26072

Revelation, September 1830–A [D&C 29]

Spiritual & Temperally firstly spiritual secondly temporally which is the Begining of my work17

At about the time of this revelation, while working on his Bible revision, JS made the following revision to Genesis 2:5: “I the Lord God made . . . every plant of the field before it was in the Earth & every herb of the field before it grew for I the Lord God created all things of which I have spoken spiritually before they were naturally upon the face of the Earth for I the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth & I the Lord God had created all the children of men & not yet a man to till the ground for in Heaven created I them & there was not yet flesh upon the Earth neither in the water neither in the air.” (Old Testament Revision 1, p. 5 [Moses 3:4–5].)  


& again firstly temporal & secondly spiritual which is the last of my work18

See 1 Corinthians 15:44, 46.  


speaking unto you that ye may naturally understand but unto myself my work hath no end neither begining But it is given unto you that ye may understand because ye have asked it of me & are agreed Wherefore Verily I say unto you that 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 Behold I gave unto him that he should be an agent unto himself & I gave unto him a commandment but no temporal Commandment gave I unto him for my commandments are spiritual19

In Orson Hyde’s early copy of this revelation, the preceding passage reads, “neither adam your father whom I have created behold I gave unto him but no carnal commandments for my commandments are spiritual.” (Hyde and Smith, Notebook, [35] [D&C 29:34–35].)  


they are not Natural nor temporal neither carnal nor sensual & it came to pass that Adam being tempted of the Devil for Behold the Devil was before Adam for he rebelled against me saying give me thine honour which is my Power20

See Old Testament Revision 1, p. 6 [Moses 4:1–4].  


& also a third part of the host of Heaven turned he away from me Because of their agency & they were thrust down & thus came the Devil & his Angels21

See Revelation 12:4, 7–9.  


& Behold a place prepared for them which place is Hell & it Must needs be that the Devil should tempt the children of men or they could not be agents unto themselves for if they never should have bitter they could not know the Sweet22

The Book of Mormon articulated the need for “an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter; wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man, that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself, save it should be that he were enticed by the one or the other.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 64 [2 Nephi 2:15–16].)  


Wherefore it came to pass that the Devil tempted Adam & he partook of the forbiden fruit & transgressed the commandment wherein he became subject to the will of the Devil Because he yielded unto temptation Wherefore I the Lord God caused that he should be cast out from the Garden of Edan from my presence because of his transgression Wherein he became spiritually dead which is the first death even that same death which is the last death which is spiritual which shall be pronounced upon the wicked when I shall say depart ye Cursed23

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 338, 446 [Alma 42:9; Helaman 14:18–19].  


But Behold I say unto you that I the Lord God gave unto Adam & unto his seed that they should not [p. 39]
Spiritual & Temperally firstly spiritual secondly temporally  which is the Begining of my work17

At about the time of this revelation, while working on his Bible revision, JS made the following revision to Genesis 2:5: “I the Lord God made . . . every plant of the field before it was in the Earth & every herb of the field before it grew for I the Lord God created all things of which I have spoken spiritually before they were naturally upon the face of the Earth for I the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth & I the Lord God had created all the children of men & not yet a man to till the ground for in Heaven created I them & there was not yet flesh upon the Earth neither in the water neither in the air.” (Old Testament Revision 1, p. 5 [Moses 3:4–5].)  


& again firstly temporal &  secondly spiritual which is the last of my work18

See 1 Corinthians 15:44, 46.  


speaking unto  you that ye may naturally understand but unto myself my  work hath no end neither begining But it is given unto you  that ye may understand because ye have asked it of me & are  agreed Wherefore Verily I say unto you that 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 Behold  I give <gave> unto him that he should be an agent unto himself  & I gave unto him a commandment but no temporal Com mandment gave I unto him for my commandments are spi ritual19

In Orson Hyde’s early copy of this revelation, the preceding passage reads, “neither adam your father whom I have created behold I gave unto him but no carnal commandments for my commandments are spiritual.” (Hyde and Smith, Notebook, [35] [D&C 29:34–35].)  


they are not Natural nor temporal neither carnal  nor sensual & it came to pass that Adam being tempted  of the Devil for Behold the Devil was before Adam for  he rebelled against me saying give me thine honour  which is my Power20

See Old Testament Revision 1, p. 6 [Moses 4:1–4].  


& also a third part of the host of  Heaven turned he away from me Because of their agency  & they were thrust down & thus came the Devil & his Angels21

See Revelation 12:4, 7–9.  


 & Behold a place prepared for them which place is Hell &  it came to pass Must needs be that the Devil should tempt  the children of men or they could not be agents unto  themselves for if they never should have bitter they could  not k[n]ow the Sweet22

The Book of Mormon articulated the need for “an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter; wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man, that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself, save it should be that he were enticed by the one or the other.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 64 [2 Nephi 2:15–16].)  


Wherefore it came to pass that the Devil  tempted Adam & he partook of the forbiden fruit & trans gressed the commandment wherein he became subject to  the will of the Devil Because he yielded unto temptation  Wherefore I the Lord God caused that he should be cast out  from the Garden of Edan from my presence because of  his transgression Wherein he became spiritually dead  which death is the first death even that same death which is  the last death which is spiritual which shall be pronoun ced upon the wicked which shall be when I shall say  depart ye Cursed23

See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 338, 446 [Alma 42:9; Helaman 14:18–19].  


But Behold I say unto you that I the Lord  God gave unto Adam & unto his seed that they should not [p. 39]
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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.)  


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