26045

Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18]

Spirit

A right or privilege bestowed through the confirmation ordinance. Individuals were confirmed members of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands. The Book of Mormon explained that remission of sins requires not only...

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in many instances, that the things which you  have written are true:3

This is a reference to the revelatory texts for which Cowdery had served as scribe, principally JS’s dictation of the Book of Mormon.  

 
3 Wherefore you know that they are true; and if  you know that they are true, behold I give unto you  a commandment, that you rely upon the things  which are written; for in them are all things writ ten, concerning my church, my gospel, and my  rock.4

An earlier revelation to Hyrum Smith used similar wording: “Wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my Rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine.” (Revelation, May 1829–A [D&C 11:16].)  

 
4 Wherefore if you shall build up my church, and  my gospel, and my rock, the gates of hell shall not  prevail against you.5

See Matthew 16:18.  

 
5 Behold the world is ripening in iniquity, and it  must needs be, that the children of men are stirred  up unto repentance, both the 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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, and also the  house of Israel

Members of the church and the posterity of Jacob, or Israel, in the Old Testament. The people in the Book of Mormon were described in the text as a “remnant of the House of Israel,” descended from the Israelites of the Bible. JS Revelations stated that the...

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:
6 Wherefore as thou hast been baptized

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

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by the  hand of my servant, according to that which I have  commanded him:6

For Cowdery’s account of his baptism, see Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:15.
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate. Kirtland, OH. Oct. 1834–Sept. 1837.

7 Wherefore he hath fulfilled the thing which I  commanded him.
8 And now marvel not that I have called him  unto mine own purpose, which purpose is known in  me:
9 Wherefore if he shall be diligent in keeping my  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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, he shall be blessed unto eternal  life, and his name is Joseph.
10 And now 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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, I speak unto7

TEXT: “u” printed upside-down.  

 
you, and also  unto 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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, by the way of commandment:
11 For behold I command all men every where  to repent, and I speak unto you, even as unto Paul  mine apostle, for you are called even with that same  calling with which he was called.8

This passage could be evidence that the ordination of JS and Oliver Cowdery to the apostleship took place before this revelation. Soon after this declaration, Cowdery concluded his “Articles of the Church of Christ” with these words: “Behold I am Oliver I am an Apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God the Father & the Lord Jesus Christ.” (See “Joseph Smith Documents Dating through June 1831”; and “Articles of the Church of Christ,” ca. June 1829; see also Ephesians 1:1; and Colossians 1:1.)  

 
12 Remember the worth of souls is great in the  sight of God:
13 For behold the Lord your God suffered death [p. 35]
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JS dictated this revelation 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, within the first few days of June 1829.1

In the index to Revelation Book 1, John Whitmer listed this as the second of five revelations that were apparently dictated in June. (The text of these five revelations is not extant in Revelation Book 1.) This revelation was likely dictated after David Whitmer’s baptism, which also occurred in June, and before Oliver Cowdery’s 14 June letter to Hyrum Smith. (Revelation Book 1, p. [207]; JS History, vol. A-1, 23; Oliver Cowdery, Fayette, NY, to Hyrum Smith, 14 June 1829, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 5–6.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Revelation Book 1 / “A Book of Commandments and Revelations of the Lord Given to Joseph the Seer and Others by the Inspiration of God and Gift and Power of the Holy Ghost Which Beareth Re[c]ord of the Father and Son and Holy Ghost Which Is One God Infinite and Eternal World without End Amen,” 1831–1835. CHL.

JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). CHL. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

Although the first portion of the revelation is addressed 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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, the remainder provides direction for Cowdery and 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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jointly, including a call for them to find twelve disciples

Generally, a follower of Christ, and in certain cases, one selected to lead the ministry. In the New Testament, Christ ordained twelve of his disciples as apostles. The Book of Mormon recounted that during his ministry to the Nephites, Christ similarly appointed...

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. The revelation then speaks to an intended future audience for JS’s revelation, addressing these unidentified twelve disciples. Previous revelations had always addressed the individuals directly involved as they or a scribe recorded the words JS dictated.
This revelation opens with an admonition that 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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“rely upon the things which are written,” especially the finished portion of the manuscript of the Book of Mormon.2

Later in June Cowdery wrote “Articles of the Church of Christ,” which he labeled “a commandment from God unto Oliver how he should build up his Church & the manner thereof.” It relied upon passages in the Book of Mormon (and especially in the book of Moroni) as a model. (“Articles of the Church of Christ,” June 1829.)  

 
Just weeks earlier Cowdery had recorded from JS’s translation

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

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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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an account of Jesus Christ choosing twelve Nephite disciples

Generally, a follower of Christ, and in certain cases, one selected to lead the ministry. In the New Testament, Christ ordained twelve of his disciples as apostles. The Book of Mormon recounted that during his ministry to the Nephites, Christ similarly appointed...

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and calling them to lead the church that he established.3

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 574–575 [Moroni 2–3].
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Palmyra, NY: E. B. Grandin, 1830.

The revelation featured here then describes the duties of twelve leaders yet to be selected, using terminology similar to the Book of Mormon manuscript, including the responsibilities to preach, baptize

An ordinance in which an individual is immersed in water for the remission of sins. The Book of Mormon explained that those with necessary authority were to baptize individuals who had repented of their sins. Baptized individuals also received the gift of...

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, and “ordain

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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priests

An ecclesiastical and priesthood office. In the Book of Mormon, priests were described as those who baptized, administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto the church,” and taught “the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” A June 1829 revelation directed...

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and teachers

Generally, one who instructs, but also an ecclesiastical and priesthood office. The Book of Mormon explained that teachers were to be ordained “to preach repentance and remission of sins through Jesus Christ, by the endurance of faith on his name to the end...

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to declare my gospel, according to the power of the Holy Ghost

A right or privilege bestowed through the confirmation ordinance. Individuals were confirmed members of the church and received the gift of the Holy Ghost through the laying on of hands. The Book of Mormon explained that remission of sins requires not only...

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which is in you, and according to the callings and gifts of God unto men.”4

A passage in the Book of Mormon specifies “the manner which the disciples, which were called the Elders of the church, ordained priests and teachers.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 575 [Moroni 3:1]; see also JS History, vol. A-1, 27.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Palmyra, NY: E. B. Grandin, 1830.

JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). CHL. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

While the Book of Mormon uses both disciples and apostles, distinguishing between the twelve “disciples” in America and the twelve “apostles” in Jerusalem

Capital city of ancient Judea. Holy city of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Population in 1835 about 11,000; in 1840 about 13,000; and in 1850 about 15,000. Described in 1836 as “greatly reduced from its ancient size and importance.” Occupied and governed ...

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, the terms seem to refer to comparable offices. This revelation uses the term disciple to describe the calling of the twelve, but it is unclear whether in 1829 JS and Cowdery thought of the terms disciple and apostle as interchangeable, as they did later.5

When JS and Cowdery convened a meeting to select twelve apostles in February 1835, they referred to the proceedings as being a fulfillment of this revelation. Similarly, although the text featured here (from the 1833 Book of Commandments) refers to the calling of “disciples,” the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants describes the purpose of the same revelation as the “calling of twelve apostles,” as does JS’s history begun in 1838. (Minute Book 1, 14 Feb. 1835; Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Record, 14 Feb. 1835; Doctrine and Covenants 43, 1835 ed.; JS History, vol. A-1, 27.)
Comprehensive Works Cited

 

 

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Record / Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “A Record of the Transactions of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of the Latter Day Saints from the Time of Their Call to the Apostleship Which Was on the 14th Day of Feby. AD 1835,” Feb.–Aug. 1835. In Patriarchal Blessings, 1833–, vol. 2. CHL.

Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God. Compiled by Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams. Kirtland, OH: F. G. Williams, 1835.

JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). CHL. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

It is also not known when 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 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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began to search for the twelve disciples

Generally, a follower of Christ, and in certain cases, one selected to lead the ministry. In the New Testament, Christ ordained twelve of his disciples as apostles. The Book of Mormon recounted that during his ministry to the Nephites, Christ similarly appointed...

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or apostles

A title indicating one sent forth to preach; later designated as a specific ecclesiastical and priesthood office. By 1830, JS and Oliver Cowdery were designated as apostles. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church explained that an “apostle is an elder...

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. At a conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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of the church on 26 October 1831, Cowdery informed those in attendance that he had recently been told that the twelve “would be ordained

The conferral of power and authority; to appoint, decree, or set apart. Church members, primarily adults, were ordained to ecclesiastical offices and other responsibilities by the laying on of hands by those with the proper authority. Ordinations to priesthood...

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& sent forth from the Land of Zion.”6

Minute Book 2, 25–26 Oct. 1831.  

 
In February 1835, when twelve apostles were called, Cowdery stated that since the time of this revelation in 1829, “our minds have been on a constant stretch to find who these Twelve were.”7

Minute Book 1, 14 and 21 Feb. 1835.  

 

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