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Section 12
TitleSection 12
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHarper, Steven C.
Book TitleDoctrine and Covenants Contexts
Chapter12
Pagination23-24

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In the spring of 1829, Joseph Knight was in his late fifties and lived with his large family in Colesville, New York, a long day's journey from Joseph’s home in Harmony, Pennsylvania. He routinely supplied Joseph with food, shoes, cash, and paper to see him through the translation process.[1] During one of his visits, Father Knight was “very anxious to know his duty as to this work.” Joseph asked the Lord, who answered with the revelation in section 12.[2]

It says many similar things as revelations to Joseph Smith Sr. and Oliver Cowdery given earlier or around the same time: A great and marvelous work is about to be made known to mankind. Like a sword that cuts both ways, the Lord’s words can bless and curse, save and damn. The figurative field is ready for harvest. Whoever desires to harvest should do so all day long, saving his soul in the process. God calls whoever will harvest. If Father Knight will ask, God will answer. Since he has asked, the Lord tells him to keep the commandments and work for Zion.

One of the great souls who made the restoration possible, Joseph Knight obeyed this revelation. He did all in his power to bring forth the Book of Mormon. He transported Joseph Smith in his wagon when Joseph went to Fayette to organize the church in April 1830 and in his sleigh when Joseph moved to Ohio early in 1831. He was “first to administer to my necessities while I was laboring in the commencement of bringing forth the work of the Lord, and of laying the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Joseph remembered. “Faithful and true, and even handed, and exemplary and virtuous and kind.”[3]

[1] Joseph Knight, Reminiscences, MS 3470, Church History Library, Salt Lake City..

[2]History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834],” p. 21, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed September 22, 2020.

[3]Journal, December 1841–December 1842,” p. 179, The Joseph Smith Papers, accessed July 22, 2020.

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