Revelation, February 1829 [D&C 4]
Revelation, , Susquehanna Co., PA, to , [Feb.] 1829. Featured version, titled “A revalation from the Lord unto AD 1829,” copied [between ca. Dec. 1830 and spring 1831]; handwriting of ; one page; Edward Partridge, Copies of Revelations, ca. Dec. 1830–spring 1831, CHL.This text is the last extant item copied by in what likely would have been an eight-leaf collection of sacred writings. The extant collection contains a copy of the Old Testament revision by JS. Immediately following the Old Testament material is a copy of Revelation, August 1830 [D&C 27], followed by the featured revelation published below. Also in the same collection, a damaged leaf, apparently separate from this early notebook, contains Revelation, 6 April 1830 [D&C 21]; Revelation, September 1830–F [D&C 31]; and Revelation, October 1830–B [D&C 33]. Only four leaves of the likely original eight leaves are extant. A full leaf measures 12⅝ × 7⅝ inches (32 × 19 cm); the top quarter of the final leaf is missing.Physical evidence links these revelations to other papers that were in possession of the Partridge family until at least the mid-1880s, sometime after which they came into the possession of the Church Historian’s Office.No explicit copy date was written on the extant portion of the manuscript. If this was an assemblage of texts copied by for his neighbors, the copies could have been made as early as December 1830. However, the Old Testament material that Partridge copied may not have been created until early 1831, pushing forward the creation date of these documents. It seems likely, given the material copied, that these copies were made shortly after the documents were created in late 1830 or early 1831. If the version featured below was penned in the spring of 1831, both this version and the version found in Revelation Book 1 would have been created about the same time. This version is featured rather than the Revelation Book 1 version because the page in Revelation Book 1 on which this revelation concludes was removed from that volume at some point and is no longer extant. The text of the revelation found in the Partridge manuscript, therefore, is the earliest complete, extant version.
JS dictated this revelation for his father, , one of his earliest and staunchest supporters. When copied this text into Revelation Book 1, he included this heading: “A Revelation to Joseph the Father of the Seer he desired to know what the Lord had for him to do & this is what he Received as follows.” Revelation Book 1 initially gave the date of 1828. An unidentified scribe wrote a “9” over the “8,” thus changing the date from 1828 to 1829, apparently correcting a scribal error. The index to Revelation Book 1 also lists 1829 as the date of the revelation. , likely in late 1831, added “Febr.” to the heading in Revelation Book 1 to further specify the date. The copy featured below is a more complete and probably an earlier version than that inscribed in Revelation Book 1, which is missing the page that includes the final portion of this revelation. The version below is in the handwriting of and was kept by him. Partridge dated the document to 1829, a date also used in JS’s history., another early supporter of JS, wrote that and stopped at his home in , New York, in January 1829 before going on to visit JS and . “I told him [Joseph Smith Sr.] they had traviled far enough,” Knight wrote, “[and] I would go with my sley and take them Down [to ] to morrow[.] I went Down and found them well and the[y] were glad to see us[.] we conversed about many things. in the morning I gave the old man a half a Dollar and Joseph a little money to Buoy [buy] paper to translate.” JS had apparently not since June 1828, and Knight’s provision of paper may have allowed him to resume translation. Within weeks of Knight’s visit, JS began translating again, with Emma, Samuel, and each acting briefly as scribe.Dictated shortly before the translation work resumed, this revelation spoke of a “marvelous work” about to come forth and added that the “field is white already to harvest.” These phrases, also used in several JS revelations in the spring of 1829, invoked a sense of urgency and an impending spiritual harvest. Though addressed to , this revelation was written as if it could apply to all who read it.The degree to which acted upon this revelation is unknown, but his call “to the work” may have had a significant immediate impact when he returned to , New York, where was boarding at his house. Joseph Sr. and had met Cowdery when he began teaching school in the , New York, district late in the fall of 1828. Lucy wrote that although Cowdery had questioned Joseph Sr. about the , he “did not succeed in eliciting any information” for “a long time.” This revelation may have prompted Joseph Sr. to share a “sketch of the facts which related to the plates” with Cowdery, who became convinced that he had been called by God to assist JS as his scribe.
Knight, Joseph, Sr. Reminiscences, no date. CHL. MS 3470.
Susquehanna Register, and Northern Pennsylvanian. Montrose, PA. 1831–1836.
Stevenson, Edward. Journals, 1852–1896. Edward Stevenson, Collection, 1849–1922. CHL. MS 4806, boxes 1–4.
Saints’ Herald. Independence, MO. 1860–.
Deseret News. Salt Lake City. 1850–.
Missouri Republican. St. Louis. 1822–1919.
Skousen, Royal, ed. The Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon: Typographical Facsimile of the Extant Text. Provo, UT: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University, 2001.