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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 &c.1

This heading was most likely not part of the original revelation text. It may have been created by Frederick G. Williams when he copied the text into Revelation Book 2.  


Behold I say unto you that you must rely upon my word which if you do with full purpose of heart2

See Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:3, 27].  


you shall have a view of the plate and also the brestplate3

In 1845, Lucy Mack Smith recounted that shortly after obtaining the breastplate with the gold plates, JS handed it to her, wrapped in “a thin muslin handkerchief.” She reported, “It was concave on one side . . . and extended from the neck downwards as far as the centre of the stomach of a man of extraordinary size. It had four straps of the same material for the purpose of fastening it to the breast: two of which ran back to go over the shoulders, and the other two were designed to fasten to the hips.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 114.)  


the sword of Laban4

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 12, 72 [1 Nephi 4:8–9; 2 Nephi 5:14].  


the Urim and Thumim

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 ...

View Glossary
5

In this version of the revelation, the use of “Urim and Thummim” (rather than the Book of Mormon term “interpreters” or the term “spectacles,” which JS used in 1829 and 1832) is probably a later redaction since “Urim and Thummim” does not appear in JS’s writings before 1833. The revisions in this section may in part be correcting errors made while copying from a source text that had itself been revised. (See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 172–173, 546 [Mosiah 8:13; Ether 4:5]; JS History, ca. Summer 1832; and “Joseph Smith Documents Dating through June 1831.”)  


which was given to the brother of Jared upon the mount when he talked with the Lord face to face6

This episode is recounted in Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 543–545 [Ether 3].  


and the marveelus directors which was given to Lehi while in the wilderness on the borders of the red sea7

In the Book of Mormon the “marveelus directors,” named the “liahona,” function something like a compass to guide Lehi’s party in their journey. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 39, 48–49, 329 [1 Nephi 16:10; 18:12–21; Alma 37:38–40].)  


and it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them8

For the most part, Cowdery, Harris, and Whitmer focused on the plates in their public testimonies. Whitmer did, however, make repeated reference to seeing the other objects as well. (See Testimony of Three Witnesses, Late June 1829.)  


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 distroyed9

See Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:25–26]; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:2–4]. The March 1829 revelation discussing the prospect of Harris seeing the plates concluded with a commandment to JS that he stop translating the plates because, as the revelation explained, “I foresee the lieing in wait to destroy thee yea I foresee that if my Servant [Martin Harris] humbleth not himself & receive a witness from my hand that he will fall into transgression & there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee off the face of the Earth.” (Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:32–33].)  


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 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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them even that part which I have commanded him10

A portion of the plates was “sealed” and was not included in what JS translated. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110, 547–548 [2 Nephi 27:7–11; Ether 5:1].)  


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]
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...

View Full Bio
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...

View Full Bio
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...

View Full Bio
 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 &c.1

This heading was most likely not part of the original revelation text. It may have been created by Frederick G. Williams when he copied the text into Revelation Book 2.  


Behold I say unto you that you must  rely upon my word which if you do with  full purpose of heart2

See Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:3, 27].  


you shall have a  view of the plate and also the brestplate3

In 1845, Lucy Mack Smith recounted that shortly after obtaining the breastplate with the gold plates, JS handed it to her, wrapped in “a thin muslin handkerchief.” She reported, “It was concave on one side . . . and extended from the neck downwards as far as the centre of the stomach of a man of extraordinary size. It had four straps of the same material for the purpose of fastening it to the breast: two of which ran back to go over the shoulders, and the other two were designed to fasten to the hips.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845, 114.)  


 the sword <of Laban the> Urim, and Thumim of Laban4

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 12, 72 [1 Nephi 4:8–9; 2 Nephi 5:14].  


the  Urim and Thumim

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 ...

View Glossary
5

In this version of the revelation, the use of “Urim and Thummim” (rather than the Book of Mormon term “interpreters” or the term “spectacles,” which JS used in 1829 and 1832) is probably a later redaction since “Urim and Thummim” does not appear in JS’s writings before 1833. The revisions in this section may in part be correcting errors made while copying from a source text that had itself been revised. (See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 172–173, 546 [Mosiah 8:13; Ether 4:5]; JS History, ca. Summer 1832; and “Joseph Smith Documents Dating through June 1831.”)  


<which was> given to the brother of  Jared upon the mount when he talked with  the Lord face to face6

This episode is recounted in Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 543–545 [Ether 3].  


and the marveelus directors  which was given to Lehi while in the wilderness  on the borders of the red sea7

In the Book of Mormon the “marveelus directors,” named the “liahona,” function something like a compass to guide Lehi’s party in their journey. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 39, 48–49, 329 [1 Nephi 16:10; 18:12–21; Alma 37:38–40].)  


and it is by  your faith that you shall obtain a view  of them8

For the most part, Cowdery, Harris, and Whitmer focused on the plates in their public testimonies. Whitmer did, however, make repeated reference to seeing the other objects as well. (See Testimony of Three Witnesses, Late June 1829.)  


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 distroyed9

See Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:25–26]; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:2–4]. The March 1829 revelation discussing the prospect of Harris seeing the plates concluded with a commandment to JS that he stop translating the plates because, as the revelation explained, “I foresee the lieing in wait to destroy thee yea I foresee that if my Servant [Martin Harris] humbleth not himself & receive a witness from my hand that he will fall into transgression & there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee off the face of the Earth.” (Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:32–33].)  


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 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
them  even that part which I have commanded  him10

A portion of the plates was “sealed” and was not included in what JS translated. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110, 547–548 [2 Nephi 27:7–11; Ether 5:1].)  


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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Revelation, Fayette Township

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...

More Info
, Seneca Co., NY, 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...

View Full Bio
, 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...

View Full Bio
, 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...

View Full Bio
, [June 1829]. Featured version copied [not before 25 Nov. 1834] in Revelation Book 2, pp. 119–120; handwriting of 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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; Revelations Collection, CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 2.
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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copied this revelation circa March 1831 into Revelation Book 1, but the page on which it was copied was removed at some point from that volume and is no longer extant.1

See Revelation Book 1, p. [207].  


For unknown reasons, printers of the Book of Commandments chose not to include this revelation text in that volume. Some language used in the version copied into Revelation Book 2 does not fit an 1829 context, suggesting that version was modified from the original, although the degree of modification cannot be known.

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