- On the fifth day of April, eighteen hundred and twenty-nine, Oliver Cowdery came to my house, until when I had never seen him. He stated to me that having been teaching school in the neighborhood where my father resided, and my father being one of those who sent to the school, he had went to board for a season at my father’s house. And while there, the family related to him the circumstance of my having received the plates, and accordingly, he had came to make inquiries of me.
- Two days after the arrival of Mr. Cowdery (being the seventh of April), I commenced to translate the Book of Mormon and he commenced to write for me, which having continued for some time, I inquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim and obtained the following revelation:
- A great and marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men. Behold, I am God, and give heed unto my word, which is quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow; therefore, give heed unto my words.
- Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desires to reap, let him thrust in his sickle with his might and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God. Yea, whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God. Therefore, if you will ask of me, you shall receive; if you will knock, it shall be opened unto you.
- Now as you have asked, behold, I say unto you, keep my commandments and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion; seek not for riches, but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich.
- Verily, verily I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so shall it be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation. Say nothing but repentance unto this generation. Keep my commandments and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.
- Behold, you have a gift, and blessed are you because of your gift. Remember it is sacred and comes from above. And if you will inquire, you shall know mysteries which are great and marvelous; therefore, you shall exercise your gift that you may find out mysteries, that you may bring many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, convince them of the error of their ways. Make not your gift known unto any save it be those who are of your faith. Trifle not with sacred things. If you will do good, yea, and hold out faithful to the end, you shall be saved in the kingdom of God, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God; for there is no gift greater than the gift of salvation.
- Verily, verily I say unto you, blessed are you for what you have done, for you have inquired of me, and behold, as often as you have inquired, you have received instruction of my spirit. If it had not been so, you would not have come to the place where you are at this time. Behold, you know that you have inquired of me and I did enlighten your mind, and now I tell you these things that you may know that you have been enlightened by the spirit of truth. Yea, I tell you that you may know that there is none else save God that knows your thoughts and the intents of your heart. I tell you these things as a witness unto you that the words or the work which you have been writing is true.
- Therefore, be diligent; stand by my servant Joseph faithfully in whatsoever difficult circumstances he may be for the word’s sake. Admonish him in his faults and also receive admonition of him. Be patient, be sober, be temperate; have patience, faith, hope, and charity. Behold, you are Oliver, and I have spoken unto you because of your desires; therefore, treasure up these words in your heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God and I will encircle you in the arms of my love.
- Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto my own and my own received me not. I am the light which shines in darkness, and the darkness comprehends it not.
- Verily, verily I say unto you, if you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night when you cried unto me in your heart that you might know concerning the truth of these things. Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God? And now behold, you have received a witness, for if I have told you things which no man knows, have you not received a witness?
- And behold, I grant unto you a gift, if you desire of me, to translate even as my servant Joseph. Verily, verily I say unto you that there are records which contain much of my gospel, which have been kept back because of the wickedness of the people. And now I command you that if you have good desires, a desire to lay up treasures for yourself in Heaven, then shall you assist in bringing to light, with your gift, those parts of my scriptures which have been hidden because of iniquity. And now behold, I give unto you, and also unto my servant Joseph, the keys of this gift which shall bring to light this ministry, and in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
- Verily, verily I say unto you, if they reject my words and this part of my gospel and ministry, blessed are you, for they can do no more unto you than unto me; and if they do unto you even as they have done unto me, blessed are you, for you shall dwell with me in glory. But if they reject not my words which shall be established by the testimony which shall be given, blessed are they, and then shall you have joy in the fruit of your labors.
- Verily, verily I say unto you as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them; even so am I in the midst of you.
- Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever you sow, that shall you also reap. Therefore, if you sow good, you shall also reap good for your reward. Therefore, fear not, little flock. Do good, let earth and hell combine against you, for if you are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Behold, I do not condemn you. Go your ways and sin no more. Perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet. Be faithful, keep my commandments, and you shall inherit the kingdom of Heaven. Amen.
- After we had received this revelation, he (Oliver Cowdery) stated to me that after he had gone to my father’s to board, and after the family communicated to him concerning my having got the plates, that one night after he had retired to bed he called upon the Lord to know if these things were so and that the Lord had manifested to him that they were true, but that he had kept the circumstance entirely secret and had mentioned it to no being, so that after this revelation having been given, he knew that the work was true because that no being living knew of the thing alluded to in the revelation but God and himself.
- During the month of April, I continued to translate and he to write with little cessation, during which time we received several revelations. A difference of opinion arising between us about the account of John the Apostle — mentioned in the [KJV] New Testament, John, twenty-first chapter and twenty-second verse — whether he died or whether he continued, we mutually agreed to settle it by the Urim and Thummim, and the following is the word which we received:
- And the Lord said unto me, John, my beloved, what do you desire? For if you shall ask what you will, it shall be granted unto you. And I said unto him, Lord, give unto me power over death, that I may live and bring souls unto you. And the Lord said unto me, Verily, verily I say unto you, because you desired this, you shall tarry until I come in my glory, and shall prophesy before nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
- And for this cause the Lord said unto Peter, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to you? For he desired of me that he might bring souls unto me, but you desired that you might speedily come unto me in my kingdom. I say unto you, Peter, this was a good desire, but my beloved has desired that he might do more, or a greater work yet among men, than what he has before done; yea, he has undertaken a greater work. Therefore, I will make him as flaming fire and a ministering angel. He shall minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation who dwell on the earth, and I will make you to minister for him and for your brother James [Jacob]. And unto you three I will give this power and the keys of this ministry until I come. Verily I say unto you, you shall both have according to your desires, for you both joy in that which you have desired.
- While continuing the work of translation during the month of April, Oliver Cowdery became exceedingly anxious to have the power to translate bestowed upon him, and in relation to this desire the following revelations were obtained:
- Oliver Cowdery, verily, verily I say unto you that assuredly as the Lord lives, who is your God and your Redeemer, even so sure shall you receive a knowledge of whatsoever things you shall ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that you shall receive a knowledge concerning the engravings of old records which are ancient, which contain those parts of my scripture of which have been spoken by the manifestation of my spirit; yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the holy ghost which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart. Now behold, this is the spirit of revelation. Behold, this is the spirit by which Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea on dry ground; therefore, this is your gift. Apply unto it and blessed are you, for it shall deliver you out of the hands of your enemies when, if it were not so, they would slay you and bring your soul to destruction. O remember these words and keep my commandments; remember this is your gift.
- Now this is not all your gift, for you have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron. Behold, it has told you many things. Behold, there is no other power save the power of God that can cause this gift of Aaron to be with you. Therefore, doubt not, for it is the gift of God, and you shall hold it in your hands and do marvelous works, and no power shall be able to take it away out of your hands, for it is the work of God, and therefore whatsoever you shall ask me to tell you by that means, that will I grant unto you, and you shall have knowledge concerning it. Remember that without faith you can do nothing; therefore, ask in faith.
- Trifle not with these things; do not ask for that which you ought not. Ask that you may know the mysteries of God, and that you may translate and receive knowledge from all those ancient records which have been hid up, that are sacred, and according to your faith shall it be done unto you. Behold, it is I that have spoken it, and I am the same who spake unto you from the beginning. Amen.
- Behold, I say unto you, my son, that because you did not translate according to that which you desired of me, and did commence again to write for my servant Joseph Smith Jr., even so I would that you should continue until you have finished this record which I have entrusted unto him. And then behold, other records have I that I will give unto you power that you may assist to translate.
- Be patient my son, for it is wisdom in me, and it is not expedient that you should translate at this present time. Behold, the work which you are called to do is to write for my servant Joseph, and behold, it is because that you did not continue as you commenced, when you began to translate, that I have taken away this privilege from you. Do not murmur my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner.
- Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you when you took no thought save it was to ask me. But behold, I say unto you that you must study it out in your mind, then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right, I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right. But if it be not right, you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong. Therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
- Now if you had known this, you could have translated. Nevertheless, it is not expedient that you should translate now. Behold, it was expedient when you commenced, but you feared and the time is past and it is not expedient now. For do you not behold that I have given unto my servant Joseph sufficient strength whereby it is made up? And neither of you have I condemned.
- Do this thing which I have commanded you and you shall prosper. Be faithful and yield to no temptation. Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and a hair of your head shall not be lost and you shall be lifted up at the last day. Amen.
Part 13 (April 1829)
Revelation given April 1829, to Oliver Cowdery and Joseph Smith Jr.
A revelation given to Joseph Smith Jr. and Oliver Cowdery in Harmony, Pennsylvania, April 1829, when they desired to know whether John, the beloved disciple, tarried on earth. Translated from parchment, written and hid up by himself.
Revelation given April 1829. [See also Section 3]
Revelation given to Oliver Cowdery, April 1829.