Revelation, , Seneca Co., NY, Sept. 1830. Featured version, titled “29th Commandment AD September 1830,” copied [ca. Mar. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 36–40; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
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.
See Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 63.
Faulring, Scott H., Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds. Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.
Newel Knight wrote that Page “had quite a roll of papers full of these revelations.” (Knight, History, 146; see Historical Introduction to Revelation, Sept. 1830–B [D&C 28] for more information on Page’s revelations.)
Knight, Newel. History. Private possession. Copy in CHL. MS 19156.
Hearts & be prepared in all things against the day of tribulation & desolation is sent forth upon the wicked for the hour is nigh & the day soon at hand when the Earth is ripe & all the proud & they that do wickedly shall be as stuble & I will burn them up that wickedness shall not be upon the Earth for the hour is nigh & the day soon at hand which was spoken by mine Apostles must be fulfilled for as they spoke so shall it come to pass for I will reveal myself from Heaven with Power & great glory with all the hosts thereof & dwell in righteousness with men on Earth a thousand Years & the wicked shall not stand & again Verily Verily I say unto you & it hath gone forth in a firm decree by the will of the father that mine Apostles the twelve which were with me in my ministery at Jerusalem shall stand at my right hand at the day of my comeing in a piller of fire being clothed with robes of righteousness with crowns upon their heads in glory even as I am to Judge the whole House of Israel even as many as have loved me & kept my commandments & none else for a Trump Shall sound both long & loud even as upon mount Sinia [Sinai] & all the Earth shall quake & they shall come forth yea even the dead which died in me to receive a Crown of righteousness & to be Clothed upon even as I am to be with me that we may be one, but, Behold I say unto you that before this great day shall come the Sun shall be darkened & the moon shall be turned into blood & some stars shall fall from Heaven & there shall be greater signs in the Heaven above & in the Earth beneath & there shall be weeping & waileing among the host of men & there shall be be a great hailstorm sent forth to destroy the Crops of the Earth & it shall come to pass because of the wickedness of the World that I will take vengeance upon the Wicked for they will not Repent for the cup of mine indignation is full for Behold my blood shall not cleanse them if they repent not Wherefore I will send <forth> flies upon the face of the Earth which shall take hold of the inhabitants thereof & shall eat their flesh & shall cause magots to come in upon them & their tongues shall be stayed that they shall not utter against me & their flesh shall [p. 37]
Among the various contemporaneous ideas about the Millennium, JS’s early views paralleled the position known as “premillennialism” in that he affirmed an imminent, physical return of Christ to inaugurate a glorious earthly millennium. Though the second coming of Christ is proclaimed in a number of New Testament passages, the thousand years are specifically mentioned only in Revelation 20:2–7. (Underwood, Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 3–9, 24–41.)
Underwood, Grant. The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993.
See Joel 2:31. The angel Moroni quoted the prophecy of Joel in his first visit to JS. This prophecy was recapitulated in the New Testament and it reappears in JS’s revelations. (See JS History, vol. A-1, 6; Acts 2:20; Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12–13; Revelation, 4 Nov. 1830 [D&C 34:9]; and Revelation, ca. 7 Mar. 1831 [D&C 45:42].)
More than a year earlier, a revelation included a related declaration: “For behold, I God have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer, if they would repent, but if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I: Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, both body and spirit.” (Revelation, ca. Summer 1829 [D&C 19:17–18].)