Blessing from Oliver Cowdery, 22 September 1835

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Blessed of the Lord is my brother, for the integrity of his heart and the steadfastness of his soul. Upheld by the arm of the Almighty he shall never fall, but shall be strengthened by his right hand till he overcomes. Like Jacob of old he shall wrestle with the angel, and as a prince shall he have power with God, and shall prevail. Ever faithful to <​his​> friends and true to his word, the goodness of the Most High shall sustain him, and thousands shall stand up to defend him from the hand of his enemies, and put forth the hand and ward off the blow were it needful: but ere his foes are aware he shall be hid under the pavillion of the Lord Jehovah; for, with the voice of his thunder shall he strike terror to their hearts, and as with the wings of an eagle shall my brother be carried beyond all harm, by the power of the Annointed. From amid the burning bush, like Moses of old, shall he hear the voice, saying, I am the God of thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I have seen, I have seen, the affliction of my people and am come down to deliver them: go, thou, and say to the strength of my house, To your tents, O Israel: build up the wastes and raise up the foundation of desolation that this generation has made. Thus shall he be honored of the Lord, and thus shall it be recorded of him, that the generations to come may bless his name, in Israel, saying, The Lord make thee as Joseph the , who was of the house of Ephraim, the brother of Manasseh: the Lord do thee good and bring peace and blessings opun [upon] thy house as he brought them upon the house of Joseph the Seer, who was raised up of a choice vine from the stem of Jacob through the root of Joseph, even that Joseph who was separated from his brethren— For, like Joseph of old shall he be: he shall save the just from desolation, by the wise counsel of the Almighty; for by his direction shall they gather into store-houses and barns, till they overflow with the richness of the fruit of harvest: and by this means shall the just be saved from famine, while the nations of the wicked are distressed and faint. In due time shall he go forth toward the north, and by the power of his word shall the deep begin to give way and the ice melt before the sun. By the of the Kingdom shall he lead Israel into the land of while the house of Jacob shouts in the danse and in the song— Joy, O my soul, in that day, for thou shalt be with him and bear thy part in the keys which are confirmed <​upon​> thee for an everlasting , forever and ever— Joy, O my heart, in that day, with thanks giving and with praise, for thou shalt stand with him before the hosts of Israel— the lame shall leap as a hart, the old shall renew his strength, and the virgin of Israel, with the youth, shall exalt the name of our God upon harps and instruments of tens[e] strings. He shall be a shure arrow in the bow of his God, for he shall be hid under the shadow of his wing. His loins shall be like iron, girded by the hand of the Lord, and his feet shall be swift to execute the commandment of the Most High when he shall say, Destroy. His name shall be had in everlasting remembrance, and his name <​seed​> after him, for they shall be saved to the uttermost. His fame shall be sounded in foreign lands, even to the ends [p. 15] of the earth, as well as nigh at home: for in this the times shall change— a prophet shall have honor in his own country. His learning and wisdom shall astonish the great, for they shall acknowledge that by his intelligence he has far surpassed their learng <​learning​> and their science. In palaces of governors, rulers and kings shall he be honored, even in his person, for God shall give him power to prevail. He shall be a lawgiver to Israel and shall teach the house of Jacob the statutes of the Most High. His testimony shall shine like the sun, and the weight of his influence shall be like the great river that rises on the east of the lasting hills, and flows into the great deep— so shall his righteousness ever abound. He shall partake of the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: the chief things of the ancient mountains, the precious things that couch beneath, and of the treasures hid in the sand. The records of past ages and generations, and the histories of ancient days shall he bring forth: even the record of the shall he again obtain, with all those hid up by Mormon, and others who were righteous, and many others, till he is overwhelmed with knowledge. No precious thing shall slumber from his possession, for he shall be covered with the most choice of all ages, till his soul shall be satisfied and his heart shall say, Enough, Enough! In his hands shall the remain and the holy ministry, and the keys of the evangelical priesthood, also, for an everlasting priesthood forever, even the patriarchal; for, behold, he is the first patriarch in the last days. He shall sit in the great assembly and general council of patriarchs, and execute the will and commandment of God under the direction of the Ancient of Days; for he shall have his place and act in his station. Behold, my brother Joseph is blessed: blessed are all who bless him, and blessed are all those whom he blessess. Multitudes, multitudes, shall come to a knowledge of the truth through his ministry, and he shall be welcomed into the presence of kings and the great ones of the earth; for he shall claim his place among the nobles of the earth and shall be reverenced by them. He shall also be filled withe abundance of the fat of the earth: his flocks shall bring forth thousands and tens of thousands: his fats [vats] shall overflow with wine and oil: his cattle shall increase to a multitude: he shall have horses and mules, asses, she asses and dromedaries, camels and elephants, and all swift beasts, and when he goes forth in haste his chariots shall roar like the approach of an army: he shall have gold and silver, precious stones, diamonds, pearls, and the pure platina [platinum], with the antiquities of every kind. Thus shall God bless, and thus shall he be prospered: and he shall have peace after a little; for his enemies shall be consumed, many of them, and many shall turn and be his friends in very deed: he shall remain to a good old age, even till his head is like the pure wool. Behold, there is no end to the vision, of the multiplicity of blessings and glories which shall come upon my brother Joseph. He shall possess a mansion on high and have an in that city which is like pure gold, even like transparent glass. His rest shall be glorious and his name remain forever. Thus closes the vision, and thus it shall be; even so. Amen. Given in the evening of September 22, 1835, and recorded October 3, 1835. . [p. 16]


  1. 1

    The phrase “integrity of his heart” also appears in JS’s blessings to David Whitmer and Hyrum Smith. (Blessing to David Whitmer, 22 Sept. 1835; Blessing to Hyrum Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835.)  

  2. 2

    See Isaiah 41:10.  

  3. 3

    See Genesis 32:24–28.  

  4. 4

    See Psalm 27:5.  

  5. 5

    See Exodus 3:2–15.  

  6. 6

    See Joshua 22:4; 1 Kings 12:16; and 2 Chronicles 10:16.  

  7. 7

    See Revelation, 24 Feb. 1834 [D&C 103:11, 16–17].  

  8. 8

    See Genesis 41:50–52; 48:1–5.  

  9. 9

    See Genesis 32:12; and Deuteronomy 30:5.  

  10. 10

    See Genesis 45:1–5.  

  11. 11

    Joseph Smith Sr. made a similar pronouncement in his blessing to JS on 9 December 1834, proclaiming JS to be the seer prophesied by Joseph, son of Jacob. (Blessing from Joseph Smith Sr., 9 Dec. 1834.)  

  12. 12

    See Genesis chap. 41.  

  13. 13

    See Revelation, 15 Mar. 1832 [D&C 81:2]; Revelation, 30 Oct. 1831 [D&C 65:2]; and Minutes, 18 Mar. 1833.)  

  14. 14

    See Isaiah 35:6.  

  15. 15

    See Hebrews 7:25.  

  16. 16

    See Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; and John 4:44.  

  17. 17

    See Blessing to David Whitmer, 22 Sept. 1835.  

  18. 18

    See Deuteronomy 33:13–16, 19.  

  19. 19

    JS stated that he obtained the record of the Nephites—which was inscribed on gold plates buried in a hill near his home in New York—in 1827. He also said that he returned the plates to the angel Moroni. Though JS left no record indicating when he returned the plates, it may have been soon after completing the translation of them in June or July 1829. (See JS History, vol. A-1, 26; Testimony of Three Witnesses, Late June 1829; and Testimony of Eight Witnesses, Late June 1829.)  

    JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). Historian’s Office, History of the Church, 1839–ca. 1882. CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1–7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.

  20. 20

    Various individuals, some of whom personally knew JS, recounted decades later having been shown, either in vision or in literal experience, buried Nephite records. (See Packer, “Cumorah’s Cave,” 50–57.)  

    Packer, Cameron J. “Cumorah’s Cave.” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 13, nos. 1–2 (2004): 50–57.

  21. 21

    JS similarly referenced the “evangelical priesthood” and the “patriarchal priesthood” in his blessing to his brother Hyrum Smith; he also referenced the “patriarchal priesthood” in his blessing to Joseph Smith Sr. JS later taught, “An Evangelist Is a patriarch even the oldest man of the Blood of Joseph or of the seed of Abraham.” (Blessing to Hyrum Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835; Blessing to Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835; see also Instruction on Priesthood, between ca. 1 Mar. and ca. 4 May 1835 [D&C 107:53–54]; and Richards, “Pocket Companion,” 22.)  

    Richards, Willard. “Willard Richards Pocket Companion Written in England,” ca. 1838–1840. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490, box 2, fd. 6.

  22. 22

    Oliver Cowdery noted in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1 that JS was the “first patriarch” of the church. (Patriarchal Blessings, 1:8.)  

    Patriarchal Blessings, 1833–. CHL. CR 500 2.

  23. 23

    An expansion of an August 1830 revelation identified Adam as the “ancient of days.” (Revelation, ca. Aug. 1835 [D&C 27:11]; see also Blessing to Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835.)  

  24. 24

    Similar Old Testament language promising temporal blessings and riches was used in the blessing JS gave to Hyrum Smith. (Daniel 11:38; Blessing to Hyrum Smith, between ca. 15 and 28 Sept. 1835.)  

  25. 25

    See Daniel 7:9.  

  26. 26

    See Revelation 21:18, 21.  

  27. 27

    See Isaiah 11:10; Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 98 [2 Nephi 21:10]; and Revelation, 16–17 Dec. 1833 [D&C 101:31].  

  28. 28

    See Isaiah 66:22.