Blessing from Oliver Cowdery, 22 September 1835
, Blessing, to JS, [, Geauga Co., OH], 22 Sept. 1835. Featured version copied 3 Oct. 1835 in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1, pp. 15–16; handwriting of ; CHL. For more complete source information on Patriarchal Blessing Book 1, see the source note for Blessing from Joseph Smith Sr., 9 Dec. 1834.
On 22 September 1835, an entry in JS’s journal states that he and labored “in obtaining and writing blessings.” Five extant blessings in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1 remain as evidence of their efforts that day. Four of them were dictated by JS for church leaders who were then in , Ohio. The fifth blessing was given by Cowdery to JS and provides an intimate portrait of Cowdery’s esteem for JS. An explanatory note written by Cowdery in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1 states that after he had recorded the four blessings for the Missouri church leaders, he felt a personal desire to know the “mind of the Spirit” concerning JS. Cowdery “besought the Lord in prayer and fasting,” and, according to Cowdery, God “opened the heavens upon me” and provided the blessing for JS in the form of a “heavenly vision.” There is no indication of whether Cowdery verbalized the blessing or laid hands upon JS while pronouncing it. It is not even clear whether JS was present on the occasion or whether Cowdery merely recorded this blessing as he saw the “heavenly vision.”The original inscription of the blessing has not been located; recorded the copy in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1 on 3 October 1835, stating that the text represented only a portion of the vision. In tone, the blessing is similar to those given contemporaneously to others by JS and , including the use of biblical language to convey promises to JS. The blessing recounts JS’s accomplishments and the numerous blessings he stood to receive for his faithfulness and righteousness. This is the only blessing recorded in Patriarchal Blessing Book 1 that was given by an individual other than JS or Joseph Smith Sr.
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.
Packer, Cameron J. “Cumorah’s Cave.” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 13, nos. 1–2 (2004): 50–57.
Richards, Willard. “Willard Richards Pocket Companion Written in England,” ca. 1838–1840. Willard Richards, Papers, 1821–1854. CHL. MS 1490, box 2, fd. 6.
Patriarchal Blessings, 1833–. CHL. CR 500 2.