Changes in the Doctrine and Covenants – Part 7

By: Marvin W. Cowan; ©2013
The ninth LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” That sounds good, but when the original “revelations” that Joseph Smith said God revealed to him are compared with later publications of them it is easy to see that some have been changed!
 

Changes in the Doctrine & Covenants – Part 7

The ninth LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” That sounds good, but when the original “revelations” that Joseph Smith said God revealed to him are compared with later publications of them it is easy to see that some have been changed! This series of articles has shown that many revelations in the 1833 Book of Commandments (B. of C.) were changed two years later when they were published in the Doctrine and Covenants (D. & C.). If it was revealed to Joseph Smith by God prior to 1833, but deleted or changed in 1835, do LDS still believe the parts that were changed or deleted? The ninth LDS Article of Faith indicates they should believe it since it says, “We believe ALL that God HAS revealed,” and the 1833 B. of C. claims to be “revelations” from God. Most Mormons today don’t even know that the B. of C. existed, so how could they “believe” the content that was in it in 1833 but which has now been deleted or changed?

Joseph Smith said he received the “revelation” in Section 10 of the D. & C. during the summer of 1828 after Martin Harris lost the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon (B. of M.) that Smith “translated.” Smith hadn’t kept a copy of the 116 pages and he couldn’t reproduce them exactly the way he wrote them the first time. He thought that the 116 pages might be in the hands of his enemies who wanted to discredit him. If he “retranslated” the 116 pages, he was afraid that they would alter the original pages and then show that his “retranslation” was different which would prove he was a fraud. But even in 1828 it would have been easy to see whether or not the original 116 pages of the B. of M. had been altered. If Smith actually “translated” the B. of M. “by the gift and power of God” from writings on the gold plates as he claimed, he should have been able to retranslate the same content again. Even if he used some different words it would be recognized as the same content, just like different translations of the Bible.

This revelation shows that “the Lord” and Smith had the same concerns. So “the Lord” told Smith to translate some other gold plates withrecords of the same time period so that his enemies couldn’t compare his two translations to discredit him. That way Smith didn’t have to worry about reproducing an exact copy of his previous “translation” and any difference between the 116 pages and his new translation would be easy to explain. No one admitted that they had the 116 pages, but many believe Harris’ wife destroyed them. “The Lord” told Smith in this revelation that Martin Harris is a “wicked man who has sought to destroy you,” yet a year later Harris became one of the Three Witnesses whose name is in every B. of M.!

We will now show some changes in D. & C. 10 which was B. of C. chapter 9. We quote D. & C. 10 with the verse numbers for easy identification and will show the words deleted from the 1833 B. of C. in bold type with a line drawn through them while the words added in the 1835 D. & C. will be highlighted. I have put some words in brackets like [this] to help readers better understand the text. D. & C. 10:1 says, “Now behold I [the Lord] say unto you [Joseph Smith], that because you delivered up so manythose’ writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the Urim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man [Martin Harris], you have lost them. 2. And you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened. 3. Nevertheless, it has been is now restored unto you again; therefore see that you are faithful and go continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun. 4. Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength and means provided to enable you to translate; but be diligent unto the end. 5. Pray always, that you that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and those that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work. 6. Behold they have sought to destroy you; yea, even the man in whom you have trusted [Martin Harris] has sought to destroy you. 7. And for this cause I said that he is a wicked man, for he has sought to take away the things wherewith you have been entrusted; and he has also sought to destroy your gift. 8. And because you have delivered the writings into his hands, behold they wicked men [unnamed] have taken them from you.”

In a previous article we mentioned we would not quote an entire Section of the D. & C. unless it was all changed. So we will now skip several verses and go to verse 15: “For behold he (Satan) has put it into their hearts to get thee to tempt the Lord theirthy God, in asking to translate it over again. 16. And then, behold, they say and think in their hearts—We will see if God has given him power to translate; if so, he will also give him power again.” Now go to verse 21. “And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me. 22. Satan stirreth them up, that he may lead their souls to destruction. 23. And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God; but I will require this at their hands, and it shall turn to their shame and condemnation in the day of judgment.

Now go to verse 30. “Behold I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands; 31. For, behold, they shall not lie any more accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they would will say that you have lied and that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourselfwords. 32. And behold, they would will publish this, and Satan wouldwill harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they mightwill not believe my words. 33. Thus Satan thinketh towould overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work mightmay not come forth in this generation.”

Anyone interested in more information on this subject can find lots of it on the internet if they Google it. Next time we will consider more changes in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Read Part 8

Leave a Comment