26073

Revelation, September 1830–B [D&C 28]

30 Commandment

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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AD 1831 18301

The index of Revelation Book 1 indicates that this revelation should actually be dated September 1830. This scribal error suggests that John Whitmer copied the text into Revelation Book 1 in 1831. (Revelation Book 1, p. [207].)  


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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his Call to the Lamanitse

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

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&c given at 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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Seneca County State of New York2

John Whitmer likely created this heading when he copied the text into Revelation Book 1.  


Behold I say unto you Oliver

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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that it shall be given thee that thou shalt be heard by the Church

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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in all things Whatsoever thou shalt teach them by the Comforter concerning the Revelations & commandments which I have given But Behold Verily Verily I say unto you no one shall be appointed to Receive commandments & Revelations in this Church excepting my Servent Joseph for he Receiveth them even as Moses3

At the church’s formal organization nearly six months earlier, a revelation stated that JS would be known as “a seer & Translater & Prop[h]et an Apostle of Jesus Christ an Elder of the Church.” The minutes of the second conference, held in late September 1830, stated, “Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments for this Church.” (Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:1]; Minutes, 26 Sept. 1830.)  


& thou shalt be obedient unto the things which I shall give unto him [p. 40]
30 Commandment

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...

View Glossary
AD 1831 [1830]1

The index of Revelation Book 1 indicates that this revelation should actually be dated September 1830. This scribal error suggests that John Whitmer copied the text into Revelation Book 1 in 1831. (Revelation Book 1, p. [207].)  


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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his Call to the Lamanitse

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

View Glossary
&c  given at 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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Seneca County State of New York2

John Whitmer likely created this heading when he copied the text into Revelation Book 1.  


Behold I say unto you Oliver

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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that it shall be given  thee that thou shalt be heard by the Church

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...

View Glossary
in all things  Whatsoever thou shalt teach <them> by the Comforter concerning  the Revelations & commandments which I have given  But Behold Verily Verily I say unto you no one shall  be appointed to Receive commandments & Revelations  in this Church excepting my Servent Joseph for he  Receiveth them even as Moses3

At the church’s formal organization nearly six months earlier, a revelation stated that JS would be known as “a seer & Translater & Prop[h]et an Apostle of Jesus Christ an Elder of the Church.” The minutes of the second conference, held in late September 1830, stated, “Brother Joseph Smith jr. was appointd by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments for this Church.” (Revelation, 6 Apr. 1830 [D&C 21:1]; Minutes, 26 Sept. 1830.)  


& thou shalt be obed ient unto the things which I shall give unto him [p. 40]
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This revelation was a response to actions by 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 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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that raised the question of whether JS was the only one authorized to deliver revelation to the church. The question first arose in summer 1830 when Oliver Cowdery “commanded” JS to change a passage in “Articles and Covenants,” a document outlining the basic beliefs and practices 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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.1

In June 1829, Oliver Cowdery copied passages from the Book of Mormon manuscript to produce a text titled “Articles of the Church of Christ,” which gave instructions on priesthood offices, baptism, the administration of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, and other matters. The next year in June 1830, the newly organized Church of Christ voted to accept as authoritative a document originating with JS that contained similar but more extensive instructions, titled “Articles and Covenants.” (“Articles of the Church of Christ,” June 1829; Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20]; Minutes, 9 June 1830.)  


When the church was organized on 6 April 1830, Cowdery was ordained second elder

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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while JS was ordained first elder, and the two worked closely together to oversee the newly formed organization. Presumably Cowdery worked with JS in preparing Articles and Covenants and was part of the “unanimous voice of the whole congregation” that approved Articles and Covenants at the first conference of the church on 9 June,2

JS History, vol. A-1, 27; Minutes, 9 June 1830.  


yet weeks later he sent a letter ordering JS to make a correction to the document. According to JS’s history, Cowdery objected to the requirement that candidates for baptism

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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“truly manifest by their works that they have received the gift of Christ unto the remission of their sins,” and he wrote to JS, “I command you in the name of God to erase those words, that no priestcraft be amongst us.”3

Articles and Covenants, ca. Apr. 1830 [D&C 20:37]; JS History, vol. A-1, 51. The requirement that Cowdery objected to was not found in the Book of Mormon, nor was it among the requirements listed in Cowdery’s earlier “Articles of the Church of Christ.” (See “Articles of the Church of Christ,” June 1829.)  


In response, JS traveled from 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 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, to persuade Cowdery and the Whitmers that they were mistaken. According to JS’s later account, it was “not without both labor and perseverance” that he “could prevail with any of them to reason calmly on the subject.” Finally, with support from Christian Whitmer

18 Jan. 1798–27 Nov. 1835. Shoemaker. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Married Anna (Anne) Schott, 22 Feb. 1825, at Seneca Co., New York. Ensign in New York militia, 1825. Constable of Fayette, Seneca Co., 1828–1829. Member...

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, JS convinced Cowdery and the Whitmer family “that they had been in error, and that the sentence in dispute was in accordance of the rest of the commandment.”4

JS History, vol. A-1, 51.  


The second challenge to JS’s authority came in early September, when JS and 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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moved from 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...

More Info
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...

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and found to their “great grief” that “Brother Hyrum [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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had got in his possession, a certain stone, by which he had obtained to certain revelations . . . all of which were entirely at variance with the order of Gods house, as laid down in the new Testament, as well as in our late revelations.”5

JS History, vol. A-1, 53–54. Newel Knight recalled that Page “had quite a roll of papers full of these revelations, and many in the church were led astray by them.” Ezra Booth, who wrote a series of antagonistic letters denouncing JS after leaving the church in the fall of 1831, explained his understanding of Page’s seer stone: “[He] found a smooth stone, upon which there appeared to be writing, which when transcribed upon paper, disappeared from the stone, and another impression appeared in its place. This when copied, vanished as the former had done, and so it continued alternately appearing and disappearing; in the meanwhile, he continued to write, until he had written over considerable paper. It bore most striking marks of a Mormonite revelation, and was received as an authentic document by most of the Mormonites, till Smith, by his superior sagacity, discovered it to be a Satanic fraud.” George A. Smith later stated that the stone was black and explained that on it Page saw “certain characters” that he copied down as revelations. Emer Harris also recalled that Page’s stone was black; he added that it was destroyed. (Knight, History, 146; “Letters from David and John C. Whitmer,” Saints’ Herald, 5 Feb. 1887, 90; Ezra Booth, “Mormonism—Nos. VIII–IX,” Ohio Star [Ravenna], 8 Dec. 1831, [1]; George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 15 Nov. 1864, 11:2; Provo, UT, Central Stake, General Minutes, 6 Apr. 1856, vol. 10, p. 273.)  


With another conference

A meeting where ecclesiastical officers and other church members could conduct church business. The “Articles and Covenants” of the church directed the elders to hold conferences to perform “Church business.” The first of these conferences was held on 9 June...

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of the church approaching, JS initially “thought it wisdom not to do much more than to converse with the brethren on the subject, untill the conference should meet.” But upon finding that many, including 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, supported Page, JS (apparently with Cowdery’s encouragement) decided it would be “best to enquire of the Lord concerning so important a matter.” Before the conference convened, JS dictated the revelation featured here, which addressed the issues surrounding both Cowdery’s role and “the things set forth by this [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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’s] stone.”6

JS History, vol. A-1, 54.  


While affirming 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
was called to teach and would receive revelation, the text stated that he was not to write revelation to the church by commandment

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...

View Glossary
and added, “Thou shalt not command him which is at thy head & at the head of the Church for I have given him the keys of the mysteries of the Revelations which are sealed until I shall appoint unto him another in his stead.” The revelation also directed Cowdery to explain to 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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privately that the latter’s revelations were from Satan. The role for JS described herein was ratified at the subsequent conference, convened 26 September, at which JS was appointed “by the voice of the Conference to receive and write Revelations & Commandments for this Church.” Cowdery then read aloud Articles and Covenants, which he had previously criticized, and JS delivered comments on that document.7
This revelation also called 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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to preach to the “Lamanites

A term used in the Book of Mormon to refer to the descendants or followers of Laman, as well as those who later identified themselves as Lamanites because they did not believe in the religious traditions of their ancestors. According to JS and the Book of...

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,” or American Indians, giving specificity to a July revelation for Cowdery that commanded him in general terms to preach the gospel.8

Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24:12]; see also Revelation, June 1829–B [D&C 18:9], which compared Cowdery to the apostle Paul.  


In addition, the text featured here commanded JS to establish a church among the Lamanites, where “the 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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] shall be built.” Although the revelation declared that “no man” yet knew the location for the New Jerusalem, Cowdery signed a statement on 17 October declaring that he would preach and “rear up a pillar as a witness where the Temple of God shall be built, in the glorious New-Jerusalem.”9 A revelation earlier that month had affirmed that church elders would establish the New Jerusalem in America as an apocalyptic fulfillment of both biblical and Book of Mormon prophecy.10

See Revelation, Sept. 1830–A [D&C 29:4–9]; Isaiah 52:8; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 500–501 [3 Nephi 21:20–24].  


After other men were called to accompany Cowdery, the group of missionaries left in late October 1830.11

Pratt, Autobiography, 49; see also Covenant of Oliver Cowdery and Others, 17 Oct. 1830.  


Facts