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Pre-Cowdery Translation


when Lord appeared unto a young man by the name of Oliver Cowdry and shewed unto him the plates in a vision and also the truth of the work and what the Lord was about to do through me his unworthy Servant therefore he was desiorous to come and write for me and to translate now my wife had writen some for me to translate and also my Brothr Samuel H Smith but we had become reduced in property and my wives father was about to turn me out of doores & I had not where to go and I cried unto the Lord that he would provide for me to accomplish the work whereunto he had commanded me
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, History, circa Summer 1832, pg 6
1832 Account
Joseph Smith Jr.
1832
when Lord appeared unto a young man by the name of Oliver Cowdry and shewed unto him the plates in a vision and also the truth of the work and what the Lord was about to do through me his unworthy Servant therefore he was desiorous to come and write for me and to translate now my wife had writen some for me to translate and also my Brothr Samuel H Smith but we had become reduced in property and my wives father was about to turn me out of doores & I had not where to go and I cried unto the Lord that he would provide for me to accomplish the work whereunto he had commanded me

   Now he Could not translate But little Being poor and nobody to write for him But his wife and she Could not do much and take Care of her house and he Being poor and no means to live But work his wifes father and familey ware all against him and would not hlp him he and his wife Came up to see me the first of the winter 1828 and told me his Case but I was not in easy Circumstances and I did not know what it mite amount to and my wife and familey all against me about helping him but I let him have some little provisions and some few things out of the Store a pair of shoes and three Dollars in money to help him a litle in January his father and Samuel came from Manchester to my house when I was Buisey a Drawing Lumber I told him they had traviled far enough I would go with my sley and take them down to morrow I went Down and found them well and the were glad to see us we conversed about many things in the morning I gave the old man a half a Dollar and Joseph a little money to Buoy paper to translate I having But little with me the old gentlemen told me to Come and see him once in a while as I could I went home followed teaming till the last of March the slaying Being good I told my wife I must go Dow and see Joseph again why Do you go soon for said she says I come go and see and she went with me next morning we went Down and found them well and ware glad to see us Joseph talked with us about his translating and some Revelation he had Received and from that time my wife began to Beleve and Continuwed a full Believer untill she Died and that was the 7 Day of August 1831
External Link
Joseph Knight reminiscences, Church History Library, pg 6
Joseph Knight Account
Joseph Knight
1833-1847
   Now he Could not translate But little Being poor and nobody to write for him But his wife and she Could not do much and take Care of her house and he Being poor and no means to live But work his wifes father and familey ware all against him and would not hlp him he and his wife Came up to see me the first of the winter 1828 and told me his Case but I was not in easy Circumstances and I did not know what it mite amount to and my wife and familey all against me about helping him but I let him have some little provisions and some few things out of the Store a pair of shoes and three Dollars in money to help him a litle in January his father and Samuel came from Manchester to my house when I was Buisey a Drawing Lumber I told him they had traviled far enough I would go with my sley and take them down to morrow I went Down and found them well and the were glad to see us we conversed about many things in the morning I gave the old man a half a Dollar and Joseph a little money to Buoy paper to translate I having But little with me the old gentlemen told me to Come and see him once in a while as I could I went home followed teaming till the last of March the slaying Being good I told my wife I must go Dow and see Joseph again why Do you go soon for said she says I come go and see and she went with me next morning we went Down and found them well and ware glad to see us Joseph talked with us about his translating and some Revelation he had Received and from that time my wife began to Beleve and Continuwed a full Believer untill she Died and that was the 7 Day of August 1831

   We never heard from our unfortunate son untill 2 months after when being uneasy as to the consequences of his distress of mind. We (that is Mr Smith and myself) went down to Harmony to make him a visit when we came wihin ¾ of a mile of the House Joseph started off to meet us telling his wife that Father and Mother were coming although he could not see us— he met us with a countinance blazing with delight and it was very evident that his joy did not arise wholely from seeing us a while a great and real trouble was seated at heart very little passed concerning this subject untill evening & he then related what had taken place since he was in New York with Great minute precision as follows<br>
   I returned home immediately after I left you without accident after I arrived here I commenced humbling myself in mighty prayer before the Lord and I poured out my soul in supplication to him that if possible I might obtain mercy at hands and be forgiven of all that I had done which was contrary to his will. As I was doing this an Angel stood before me and answered me saying that I had sinned in that he had delivered the manuscript into the hands of a wicked man and as he had ventured to become responsible for this man’s faithfulness he would of necessity suffer the consequence’s of his indiscretion that he must now give back the plates into the hands of the angel from he had received them but said he it may be if you are sufficiently humble and penitent that you will receive them again on the 22 of september...<br>
   I then continued Joseph my suplications to God without cessation that his mercy might again be exercised towards me and on the 22 of september I had the Joy and satisfaction of again receiving the record into my possession and I have commenced translating and Emma writes for me  now but the angel said that if I got the plates again that the Lord woul send some one to write for me and I trust that if it will be so. he also said that the angel seemed rejoiced when he gave him back the plates and said that he was pleased with his faithfulness and humility also that the Lord was pleased with him and loved him for his penitence and dilligence in prayer in the which he had performed his duty so well as to receive the record and be able to enter upon the work of translation again
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1844–1845, pgs 88-89, 91
Lucy Smith Account
Lucy Mack Smith
1844-45
   We never heard from our unfortunate son untill 2 months after when being uneasy as to the consequences of his distress of mind. We (that is Mr Smith and myself) went down to Harmony to make him a visit when we came wihin ¾ of a mile of the House Joseph started off to meet us telling his wife that Father and Mother were coming although he could not see us— he met us with a countinance blazing with delight and it was very evident that his joy did not arise wholely from seeing us a while a great and real trouble was seated at heart very little passed concerning this subject untill evening & he then related what had taken place since he was in New York with Great minute precision as follows
   I returned home immediately after I left you without accident after I arrived here I commenced humbling myself in mighty prayer before the Lord and I poured out my soul in supplication to him that if possible I might obtain mercy at hands and be forgiven of all that I had done which was contrary to his will. As I was doing this an Angel stood before me and answered me saying that I had sinned in that he had delivered the manuscript into the hands of a wicked man and as he had ventured to become responsible for this man’s faithfulness he would of necessity suffer the consequence’s of his indiscretion that he must now give back the plates into the hands of the angel from he had received them but said he it may be if you are sufficiently humble and penitent that you will receive them again on the 22 of september...
   I then continued Joseph my suplications to God without cessation that his mercy might again be exercised towards me and on the 22 of september I had the Joy and satisfaction of again receiving the record into my possession and I have commenced translating and Emma writes for me now but the angel said that if I got the plates again that the Lord woul send some one to write for me and I trust that if it will be so. he also said that the angel seemed rejoiced when he gave him back the plates and said that he was pleased with his faithfulness and humility also that the Lord was pleased with him and loved him for his penitence and dilligence in prayer in the which he had performed his duty so well as to receive the record and be able to enter upon the work of translation again
(Note:  This quote comes from Lucy's original manuscript transcribed in 1844-1845 by Martha Jane and Howard Coray. In 1845 the Corays produced an altered copy which can be read in full here. This altered manuscript was used in the 1853 publication by Orson Pratt in England under the title "Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, and his Progenitors for many Generations" which can be read in full here.)

   After I had obtained the above revelation (July 1828), both the plates, and the Urim and Thummin were taken from me again, but in a few days they were returned to me. I did not however go immediately to translating, but went to laboring with my hands upon a small farm which I had purchased of my wife’s father, in order to provide for my family. In the month of February, Eighteen hundred and twenty nine my father came to visit us at which time I received the following revelation for him...
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834], pg 11
1838 History
Joseph Smith Jr.
1838
   After I had obtained the above revelation (July 1828), both the plates, and the Urim and Thummin were taken from me again, but in a few days they were returned to me. I did not however go immediately to translating, but went to laboring with my hands upon a small farm which I had purchased of my wife’s father, in order to provide for my family. In the month of February, Eighteen hundred and twenty nine my father came to visit us at which time I received the following revelation for him...

   Behold I say unto you Joseph when thou hast translated a few more pages & then shalt thou stop for a season even untill I command thee again. then thou mayest translate & excep thou do this Behold thou shalt have no more gift & I will take away the things which I have entrusted with thee & now because I foresee the lieing in wait to destroy thee yea I foresee that if my Servant humbleth not himself & receive a witness from my hand that he will fall into transgression & there are many that lie in wait  to destroy thee off the face of the Earth & for this cause that thy Days may be prolounged I have given unto you these Commandments Yea for this Cause have I said stop & stand still untill I Command thee & I will provide means whereby thou mayest Accomplish the thing I have Commanded thee & if thou art faithful in Keeping my Commandments ye shall be lifted up at the last Day
External Link
The Joseph Smith Papers, Revelation, March 1829 [D&C 5], pgs 2-3
March 1829 Revelation
Joseph Smith Jr.
Mar, 1829
   Behold I say unto you Joseph when thou hast translated a few more pages & then shalt thou stop for a season even untill I command thee again. then thou mayest translate & excep thou do this Behold thou shalt have no more gift & I will take away the things which I have entrusted with thee & now because I foresee the lieing in wait to destroy thee yea I foresee that if my Servant humbleth not himself & receive a witness from my hand that he will fall into transgression & there are many that lie in wait to destroy thee off the face of the Earth & for this cause that thy Days may be prolounged I have given unto you these Commandments Yea for this Cause have I said stop & stand still untill I Command thee & I will provide means whereby thou mayest Accomplish the thing I have Commanded thee & if thou art faithful in Keeping my Commandments ye shall be lifted up at the last Day

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