26045

Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18]

38 Wherefore you shall testify they are of me, and not of man; for it is my voice which speaketh them unto you:
39 For they are given by my 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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unto you:
40 And by my power you can read them one to another; and save it were by my power, you could not have them:
41 Wherefore you can testify that you have heard my voice, and know my words.
42 And now behold I give unto you, 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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, 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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, that you shall search out the twelve

Members of a governing body in the church, with special administrative and proselytizing responsibilities. A June 1829 revelation commanded Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer to call twelve disciples, similar to the twelve apostles in the New Testament and ...

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which shall have the desires of which I have spoken; and by their desires and their works, you shall know them:
43 And when you have found them you shall show these things unto them.
44 And you shall fall down and worship the Father in my name:
45 And you must preach unto the world, saying, you must repent and be 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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in the name of Jesus Christ:
46 For all men must repent and be baptized; and not only men, but women and children, which have arriven to the years of accountability.
47 And now, after that you have received this, you must keep 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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in all things:
48 And by your hands I will work a marvelous work among the children of men, unto the convincing of many of their sins, that they may come unto repentance; and that they may come unto the kingdom of my Father:
49 Wherefore the blessings which I give unto you are above all things.
50 And after that you have received this, if you keep not my commandments, you cannot be saved [p. 38]
38 Wherefore you shall testify they are of me,  and not of man; for it is my voice which speaketh  them unto you:
39 For they are given by my 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...

View Glossary
unto you:
40 And by my power you can read them one to  another; and save it were by my power, you could  not have them:20
41 Wherefore you can testify that you have heard  my voice, and know my words.
42 And now behold I give unto you, 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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, 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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, that you shall search out the twelve

Members of a governing body in the church, with special administrative and proselytizing responsibilities. A June 1829 revelation commanded Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer to call twelve disciples, similar to the twelve apostles in the New Testament and ...

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 which shall have the desires of which I have spoken;  and by their desires and their works, you shall know  them:21

The immediacy of this statement suggests that Cowdery and Whitmer were to choose the twelve soon. It appears, however, that they may not have called disciples immediately.  


43 And when you have found them you shall  show these things unto them.
44 And you shall fall down and worship the Fa ther in my name:
45 And you must preach unto the world, saying,  you must repent and be 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...

View Glossary
in the name of Je sus Christ:
46 For all men must repent and be baptized; and  not only men, but women and children, which have  arriven to the years of accountability.22

The Book of Mormon denounces infant baptism. A later revelation indicated that children reached the “years of accountability” and could be baptized at age eight. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 581–582 [Moroni 8:8–22]; Revelation, 1 Nov. 1831–A, in Revelation Book 1, p. 114.)  


47 And now, after that you have received this,  you must keep 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...

View Glossary
in all things:
48 And by your hands I will work a marvelous  work among the children of men, unto the convin cing of many of their sins, that they may come unto  repentance; and that they may come unto the king dom of my Father:
49 Wherefore the blessings which I give unto you  are above all things.
50 And after that you have received this, if you  keep not my commandments, you cannot be saved [p. 38]
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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.)  


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 Jesus 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...

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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 ...

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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 Jesus 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...

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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].  


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.)  


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.)  


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...

View Full Bio
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...

View Full Bio
began to search for the twelve disciples

Generally, a follower of Jesus 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...

View Glossary
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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