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Revelation, June 1829–A [D&C 14]

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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unto the house of Israel.12

According to the Book of Mormon, a “Gentile” was to bring forth the Book of Mormon “by the gift of God” to “the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile.” Early members of the Church of Christ believed Lamanites to be ancestors of the peoples who inhabited the American continent before the arrival of Europeans. (Title Page of Book of Mormon, ca. Early June 1829; Oliver Cowdery, “Letter VII,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1835, 1:158.)  


And behold thou art David

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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, and thou art called to assist: Which thing if ye do, and are faithful, ye shall be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be your reward:13

See Luke 6:35; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 480 [3 Nephi 12:12].  


Amen. [p. 33]
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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unto the house of Israel.12

According to the Book of Mormon, a “Gentile” was to bring forth the Book of Mormon “by the gift of God” to “the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile.” Early members of the Church of Christ believed Lamanites to be ancestors of the peoples who inhabited the American continent before the arrival of Europeans. (Title Page of Book of Mormon, ca. Early June 1829; Oliver Cowdery, “Letter VII,” LDS Messenger and Advocate, July 1835, 1:158.)  


And behold thou  art David

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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, and thou art called to assist: Which  thing if ye do, and are faithful, ye shall be blessed  both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be  your reward:13

See Luke 6:35; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 480 [3 Nephi 12:12].  


Amen. [p. 33]
Previous
JS dictated this revelation for 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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after Whitmer traveled 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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, Pennsylvania, and helped JS and 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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move to Peter Whitmer Sr.

14 Apr. 1773–13 Aug. 1854. Farmer. Born at Harrisburg, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer and likely Maria Salome. Member of Presbyterian church. Married Mary Musselman, before 1798, in Pennsylvania. Lived in Lebanon Township, Dauphin Co., by...

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’s house in Fayette

Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...

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, New York. The move was undertaken to facilitate completion of the Book of Mormon 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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, which had caused JS trouble with both Isaac Hale

21 Mar. 1763–11 Jan. 1839. Farmer, hunter, innkeeper. Born in Waterbury, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Reuben Hale and Diantha Ward. Member of Methodist church. Moved to Wells, Albany Co., New York (later in Rutland Co., Vermont), ca. 1771, to live with...

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and other residents in Harmony. David Whitmer had heard about JS in the fall of 1828 when rumors about JS’s retrieval 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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circulated widely in the 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, region. While in Palmyra, Whitmer discussed the story of JS and the plates with Cowdery and others but initially supposed it was a rumor. Cowdery, who was acquainted with the Joseph Smith Sr.

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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family,1

The exact timing and sequence of events related to Oliver Cowdery’s relationship with the Smith family are not clear. According to David Whitmer, Cowdery said he was “acquainted with the Smith family” when Whitmer and Cowdery first met, but Whitmer offered no dates (other than the year 1828) and said nothing about Cowdery’s staying with the Smiths. Lucy Mack Smith, on the other hand, indicated that Cowdery began boarding with the Smith family right after he accepted a teaching position in the Manchester, New York, district late in the fall of 1828, but she said nothing about Cowdery’s meeting Whitmer and likewise gave no specific dates. (“Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, 1; Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 7, [12].)  


told Whitmer that “there must be some truth in the story of the plates, and that he intended to investigate the matter.”2

“Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, 1. Whitmer had conversations with “several young men” who claimed that they knew JS had the plates and that they had seen “the plates [place] in the hill that he took them out of.” (“A Few Corrections,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 19 June 1881, 4.)  


Several months later, Cowdery informed Whitmer that he intended to go to Harmony to see JS about the plates.3

“Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, 1. Though Cowdery may have written Whitmer a letter, he likely told Whitmer about his plans during another visit by Whitmer to Palmyra.  


On his journey, Cowdery stopped in Fayette to visit Whitmer and promised to write to him regarding what he learned. Cowdery sent at least three letters to Whitmer from Harmony, the last of which directed Whitmer to bring his wagon to Harmony and move JS and Cowdery to Fayette.4

“Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, 1. For descriptions of the early relationship between Cowdery and Whitmer, see Stevenson, Journal, 23 Dec. 1877; and Edward Stevenson, Richmond, MO, to Orson Pratt, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, 23 Dec. 1877, in Historical Department, Journal History of the Church, 23 Dec. 1877. JS stated that Whitmer arrived “in the beginning of the month of June.” Whitmer also recalled that he met JS in June and stated that the journey between Fayette and Harmony took two and a half days. For further details of the move to Fayette, see JS History, vol. A-1, 21; and “Report of Elders Orson Pratt and Joseph F. Smith,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 27 Nov. 1878, 674–675; for other David Whitmer interviews, see “The Last Man,” Times (Chicago), 17 Oct. 1881, 5; and Stevenson, Journal, 22–23 Dec. 1877.  


Aided by what they considered divine manifestations, the Whitmers quickly became followers of JS. 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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later recounted that during their journey to Fayette

Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...

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, he, 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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, and JS briefly encountered a “pleasant, nice looking old man” whom JS identified by revelation as a heavenly messenger transporting the plates. Whitmer also recalled that soon after their arrival in Fayette, his mother, Mary Musselman Whitmer

27 Aug. 1778–Jan. 1856. Born in Germany. Immigrated to Pennsylvania. Married Peter Whitmer Sr., before 1798, in Pennsylvania. Lived in Lebanon Township, Dauphin Co., Pennsylvania, by 1800. Moved to Fayette, Seneca Co., New York, by 1809. Member of German ...

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, was met “by the same old man,” who showed her the plates.5

Joseph F. Smith, New York City, NY, to John Taylor et al., [Salt Lake City, Utah Territory], 17 Sept. 1878, draft, Joseph F. Smith, Papers, CHL; Stevenson, Journal, 23 Dec. 1877, 9 Feb. 1886, and 2 Jan. 1887. While the Joseph F. Smith account did not identify the person transporting the plates, Stevenson’s accounts variously identified him as “one of the Nephites” and “one of the 3 Nephites.” (See also [Andrew Jenson], “Eight Witnesses,” Historical Record, Oct. 1888, 621.)  


JS’s history recorded that “David, John

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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, and Peter Whitmer Jr

27 Sept. 1809–22 Sept. 1836. Tailor. Born at Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, in Seneca Lake, Seneca Co. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Among six...

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became our zealous friends and assistants in the work; And being anxious to know their respective duties, and having desired with much earnestness that I should enquire of the Lord concerning them, I did so, through the means of 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 for them in succession the folowing Revelations,” referring to this revelation and the June 1829 revelations directed to John Whitmer and Peter Whitmer Jr.6

JS History, vol. A-1, 22. For the revelations dictated for John Whitmer and Peter Whitmer Jr., respectively, see Revelation, June 1829–C [D&C 15]; and Revelation, June 1829–D [D&C 16]. JS’s history noted that David Whitmer and Peter Whitmer Jr. were baptized “in this same month of June.” Edward Stevenson reported that David Whitmer said it was in the “middle” of June. The wording of this revelation suggests that David Whitmer’s baptism occurred before the revelation. (JS History, vol. A-1, 23; Stevenson, Journal, 2 Jan. 1887.)  


The five revelations dated June 1829 are presented herein in the order found in the index to Revelation Book 1.7

Revelation Book 1, p. [207].  


Facts