Doctrine & Covenants > Section 9
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- Received: April 1829 at Harmony, Pennsylvania
- Prior section in chronological order: D&C 8
- Next section in chronological order: D&C 13
Oliver Cowdery taught school at Manchester, New York during the 1828-1829 school year. A portion of his compensation was received in the form of free lodging at the homes of his students. During his stay with the Joseph Smith Sr. family he obtained a testimony that Joseph had been called of God and that he (Oliver) had a role to play in assisting Joseph.
Once school let out for the spring planting season, Oliver traveled with Samuel Smith to Harmony, Pennsylvania. They arrived, and Oliver first met Joseph, on April 5. Two days later they began translating as a team on April 7. Almost all of what we have today as the Book of Mormon was translated by Joseph and Oliver during the months of April to June 1829.
During the first month of April 1829 Joseph received three revelations directed to Oliver Cowdery. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After Oliver's attempt to translate ended in failure, D&C 9 explained why.
For a brief overview of D&C 9 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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D&C 9 is addressed to Oliver Cowdery
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Points to ponder
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I have a question
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- In verses 8-9, was this really the method used in translating or was it the method Oliver was to use to know if it was the Lord's will that he translate?
- Is Oliver being held responsible here for something that he did not know? Should he have known this?
Relation to other scriptures
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Related sections and chapters
- D&C 6, D&C 8, and D&C 9 comprise a group of three revelations all directed to Olivery Cowdery during April 1829 regarding his participation in the Book of Mormon translation. In D&C 6 Oliver was told that he had a gift to translate. In D&C 8 he received permission to translate. After he tried to translate but was unable, D&C 9 explained why.
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Text transmission and circulation
This heading is for notes about the history of the section and when it became widely known to the general church membership. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading.
- The oldest surviving partial copy of D&C 9 is the one copied by John Whitmer into Revelation Book 1, p. 14 (incomplete), presumably during the summer of 1830. The oldest surviving complete copy is ________.
- D&C 9 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 9 in significant editions of the Doctrine & Covenants can be found at:
- Changes to the text of D&C 9:
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