Sunday Evenings with the Doctrine and Covenants. Doctrine and Covenants Section 130. Part 2. Comparing the Immediate Source with Section 130.

In honor of the Gospel Doctrine course of study this year, this is the second in a series of posts examining Doctrine and Covenants section 130.

Having fun yet? If you missed the vital part 1, better click here. In short, in part 1, you’ll find a manuscript that served as background for D&C 130. However, it is not the actual source of the section. In reality, Orson Pratt extracted his material from the History of Joseph Smith as it appeared in a church publication. Here’s a side by side with some of D&C 130 (on the left) and that source:

8 The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.

9 This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

10 Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known;

11 And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

12 I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.

13 It may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832.

14 I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:

15 Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.

16 I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.

17 I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim.

This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s.

Then the White stone mentioned in Revelations ii 17 will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms, even all kingdoms, will be made known;

and a white atone is given to each of those Who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.

I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.

It may probably arise through the slave question. This a voice declared to me, while I was praying earnestly on the subject, December 25th, 1832.

I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:-

” Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of man: therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.”

I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus aee his face.

I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

I could never read Hawkin's handwriting.  Besides, I was editor of the Star.  Loyalty counts.  Not only that, we have a ton of copies lying around.

Hawkins’s handwriting was always too flowery for me. Why dig out a manuscript when you’ve got the printed word? Besides, I was editor of the Star. Loyalty counts. Not only that, we had a ton of copies lying around.


Persons who actually read both of these side by side versions for differences will see very few. The text on the right is the one Pratt extracted for D&C 130. I didn’t give the entire text but the rest shows nearly identical similarity. In any case, the text on the right, the source text for D&C 130, is from the church magazine for the British Isles in 1858, Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star.

And that’s the entire point of this part. Pratt did not use the manuscript exhibited in part 1. He used an already published version. Why, you ask? This is the midterm exam on this part of the course. Give your answer(s) in the comments.

In the next part, we’ll actually do something. Your salvation depends on it. [Part 3 is here.]

Comments

  1. The thing I love about sections like this, and something you’ve pointed out nicely WVS, is the textual history they’ve undergone before making it into the Doctrine and Covenants. The section’s history is so much more rich if we remember it’s initial production in 1843, it’s production in the manuscript history, the publication history in the Deseret News and Millennial Star, and the 1876 Doctrine and Covenants. And at each stage of new dissemination, the creators are looking back to the earlier production for a copy. Thus the section becomes a distinct text a half-dozen times with different production purpose, meanings, and interpretations. Thanks for highlighting this and I look forward to your future posts.

  2. Thanks Robin. Yes, each document and imprint is a separate artifact, connected by webs of interpretation, intention, purpose and many times, loyalties that often don’t make sense to us.

  3. My guess for why the M* version was used was it was mainly for convenience? It had already cleaned up the bit about Orson Hyde’s interpretation of an uncanonized dream. Then there’s that other version that doesn’t have vv. 4, 10-11, 16-17, and phrases verses 9, 14, and 22 a bit differently… I wonder what he had access to / knew about, and again whether it was a matter of convenience. Can’t wait until you teach us more about it!

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