26034

Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10]

5 Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to decieve, because he supposeth that another lieth to decieve, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.
6 Now, behold they have altered those words, because satan saith unto them, He hath decieved you, and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to tempt the Lord their God.
7 Behold I say unto you, that you shall not translate

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

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again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; for behold, they shall not lie any more against those words; for behold, if you should bring forth the same words, they would say that you have lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted your words; and behold they would publish this, and satan would harden the hearts of the people, to stir them up to anger against you, that they might not believe my words: thus satan would overpower this generation, that the work might not come forth in this generation: but behold here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments

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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concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work.
8 Marvel not that I said unto you, here is wisdom, show it not unto the world, for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous; but as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous: therefore, I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.
9 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have [p. 24]
5 Verily, verily I say unto you, wo be unto him  that lieth to decieve, because he supposeth that an other lieth to decieve, for such are not exempt from  the justice of God.
6 Now, behold they have altered those words, be cause satan saith unto them, He hath decieved you,  and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to  tempt the Lord their God.
7 Behold I say unto you, that you shall not trans late

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

View Glossary
again those words which have gone forth out of  your hands; for behold, they shall not lie any more  against those words; for behold, if you should bring  forth the same words, they would say that you have  lied; that you have pretended to translate, but that  you have contradicted your words; and behold they  would publish this, and satan would harden the  hearts of the people, to stir them up to anger against  you, that they might not believe my words: thus sa tan would overpower this generation, that the work  might not come forth in this generation: but behold  here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wis dom, and give you commandments

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
concerning these  things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world  until you have accomplished the work.
8 Marvel not that I said unto you, here is wisdom,  show it not unto the world, for I said, show it not  unto the world, that you may be preserved. Behold  I do not say that you shall not show it unto the right eous; but as you cannot always judge the righteous,  or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the  righteous: therefore, I say unto you, hold your peace  until I shall see fit to make all things known unto  the world concerning the matter.
9 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account  of those things that you have written, which have [p. 24]
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Early in 1828, JS, then living in 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, began translating

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

View Glossary
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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with the assistance of various scribes, principally 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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. Working from mid-April to mid-June, JS and Harris prepared a manuscript, which JS referred to as “the Book of Lehi.”1 At Harris’s insistent pleading, JS allowed him to take the manuscript to show to selected family members in Palmyra

Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...

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, New York. After Harris displayed the manuscript, however, it was taken from its hiding place and never found. JS’s history recounted that an angel

Beings who act as ministers and messengers between heaven and earth. JS taught that angels were individuals who “belonged to this earth”; those who had already lived on earth were often resurrected beings. In addition to giving instruction, direction, and...

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took the plates in consequence and that JS lost his gift to translate, but after a season of repentance, he once again obtained the plates.2

See Historical Introduction to Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3] for details on the translation and loss of this manuscript.  


By March 1829, JS had resumed the translation, which proceeded quickly after 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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arrived on 5 April to serve as a scribe.3

See Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:30]; and JS History, vol. A-1, 13.  


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...

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apparently picked up the translation

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

View Glossary
where JS 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...

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had left off—in the book of Mosiah.4

During the months of February and March 1829, Samuel Smith, Martin Harris, and Emma Smith all may have served briefly as scribes as JS translated small portions of the Book of Mormon. No extant record, however, indicates what portions were translated. (JS History, ca. Summer 1832, [6]; Edward Stevenson, Sandusky, OH, to Franklin D. Richards, 10 Jan. 1887, in Stevenson, Journal, Oct. 1886–Mar. 1887, pp. 106–113; Joseph Smith III, “Last Testimony of Sister Emma,” Saints’ Herald, 1 Oct. 1879, 289–290.)  


As JS and Cowdery approached what would become the end of the Book of Mormon, they grew concerned about whether to go back and retranslate the lost portion. The revelation featured below stated that wicked men had changed the lost manuscript to discredit JS and commanded him not to retranslate the lost pages but to substitute another record in their place. This substitute record, described as being “engraven upon the plates of Nephi,” covered the same period as the lost manuscript.5

Preface to Book of Mormon, ca. Aug. 1829. Nephi and his father, Lehi, are important prophets in the Book of Mormon.  


Assigning a date to this revelation is problematic, both because the earliest extant versions of the text are dated inconsistently and because the content fits multiple historical contexts. In Revelation Book 1, which contains the earliest extant copy of this revelation, the page or pages containing the revelation heading are missing, so the date presumably listed by 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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has been lost. The index to the revelation book locates this text between two April 1829 revelations, suggesting that Whitmer assigned an April date,6

The index to Revelation Book 1 places this revelation between Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6], and Revelation, Apr. 1829–B [D&C 8]. (Revelation Book 1, p. [207].)  


but the editors of the 1833 Book of Commandments gave it a date of May 1829, a date retained in later publications.7

See, for example, Doctrine and Covenants 36, 1835 ed.  


JS and James Mulholland

1804–3 Nov. 1839. Born in Ireland. Baptized into LDS church. Married Sarah Scott, 8 Feb. 1838, at Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri. Engaged in clerical work for JS, 1838, at Far West. Ordained a seventy, 28 Dec. 1838. After expulsion from Missouri, lived ...

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, the clerk assisting him with his history in 1839, created additional confusion by dating this revelation to “a few days” after the July 1828 revelation.8

JS History, vol. A-1, 11; Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3].  


Yet Mulholland also preserved the heading (with its May 1829 date) from the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants when he copied it into JS’s history.
Certain parts of the text seem to fit an 1828 setting, others 1829, and some both. The beginning of the featured text, for example, reprimands JS, saying, “You delivered up so many writings, which you had power to translate, into the hands of a wicked man”—language strikingly similar to the July 1828 admonition to JS that “thou deliveredst up . . . that which God had given thee right to Translate

To produce a new text through a revelatory, rather than scholarly, process by the “gift and power of God.” In the Book of Mormon, the ancient prophet Mosiah translated records into his own language using “interpreters,” or “two stones which was fastened into...

View Glossary
. . . into the hands of a wicked man.”9

Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:12]. A revelation dictated in March 1829, by contrast, takes a much softer tone toward Harris and calls him “my servant.” (Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:1].)  


At the same time, another verse from the first part of the featured text instructs JS not to “translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands [the lost manuscript],” a 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
that applied to both JS 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
in 1828 and to 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
in 1829. Several phrases in the featured text are common to 1829 documents. For example, the text alludes to an earlier manifestation to JS: “And for this cause have I said, if this generation harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them.” The only identifiable antecedents to this statement appear in a March 1829 revelation—“if the People of this Generation harden not their hearts . . . I will establish my Church”—and in a Book of Mormon passage likely dictated in May 1829—“if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them.”10

Revelation, Mar. 1829 [D&C 5:18]; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 501 [3 Nephi 21:22].  


Moreover, a series of close textual parallels between the featured text and Christ’s teachings in the Book of Mormon also support a spring 1829 date. These texts share lengthy phrases, including some not found in the Bible, and suggest a relationship between this revelation and the third book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon, likely dictated in May 1829.11

See Oliver Cowdery, Norton, OH, to William W. Phelps, 7 Sept. 1834, LDS Messenger and Advocate, Oct. 1834, 1:15–16; and JS History, vol. A-1, 17. For example, two phrases uniquely shared by the revelation and Jesus’s teachings to the Nephites are “I will establish my church among them” and “concerning the points of my doctrine.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 478, 501 [3 Nephi 11:28; 21:22].)  


A potential solution to these complexities is to consider the featured text a composite of two revelations, one from 1828 and the other 1829.12

See Parkin, “Preliminary Analysis of the Dating of Section 10,” 82–83.  


The stylistic features of this revelation, however, strongly suggest that although JS may have received the first portion of the revelation in the summer of 1828, it was not actually written down until April or May 1829, along with the rest of the text. This revelation, written in the first-person voice of Jesus Christ, more closely resembles JS’s April 1829 texts, which include such proclamations as “behold I am God,” than it does the July 1828 revelation, which speaks of God in the second person. The text featured below also lacks the typical signs of a composite revelation, such as an amen marking the end of a particular revelation within a larger text.13

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