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D&C 11 was given to Hyrum Smith but is addressed to "all who have good desires and have thrust in their sickles to reap." [(D&C 11:27).
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- Received: late May 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
- Prior section in chronological order: D&C 10
- Next section in chronological order: D&C 12
Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery began translating the Book of Mormon at Harmony, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1829. The Aaronic Priesthood was restored by John the Baptist about six weeks later on May 15 as Joseph and Oliver continued translating at Harmony. Two weeks later, about the first of June, Joseph and Oliver left Harmony to escape rising persecution and moved to the Whitmer home at Fayette, New York, where they finished translating about the end of June, three months after they began.
Several significant church history events occurred in late May during Joseph and Oliver's last two weeks at Harmony. Incomplete records make it uncertain when many events occurred, but the following events may have occurred in about the following order. While there is room for reasonable disagreement regarding the "perhaps" items on this list, the list as a whole paints a picture of the general circumstances surrounding the receipt of D&C 11 and D&C 12.
- • May 15, restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood by John the Baptist as recounted in D&C 13, translation perhaps at 3 Ne 11
- • perhaps receipt of D&C 10:38-70 instructing Joseph to translate the small plates of Nephi in place of the lost 116 page manuscript
- • perhaps restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood by Peter, James and John during a trip between Harmony and Colesville
- • May 25, baptism of Samuel Smith at Harmony
- • Hyrum Smith visits Harmony from Palmyra, receipt of D&C 11
- • Joseph Knight Sr. visits Harmony from Colesville, perhaps bringing provisions, receipt of D&C 12
- • first of June, David Whitmer arrives at Harmony to carry Joseph and Oliver in his wagon to Fayette
For a brief overview of D&C 11 in historical relation to the rest of the Doctrine & Covenants, see Historical Overview of the Restoration Scriptures. For lengthier discussions of the historical setting, see Historical Context of the Doctrine & Covenants, chapter 3 or Church History in the Fulness of Times, chapter 5.
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Verse 5 - I understand what it means to ask and seek, but how do we "knock" to have things opened unto us? Is there any significance that "seek" was omitted in this verse, as well as in Sections 4,6,12 and 14, 2nd Nephi 32:4, 3 Nephi 27:29?
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- The oldest surviving copy of D&C 11 is ______.
- D&C 11 was first published in the 1833 Book of Commandments, the earliest edition of what we now call the Doctrine & Covenants.
- The text of D&C 11 in significant editions of the Doctrine & Covenants can be found at:
Related passages that interpret or shed light on D&C 11.
Doctrinal references cited on this page.
Historical references cited on this page.
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.