Sunday Evenings with the Doctrine and Covenants. Doctrine and Covenants Section 130 Part 5. Genesis, Exodus. . .

[Note: the text below has been modified from its original version. My thanks go to Mike Parker for a nice careful reading which exposed several errors in my original edition. Particularly in verses 16 and 17, where I failed to see that the material appeared in the Clayton report. Mike also noted a few more errors (a number are html coding errors on my part) which I have taken the liberty of correcting. I noticed a couple of other puzzling things about this material that I may expand on at some other time. Some of the changes here affect succeeding parts of the post too. Hence, part 6 is slightly modified.]

The headings for D&C sections were written anew in the recent 2013 edition of the LDS scriptures. The new scriptures are an encoded banner of trust for the Joseph Smith Papers. Go JSPP.
[Part 4 is here.]

Ok, here is D&C 130, coded to reveal where it came from, a genetic text if you will. Note: some passages are clearly quotations of modified biblical pericopae. That is not what I’m about here. I’m just displaying the modern manuscript sourcing for our current text of D&C 130.

Legend: Red = text sourced from the Manuscript History, a late text (ca. 1855), but not found in the known manuscripts that describe the events at Ramus on April 2, 1843. Green = text sourced from William Clayton’s journal for April 2. Blue = text from the Joseph Smith diary for April 2 (Willard Richards).

When text appears in both Clayton and Richards, it is legitimate to believe it originates with Clayton, but I label it like this. To avoid a too complex annotation, when a phrase appears in both Clayton and Richards with only slight differences, I label it as coming from the more “accurate” source. That is, the source most like the current D&C 130 text. This admittedly weighs in favor of the Richards text, but the detail oriented may refer to part 4 to sort this out.

1 When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves.

2 And that same sociality which exists among[1] us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.

3 John 14:23—The appearing of the Father and the Son, in that verse, is a personal appearance; and the idea that the Father and the Son dwell in a man’s heart is an old sectarian notion, and is false.

4 In answer to the question—Is not the reckoning of God’s time, angel’s time, prophet’s time, and man’s time, according to the planet on which they reside?

5 I answer, Yes. But there are no angels who minister to this earth but those who do belong or have belonged to it.

6 The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth;

7 But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord.

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.

18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated

21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

22 The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.

23 A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him.

The diligent reader will see that some choices made here are not rock solid. But they make for variety. Text in red results from sources outside the Clayton or Smith diaries, and are not from the reports of the speech in Ramus. The sources for this text vary. For example, verses 16 and 17:

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.

These verses also (in essence) appear in a sermon delivered several days after the Ramus trip. They are nearly verbatim quotations from the Joseph Smith diary report of a sermon given on the afternoon of April 6, 1843. The complete excerpt from the Smith diary for April 6th reads like this: (you can find other witness texts for afternoon of April 6, 1843 here).

I was once praying earnestly upon this subject. and a voice said unto me. My son, if thou livest til thou art 85 years of age, thou shalt see the face of the son of man.–I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this & I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live til that time Jesus he would make his appearance.–but I do not say whether he will make his appearance or I shall go where he is.–

[This suggests the slim possibility that Richards may have used the Clayton journal in some way for the April 6 report.]

So, It was YOUR fault I got bogus information.  This is supposed to be SCRIPTURE you know.

So, It was YOUR fault I got bogus information. This is supposed to be SCRIPTURE you know.


Look Orson, get off your high horse.  We did our best under the wishy-washy mandate of the time.  Don't try putting us in your box.  Besides, how far did you get in the church? Neener.

Look Orson, get off your high horse. We did our best under the wishy-washy standard of the time. Don’t try putting us in your box. Besides, how far did you get in the church? Neener.

This results from the mandate of the church historians of the 1850s: fill out Joseph’s sermons as best you can.

Now, what of the text in red? It does not result from any known contemporary source from Joseph Smith. Some of that text probably follows a pattern seen in other 1850s church redaction: the current thinking/preaching/ideas/practice of church leaders is inserted into Joseph Smith’s mouth or into his history. This was not a broad practice, but it did happen, and we can see an example of it in verses 22, 23 above.

A genetic x-ray like this one is interesting, but as a study text it is lacking in a couple of important ways. One is that it fails to simultaneously show what materials were left out of the base-text. That is the job of a critical edition in some respects. Next time it’s on to a critical edition of D&C 130. BCC gets its own canon. I think we should call it the Aaron R. Memorial Edition.

[Part 6 is here.]
————-
[1] Both sources read “amongst”.

Comments

  1. Wow! I had no idea. Thanks.

  2. You’re welcome RW.

  3. thanks Smith, poor me, thinking evolution was just a thing for science…
    D&C 130 is indeed a “living” section… lol!

  4. David M. morris says:

    This is great stuff. I had never thought that the origin and compilation of this section was so complex. Thank you.

  5. All those in favour of the new edition, manifest it!

    This is illuminating stuff, WVS. As a text I returned to again and again I will need to be far more careful in how I use this collection.

  6. J. Stapley says:

    Everything about this is awesome.

  7. Thanks all. And Aaron, we should address the issue of worship I suppose.

  8. J. Stapley says:

    Also, as a nod to your title. Stuff like this is why Mormons should love the Documentary Hypothesis.

  9. Hehe. Very true, J.

  10. Excellent!

  11. I never knew that being a text-geek could be so fun. It is things like this that caused me to break down and finally buy the Facsimile Edition: Manuscript Revelation Books two months ago. It is currently holding down a large table in my living room.

  12. Thanks, Ben.

    Kevinf, that is starting in the right way. When we start right . . . .

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