The Book of Commandments vs. The Doctrine and Covenants – Part 3

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Book of Commandments Doctrine and Covenants
7:3 O remember, these words and keep my commandments. Remember this is your gift. Now this is not all, for you have another gift, which is the gift of working with the rod: behold it has told you things: behold there is no other power save God, that can cause this rod of nature, to work in 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, that you shall know. 8:5 Oh, remember these words, and keep my commandments. Remember, this is your gift.

8:6 Now this is not all thy gift; for you have another gift, which is the gift of Aaron; behold, it has told you many things;

8:7 Behold, there is no other power, save the power of God, that can cause this gift of Aaron to be with you.

8:8 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.

8:9 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.

 

Notice the “gift of working with the rod” and “the rod of nature” is changed to “the gift of Aaron.” The “gift of the rod” in the BOC could help indicate how strongly the origins of the LDS church were steeped in local superstitious practices.  Historian D. Michael Quinn wrote “Early Mormonism and the Magic World View” which covers much about this topic.  Here is a link for those who have an interest in learning more:

http://www.amazon.com/Early-Mormonism-Magic-World-View/dp/1560850892

Mormon historian Richard Lloyd Anderson said this:

“‘The gift of Aaron” first appeared in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, referring to powers of revelation that Oliver Cowdery should use as he began assisting Joseph Smith in Book of Mormon translation (D&C 8:6-7).  Both men were later on the First Presidency committee to revise the Book of Commandments when the wording of this 1829 revelation was changed. However, its first printing referred to Cowdery’s ‘gift of working with the rod.’  To some, this means that Oliver Cowdery had used a divining rod to locate buried wealth in pre-Mormon days.  If this practice was Cowdery’s gift, Joseph Smith apparently approved prior money digging or else asked him to put the rod to a higher use.”  (“The Mature Joseph Smith and Treasure Searching,” BYU Studies, Vol. 24:4 (1984), pp. 521.)

Book of Commandments Doctrine and Covenants
9:1 Now, behold I say unto you, that because you delivered up so many writings, which you had power to translate, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them, and you also lost your gift at the same time, nevertheless it has been restored unto you again: therefore, see that you are faithful and go on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work as you have begun. Do not run faster then you have strength and means provided to translate, but be diligent unto the end, that you may come off conquerer; yea, that you may conquer satan, and those that do uphold his work. 10:1 Now, behold, I say unto you, that because you delivered up those 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, you have lost them.

10:2 And you also lost your gift at the same time, and your mind became darkened.

10:3 Nevertheless, it is now restored unto you again; therefore see that you are faithful and continue on unto the finishing of the remainder of the work of translation as you have begun.

10:4 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.

10:5 Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.

 

Notice the words “Urim and Thummim” are not mentioned in the original. In fact, the use of the term “Urim and Thummim” by Joseph demonstrated his complete ignorance of the actual name of the tools God prepared for translating ancient records. The Book of Mormon calls those tools “interpreters” in some verses and “directors” in other verses as found in the printers manuscript and 1830 version of the book. (see Mosiah 8:13, 19; 28:20; Alma 37:21, 24; Ether 4:5).  The term “Urim and Thummim” is a Biblical reference to different tool employed by the priests of Aaron and has nothing whatsoever to do with translating ancient records.  Mormons embarrass themselves by using this term as it is incorrectly applied in the D&C.  This appears to be an example of overt pressure from Rigdon to use a term which had no place being inserted into the dialogue of translating ancient holy records. According to Smith’s history, he acquired the “Interpreters” at the time he received the plates. Joseph probably used the interpreters to translate the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon.

It appears that when Joseph subsequently  lost the 116 pages, he also lost the permission to use the interpreters (what Joseph later  calls the “Urim and Thummim”) and it was taken away and never returned.  Thereafter it appears he translated the rest of the Book of Mormon as David Whitmer describes here:

I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principal scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.

Richard L. Bushman writes that Joseph translated the Book of Mormon with Oliver Cowdery by placing his seer stone in a hat.  The seerstone had replaced the Urim and Thummim by that time.  (see Rough Stone Rolling, p. 72)

Emma Smith said, “The first that my husband translated, was translated by the use of the Urim, and Thummim, and that was the part that Martin Harris lost, after that he used a small stone, not exactly black, but was rather a dark color.”  (Rough Stone Rolling, p. 578.)

Joseph found a dark colored stone in a well he was digging for a man named Chase. That is the “seer stone” he used to translate the Book of Mormon. To call that stone the “Urim and Thummim” was the height of ignorance and more proof of Smith’s overall fraud.  In 2015 the Mormon Church finally disclosed the existence of the stone and admitted to the truth of the stories which had been circulated for decades regarding the manner in which the Book of Mormon was actually translated.

https://www.lds.org/church/news/book-of-mormon-printers-manuscript-photos-of-seer-stone-featured-in-new-book?lang=eng

Book of Commandments Doctrine and Covenants
17:1 Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a view of the plates, and also of the breastplate, the sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord face to face, and the miraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the Red Sea.

17:2 And it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.

17:3 And after that you have obtained faith, and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them, by the power of God;

17:4 And this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men in this work.

17:5 And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., has seen them; for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith.

17:6 And he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth it is true.

17:7 Wherefore, you have received the same power, and the same faith, and the same gift like unto him;

17:8 And if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my grace is sufficient for you, and you shall be lifted up at the last day.

17:9 And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God, have spoken it unto you, that I might bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men. Amen.

As you can see Section 17 was NOT in the original BOC. According to the Joseph Smith Papers it was NOT recorded in Revelation Book 1 in its proper chronological order based on the supposed date of June 1829.  It is located at the very end of Revelation Book 2 which held revelations recorded in 1834.  This sounds like revisionist history to me.  It is also in the original handwriting of Frederick G. Williams who was NOT on the scene in 1829 when this was supposedly originally given.

 

The Book of Commandments vs. The Doctrine and Covenants – Part 2
The Book of Commandments vs. The Doctrine and Covenants - Part 4