Discourse, 27 June 1839, as Reported by Wilford Woodruff–A

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

[Drawing of a key.] As there are many to the kingdom of God the following one will detect when he transforms himself nigh unto an angel of light When Satan appears [p. [19]] in the form of a personage unto man & reaches out his hand unto him & the man takes hold of his hand & feels no substan[c]e he may know it is for an angel of God (which is an angel of light) is a Saint with his resurrected body & when he appears unto man & offers him his hand & the man feels a substance when he takes hold of it as he would in shaking hands with his neighbour he may know it is a Angel of God. & should a Saint appear unto man whose body is not resurrectd he will never offer him his hand for it would be against the law by which they are governd & by observing this key we may detect Satan that he decieve us not [p. [20]]

Footnotes

  1. 1

    Instead of “as there are many,” Woodruff’s journal version has “among the vast number of the.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  2. 2

    Woodruff’s journal version adds “Joseph presented.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  3. 3

    Woodruff’s journal version adds “to the Twelve for there benefit in there experience & travels in the flesh which is as follows.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  4. 4

    Instead of “Satan,” Woodruff’s journal version has “the devel.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  5. 5

    See 2 Corinthians 11:14; and Book of Mormon, 1830 ed., 79 [2 Nephi 9:9].  

  6. 6

    See Luke 24:39–40, 42–43; and Matthew 27:52–53. Although theologians debated about the substance of angels, Charles Buck’s Theological Dictionary noted that “the more general opinion is, that they are substances entirely spiritual, though they can at any time assume bodies, and appear in human shape.” Like JS, eighteenth-century Swedish mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg described the corporality of angels and established his religious knowledge and authority by claiming to converse with angels face-to-face. Swedenborg also considered angels not as purely spiritual creations but as individuals who had at one time lived on earth. (“Angel,” in Buck, Theological Dictionary, 17; Brief Account of the Life of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, 20–24; McDannell and Lang, Heaven, 188–189; Park, “Early Mormon Angelology,” 5–9.)  

    Buck, Charles. A Theological Dictionary, Containing Definitions of All Religious Terms; a Comprehensive View of Every Article in the System of Divinity. . . . New American ed., edited by George Bush. Philadelphia: James Kay Jr., 1830.

    A Brief Account of the Life of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg, of the Senatorial Order of the Kingdom of Sweden; a Servant of the Lord; and the Messenger of the New Jerusalem Dispensation. Taunton, England: C. H. Drake, 1813.

    McDannell, Colleen, and Bernhard Lang. Heaven: A History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1988.

    Park, Benjamin E. “‘A Uniformity So Complete’: Early Mormon Angelology.” Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies 2, no. 1 (2010): 1–37.

  7. 7

    Woodruff’s journal version adds “face to face in personage.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  8. 8

    Instead of “offers him his hand,” Woodruff’s journal version has “reaches out his hand unto the man.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  9. 9

    Woodruff’s journal version describes the angel of God having a physical substance and then describes the devil’s lack of physical substance. (Woodruff, Journal, 2 July 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  10. 10

    Woodruff’s journal version adds “& he should place all Confidence in him such personages or angels are Saints with there resurrected Bodies.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  11. 11

    Instead of “it would be against the law by which they are governed,” Woodruff’s journal version has “this is against the law given him.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.

  12. 12

    Instead of “by observing this Key,” Woodruff’s journal version has “in keeping in mind these things.” (Woodruff, Journal, 27 June 1839.)  

    Woodruff, Wilford. Journals, 1833–1898. Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898. CHL. MS 1352.