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Visions of Moses, June 1830 [Moses 1]

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A Revelation given to Joseph the Revelator June 1830
The words of God which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceeding high Mountain & he saw God face to face & he talked with him1

See Exodus 33:11; and Deuteronomy 34:10.  


& the glory of God was upon Moses therefore Moses could endure his presence & God spake unto Moses saying Behold I I am the Lord God Almighty & endless is my name for I am without beginning of days or end of years2

See Hebrews 7:3.  


& is this not endless & behold thou art my Son Wherefore look & I will shew thee the workmanship of mine hands but not all for my works are without end & also my words for they never cease wherefore no man can behold all my works except he behold all my glory & no man can behold all my glory & afterwords remain in the flesh & I have a work for thee Moses my Son & thou art in similitude to mine only begotten & mine only begotten is & shall be for he is full of grace & truth but there is none other God beside me & all things are present with me for I know them all And now behold this one thing I shew unto thee Moses my son for thou art in the world & now I shew it thee And it came to pass that Moses looked & beheld the world upon which he was created & Moses beheld the world & the ends thereof & all the Children of men which was & which was created of the same he greatly marvelled & wondered & the presence of God withdrew from Moses that his glory was not upon Moses & Moses was left unto himself & as he was left unto himself he fell unto the Earth, And it came to pass, that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man, & he saith unto himself Now for this once I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed, but now mine eyes, mine own eyes but not mine eyes for mine eyes could not have beheld for I should have withered & died in his presence but his glory was upon me & I beheld his face for I was transfigered before him4

The Book of Mormon describes the transfiguration of three of Jesus’s disciples in the Americas: “And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell: for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh, into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 510–511 [3 Nephi 28:15].)  


And now it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him saying, Moses, Son of man, worship me, And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan & saith, Who art thou for behold, I am a Son of God in the similitude of his only begotten, & where is thy glory that I should worship thee, for, behold, I could not look upon God except his glory should come upon me, & I were transfigered before him but I can look upon thee in the natural man, if not so surely blessed be the name of my God for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me or else where is thy glory for it is blackness unto me & I can Judge between thee & God for God said unto me Worship God for him only shalt thou serve Get thee hence Satan deceive me not for God said unto me Thou art after the similitude of mine only begotten & he also gave unto me commandment when he called unto me out of the burning bush Saying call upon God in the name of mine only begotten & worship me And again Moses saith I will not cease to call upon God I have other things to inquire of him for his glory has been upon me & it is glory unto me wherefore I can judge betwixt him & thee. depart hence Satan And now when Moses had said these words Satan cried with a loud voice & wrent5

Words supplied based on John Whitmer’s circa January 1831 copy of this text. It is unclear whether “wrent” was intended to be “went,” or an alternate spelling of “rent” (the past tense of “rend”), or a mistaken rendering of the past tense of “rant.” Confusion over JS’s intended meaning affected how the text was worded in subsequent published versions of the revelation. (Old Testament Revision, John Whitmer first copy, 1; see also Jackson, Book of Moses, 50, 62n58.)  


upon the Earth [p. [1]]
A Revelation given to Joseph the Revelator June 1830
The words of God which he gave <spake> unto Moses at a time  when Moses was caught up into an exceeding high Mountain & he saw  God face to face & he talked with him1

See Exodus 33:11; and Deuteronomy 34:10.  


& the glory of God was upon Mo ses therefore Moses could endure his presence & God spake unto Mo ses saying Behold I I am the Lord God Almighty & endless is  my name for I am without beginning of days or end of years2

See Hebrews 7:3.  


& is this not  endless & behold thou art my Son Wherefore look & I will shew thee the work manship of mine hands but not all for my works are without end & also my wo [r]ds3

TEXT: “wo[page torn]ds”.  


for they never cease wherefore no man can behold all my works except he  behold <all> my glory & no man can behold all my glory & afterwords remain in the  flesh & I have a work for thee Moses my Son & thou art in similitude to my <mine>  only begotten & mine only begotten is & shall be for he is full of grace & truth but  there is none other God beside me & all things are present with me for I know  them all And now behold this one thing I shew unto thee Moses my  son for thou art in the world & now I shew it thee And it came to  pass that Moses looked & beheld the world upon which he was created &  Moses beheld the world & the ends thereof & all the Children of men which  was & which was created of the same he greatly marvelled & wondered &  the presence of God withdrew from Moses that his glory was not upon  Moses & Moses was left unto himself & as he was left unto himself  he fell unto the Earth, And it came to pass, that it was for the space  of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength  [lik]e unto man, & he saith unto himself no Now for this once I know that  [m]an is nothing, which thing I never had supposed, but now mine eyes,  mine own eyes but not mine eyes for mine eyes could not have beheld for I shou ld have withered & died in his presence but his glory was upon me & I be held his face for I was transfigered before him4

The Book of Mormon describes the transfiguration of three of Jesus’s disciples in the Americas: “And whether they were in the body or out of the body, they could not tell: for it did seem unto them like a transfiguration of them, that they were changed from this body of flesh, into an immortal state, that they could behold the things of God.” (Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 510–511 [3 Nephi 28:15].)  


And now it came to  pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting  him saying, Moses, Son of man, worship me, And it came to pass that  Moses looked upon Satan & saith, Who art thou for behold, I am a  Son of God in the similitude of his only begotten, & where is thy glory that I  should worship thee, for, behold, I could not look upon God except his  glory should come upon me, & I were transfigered before him but I can  look upon thee in the natural man, if not so surely blessed be the name  of my God for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me  or else where is thy glory for it is blackness unto me & I can Judge betw een thee & God for God said unto me Worship God for him only shalt  thou serve Get thee hence Satan deceive me not for God said unto me  Thou art after the similitude of mine only begotten & he also gave unto  me commandment when he called unto me out of the burning bush Saying  [c]all upon God in the name of mine only begotten & worship me And again  Moses saith I will not cease to call upon God I have other things to  inquire of him for his glory has been upon me & it is glory unto me wherefore  I can judge betwixt him & thee[.] depart hence Satan And now when Mose[s]  had said these words Satan cried with a loud [voice &] wrent5

Words supplied based on John Whitmer’s circa January 1831 copy of this text. It is unclear whether “wrent” was intended to be “went,” or an alternate spelling of “rent” (the past tense of “rend”), or a mistaken rendering of the past tense of “rant.” Confusion over JS’s intended meaning affected how the text was worded in subsequent published versions of the revelation. (Old Testament Revision, John Whitmer first copy, 1; see also Jackson, Book of Moses, 50, 62n58.)  


upon the Ea[r]t[h] [p. [1]]
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JS’s 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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and revision of ancient scripture formed a foundational part of his religious beliefs and teachings. His largest work of translation was the Book of Mormon, which he finished by July 1829. During the translation of the Book of Mormon he produced a text said to be the translation of a lost Johannine parchment1 and also dictated a revelation stating that there were additional “records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people” and that 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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was to assist JS “in bringing to light” such scripture

The sacred, written word of God containing the “mind & will of the Lord” and “matters of divine revelation.” Members of the church considered the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s revelations to be scripture. Revelations in 1830 and 1831 directed JS to ...

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.2

Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6:26–27]; see also Revelation, Apr. 1829–B [D&C 8:1, 11].  


Book of Mormon passages also spoke of “plain and precious things” missing from the Bible and promised that these “plain and most precious parts of the Gospel of the Lamb” would be restored.3

Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 30–31 [1 Nephi 13:28, 32].  


JS dictated these passages in the spring of 1829 and may have understood them as calling for a reexamination and new “translation” of the Bible, but even as late as March 1830, when the Book of Mormon was published, there are no indications in surviving records that JS planned another extensive translation project.
This June 1830 revelation began a new episode in JS’s involvement with ancient texts, becoming as it did the opening portion of a much larger Genesis-related manuscript.4

Images and a transcript of the full “Old Testament Manuscript 1” may be viewed here. The copy of the King James Bible that JS used for his revision work, which began in summer or fall 1830, was purchased in early October 1829. A notation on the flyleaf, in the handwriting of JS, reads: “The Book of the Jews and the property of Joseph Smith junior and Oliver Cowdery Bought October the 8th 1829 at E. B. Grandins Book Store Palmyra Wayne County New York Price $3.75 H[o]liness to the L[ord].” This Bible, an 1828 stereotype edition printed by H. and E. Phinney of Cooperstown, New York, is now in possession of the Community of Christ Library-Archives, Independence, MO.  


As 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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had with the Johannine parchment text, they likely saw the “Visions of Moses” as providing insight into a biblical figure and event; in this case, the revelation expands the view of Moses but also records narratives at best hinted at in biblical texts. As JS’s work on the Bible unfolded over the next several months, it became a revision and often an expansion of the King James Version of Genesis. Although it is unknown whether JS or Cowdery originally saw this revelation as the initial step of the larger project, which JS referred to as his “translation” of the Bible, the “Visions of Moses” and the texts that follow in the manuscript became an integral part of that nearly three-year endeavor.5

The translation was not a Bible translation in the conventional sense; rather, it was seen as an inspired revision that included the restoration by revelation of missing texts. In some instances, grammatical or other linguistic changes were made, but in other places modifications elaborated or clarified doctrine. By the time JS stopped working on the translation manuscripts in July 1833, he had revised more than three thousand verses and added phrases, verses, and occasionally even whole chapters to the Bible. He made his most extensive textual changes to Genesis. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints included the revelation featured here as “Visions of Moses” in its Pearl of Great Price, which was canonized in 1880. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 2 July 1833; see also Matthews, Plainer Translation, chap. 3; Howard, Restoration Scriptures, chaps. 4–6; and Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible.)  


The text is in the handwriting of 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, similar to many of JS’s revelations in Revelation Book 1, bears a simple heading: “A Revelation given to Joseph the Revelator June 1830.”6

JS’s history, which attempted to place his revelations in chronological order, left this revelation out of the original draft of the history, but William W. Phelps inserted a copy of it after a lengthy description of JS’s arrest and acquittal in the first few days of July 1830. (JS History, vol. A-1, 48; see also JS History, vol. A-1, miscellaneous papers.)  


The heading did not identify the location. During June, JS possibly visited all three branches

An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...

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of the church (in Manchester

Settled 1793. Formed as Burt Township when divided from Farmington Township, 31 Mar. 1821. Name changed to Manchester, 16 Apr. 1822. Included village of Manchester. Population in 1825 about 2,700. Population in 1830 about 2,800. JS reported first vision of...

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, 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 Colesville

Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...

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, New York)7

See Historical Introduction to Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24]. JS was in Fayette, New York, on 9 June 1830, at the first conference of the church. By the end of June he was in the Colesville, New York, area, at South Bainbridge, where he was tried on charges of being a disorderly person. (Minutes, 9 June 1830; Knight, Autobiographical Sketch, 2; “Mormonism,” Morning Star, 16 Nov. 1832, 114; JS History, vol. A-1, 44–47.)  


and may also have returned to his home 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, making it difficult to identify where the text was produced.

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