History of the Church, Vol.1 Chapter 8. [June 1829 - Apr. 1830]

The Book of Mormon Published--The Church Organized.

[See volume 1 chapter 1 for abbreviations used here.]
[Copyright © 1997 BOAP. All rights reserved.]


MEANTIME, our translation drawing to a close,(1) we went to Palmyra, Wayne county, New York, secured the copyright, and agreed with Mr. Egbert B. Grandin(2) to print five thousand copies for the sum of three thousand dollars.(3)

I wish to mention here that the title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew(3a) writing in general(4); and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation. Therefore, in order to correct an error, which generally exists concerning it, I give below that part of the title-page of the English version of the Book of Mormon, which is a genuine and literal translation of the title-page of the original Book of Mormon as recorded on the plates:


An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon Plates, taken from the Plates of Nephi.

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites--Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel, and also to Jew and Gentile--Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation--Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed--To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof--Sealed by the hand of Moroni and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile--The interpretation thereof by the gift of God. An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also which is a record of the people of Jared who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven--Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their father; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord that they are not cast off forever--And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations--And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.

The remainder of the title-page is, of course, modern.

A Commandment of God and not of man, to Martin Harris, given (Manchester, New York, March, 1830,) by Him who is Eternal. [D&C 19](5)(6)

1. I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord, yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world.

2. I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me--having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself---

3. Retaining all power even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world, and the last great day of judgment, which I shall pass upon the inhabitants thereof, judging every man according to his works and the deed: which he hath done.

4. And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.

5. Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.

6. Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.

7. Again, it is written eternal damnation: wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name's glory.

8. Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.

9. I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest.

10. For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name, wherefore--

11. Eternal punishment is God's punishment.

12. Endless punishment is God's punishment.

13. Wherefore, I command you to repent, and keep the commandments which you have received by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., in my name;

14. And it is by my almighty power that you have received them.

15. Therefore I command you to repent--repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore--how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.

16. For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;

17. But if they would not repent, they must suffer even as I;

18. Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit--and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink--

19. Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

20. Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.

21. And I command you, that you preach naught but repentance and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me.

22. For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things lest they perish,

23. Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.

24. I am Jesus Christ; I came by the will of the Father, and I do his will,

25. And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife; nor seek thy neighbor's life.

26. And again, I command thee that thou shalt not covet thine own property, but impart it freely to the printing of the Book of Mormon, which contains the truth and the word of God--

27. Which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.

28. And again, I command thee that thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private.

29. And thou shalt declare glad tidings, yea, publish it upon the mountains, and upon every high place, and among every people that thou shalt be permitted to see.

30. And thou shalt do it with all humility, trusting in me, reviling not against revilers.

31. And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

32. Behold, this is a great and the last commandment which I shall give unto you concerning this matter; for this shall suffice for thy daily walk, even unto the end of thy life.

33. And misery thou shalt receive if thou wilt slight these counsels, yea, even the destruction of thyself and property.

34. Impart a portion of thy property, yea, even part of thy lands, and all save the support of thy family.

35. Pay the debt thou hast contracted with the printer. Release thyself from bondage.

36. Leave thy house and home, except when thou shalt desire to see thy family;

37. And speak freely to all; yea, preach, exhort, declare the truth, even with a loud voice, with a sound of rejoicing, crying--Hosanna, hosanna, blessed be the name of the Lord God!

38. Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing--yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth and corruptibleness to the extent thereof.

39. Behold, canst thou read this without rejoicing and lifting up thy heart for gladness?

40. Or canst thou run about longer as a blind guide?

41. Or canst thou be humble and meek, and conduct thyself wisely before me: yea, come unto me thy Savior. Amen.

Whilst the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer,(7) we still continued to bear testimony and give information,(8) as far as we had opportunity; and also made known to our brethren that we had received a commandment to organize the Church; and accordingly we met together for that purpose, at the house of Mr. Peter Whitmer, Sen., (being six in number,)(9) on Tuesday, the sixth day of April, A. D., one thousand eight hundred and thirty.(10) Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father, we proceeded, according to previous commandment, to call on our brethren to know whether they accepted us as their teachers in the things of the Kingdom of God, and whether they were satisfied that we should proceed and be organized as a Church according to said commandment which we had received. To these several propositions they consented by a unanimous vote. I then laid my hands upon Oliver Cowdery, and ordained him an Elder of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (10a) ; after which, he ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church. We then took bread, blessed it, and brake it with them; also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the Church present, that they might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and be confirmed members of the Church of Christ.(11) The Holy Ghost was poured out upon us to a very great degree--some prophesied, whilst we all praised the Lord, and rejoiced exceedingly.(12) Whilst yet together, I received the following commandment:


Revelation to Joseph Smith, Jun., given at Fayette, Seneca County,

New York, April 6th, 1830. [D&C 21](13)

1. Behold, there shall be a record kept among you; and in it thou shall be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an apostle of Jesus Christ, an elder of the church through the will of God the Father and the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ,

2. Being inspired of the Holy Ghost to lay the foundation thereof, and to build it up unto the most holy faith,

3. Which church was organized and established in the year of your Lord eighteen hundred and thirty, in the fourth month, and on the sixth day of the month, which is called April.

4. Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

5. For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

6. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory.

7. For thus saith the Lord God, him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good, and his diligence I know, and his prayers I have heard.

8. Yea, his weeping for Zion I have seen, and I will cause that he shall mourn for her no longer; for his days of rejoicing are come unto the remission of his sins, and the manifestations of my blessings upon his works.

9. For, behold, I will bless all those who labor in my vineyard with a mighty blessing, and they shall believe on his words, which are given him through me by the Comforter, which manifesteth that Jesus was crucified by sinful men for the sins of the world, yea, for the remission of sins unto the contrite heart.

10. Wherefore it behooveth me that he should be ordained by you, Oliver Cowdery, mine apostle;

11. This being an ordinance unto you, that you are an elder under his hand, he being the first unto you, that you might be an elder unto this church of Christ, bearing my name--

12. And the first preacher of this church unto the church, and before the world, yea, before the Gentiles; yea, and thus saith the Lord God, lo, lo! to the Jews also. Amen.

We now proceeded to call out and ordain some others of the brethren to different offices of the Priesthood, according as the Spirit manifested unto us: and after a happy time spent in witnessing and feeling for ourselves the powers and blessings of the Holy Ghost, through the grace of God bestowed upon us, we dismissed with the pleasing knowledge that we were now individually members of, and acknowledged of God, "The Church of Jesus Christ," organized in accordance with commandments and revelations given by Him to ourselves in these last days, as well as according to the order of the Church as recorded in the New Testament. Several persons who had attended the above meeting, became convinced of the truth and came forward shortly after, and were received into the Church; among the rest, my own father and mother were baptized, to my great joy and consolation; and about the same time, Martin Harris and Orrin Porter Rockwell(14).


Revelation to the Church of Christ which was established in these last days, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and thirty. Given at Manchester, New York, April, 1830, in consequence of some desiring to unite with the Church without rebaptism, who had previously been baptized. [D&C 22](15) [April 16, 1830]

1. Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.

2. Wherefore, although a man should be baptized an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works

3. For it is because of your dead works, that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old.

4. Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.


The following persons being anxious to know of the Lord what might be their respective duties relation to this word, I enquired of the Lord, and received for them the following:

Revelation to Oliver Cowdery, Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Joseph Smith, Sen., and Joseph Knight, Sen. Given at Manchester, New York, April 1830. [D&C 23](16)

1. Behold, I speak unto you, Oliver, a few words. Behold, thou art blessed, and art under no condemnation. But beware of pride, lest thou shouldst enter into temptation.

2. Make known thy calling unto the church, and also before the world, and thy heart shall be opened to preach the truth from henceforth and forever. Amen.

3. Behold, I speak unto you, Hyrum, a few words; for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy heart is opened, and thy tongue loosed; and thy calling is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church continually. Wherefore thy duty is unto the church forever and this because of thy family. Amen.

4. Behold, I speak a few words unto you, Samuel; for thou also art under no condemnation, and thy calling is to exhortation and to strengthen the church, and thou art not as yet called to preach before the world. Amen.

5. Behold, I speak a few words unto you, Joseph; for thou also art under no condemnation and thy calling also is to exhortation, and to strengthen the church; and this is thy duty from henceforth and forever. Amen.

6. Behold, I manifest unto you, Joseph Knight, by these words, that you must take up your cross, in the which you must pray vocally before the world as well as in secret, and in your family, and among your friends, and in all places.

7. And, behold, it is your duty to unite with the true church, and give your language to exhortation continually, that you may receive the reward of the laborer. Amen.

Return to History page.

Notes Chapter 8

1. David Whitmer stated that the translation was finished around the first of July, 1829. Lucy Smith implies that the date was mid-June. [Kansas City Journal, June 5, 1881; Lucy Mack Smith, Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet and His Progenitors for Many Generations,(Liverpool: S. W. Richards, 1853) 138.]

Some reminiscent accounts say that Joseph used the Urim and Thummim to "look" at some works written in English after the Book of Mormon translation was finished, including Genesis (one account says Joseph claimed he could see it all happen before his eyes) and John Foxe's "Book of Martyrs" claiming that they were good people who lived up to the light they had and would receive a reward accordingly.[Charles Walker, "Sayings of the Prophet Joseph Smith By those who heard him at different times and places" ms; Edward Stevenson, 1893, pamphlet, "Reminiscences of Joseph Smith, The Prophet."]

2. Grandin grew up a farmer's son near Palmyra. Youngest of twelve children, born 1806, he learned printing by working for the owner of the (Palmyra) Wayne Sentinel which he bought in 1827. He married Harriet Rogers in 1828, died 1845 in Palmyra. [PJS 1:488]

Following the completion of the arrangements for printing the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith left the Whitmer farm and returned with his wife to their property in Harmony at the beginning of October 1829. On October 22, Joseph wrote to Oliver Cowdery:

Harmony -Oct. 22d 1829

Respected Sir I would in form you that I arrived at home on sunday morning the 4th after having a prosperous Journey, and found all well the people are all friendly to {us} except a few who are in opposition to evry thing unless it is some thing that is exactly like themselves and two of our most formadable persacutors are now under censure and are cited to a tryal in the church for crimes which if true are worse than all the Gold Book business. we do not rejoice in the affliction of our enimies but we shall be glad to have truth prevail there begins to be a great call for our books in this country the minds of the people are very much excited when they find that there is a copy right obtained and that there is really [a] book, about to be printed I have bought a horse or Mr Stowell and want some one to come after it as soon as convenient Mr Stowell has a prospect of getting five or six hundred dollars he does not know certain that he can get it but he is going to try and if he can get the money he wants to pay it in immediately for books we want to hear from you and know how you prosper in the good work, give our best respects to Father & Mother and all our brothers and Sisters, to Mr. Harris and all the company concerned tell them that our prayers are put up daily for them that they may be prospered in evry, good word and work and that they may be preserved from sin here and from the consequence of sin hereafter and now dear brother be faithful in the discharge of evry duty looking for the reward of the righteous and now may God of his infinite mercy keep and preserve us spotless untill his coming and receive us all to rest with him in eternal repose through the afftonement of Christ our Lord Amen

Joseph Smith Jr

Oliver H. Cowdery [Joseph Smith Letterbook 1, p. 9; PWJS, 227.]

3. On June 11, 1829 Joseph Smith obtained the copyright of the Book of Mormon by bringing the title page to the office of R. Lansing, clerk of the "Northern District of New York." He was still negotiating with Egbert Grandin, printer of the Wayne Sentinel, to print the Book of Mormon. Grandin was reluctant to print the book because of his own religious misgivings about it as well as the prospect of low sales. He knew many of the locals who felt the book should not be published. Smith and Harris tried several other printers. They first contacted Thurlow Weed [See Weed's biography Life of Thurlow Weed published in 1883-84], publisher of the Rochester Anti-Masonic Enquirer. He refused, not wanting to get into the book publishing business. Next they saw Elihu F. Marshall a publisher in Rochester. Marshall agreed to publish if payment could be assured. Before they signed the contract with Marshall, Harris asked Grandin to reconsider printing 5000 copies of the book. Grandin consulted his typesetter, John H. Gilbert together with a few patrons and finally committed to the enterprise. Harris had to mortgage his farm over the protests of his wife on August 25, 1829 for $3,000.00 as security in case of poor sales. Cowdery, Harris and Joseph Smith watched the first page printed and rejoiced together at the dawning of a new dispensation.

Joseph was sensitive to security issues concerning the ms and had Cowdery copy the ms always keeping one copy secure; Emma Smith, Christian Whitmer and others assisted in making the copy. Someone was to be with Cowdery whenever he transported the ms to the printers, and only a few pages at a time would ever be in the printer's possession. Indeed, Cowdery copied only fast enough to keep the printer occupied [see Oliver Cowdery to Joseph Smith, 6 Nov. 1829]. Once he got behind, and the original ms had to be used in printing (Helaman 13 to Mormon). In addition the house in which the mss resided would be watched at all times. The printer's ms and the original ms are by no means identical. Royal Skousen writes:

There are on the average three changes per original manuscript page. These changes appear to be natural scribal errors; there is little or no evidence of conscious editing. Most of the changes are minor, and about one in five produce a discernible difference in meaning. Because they were all relatively minor, most of the errors thus introduced into the text have remained in the printed editions of the Book of Mormon and have not been detected and corrected except by reference to the original manuscript. About twenty of these errors were corrected in the 1981 edition.

In preparation for the second (1837) edition, hundreds of grammatical changes and a few textual emendations were made in [printer's ms].

The original manuscript was not consulted for the editing of the 1837 edition. However, in producing the 1840 edition, Joseph Smith used the [original ms] to restore some of its original readings. In October 1841, Joseph Smith placed the [original ms] in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House. Over forty years later, Lewis Bidamon, Emma Smith's second husband, opened the cornerstone and found that water seepage had destroyed most of the ms. The surviving pages were handed out to various individuals during the 1880s.

At one point the original ms (well after Joseph Smith had moved on from New York) was apparently stolen by enemies of the Church and had to be recovered by "stratigem." After the 1837 edition of the Book of Mormon was published, the printer's ms was retained by Cowdery. Just before he died in 1850 he gave it to David Whitmer. When Whitmer died in Richmond, MO in 1888 it went to his grandson George Schweich. In 1901 the ms was offered to the LDS Church but it declined to purchase. In 1903 Schweich sold the ms for $2,450 to the RLDS Church. Except for a few lines it is intact. Currently, about one fourth of the original ms is in the possession of the LDS Church. [Dean C. Jessee, "The Original Book of Mormon Manuscript" BYUS 10 (1970) 259-278; Royal Skousen, "Book of Mormon Manuscripts" in EM vol. 1; Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliograpy of the Mormon Church, Vol. 1 (Provo: BYU Religious Studies, 1997), 378f.]

One of Grandin's assistants said the ms was "on foolscap paper closely written and legible," but with no punctuation. John Gilbert inserted nearly 80% of the paragraphing and punctuation as he set the type. Proper names were capitalized in the ms and chapters were indicated but virtually all other changes had to be inserted at the shop. Cowdery sometimes assisted with the typesetting.

Gilbert did the press work with J. H. Bortles until December 1829. Grandin then hired a pressman, Thomas McAuley.

It seems that nearly each first edition book differs slightly from the others, changes in spelling or capitalization seem to have been made between the printing of most signatures. A comparison done between the printer's ms and the 1830 edition shows over 300 differences. The complete story here awaits in part the critical text of the Book of Mormon in process by Royal Skousen of the Brigham Young University English Dept. [Peter Crawley, BYUS 12 (1972) no. 4, 472-473; Crawley, Bibliography.]

Almost immediately there was difficulty with the printing. One time JP Abner Cole, began to publish a weekly, The Reflector, using Grandin's press on the weekends when it was free. Cole used the alias "O. Dogberry" in print. He pirated excerpts of the Book of Mormon for his paper at first being sarcastic about its potential success but later after reading it, he said his readers should give the book a fair reading since it contained nothing evil or seditious in his opinion. Joseph had gone back to Harmony to be with Emma and his father had to retrieve him for Cole refused to stop publishing the book even when Hyrum and Oliver caught him red-handed at Grandin's place. After Joseph confronted him, Cole finally gave up the premature printing.

Four years previous, Joseph, Sr. lost his farm from the unethical behavior of the carpenter on the home (see notes at chapter 2, this volume.) This made Joseph Jr. a greater financial risk in the eyes of the printer. A committee of locals told Grandin that they would boycott purchase of the book. Grandin had told Cowdery in November that he would finish the contracted 5000 copies on February 1, 1830, but in January after the boycott threat he ceased printing and told Cowdery he wanted some guarantee of payment since the Smith's had no property. David Whitmer and Lucy Mack Smith give two different versions of what happened at this point. Lucy says Joseph and Martin were able to pacify Grandin and the printing continued. Whitmer states that Hyrum wanted to sell the copyright in Canada. Supposedly, Joseph told Oliver and another Whitmer son-in-law Hiram Page to go ahead, promising it would work out, but things did not go according to plan and the two returned. Harris obtained an agreement from Joseph Sr. that he could sell the books himself. [Lucy Mack Smith, Joseph, 142ff; Bushman, Beginnings, 107ff; Russell R. Rich, "The Dogberry papers and the Book of Mormon," BYUS 10 (Spring1970) 316ff; Francis W. Kirkham, A New Witness for Christ in America, (Salt Lake City: Salt Lake Printing Co. 1959, 1967, two vols.) 2:29-37; Donna Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, New York, 1977, 97.]

3a. Joseph as well as the text of the book itself makes the claim that an Egyptian script was used on the plates. For example in his account to Daniel Rupp: "These records were engraved on plates which had the appearance of gold; each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume, as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters on the unsealed part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book [Book of Mormon] exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction and much skill in the art of engraving. [An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States, comp. I. Daniel Rupp (Philadelphia, 1844), 406.]

4. That is, from right to left. (BHR)

Once again, Joseph Smith's remarks about the writing on the plates together with other information [e.g., Mormon 9:32] would suggest that the plates were written in an Egyptian script (evidently modified over time as is generally the case with written languages) but representing Hebrew. An Egyptian script may have been useful because various Egyptian signs may stand for whole phrases rather than a single sound. [See John A. Tvedtnes and Stephen D. Ricks, "Jewish and other Semtic texts written in Egyptian characters," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol 5, no.2; John Gee, "Two notes on Egyptian script," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol, 5, no. 1; William J. Hamblin, "Reformed Eyptian" (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1995).]

5. As already noted, Martin Harris feared that the Book of Mormon would fail to sell with serious financial repercussions to himself. Joseph Knight recalls that when Joseph Smith, Jr. returned to New York with him in the Spring of 1830, they met Harris on the street carrying an arm-load of the Books. Knight states:

[Harris] Came to us and after Compliments he says, 'The Books will not sell for no Body wants them.' Joseph says, 'I think they will sell well.' Says he, 'I want a Commandment [revelation].' 'Why,' says Joseph, 'fulfill what you have got.' 'But,' says he, 'I must have a Commandment.' Joseph put him off. But he insisted three or four times he must have a Commandment. [The following day] he got up and said he must have a Commandment to Joseph and went home. And along in the after part of the Day Joseph and Oliver Received a Commandment which is in Book of Covenants . [D&C 19]
This places the date of the revelation after March 19, 1830 when Grandin announced in the Sentinel that the book would be ready within a week. The issue on the 26th said the book was for sale.[Jessee, Recollections]

Harris had to redeem the mortgage on his farm (which came due 5 February 1831) by selling 150 acres of his farm to Thomas Lakey on 1 April 1831 for $3000.[RJS, 30 n2]

6. Doctrine and Covenants, section xix. No words of the Prophet introduce this revelation in his History. Nothing is known of the circumstances which called it forth And yet there are few revelations that have been given in the present dispensation of the Gospel more important than this one. The doctrine of the atonement of the Lord Jesus, as directly applying to the individual, and God's exposition of "Eternal Punishment," as here set forth, give it a place of first importance in the doctrinal development of the Church.(BHR) [This note is inaccurate with regard to the circumstances surrounding the revelation in light of the preceding note.]

7. Nothing is said by the Prophet in his History of the difficulties that arose whilst the Book of Mormon was in the hands of the printer nor of the care that was taken to prevent the manuscript falling into the hands of enemies of the work. It is proper however that these matters should be stated at this point. It appears that when the arrangements was completed with Mr. Grandin or printing the Book of Mormon the Prophet went down to Harmony in Pennsylvania. Before taking his departure however it was arranged:

First: that Oliver Cowdery transcribe the whole manuscript" hence it came about that there were two manuscript copies, of the Book of Mormon, the original, which was taken in charge by the Prophet after the publication of the book and the copy made by Oliver Cowdery for the printer's use and which finally was given by him into the custody of David Whitmer, with whose family it remains to this day (1901)

Second: that the copy made by Oliver Cowdery from the original manuscript only should be taken to the printers, so that if that should be destroyed the original would remain in the hands of the Prophet and his associates from which it could be replaced; and even this copy was supplied the printer in small quantities at a time, usually enough only for a single day's work of the printer.

Third: that in going to and from the office whenever carried the manuscript--usually it was Oliver Cowdery--should always have a guard to attend him.

Fourth: that a guard should be kept constantly upon the watch, both night and day, about the house to protect the manuscript from malicious persons who might seek to destroy it. (The authorities for the above are: Lucy Smith's History of the Prophet Joseph, ch xxxi; the statements of Stephen S. Harding who a number of times visited Grandin's establishment while the Book of Mormon was being printed; His statement is published in The Prophet of Palmyra by Thomas Gregg p. 34-56. This is that same Stephen S. Harding who was governor of Utah Territory from July, 1862 to July, 1863; also the statement of J. H. Gilbert, the principal compositor on the Book of Mormon The extreme care in allowing the printer to have but a small amount of copy at a time is subject of ridicule in nearly all anti "Mormon" books that treat of this period. In addition to all this is the evidence of the manuscript in the hands of the Whitmer family, nearly every page of which is in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery, and by being divided into "takes" clearly bears evidence of having passed through the printers hands the evidence also in the existence of portions of the original manuscript now in the possession of President Joseph F. Smith, which was taken from its depository in one of the corner stones of the Nauvoo House, where it was placed by the hands of Joseph the Prophet, with other relics on the occasion of laying the corner stone of that building on the 2nd of October 1841. Unfortunately a great part of the manuscript was destroyed by dampness but enough is preserved to establish the fact that it is the original).

Notwithstanding all the precautions taken by the little group of brethren engaged in publishing the book. The Nephite record, mutilated by interlineations of human interventions and added vulgarisms intended to destroy the work, came nearly being given to the world before the Book of Mormon itself was published. This was the work of one Esquire Cole, ex-justice of the peace, who undertook to publish the Book of Mormon, in instalments in a weekly periodical called Dogberry Paper on Winter Hill. He obtained the use of Grandin's press nights and on Sundays, and surely must have obtained the advance sheets of the printed forms of the Book of Mormon which he was using with the knowledge of Mr. Grandin, at least it is difficult to conceive how he could obtain and use them without his knowledge Hyrum Smith, feeling uneasy concerning the security of that part of the Book of Mormon in the hands of the printer induced Oliver Cowdery one Sunday to go with him to the printer's to see if all was well and there they found Squire Cole at work on his Dogberry Paper, and publishing mutilated extracts from the Book of Mormon. He refused to desist from his unlawful course but Joseph was sent for and came up during the week from Harmony, and by firmly asserting his rights under the copyright law and by threatening to prosecute those who infringed them Cole was induced to abandon his intention of publishing the Book of Mormon in his paper.

This difficulty past, another arose. The people of Palmyra and vicinity held a mass meeting and passed a resolution pledging themselves not to purchase the Book of Mormon when published and to use their influence to prevent others from purchasing it. This had the effect of causing Mr Grandin to suspend printing until he could obtain renewed assurance of receiving the amount agreed upon for printing the edition of five thousand. Again the Prophet was sent for, and again he made the journey from Harmony to Palmyra quieted the fears of Mr. Grandin by renewed assurance on the part of himself and Martin Harris that the amount agreed upon would be paid. The work proceeded, and at last issued from the press, notwithstanding all the difficulties it had encountered (see Lucy Smith's History of the Prophet Joseph, ch. xxxiii).(BHR)

8. The Book's contents were respected by early members more as new revelation than as a guide for conducting the affairs of the kingdom. (In spite of D&C 18:1-5.) The idea that God had spoken again seemed to be a major influence of the book. Rather than referring to the Bible or Book of Mormon for instruction on Church procedure, members simply applied to Smith for a revelation, particularly in the infant Church. [Bushman, Beginnings, 142.] However, it is evident that early missionaries took the opportunity to teach from it in their proselyting work. For example Wilford Woodruff preached from Jacob 5 on numerous occasions.[Journal of Wilford Woodruff, LDS Church Archives, especially the years from 1836 to 1841.] While others often took for the main topic of their preaching the "authenticity of the Book of Mormon." Finally, while members may have looked to Smith for direction, it is also clear that the book profoundly influenced him in early doctrine/praxis as in baptism and ordination (see D&C 20 and notes there).

9. The following statement is interesting as furnishing the names of these six:

Names of the six members of the Church as they were organized April 6, 1830--

Oliver Cowdery, Joseph Smith, Jun., Hyrum Smith, Peter Whitmer, Jun., Samuel H. Smith, David Whitmer.

Some of these had been baptized previously, but were all baptized on the day of organization.

These names were given to Joseph Knight by Oliver Cowdery.

(signed) JOSEPH KNIGHT. G. S. L. City, Aug. 11th, 1862. Witnesses G. A. SMITH, ROBT. L. CAMPBELL, THOS. BULLOCK, JOHN V. LONG. (Copy)

There has been some question as to the number that had been baptized previous to the organization of the Church on the 6th day of April 1830 David Whitmer in his "Address to All Believers in Christ," a pamphlet of seventy-five pages published in 1887, says that there were six Elders and about seventy members before April 6th 1830. Others have estimated the number at thirty, thirty-five, and forty.

These estimates, however, are beyond all question too large. In the minutes of the second conference of the Church, held at Fayette, New York, on the 26th of September, 1830 this statement is made: "Number of the several members uniting to this Church since the last conference, thirty-five: making in whole now belonging to this Church sixty-two." "The last conference," referred to was one held on the 9th of June, 1830. If there were but sixty-two members in September, 1830, and thirty-five of them were added since the conference of the Church held on the 9th of June of that year, then there were but twenty-seven in the Church on the said 9th of Jun. In the last week of May, 1830, Newel Knight was baptized--one; on the 18th of April, 1830, Oliver Cowdery baptized seven, (the names are given on p. 81), on the 11th of April, Oliver baptized six persons (their names are also given on p. 81); on the 6th of April 1830, the same day that the Church was organized, there were four persons baptized, two of whom were the father and mother of the Prophet (see p. 79). This makes a total of eighteen baptized between the 9th of June conference and the 6th of April meeting; and as there were but twenty-seven in the Church on the 9th of June, the number that had been baptized up to the 6th of April, 1830, must have been but nine. The Far West Record, containing the minutes of the conferences of the 9th of June, and the 26th of September, was kept by the clerks of the High Council in Missouri, and the minutes of the two conferences above referred to, and which give the information here set forth, occupy pages one and two of that record The accuracy of the minutes of the conference of the 26th of September, 1830, which fix the membership of the Church at that time at sixty-two, is confirmed by the following remark of the Prophet, to be found in his history in December of that same year, which remark immediately precedes extracts from the prophecy of Enoch in this volume (ch. xii): "To the joy of the little flock, which in all, from Colesville to Canandaigua, New York, numbered about seventy members, did the Lord reveal the following," etc. When it is remembered that the Prophet is here speaking of conditions existing in December 1830 and the figures given are exclusive of the additions which had been made in Kirtland, Ohio, it strongly sustains the correctness of the minutes of the conference of September 26th, which record the membership of the Church at that time to be but sixty-two. The correctness of this number a also still further confirmed by a brief historical sketch of "The Rise and Progress of the Church of Christ," published in the Evening and Morning Star under date of April, 1833, where it is said: "In October 1830, the number of disciples had increased to between seventy and eighty." (p. 169.)(BHR)

10. Joseph Knight recalls:

Now in the Spring of 1830 I went with my Team and took Joseph out to Manchester to his Father. When we was on our way he told me that there must be a Church formed But did not tell when. I stayed a few Days wating for some Books [i.e., copies of the Book of Mormon] to Be Bound. Joseph said there must Be a Church Biltup. On the sixth Day of April 1830 he Begun the Church with six members and received the following Revelation Book of Covenants Page 177 [D&C 21]. They all kneeled down and prayed and Joseph gave them instructions how to Bild up the Church and exorted them to Be faithfull in all things for this is the work of God.[Jessee, Recollections]

Knight seems to suggest that the Church was organized in Manchester. See Paul H. Peterson, BYUS 35(1996) no. 4, 222-227 for various accounts of Church organization, some favoring Manchester, others Fayette. See also Larry C. Porter, BYUS 9 no.3 for a list of those present at the organization. The confusion in early sources about the location of the Church organization is perhaps due in part to the somewhat informal way of introducing converts to the new religion. There may have been as many as three branches of the Church functioning before April 6th. However, as Roberts notes, this is probably misplaced chronology. This April 6th meeting was apparently held in part to quiet criticisms of observers that the Church was not a real organization founded as a legal entity - hence could not perform marriage or hold property for example. [Whitmer, An Address . . .,33] Part of the confusion may stem from lack of care in copying and communicating data for publication as possibly found with BC chapters 17-23 [see for example Phelps' apology in ES June 1833, p.98]. Both Smith and Whitmer, two of the principals are clear that Fayette was the location of this legal organization, although Joseph also indicates Manchester as the site [e.g. in Rupp op. sit.] The testimony of Smith and Whitmer must be given due weight. Contrary evidence seems to pass mostly through the hands of W. W. Phelps. It may have crept into later sources by reference.

For more discussion on this and the identity of the original six members (there are several different lists) see Peterson, ibid and PJS 1:242 n2 and references there. It is possible that the confusion between Manchester and Fayette arises from more than one meeting being held. Possibly Joseph Smith Sr. and Harris were baptized in the evening in Manchester where revelations may also have been received.

Finally, consult Richard Bushman, RBBM 6 no. 2(1994) pp. 122-33. See also Donald L. Enders, "A Snug Log House," Ensign August 1985 p.21 n60.

The Laws of New York State required a certain procedure for the organization of religous societies.

III. And be it further enacted, that it shall be lawful for the male persons of full age, belonging to any other church, congregation or religious society, now or hereafter to be established in this state, and not already incorporated, to assemble at the church meetinghouse, or to the place where they statedly attend for divine worship, and, by plurality of voices, to elect any number of descreet persons of their church, congregation or society, not less than three, nor exceeding nine in number, as trustees, to transact all affairs relative to the temporalities thereof. That on the said day of election, two of the elders or church wardens, and if there be no such officers, then two of the members of said church, congregation or society, to be nominated by a majority of the members present, shall preside at such election, receive the votes of the electors, be the judges of the qualifications of such electors, and officers, to return the names of the persons who, by plurality of voices, shall be elected to serve as trustees for said church in which certificate, the name or title by which the said trustees and their successors shall forever thereafter be called and known. [An Act to provide for the Incorporation of Religious Societies, NY State Legislature passed April 5, 1813 (Section III)]
Section I and II of the act required that a certificate of organization be proved by witnesses before the court of common pleas of the county where the congregation was situated and recorded by the county clerk. Larry C. Porter reported that a search of county records failed to locate such a certificate. [Larry C. Porter, "Was the Church Legally Incorporated at the Time it was Organized in the State of New York?" Ensign, (December 1978), 8:26-27.] While such a certificate has not been found, it is clear from the evidence that the April 6 meeting was structured to abide by the statute.

10a. This of course is not correct. The name of the Church was "the Church of Christ" - see the following note.

11. The name of the Church began as the Church of Christ (the simplest possible form in accord with Book of Mormon instruction: 3Ne27:8.) Although Joseph dictates this in 1838-39, he uses both the 1830 terminology and the 1838 term (see text marked by the preceding note). In Ohio it became known as the Church of Latter-Day Saints in 1834, possibly to emphasize the tenet that the Church was a Millennial organization, [see Richard S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Excess, (SLC:Signature, 1994), 149] and finally in Missouri, 1838 as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, the name Church of Latter-day Saints was still used commonly in the Church up to the middle of the 20th century. [The name was used with the capitalized form, Day, as well as day, with and without the hyphen during early years of the Church and even into the 20th century of the LDS Church. A letter from Thomas B. Marsh to Wilford Woodruff in 1838 gives the lower case "d", The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One source claims this name was employed on the Kirtland temple during its construction in 1834 or 1835 (ms in RLDS archives of "Curtis-Wheaton debate.")]

One writer [Michael Marquardt, Inventing Mormonism, (SLC:Smith Research Associates, 1994)], charges that both the first name change and the confusion about the location of the April 6th meeting [see note 9] were deliberate on Smith's part and made to allow members of the United Firm (see note 29 at chapter 18, this volume) to escape debts. But the name change was quite public and would seem to be an ineffective ruse and moreover one that was never discovered and used by the anti-Mormon press who made a great deal of news regarding the financial troubles of the Mormons. (Peterson, 217-218)

12. Joseph gives a somewhat longer account of the meeting in the first 1839 draft of the ms history. We reproduce the text here:

We made known also to those who had already been baptized, that we had received commandment to organize the Church (reference to D&C 21 inserted here) and accordingly we met together, being about 30 (30 is crossed out and "six" inserted) in number besides a number who were believing --met with us on Tuesday the Sixth day of Aprile A.D. One thousand, Eight hundred and thirty, and proceeded, as follows, at the house of the above mentioned Mr. Whitmer --Having opened the meeting by solemn prayer to our Heavenly Father and the brethren & Sisters having by unanimous vote, accepted us as &c I proceeded to lay my hands upon Oliver Cowdery -- and ordained him an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, after which he ordained me also to the office of an Elder of said Church [actually the "Church of Christ" was the name employed] We then took bread, blessed it, & brake it with them, also wine, blessed it, and drank it with them. We then laid our hands on each individual member of the Church present, to confirm them members of the Church of Jesus Christ, and that they might receive the Holy Ghost, when immediately the Holy Ghost was poured out upon ("the whole community" is here crossed out) us all ("in a miraculous manner" is crossed out and inserted is "to a greater or less degree") Some prophecied [at the bottom of the ms p. 9 is the statement: "Father Smith Martin Harris baptized this evening 6th April. Mother Smith & Sister Rockwell 2 or 3 days afterward."]
The following long statement is then crossed out:
many spoke with new tongues, and some several of our number were so completely overpowered for a time, that we were obliged to lay them upon beds &c &c, and when bodily sensibility was restored to them they shouted Hosannas to God and the Lamb -- & declared tha the Heavens had been opened unto them, especialy Knights that they had seen Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and man other great and glorious things. Either at this time or very shortly after was the following were with others called to the priesthood & ordained to the respective offices, according as the Spirit made it manifest, viz Joseph Smith Senior, Hyrum Smith, John Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Christian Whitmer Samuel Smith, Martin Harris
The text then resumes as follows:
We afterwards called out and ordained some others of the brethren to the respective offices of the Priesthood, according as the Spirit made manifest unto us. As may reasonably be expected, such scenes as these were calculated, to inspire our hearts with Joy unspeakable, at the same time that we felt ourselves almost over whelmed, with awe and reverence for that Almight Being, by whose grace we had been called to be instrumental in bringing about for the Children of men, the enjoyment of such glorious blessings, as were now at this time poured out upon us. To find ourselves engaged in the very same order of things which were observed by the Holy Apostles of old, To realize the importance and solemnity of the above mentioned proceedings, and to witness & feel with our own natural senses, the like glorious manifestions of the powers of the Priesthood; the gifts and blessings of the Holy Ghost, (crossed out: "which we had often read of as a things") and the goodness and grace of a merciful God, unto such as obey the everlasting gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, combined to create within us sensations of rapturous gratitude, which may be felt, but cannot be described.
[See PJS 1:243]

Some of the events in the long crossed out portion above are not recorded anywhere else, such as the mention of the gift of tongues. Indeed, some sources claim this gift was not manifested in the Church until two years later (but this probably incorrect, see chapter 21 note 24 this volume). However, at least some of these events may represent a compression of what took place during the month of April, hence the omission from the official ms. For example, compare the text in this note to the events described at the beginning of the following chapter, especially the mention of the Knights. Since little primary source material would be available to Joseph Smith, the eight intervening years may have clouded the chronology of some of the events in this first draft.

13. The earliest complete ms copy of the revelation is the one in the ms history (1838-39), however a partial ms copy exists in the handwriting of Edward Partridge but is undated. The earliest dated copy is from the Book of Commandments [BC] (1833). There are no variations in the text of any significance.

13a. William E. McLellin, interviewed Cowdery 17 years later and asked him about this ordination:

. . . to what did you ordain J. Smith on the 6th of April 1830? Said he, "I ordained him Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Translator just as the revelation says." [True Latter Day Saints' Herald, Plano Illinois, 1 August 1872, p. 473.]

14. Joseph Knight, Sr. Characterized Joseph's feelings about this and the events of April 6:

Old Mr. Smith and Martin Harris Come forrod to Be Baptise for the first. They found a place in a lot a small Stream ran thro and they ware Baptized in the Evening Because of persecution. Joseph [the Prophet] was fild with the Spirrit to a grate Degree to see his Father and Mr Harris that he had Bin with so much he Bast [bust?] out with greaf and Joy and seamed as tho the world could not hold him. He went out into the Lot and appeared to want to git out of site of every Body and would sob and Crie and seamed to Be so full that he could not live. Oliver and I went after him and Came to him and after a while he came in. But he was the most wrot upon that I ever saw any man. But his joy seemed to Be full. I think he saw the grate work he had Begun and was Desirus to Carry it out. [Jessee, Recollections; see note 10 above.]

Orrin Porter Rockwell. B. at Belchertown, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. Moved with family to Manchester, New York in 1817, where he befriended Joseph Smith. Among the first converts to Mormonism (baptized April 6, 1830). Went to Missouri in 1831 and experienced the difficulties there. M. Luana Hart Beebe, 16 Feb. 1832 in Jackson County, Missouri- Oliver Cowdery officiated, (Beebe d. 6 Mar 1897, West Tintic, Juab, Utah). Beebe divorced Rockwell ca. 1845. He may have married again for a short time to a "Mrs. Amos Davis." Rockwell assisted in Mormon exodus from Missouri, 1839. Member of the Mormon party who went to Washington D.C., to seek redress for Missouri wrongs, 1839-40. Accused, imprisoned, and later acquitted in the 1842 assassination attempt of former Missouri Governor, Lilburn Boggs. Scout and hunter for the Mormon pioneers crossing the plains, 1846-47. Deputy marshal in Utah, 1849-78. m. Mary Ann Neff, 3 May 1854 (she died, 28 Sep 1866, Lehi, Utah) m. Christina Olsen, 1870. Rockwell d. 9 Jun 1878, at Salt Lake City. Beebe and Rockwell and had five children. Beebe remarried with prominent Mormon John Alpheus Cutler in 1846. Cutler established the site for Winter Quarters, but eventually rejected Brigham Young and remained in Iowa. Beebe came on to Utah. Rockwell and Neff had six children, Olsen had Rockwell had three children. Altogether, Rockwell had 14 children from 1832 to 1878.

15. This revelation, while received separately from D&C 20, was originally intended to be published as part of D&C 20. See Evening and Morning Star (June 1832) and "Book of Commandments, Laws, and Covenants," Book B [hereafter BLC] (first entry), where D&C 22 appears as part of the "Articles and Covenants" (D&C 20) of the Church. D&C 20 was apparently a composite of a number of revelations and being the organizational marching orders, was modified as further revelation was received until the 1835 edition of the D&C. See note 8, chapter 7 this volume. D&C 22 appeared separately from D&C 20 in and after the 1835 edition of the D&C.

The early mss of this revelation include one in the hand of Algernon Sidney Gilbert, written prior to June 12, 1833 and one in William E. McLellin's hand probably copied late in October or early November 1831. McLellin's ms dates the revelation April 16, 1830. [The Journals of William E. McLellin, p. 235f; Woodford] Orson Pratt [JD 16:293-94.] gives some background on the reason for Joseph Smith's evident inquiry which drew forth this revelation:

In the early days of this Church there were certain persons, belonging to the Baptist denomination, very moral and no doubt as good people as you could find anywhere, who came, saying they believed in the Book of Mormon, and that they had been baptized into the Baptist Church, and they wished to come into our Church. The Prophet Joseph had not, at that time, particularly inquired in relation to this matter, but he did inquire, and received a revelation from the Lord [D&C 22]. These Baptists had to be re-baptized: there was no other way to get into this Church.
The earliest copy known is found in the Painesville Telegraph, April 19, 1831. The McLellin text has some slight differences from the current published text. In verse one, the words "even the same" appear instead of "even that." The other early texts in ES and the Telegraph match the HC text.

16. The earliest known copy of D&C 23 appears in the BC. It consists of five revelations and they appeared separately in the BC. In all later publications the revelations were combined as one section. Textual variations among extant copies are incidental. The earliest ms version is that found in the ms history.