26027

Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17]

which I have given you the gates of hell shall not prevail against you11

See, for example, Matthew 16:18; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 479, 491 [3 Nephi 11:39–40; 18:13]; Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:69]; and Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:5].  


for my grace is sufficient for you12

See 2 Corinthians 12:9; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 564, 587 [Ether 12:26–27; Moroni 10:32]; and Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:31].  


and ye shall be lifted up at the Last day13

See, for example, Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 31, 508 [1 Nephi 13:37; 3 Nephi 27:22]; Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:35]; and Revelation, Apr. 1829–D [D&C 9:14].  


and I Jesus Christ your Lord and your God have spoken it unto you that I might bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men Amen—— [3/4 page blank] [p. 120]
which I have given you the gates  of hell shall not prevail against you11

See, for example, Matthew 16:18; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 479, 491 [3 Nephi 11:39–40; 18:13]; Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:69]; and Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:5].  


 for my grace is sufficient for you12

See 2 Corinthians 12:9; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 564, 587 [Ether 12:26–27; Moroni 10:32]; and Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:31].  


 and ye shall be lifted up at the  Last day13

See, for example, Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 31, 508 [1 Nephi 13:37; 3 Nephi 27:22]; Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:35]; and Revelation, Apr. 1829–D [D&C 9:14].  


and I Jesus Christ your  Lord and your God have spoken it  unto you that I might bring about  my righteous purposes unto the children  of men Amen—— [3/4 page blank] [p. 120]
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After both a passage in the Book of Mormon and a JS revelation promised that three witnesses would testify of the gold 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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, 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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requested that they be given the opportunity.1

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:2–4]; Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:11–14].  


In response, 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, in June 1829. The text of the revelation implies that it was dictated after the 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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was finished.2

See also 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; and “Mormonism,” Kansas City Daily Journal, 5 June 1881, 1.  


JS later said that it was “not many days” after the revelation was given, that he, Cowdery, Whitmer, and Harris “agreed to retire into the woods, and try to obtain by fervent and humble prayer, the fulfilment of the promises given in this revelation; that they should have a view of the pl[a]t[es].”3

JS History, vol. A-1, 24.  


According to JS’s history, the “heavenly messenger” who delivered the plates to him in 1827 had commanded him not to show them to anyone.4

JS History, vol. A-1, 6, 8.  


By March 1829, Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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, 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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, Reuben Hale, and possibly others had served as scribes for JS as he dictated the translation, yet none of them had seen the plates. That same month Harris, whose wife

1 May 1792–summer 1836. Born at Swift’s Landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York. Daughter of Rufus Harris and Lucy Hill. Affiliated with Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). Married Martin Harris, 27 Mar. 1808, in Palmyra. Partially deaf, by ...

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strongly objected to his involvement with JS, 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, to obtain, in the words of a revelation, “a witness that my Servant Joseph hath got the things which he hath testified that he hath got.” That same revelation, which JS dictated after Harris’s arrival in Harmony, spoke of “a covenant

A binding agreement between two parties, particularly between God and man. The term covenant was often associated with “commandments,” referring to revelation texts. The gospel as preached by JS—including the need for faith, repentance, baptism, and reception...

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with me [God] that he [JS] should not show them except I Command him,” but also promised that three people would see the plates by God’s power and thereafter testify to the world of their existence. Harris was then informed that if he was sufficiently humble he would be one of the three witnesses.5

Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:1, 3, 11–18, 23–24]. For background on Martin Harris’s March 1829 visit to Harmony, see Historical Introduction to Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5].  


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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also had reason to hope that he might be one of the promised witnesses. In April 1829, he became JS’s primary scribe and recorded almost all of the Book of Mormon manuscript produced after 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
’s loss of the “Book of Lehi,”6 so he was familiar with the passage prophesying that three persons would see and stand as witnesses of the plates. About this same time JS dictated a revelation for Cowdery declaring that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses, shall every word be established” and that God’s words would “be established by the testimony which shall be given.” The revelation commanded Cowdery to “assist to bring forth my work,” language similar to that in the Book of Mormon passage that envisioned the book’s future translator showing the plates to three witnesses who would testify of them “by the power of God” and “assist to bring forth this work.”7

Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6:9, 28, 31]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 548 [Ether 5:2–3].  


In late May or early June, 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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helped JS and 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
move 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...

More Info
, New York, where they could more securely finish the translation. Whitmer was an important supporter of the translation effort from that time forward. Though he did not become a witness of the plates for weeks, he reported years later that soon after their arrival, his mother

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 shown the plates by a heavenly messenger.8

David Whitmer also reported later that he, Cowdery, and JS encountered the same messenger carrying the plates in a knapsack as they traveled from Harmony to Fayette. (Stevenson, Journal, 23 Dec. 1877, 9 Feb. 1886, and 2 Jan. 1887; see also 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.)  


Shortly after Whitmer was 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 early June, JS dictated a revelation for him that again echoed the Book of Mormon passage about witnesses, calling Whitmer “to assist” in bringing forth the fulness of the gospel. He was also told that he might “stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see.”9

Revelation, June 1829–A [D&C 14:8, 11].  


In late June, JS translated another Book of Mormon passage that stated that three witnesses would testify “to the truth of the book, and the things therein.”10

Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110 [2 Nephi 27:12].  


JS recalled 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...

View Full Bio
, 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 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
“became so very solicitous, and teazed me so much, that at length I complied and through the Urim and Thummim

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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I obtained of the Lord for them” the revelation featured here.11

JS History, vol. A-1, 23.  


The text informed the three men that they would see the plates if they relied on the word of God “with full purpose of heart” and that they would testify they had seen them by the power of God.12

Facts