Revelation, March 1829 [D&C 5]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

Behold I say unto you that my servant hath desired A witness that my Servant Joseph hath got the things which he hath testified that he hath got and now Behold thus shall ye say unto him I the Lord am God I have given these things unto him & I have commanded him that he should stand as A witness of these things nevertheless I have caused him that he should enter into A with me that he should not show them except I Command him & he hath no power over them e[x]cept I grant it unto him & he hath A gift to the Book & I have commanded him that he should shall pretend to no other gift for I will grant unto him no other gift and verily I say unto you that woe shall come unto the Inhabitents of the Earth if they will not hearken unto my words for Behold if they will not believe my words they would not believe my servants if it were possible he could show them all things O ye unbelieving ye stiffnecked Generation Behold I have reserved the things which have been spoken of which I have entrusted to my servant for A wise perpose in me & it shall be made Known unto future Generations but for this Generation they shall have my word yea & the testimony of three of my Servants shall go forth with my word unto this Generation yea three shall Know of A surety that those things are true for I will give them power that they may Behold & vew these things as they are & to none else will I grant this power among this Generation & the testimony of three Witnesses will I send forth & my word & behold whosoever beleaveth in my word him will I visit with the manifestations of my spirit & they shall be Born of me & their testimony shall also go forth & thus if the People of this Generation harden not their hearts I will work a reformation among them & I will put down all lieings & deceivings & & envyings & strifes & Idolatries and sorceries & all maner of Iniquities & I will establish my yea even the church which was taught by my Desiples & now if this Generation do hardon their hearts [p. 1] against my words Behold I deliver them up unto Satan for he reigneth & hath much Power at this time for he that hath hath got great hold upon the hearts of the People of this Generation & how far from the iniquities of Sodom and Gomorrah do they come at this time & Behold the Swoard of Justice doth hang above their heads & if they persist in the hardness of ther hearts the time cometh that it must fall upon them Behold I tell you these things even as I also told the People of the destruction of Jerusalem & my word shall be verrified at this time as it hath hitherto been verrified & now I command my Servant Joseph that he repenteth & walketh more uprightly before me & yield to the perswations of men no more & that he be firm in Keeping the which I have commanded him & if he do this Behold I grant unto him Eternal life even if he should be slain. And now I speak again concerning the the man that desireeth the Witness Behold I say unto him if he exalteth himself & doth not humble himself sufficiently before me I will grant unto him no such vews but if he will go out & bow down before me & humble himself in mighty prayer & faith in the sincerity of his heart then will I grant unto him a vew of the things which he desireth to vew then shall he say unto the People of this Generation Behold I have seen the things & I know of a surety that they are true for I have seen them & they have been shone unto me by the Power of God & I command him that he say no more except I have seen them & they have been shone unto me by the Power of God & these are the words which he shall say but if he deny this he shall brake the which he hath covenanted with me & Behold he is condemned & now except he humble himself & acknowledge unto me the things which he hath done that is wrong & covenant with me that he will Keep my commandments & exercise faith in me Behold I say unto him he shall have no such vews for I will grant unto him no such vews of which I have spoken & if this be the case I command him that he shall do no more nor trouble me no more Concerning this matter & if this be the case Behold I say unto you Joseph when thou hast a few more [p. 2] pages & then shalt thou stop for a season even untill I command thee again. then thou mayest & excep thou do this Behold thou shalt have no more gift & I will take away the things which I have entrusted with thee & now because I foresee the lieing in wait to destroy thee yea I foresee that if my Servant humbleth not himself & receive a witness from my hand that he will fall into transgression & there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee off the face of the Earth & for this cause that thy Days may be prolounged I have given unto you these Yea for this Cause have I said stop & stand still untill I Command thee & I will provide means whereby thou mayest Accomplish the thing I have Commanded thee & if thou art faithful in Keeping my Commandments ye shall be lifted up at the last Day [p. 3]


  1. 1

    Martin Harris.  

  2. 2

    The 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants has “plates.” (Doctrine and Covenants 32:1, 1835 ed. [D&C 5:1].)  

  3. 3

    On the “gift to translate,” see “Joseph Smith Documents Dating through June 1831.”  

  4. 4

    Three men—Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris—attested in June 1829 that an angel from heaven presented the plates for their inspection. Their testimony was published in the first edition of the Book of Mormon in 1830 and in all subsequent editions. In addition to affirming that they saw the plates, they stated, “We also know that they [the plates] have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us.” (Testimony of Three Witnesses, Late June 1829; see also Historical Introduction to Revelation, June 1829–E [D&C 17].)  

  5. 5

    Shortly after the experience of the Three Witnesses, eight others stated that they had seen and handled the plates. (Testimony of Eight Witnesses, Late June 1829.)  

  6. 6

    JS later translated Book of Mormon passages about the three chosen witnesses. (See Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 110, 548 [2 Nephi 27:12; Ether 5:2–4].)  

  7. 7

    In the nineteenth century, “sorceries” referred to illicit magical practices usually wrought “by the assistance or supposed assistance of evil spirits.” (“Sorcery,” in American Dictionary.)  

    An American Dictionary of the English Language: Intended to Exhibit, I. the Origin, Affinities and Primary Signification of English Words, as far as They Have Been Ascertained. . . . Edited by Noah Webster. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

  8. 8

    Establishing a church was again referred to in a revelation not long after the reception of this revelation. (Revelation, Spring 1829 [D&C 10:53].)  

  9. 9

    See Matthew 24:1–2; and Luke 21:20–24.  

  10. 10

    See Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3:5–9].  

  11. 11

    Martin Harris.  

  12. 12

    As early as 1831, a newspaper reported that Harris had spoken of seeing the plates. While there are few other early accounts of his experience with the plates, Harris frequently affirmed later in his life that he had seen them. (“Mormonism,” Painesville [OH] Telegraph, 15 Mar. 1831, [1]; see also, for example, Thomas Godfrey, John E. Godfrey, and John Buttars, Affidavits, Cache Co., UT, 2 July 1933, Jesse P. Rich, Affidavits concerning Martin Harris, 1933, CHL; and William Pilkington, Affidavit, Cache Co., UT, 3 Apr. 1934, William Pilkington, Autobiography and Statements, 1934–1939, CHL.)  

    Painesville Telegraph. Painesville, OH. 1822–1986.

    Rich, Jesse P. Affidavits concerning Martin Harris, 1933. CHL. MS 1042.

    Pilkington, William. Autobiography and Statements, 1934–1939. CHL. MS 1041.

  13. 13

    Years later, Martin Harris may have had this passage in mind when he told an interviewer, “I am forbidden to say anything how the Lord showed them to me, except that by the power of God I have seen them.” (“Mormonism—No. II,” Tiffany’s Monthly, Aug. 1859, 166.)  

    “Mormonism,” Tiffany’s Monthly 5 (May 1859): 46–51; (July 1859): 119–121; (Aug. 1859): 163–170. Tiffany's Monthly. New York City. 1856–1859.

  14. 14

    This happened previously when JS disregarded divine counsel. (See Historical Introduction to Revelation, July 1828 [D&C 3].)  

  15. 15

    Among the “means” that would soon be provided to enable JS to continue the translation of the Book of Mormon was the arrival in early April of Oliver Cowdery, who would serve as JS’s scribe. Lucy Mack Smith later recalled that JS keenly felt the need for clerical assistance and “accordingly 2 or 3 days before the arrival of Oliver . . . called upon His Heavenly Father for the promised assistance and was informed that the same should be forthcoming in a few days.” (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 8, [4].)