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Joseph Smith’s Revelations, Doctrine and Covenants 29

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“Doctrine and Covenants 29,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)

“Doctrine and Covenants 29,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers

Doctrine and Covenants 29

Revelation, September 1830–A

Source Note

Revelation, Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, Sept. 1830. Featured version, titled “29th Commandment AD September 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 36–40; handwriting of John Whitmer; CHL. Includes redactions. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.

Historical Introduction

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. 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 would be established among them.1

According to the heading John Whitmer gave this text in Revelation Book 1, the setting for this revelation was a gathering of “Six Elders 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 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 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 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 announcing his own revelations, the authenticity of which was accepted by a number of prominent church members, including Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmer family.4 Page’s revelations, which concerned “the upbuilding of Zion, the order of the Church &c &c,”5 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

29th Commandment AD7 1830

A Revelation to Six Elders of the Church & three members they understood from Holy Writ that the time had come <that> the People of God should see eye to eye & they seeing somewhat different upon the death of Adam (that is his transgression) therefor they made it a subject of Prayer & enquired of the Lord & thus came the word of the Lord through Joseph the seer <saying given> At Fayette Seneca County State of New York

[1]Listen to the voice of Jesus christ your Redeemer the great I am8 whose arm of mercy hath atoned for your sins [2]who will gether his People even as a hen gethereth her Chickens under her wings even as many as will hearken to my voice & humble themselves before me & call upon me in mighty prayer [3]Behold Verily Verily I say unto you at this time your sins are forgiven you Therefore ye Receive these things but remember to sin no more lest perils shall come upon you [4]Verily I say unto you that ye are chosen out of the World to declare my Gospel with the sound of Rejoiceing as with the voice of a Trump [5]lift up your hearts & be glad for I am in your midst & am your advocate with the Father & it is his good will to give you the kingdom [6]& as it is written Watsoever ye shall ask in faith being united in prayer according to my command ye shall receive [7]& ye are called to bring to pass the gethering of mine Elect for mine Elect hear my voice & harden not their hearts [8]wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the father that they shall be gethered in unto one place upon the the face of this land9 to prepare their [p. 36] Hearts & be prepared in all things against the day of tribulation & desolation is sent forth upon the wicked10 [9]for the hour is nigh & the day soon at hand when the Earth is ripe & all the proud & they that do wickedly shall be as stuble11 & I will burn them up that wickedness shall not be upon the Earth12 [10]for the hour is nigh & the day soon at hand which was spoken by mine Apostles must be fulfilled for as they spoke so shall it come to pass [11]for I will reveal myself from Heaven with Power & great glory with all the hosts thereof & dwell in righteousness with men on Earth a thousand Years & the wicked shall not stand13 [12]& again Verily Verily I say unto you & it hath gone forth in a firm decree by the will of the father that mine Apostles the twelve which were with me in my ministery at Jerusalem shall stand at my right hand at the day of my comeing in a piller of fire being clothed with robes of righteousness with crowns upon their heads in glory even as I am to Judge the whole House of Israel14 even as many as have loved me & kept my commandments & none else [13]for a Trump Shall sound both long & loud even as upon mount Sinia [Sinai] & all the Earth shall quake & they shall come forth yea even the dead which died in me to receive a Crown of righteousness & to be Clothed upon even as I am to be with me that we may be one,15 [14]but, Behold I say unto you that before this great day shall come the Sun shall be darkened & the moon shall be turned into blood & some stars shall fall from Heaven16 & there shall be greater signs in the Heaven above & in the Earth beneath [15]& there shall be weeping & waileing among the host of men17 [16]& there shall be be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the Crops of the Earth [17]& it shall come to pass because of the wickedness of the World that I will take vengeance upon the Wicked for they will not Repent for the cup of mine indignation is full for Behold my blood shall not cleanse them if they repent not18 [18]Wherefore I will send <forth> flies upon the face of the Earth which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof & shall eat their flesh & shall cause magots to come in upon them [19]& their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me & their flesh shall [p. 37] fall from off their Bones & their eyes from their sockets [20]& it shall come to pass that their the Beasts of the forest & the fowls of the air shall devour them up [21]& that great & abominable Church which is the whore of all the Earth shall be cast down by devouring fire according as it was spoken by the mouth of Ezekiel the Prophet19 which spoke of these things which have not come to pass as yet but shurely must as I live for abominations shall not reign [22]& again Verily Verily I say unto you that when the thousand years are ended & men again begin to deny their god then will I spare the Earth but for a little Season [23]& then the end shall come & the Heaven & the Earth shall be consumed & pass away & there shall be a New Heaven & a New Earth [24]for all old things shall pass away & all things shall become New even the Heaven & the Earth & all the fulness thereof both men & beasts the fowls of the air & the fishes of the Sea [25]& not one hair neither moat [mote] shall be lost for it is the workmanship of mine hand [26]But Verily I say unto you before the Earth shall pass away Michael mine Archangel shall sound his trump & then shall all the dead awake for their graves shall be opened & they shall come forth yea even all20 [27]& the righteous shall be gethered on my right hand unto eternal life & the wicked on my left hand will I be ashamed to own before the father [28]Wherefore I will say unto them depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil & his Angels21 [29]& now Behold I say unto you never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth that they should return for where I am they cannot come for they have no power [30]but remember that all my Judgements are not given unto men & as the words have gone forth out of my mouth even so shall they be fulfilled that the first shall be last & that the last shall be first in all things22 Whatsoever I have created by the word of my Power which is the Power of my spirit [31]for by the Power of my Spirit created I them yea all things both [p. 38] Spiritual & Temperally [32]firstly spiritual secondly temporally which is the Begining of my work23 & again firstly temporal & secondly spiritual which is the last of my work24 [33]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 [34]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 [35]Behold I give <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 spiritual25 they are not Natural nor temporal neither carnal nor sensual [36]& 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 Power26 & also a third part of the host of Heaven turned he away from me Because of their agency [37]& they were thrust down & thus came the Devil & his Angels27 [38]& Behold a place prepared for them which place is Hell [39]& 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 Sweet28 [40]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 [41]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 pronounced upon the wicked which shall be when I shall say depart ye Cursed29 [42]But Behold I say unto you that I the Lord God gave unto Adam & unto his seed that they should not [p. 39] 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 [43]& thus did I the Lord God appoint unto man the days of his probation30 that by his natural death he might be raised in immortality unto eternal life even as many as would believe on my name31 [44]& they that believe not unto eternal damnation for they cannot be redeemed from their spiritual fall Because they repent not [45]for they love darkness more than light & their deeds are evil & they receive their wages of whom they list to obey [46]But Behold I say unto you that little children are redeemed from the foundation of the word world through mine only begotten [47]Wherefore they cannot sin32 for power is not given to Satan to tempt little children until they begin to be accountable before me [48]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 [49]& again I say unto you that whoso having knowledge have not I commanded to Repent [50]& he that hath no understanding it remaineth in me to do according as it is written33 & now behold I declare no more unto you at this time amen