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Section 35
TitleSection 35
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsHarper, Steven C.
Book TitleDoctrine and Covenants Contexts
Chapter35
Pagination74-75
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT

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“There was a man whose name was Sidney Rigdon, he having been an instrument in the hand of the Lord of doing much good.” That’s how John Whitmer began the story of section 35 in his history. Sidney “was in search of truth, consequently he received the fullness of the gospel with gladness of heart, even the Book of Mormon”[1] John Whitmer continued, imitating the Book of Mormon:

Now it came to pass, after Sidney Rigdon, was received into this Church, that he was ordained an elder, under the hands of Oliver Cowdery. He having much anxiety to see Joseph Smith, Jr., the Seer whom the Lord had raised up in these last days. Therefore he took his journey to the state of New York, where Joseph resided.

Arriving in time to hear Joseph conclude a sermon, Sidney asked Joseph to seek revelation to know the Lord’s will for him.[2] “After the Lord had made known what he wanted that his servant Sidney should do, he went to writing the things which the Lord showed unto his servant the Seer.” Joseph revised the Bible as Sidney scribed, giving us some of the most precious scripture ever revealed, including much of the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.[3]

Joseph and Sidney also obeyed the revelation’s command to form a powerful companionship, with Joseph prophesying and Sidney teaching from the scriptures. They “went to the several churches preaching and prophesying wherever they went,” John wrote,

and greatly strengthened the churches that were built unto the Lord. Joseph prophesied saying: God is about to destroy this generation, and Christ will descend from heaven in power and great glory, with all the holy angels with him, to take vengeance upon the wicked, and they that know not God. Sidney preached the gospel and proved his [Joseph's] words from the holy prophets.[4]

[1] Book of John Whitmer, chapter 1, Community of Christ Archives, Independence, Missouri.

[2] Lavina Fielding Anderson, editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir (Salt Lake City: Signature, 2001), 504–5.

[3] Book of John Whitmer, chapter 1.

[4] Book of John Whitmer, chapter 1, Community of Christ Archives, Independence, Missouri.

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