Revelation, September 1830–A [D&C 29]
- Source Note
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 . 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, would be established among them.According to the heading gave this text in Revelation Book 1, the setting for this revelation was a gathering of “Six 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. 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 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. 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 announcing his own revelations, the authenticity of which was accepted by a number of prominent church members, including and the Whitmer family. Page’s revelations, which concerned “the upbuilding of Zion, the order of the Church &c &c,” 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.