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Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17]

A Revelation 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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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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and 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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 given Fayett

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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sineca co [Fayette, Seneca County] New York given previous  to them having a view of the plates

21 Jun. 1829

Three witnesses—Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris—saw plates from which Book of Mormon was translated, Fayette Township, New York.

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Behold I say unto you that you must  rely upon my word which if you do with  full purpose of heart you shall have a  view of the plate and also the brestplate  the sword <of Laban the> Urim, and Thumim of Laban the  Urim and Thumim <which was> given to the brother of  Jared upon the mount when he talked with  the Lord face to face and the marveelus directors  which was given to Lehi while in the wilderness  on the borders of the red sea and it is by  your faith that you shall obtain a view  of them even by that faith which was had  by the prophets of old and after that you  have obtained faith and have seen  them with your eyes you shall testify of  them by the power of God and this you  shall do that my servant Joseph Smith Jr  may not be distroyed that I may bring  about my rightous purposes unto the  children of men in this work and ye  shall testify that ye have seen them  even as my servant Joseph Smith jr has  seen them for it is by my power that  he has seen them and it is because he  had faith and he has translated

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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them  even that part which I have commanded

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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 him and as your Lord and your God liveth  it is true wherefore you have received  the same power and the same faith and  the same gift like unto him and if ye  do these last commandments of mine [p. 119]
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When 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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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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learned that three witnesses were to be allowed to view the Book of Mormon plates, they requested the honor. 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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had also been promised a viewing. Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris pressed so vigorously that JS sought a revelation through the Urim and Thummim. He subsequently dictated this text, which confirmed that the three men would be permitted to view the plates and other related artifacts if they exercised sufficient faith.
In his history, JS recounted the three men’s successful effort to obtain a realization of the promise. All three witnesses attached their testimony to the Book of Mormon, stating that they had seen the engraved plates and had experienced other divine manifestations.
Revelation Book 2 contains the earliest extant copy of this revelation. Undated, it apparently was copied sometime after 25 November 1834 by scribe Frederick G. Williams

28 Oct. 1787–10 Oct. 1842. Ship’s pilot, teacher, physician, justice of the peace. Born at Suffield, Hartford Co., Connecticut. Son of William Wheeler Williams and Ruth Granger. Moved to Newburg, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio, 1799. Practiced Thomsonian botanical system...

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. No earlier copy is extant. The 1835 Doctrine and Covenants and later accounts give the date as June 1829.

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