Revelation, circa Summer 1829 [D&C 19]
Revelation,Manchester Township, Ontario Co., NY, to
Settled 1793. Formed as Burt Township when divided from Farmington Township, 31 Mar. 1821. Name changed to Manchester, 16 Apr. 1822. Included village of Manchester. Population in 1825 about 2,700. Population in 1830 about 2,800. JS reported first vision of...More InfoMartin Harris, [ca. summer 1829, though possibly Mar. 1830]. Featured version, titled “Chapter XVI,” typeset [ca. early 1833] for Book of Commandments, 39–42.
18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...View Full BioJohn Whitmercopied this revelation [ca. Mar. 1831] into Revelation Book 1, but the pages on which the first part of the revelation was copied were removed at some point from that volume and are no longer extant.Book of Commandments.
27 Aug. 1802–11 July 1878. Farmer, stock raiser, newspaper editor. Born in Pennsylvania. Son of Peter Whitmer Sr. and Mary Musselman. Member of German Reformed Church, Fayette, Seneca Co., New York. Baptized by Oliver Cowdery, June 1829, most likely in Seneca...View Full Bio
This revelation, directed toMartin Harris, clarified doctrines regarding the nature of God, Christ’s atonement, repentance, and the afterlife, and it counseled Harris on a variety of matters. Its immediate purpose was to assure payment to printer
18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...View Full BioE. B. Grandinby commanding Harris to “not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the book of Mormon.”
30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...View Full BioAlthough the first two published versions date this revelation to March 1830,Revelation Book 1, is only partially extant. It includes only the final portion of the revelation and does not bear a date.Joseph Knight Sr.seems to provide evidence for a March 1830 date, Knight’s placement of the revelation in the later time frame is likely explained by his reliance on the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants.
3 Nov. 1772–2 Feb. 1847. Farmer, miller. Born at Oakham, Worcester Co., Massachusetts. Son of Benjamin Knight and Sarah Crouch. Lived at Marlboro, Windham Co., Vermont, by 1780. Married first Polly Peck, 1795, in Windham Co. Moved to Jericho (later Bainbridge...View Full Bio4
In March 1830, Knight traveled with JS to Manchester, New York. As they arrived, they met Martin Harris, who was distraught because no one wanted to buy the Book of Mormon. According to Knight’s later narrative, Harris told JS, “I want a Commandment why says Joseph fullfill what you have got But says he I must have a Commandment.” That night Harris and Knight stayed at the Smith home, and when Harris departed the next morning, Knight heard him again tell JS that “he must have a Commandment.” When reconstructing this episode in his narrative, Knight consulted the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants to find the revelation that Harris had demanded and found the printed text of this revelation with the expected date. He then wrote, “And along in the after part of the Day Joseph and Oliver [Cowdery] Received a Commandmant whi[c]h is in Book of Covenants Page 174,” thus associating this revelation, dated “(March 1830)” in the Doctrine and Covenants, with his remembered experience.
This passage from Knight’s narrative may be viewed as corroborating the March 1830 date. More likely, however, Knight’s recollection of the conversation was accurate but he was mistaken in assuming that JS received a new revelation for Harris. By this line of reasoning, when JS told Harris in March 1830 to “fullfill what you have got,” he was referring to the revelation featured here, which Harris had received the previous summer. The March 1830 date requires interpreting the revelation as chastising Harris for delay in selling off enough of his mortgaged property to come up with some or all of the $3,000 owed to Grandin by the terms of the 25 August 1829 agreement. Given the actual terms of the agreement and the use Grandin made of it, this scenario seems unlikely. This revelation more closely fits a summer 1829 context, and it likely motivated Harris to complete the 25 August 1829 agreement with Grandin soon after. (Doctrine and Covenants 44, 1835 ed.; Knight, Reminiscences, 6–7.)
Knight, Joseph, Sr. Reminiscences, no date. CHL. MS 3470.In June 1829, before this revelation was dictated,Harrisand JS talked with several printers in
18 May 1783–10 July 1875. Farmer. Born at Easton, Albany Co., New York. Son of Nathan Harris and Rhoda Lapham. Moved with parents to area of Swift’s landing (later in Palmyra), Ontario Co., New York, 1793. Married first his first cousin Lucy Harris, 27 Mar...View Full BioPalmyraand
Known as Swift’s Landing and Tolland before being renamed Palmyra, 1796. Incorporated, Mar. 1827, two years after completion of adjacent Erie Canal. Population in 1820 about 3,700. Joseph Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith family lived in village briefly, beginning ...More InfoRochester, New York, about printing the Book of Mormon, finally settling on
Located at falls of Genesee River, seven miles south of Lake Ontario, on Erie Canal. Founded 1812. Incorporated as village, 1817. Originally called Rochesterville; name changed to Rochester, 1822. Incorporated as city, 1834. County seat. Population in 1820...More InfoE. B. Grandinof Palmyra. John H. Gilbert, the compositor who assisted Grandin in estimating the cost of the project and later typeset the Book of Mormon, recalled that Harris initiated the negotiations and planned to pay for the printing.
30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...View Full Bio5Gilbert also remembered that Grandin would not begin work or purchase the needed type from the foundry until “after Harris had promised to insure the payment for the printing.”6Grandin’s price to print five thousand copies was $3,000, which would require Harris to impart essentially all of the property to which he had legal right.
New York Herald. New York City. 1835–1924.7Printing began in September 1829.
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Jenson, Andrew. Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia: A Compilation of Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Women in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 4 vols. Salt Lake City: Andrew Jenson History Co., 1901–1936.JS likely dictated the text of this revelation sometime after the negotiations in June and before 25 August 1829, whenHarrismortgaged his property toGrandinas payment for the publication, thus apparently fulfilling the revelation’s injunction to “pay the printer’s debt.”
30 Mar. 1806–16 Apr. 1845. Printer, newspaper editor and publisher, butcher, shipper, tanner. Born in Freehold, Monmouth Co., New Jersey. Son of William Grandin and Amy Lewis. Moved to Williamson, Ontario Co., New York, by 1810; to Pultneyville, Ontario Co...View Full Bio9The language of the revelation suggests that Harris had already agreed to Grandin’s terms but had not yet arranged payment. Grandin’s brother-in-law later recalled that “Harris became for a time in some degree staggered in his confidence; but nothing could be done in the way of printing without his aid.”
Indenture, Martin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Wayne Co., NY, 25 Aug. 1829, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 3, pp. 325–326, microfilm 479,556, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL. The mortgage did not require Harris to make regular payments, and for the full eighteen-month term of the mortgage Harris was entitled to occupy his property. He retained the option of selling it at any time and paying off Grandin from the profits. If Harris defaulted on the mortgage, Grandin could legally sell the property to obtain the money. If the property sold for more than $3,000, Harris would be legally entitled to the excess.
Grandin sold the mortgage in October 1830 for $2,000 cash to his wife’s great uncle, Thomas Rogers II, a transaction that may have been part of a larger financial deal. When Harris’s property was eventually sold, Rogers collected the full $3,000 from the buyer, Thomas Lakey. (Wayne Co., NY, Deed Records, 1823–1904, vol. 10, pp. 515–516, 7 Apr. 1831, microfilm 478,786, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Transfer, Egbert B. Grandin to Thomas Rogers II, 21 Oct. 1830, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 5, p. 353, microfilm 479,557, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Discharge, Thomas Rogers II, 28 Jan. 1832, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 5, p. 215, microfilm 479,557, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Land Transactions Involving Martin Harris, 1829–1832. CHL. MS 21464.10Once Harris mortgaged his property, however, Grandin considered himself paid in full.
Tucker, Pomeroy. Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism: Biography of Its Founders and History of Its Church. New York: D. Appleton, 1867.11According to Gilbert, printing then proceeded: “As quick as Mr. Grandin got his type and got things all ready to commence the work,
Reflector. Palmyra, NY. 1821–1831.
Wayne Sentinel. Palmyra, NY. 1823–1852, 1860–1861.Hyrum Smithbrought to the office 24 pages of manuscript on foolscap paper.”
9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...View Full Bio12
Gilbert, John H. Letter, Palmyra, NY, to James T. Cobb, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, 10 Feb. 1879. Theodore Schroeder Papers: Corres., Writings and Printed Ephemera Relating to Mormonism. Microfilm. New York: New York Public Library Photographic Service, 1986. Copy at CHL.
- 1 Book of Commandments 16; Doctrine and Covenants 44, 1835 ed.
- 2 The second half of this revelation appears on pages 27 and 28 of Revelation Book 1; the leaf containing pages 25 and 26 is missing from the volume.
- 3 Revelation Book 1, p. .
- 5 John H. Gilbert, Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892, photocopy, CHL. In addition, Thurlow Weed, a printer in Rochester, stated that JS and Harris “applied to the Senior Editor of the Journal, then residing at Rochester, to Print his ‘Book of Mormon.’” Weed further explained that Harris had “offered to pay for the Printing.” After Harris reportedly received an offer from Rochester printer Elihu F. Marshall, he returned to Palmyra to renegotiate with Grandin, “assuring Grandin that the book would be printed in Rochester if he declined the job again.” (“Recent Progress of the Mormons,” Albany Evening Journal, 31 July 1854, , italics in original; see also “Prospect of Peace with Utah,” Albany Evening Journal, 19 May 1858, ; and “From the Troy Times,” Albany Evening Journal, 21 May 1858, .)
- 6 “Mormon Leaders at Their Mecca,” New York Herald, 25 June 1893, 12.
- 7 Harris had previously deeded eighty acres of his property to his wife, Lucy, in 1825 (though the deed was not recorded until May 1828), leaving at least 151 acres under Harris’s control. That transfer to Lucy Harris was apparently part of a jointure agreement whereby she received her marital interest (often referred to as a dower interest) from Martin. Historian Andrew Jenson later noted that Lucy Harris “partially separated from him, which he patiently endured for the gospel’s sake.” (See Wayne Co., NY, Deed Records, 1823–1904, vol. 5, pp. 530–532, 29 Nov. 1825, microfilm 478,782; Wayne Co., NY, Deed Records, 1823–1904, vol. 10, pp. 515–516, 7 Apr. 1831, microfilm 478,786, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:275.)
- 8 See John H. Gilbert, Memorandum, 8 Sept. 1892, photocopy, CHL; Indenture, Martin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Wayne Co., NY, 25 Aug. 1829, Wayne Co., NY, Mortgage Records, vol. 3, pp. 325–326, microfilm 479,556, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; and Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 6 Nov. 1829.
- 10 Tucker, Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, 51.
- 11 Though it is unknown how Grandin originally intended to use the mortgage, his right to “assign” or sell the mortgage meant that he did not need to wait eighteen months for Harris to sell his farm to be compensated. Harris’s mortgage essentially paid for the cost of printing before the first page came off the press. Since Grandin’s investment was secured, he had no financial interest in whether the Book of Mormon sold well or not. This helps explain why there is no evidence Grandin was alarmed by the activities of Abner Cole who, using Grandin’s printshop and press, began illicitly printing pages of the Book of Mormon in January 1830 in the Palmyra Reflector. Even after the Book of Mormon was available for purchase beginning in late March 1830, Grandin continued to allow Cole to use his press to deride the Book of Mormon. (Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, bk. 9, –; “The First Book of Nephi,” Reflector [Palmyra, NY], 2 Jan. 1830, 9; News Item, Wayne Sentinel [Palmyra, NY], 19 Mar. 1830, .)
- 12 John H. Gilbert, Palmyra, NY, to James T. Cobb, Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, 10 Feb. 1879, in Theodore Schroeder Papers . . . Relating to Mormonism. There were no type foundries in the Palmyra area. Although there was a small foundry in Albany, Grandin more likely purchased the type in New York City. If he did not travel there to get it until after 25 August 1829, it is unlikely he returned before September. Cowdery reported to JS in early November that the work, though proceeding slowly, was well under way, with completion expected in February. (Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 6 Nov. 1829.)
Generally, a divine mandate that church members were expected to obey; more specifically, a text dictated by JS in the first-person voice of Deity that served to communicate knowledge and instruction to JS and his followers. Occasionally, other inspired texts...View Glossary