Revelation, 20 March 1832

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

First Shall we procure the paper required of our breatheren in their letter and carry it with us or not and if we do what moneys shall we use for that purpose
It is expedient saith the Lord unto you that the paper is shall <​be​> purchesed for the <​printing of the​> book of the Lords commandments and it must needs be that you take it with [you] for it is not expedient that my servent should as yet go up unto the land of let the purchase be made by the of [if] it must needs <​be​> by hire let whatsoever is done be done in the name of the Lord
Second shall we finish the translation <​of the New testament​> before we go to or wait till we return
It is expedient saith the Lord that there be no delays and thus saith the Lord for the greatest good and benef[i]t of the Wherefore omit the translation for the present time [p. [1]]


  1. 1

    Letter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.  

  2. 2

    Oliver Cowdery had relayed his “hope” in a 28 January 1832 letter that Harris, who was apparently located in Ohio, could provide the necessary paper for the printing of the Book of Commandments. Cowdery even provided a bill for Harris in that letter.a Harris mortgaged his farm in 1829 for the printing of the Book of Mormon, and Cowdery may have assumed Harris would provide similar funding for the Book of Commandments.b Harris was also designated as one of several “stewards over the revelations” in a November 1831 revelation.c An August 1831 revelation instructed Harris and others who intended to come to Zion to consecrate their money to the church, partly as a requirement for obtaining Missouri land as their own “inheritance[s]” and partly so land could be purchased “for the house of the Printing.”d  

    U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.

    (aLetter from Oliver Cowdery, 28 Jan. 1832.bMartin Harris to Egbert B. Grandin, Indenture, 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.cRevelation, 12 Nov. 1831 [D&C 70:1–3].dRevelation, 1 Aug. 1831 [D&C 58:35–37].)
  3. 3

    Newel K. Whitney.  

  4. 4

    The Revelation Book 2 copy reads “if” instead of “of.” (Revelation Book 2, p. 19.)  

  5. 5

    It is unclear what “by hire” means in this context. It could mean that Newel K. Whitney was to hire someone to purchase the paper and carry it to Missouri.  

  6. 6

    In September 1831, Sidney Gilbert and Newel K. Whitney were told that, as agents to the church, they were “on the Lords errand & whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord is the Lords business.” Soon after leaving for Missouri, JS and his companions purchased paper in Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia). The terms by which the paper was acquired and how much was purchased are unknown. The type of printing paper most likely purchased by the group could have cost anywhere from $2.75 to $7.00 per ream. (Revelation, 11 Sept. 1831 [D&C 64:29]; “Statement of the Several Kinds of Paper at the Wholesale Prices,” American State Papers: Finance, 3:628; see JS History, vol. A-1, 209.)  

    American State Papers: Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. Edited by Walter Lowrie, Walter S. Franklin, Asbury Dickins, and John W. Forney. American State Papers: Naval Affairs. 4 vols. Washington DC: Gales and Seaton, 1834, 1860–1861.

  7. 7

    By 20 March, JS, Sidney Rigdon, and Jesse Gause completed revisions to chapter 11 in the book of Revelation. (Faulring et al., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible, 70.)  

    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.

  8. 8

    TEXT: Possibly “this”.