Thursday, March 22, 2018

Changes in the Emma Smith Revelation....

Joseph Smith's Elect Lady Revelation 
becomes more strict over time.  

July 1830:
Joseph Smith received a revelation of comfort for Emma.  The original document has been lost.  Emma had lost her first child, persecution against Joseph and the Church was intense and Joseph was in serious legal trouble.  Also, Emma Smith was baptized on June 28, 1830, (Not April 6th), but multiple issues had delayed her confirmation.  

Spring of 1831:  
Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer are assigned to record Joseph Smith's revelations.  Their collection of documents were copied into a book called "The Revelation Book".  Below is a scan of their handwriting.  The revelation to Emma is called "27th Commandment".   

(Highlighting is digital) 

Revelation begins:  
 "Emma, my daughter in Zion,  A Revelation I give unto you concerning my will"

Specific praise:
"A Revelation I give unto you concerning my will 
Behold thy sins are for given thee & thou art an Elect Lady."

July 20, 1833

A group of 400 Missouri vigilantes stormed the Church's printing office in Independence and destroyed or confiscated much of the contents.  The text below is from one of the few books that was made from rescued manuscripts.  There are minor changes made from the 1831 version.  

Revelation begins:  
 "Emma, my daughter in Zion, A Revelation I give unto you concerning my will"

Specific praise:
"A Revelation I give unto you concerning my will 
Behold thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an Elect Lady."

This image is often associated with the destruction of the printing press.  
These girls risked their lives to save copies of the printed pages.  
(The originals were not at the site)
Also note that one of the girls later became one of Joseph Smith's polygamous wives.  

About 1833 - 1835
A teenage girl named Fanny Alger is hired to live and work in the Smith home.  She helps Emma with the children, cleaning and cooking.  At some point she starts a relationship with Joseph Smith.  

November 1835
The book called the Doctrine and Covenants was published in 1835 in Kirtland, Ohio.  The Emma Smith revelation was put in Section 48.   A conditional clause is added to Emma's revelation.   In the 1831 version, Emma was called an "Elect Lady", but in the 1835 version it is given "IF THOU ART FAITHFUL and WALK IN THE PATHS OF VIRTUE".

Revelation begins:  
 "Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, 
while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter;"

Specific praise:
A revelation I give unto you concerning my will; 
and if thou art faithful and walk in the paths of virtue before me, 
I will preserve thy life, 
and thou shalt receive an inheritance in Zion.
Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.

Why would a conditional clause be added?
Why would the voice of God, become more direct and angry?
Why was the phrase, ""Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God" added?

Is it possible that Emma had grown weary with Joseph's polygamy? / adultery?  Would this IF statement put greater pressure on Emma to accept Fanny Alger and the relationship she had with Joseph?

March 27, 1836
For context, be aware that the Kirtland Temple was dedicated after this revelation came out.  At that time, Joseph said that he received the "Sealing Power" from an angel.  

July 12, 1843

Section 132 is recorded.  This section puts even more pressure on Emma Smith to conform.  Saying that she might be "destroyed".  

"and let mine handmaid Emma Smith receive all those that have been given unto my Servent Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; And those who are not pure <​and have Said they ware pure​> Shall be destroyed"

The Emma Smith revelations are now found in Doctrine and Covenants section 25 and section 132 in the present Utah - LDS Scripture.  

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