trampeled upon from the begining for as the knowledge of a Saveiour hath come to the world so shall the knowledge of my People the Nephities

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants and followers of Nephi, as well as those who later identified themselves as Nephites for religious reasons. According to JS and the Book of Mormon, Lehi and Sariah, Nephi’s parents, and their family...

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& the Jacobites & the Josephites & the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

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come to the knowledge of the Lamanites & the Lamanites & the Ishmaelites5

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 519 [Mormon 1:8–9].  


which dwindeled in unbelief because of the iniquities of their Fathers who hath been suffered to destroy their Brethren because of their iniquities & their Abominations & for this very Purpose are these Plates prepared which contain these Records that the Promises of the Lord might be fulfilled which he made to his People & that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their Fathers6

Early members of the Church of Christ identified American Indians as descendants of the Lamanites. The title page of the Book of Mormon said the book was written particularly “to the Lamanites,” and the church’s first formal proselytizing mission mentioned in the revelations was to the Lamanites. (Title Page of Book of Mormon, ca. Early June 1829; Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28].)  


& that they may know the Promises of the Lord that they may believe the Gospel & rely upon the merits of Jesus Christ & that they might be glorified through faith in his name & that they might repent & be Saved Amen Received 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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Susquehannah Penn7

Colophons, such as “Received in Harmony Susquehannah Penn,” were occasionally attached to revelations. It is unlikely that this colophon was part of the original dictated text.  


[p. 2]
Thou do this thou shalt be delivered up & become as other  men & have no more gift & when thou deliveredst up that  Which that which God had given thee right to 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
 thou deliveredest up that which was Sacred into the hands  of a wicked man who has Set at naught the Councils of God  & hath broken the most Sacred promises which was made before  God4

Lucy Mack Smith wrote in 1845 that Martin Harris “bound himself in a written covenant of the most solemn nature, that he would strictly comply with the injunctions which he had received.” Though an earlier draft of her history never mentioned a written covenant, it did state that Harris “took the most solemn oath.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 127; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [1].)  


& hath depended upon his own Judgement & boasted in  his own arm wisdom & this is the reason that thou hast  lost thy Privileges for a Season for thou hast suffered  that the council of thy directors to be trampeled upon from  the begining for as the knowledge of a Saveiour hath come  to the world so shall the knowledge of my People the Nephities

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants and followers of Nephi, as well as those who later identified themselves as Nephites for religious reasons. According to JS and the Book of Mormon, Lehi and Sariah, Nephi’s parents, and their family...

View Glossary
 & the Jacobites & the Josephites & the Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
come to the  Lamanites knowledge of the Lamanites & the Lamanites &  the Ishmaelites5

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 519 [Mormon 1:8–9].  


which dwindeled in unbelief because of  the iniquities of their Fathers who hath been suffered to  destroy their Brethren because of their iniquities & their  Abominations & for this very Purpose are these Plates  prepared which contain these Records that the Promises  of the Lord might be fulfilled which he made to his  People & that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge  of their Fathers6

Early members of the Church of Christ identified American Indians as descendants of the Lamanites. The title page of the Book of Mormon said the book was written particularly “to the Lamanites,” and the church’s first formal proselytizing mission mentioned in the revelations was to the Lamanites. (Title Page of Book of Mormon, ca. Early June 1829; Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28].)  


& that they may know the Promises of  the Lord that they may believe the Gospel & rely upon the  merits of Jesus Christ & that they might be glorified  through faith in his name & that they might repent  & be Saved Amen Received 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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Susquehannah Penn7

Colophons, such as “Received in Harmony Susquehannah Penn,” were occasionally attached to revelations. It is unlikely that this colophon was part of the original dictated text.  


[p. 2]
Previous
This is the first JS revelation for which a text has survived.1

By contrast, the source text for Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5], is the earliest extant copy of any of JS’s revelations.  


According to JS’s history, it was obtained using the Urim and Thummim

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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after 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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lost the earliest Book of Mormon manuscript. Working 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, from mid-April to mid-June 1828, JS dictated and Harris wrote what JS later called “the Book of Lehi,” translated

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
from the gold plates.2 Facing ongoing opposition from his wife

1 May 1792–summer 1836. Born at Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York. Daughter of Rufus Harris and Lucy Hill. Affiliated with Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Married Martin Harris, 27 Mar. 1808, in Palmyra. Partially deaf, by ...

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, Harris pressed JS to “enquire of the Lord through the Urim and Thummin” whether Harris could take the translation to his home in Palmyra

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

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, New York, to “read to his friends that peradventur he might convince them of the truth.”3

JS History, vol. A-1, 9; JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 5. Lucy Harris had recently traveled to Harmony to see the plates herself but left in anger when JS would not allow it. Martin and Lucy Harris likely had a troubled marriage prior to Martin’s involvement with JS and the translation of the plates. In the spring of 1828 Martin and Lucy finalized a jointure agreement giving Lucy her marital or dower interest. The document by which Martin deeded Lucy’s portion of the property to her (by way of her brother Peter Harris) bears an 1825 date but was recorded and filed in May 1828. Since Lucy opposed Martin’s involvement in the translation, she may have pressured him into executing this agreement to protect her interests because she feared that he would offer financial support for the translation and printing of the Book of Mormon, which he in fact did. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 6, [8]–[10]; Wayne Co., NY, Deed Records, 1823–1904, vol. 5, pp. 530–532, 29 Nov. 1825, microfilm 478,782, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


JS’s history said that he “inquired of the Lord and the Lord said unto me that he [Harris] must not take” the manuscript.4 Dissatisfied with the answer, Harris made a second request, resulting in a similar inquiry and answer. Finally, “after much solicitation” from Harris, JS “again enquired of the Lord, and permission was granted him [Harris] to have the writings on certain conditions,” which included showing them only to specified family members.5

JS History, vol. A-1, 9; see also Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:3]. While JS’s 1832 history said that Harris agreed to show the manuscript to only four people, JS’s later history named five people: “his brother. Preserved Harris, his own wife, his father [Nathan Harris], and his mother [Rhoda Lapham Harris], and a Mrs [Mary (Polly) Harris] Cobb a sister to his wife.” (JS History, vol. A-1, 9; compare JS History, ca. Summer 1832, 5–[6].)  


With the manuscript in hand, 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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left for New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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, apparently on 14 June. On 15 June, Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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gave birth to a son

15 June 1828–15 June 1828. Born at Harmony (later in Oakland), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Son of JS and Emma Hale. Did not survive birth.

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who was either stillborn or died shortly after birth.6

Sophia Lewis reportedly said that she was present at the birth and that the baby was stillborn. Lucy Mack Smith, not present at the birth, wrote that the baby “was very soon snatched from her [Emma’s] arms and borne aloft to the world of spirits.” Although the birth and death of this baby are recorded in JS’s family Bible under the name of “Alvin Smith,” this information was recorded in the Bible decades after the event by someone other than JS or Emma. The baby’s gravestone does not give him a name but reads, “An Infant Son of Joseph and Emma Smith.” (Sophia Lewis, Statement, in “Mormonism,” Susquehanna Register and Northern Pennsylvanian (Montrose, PA), 1 May 1834, [1]; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [1]; JS Family Bible; Photograph of Tombstone, 1907, George Edward Anderson, Glass Plate Negative Collection, 1897–1927, CHL; see also JS History, 1834–1836, 9; and Joseph Smith III, “Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, 289.)  


For nearly three weeks JS cared for Emma, who in Lucy Mack Smith

8 July 1775–14 May 1856. Oilcloth painter, nurse, fund-raiser, author. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Solomon Mack Sr. and Lydia Gates. Moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, 1779; to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, 1788...

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’s words felt “to tremble upon the verge of the silent home of her infant.”7

Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [1]–[2].  


As Emma began to recover in early July, she encouraged JS to “repair to Palmira

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

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, for the purpose of learning the cause of Mr. Harris absence, as well as silence.”8

Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 128.  


Shortly after JS arrived at his parents’ home near Palmyra, he learned that Harris had lost the manuscript. Lucy Mack Smith wrote that “sobs and groans . . . filled the house,” with JS “weeping and grieving like a tender infant.” He and his family soon “parted with heavy hearts,” and JS returned to Pennsylvania

Area first settled by Swedish immigrants, 1628. William Penn received grant for territory from King Charles II, 1681, and established British settlement, 1682. Philadelphia was center of government for original thirteen U.S. colonies from time of Revolutionary...

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.9

Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [6]–[7].  


JS’s history described the historical setting for the revelation: “Immediately after my return home [to 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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] I was walking out a little distance, when Behold the former heavenly messenger appeared and handed to me the Urim and Thummin again (for it had been taken from me in consequence of my having wearied the Lord in asking for the privilege of letting 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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take the writings which he lost by transgression) and I enquired of the Lord through them and obtained the folowing revelation.”10

JS History, vol. A-1, 10.  


It is not known when or how the text was committed to paper. Although JS may have written it himself, he dictated later revelations to scribes and may have dictated this one to either Emma

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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or her brother Reuben Hale, both of whom served as scribes to JS during this time.11

Knight, Reminiscences, 4; Joseph Smith III, “Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, 289; see also Blackman, History of Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, 104.  


The earliest extant version of the revelation, featured here, was copied into Revelation Book 1 by 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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, likely in early 1831.
The revelation rebuked JS for allowing 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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to take the manuscript and commanded him to repent before he could resume the translation. According to Lucy Smith

8 July 1775–14 May 1856. Oilcloth painter, nurse, fund-raiser, author. Born at Gilsum, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Daughter of Solomon Mack Sr. and Lydia Gates. Moved to Montague, Franklin Co., Massachusetts, 1779; to Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont, 1788...

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, the angel told JS that because he “had sinned in that he had delivered the manuscript into the hands of a wicked man . . . he would of necessity suffer the consquence’s of his indiscretion.” However, after losing the plates and the spectacles, JS continued his “suplications to God without cessation” until he “had the joy and satisfaction of again receiving the urim and Thummim.”12

Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [9], [11]. JS’s later history said the plates and the Urim and Thummim were taken from him twice, the first time (as noted above) after he wearied the Lord in requesting that Harris be allowed to take the manuscript. Then, after the angel returned the Urim and Thummim and JS obtained through it the revelation presented here, “both the plates, and the Urim and Thummin were taken from me again.” After “a few days” they were given back and another revelation explained that “because you delivered up so many writings, which you had power to translate, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them, and you also lost your gift at the same time, nevertheless it has been restored unto you again: therefore, see that you are faithful and go on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work as you have begun.” Lucy Mack Smith explained that the plates, and presumably the Urim and Thummim, were returned “on the 22 of september [1828].” (JS History, vol. A-1, 10–11; Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:1–3].)  


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