Visions of Moses, June 1830 [Moses 1]
“A Revelation given to Joseph the Revelator June 1830,” Visions of Moses, [Fayette Township, Seneca Co., NY, or
Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...More InfoHarmony Township, Susquehanna Co., PA (or possibly
Located in northeastern Pennsylvania. Area settled, by 1787. Organized 1809. Population in 1830 about 340. Population in 1840 about 520. Contained Harmony village (no longer in existence). Josiah Stowell hired JS to help look for treasure in area, Oct. 1825...More InfoColesville Townshipor
Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...More InfoManchester Township, NY)], June 1830; handwriting of
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 InfoOliver Cowdery; three pages; now in Old Testament Revision 1, CCLA.This text is found on two leaves measuring approximately 12¾ × 7¾ inches (32 × 20 cm). It is unclear whether this text was envisioned in June 1830 as part of a larger work of Bible revision or whether it became part of a larger project later, as the work of Bible revision unfolded. The notation at the beginning of the text (“A Revelation given to Joseph the Revelator June 1830”) and the similar heading that introduces the text that immediately follows this text in Old Testament Manuscript 1 (“A Revelation given to the Elders of the Church of Christ On the first Book of Moses given to Joseph the Seer”The collection of Old Testament material of which this is a part was created between June 1830 and March 1831 and comprises texts relating to the biblical book of Genesis from the beginning through chapter 24, verse 41. Today the manuscript is composed of both loose sheets and at least one gathering of pages encased in a paper wrapper, with evidence of sewing at one point along the margin to keep it together. Halfway through the featured text, the ink flow changes to a different shade of ink. The break in ink may be related to the original production of the text, but the implications are unclear. Textual evidence and apparent scribal errors hint that the featured text may be a later copy, but the evidence is inconclusive.The Bible revision manuscripts remained in JS’s possession throughout his life.2After JS’s death, the manuscript was in the possession of his wife
Call, Anson. “Copied from the Journal of Anson Call,” 1879. CHL. MS 4783.
Cooper, F. M. “Spiritual Reminiscences.—No. 2,” Autumn Leaves 4, no. 1 (Jan. 1891): 17–20.Emmafor more than twenty years until 1867, when she gave it to her son
10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...View Full BioJoseph Smith III
6 Nov. 1832–10 Dec. 1914. Clerk, hotelier, farmer, justice of the peace, editor, minister. Born at Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Son of JS and Emma Hale. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, 1838; to Quincy, Adams Co., Illinois, 1839; and to Commerce ...View Full Bio3so that the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS church) could publish it.
Romig, Ronald E. “New Translation Materials since 1844.” In Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts, edited by Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, 29–40. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.5
Romig, Ronald E. “New Translation Materials since 1844.” In Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts, edited by Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, 29–40. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004.
- 1 Old Testament Revision 1, p. 3.
- 2 See Call, “Copied from the Journal of Anson Call,” 3–4; F. M. Cooper, “Spiritual Reminiscences.—No. 2,” Autumn Leaves, Jan. 1891, 18.
- 3 Romig, “New Translation Materials since 1844,” 31.
- 4 The Holy Scriptures: Translated and Corrected by the Spirit of Revelation by Joseph Smith, Jr., the Seer (Plano, IL: Joseph Smith, I. L. Rogers, E. Robinson, 1867).
- 5 For additional information about the chain of custody and provenance of the Bible revision manuscripts, see Romig, “New Translation Materials since 1844,” 29–40.
JS’stranslationand revision of ancient scripture formed a foundational part of his religious beliefs and teachings. His largest work of translation was the Book of Mormon, which he finished by July 1829. During the translation of the Book of Mormon he produced a text said to be the translation of a lost Johannine parchmentrevelation stating that there were additional “records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people” and that
To produce a text from one written in another language; in JS’s usage, most often through divine means. JS considered the ability to translate to be a gift of the spirit, like the gift of interpreting tongues. He recounted that he translated “reformed Egyptian...View Glossaryscripture.
The sacred, written word of God containing the “mind & will of the Lord” and “matters of divine revelation.” Members of the church considered the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and JS’s revelations to be scripture. Revelations in 1830 and 1831 directed JS to ...View GlossaryThis June 1830 revelation began a new episode in JS’s involvement with ancient texts, becoming as it did the opening portion of a much larger Genesis-related manuscript.Cowderyhad with the Johannine parchment text, they likely saw the “Visions of Moses” as providing insight into a biblical figure and event; in this case, the revelation expands the view of Moses but also records narratives at best hinted at in biblical texts. As JS’s work on the Bible unfolded over the next several months, it became a revision and often an expansion of the King James Version of Genesis. Although it is unknown whether JS or Cowdery originally saw this revelation as the initial step of the larger project, which JS referred to as his “translation” of the Bible, the “Visions of Moses” and the texts that follow in the manuscript became an integral part of that nearly three-year endeavor.5
Matthews, Robert J. “A Plainer Translation”: Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible: A History and Commentary. Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975.
Howard, Richard P. Restoration Scriptures: A Study of Their Textual Development. 2nd ed. Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1995.
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.The text is in the handwriting of6The heading did not identify the location. During June, JS possibly visited all three
JS History / Smith, Joseph, et al. History, 1838–1856. Vols. A-1–F-1 (original), A-2–E-2 (fair copy). CHL. CR 100 102, boxes 1-7. The history for the period after 5 Aug. 1838 was composed after the death of Joseph Smith.branchesof the church (in
An ecclesiastical organization of church members in a particular locale. A branch was generally smaller than a stake or a conference. Branches were also referred to as churches, as in “the Church of Shalersville.” In general, a branch was led by a presiding...View GlossaryManchester,
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 InfoFayette, and
Located in northern part of county between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. Area settled, by 1790. Officially organized as Washington Township, 14 Mar. 1800. Name changed to Fayette, 6 Apr. 1808. Population in 1830 about 3,200. Population in 1840 about 3,700. Significant...More InfoColesville, New York)
Area settled, beginning 1785. Formed from Windsor Township, Apr. 1821. Population in 1830 about 2,400. Villages within township included Harpursville, Nineveh, and Colesville. Susquehanna River ran through eastern portion of township. JS worked for Joseph...More Info7and may also have returned to his home in
- 1 See Account of John, Apr. 1829–C [D&C 7].
- 2 Revelation, Apr. 1829–A [D&C 6:26–27]; see also Revelation, Apr. 1829–B [D&C 8:1, 11].
- 3 Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 30–31 [1 Nephi 13:28, 32].
- 4 Images and a transcript of the full “Old Testament Manuscript 1” may be viewed here. The copy of the King James Bible that JS used for his revision work, which began in summer or fall 1830, was purchased in early October 1829. A notation on the flyleaf, in the handwriting of JS, reads: “The Book of the Jews and the property of Joseph Smith junior and Oliver Cowdery Bought October the 8th 1829 at E. B. Grandins Book Store Palmyra Wayne County New York Price $3.75 H[o]liness to the L[ord].” This Bible, an 1828 stereotype edition printed by H. and E. Phinney of Cooperstown, New York, is now in possession of the Community of Christ Library-Archives, Independence, MO.
- 5 The translation was not a Bible translation in the conventional sense; rather, it was seen as an inspired revision that included the restoration by revelation of missing texts. In some instances, grammatical or other linguistic changes were made, but in other places modifications elaborated or clarified doctrine. By the time JS stopped working on the translation manuscripts in July 1833, he had revised more than three thousand verses and added phrases, verses, and occasionally even whole chapters to the Bible. He made his most extensive textual changes to Genesis. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints included the revelation featured here as “Visions of Moses” in its Pearl of Great Price, which was canonized in 1880. (Letter to Church Leaders in Jackson County, Missouri, 2 July 1833; see also Matthews, Plainer Translation, chap. 3; Howard, Restoration Scriptures, chaps. 4–6; and Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible.)
- 6 JS’s history, which attempted to place his revelations in chronological order, left this revelation out of the original draft of the history, but William W. Phelps inserted a copy of it after a lengthy description of JS’s arrest and acquittal in the first few days of July 1830. (JS History, vol. A-1, 48; see also JS History, vol. A-1, miscellaneous papers.)
- 7 See Historical Introduction to Revelation, July 1830–A [D&C 24]. JS was in Fayette, New York, on 9 June 1830, at the first conference of the church. By the end of June he was in the Colesville, New York, area, at South Bainbridge, where he was tried on charges of being a disorderly person. (Minutes, 9 June 1830; Knight, Autobiographical Sketch, 2; “Mormonism,” Morning Star, 16 Nov. 1832, 114; JS History, vol. A-1, 44–47.)