Revelation given to Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Harmony, Pennsylvania, likely around April 1829, though portions may have been received as early as the summer of 1828. Herein the Lord informs Joseph of alterations made by wicked men in the 116 manuscript pages from the translation of the book of Lehi, in the Book of Mormon. These manuscript pages had been lost from the possession of Martin Harris, to whom the sheets had been temporarily entrusted. (See the heading to section 3.) The evil design was to await the expected retranslation of the matter covered by the stolen pages and then to discredit the translator by showing discrepancies created by the alterations. That this wicked purpose had been conceived by the evil one and was known to the Lord even while Mormon, the ancient Nephite historian, was making his abridgment of the accumulated plates, is shown in the Book of Mormon (see Words of Mormon 1:3–7).
1–26, Satan stirs up wicked men to oppose the Lord’s work; 27–33, He seeks to destroy the souls of men; 34–52, The gospel is to go to the Lamanites and all nations through the Book of Mormon; 53–63, The Lord will establish His Church and His gospel among men; 64–70, He will gather the repentant into His Church and will save the obedient.
1 Now, behold, I say unto you, that because you adelivered up those writings which you had power given unto you to translate by the means of the bUrim and Thummim, into the hands of a wicked man, you have lost them.
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, wicked men have taken them from you.
9 Therefore, you have delivered them up, yea, that which was asacred, unto wickedness.
11 And behold, I say unto you, that because they have altered the words, they read contrary from that which you translated and caused to be written;
12 And, on this wise, the devil has sought to lay a cunning plan, that he may destroy this work;
13 For he hath put into their hearts to do this, that by lying they may say they have acaught you in the words which you have pretended to translate.
14 Verily, I say unto you, that I will not suffer that Satan shall accomplish his aevil design in this thing.
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;
17 And if God giveth him power again, or if he translates again, or, in other words, if he bringeth forth the same words, behold, we have the same with us, and we have altered them;
18 Therefore they will not agree, and we will say that he has lied in his words, and that he has no agift, and that he has no power;
19 Therefore we will destroy him, and also the work; and we will do this that we may not be ashamed in the end, and that we may get aglory of the world.
24 Yea, he stirreth up their hearts to aanger against this work.
25 Yea, he saith unto them: aDeceive and lie in wait to catch, that ye may destroy; behold, this is no harm. And thus he flattereth them, and telleth them that it is no sin to blie that they may catch a man in a lie, that they may destroy him.
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 accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied and that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself.
32 And, behold, they will publish this, and Satan will aharden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words.
34 But behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.
35 Marvel not that I said unto you: Here is awisdom, show it not unto the world—for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved.
36 Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous;
37 But as you cannot always judge the arighteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your bpeace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.
38 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, is engraven upon the aplates of Nephi;
39 Yea, and you remember it was said in those writings that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.
40 And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi is more particular concerning the things which, in my wisdom, I awould bring to the knowledge of the people in this account—
41 Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained;
42 And behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi; and thus I will aconfound those who have altered my words.
44 Behold, they have only got a part, or an aabridgment of the account of Nephi.
45 Behold, there are many things engraven upon the aplates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me that you should btranslate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work.
46 And, behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my agospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, bdesired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.
48 Yea, and this was their faith—that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the aLamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions.
49 Now, this is not all—their faith in their prayers was that this gospel should be made known also, if it were possible that other nations should possess this land;
50 And thus they did leave a blessing upon this land in their prayers, that whosoever should believe in this agospel in this land might have eternal life;
51 Yea, that it might be afree unto all of whatsoever nation, kindred, tongue, or people they may be.
52 And now, behold, according to their faith in their prayers will I bring this part of my gospel to the knowledge of my people. Behold, I do not bring it to adestroy that which they have received, but to build it up.
54 Now I do not say this to destroy my church, but I say this to build up my church;
56 But it is they who do not afear me, neither keep my commandments but build up bchurches unto themselves to get cgain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil—yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center.
58 I am the alight which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
61 And I will bring to light their marvelous works, which they did in my name;
62 Yea, and I will also bring to light my gospel which was ministered unto them, and, behold, they shall not deny that which you have received, but they shall build it up, and shall bring to light the true points of my adoctrine, yea, and the only doctrine which is in me.
63 And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much acontention; yea, bSatan doth cstir up the hearts of the people to dcontention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do ewrest the scriptures and do not understand them.
64 Therefore, I will unfold unto them this great mystery;
65 For, behold, I will agather them as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, if they will not harden their hearts;
66 Yea, if they will come, they may, and partake of the awaters of life freely.