Revelation, [, OH], ca. 2 Nov. 1831. Featured version, titled “71 Revelation given Nov 2nd. 1831,” copied [ca. Nov. 1831] in Revelation Book 1, pp. 114–115; handwriting of ; CHL. Includes redactions. For more complete source information, see the source note for Revelation Book 1.
At a 1–2 November 1831 that discussed the publication of the Book of Commandments, JS “received” a “testimony of the witnesses to the book of the Lord’s .” Several signed the statement and, by so doing, testified that the Holy Ghost had “born record” that the revelations “are given by inspiration of God & are profitable for all men & are verily true.” At this same conference, JS dictated this revelation, which addressed the fact that some of the elders had not received such a spiritual conviction. That manifestation had not come, the revelation explained, because of “fears” in the hearts of the elders. The revelation also disclosed that some of the elders questioned the “imperfections” in the language JS used in the revelations, even though another revelation that emerged from the conference declared that the commandments were given to God’s “Servents in their weakness after the manner of their Language.” To dispel the hesitation to testify about the source of the revelations, this November revelation challenged the elders to write a revelation “like unto” those dictated by JS, emphasizing that if the elders failed, they would be justified in testifying to the world of the divine origin of JS’s revelations and condemned if they did not so testify.
The original manuscript of this revelation is not extant, but dated it 2 November when he copied it into Revelation Book 1, likely sometime before his departure for on 20 November 1831. Unlike the minutes for proceedings of the conference on 1 November, the minutes for 2 November do not specifically mention dictation of a revelation, leaving open the possibility that this revelation could be the one referred to in the 1 November minutes as coming after JS “asked the conference what testimony they were willing to attach to these commandments.” According to the minutes, several elders “arose and said that they were willing to testify to the world that they knew that they were of the Lord.” Thereafter, a revelation was “received relative to the same”—perhaps this revelation, despite its being dated 2 November. A later JS history supports this possibility, stating that after the dictation of the preface to the Book of Commandments on 1 November, “some conversation was had concerning Revelations and language.” The history then presents this revelation as following that conversation. Although this is a plausible scenario for the production of the revelation, it does not explain why Whitmer then dated the document 2 November. Whatever the case, it is clear that the revelation—addressed to “ye Elders of my Church who have assembelled yourselves together”—was dictated sometime during the 1–2 November conference.
It is possible that Whitmer simply made an error in dating the document—either because he copied the revelation into Revelation Book 1 on 2 November or because he remembered the date of its dictation incorrectly. It is also possible that the JS history is referencing a different revelation.
Lo mine eyes are upon you & the heavens & the earth are in mine hands & the riches of eternity are mine to give[.] ye endeavour to believe that you ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you but behold verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts & verily this is the reason that ye did not receive & now I the Lord give unto you a testimony of the truth of those commandments which I are lying before you your eyes have been upon my Servent Joseph & his language you have known & his imperfections you have known & you have sought in your hearts knowlege that you might express beyond his language this you also know now seek ye out of the Book of commandments even the least that is among them & appoint him that is the most wise among you or if there be any among you that shall make one like unto it then ye are Justified in saying that ye do not know that is true but if you cannot make one like unto it ye are under condemnation if you ye do not bear that it is true for ye know that there is no unrighteousness in it & that which is righteous cometh down from above from the father of lights & again verily I say unto you that it is your privilege & a promise I give unto you that have been ordained unto the ministry that in as much as ye strip yourselves from Jealesies & fears & humble yourselves before me for ye are not sufficiently humble the veil shall not be wrent & you shall see me & know that I am not with the carnal neither natural but with the spiritual for no man hath seen God at any time in the flesh but by the Spirit of God neither can any natural man abide the presence of God neither after the carnal mind ye are not to able to abide the presence of God now neither the ministering of Angels wherefore continue in patience untill ye are perfected let not your minds turn back & when ye are worthy in mine own due time ye shall see & know that which was confirmed <upon you> by the hands of my Ser[v]ant Joseph Amen [p. 115]
Although the “blessing” not received that is discussed here may refer to the efforts of some elders to obtain confirmation that JS’s revelations truly came from God, it may also refer to the promise given at the end of the revelation that individuals could see God by his Spirit. At a conference a week earlier, JS declared that “could we all come together with one heart and one mind in perfect faith the vail might as well be rent to day as next week or any other time.” (Minutes, 25–26 Oct. 1831.)
When JS revised the first chapters of Genesis in June 1830, he added an account of Moses talking to God “face to face.” According to the revision, after this encounter, Moses sees God not with his “own eyes” but through God’s “glory” resting on him and “transfiger[ing]” him. (Visions of Moses, June 1830 [Moses 1:11].)