“Doctrine and Covenants 45,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers (2020)
“Doctrine and Covenants 45,” Joseph Smith’s Revelations: A Doctrine and Covenants Study Companion from the Joseph Smith Papers
Revelation, Kirtland Township, OH, ca. 7 Mar. 1831. Featured version, titled “47 A prophecy March 7th. 1831,” copied [between ca. Mar. and June 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 71–76; handwriting of John Whitmer; CHL. Includes redactions. For more information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1 on the Joseph Smith Papers website.
JS dictated this revelation, which Revelation Book 1 titles a “prophecy,” sometime around 7 March 1831,1 during a period when, according to JS’s history, “many false reports, lies, and fo[o]lish stories were published in the newspapers, and circulated in every direction, to prevent people from investigating the work, or embracing the faith.” JS’s history reported that the revelation was the “joy of the saints who had to struggle against every thing that prejudice and wickedness could invent.”2
The revelation describes the New Jerusalem and Christ’s second coming, both of which had been prophesied in JS’s translation of the Book of Mormon, his previous revelations, and his revision of the Old Testament.3 In particular, it connects the text of Matthew 24, in which Jesus prophesied concerning the last days and the Second Coming, with JS’s 9 February 1831 revelation about the New Jerusalem;4 as the revelation featured here states, “I will shew it plainly as I shewed it unto my Deciples as I stood before them in the flesh.” The revelation also uses Jesus’s New Testament prophecies to explain and reinforce the command to gather to Ohio: “Not many years hence ye Shall hear of wars in your own lands wherefore I the Lord have said gether ye out from the Eastern lands [and] assemble ye yourselves together.”5
Parts of this text also found in Matthew 24 were among those included in JS’s later work of revising the New Testament, a project that began the day after JS dictated this revelation. Though JS’s inspired Bible revision had focused only on the Old Testament before this time, the revelation instructed him to shift his immediate efforts to the New Testament: “Now behold I say unto you it shall not be given unto you to know any farther then this until the New Testament be translated & in it all things shall be made known Wherefore I give unto you that ye may now Translate it that ye may be prepared for the things to come.”
Three early copies of this revelation are extant. The version in Revelation Book 1 (featured here) and a copy in Edward Partridge’s handwriting were created around the same time, likely in spring 1831, and there are no significant differences to indicate which is earlier.6 An additional copy created by William E. McLellin later in 1831 largely corresponds with the other two versions.7 Differences between all three versions are noted in the footnotes.
47 A prophecy March 7th. 1831
given to Joseph the seer at Kirtland geauga County Ohio8
Saying hearken O ye people of my Church to whom the Kingdom
was has been given hearken ye & give ere [ear] to him who laid the foundation of the Earth who made the Heavens & all the hosts thereof & by whom all things were made which live & move & have a being9 & again I say hearken unto my voice lest death shall overtake you in an hour when ye think not the Summer shall be past & the harvest ended & your souls not saved10 listen to him who is the11 advocate with the Father who is pleading your case12 before him saying Father behold the sufferings & death of him who did no sin in whom thou wast well pleased Behold the Blood of thy son which was shed the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified wherefore Father spare these my Brethren that Believe on my name that they may come unto me And have everlasting life13 Hearken O ye people of my Church & ye Elders listen together & hear my voice whilest it is called to day & harden not your hearts For verily I say unto you that I am Alpha & Omega the Begining & the end the light & the life of the world a light that shineth in darkness & the darkness comprehendeth it not I came unto my own & my own Received me not but unto as many as received me gave I power to do many Miricles & to become the Sons of God14 & even unto them that believed on my name gave I power to obtain eternal life & even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant unto15 the World to be a light to the world & to be a standerd for my16 people & for the gentiles to seek to it And to be a mesinger before my face to prepare the way before me [p. 71]
Wherefore come ye unto it With him that cometh I will reason as with men
of old in days of old And I will shew unto you my strong reasoning Wherefore hearken ye together & let me shew it unto you even my wisdom the wisdom of him whom ye say is the God of Enoch & his Brethren who were seperated from the Earth & were reserved unto myself a City reserved untill a day of righteousness shall come17 a day which was sought for by all Holy men & they found it not Because of wickedness & abominations & confessed that they were strangers & pilgrims on the Earth18 but obtained a promise that they should find it & see it in their flesh wherefore hearken & I will reason with you & I will speak unto you & prophecy as unto men in days of old & I will shew it plainly as I shewed it unto my Deciples as I stood before them in the flesh & spake19 unto them saying20 <as> ye have asked of me concerning these signs of my coming in the day when I shall come in my glory in the clouds of Heaven to fulfill the promises that I have made unto your fathers for as you have looked upon the long absence of your spirits from your bodies to be a bondage I will shew unto you how the day of redemption shall come & also the restoration of the scattered Israel & now ye behold this temple which is in Jerusalem which ye call the House of God & your enemies say that this House shall never fall but verily I say unto you that desolation shall come upon this generation as a thief in the night21 And this people shall be destroyed & scattered among all Nations22 & this Temple which ye now see shall be thrown down that there shall not be left an stone upon another23 & it shall come to pass that this generation of Jews shall not pass away [until every]24 desolation which I have told you concerning them shall come to pass ye say that ye know that the end of the World cometh ye say also that ye know that the Heavens & the Earth shall pass away [p. 72] And in this ye say truly for so it is But these things which I have told you shall not pass away but all shall be fulfilled25 & this I have told you concerning Jerusalum & when that day shall come shall a remnant shall a be scattered among all Nations but they shall be gethered again but they shall remain untill the times of the gentiles be fulfelled26 & in that day shall be heard of wars & rumours of wars & the whole Earth shall be in commotion27 & mens hearts shall fail them & & shall say that Christ delayeth his coming until the end of the world & the love of men shall wax cold & inequity shall abound28 & when the times of the gentiles shall be is come in And a light shall break forth29 among them that sit in darkness & it shall be the fulness of my Gospel but they receive it not for they perceive not the light & they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men30 & in that generation shall the times of the gentiles be fulfilled & there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass untill they shall see an overflowing scourge for a desolating sicknes shall cover the land & shall not be moved but my Deciples shall stand in Holy places & shall not be moved but among the wicked men shall lift up their voices & curse God & die & there shall be earthqakes also in diverse places31 & many desolations yet men will harden their hearts against me & they will take up the sword one against another & they will kill one another And now when I the Lord had spoken these words unto my Deciples they were troubled for when all these things shall come & I said unto them be not troubled for when all these things shall come to pass ye may know that the promises which have been made unto you shall be fulfilled & when the light shall begin to break forth it shall be with them like unto a Parable which I will shew you ye look & behold the figgtrees & ye see them with your eyes & ye say when they begin to shoot forth & th◊◊◊ [their] leaves are yet tender ye say that summer [p. 73] is now nigh at hand32 even so it shall be in that day when they shall see all these things then shall they know that the hour is nigh & it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking for the great day of the lord to come even for the signs of the coming of the son of man & they shall see signs & wonders for they shall be shewn forth in the heavens above & in the Earth beneath & they shall behold blood & fires & vapors of smoke & before the day of the lord come the sun shall be darkened & the moon be turned into blood33 & some stars shall fall from Heaven34 & the remnant shall be gethered unto this place & then they shall look for me & Behold I will come & they shall see me in the clouds of heaven clothed with power & great glory with all the holy Angels35 & he that watches not for me shall be cut off But before the arm of the Lord shall fall & the Angel shall sound his Trump & the saints that have slept shall come forth to meet me in the cloud wherefore if ye have slept in peace blessed are you for as you now Behold me & know that I am even so shall ye come unto me & your souls shall live And your redemption shall be perfected36 And the saints shall come forth from the four quarters of the Earth37 then shall the arm of the Lord fall upon the Nations & then shall the lord set his foot upon this mount & it shall cleave in twain38 & the Earth shall tremble & reel to & fro & the Heavens also shall shake & the Lord shall utter his voice & all the ends of the Earth shall hear it & the Nations of the Earth shall mourn & they that have laughed shall see their folly & calamity shall cease the mocker39 & the scorner shall be consumed & they that have watched for iniquity shall be cut off hewn down & cast into the fire & then shall the Jews look upon me & say what are these wounds in thine hands & in thy feet then shall they know that I am the Lord for I will say unto them these wounds are the wounds [p. 74] With which I was wounded in the house of my friends40 I am he that was lifted up I am Jesus which was crusified I am the Son of God & then shall they weep because of their iniquities then shall they lament because they persecuted their King & then shall the heathen Nations be redeemed & they which knew no law shall41 have part in the first resurrection & it shall be tolerable for them42 & Satan shall be bound43 that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men44 & at that day when I shall come in my glory, Shall the palable [parable] be fulfilled of which I spoke concerning the ten virgins45 for he that is wise & hath received the truth & has taken the Holy Spirit for their guide & have not been deceived Verily I say unto you they shall not be hewn down & cast into the fire but shall abide the day & the Earth shall be given unto them for an inheritance & they shall multiply & wax strong & their children shall g◊◊◊ [grow]46 up without Sin unto salvation for the Lord shall be in their midst & his glory shall be upon them & he shall be their King & their law giver47 & now behold I say unto you it shall not be given unto you to know any farther then this until the New Testament be translated & it in it all things shall be made known Wherefore I give unto you that ye may now Translate it48 that ye may be prepared for the things to come for Verily I say unto you that great things await you ye hear of wars in foreign lands but behold I say unto you they are nigh even unto your doors & not many years hence ye Shall hear of wars in your own lands49 wherefore I the Lord have said gether ye out from the Eastern lands50 assemble ye yourselves together ye Elders of my Church ge [go] ye forth into the western countries call upon the inhabitants to repent & in as much as they do repent build up Churches unto me51 & with one heart & with one mind52 gether up your riches that you may purchase an inheritance which shall hereafter be appointed you & it shall be called the New Jerusalem53 a land of peace a City of refuge a place of safety for the saints of [p. 75] The most high God54 & the glory of the Lord shall be there & the terer of the Lord also shall be there insomuch that the wicked will not come unto it & it shall be called Zion & it shall come to pass among the wicked that evry man that will not take his sword against his Neighbour must needs flee unto Zion for safety & there shall be getherd unto it out of evry Nation under Heaven & it shall be the only people that shall not be at war one with another & it shall be said among the wicked let us not go up to battle against Zion for the inhabitants of Zion are terible wherefore we cannot stand55 & it shall come to pass that the righteous shall be gethered out from among all Nations & shall come to Zion singing with songs of everlasting Joy56 & now I say unto you keep these things from going abroad unto the world that ye may accomplish this work in the eyes of the people & in the eyes of your enemies that they may not know your works untill ye have accomplished the thing which I have commanded you that when they shall know it it may be terible unto them that fear may sieze upon them & they shall stand afar off & tremble & all nations shall be afraid because of the teror of the lord57 & the power of his might even so amen