26072

Revelation, September 1830–A [D&C 29]

Die as to the temporal death untill I the Lord God should send forth Angels to declare unto them Repentance & redemption through faith on the name of mine only begotten Son & thus did I the Lord God appoint unto man the days of his probation24

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 65 [2 Nephi 2:21]. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines probation as “Moral trial; the state of man in the present life, in which he has the opportunity of proving his character and being qualified for a happier state.” (“Probation,” in American Dictionary.)  


that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life even as many as would believe on my name25

Orson Hyde’s early copy of this revelation does not include “on my name.” (Hyde and Smith, Notebook, [37] [D&C 29:43].)  


& they that believe not unto eternal damnation for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall Because they repent not for they love darkness more than light & their deeds are evil & they receive their wages of whom they list to obey But Behold I say unto you that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the world through mine only begotten Wherefore they cannot sin26

The Book of Mormon also strongly condemned infant baptism, teaching that young children are incapable of committing sin and that Christ’s atonement redeems them all. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 581–582 [Moroni 8:9–12].)  


for power is not given to Satan to tempt little children until they begin to be accountable before me for it is given unto them even as I will according to mine own pleasure that great things may be required at the hand of their fathers & again I say unto you that whoso having knowledge have not I commanded to Repent & he that hath no understanding it remaineth in me to do according as it is written27

Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 582 [Moroni 8:22].  


& now behold I declare no more unto you at this time amen [p. 40]
Die as to the temporal death untill I the Lord God  should send forth Angels to declare unto them Repent ance & redemption through faith on the name of mine  only begotten Son & thus did I the Lord God appoint  unto man the days of his probation24

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 65 [2 Nephi 2:21]. Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines probation as “Moral trial; the state of man in the present life, in which he has the opportunity of proving his character and being qualified for a happier state.” (“Probation,” in American Dictionary.)  


that by his natural  death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal  life even as many as would believe on my name25

Orson Hyde’s early copy of this revelation does not include “on my name.” (Hyde and Smith, Notebook, [37] [D&C 29:43].)  


& they  that believe not unto eternal damnation for they cannot  be redeemed from their spiritual fall Because they  repent not for they love darkness more than light &  their deeds are evil & they receive their wages of whom  they list to obey But Behold I say unto you that little  children are redeemed from the foundation of the word world  through mine only begotten Wherefore they cannot  sin26

The Book of Mormon also strongly condemned infant baptism, teaching that young children are incapable of committing sin and that Christ’s atonement redeems them all. (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 581–582 [Moroni 8:9–12].)  


for power is not given to Satan to tempt little children  until they begin to be accountable before me for it is given  unto them even as I will according to mine own will  pleasure that great things may be required at the  hand of their fathers & again I say unto you that  whoso having knowledge have not I commanded to  Repent & he that hath no understanding it remaineth  in me to do according as it is written27

Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 582 [Moroni 8:22].  


& now behold  I declare no more unto you at this time amen [p. 40]
Previous
This revelation addressed the interest of some early church members in a Book of Mormon prophecy that described the physical gathering of God’s chosen people in America. The Book of Mormon explained that during Christ’s ministry in the Americas he prophesied that his chosen people would establish a sacred city, the New Jerusalem

The Book of Mormon indicated that, in preparation for Jesus Christ’s second coming, a city should be built on the American continent and called the New Jerusalem. The Book of Mormon further explained that the remnant of the seed of Joseph (understood to be...

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. According to the prophecies, “the remnant of Jacob,” which early church members identified as the American Indians, “and also, as many of the house of Israel as shall come” were to build this sacred city and gather to it, assisted by Gentiles who embraced the book’s message. Christ further prophesied that when the progeny of the people described in the Book of Mormon were taught “this Gospel” again, Zion

A specific location in Missouri; also a literal or figurative gathering of believers in Jesus Christ, characterized by adherence to ideals of harmony, equality, and purity. In JS’s earliest revelations “the cause of Zion” was used to broadly describe the ...

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would be established among them.1

Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 501, 566 [3 Nephi 21:23–26]; see also Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 496–502 [3 Nephi 20:10–22:17].  


According to the heading 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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gave this text in Revelation Book 1, the setting for this revelation was a gathering of “Six Elders

A male leader in the church generally; an ecclesiastical and priesthood office or one holding that office; a proselytizing missionary. The Book of Mormon explained that elders ordained priests and teachers and administered “the flesh and blood of Christ unto...

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of the Church & three members” who “understood from Holy Writ that the time had come that the People of God should see eye to eye.” The book of Isaiah declared that God’s people would “see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion”; the Book of Mormon expressed the same sentiment and located Zion in the Americas.2

Isaiah 52:8; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 488, 498, 501 [3 Nephi 16:18; 20:32; 21:22–24].  


The heading seems to indicate, then, that this small group, believing that the Book of Mormon prophecy about Zion would soon be fulfilled, therefore “enquired of the Lord & thus came the word of the Lord through Joseph the seer.”
The revelation affirmed the imminent advent of the Millennium and declared that members of the Church of Christ

The Book of Mormon related that when Christ set up his church in the Americas, “they which were baptized in the name of Jesus, were called the church of Christ.” The first name used to denote the church JS organized on 6 April 1830 was “the Church of Christ...

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were called to help gather God’s people before the great event. It then turned to the creation of the world and the nature of Adam’s fall, subjects JS had recently taken up in his Bible revision.3

See Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 63.  


According to the heading, the small group had differing views about “the death of Adam (that is his transgression).” Near the end of the text, the revelation addressed the question of whether God’s commandment to Adam to not partake of the forbidden fruit was spiritual or temporal by declaring, “All things unto me are Spiritual & not at any time have I given unto you a law which was temporal neither any man nor the childern of men Neither Adam your father whom I created.” Thus Adam’s “temporal” act of eating the forbidden fruit rendered him “spiritually dead.”
This revelation called for the gathering of God’s people at the same time that a significant controversy had emerged among the membership of the Church of Christ. In September 1830, JS was attempting to address the problems arising from Hiram Page

1800–12 Aug. 1852. Physician, farmer. Born in Vermont. Married Catherine Whitmer, 10 Nov. 1825, in Seneca Co., New York. One of the Eight Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, June 1829. Baptized into LDS church by Oliver Cowdery, 11 Apr. 1830, at Seneca Lake,...

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announcing his own revelations, the authenticity of which was accepted by a number of prominent church members, including 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 the Whitmer family.4

Newel Knight wrote that Page “had quite a roll of papers full of these revelations.” (Knight, History, 146; see Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28] for more information on Page’s revelations.)  


Page’s revelations, which concerned “the upbuilding of Zion, the order of the Church &c &c,”5

JS History, vol. A-1, 54.  


and this revelation’s call to gather God’s chosen people prompted another September revelation that clarified JS’s prophetic role as the sole revelator for the church, required Cowdery to correct Hiram Page, and called Cowdery to preach to American Indians in the West.6

Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28:2, 8–9, 11]. JS’s history suggests that both revelations were received before the 26 September 1830 conference of the church. (See JS History, vol. A-1, 54–58.)  


Facts